A Liberal Party that's worthy of the name

The Conservatives appear to have swept to power in Canada. But for the Liberals, the silver lining is the fact that Michael Ignatieff easily won his seat. Ignatieff was a professor when I was at Harvard, and is quite the polymath – a beautiful writer, incisive thinker, great teacher (from classmates’ accounts) and a really decent bloke. While the opposition played the anti-American card against him, this didn’t seem to hurt him in the polls. The Toronto Star has slated him as one of the possible replacements for Paul Martin. As they look down the long road back to office, the Liberals could do a lot worse than choose Ignatieff as their leader.

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5 Responses to A Liberal Party that's worthy of the name

  1. Christine says:

    Wouldn’t say the Conservatives swept to power. More like hobbled over the finishing line after a few glorious breakaways. Should be interesting times, though.

    Ignatieff has two problems as Liberal leader. First, he lived outside Canada for 20 years or so, and only moved back here to make his political run. Canadians don’t get as annoyed about this as Australians would (bloody expats!), but it still hurts. Second, the comparisons with that other intellectual, former PM Pierre Trudeau. Will help him in some areas, but lead to serious concerns in Alberta and Quebec.

    Lots of good people re-elected for the Liberals, making picking a new leader a tough job. Just please God, not Belinda Stronach!

  2. Geoff R says:

    I thought the New Democrat’s performance was disappointing and i have some comments on this on my blog but I agree it is hardly a great mandate for the Tories. Maybe Labor should emulate the Canadian Liberals and cast the net more widely for star candidates than the football field.

  3. Elliott says:

    Chris, for me, even Belinda could be better than Martin, who highly praised the chinese communist party’s improvement on human rights without providing ANY evidence. His words cost lives when tens of thousands of dissendents and innocent were brutally persecuted in labour camps.

    I hope I can find firework here for a celebration.

  4. Andrew Leigh says:

    Elliot, it’s lucky for you that it’s Australia Day tomorrow.

  5. Christine says:

    Yeah, Bob Hawke CRIED when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen! That shows his commitment to the lives of innocent Chinese. That said, Paul Martin can’t be all bad – I once read that two of his three favourite movies were Gallipoli and Breaker Morant. Good Australia Day viewing, there.

    On the replacement Lib leader: there’s a chance for Ken Dryden, former goalie for the legendary Montreal Canadiens (ice hockey, though technically as a resident of Canada I shouldn’t use those two words together as it marks me an outsider as certainly as saying Ma-NOO-ka identifies visitors to Canbra), and generally accepted God, to get the nod. Also Belinda once dated (was engaged) to Johann Koss, I believe. So Australia’s problem is clearly that it doesn’t have enough sports/politics connections, GeoffR.

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