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Author Topic: Michael Ignatieff Returns: Mama!
skdadl
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posted 30 August 2005 02:11 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This thread was closed by cause of length, but I did not want to lose track of it.

We are about to need all the evidence we can get.

Carry on.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hugo the Liberator
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posted 30 August 2005 08:17 PM      Profile for Hugo the Liberator        Edit/Delete Post
It's pretty sad when -- between Fauntelroy and the Raetard -- the new Liberal class will be so subservient to Washington as to be the biggest bumper crop of crap that Canadian voters have harvested since the Reform Party's 1993 lunatics and that even Little Stevie Blunder could do a better job at maintaing a free and sovereign Canada.
From: Caracas | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ken Burch
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posted 30 August 2005 08:18 PM      Profile for Ken Burch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just wanted to say that I didn't really mean to mock Margaret Trudeau. I was just trying to have fun with the absurd "Ignatieff=Trudeau" analogy. Should have found another way.
From: A seedy truckstop on the Information Superhighway | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 30 August 2005 09:12 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's pretty sad when -- between Fauntelroy and the Raetard -- the new Liberal class will be so subservient to Washington

In what way is "Raetard" subservient to Washington?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Aric H
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posted 30 August 2005 09:47 PM      Profile for Aric H     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it is time to impose some residency requirements before becoming the PM of Canada like the Americans have for President. Let's impose a residency requirement that you have to have lived in Canada for at least 10 years prior to becoming PM.
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warpedhalo
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posted 30 August 2005 10:06 PM      Profile for warpedhalo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Isn't the current crop we have in there already subservient to Washington? At the very least Ignatieff will at least be honest about it, as opposed to Martin's bullshit posturing to the Canadian public before licking Bush's cowboy boots in private.
From: Alberta | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 31 August 2005 12:08 PM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
In what way is "Raetard" subservient to Washington?
I'd say his unequivocal support for virtually any Israeli action and taking part in the legitimizing exercise in Iraq make him an apologist for the current administration if not subservient to them.

BTW, Hugo, the term "Raetard" is really offensive and you should stop using it. I agree with you on many of your points but making fun of the mentally handicapped doesn't help your cause - at all.

Another interesting article on Ignatieff.

quote:
Why would Ignatieff choose to not have a single conversation with anyone in southern Tehran? After all, it was this exact constituency that brought Ahmadinejad to power. The same constituency that made Micheal Ignatieff alter the topic of his lecture. Other than an over-blown and prosaic description of the walled cemetery, complete with Persian poem, and tea drinking mourners, Ignatieff does not offer much insight and leaves southern Tehran to its mourning.

From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 31 August 2005 12:38 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for that link, Burns. Very shortly after I had read Ignatieff's piece of fluff in the NYTimes, I came upon this much more substantial treatment of the same subject, Christopher de Bellaigue's "New Man in Iran," NY Review of Books 52, no. 13 (11 Aug 2005). (Unfortunately, you need to pay to read the full article online.)

Unlike Ignatieff, de Bellaigue actually tells us something about Ahmadinejad and the various currents and counter-currents that brought him to (sort of) power.

The contrast between Ignatieff's puny, faux-romance piece and de Bellaigue's serious research is what makes me roll eyes every time people refer, as in those Toronto Star articles on the other thread, to Ignatieff's academic credentials and accomplishments. The man's only academic accomplishment I'm aware of is getting appointed to cushy sinecures at Harvard and U of T that allow him to keep his public profile high while doing very little in the way of serious research.

[ 31 August 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 31 August 2005 01:00 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I'd say his unequivocal support for virtually any Israeli action and taking part in the legitimizing exercise in Iraq make him an apologist for the current administration if not subservient to them.

Being supportive of Israel doesn't make anyone "subservient" to the US. Israel is not a left/right issue. There are many hard core NDP activists - some Jewish, some not - who are very pro-Israel and I can assure you that they do NOT take that view because they received instructions from George W. Bush. If anything they probably wish Bush was anti-Israel so they wouldn't have to be on the same side as him on anything.

Is there evidence that Bob Rae gives "unequivocal" support for "every" Israeli action? I suspect he probably wishes that the Labour party was in power and that Israel would be more moderate and make more concessions. Essentiually the mainstream NDP view that is Layton's view as well.

There are plenty of legitimate grounds for criticizing Bob Rae without resorting to this hyperbolic fiction.

[ 31 August 2005: Message edited by: Stockholm ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 31 August 2005 01:12 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Stockholm, have you read the previous Ignatieff thread and all links in it, to which I have linked above?

It is true that the strangest things that get said about Israel/Palestine in one of those links are said by Ignatieff, but that was at the meeting where Rae introduced Ignatieff in glowing terms, so, y'know, the thought arises: How much of that does Rae sign on to?


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Hinterland
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posted 31 August 2005 01:27 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
This has been a fascinating discussion, and these threads will be useful to refer to, should Ignatieff make the attempt to enter politics.

The biggest headache I've had with Ignatieff involves the ability of academics to swirl the discussion of an issue up into the stratosphere, far beyond its original foundation -- in Ignatieff's case, the appalling premise that support for Empire, no matter how "lite", with all its power-brokering, deceit, disregard for human rights and naked exploitation, is a reasonnable position for democrats. This is all fun and games when you're occupying a chair at Harvard or U. of T. and you're sparring with your colleagues, but it's a distrastrous quality in politicians; at least the kind of politician we should have.

I can only hope the Empire-lite idea gets discredited sooner than Ignatieff decides the time is ripe for a political career. I can see a lot of Liberal voters, who, however well-intentioned, are too trusting and too willing to let others think for them and who could easily fall for a ruse as complex as Ignatieff is proposing.

[ 31 August 2005: Message edited by: Hinterland ]


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 31 August 2005 03:35 PM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
Is there evidence that Bob Rae gives "unequivocal" support for "every" Israeli action? I suspect he probably wishes that the Labour party was in power and that Israel would be more moderate and make more concessions. Essentiually the mainstream NDP view that is Layton's view as well. There are plenty of legitimate grounds for criticizing Bob Rae without resorting to this hyperbolic fiction.
It was the NDP's "mainstream" view (along with the party's refusal to see the benefits of the WTO) that led to Rae's 2002 column in which he publicly disaffiliated with the NDP. He publicly slammed the Canadian Labour Congress when they called for withdrawl from the occupied territories. He has slammed the CBC for biased "anti-Israel" reporting. I don't doubt that he doesn't actually nequivocally endorse everything Israel has done ever - neither does Netanyahu. It would have been more accurate to write that he equivocally supports everything Israel does - and I apologize for the overstatement. I know it's someting that Stockholm would never do.

From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 31 August 2005 04:02 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What does this have to do with being "sub-servient to the US"? People have their own personal reasons for taking sides in the Middle East dispute and it rarely has any connection to following orders from Washington.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 31 August 2005 04:08 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
What does this have to do with being "sub-servient to the US"? People have their own personal reasons for taking sides in the Middle East dispute and it rarely has any connection to following orders from Washington.

Stockholm, as a faithful reader of the AIPAC threads on babble, I am not even gonna attempt to reply to you.

You have your position. The rest of us have ours.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 31 August 2005 05:47 PM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
What does this have to do with being "sub-servient to the US"? People have their own personal reasons for taking sides in the Middle East dispute and it rarely has any connection to following orders from Washington.
I don't know. I never said he was. I said this:
quote:
an apologist for the current administration if not subservient to them.
And, yes, yes, yes, he is an apologist for the current US administration's foreign policy, and an apologist for the US administration's neo-liberal "free trade" policy, and an apologist for privatization.

