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It Looks Like Iggy Is Taking Kelly McParland’s Advice

Susan Delacourt is one of the few columnists who has been not only printing the facts about Iggy’s bus tour, but has actually remained positive about it. I only wish some of the more Liberal leaning columnist would have (and would) followed her lead rather than to continue nitpicking and lamenting him. After all, while Iggy may not be the first choice for leader of any federal political party due largely in part to his long absence from the country and many other reasons anybody could think of, he is here to stay and we should make the best of it. Anything less only helps keep Stevie spiteful in office longer to continue doing his damage; perhaps even get a majority.

If I may sidetrack for just a moment, his latest slap in the face to the civil service and by extension, to Canadians; particularly, vulnerable Canadians, he has just laid off 600 employees who work for Service Canada; employees who work for EI and Pensions . It becomes more ridiculous on the radio when we hear that the reason cited is because “the economy has improved”. No joke! The newscaster on the radio said that was the reason for the cuts. Never mind that folks are still losing their jobs. Never mind that the aging baby boomers are retiring, thus an increasing demand for CPP payments is looming.  Stevie Spiteful must gut the civil service for his own amusement.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I had seen a poll from Harris Decima earlier yesterday reflecting that the bus tour has provided modest gains in Liberal polling numbers (they’ve broken 30% for the first time in a long time), but unfortunately, Iggy’s approval numbers have not improved, according to Allan Gregg .  Now, how could this be?  Michael Valpy over at the Grope & Fail has recognized changes in Iggy :

There’s no doubt at all that a new political Michael Ignatieff is on stage. And no doubt at all – after 27,000 kilometres travelled and 110 events staged across the country this summer, with more to come on a tour intended to reintroduce Mr. Ignatieff to Canada – that the people he meets are responding to him with what looks to be a lot like enthusiasm.

His robotic body language has gone, along with most of his leaden phrases. He speaks with a lively cadence; he has lost the faux dropped g’s. He can be genuinely funny. He shows a keen curiosity in what people tell him and feeds back what they say in his speeches.

He now sounds like the 17 books he has written, warm, engagingly anecdotal and authentic.

I tell him on the final day of the B.C. tour that he has changed so much since I first wrote about him as a politician four years ago. He says: “A lot of it is storytelling, a lot of it is connecting to something I always used to do. I’ve been a storyteller all my life, and I had to recover, get back to that stuff. Nothing else was working.”

So, who has Gregg been polling? Folks in Calgary West or in other Harpercon strongholds?  I realize that Gregg, like  John Wright of Ipsos-Reid, is nothing more than a Harpercon shill, but, as I’ve pointed out, time and again, at the end of the day, those polling numbers, along with those columns are pretty much all those politicians have to work with before they make decisions. It’s the reason why I suggest to folks to write their MPs.

It’s also the reason why I’m thankful for social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and blogs. If not for social media, we would only get the skewed version of how much of a failure the bus tour was. We didn’t. We got to see crowds warmly receiving Iggy. We got to hear him answering questions without missing a beat.  We saw him more relaxed and yes, having fun. There are those from the Blogging SupposiTories and even some Prog bloggers still determined to hate him who chided him for not being himself, but yanno, I think he was probably more himself over the summer than he has been since he joined the Liberal Party. I got that vibe when I saw him at the Papineau event.

By the interviews Iggy has been giving as of late and the vibe folks who have attended events on the stops of the Liberal bus tour seem to have been picking up, it seems to be that Iggy is in no hurry for the tour to end.  I remembered the NattyPo’s Kelly McParland lamenting earlier in the summer about Stevie’s summer of needless crisis in his column .  He sort of gave some simple advice to Iggy, although, I think he meant it more as a joke; sarcasm at the time:

If I was Michael Ignatieff, I’d stay on that bus tour until Christmas and leave the government alone. At the rate it’s going, it should have completed its self-destruction by then.

After reading Susan Delacourt’s column last night, it looks like Iggy is, at least in part, taking McParland’s advice to heart and extending the bus tour into the fall .

