Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ignatieff, The Average Man

What does a Liberal Leader do when he's labelled an out of touch elitist by his opponents? Why, he creates a plan that sounds out of touch and elitist of course.

The Global Networks Strategy was unveiled recently as the foundation for the Liberal foreign policy platform, and as the name suggests there's nothing in it that ordinary Canadians can attach to or get excited about.

This foreign policy document is a failure in attracting Canadians and disenchanted Liberals, and only strengthens the image of Ignatieff, and now the Liberal Party, as elitist and just distant from average Canadians.

Ignatieff needs to do what Dion didn't, he needs to think of what ordinary Canadians want and deliver.


Volkov said...

I honestly hate to say this, but what the hell do you think the "common Canadian" knows about foreign policy commitments?

I guarantee the majority would agree that foreign aid should be toned down to an all-new low level. Most probably couldn't explain the key points of free trade.

The question isn't whether Iggy, the Liberals, or Harper and the Conservatives, or whomever else, are "elitist" - they all are. Politicians are just inherent elitists. It comes with the job.

The question is whether they govern for the elites, or whether they govern for the people. Representative democracy is just not meant to be populist - it's meant to put representatives into elite positions of power, with the hope that elections would curb their propensity to serve elitists over all citizens.

Iggy's policies are geared toward working for all citizens. We may not get it, we may not even care - but the policies are designed to say, yes, we serve you, and this is what we want to do on your behalf. That's hardly elitist.

Jim said...

Ignatieff is exactly what his opponents have labeled him as.

He cannot be the average Canadian because he is not. He has very little insight into what being a Canadian means because at the root of it he is not Canadian, he is a cosmopolitan intellectual.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with that or the direction Ignatieff has taken throughout his life, but to come home and expect that Canadians will just fall in line is a little (alot) rich.

Then to make your first real policy announcement about foreign affairs just shows his disconnect from Canadian make it virtually mirror the CPC foreign policy is reprehensible.

When are you Liberals going to realize that he is a hawk in sheeps clothing and will NEVER resonate with average Canadians?

Honestly, unless you stanch the bleeding, I fear your party is headed for the dung heap.

Volkov said...

Now hold on Jim - a clone of the CPC?

Our foreign policy has hardly changed from what its been for years. We're not the wishy-washy NDP on this front. We're internationalist. We have been since Laurier. That's our nature.

If anything, the CPC has copied us - just very poorly. We have the more progressive stances, we have the better conviction to get something done, and we have the smarts to do it. We're not isolationist, dominionist or imperialist - we're internationalist. And Ignatieff has simply continued this successful tradition.

Don't like it? Go vote Communist. They're the only ones who are not similar in any way to the mainstream of governments and parties in this country.

Jim said...

Save the soapbox for another day, Volkov.

You are one to use the tired old axiom of the "party of Laurier". Trudeau was dead before you were even born.

You say that your foreign policy hasn't changed in years...well maybe it should. The world has changed and being a noncommittal fence sitting liberal no longer cuts it.

Call me in ten or so years when your high and mighty idealism has been worn down by reality, then we can talk.

Right now, you still have moisture behind your ears.

Liberal Justice said...

This is an amazing approach to foreign policy and Ignatieff is to be congratulated for it. AND he has his own amazing background in international relations.

Don't be so negative! We need to support Ignatieff 100% if we are to rid ourselves of the Harper regime!

ottlib said...

Look at Mr. Ignatieff's background and you will note he is not an "average man".

The same could be said of Stephen Harper, Paul Martin, Jean Chretien, Brian Mulroney, Pierre Trudeau and so on.

I find this obsession with "ordinary people" leading us to be silly at best downright dangerous at worst.

I do not want "ordinary people" leading our government. I want extraordinary people doing it.

My criteria for a leader is not whether can have a beer with the boys but whether, when the chips are down, he can make the tough choices.

Stephen Harper cannot. Neither could Paul Martin. Jean Chretien could as could Brian Mulroney and Trudeau.

If Michael Ignatieff is able to do that he will make a good leader of this country, regardless of whether he is an elitist or not.

Jim said...