From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 31 August 2005 08:34 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Coyne: 'Liberals Need Ignatieff'

Andrew Coyne has a column in today's Post in which he concludes that the 'unlikely prospect' of Ignatieff's coming to lead the Liberal party would make it 'a Liberal party that decent people could support once again.'

This is, in part, because Ignatieff stands squarely against the tradition of reflexive anti-Americanism that dominates the Liberal party and the mainstream of Canadian political thought, says Coyne, who also targets Canadian intellectuals for their obsession with 'the supposed threat to our existence posed by the colossus to the south.'

Now, I don't think Ignatieff would agree with Coyne on Liberal anti-Americanism. In his speech to the Liberal convention in March, Ignatgieff maintained that 'Liberals have always said no to anti-Americanism,' and counselled leaving anti-Americanism to the NDP as a kind of electoral 'ghetto' within which the party could wither.

No, Liberals have always been against anti-Americanism, just as they always have been and continue to be anti-continentalist, said Ignatieff in March, demonstrating either amazing control over his facial muscles, or a complete ignorance of the existence of John Manley.

The reason Liberals so consistently oppose contintentalism, according to the anti-anti-American Ignatieff is that our sovereignty faces its greatest challenge from--wait for it--'our oldest and dearest friend,' the United States of America.

I suppose this is what it means for Ignatieff to stand 'squarely against' the anti-Americanism that so dominates Canadian intellectual life, according to Coyne: smearing the NDP, misrepresenting political history, and speaking euphemistically of the 'supposed threat to our existence' (Coyne) as the 'greatest challenge to our sovereignty' (Ignatieff) while calling the 'colossus' a 'dear friend.'

While I guess Coyne and Ignatieff will have to disagree about whether the Liberal party is now or ever has been 'anti-American,' I'm sure they would agree that throwing around the term is a useful way to discredit one's opponents without addressing their arguments.

Or, perhaps they wouldn't. After all, Coyne admires Ignatieff for a 'personal decency' that is evident in the 'almost exaggerated courtesy with which he treats opponents and opposing points of view,' consigning them to metaphorical ghettoes where they can wither and die being presumably a key instance of the celebrated Ignatieff civility.

It's a civility, Coyne tells us, that's utterly foreign to the 'goonish sloganeering' of our current politics. Never for Ignatieff the cheap, bumper-sticker solution.

Well, almost never: "We need to use federal power to make education a ladder of mobility for all our people and an engine of productivity for our economy. Let's not, my dear friends, let's not get tangled up in federal/provincial battles over jurisdiction. Let's just do it."

Ah, so simple. Just like the rationale for joining Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq at the cost of thousands of civilian lives: it's the lesser evil.

Well, we won't miss obvious solutions like these ones in the future, not once Michael Ignatieff has made it safe for decent people to support the Liberal party again.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 31 August 2005 09:40 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
I really hope you're getting paid for this, sgm.

You know, I think I've decided that anyone who uses the term "reflexively anti-American" with regard to very specific discussions of American foreign policy should immediately lose all credibility. I've held out some hope for Andrew Coyne, but I think he's a lost cause.

Oh, well, maybe I'm too smug or morally superior.


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kingblake
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posted 01 September 2005 03:54 AM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, thanks SGM.

I think this could prove to be a valuable resource to collect some dirt on our favorite Ivory Tower 'academic'. It's really quite remarkable how the media can latch on to the latest 'bright light' and devote inches to them without going beyond the absolute vaguest description of what they stand for.

It may be a tad premature now, but back when Mario Dumont was topping the polls in Quebec, a bunch of us gathered a ton of dirt on him and his party, and started a 'Non a Dumont' web page. Now, I don't necessarily credit our little website with having turned popular opinion against Dumont, but I do think that it contributed to forcing the media and the population at large to look beyond his image, and to really consider his policies. If you'll recall, we didn't really have to do all that more, since people in Quebec plain and simple were not buying what he was selling.

Anyway, all this to say that should Ignatieff decide to seek a seat in Parliament or eventually run for leader, these pages should be a good resource to put together a flashy 'Stop Ignatieff' site.


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 September 2005 08:34 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Great idea, kingblake. I have just started to read the, ah, "novel" Ignatieff published in the nineties, narrated by a man whose mother is dying of Alzheimer's. I will report back in a week or so on it and on the backstory that I know is there.

And another classic from sgm. Now, there is a narrative voice I can admire. Thanks.


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jeff house
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posted 01 September 2005 09:39 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Andrew Coyne recently had a column saying that Canada should get over the fact that the US won't comply with the Free Trade rules in the softwood lumber case.

The Americans are right on softwood lumber, he thinks.

I guess that's one way to avoid being "reflexively anti-American". Just kneel at Bush's feet.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
MasterDebator
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posted 01 September 2005 01:15 PM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
This thread was closed by cause of length, but I did not want to lose track of it.

We are about to need all the evidence we can get.

Carry on.



It seems to me that this thread should also be related to this one in the Election 2005 Forum:

Rae under mounting pressure to run for Liberals

And once again, at the risk of annoying repetition, let me remind Ontario New Democrats of one (1) thing: Ujjal Dosanjh!


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 September 2005 02:01 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What about him? He was given a super-safe Liberal seat to run in and he won it.
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MasterDebator
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posted 01 September 2005 02:14 PM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
What about him? He was given a super-safe Liberal seat to run in and he won it.

My hope would be that the disappointments we in BC suffered last year were not entirely in vain and that our sister party in Ontario could learn from our mistakes. You seem determined to do what you can to prevent that from happening.


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 September 2005 02:18 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You're assuminb that any NDP disappointment in BC was due to the defection. I think that is highly debatable.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
MasterDebator
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posted 01 September 2005 02:30 PM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
You're assuminb that any NDP disappointment in BC was due to the defection. I think that is highly debatable.

Well, I suppose you can "debate" anything you want, but I can assure you that the defections were a key element in the overall process. Certainly the Liberals and media treated them that way.


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 September 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I doubt if it moved many votes and i'm still not convinced that it would not have been totally counter productive to have had the NDP launch a campaign of vicious personal ad hominem attacks on Dosanjh as you seem to be suggesting.
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MasterDebator
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posted 01 September 2005 03:16 PM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
I doubt if it moved many votes and i'm still not convinced that it would not have been totally counter productive to have had the NDP launch a campaign of vicious personal ad hominem attacks on Dosanjh as you seem to be suggesting.


As you well know I have not suggested any ad hominem attacks. To say that I have is just a straw argument.

Did it move many voters? I believe it was instrumental in determining voters' overall perceptions of party strengths and fortunes, thereby becoming a key element in the "strategic" voting argument. However, the Canadian Election study tended to pour cold water on the entire strategic voting explanation, so perhaps that was of less importance than we sometimes think.

Certainly the very visible Dosanjh candidacy helped to reinforce the Liberal strenght in the Lower Mainland's immigrant households, leading not only to his election in Vancouver South, but to David Emerson's election in Vancouver Kingsway, and to Bill Cunningham's near miss in Burnaby Douglas, and to Steve McClurg's loss to Paul Forseth in another Burnaby seat as IWA defector Dave Haggard pulled away some left-labour votes. And oddly enough, it probably helped the Grewals' election wins in Surrey, as the NDP stayed weak there, much of the action that could have gone NDP going Liberal by mistake.

Here in the North of BC, Nathan Cullen won in Skeena, but in Prince George and district we had Tories Hill and Harris returned handily. I think it's fair to say the NDP did better than expected, but nowhere near close. I think the Lower Mainland media, who are the nitely TV news all across BC, took their lead from the defector situation and just discounted Jack Layton and the Federal NDP across the board, and once that was done our other campaigns around the province simply couldn't get sufficient coverage to make a breakthrough, so it affected us even 800 kilometres to the north.

