Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who says you can't go home?

Some guy named Michael Ignatieff weighs in on the life of Canadians living outside the country:


I was away a long time in Britain and the States, it’s true, but I kept coming back, writing for Canadian newspapers, broadcasting on the CBC, summers teaching at Banff, lectures everywhere, writing several books on Canadian themes. I kept my Canadian identity up to date, just as I kept renewing my passport.

It was when I decided to go into politics that coming home turned into a war. All politics is local, and the question then became, “Are you one of us?” I spent five years fighting to prove I belonged, while my opponents stopped at nothing to prove I didn’t. Just in it for myself. Just visiting. Not here for you.

There was a weird insinuation: Why would anyone come home, unless you were in it just for your self?

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15 Comments:

  • WTF? Coming home is not writing for Canadian papers, broadcasting on the CBC, teaching in Banff, lectures everywhere, or regular passport renewals. It's living here. I think he's just as much a Canadian as I am, but the guy really does live in his own little world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 AM  

  • Teaching in Banff may qualify as living in the country... ;) and Ignatieff has been in Canada since he left -- summer vacations, periods when he took care of his mother.

    Still, Ignatieff has been living permanently in Canada since 2005. When can he safely say Canada's his home?

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 11:56 AM  

  • In the Reform Alliance cult parrot world, as we have been shown by their brain dead remarks, I would venture to say according to them, probably (NEVER). After all it does take a few live brain cells to reason this out but... severely lacking in their deadless world of trolling.

    By Blogger marie, at 12:40 PM  

  • I would argue that questioning whether someone who has resided outside of Canada for 30 years is a) capable of leading the country, and b) should be leading the country, is legitimate. Ignatieff should have decisively dealt with the issue. If he had, it would have become a non-issue and everyone would have moved on to the next thing.

    I'd also say that confusing the crudeness of the way the CPC brought up the question with the legitimacy of the question does not do the LPC any good. Or to put it another, don't drink your own koolaid.

    My 2 cents.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 2:01 PM  

  • I disagree that everyone would have moved on to the next thing. The CPC had millions of dollars of ads to do nothing but keep that issue alive. There's nothing Ignatieff could have done or said that would have made the reformers happy, short of pledging eternal allegiance to His Harpership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 PM  

  • IMO, issues are kept alive by the public. So if an issue is alive, it means the public believes it has not been dealt with appropriately. Even with a boatload of money, the CPC could not beat a dead horse into being alive. (See the Charlottetown Accord campaign for an example of how money alone is not enough to influence people.)

    And whereas it's true that nothing Ignatieff could have said would have made dyed-in-the-wool CPCers happy, that's not what the LPC should be caring about. It should be caring about making the massive numbers of people who are non-aligned voters happy. That means coming up with a message that any non-partisan person would accept.

    The LPC is destined for one defeat after another if it's unwilling to realize that it has to convince ordinary Canadians of the validity of its message, whatever the topic at hand may be.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 3:25 PM  

  • I think that had Iggy not spoken as an American in some of his writings and interviews when he lived there (talking about being proud of the USA as "our country", talking of voting in the USA), the Conservative attacks would not have gained as much traction.

    It wasn't just the fact that he lived outside of Canada, but that he spoke as somebody who identified themselves as being part of another country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

  • In the article, Ignatieff acknowledges that there are many "Canadians of convenience" across the world today, and that this is a problem that the Government needs to address at some time.

    Then he simply makes the arbitrary claim that he is not one of them, without even bothering to try to define what makes him different from someone who, say, immigrates to Canada only long enough to take their oath of citizenship before returning to live permanently in the land of their birth.

    If he understands what the difference is, he fails to communicate it. But whether his failure is in comprehension or communication, the failure remains his: doubly so as he claims to be expert at both.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 PM  

  • it is very sad when a party, which has bags of money from its supporters, can malign someone to the extent they did Ignatieff. In fact, there seems to be an element in Mr. Harper's party that hates anybody who dares to disagree with their narrow view of the world. Scary and sad that many of us have to endure this hell for the next four years. S. McCabe, Truro, N. S.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:37 PM  

  • Dude we dodged a bullet ducking M.I.

