After his rout at the polls, Dion attempted a hare-brained coalition with the unofficial opposition parties, the comparatively socialist New Democrats and the federal representatives of Quebec separatism, who had replaced the Liberals as the principal beneficiary of the large tribal vote from Quebec. Ignatieff had abstained from this insanity and was anointed leader by the party elders.
He began as the idol of the Canadian national media, which almost unanimously assumed that he could force and win an election at will. He was the Liberal leader and Dion, it was felt, had been aberrant. Ignatieff would restore power to its natural holders.
But that status was irretrievable; neither Quebec nor the rest of Canada believed a word of it. The separatists had most of the Quebec MPs; Quebec's ability to blackmail Canada had been reduced by its demographic decline and the rise of the far western provinces, wealthy in oil and other natural resources, and by the astute, bilingual Harper, who made tax cuts and economic growth good politics, and brought Canada through the 2008-09 recession with flying colours.
There had been recurrent reports of Ignatieff undercutting members of his own party. His championship of civil rights was ultimately tainted by his endorsement of oppressive collective rights in Quebec, such as the imposition of unilingual French commercial signs. Ignatieff was trying to pander to Quebec with outworn constitutional and cultural overtures. He held a portentous "thinkers' conference" that advocated more daycare and soft power (a concept that, if it works at all, only does so when the country practising it has a real power alternative).
He "lost no sleep" over the Lebanese dead at Qana, one week, and denounced the events there as an Israeli war crime the next, having previously bought into the piffle about the lack of "proportionality" of Israel's response to the endless rocket attacks against Israeli civilians by Hamas in Gaza. Ignatieff's intelligence is conceded by all, but not his judgment or even his intellectual ethics.
- Theresa May Emerges From Thatcher's Shadow
- Not Tweets And Anger But Redoubled Vigilance
- Why France Is Revolting Against The Ancien Regime
- How The EU Elite Paved The Way For Populism
- Trump's America: The End Of Exceptionalism
- The Kaliningrad Contingency
- Mrs May Is Too Canny To Say Farewell To Arms
- To Understand Trump, Read Huxley — Not Orwell
- A Letter To Our Great-Grandchildren
- Trump Is No Loser, But Government Will Be Harder
- Trump's Appeal Is More Roosevelt Than Reagan
- The Trump Presidency: A Worst-Case Scenario
- We Cannot Take Liberal Democracy For Granted
- No Need To Fear Russia. The Bear Is Broke
- Who Will Do Justice To Our Judiciary?
- Trust Westminster On Brexit: It's All We've Got