I have to say Stockholm, that you seem to be bound and determined to deny that any of these high-profile defections do any damage, and that even if they do any harm there's nothing you can do about them, so do nothing. To me, it has a ring of studied denial about it.


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 01 September 2005 03:38 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The only thing I can think of that would minimize the impact of these defections would have been if Jack had offered a cash bribe to Dosanjh not to do it!!

People switch parties all the time and I have never seen any successful strategy to minimize its impact. As I mention, the Tories tried to discredit Belinda Stronach as much as they could and all they did was dig themselves a deeper and deeper grave.

The NDP could yell turncoat all it wants - i have never seen any evidence that the general public gives a damn about loyalty to party. In fact most people who switch parties have little or no problem getting reelected in their new party and they never look back.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 01 September 2005 03:41 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ladies and gentlemen, if I may interrupt:

Could you take all discussion of lily-livered NDP turncoats to the thread about Bob Rae?

I understand how it spilled over to this thread, but please: we are trying to reserve this series of threads for devastating exposes of Michael Ignatieff.

Ta very much.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 02 September 2005 06:48 AM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Letter to the editor in today's National Post wherein the writer expresses a desire to see Ignatieff run as the head of the Liberals against David Frum leading the Conservatives.

Which gives you an idea of what the avid reader of National Post is like.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 02 September 2005 09:53 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't quite understand the interest people have in Ignatief. The drift on this thread is that he is a left leaning Liberal and somehow a threat to the NDP.

I fail to understand this.

Bob Rae was drummed out of the NDP because of the excesses of the Harris government and the way both Liberals and PCs used his government's record a an example of NDP bungling.

Rae does not believe this is fair. He and his supporters believe that they did a reasonable job in a very tough time. But they waffled on public auto insurance and caved under the onslaught of bad press. They doubted their support and popularity. They did things to alienate groups like teachers and other civil service workers. Rae campaigned on the idea that he had a new solution to the Reagonomics of the day. Hre affirmed the growing disatisfaction with the balanced budget arguments and short term slash and burn tactics. Then when elected he was forced in part and embraced in another part this very same ideology. In short he sent a message that he had changed his program. Harris then subsequently campaigned on being true to the slash and burn ideology. It was easy for him to do but now Ontario continues to suffer under the same frinancing arrangement set up bt the Tories. The Liberals under McGuinty have changed nothing done by Harris. Yet guys like Ignatief would be fellow travellers with McGuinty for their so-called "liberal" Liberalism.

Some suspect that the Rse government had a secret plan to not implement vote getters like public auto insurance. So for example, they could have raised the spectre of it being destroyed if Tories were elected during the 95 election. They were designed to fail to make the Liberals look good. Rae's subsequet defection, his close ties to the political Liberal establishment in Ottawa all fuel this conspiracy theory. Ignatief's father was a Liberal diplomat of some renown.

But the NDP has successfully demonstrated under Layton how the left wing in the Liberal Party is too weak and uninfluential to accomodate what Canadians need it terms of progressive social policy.

Why is Ignatief's return so significant - I think he has no profile in my circle of acquaintances (albeit as fairly limited.)? What are Rabbler's/NDPers afraid of?

[ 02 September 2005: Message edited by: Boinker ]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 02 September 2005 11:32 AM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Boinker, first off:
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Could you take all discussion of lily-livered NDP turncoats to the thread about Bob Rae?
Secondly, what are we afraid of?

Personally, I'm not that afraid. Ignatieff represents a threat to the extent that he, like Tony Blair, can synthesize "compassionate" arguments for evil ends. For example, we have to invade Iraq to protect women's rights; we have to privatize healthcare in order to provide it to the poor; we have to violate human rights to protect them; we have to slash welfare to protect it for the future; we have to do everything America asks in order to preserve our sovereignty.

I think Ignatieff has shown he does this well in the academic arena but I think he'll stumble in the political arena.


From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 02 September 2005 11:57 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Burns, while I also think that he will stumble at one level in the political arena -- with the person in the street -- I think that his writing and podium-speaking is perfectly pitched for the popular media, much more so than for academe.

I mean, he isn't a genuine scholar -- he's a fancied-up journalist.

I was horrified, eg, to see, in a column in this a.m.'s Grope and Flail, Sheema Khan quoting, very selectively, from Ignatieff's last book on Empire Lite, a passage that would make him sound good to anyone fearful of the Cheneyburton empire, with no hint of the fact that that same book also rationalizes much of that empire. I couldn't understand why she would do that -- if she'd actually read the book. Or sgm.

I do believe that Ignatieff is seriously challenged on the turf of relationships with flesh-and-blood human beans, even though he goes to such lengths in his writing to dramatize his profound sensitivity.

That may matter on any campaign trail, but it won't necessarily matter in the media, since he is so at home on the podium or in print. Is a problem.

[ 02 September 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Burns
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posted 02 September 2005 03:46 PM      Profile for Burns   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wouldn't want to underestimate him. But by the same token the media tends to run in a cycle with "potential Leaders". They build them up and then they tear them down - witness Kim Campbell, John Turner, Stockwell Day and Paul Martin.

I think his "good media" now could be a sign of bad coverage to come.

[ 02 September 2005: Message edited by: Burns ]


From: ... is everything. Location! Location! Location! | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 03 September 2005 09:07 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I guess the real appeal of Ignatief can be found in articles like these. Here is one from the National Post .

and returns to his thesis,

quote:
What is required is more than just guns and rhetoric, but a realistic political strategy that saps the world's jihadists of their support.

Does such a strategy exist? Is it a euphamism for appeasement? Will appeasement serve to strengthen their demands rather than to separate them from their support as he suggests. The only realistic solution to fascist demands is to utterly destroy them and not to look for a "realistic political strategy".
.........................................................

Michael Ignatieff is the Carr Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the author of The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (Penguin). This essay is adapted from a lecture delivered recently at Toronto's Holy Blossom Temple as part of the Gerald Schwartz/ Heather Reisman Fall 2004 Lecture Series, "Terror and the Defence of the West."


-article by Ted Bateman


The point being that neither "solution" will work because of the identities involved. The US cannot blast the world into submission nor can Age of Reason types like Ignatief solve the problem. This is a world problem requiring a truly world solution.

Perhaps we need the oil equivalent of Kurt Vonnegut's "ice 9" which will change all the world's oil into chewing gum, thereby causing a massive social change toward alternative energy sources.

[ 03 September 2005: Message edited by: Boinker ]


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 03 September 2005 09:22 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That looks like a very selective reading of Ignatieff's speech to me -- people might go back to the earlier thread on Ignatieff and read there sgm's analysis of the same speech.

The odd thing about Belman's blog is that, since he is criticizing from the right, he emphasizes passages in Ignatieff that sound, to his ear, "liberal" or "left." Even so, you can see the twists and turns in Ignatieff's logic through Belman's shifts from disagreement to agreement and then back again.


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sgm
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posted 08 September 2005 04:33 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
maestro,

I saw that letter about a potential Frum/Ignatieff showdown as well. Ugh! I thought: the Axis of Lesser Evils.

Here, by the way, is Frum's response, in which he challenges Ignatieff to a public debate on current issues, to see if 'liberalism' (personified in Ignatieff) has anything to offer in today's circumstances.

Now, I agree with skdadl that Belman is off base. While I disagree with many of the points made in Ignatieff's speech, it looks to me like Belman doesn't even understand the statements he thinks he's refuting.