"Liberal Justice said...
This is an amazing approach to foreign policy and Ignatieff is to be congratulated for it. AND he has his own amazing background in international relations.

Don't be so negative! We need to support Ignatieff 100% if we are to rid ourselves of the Harper regime!"

Wow! Who would have expected that!


Jim said...

"ottlib said...

Stephen Harper cannot."

Tell ya what Ottlib, Harper already has. You see him as bully? Truth be told, he is an ass kicker...worldwide.

Harper is extrordinary.

But he may make it harder to get a welfare cheque.

6:47 PM said...

Volkov: I honestly hate to say this, but you're right, I know nothing about regular Canadians. I do not go door-knocking twice a week talking to constituents in my riding and I sure as heck don't phonebank using Liberalist asking for their opinions. What the heck is phonebanking anyway?

Volkov, I'm just a blind mouthpiuece compared to your solid empirical speech. You obviously have talked to many ordinary people about the Global Networks Strategy and have found most are in favor. I apologize for not doing the consulting you must have done.

Nicholas said...

He's an asskicker world wide? All I see is a bully who beats up on parties weaker than him. It occaisionally comes back to bite him in the ass to which his response is obfuscate until he has to shut down parliament.

Abroad, who's ass has Harper kicked? I think we can sum up Canada's foreign policy as "we're with those guys." Financially and environmentally, the two big challenges to Harper's government, has been met with the reply, "we're going to wait to see what the US does on this." Some leadership.

The only thing remotely resembling ass kicking was a random press conference with McKay bragging that Canadian F-18s had intercepted a Russian bomber in the arctic over our air space. He was trying to show he had nuts because he was in the running for secretary general of NATO. It only resulted in the US, UK and Russia came out and said uhhhh, no, no the Russians weren't in Canadian airspace. The Russian ambassador (who I've met and is quite a nice genetleman) literally laughed at McKay. Then there was the time at the last G8 where Harper at an international press conference randomly started attacking the liberals when 99% of the press didn't even know who the liberals were. Again another event met with laughter. If you think that's kicking ass, well, then you and I have a different measurement of what kicking ass is. Harper has been nothing short of a colossal embarassment on the world stage. Finally good to see a policy that A)makes sense and B)written by someone who actually knows what they're talking about. said...

Liberal Justice you are right, who cares if people call Ignatieff an elitist and then he goes and does elitist things, if we don't talk about it, it'll go away and he'll stop acting like a professor.

Yeah, why didn't I think of that?

Oh and Liberal Justice, what do you think should happen when in the future you're proven horribly wrong? Will you actually succumb to rational thought and not blind bias? I ask because you're saying the same thing the dionistas were preaching. said...

Ottlib, you're confusing manner and substance. Some one can be super intelligent but convey it in the most common manner, and that's what Canadians want. They don't want someone who is super intelligent but yet distances himself from the majority of Canadians by making jokes about some archiac French anthem or referencing some obscure book.

I want someone extraordinary as well, but they have to be able to relate to Canadians or what is a representative for?

Jim said...

Nicholost, are you related to know, hanging out with Russian ambassadors and all.

Elitist? Never!


Keep digging! Ignatieff 110% for the win!!! said...

Nicolas, is the policy written well? Yeah. Can it appeal to ordinary Canadians? I don't think so.

Jim said...

Of course it cannot resonate, Scott, it's fluff. Worse, it is build on a model of how the world used to be. Insurgent warfare has reshaped everything.

Although I have not polled extensively, I do not believe that folks are unhappy with the government in general.

Our economy is sturdy, we are leaving A-stan without condition. We will continue to strengthen our military and assert our standing in the world. Yet, at the same time we will protect our sovereignty, self reliance and defence like never before.

And did I mention that my taxes are lower?

I am OK with what is going on, and I suspect alot of Canadian feel just like I do.

I could be wrong, but only an election will tell and with all the cloak andd dagger on tthe left, I gotta say, you're doomed. said...

Jim I don't think a majority of Canadians are happy with this government and I'd say some Conservatives aren't either.

I'm not calling for Ignatieff's head, I'm calling for him to just change his collar. No cloak and dagger, just criticism and help.