    They want a life that includes a couple of years in Mumbai or Shanghai, a summer teaching English in Tanzania, a year or longer working for some company in South Korea.

    Yep, agree 100%

    And I'm wary of electing leaders without some out-of-border life experience

    But 30 years overseas referring to your new home as "my country" is cool with me, while then coming "home" to be PM is a little, well, weird.

    He's equivocating with the terms he sets out in the excerpt above

    I'm not a nationalist or a patriot but every place has its own issues and he just never convinced me he had a grasp on what to do in the PMO. He never demonstrated a coherent vision.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 11:03 AM  

  • Jacques hit the nail on the head and its a nail that Ignatieff's supporters ignore every time the issue was raised. It is not a question of being out of the country but the extent to which Ignatieff was out of the country. Some time abroad--a summer, a year, a few years, a bit more is no big deal. But 30? That is longer than many of us have been alive. At some point you lose that connection needed to be leader. It doesn't make you a bad person or anything. Just lacking in a characteristic we expect of our leaders.

    Furthremore, if Ignatieff had came back to Canada and spent some time in Canada reengaging the country I probably wouldn't have had such a problem with it. But he decided he wanted to be leader before he even came back and had barely set foot off the plane when he announced his intentions.

    To make matters worse he essentially called everyone who had a problem with the length of his absence a narrow minded xenophobe.

    By Blogger KC, at 3:09 PM  

  • It doesn't make you a bad person or anything. Just lacking in a characteristic we expect of our leaders.

    Well said.

    And I agree, they ignored the issue and fudged it crying "xenophobe", when it's a pretty legit issue to ask a leader regarding.

    No one would elect me Mayor of Vancouver until I'd been back for some time, engaged, before declaring & running. Personally I wouldn't expect them to.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 3:34 PM  

  • KC said it well.

    Let's put further emphasis on the point: although I am legally qualified to run for Mayor of Toronto, the fact that I live in Ottawa should disqualify me from that role at the present time in the minds of most voters. Even were I to move to Toronto a few weeks before the election, it wouldn't matter how committed I claimed to be to the people of Toronto, or how many times I reminded people that I spent time in Toronto years ago, my absence would matter.

    Ignatieff clearly still just doesn't get it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:28 PM  

  • There are thousand of Canadians, working out of Canada. I have two nephews who do. It doesn't make them, any less Canadian.

    Harper gives, banks, mines, large corporations, gas and oil company's, billions of out tax dollars. I saw that motion pass on, the House of Commons TV channel. Harper also give them, huge tax reductions. He just gave them another reduction, which comes off Canadians paychecks. Why is Harper giving Canada away, to the wealthiest corporations in the world?

    I will tell you, just how "Canadian" Harper is. Read Harper in New York, for the Council of Foreign Relations. Also Google: Harper delivers, his plans of Global Governance for Canada. Harper Canadian, my butt!!

    Harper is a dictating monster, giving our country away. I would have taken, Layton, Ignatieff or Elizabeth May, any day before Harper. Harper's evil agenda, has been the N.A.U. all along.

    The American people, despise Harper. Wikileaks has said, the American politicians, consider Harper as a petty gasbag. He is arrogant, stubborn and far too difficult to work with.

    We were warned, if Harper wins a majority, we can kiss Canada good-bye. Believe you me, Harper's head has swollen three times the size. There is NO dealing with him now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:18 PM  

  • "The Plan" was for Ignatieff to serve under Martin, learn the ropes, dazzle the people with his awesome thoughts as he grew into the job and then took over as the next leader.

    That is what he signed up for, I almost feel sorry for the guy.

    By Blogger DeeDee, at 2:52 PM  

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