Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sleepless Nights

From today's Post:

"I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."

Leslie Church, director of communications for the Ignatieff campaign, said that even though he prefaced his comment by referring to his expertise in the law of war, he did not intend to apportion legal responsibility.

"This isn't a deliberation that Michael would make on his feet. There is no way that he would make a pronouncement on international law in this format, and that's not what he's driving at here," Ms. Church said.

"He meant that this was a tragedy of war, that this was a deplorable act in war, that this was a terrible consequence of war."

Remind me again why a candidate with a decade of political experience needs time to "grow into the role" of party leader and one with a year of political experience is our best bet to beat Harper right now?

UPDATE: MP Susan Kadis has withdrawn her support for Iggy over these comments.


  • Well, as I've said a couple of times today, I think the apology part is commendable, and the war crimes part is obvious. I suppose though that the response of his PR guy looks bad, and the fact that he said this in Quebec makes Iggy look opportunistic.

    I guess a shit storm is coming.

    By Blogger bigcitylib, at 4:11 p.m.  

  • Susan Kadis, MP just withdrew her support for Ignatieff due to his comments.

    Ignatieff is just not ready to be a leader. He needs political experience first.

    By Blogger jill, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • Not a shitstorm.

    Just the traditional Iggystorm of statements, re-statements, qualifications, and excuses.

    Man oh man, must have been tough to have him as a professor.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 p.m.  

  • But which Iggy is the real Iggy, the right wing Iggy, the left wing Iggy, or the man-for-all-reasons Iggy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 p.m.  

  • Well, nobody ever argued that Ignatieff wasn't bold... and inept. His ham-handed attempts to invoke a sense of empathy with Canadian voters are going to result in one certainty: a Conservative majority government.

    By Blogger Skip, at 4:34 p.m.  

  • What did the Tories say about Iggy again? Puts his foot in his mouth too often?


    By Blogger Eric, at 4:42 p.m.  

  • Oh, Jill, do you have a link about Susan Kadis withdrawing her support? I'd like to see it.

    By Blogger Eric, at 4:48 p.m.  

  • I see TDH is still awaiting his marching orders on this one....tick tock tick tock, when will he post, what will DH tell him to say

    By Blogger fartcatcher, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • Check out this new website re Iggy!!!

    I think Volpe's people are behind this one. (I jest, but still a very à propos link given the latest from the Here we go again MI file)


    By Blogger Prairie Eden Forecaster, at 5:08 p.m.  

  • I'm sorry I ever wasted breath on Ignatieff. Each month he just gets worse and worse.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 5:10 p.m.  

  • I just don't understand.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 5:24 p.m.  

  • Check out Cherniak's blog for Kadis' resignation details.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 5:31 p.m.  

  • before everyone gets into a hissy about cherniak or read michael's response...

    By Blogger Skeena Liberal, at 5:42 p.m.  

  • You had me up until the Check out Cherniak's blog part.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 5:43 p.m.  

  • How many times has this happened now?

    Remember Stockwell Day?

    And some people think Michael Ignatieff is the best candidate to lead the liberals in a federal election against Stephen Harper

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 6:06 p.m.  

  • I think this is further evidence that Ig is not ready to be leader, as I've thought all along.

    However, before this becomes a full-fledged pile-on, let's remember that he's still a very talented and thoughtful man. He belongs in cabinet. Just not in what Kinsella likes to call the Big Chair.

    By Blogger Herb, at 6:09 p.m.  

  • He is not ready.

    By Blogger mezba, at 6:11 p.m.  

  • He must be taken to the woodshed. Now, before we give him the keys.

    Of course, the subsequent beating that he will receive there will be intended as "the truest form of frienship".*

    This guy, he makes me laugh. But not in the good way.

    * See MI being quoted in Globe & Mail re Kadis.

    By Blogger Prairie Eden Forecaster, at 6:17 p.m.  

  • Not "ready"? He's been a journalist and a human rights scholar his whole life - that's prep enough.

    He will never, EVER be "ready". This is as good as he gets. Cabinet, hell yes - lucky to have him, no doubt whatsoever. But he'll never be ready for the PMO.

    (Like *I* ever will, pft)

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 6:21 p.m.  

  • i agree with jason bo. he is not ready, and will not be ready in a few years. his opportunistic comments are appalling, and yet again, his PR try to spin him out of it by denying it. didnt work for the dead guy he signed up or the 11 in brampton living in a restaurant and wont work here.

    By Blogger kenlister1, at 7:09 p.m.  

  • I think Iggy just doesn't understand the game. In school, he'd be able to have his own opinions and express them. As leader of a fractured party and trying to get votes in Quebec, he discovers he has to pander and placate to different groups. This is where he slips up.

    By Blogger Forward Looking Canadian, at 7:51 p.m.  

  • No, he doesn't belong in cabinet.

