Canadian politics, Liberal

Those Wacky Foreigners

Apparently the New York Times has decided to laud praise on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, referring to him as sort of a Canadian Barack Obama. The fact that the article is in the “Fashion & Style” section is, I assume, not intended to imply that he is a fad of the moment – I’ll reserve judgment on that one. The Globe and Mail is evidently skeptical.

I’m sort of moved to wonder a few things about this: why would the Americans even bother to notice a ‘Canadian Obama’ when they have the real deal? Is this just a prelude to the President’s first foreign trip?

And, most significantly, do they know something we don’t, or do we know something they don’t?

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9 thoughts on “Those Wacky Foreigners

  1. Having read both links, I’ll agree with the G&M on the term ‘fawning’ – also, is it just me, or did anyone find the Times piece incredibly patronizing towards Canadians?

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  2. But this is apparently the NEW old white guy. Big difference.
    While I can’t say I’m against the apparent trend toward intelligence being a politically viable attribute (I’m all for it, in fact), Iggy comes across as too aloof to enjoy popular support if he doesn’t motivate a ‘youth vote’. Warm and fuzzy he ain’t.

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  3. I’m all for smart people representing us, and I like that Ignatieff has decided to throw his considerable intellectual weight into public service. However, we do not have a history of voting in the evidently stupid like our neighbours to the south have done recently – our prime ministers have been intellectuals or high achievers in their fields of choice. His presence is not an exception, and why the Times would think it is strikes me as strange. And the comparison with Trudeau is odd – Trudeau was intelligent to be sure, but what he had in abundance was charisma, and I don’t get that from Iggy at all.

    It’s a very strange article.

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  4. Author David Brin had a very good post on his blog that I think sums up the problem I have with an Obama/Ignatieff comparison:

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2009/01/secret-and-telling-words-in-inaugural.html

    In it, he makes the valid point that intellect isn’t enough, after all, in truth, the neoconservative platform was devised by intellectuals – what Obama’s strength is is the fact that he’s willing to temper that intellect with the question ‘what if I am wrong’ – as Brin says, that question has to be at the heart of any scientific viewpoint, and I’m not necessarily sure it’s one that Ignatieff asks himself.

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  5. Oh I don’t know about Iggy, Dan. He did come around on the whole “bomb Iraq” thing, after all. I don’t distrust him any more than I distrust any politician – and that includes Obama. They’re both smart, but Obama is more charismatic by half and he has, despite his younger years, much more government experience than Iggy. I’ll read the Brinn link after when I’m not in such a rush.

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  6. First we need still a full review of the waste, fraud, and abuse that has plagued governmental. efforts. What is also needed is a program to remove public officials from office that take our money and spend it on their own false pet projects while many of our people still are not getting the help that they need.

    Federal Deficit , economic, job creation and capital expenditure programs… are still untrustworthy. Being a past senior civil, mechanical , projects engineer, project manager myself here now are the major problem I righty still do had with capital expenditure projects even under PM Jean Chretien and never mind next under PM Stephen Harper firstly: and it is is that when you give do monies for a specific capital expenditure projects to the Provinces, Municipalities as well, and just like in many of the non profit organizations now too, a significant portion of the money firstly never even gets to the intended sources but it is diverted elsewhere.. Diverted to: such as paying for existing deficits, debts, unprofitable civil and public services, departments, Crown Corporations too, ineffective overheads, unrelated operating costs in the provincial , municipal departments. Now since all that happens even before it hits the supposedly private sectors we need to address that too. Now next as to the supposedly private sectors and related projects expenditures , totally honest and fair governmental competition bids still tends not to exists. So no one can make me into a believer that this all of this taxpayer’s money will solely go all into a valid job creation program spurring on the general economy. The existing projects, capital expenditure safeguards are still just not totally there, not the related transparency, accountably as well.. even even you try to use an ex retired, RCMP officer as a supervisor in the contracts, purchasing department, for by now we all should now who immoral, untrustworthy even the RCMP now are too in fact. Some of the money will likely be used even out of the country for a selected few persons rather too.. Are many of the civil servants, politicians still taking their holidays overseas at tax payers expenses? There are still much too many abusive and questionable expenses: All still Unacceptable too.

    Not just in Canada now there is increasing evidence even in the US, elsewhere that states like California and Michigan, are running huge budget deficits, do need federal aid to keep their essential and non essential services operating. They would plummet an already battered federal budget billions of dollars further into a non positive deficit. We all do need to face the negative fact of what our own political, corporate leaders are doing this to our country too. Still it all also does mean that no one can predict beforehand with certainty which industries and municipalities will get the needed designated federal capital.

    Also the too common practice of putting many local workers out of work or paying them less wages by sending the higher paying jobs offshore has a devastating impact on the rest of the World, not to mention the local economy. We also still do need to have the True Unemployment Numbers.

    What is also needed is a program to remove public officials from office that take our money and spend it on their pet projects while many of our people still are not getting the help that they need.

    ” At last count, there were at least 785 criminal cases under investigation by the Hurricane Katrina Task Force, a joint effort of 19 federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service, the Defense Department and even the Environmental Protection Agency. State prosecutors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are similarly swamped. And scores more cases wait in the wings.”
    And do see also Citizens Against Government Waste http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/

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