Saturday, April 08, 2006

Michael Ignatieff. Friend or Foe.

Michael Ignatieff. The next would-be Prime Minister of Canada.

Much has been said of Mr. Ignatieff since his recruitment to the Canadian Liberal Party in the late summer of 2005. Many view him as the savior of the Liberal Party while others view him as a dissident who knows little of the country he left some 20 years ago.

So who is Michael Ignatieff?

A brilliant academic educated at UofT and Harvard, Ignatieff has taught at UBC, Kings College, Cambridge and Harvard. He has written extensively on human rights and ethics and is considered an authority on international politics. The son of a Canadian diplomat and grandson of the Tsar's last Minister of Education, Ignatieff is no stranger to politics or controversies. In 2003, Ignatieff generated controversy by supporting the US-lead invasion of Iraq and suggesting that Canada consider the proposed Canada-US North American Missile Defence Shield. In 2004, he again found himself in the hot seat when he said he would be in favour of legislation that would permit coercive interrogation (torture) that did not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health. And, in November 2005, he found himself the object of a very heated debate regarding his nomination in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

So what does Michael Ignatieff bring to the Canadian Liberal Party? A fresh face. A bit of star power.

Does this mean he is the right person for the job? Only time will tell. He has surrounded himself with the top echelon of political movers and shakers and to his credit he is well spoken and personable. What he may lack in "Canadian appeal" he more than makes up for in star power. With Belinda Stronach no longer in the race he is the frontrunner with no other formidable challengers in sight.

What does this blogger think of Ignatieff's chances? It will depend heavily on the other candidates. Bob Rae (a close friend of Ignatieff) and Gerard Kennedy (if they announce their candidacy) will certainly give him stiff competition. Their face recognition and the fact that they have both been active in Canadian politics will give them an edge.

Let the games begin.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home