    He belongs in academia, or other environments suitable to one-man-bands who don't have to work as a team.

    Could you imagine having him in your cabinet if you were PM - assuming you were the normal kind who allows ministers to speak.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 8:21 p.m.  

  • Reality Bites, I demand you start up your blog. You've got the best title going.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 8:37 p.m.  

  • Remind me again why someone with no federal or international experience is an appropriate leader of the federal Liberal Party?

    By Blogger S.K., at 9:48 p.m.  

  • As for Iggy, I would seriously question even cabinet. He wasn't put in MArtin's cabinet. He is a political imbecile that would just get us into trouble domesticly and internationally. He should be kept on the back benches and away from all microphones.

    By Blogger S.K., at 9:52 p.m.  

  • S.B.

    Martin didn't put Iggy is his cabinet because Iggy wasn't an MP until this January. If you'll recall, that is when Martin lost his gov't.

    By Blogger Forward Looking Canadian, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • What an idiot. He says as a professor of the laws of war, Qana was a war crime, and then Leslie Church tries to say it was a terrible consequence of war? Buffoonery all around. Seriously Iggy, have the guts to take a stand on an issue. You supported Iraq, now you don't. You said Israel was 100% right and Hezbollah was 100% wrong and now you say Israel committed war crimes. What a silly man!

    What I wonder is why more Liberals have not yet found the other pieces of evidence for this foot-in-mouth disease. Why has no one found the comments he made during a December 2005 lecture at Harvard (yes, he was still living in Boston and teaching at Harvard once the last federal election was called!) as reprinted in the Crimson? Consider that he called for the invasion of Zimbabwe and Iran during this December 2005 talk and that he even said Republican foreign policy was better than the Democrats!

    Don't believe me? Here is the quote, followed by the source URL:

    "Ignatieff said that Zimbabwe has committed human rights violations and could have a destabilizing effect on the surrounding region, making it a candidate for intervention. On the other hand, he said, military intervention would not be feasible in North Korea or Iran, but multi-lateral engagement could be effective in Iran.

    Ignatieff said that Republican foreign policy, focusing on promoting democracy, is better suited to the situation in the Middle East than what he termed the cautious, pragmatic neo-isolationism offered by the Democrats."

    By Blogger 29-11-43, at 10:44 p.m.  

  • "He is a political imbecile"

    and winning the race so far! lol!

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 10:47 p.m.  

  • Stephane Dion is a tortoise that is going to win the race.

    Dion is not "scary". Ignatieff and Lougheed have far too much in common at Harvard's Business School that was designed to subvert the economies around the globe and make them subservient to Alan Dulles and the United Fruit Company; at least the same crowd that currently runs Congress when its not buggering the Page Boys.

    And I will take odds, that after Dion becomes Liberal Leader, he will wipe the floor with Stephen Harper and the "neocons" that are trying desperately to bring in Mulroney II, complete with the same debt loads that "neocons" are now harnessing to Americans without enough brains to avoid them.

    By Blogger Joe Green, at 11:26 p.m.  

  • I wasn't supporting Iggy, but then I decided to... just so I could withdraw my support over these comments.

    By Blogger Havril, at 11:26 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger fresh, at 1:40 a.m.  

  • I am joining Michael’s leadership team because I believe in his commitment to building a stronger, more compassionate Canada. Michael's international experience as a teacher, journalist and writer make him uniquely qualified to understand the major issues facing our cities and our nation as a whole.
    Susan Kadis, MP Thornhill

    Guess you can throw that endorsement in the garbage

    By Blogger fartcatcher, at 2:57 a.m.  

  • seems to me maybe this is why every liberal leader since alexander mackenzie has held a cabinet post… before winning a liberal leadership and becoming prime minister.

    By Blogger fresh, at 6:20 a.m.  

  • Equally interesting is his completed changed story on Iraq. If you listen to (or read - I've transcribed it on my blog) Ignatieff's remarks from 2003 on Iraq that Le Vert unearthed on his blog you'll see that his support had nothing to do with the abuses of the Kurds, it was all about the Israel/Palestine question.

    How many times does he think he can change his views 180 degrees on substantive foreign policy questions before he loses all credibility?

    By Blogger nbpolitico, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • So let's recap where the Lib's are in their leadership search:

    Iggy - A foot-in-mouth ex-patriate Canadian who would lead us to believe that he truly was able to keep his pulse on things while he spent 30 years in academia.

    Rae - A born again Liberal who in a previous life devestated Ontario. He has a great track record to run on, uh huh.

    Kennedy - A left of center whose claim to fame is a food bank in Edmonton and a short stint as an Ontario cabinet minister. Not ready for prime time.