I also concur with the point that Ignatieff's work can be mined for passages that look quite reasonable on their own, if you willingly go along with him in ignoring what he frequently represses. The adulation he's been receiving lately from those in Liberal and media circles derives in part from this willingness, in my view. If you agree to ignore uncomfortable facts, taking on Ignatieff's view that we need an 'Empire Lite' to bring about the security conditions necessary for 'nation building' lets you flatter yourself that you're a hard-headed, tough-minded person whose feet remain firmly planted on the ground despite your firm commitment to ‛liberal' ideals and human rights.

Of course, it's a delusion.

Ignatieff often takes what I'd call a pseudo-'tough-minded' stance (he'll sometimes tell you directly when he's being 'tough,' in case you miss the point); so he'll own, for example, that great powers will be hypocritical in their commitment to interventionist humanitarianism, because they'll only intervene to create stability when it's in their national interests to do so.

Here's what he says on page 111 of Empire Lite:

quote:
If America were consistent about defending human rights everywhere, it would have to dispatch marines to every failed or failing state where populations are threatened with massacre or genocide. Doing so would be both vain and unwise. Empires that are successful learn to ration their service to moral principle to the few strategic zones where the defence of a vital interest, and where the risks do not outweigh the benefits. This is why a modern imperial ethics can only be hypocritical. The new imperium has been imposed in the Balkans, but it is never going to be extended to Chechnya. It will be created in Afghanistan but never in Chinese Central Asia. America will not risk military confrontation with Russia or China simply because the human rights of their subject populations are at risk. Yet hypocrisy and cynicism are not identical. The fact that empires cannot practise what they preach does not mean they do not believe what they preach. The problem is not the sincerity or otherwise of their beliefs, but the impossibility of always putting them into practice. Those who regard imperial attachment to human rights as entirely cynical might ask themselves what price consistency?

There's so much to object to in this passage that it's hard to know where to start. I mean, the vice-president of a high school debating club could easily expose the fatuity of the trope that has abstract ‛empires' ‛believing' or ‛learning' things.

Leaving such minor foolishness aside, a good place to start evaluating Ignatieff's statements might be Noam Chomsky's question about why great western powers, including the United States, frequently intervene in ‛humanitarian crises' to escalate them and make them far worse, even when it would cost them little to do otherwise. Why, when Turkey was hammering the Kurdish population of its southeast regions in the 1990s, did the US act to escalate the horror by transferring ever more military equipment to the Turks?

Halting or even just stemming the flow of American arms to Turkey for its operations against its own Kurdish population wouldn't have been ‛vain,' ‛unwise,' or have risked nuclear war with China or Russia: despite what Ignatieff says, no one expects the US or any other country to meet the ‛impossible' standard of consistency he sets up-- as a kind of straw man, I should add. I'm sure there are many people around the world who would gladly forgive the Imperial Power for not always putting its stated ideals into practice, if it would simply practice them frequently, or more often than not, particularly when the cost of doing so was low.

This is just one example of the sort of facts Ignatieff–and his admirers–appear unwilling to confront, so firm is their naive belief in the essential goodness of the Imperium of Power they serve. Regularly in Empire Lite, Ignatieff talks about the Empire's willingness to intervene on its periphery to establish a ‛stability' that coincidentally favours human rights while advancing imperial interests (the Empire being against things like drug trafficking, violence, etc.). Again, Ignatieff ignores the true definition of ‛stability' validated by an acquaintance with the Empire's history: peripheral states are ‛stable' not when they are free of violence or drug-trafficking, but when they have been cleansed of any organized body capable of resisting–peacefully or otherwise–the economic interests of those at the Empire's centre.

So, a drug-trafficking authoritarian like Noriega could be on the CIA payroll in the 1980s as long as he didn't get out of line, while American ally Turkey (not even on the imperial periphery, but within NATO itself) could basically carry out whatever atrocities it wanted in the 1990s, because both were technically ‛stable.' It's worth noting that, contrary to what the celebrated professor of human rights says, the US would not have had to risk nuclear war, or even to dispatch scarce marines to stop serious human rights abuses in these countries and similar ones: it would simply have had to stop giving its economic, military or political support for their governments' brutal tactics.

This brings me to a final example of the pernicious character of Ignatieff's analysis of American foreign policy, to be found on page 121 of Empire Lite:

quote:
America emerged as the sole remaining imperial guarantor [after the Cold War], yet the paradox of its rise to power has been the way it has associated its international prestige with anti-imperial premises. At least, this was true in Europe and Asia. In Latin America, in the zone it regarded as its backyard, American respect for self-determination was less obvious. Legitimately elected governments were overthrown, and undemocratic regimes were sustained against the wishes of the people so that American power could rule unopposed in its hemisphere. Where imperial interests and self-determination conflicted, imperial interests prevailed.

Again, there are so many distortions and omissions here that I hardly know where to start.

Though they stand among the many worthy of comment, I'll bypass Ignatieff's passive constructions, ‛were overthrown' and ‛were sustained'–evasions of US criminal agency both–and come to the last, apparently tough-minded sentence: ‛Where imperial interests and self-determination conflicted, imperial interests prevailed [in Latin America]'

In my view, what Ignatieff routinely fails to ‛get' is that ‛self-determination' itself conflicts with ‛imperial interests'–in principle, and not in content. That is, it doesn't matter to the Imperial Planners what the self-determiners decide in country X, Y or Z; it matters that they decide, on their own, without reference to the wishes of the elites at the Imperial Centre. Hence the US planners' animosity towards the countries whose governments ‛were overthrown' by forces unknown, and hence their support for governments who ‛were sustained,' again by unknown agents.

Apologies for the long post. I'll just close by saying that I'd recommend Noam Chomsky's New Military Humanism to anyone who's read Ignatieff's Empire Lite and is, therefore, still looking for a serious discussion of the emerging doctrine of ‛humanitarian intervention,' and where that doctrine fits within the history of western colonialism.
 


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 08 September 2005 04:50 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
In my view, what Ignatieff routinely fails to ‛get' is that ‛self-determination' itself conflicts with ‛imperial interests'–in principle, and not in content.

The post was not too long, and was an excellent example of real analysis.

Thanks to sgm.


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kingblake
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posted 27 September 2005 01:03 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In their (otherwise boring) article on Ignatieff's leaving, The Harvard Crimson mentions that York University political scientist David McNally is writing an article/essay on "Ignatieff and Imperialism". I look forward to reading said article.
From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
brookmere
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posted 28 September 2005 12:23 AM      Profile for brookmere     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The only realistic solution to fascist demands is to utterly destroy them and not to look for a "realistic political strategy"

Am I the only person who is getting tired with the promiscuous use of the term "fascist"? Fascism is a 20th century political ideology which seeks to use an authoritarian state to serve the interests of capital. Bin Laden and company are medievalists who don't even believe in capitalism. Really.

and:

quote:
I think it is time to impose some residency requirements before becoming the PM of Canada like the Americans have for President

The US has no residency requirements for President, other than actually living there when you start running.


Re Ignatieff as Liberal leader: I really think anyone who supported the Iraq war would be poison in Quebec, if not the ROC. The Liberals are far too smart to write off Quebec like the Cons did. Just can't see it happening.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: brookmere ]


From: BC (sort of) | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 28 September 2005 12:43 AM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wonder how many non-political junkies have even heard of Ignatieff? I have to admit this thread is the first for me - is he really such a recognizable figure in Ontario that he's a concern for the NDP? Looking through the links, all I could see is that he's a professor ... which is probably a political liability rather than an advantage. I kind of think the NDP could have fun taking pot shots at his ivory tower background if he ran for office.
From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 28 September 2005 12:57 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Originally posted by retread:
I wonder how many non-political junkies have even heard of Ignatieff?