Jim said...

Scott, nowhere did I say the majority of the populous was happy with the government.

Honestly, as a minarchist libertarian, my satisfaction hovers around 40-50% with our current government...but with hawkboy Ignatieff as PM I am sure it would fall to 1%.

As a center rightist, I would suggest Dominic LeBlanc as your next leader...but please elect him...don't install him like the patrician you have now. said...

Dominic has not earned the level of respect you give him. He is where he is only from his working within the party and not any work he has done outside of it. From meeting him and hearing a few stories I gather he oozes the sentiment of entitlement, something we all love and enjoy.

Nicholas said...

No, I'm not related to Ignatieff. I met him a couple of years ago while I was still in University.

As far as the policy not being relatable, it's foreign policy, it shouldn't be entirely relatable. We should have certain principles that guide our policy, but the actual implementation of a policy in the international arena is an incredibly complicated affair which the document only highlights. If you just want to release those core principles, by all means go ahead. However, I don't think we should be selling Canadians short just because we don't think we can't sell it at all. Isn't that one of the main critiques of the party, that we don't stand for anything? Either way, will this be the ballot box question? I really don't think so.

As for the comment that the policy is what the world used to be. No, it isn't. It's what the world is becoming and what it will be in the next century. Whatever the rest of his faults are, Ignatieff gets it on this issue no matter what people (who are fare less qualified to comment on international policy) will say.

WesternGrit said...

36% of Canadians are "happy" with this "government". Taxes dropped on sales tax related items... And income tax jumped (anyone remember that for the lower income bracket???)... Fees have jumped (Conservatives love to cut some taxes, then re-introduce them as "user fees" - like THATS any different).

Someone thinks their taxes are LOWER? Can't wait until this government actually has to start paying down the debt that they've boosted with the largest deficits in Canadian history. Think Harper will not raise taxes? He won't have any choice... Actually, he will - losing to the Liberals before Christmas. If he really is a fiscal Conservative (and I've seen NO evidence of this at all - NeoCon maybe,... Conservative NO), he'll lose to the Liberals so they can raise taxes or fight debt with cuts... Chances are more likely that he will have to make deep cuts which will alienate more voters - the Tim's crowd he so claims to love - and raise taxes/fees on all sorts of things.

It's coming. Harper's blank-minded use of record Liberal/Martin-Goodale surpluses; driving them into the record Harpfecits... will result in some serious voter backlash, when we wake up and realize what this blithering moron has actually done to the Canadian economy (which is teetering, with our biggest trading partner about to drop again)...

Oh... and Iggy. Get in a goddamn f'n stock car. PLEASE. The guy is a rabid NASCAR fan, and that would be a wonderful "touch the public" moment... said...

Nicholas, I thought sophistry died ages ago. 'Foreign policy isn't supposed to be entirely relatable'? What the heck does that mean? Any policy has to be able to connect with Canadians, if it doesn't, someone isn't doing their job.

You also seem to be continuing your sophist suggestion that because I said Ignatieff is not appealling to ordinary Canadians, I must think he should dumb it down. That's the farthest from the truth.

You can have smart policy, but you just shouldn't put it in an elitist box, wrap it up in professor brand wrapping paper and put an aristocratic bow on it.

The Global Networks Strategy could not sound more elitist, let alone contain any more less than stellar policies.

Jim said...

Funny how you Libs cry about the deficit when it was you who demanded more money be shoveled out.

As well, I am getting a little tired of the Liberal screed that the CPC squandered any surplus left by Martin.

You are aware that in their first 3 years in power the CPC paid over $36 Billion towards the nations debt, right?

Doesn't sound like squandering to me.

Nicholas said...

What is it supposed to mean? It means that foreign affairs is still largerly an old boys club. That the solutions to global problems are incredibly complex. Even then, if we can't explain that being more involved in the world comes with more benefits which is what the policy says, then what business do we have in this game? People have already labelled him an elitist, a professor. They expect him to be smart. Trying to turn him into some kind of folksy down home ordinary joe is only going to look patronizing. The party needs to play to it's strength, not try and beat the dullards at their game.

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