Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not Iggy!

Okay, so Dion wasn't the very best party leader. But Ignatieff? Seriously? He's the best guy they've got?

Look, I don't usually get worked up at the thought of elitist inteleckshuals sipping their lattes and scoffing at the common folk, but this guy pretty much embodies that stereotype. He's spent more of his life at Oxford and Harvard than in Canada.

More to the point, he has only three years of actual political experience. The former director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy was a prominent and early supporter of the war in Iraq (using dumbass reasoning), and equivocated on torture (using even more dumbass reasoning). This unappealing intellectual midgetry is fine for the Republican Party, but the Liberal Party of Canada? Seriously? What exactly gives this guy the credibility to become a potential Prime Minister of Canada, other than his admittedly unimpeachable Ivory Tower credentials?

Ah, whatever. For some levity, here's Jon Stewart attempting to make sense of our wacky political adventures.


Beijing York said...

I couldn't agree more.

The back room boys of the LPC never did understand that their push to the right with Paul Martin was a disaster and paved the way for Steve Harper. This is more of the same and I can see it back firing.

Whether both Harper and Chretien managed to fake the "common touch" will be something to ponder on another day. But there is no way Ignatieff will ever be perceived as having the common touch. And he most definitely is not the second coming of Trudeau.

Jenny said...

The "common folk" are the ones who vote. The "common folk" are the ones who are the real majority. The "common folk" need to vote against snooty elitists at the next election. The "common folk" are the ones who make up most of this great country and the "common folk" deserve RESPECT.

Desmond said...

I don't know, I'll give him a shot. Not hard to top Dion, at least.

And truth be told, I don't know who else the Liberals could have gone with, after McKenna declined to seek the leadership. Rae had too much baggage.

But he's got his work cut out for him. The Tories will have a field day painting Iggy as a presumptuous and arrogant elitist who is entirely out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Canadians. It's going to get ugly.

Shawn M. said...

Glad to see that anti-intellectualism is alive and well in Canada just as it is within the United States.

Here's a tip: Stop worrying so much about what negative things political opponents of the Liberals might hypothetically say about our leader. In 'the biz,' we refer to that as 'concern trolling.'

I have problems with Ignatief based around the issues, and certainly not the fact that he's incredibly intelligent and well educated. God forbid!

Eric said...

The problem with Ignatieff is that his intellectualism is nothing more than to bullshit people in an intelligent way.

Of course we're all better off when our leaders are sincere AND smart. But when ones intelligence is only used to get away with insincerity (anyone with a brain, some time on his hands, and a library card is able to figure out that "the lesser evil" is a chain of insincere and bigoted fallacies, covered by intellectualism), then we can all agree that this is not the type of intellectualism we need in this country.

The perfect candidate would have been Bob Rae. I realize there is a lot of resentment in Ontario, but the Liberal party is supposed to be a national party, right?

As of late lots of un-democratic errors in Canadian politics: GG decision? Democracy delayed is democracy denied. Ignatieff vs Rae? Democracy denied.

Very little understanding/appreciation for real democratic values in Canadian intellectual circles, it seems.

we'll keep hoping for the day that we're at the top of this list.

Shawn M. said...

Unfortunately, those who did vote on a leader disagreed with you, and I am not certain to what degree parties themselves should be ruled entirely democratically, but that's an argument for another day. Nonetheless, no party has ever been entirely transparent and to demand it suddenly when we're in a rush to compete with Harper in the midst of a looming election (because, let's face it, that's what's going to happen in January) seems to me as a case of having a poor priority system.

Frankly, Bob Rae carried his own baggage into the race, and to deny that would be foolhardy. The man is regarded as having failed rather miserably in Ontario, where I live, and that would also be used against him in a national election. (Were I to play the role of the concern troll here, I would protest, 'No, we can't elect Mr. Rae! The Conservatives are just going to smear him because he was such a terrible leader in Ontario!')

Finally, accusing Ignatieff's intellectualism of being "nothing more" than a tactic with which to "bullshit people in an intelligent way" is an anti-intellectual argument at its core, because it could be applied to anyone who is intelligent and whom you dislike. Your problem with Ignatieff, it would seem, isn't that he's intelligent -- but rather, that he holds what you consider to be rather contemptuous viewpoints. So, argue with him on the issues, as I suggested above -- instead of being mad that he's an intelligent bullshitter instead of a dumb one.

Eric said...

...accusing Ignatieff's intellectualism of being "nothing more" than a tactic with which to "bullshit people in an intelligent way"...

Very well said, it's tactics over principles. I'd rather see someone in office that uses it's brain to advance principles, instead of hiding his personal failures (supporting war on iraq, human rights proff. supporting torture) with tactics - i.e. Rae over Ignatieff.

So, (1) argue with him on the issues, as I suggested above, instead of (2) being mad that he's an intelligent bullshitter instead of a dumb one.

(1) Please supply phone number
(2) Good luck with your "intelligent bullshitter" and pray to God daily that you were born without a Syrian Passport