Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ignatieff's "Gaffe"

Something in this world is upside down. I usually rather like Scott Brison. I also usually find a lot of Jason Cherniak's comments to be nothing but partisan rhetoric--interesting partisan rhetoric which I will continue to read religiously, but partisan rhetoric nonetheless. Today, those were backwards.

As everyone knows by now, in an interview today with the Toronto Star, Ignatieff did not commit to running in the next election if he is not elected leader. Many comments have already been made on this topic, but two are the most interesting.

First is Scott Brison, who attacks Ignatieff, suggesting that these kinds of gaffes show a degree of inexperience that is unsuitable for the leader of the Liberal Party. Then there's Jason Cherniak, who doesn't blame Ignatieff, but rather, he understands why he said it. Of course, he ends with his usual line about Ignatieff being a minister in Dion's government, but hey, that's what we expect from him.

Like I said, I usually like Brison. But I find it funny that he would criticize Ignatieff for not affirming his commitment to run. After all, Brison jumped shipped from the Conservatives after the merger, clearly because the party was moving in a policy direction he didn't want. How can he then criticize Ignatieff if he decides to not run because of a certain candidate winning--who could, similarly move the party in a very different direction. The Liberal Party would be very different if a Bevilacqua/Brison/Hall Findlay type won as opposed to if a Kennedy type won, not to mention the whole different spectrum it would enter under the leadership of Hedy Fry. Deciding not to run is a much less dramatic step than changing parties, and both are, in my mind, valid options when the policy direction of a party changes. Brison is being hypocritical by suggesting otherwise.

Now, on to Cherniak. He writes:

"He [Ignatieff] is not running because he wants power - he is running because he wants to help people. When all is said and done, there is very little that he can do to help people as a member of the opposition. In particular, why would he want to spend his time if the Liberal Party elects a leader who is bound to lead us to the doldrums of British Liberal-Democrat territory? Michael Ignatieff has better things to do with his life."

Cherniak rose significantly in my book for those words, as they show a recognition of what it is that makes up Michael Ignatieff. Ignatieff may make the occasional political "slip-up", but it stems from his intellectual honesty and a genuine desire to make the world a better place. He may prefer Dion for a variety of reasons, but I appreciate the comments written there.

Oh, and the rest of the analysis in the thread is pretty good too.


Post a Comment

<< Home