    Dion - Oh yeah... another PM from Quebec. Yup, that'll sell in the rest of Canada. Oh, and when Rona Ambrose screwed up on the quote on emission credit purchases by the former Liberal government in committee, Dion sat there, listened, and did not bring up the reality. People, it was his former department! You would think he would have some idea on a major point like that what happened!!?? It took an NGO to point out the oops. Man, is that man on the ball!

    The rest don't stand a chance, so why get into them.

    The Conservatives are going to have some slip ups (eg Ambrose and emission credits), but unless there is something major on the horizon, I don't see anyone of these four capturing the Canadian imagination and saying, "Uh huh, that person is going to be the one I want to see leading my government".

    Thankfully, as a conservative supporter, I suspect "four more years" will be more likely then not. I have stated previously, it will take at least one more election before the Liberals get a leader who will be competitive, and they are doomed to the political wilderness the same as the Tories were (and well deserved too).

    The Conservatives finally smartened up, and in time, maybe the Liberals will too. I just hope it takes a long, long time.

    By Blogger Andy, at 12:27 p.m.  

  • Dream on, Andy. The Liberal Party will form the next government come the next election. Not all the muzzles in Harper's kitchen cupboards will be enough to stop his "true" supporters slipping up and actually saying what they believe. Not all the Orwellian tricks of falsely labelled Acts (Clean Air Act my foot! Accountability Act my foot!) will disguise the true nature of the steps taken and planned by the neocon "new" Tories.

    And Bob Rae will make Harper sound like a wooden scarecrow during the debates. He will skewer his evasions, run rings around his distortions, excise his true rightwing core beliefs, and show the difference between mean-spirited Toryism and the liberal values underlying the Liberal Party.

    So, dream on, Andy.

    By Blogger CuriosityCat, at 2:07 p.m.  

  • If Bob Rae was so good at running circles around right-wing ideologues why didn't he run them around Mike Harris in 1995?

    Bob Rae had a chance to run circles around a wooden right-wing ideologue. The ideologue ran circles around him. Mike Harris 45 per cent. Bob Rae 20.

    Shockingly, the average voter wasn't turned on by pompous quasi-intellectuals who screw up royally in government and refuse to accept responsibility for it.

    For some reason, they flocked to the straight-shooting average guy who everyone dismissed as dumb but had a lot of common sense.

    Those who ignore history...

    By Blogger Jim, at 3:33 p.m.  

  • Paul Wells . . . . .

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 9:37 p.m.  

  • Looks like Mrs. Cotler has withdrawn her support too - from the party.

    By Blogger Joanne (True Blue), at 1:11 p.m.  

  • Susan Kadis withdraws support for what she deems necessary for her political furture. While disappoinging that she has left Ignatieff campaign, sometimes in politics you have to do what you have to do. But on the other hand, leaving when the going gets tough is not something I would condone. Like some other candidates, rae to name one, she is putting her future ahead of the party's.

    By Blogger Just another Liberal, at 2:40 p.m.  

  • Yup.

    Coming out of a recession, the Ontario voters threw out Rae's NDP government.

    And got Harris.

    A bit like voters throwing out the Liberals in 2006.

    And getting Harper.

    Reactive voting - while emotionally satisfying at the time - ain't always that smart.

    That's why we hold elections every few years or so. To correct mistakes.

    Like Harper. When Bob Rae gets done with him on the hustings.

    By Blogger CuriosityCat, at 2:57 p.m.  

  • Apparently Susan Kadis' riding in North Toronto is home to 10,000 Jewish voters.

    She may have felt that she had to leave Iggy, under those circumstances.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 3:21 p.m.  

  • curiositycat,

    Your logic is that Bob Rae will win this time because he lost last time?

    Because he lost REALLY BAD last time. In fact, the word "Rae" was kind of a swear word in Ontario. Seven years after he was defeated George Smitherman was still referring to his "incompetence":

    Bob Rae's political persona (rich-boy quasi-socialist Rhodes Scholar) combined with his political ineptitude (mention the words "social contract" to an Ontario teacher and you'll learn all about it) led Rae's party from 74 seats to 17, from 38 per cent of the vote to 20. Mike Harris made mincemeat out of him - not because Harris was a genius but because "Robert K. Rae Esq.) was the perfect foil for the plain-talkin "common sense" Tories.

    By Blogger Jim, at 4:51 p.m.  

  • The fact Iggy is willing to do a complete 180 Degree turn from his stand just a few short months ago is evidence enough he is a true Liberal.

    "Do or say whatever needs to be said to attain power"

    That's the liberal motto....and Iggy has it down pat. He'll take the leadership on the third ballot.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 5:33 p.m.  

  • By the way.....when Jason Cherniak comes to visit....can someone ask him why he's barred me from his site?

    I guess several of my posts about Jews and Israel were too close to the bone for him. It must be hard to see a Conservative take a stand to defend Jews....when many people in the Liberal Party spend so much time spouting hate disguised as concern for the Palestinian people.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 5:36 p.m.  

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