The latest developments in Canadian politics are:
- The Liberal Party of Canada, under leader Michael Ignatieff, has opened up a lead in the polls over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party.
- The Conservatives, predictably, have responded by unleashing attack ads aimed squarely at Mr. Ignatieff.
One of the ads says that Ignatieff was “away” from Canada for 34 years. It’s true: Ignatieff was a public figure in England and in the USA before returning to Canada in 2005.
According to the ad, Ignatieff brags that he is “horribly arrogant”. I wonder whether Mr. Ignatieff intended that statement to be taken at face value?
Moreover — according to the ad — Mr. Ignatieff also brags that he’s “cosmopolitan”! How horrid! Lock up your children!
Then, bizarrely, the ad continues: “The only thing he missed about Canada was Algonquin Park”.
How very Canadian of Ignatieff to be homesick for Algonquin Park!
It seems to me that the last statement lets the air out of the preceding, attempted smears. Arrogant, cosmopolitan, missed Algonquin Park: one of these things is not like the others.
I suppose I shouldn’t help out the Conservatives by posting their attack ad on my blog. But if this is the worst muck the Conservatives can sling at Ignatieff, surely his lead in the polls is insurmountable.
I like Andrew Steele’s take:
I’m a subscriber to the Will Ferguson theory of Bastards and Boneheads.
It states that Canadians elect leaders who are bastards, not boneheads. […] Trudeau versus Clark. Mulroney versus Turner. Chrétien versus Day. Harper versus Dion. […]
In effect, the Conservative Party is paying millions of dollars to brand Michael Ignatieff the very thing Canadians vote for: arrogant bastards.
Steele’s argument is a bit tongue in cheek, perhaps, but I think the point is valid. The attack ads pay fealty to Ignatieff as a formidable political opponent.
Arrogant, cosmopolitan, missed Algonquin Park: none of those attributes is a reason not to elect Michael Ignatieff as Canada’s next Prime Minister. The next election can’t come too soon for me.