Monday, November 20, 2006

Ignatieff interview on Radio-Canada: Whatever!

In the first of a series of reports on the four main candidates in the Liberal leadership race, Michael Ignatieff was on Radio-Canada tonight, interviewed by Patrice Roy. Here are a few kibbles and bits.

On Lebanon: Asked how he could declare one day that he “wasn’t losing sleep over Qana” and then state, shortly after, that what took place in Qana was a “War Crime”, Iggy answered that three weeks had elapsed between those two declarations. “I learned a lot of things during those three weeks; you have to understand how politics work.”

If Iggy actually needs to “learn his trade” to know where he stands on issues such as the Qana bombings, I’m not impressed.

On the Afghanistan question: Iggy justified his vote in favour of extending our mission until 2009 this way: “Our brave men and women need to know that we are behind them.” In other words, if you’re against our mission in Afghanistan, you’re not supporting the troops. Sounds like Bush-talk to me.

On the nation notion: we were shown an extract from Iggy’s 1993 “Blood and Belonging” documentary. Referring to a French Canadian hockey player named (I think) Denis Rousseau, here’s what Iggy had to say: “Rousseau and I have a lot of things in common. But we don’t share the same nation, because I am English and he is French. Because we don’t share the same nation, we can’t love the same state.”

What does that mean exactly? I’m a born and bred Montreal French Canadian, and I love Canada as much as the next guy, whether he lives in Toronto or Caraquet. However, Michael Ignatieff now contends that Québec itself is a nation. So, is it a language thing, or a territorial thing? Is my Anglophone next-door neighbour part of the nation? Did Mr. Ignatieff just change his mind? Did his years abroad blur his mind? Does he actually know what he’s talking about?

Finally, without being asked, Mr. Ignatieff states that “I say what I mean: I’m no adventurer in politics!” I’m sorry, but the more I hear him talk, the more I believe that politics is indeed just another adventure in Iggy’s life. And frankly, I don’t know what he means or thinks.

Two Tails down,



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