Well, he is the son of Canadian career diplomat George Ignatieff, who was also the Chancellor of Trinity College when I was there in the 1970's, so quite a few Canadians will know the Ignatieff name very well. The present day theatre/auditorium at Trinity is named after him, IIRC.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 30 September 2005 01:31 AM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually I never heard of his father either ... or the place named after him. Though that's no surprise, I don't think I could name a single career diplomant - and I'd be surprised if a significant percentage of the population could. Still doesn't strike me as someone who the NDP should fear to run against.
From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 30 September 2005 10:20 AM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post
That was actually a pretty interesting article from the Crimson.

I'm looking forward to being able to check out the undergraduate course he's teaching, and meet him (I'm a grad student at the University of Toronto).


From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
island empire
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posted 01 October 2005 07:49 PM      Profile for island empire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
i was at some lecture he gave this morning for the mcgill 50 year alumnis. (has it been that long already?? man, how time flies) anyway, i've never seen a professor say so much and say so little. he was definitely auditioning for something, though when someone asked him about it, he said something about crawling before standing, standing before walking and so forth. then he claimed that he was learning to crawl at the moment. ie. he's running for something. but in my short time with him, i'll tell you that there's no way the guy could beat layton.
From: montréal, canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 15 October 2005 11:18 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Don MacPherson recently published a column in which he speculates about Ignatieff being 'the next big thing' in Canadian politics. You can find the column if you scroll down here.

Having heard Ignatieff give a speech at Concordia, MacPherson offers these impressions:

quote:

Ignatieff is scary smart, probably smarter in his sleep than most of us are wide awake. He has won critical acclaim for the fiction he has written as well as prizes for his non-fiction and his television documentaries. And he has taught in France as well as at many of the great universities of the English-speaking world, most recently at Harvard.

He is also eloquent and attractive, as he demonstrated on Friday evening. He has an aristocratic background, being the son of the distinguished Canadian diplomat George Ignatieff, and the grandson of a Russian count who was the education minister to the last czar.

And he is well-travelled, but as a journalist in such man-made disaster zones as the Balkans, where he has come under fire in the literal sense.


I didn't hear the speech, but I've read The Warrior's Honour, Empire Lite and The Lesser Evil, as well as other pieces by Ignatieff, and I honestly don't get the 'scary smart' reaction--one not limited to MacPherson, by the way.

If there's evidence that Michael Ignatieff is orders of magnitude more intelligent than the rest of us--'smarter in his sleep than most of us are awake'--it has yet to be presented to the public, in my opinion.

I mean, here's what MacPherson finds passes for Ignatieff's 'Big Idea':

quote:
But if Ignatieff is the Next Big Thing in Canadian politics, what is his Big Idea? Trudeau's was equality for French-Canadians, and he was seen as having the answer to the Quebec question that pre-occupied the country. He was the right man for the times.

And Trudeau had native-son electoral appeal in Quebec, which the Torontonian Ignatieff, despite his fluency in French, will lack.

Ignatieff's strength is foreign relations. And his Big Idea, as he indicated both in his speech to the Liberal convention and at Loyola on Friday evening, might be the improvement of relations with the United States while preserving and defending Canadian independence and sovereignty.

If the Canada-U.S. question concerns Canadians as much as Quebec did in Trudeau's time, then they might be ready to turn to Ignatieff. But is he ready?


The short answer to the 'Is he ready?' question is obviously 'Yes,' if the Liberal convention speech MacPherson mentions is any evidence. On that March evening, Ignatieff enthusiastically hurled enough meaningless slogans to show he could be every inch the professional politician Paul Martin is.

And that same speech showed he's no slouch at empty patriotic rhetoric, either--a qualification that will come in handy if he ever implements the 'Big Idea' of improving Canada/US relations while defending Canadian sovereignty, an idea every bit as big as Paul Martin's recent vision of managing domestic demographic changes while responding to economic growth in India and China.

Obviously, it's MacPherson, not Ignatieff making the 'scary smart' claim and, to his credit, Ignatieff seems to have backed away from the mantle of 'intellectual' at the Concordia speech, according to this report.

That said, I don't understand how one can say Ignatieff's 'strength' is 'Foreign Affairs,' if the following summary of his views on the Iraq War and its aftermath is, in fact, accurate:

quote:

Ignatieff said that he'd spent time in Iraq as well, listening to Shia in the south describe Saddam Hussein's brutal repression of their communities after the first Gulf War, and to Kurdish survivors of the poison gas attacks that wiped out entire villages in Northern Iraq. He saw the situation as a clear case of massive human rights abuses justifying intervention to save lives.

While Ignatieff didn't believe that the Bush administration were the ideal people to intervene with the purest of motives, he nonetheless expected them to be "ruthless and competent" in executing the mission, and he believes that they weren't. He also expected them to have a post-war plan for Iraq, and he said they failed in that regard as well. While he stopped short of calling the Iraq campaign a mistake, it was clear that the intervention he helped promote on humanitarian grounds had become a chastening example of the limits of his own knowledge.


The chastened and humbled Ignatieff is obviously not explicitly billing himself as 'scary smart,' and that's wise, frankly, given this 'George Bush ate my homework' explanation for his position on the Iraq invasion.

So why are MacPherson and other Canadian columnists so keen to tell us how much smarter Ignatieff is than the rest of us mere mortals?

[ 15 October 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 31 October 2005 09:51 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
So why are MacPherson and other Canadian columnists so keen to tell us how much smarter Ignatieff is than the rest of us mere mortals?
It's highly possible that MacPherson actually believes that Ignatieff is 'scary smart'. He's wrong, mind you. But I can't help but liken Ignatieff to whatever generic new and trendy New York 'it' band comes along. You know, the ones who critics are afraid of not liking, just in case the band blows up. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that one's intelligence can be judged to be directly but inversely correlated to how intelligent they think Ignatieff is.

Anyway, the audition continues: I noticed that he's giving the keynote address to this month's Saskatchewan Liberal convention. Does anyone actually believe that he's not making a run, at least for Ottawa? Click!


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 11 November 2005 03:13 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
According to Jeffrey Simpson in today's Globe,

quote:
Mr. Ignatieff and his coterie have been sniffing around Toronto. Defence Minister Bill Graham, MP for Toronto Centre, was approached directly about his intentions, to which he replied that he wasn't going anywhere.

Carolyn Parrish's Mississauga seat is going to be vacant. She's the former Liberal-turned-independent MP who isn't running again. It's not the right seat, however, for Mr. Ignatieff. It's a tough one that would be made tougher by his support for the Iraq war in a riding with lots of Muslims.

Mr. Eggleton received a Senate seat to allow hockey great Ken Dryden to enter Parliament. John McCallum leaped from the Royal Bank to a safe riding courtesy of prime ministerial discretion.

The attitude of the Prime Minister's Office to the Ignatieff possibility is somewhat different. If Mr. Ignatieff wishes to be a candidate, runs the official line, we would welcome him. But he must find a seat in which to present himself. Thus do we hear the sound of one hand clapping.

No Liberal incumbent in the Toronto area has announced a departure from politics. The city is full of safe Liberal seats, especially ones with large ethnic minorities, that incumbents reckon they can hold almost forever.

Even if one of these did pop open, the nomination would likely be contested by local people with their own networks. Mr. Ignatieff lacks a network in any ethnic group, or anywhere else.



From: Gone for good | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 11 November 2005 04:00 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, it would be a great pleasure to see him unsuccessfully challenge Layton in Toronto-Danforth.

EDITED to add:

I see that nodice is showing Deborah Coyne as the Liberal candidate. Is that a done deal, or just speculation?

Jack vs. Trudeau's daughter??!!

(related babble thread about Coyne perhaps running)

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Albireo ]


From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
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posted 11 November 2005 04:15 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
someone should buy up www.michaelignatieff.org. then we will be fully prepared!
From: Burlington Ont | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 11 November 2005 04:22 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Albireo:
Jack vs. Trudeau's daughter??!!
Oops... my mistake. Not Trudeau's daughter, but someone who had a daughter with Trudeau.

From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 11 November 2005 09:33 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Carolyn Parrish to Michael Ignatieff. Okay, so maybe it's not likely, but still, the mind boggles.

quote:
Carolyn Parrish's Mississauga seat is going to be vacant. She's the former Liberal-turned-independent MP who isn't running again. It's not the right seat, however, for Mr. Ignatieff. It's a tough one that would be made tougher by his support for the Iraq war in a riding with lots of Muslims.

From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 24 November 2005 01:01 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ignatieff Running

quote:
I just got back from the University of Calgary Liberal Association's Death by Chocolate fundraiser. Michael Ignatieff was the guest speaker and he took to opportunity to announce that he would be running for the Liberals in the upcoming federal election.

From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 24 November 2005 06:22 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
UPDATE: I got an e-mail from someone who tells me that the Toronto Centre riding association has called a "very important" board meeting for Monday. This might just be for election preparation, or it might be because of those long time rumours that Bill Graham will step aside to let Ignatieff run in his seat.
Just a total rumour and Bill Graham seems a little too prominant to be stepping down. However, I could see a deal where they guarantee Ignatieff Foreign Affairs, putting a cool on any leadership ambitions for a short while.

From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 24 November 2005 09:49 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looks like Ianno will be stepping down.
A glimpse at the Liberal's candidate pages show just a placeholder where the Trinity-Spadina's photo should be.

From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Doug
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posted 24 November 2005 09:59 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
Looks like Ianno will be stepping down.
A glimpse at the Liberal's candidate pages show just a placeholder where the Trinity-Spadina's photo should be.

Oh my...battle royale! Definitely makes this contest more interesting.


From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Krago
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posted 24 November 2005 10:03 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Trinity-Spadina Liberal Candidate
From: The Royal City | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tehanu
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posted 24 November 2005 10:04 PM      Profile for Tehanu     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Um, link please? I just went to the LPC's website and this page showed Tony Ianno as a candidate. However, Eglinton-Lawrence has a vacant spot ...
From: Desperately trying to stop procrastinating | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 24 November 2005 10:09 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I suspect that Ignatieff will only run if he feels certain to win. Trinity-Spadina would be very "iffy". It barely went Liberal last time, Ignatieff woudl never get the support Ianno had among the old style ethnic "machine" Liberals and his pro-Bush, pro-Iraq war views would be particularly unpopular there.
From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 24 November 2005 10:18 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Last time the Liberals imported a so-called "star" candidate in Trinity-Spadina (Jim Coutts) the riding went NDP (Dan Heap)
From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
fatal ruminate
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posted 24 November 2005 10:46 PM      Profile for fatal ruminate     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Tehanu:
Um, link please? I just went to the LPC's website and this page showed Tony Ianno as a candidate. However, Eglinton-Lawrence has a vacant spot ...

Ok, when I checked earlier there was just a grey image where the candidate's photo should be.
My mistake.

[ 24 November 2005: Message edited by: fatal ruminate ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 24 November 2005 11:55 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Tehanu:
Eglinton-Lawrence has a vacant spot ...

I hardly think Joe Volpe is stepping aside.

From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 25 November 2005 02:46 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know, Ignatieff has been (rightly) criticized for his views on 'torture lite,' but I think we ought also to remember his defence of unilateral, pre-emptive war as a 'lesser evil' in pages 162-167 of The Lesser Evil.

I thought of this section of his recent book tonight as I was listening to an interview on CBC Radio's Dispatches with Benjamin Ferencz, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials.

During the interview, Ferencz said that modern-day justifications of unilateral, anticipatory self-defence send 'chills' down his spine, because these were the very defences offered by the defendants he faced at Nuremburg.

He makes the point in this passage from a recent essay.

quote:
And little wonder that many are suspicious of our [American] intentions. Earlier this year, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld proclaimed America's intention to bypass, if necessary, restraints on the use of force codified by the U.N. Charter. Washington reserves the right, he warned, to anticipate hostilities and to strike first and pre-emptively — alone, if necessary — to counter a perceived threat to our national security.

Now, I do not wish to compare any Americans to the Nazi leaders. But after hearing Rumsfeld's words, I could not avoid being reminded of the argument put forward by the lead defendant in the Einsatzgruppen trial at Nuremberg, S.S. General Otto Ohlendorf. When asked to explain why his unit murdered more than 90,000 Jews, including their children, the remorseless defendant casually explained that it was justified as anticipatory self-defense.

Germany anticipated an attack from the Soviet Union, Ohlendorf argued, and since Jews were perceived as supporters of Bolshevism, they presumably posed a potential future threat to German national interests. And if Jewish children knew that their parents had been executed, he continued, they, too, might become enemies of Germany, and therefore they had to be killed.

In a carefully reasoned judgment by the three judges presiding over the case — all of them American — Ohlendorf's defense was held to be untenable, and the S.S. general was hanged.

Sixty years later, I am afraid, this and other lessons from Nuremberg are lost on the Bush administration.


The lessons appear to have been lost on Ignatieff as well.

If, as Ignatieff argues approvingly on page 165 of his recent book, 'all states are likely to insist on a unilateral right of response to a threat from weapons of mass destruction,' then we no longer live in a world of laws and rules, but in the jungle.

Now, it's true enough that Ignatieff tries to limit the right to pre-emptive war, throwing up several criteria as desiderata. So he says, for example, that preemption will only be justified 'if the threat turns out to be real' (165).

Yet, shouldn't we ask of the professor just how that 'turning out' will unfold in real cases?

How, for instance, will we know the threat was real after we bomb to pieces the Lower Slobovian chemical plant our intelligence has told us was dual-use?

Should we not err on the side of restraint and caution?

In the final analysis, No.

At least, not according to Ignatieff, who reminds us on pages 166-67 of his book that 'the costs of error--when weapons of mass destruction are actually there--could be incalculable.'

By 'actually,' of course, Ignatieff doesn't mean 'actually,' for he declares on page 166 that 'preemptive war is impossible against those who already possess such weapons [i.e. WMD].' This touching display of faith in the good intentions of American military planners leaves us with no alternative but to conclude that his 'actually' must mean something like 'actually, as far as our intelligence tells us before the fact of our pre-emptive attack.'

Speaking frankly, I would say that recent history does not afford us the luxury of believing, with Ignatieff, that such hypothetical WMD intelligence will be interpreted in the light of disinterested prudence and international law.

Flawed as they are, the Nuremburg precedents, the UN Convention on Torture, the UN Charter, and the rest of the international legal framework represent real milestones on what Nuremburg prosecutor Ferencz has called our 'slow crawl towards civilization.'

The problem with Ignatieff's arguments on torture, pre-emption and other matters is that, while purporting to defend our 'civilization' in this 'age of terror,' they send us all crawling in the wrong direction.

[ 25 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 07:57 AM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Article in the Star this morning suggests Toronto Centre and Thornhill. Last week or so, Jeffrey Simpson said Bill Graham is definintely running again (and I got a "Bill Graham Report" in the mail the other day.

As far as I know, no one has mentioned Thornhill before. The Star says it isn't known if Caplan is running again - but then, they also say it isn't known if Graham is.


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 11:59 AM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
Article in the Star this morning suggests Toronto Centre and Thornhill... As far as I know, no one has mentioned Thornhill before. The Star says it isn't known if Caplan is running again - but then, they also say it isn't known if Graham is.

Based on the fact that she didn't run in 2004, I'm pretty confident in predicting that Caplan won't be running this time either.

[I couldn't find a link to the article on The Star's revamped but still gawdawful website, so I'm not sure if I'm correcting The Star's error or yours, RB. If it's the latter, that would be twice in 12 hours. Which, after the Wikipedia comment, seems only fair. ]

[ 25 November 2005: Message edited by: Scott Piatkowski ]


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Wilf Day
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posted 25 November 2005 12:05 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Who should step aside: Tom Wappel. Oh dear, a 55-year-old lawyer, he'll expect an appointment. And would Harvard's future Prime Minister stoop to run in Scarborough?

More likely: Borys Wrzesnewskyj. If Etobicoke Centre was good enough for Allan Rock, it should be good enough for Ignatieff. I wonder what Wrzesnewskyj will get?


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 12:08 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by fatal ruminate:
Ok, when I checked earlier there was just a grey image where the candidate's photo should be.
My mistake.

It's a quirk of the Liberal website (not that their website is alone among the parties in terms of being quirky). For all sitting MPs, their photo seems to appear when you've clicked on "Member of Parliament", but it's replaced by the aforementioned grey blob when you click on "Candidate" (although the bio stays the same).


From: Kitchener-Waterloo | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 12:22 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:

[I couldn't find a link to the article on The Star's revamped but still gawdawful website, so I'm not sure if I'm correcting The Star's error or yours, RB. If it's the latter, that would be twice in 12 hours. Which, after the Wikipedia comment, seems only fair. ]

The article is there (http://tinyurl.com/cx9lr), but now makes no mention at all of where he might run. It was updated about 25 minutes after I posted. Based on that change, I'm going to claim it's their error.

What was my other error in the last 12 hours? The one about Masse was more than that - and I have confirmed it was indeed an error at the source:
http://www.lifesite.net/mpsvotingrecords/mpvotinglastname.htm

Checking the Hansard record of the vote, they may have combined Brian's record with the voting record of Marcel Massé, a Liberal who served form 1993 until 1999 and did indeed vote for the Reform motion.

However, they also show him as voting against C250, which certainly did NOT happen, and Marcel Massé was long gone by this time, so in the end, Lifesite is just fucked up.

I'd prefer going by Hansard, but they don't list party affiliation in votes.

(The Wikipedia crack was really aimed at them, not you.)


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 12:32 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
What was my other error in the last 12 hours?

The circumstances under which Mulroney appointed eight extra Senators.


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Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 01:03 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
The circumstances under which Mulroney appointed eight extra Senators.

Ha! "posted 23 November 2005 04:18 PM"


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 01:08 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So, that would be three times wrong in two days. Still not a very impressive record.
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Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 01:11 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
So, that would be three times wrong in two days. Still not a very impressive record.

Only one of them was actually my fault though, much like your time-keeping was your own fault, and no one else's.


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 01:15 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by RealityBites:
Only one of them was actually my fault though, much like your time-keeping was your own fault, and no one else's.

I was actually referring to the timing of my corrections. So there...

[Drags thread back onto topic...]

I still think he's likely to run in Toronto Centre. Exchanging one pompous academic who favoured the Iraq War with another one shouldn't be too much of a stretch for most Liberal voters.


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sgm
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posted 25 November 2005 01:26 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Scott P wrote:

Exchanging one pompous academic who favoured the Iraq War...


And the missile defence, Scott. Don't forget their shared support for the missile defence.


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
downtown eastside
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posted 25 November 2005 02:37 PM      Profile for downtown eastside     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Today's Globe and Mail suggests it will be an as yet unnamed Toronto backbencher who will step aside for Iggy.

If you focus on those who appear to have no upward mobility in the Martin government and who probably don't relish sitting on the backbench at this time in their careers, you get two obvious choices:

- Jean Augustine, Etobicoke-Lakeshore (she's a former cabinet minister who has held the seat since 1993; now in her mid-60s)
- Alan Tonks, York South-Weston (former Mayor of York; former Chair of Metro Toronto; allegedly promised a cabinet seat when he was recruited to knock off John Nunziata in 2000; in his 60s)

Both of these fine public servants would be reaasonably credible recipients of some kind of appointment, given their stature and previous positions.

When you also consider that a Toronto senate seat came open earlier this month with the retirement of Ms. Landon Pearson, my money is on the Jean Machine getting a free pass into the upper chamber.

Bet on Iggy trying his luck in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.


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leftcoastguy
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posted 25 November 2005 02:46 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I heard this riding mentioned on the news this morning as a possibility:

2004 election results - DISTRICT: Thornhill
Candidate Party Vote Count Vote Share Elected
Susan Kadis LIB 28709 54.58% X
Josh Cooper CON 18125 34.46%
Rick Morelli NDP 3671 6.98%
Lloyd Helferty GRN 1622 3.08%
Benjamin Fitzerman IND 241 0.46%
Simion Iron IND 233 0.45%
Last Update: June 29, 5:38:55 AM EDT 235 of 235 polls reporting


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Albireo
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posted 25 November 2005 02:48 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wilf Day:
More likely: Borys Wrzesnewskyj. If Etobicoke Centre was good enough for Allan Rock, it should be good enough for Ignatieff. I wonder what Wrzesnewskyj will get?
A few vowels, perhaps?

[Lame quip for Torontonians only:] But then, how could he step aside, when the Future belongs to him?

[ 25 November 2005: Message edited by: Albireo ]


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Wilf Day
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posted 25 November 2005 02:58 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by downtown eastside:
Jean Augustine, Etobicoke-Lakeshore

You're forgetting Martin is in huge trouble with Liberal women for failing to meet his own targets for more women Liberal MPs. Would Ignatieff be dumb enough to be the white man who shoved the black woman aside?
quote:
Originally posted by downtown eastside:
Alan Tonks, York South-Weston

More likely. But then he risks being the next Arthur Meighen, losing York South to a socialist.

[ 25 November 2005: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 25 November 2005 03:29 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Wilf Day:
More likely. But then he risks being the next Arthur Meighen, losing York South to a socialist.

I thought that was York East.

On your other point, Carolyn Bennett seems to be OK with the limited number of women in Cabinet now that she's one of them.


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downtown eastside
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posted 25 November 2005 03:33 PM      Profile for downtown eastside     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:

I thought that was York East.

On your other point, Carolyn Bennett seems to be OK with the limited number of women in Cabinet now that she's one of them.


Scott, definitely York South. Arguably the most famous by-election in Canadian political history.

As for the point about Martin and his female candidate quota: It doesn't look so bad if Augustine is given a seat in the Senate, where she would definitely add an infusion of much-needed diversity to the staid and sedate chamber.


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Krago
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posted 25 November 2005 03:34 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by downtown eastside:
When you also consider that a Toronto senate seat came open earlier this month with the retirement of Ms. Landon Pearson, my money is on the Jean Machine getting a free pass into the upper chamber.

Before Monday?? How could the Liberals be so insufferably arrogant?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. They're Liberals!


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swallow
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posted 25 November 2005 04:27 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
More likely: Borys Wrzesnewskyj. If Etobicoke Centre was good enough for Allan Rock, it should be good enough for Ignatieff. I wonder what Wrzesnewskyj will get?

Mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy?

(Ha! My line is lamer than Albireo's!)

Elinor Caplan is definitely the Star's error. Several errors in fact. From the print edition: "Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan's Thornhill rising and Defence Minister Bill Graham's Rosedale riding have been suggested, but neither MP has indicated whether they'll be running again."

Leaving aside Caplan's portfolio, Graham has been quoted in the Star saying he definitely will run again.

Personally, i'd love to see Michael Shapcott v Michael Ignatieff. Graham's gay support vanishes in a poof of smoke and Shapcott runs intellectual rings around the puffed-up pretender. What Ignatieff needs is an old-fashioned rotten borough system, so he can settle into a nice sinecure as the Hon. Member for Trinity College.


From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 04:40 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for checking the print edition, swallow!

Respectfully though, I don't think Graham's strong support is so much among gay voters as it is due to the collapse of the Conservative vote. The riding always hated Reform, and the Rosedale Tories (the REAL ones) had nowhere to go but Liberal. They'd eat Iggy up with a spoon and lick the plate, they'd find him so yummy.

If he ran here it wouldn't surprise me to see him surpass Graham's majority


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swallow
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posted 25 November 2005 04:57 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe. Rosedale certainly would love him. I'm not saying the gay vote gives Graham the riding, just that there is a strong gay vote that is for Graham and not for the Liberal party. Too many instances of cheering when, for instance, the late George Hislop would wax poetic about the need to support our three gay reps, Rae Smitherman and Graham (with all respect to George, it is to vomit). Ignatieff wouldn't inherit those votes automatically.
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Reality. Bites.
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posted 25 November 2005 05:13 PM      Profile for Reality. Bites.        Edit/Delete Post
Since Graham refuses to acknowledge his sexuality, I don't know that people are all that proud of our "gay" rep.

It's moot, of course, since Iggy's not running in Toronto Centre. I'm still predicting Graham's successor will be Glen Murray.


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leftcoastguy
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posted 26 November 2005 04:40 AM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Etobicoke-Lakeshore it is.
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sgm
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posted 26 November 2005 05:02 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here are the major party results from that riding last time:
quote:

Jean Augustine 24,909 (Lib)
John Capobianco 15,159 (Con)
Margaret Anne McHugh 7,179 (NDP)
John Huculiak 2,201 (Green)

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 26 November 2005 10:57 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes -- just saw that in the paper this a.m.

I know that riding a bit, I think, because I worked at Humber-Lakeshore for a while in the early eighties. Am I right in thinking that it encompasses a very broad income range?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jesse Hoffman
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posted 26 November 2005 11:53 AM      Profile for Jesse Hoffman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
You know, Ignatieff has been (rightly) criticized for his views on 'torture lite,' but I think we ought also to remember his defence of unilateral, pre-emptive war as a 'lesser evil' in pages 162-167 of The Lesser Evil.

...

The problem with Ignatieff's arguments on torture, pre-emption and other matters is that, while purporting to defend our 'civilization' in this 'age of terror,' they send us all crawling in the wrong direction.

[ 25 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]



Wonderful post, as usual, sgm.

Re Lakeshore: Had anyone heard rumours that Augustine was already planning to not seek re-election prior to this morning's news, or can we presume that this is simply another case of Liberal woman being pushed aside?


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swallow
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posted 26 November 2005 01:40 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
He has announced his candidacy for the Liberal nomination, before the sitting MP has announced she is stepping down. Boorish manners, if nothing else.
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partyanimal
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posted 26 November 2005 01:49 PM      Profile for partyanimal        Edit/Delete Post
Actually I do feel sorry for the voters of Etobicoke-Lakeshore

But alas again Paul Martin and his disgraceful record with women candidates


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the grey
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posted 27 November 2005 03:26 PM      Profile for the grey     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by leftcoastguy:
Etobicoke-Lakeshore it is.

Yup. Although some folks seem unimpressed.


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skdadl
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posted 27 November 2005 03:35 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmmn. I wonder which book of his that would have been that contained comments distressful to Ukrainian Canadians. Not the book on Bosnia, surely?

I mean, in another sense, his last two books contain all kinds of comments that should distress all Canadians, but I think we're looking for something more specific here.


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sgm
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posted 27 November 2005 06:31 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's from Blood and Belonging, according to this story :
quote:
"My difficulty in taking Ukraine seriously goes deeper than just my cosmopolitan suspicion of nationalists everywhere. Somewhere inside I'm also what Ukrainians would call a great Russian and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these little Russians," she read.

Skeptical about nationalism is our Michael.

Well, except when he can appeal to nationalism to identify the Liberal party's interests with the national interest:

quote:
Other parties represent regional grievances and regional interests, other parties represent sectional, class interests. Our party represents the nation, ocean to ocean. Our party has never been just a machine for winning elections, though they were the best machine for winning elections in the world. But we've never, my friends, just been a machine for winning elections. We are the governing party of our nation. We are the coalition. It's in this room, I see it in front of me, the coalition between regions, languages, peoples, that holds our nation together.
Mes chers amis: 'L'etat, c'est nous.'

[ 27 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 27 November 2005 07:22 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think he is articulating a much narrower Russian prejudice against Ukrainians. It is similar to the way many in Ontario think about Newfoundland: colourful customs, but better at folk dancing than actually doing anything in the modern world.

I know a number of Russians with exactly this take on Ukraine. The word "Ukraina" in Russian means "on the far edge" or "borderland". It suggests irrelevance.


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sgm
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posted 27 November 2005 09:43 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Looks like you're right, jeff house.

Here's an excerpt from a press release now appearing on Warren K's blog :

quote:
The intended coronation of Mr. Ignatieff, a virulent Ukrainophobe, is offensive to the numerous Ukrainian Canadian residents of the riding, many of whom have been members of the riding association for many years and form more than one half of the membership of the riding association. To Mr. Ignatieff, Ukrainians conjour up images of embroidered peasant shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phoney Cossacks in cloaks and boots. These views are unacceptable to all right-minded Canadians.
Ouch.

From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 27 November 2005 10:12 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Why in heaven's name do Liberals want Ignatieff in the first place?
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Scott Piatkowski
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posted 27 November 2005 10:18 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:
Why in heaven's name do Liberals want Ignatieff in the first place?

Adscam deniability.


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Krago
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posted 27 November 2005 10:25 PM      Profile for Krago     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
For what it's worth, 7.2% of the population of Etobicoke-Lakeshore is of Ukrainian origin.
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aka Mycroft
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posted 27 November 2005 10:32 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The Executive of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Federal Liberal Riding Association learned late on Friday, November 25, 2006 that their Member of Parliament, Jean Augustine, has resigned her seat and that Ignatieff is to be parachuted in as the sole, uncontested candidate in a surprise nomination meeting scheduled for December 1, 2005. The speed with which the nomination meeting was called and the abridgement of all timelines suggests that the Liberal Party is discouraging all other contenders.

Despite the abridgement of time, and the difficult nomination filing requirements, two candidates were in fact able to prepare and submit the required forms, including police and credit checks, as well as the required 30 signatures in support of their nominations.

The two candidates delivered their nomination documents to Liberal Party headquarters in Toronto, only to find that the office was locked before the 5:00 p.m. filing deadline. Liberal party staffers could be seen through the second storey windows but they refused to answer repeated knocking on the doors and phone calls to the office.


Good to see the Martin Liberals have tackled that democratic deficit.


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Scott Piatkowski
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posted 27 November 2005 10:42 PM      Profile for Scott Piatkowski   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Since this thread has now hit 100 posts, why don't we move the discussion over here.
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Jesse Hoffman
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posted 27 November 2005 10:42 PM      Profile for Jesse Hoffman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by aka Mycroft:

Good to see the Martin Liberals have tackled that democratic deficit.



No kidding. They could be seen through the window? That's unbelievable.

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Albireo
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posted 27 November 2005 10:47 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Continuing right along over here.
From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged

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