“I’ve got a job to do in Parliament, I will do the job in Parliament, because that’s what folks pay me to do. But I will also be out on the road a lot, because I enjoy it and Canadians are responding to it and they want to see their politicians up close and personal and they want to ask them questions.” The Liberal leader has made no secret of his joy at being out of Ottawa over the summer, often calling it an antidote for the toxic, partisan climate of Parliament under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.

Oh dear, and now, given that Stevie spiteful’s pitbull, John Baird, is the new government house leader, count on the ambiance in parliament being even more toxic than before.  There is also the problems with the mass firings, demotions, potential firings and non renewals of contracts of public servants as of late. With such heated issues waiting such as Mullet-head Hoeppner’s scrapping of the long gun registry and the census scrapping (Liberals are introducing a new private members bill to reinstate it, minus the threat of jail time which is sure to pass among all three opposition parties) and of course, the threats of unreported criminals, Canadian Idol rejects and “Russian spy planes” in the north.

It’s great that touring the country, meeting and greeting Canadians suits him so well as the tour has achieved one of its’ goals; to prepare Iggy for the rigors of an election campaign.

If the tour is going so well for him and he is still getting positive responses, why not continue for at least awhile longer? Parliament doesn’t sit until later next month anyway.

Given the polling numbers that have improved the numbers for the Liberals, but not that of Iggy, maybe the strategy of Iggy continuing the road show and having his MPs do the politicking in Ottawa might have some logic to it on the surface.  However, like everybody else, he will eventually have to go back to work and yes, his true test will be how he handles himself once parliament is back in session. That, I suspect will be make or break for him. If  his newfound confidence can be seen in action in parliament, perhaps we may well see his approval numbers go up as well.  However, that is a two way street. It’s one thing for him to be more confident; to be more oppositional. However,  given the Harpercon friendly corporate media, with the latest addition of the wingnutty efforts of Fox North, as well as some of the nay sayers of the few more Liberal leaning columnists and opinion writers,  can he be more oppositional without getting smacked to the point where his polling numbers plummeting across the board to the point Stevie Spiteful’s  teeter around majority territory yet again?

Another test for Iggy will be how will he counter not only Stevie Spiteful’s attack ads, which as we’ve seen are doozies, and I’m sure, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, but also those from the NDP;  Layton and Mulcair have shown to be more than capable of of attacking them sometimes (it seems)  even more often than attacking Harpercons, as well as those of Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc. While the Liberals may have begun to make some inroads in Quebec , given that Duceppe is slowly reviving the sovereignty movement with some modest degree of success and with the troubles of the Jean Charest Liberals as of late, I  wouldn’t be surprised to see Duceppe resurrect the Sponsorship scandal. That will be an uphill climb indeed. Dion couldn’t counter the attack ads, neither could Paul Martin before him.  Iggy had been lacking confidence to do so since that violent reaction from Jane and Joe Canuck and the pundits when he dropped the gauntlet last September.  Let’s hope he can draw from his new found confidence coming off the bus tour to effectively counter these attacks.   He will also have to go more on the offensive. Sadly, taking the high road will get him nowhere.

The Harpercon shill, Allan Gregg did point out an interesting fact I think we’ve all noticed:

Pollsters have discovered that the Conservative vote is much more resilient than the Liberal vote. That means when the Conservatives get in trouble, their support drops, but in the absence of trouble it springs right back again. The same isn’t true for the Liberals.

Why is that? Why are folks so much more forgiving of Stevie spiteful than they are of Iggy? It seems to me that Stevie Spiteful could put his own grandmother out on the street and most (from his own base, anyway) would hardly bat an eyelash, but the Liberals, with, or without Iggy can take forever to be forgiven for far less?

After writing all that, perhaps Kelly McParland was right all along: Iggy, stay on that bus and let your MPs take care of the rough and tumble in parliament.

4 comments to It Looks Like Iggy Is Taking Kelly McParland’s Advice

  • Hopeful Joe

    Dear Sista,
    My one question is who’s been whispering in your ear? Which political insider has convinced you that the Libs are stuck with Iggy so you’d better say nice things about him? A few months ago you were perfectly willing to be reasonably critical of a the same guy who still leaves much to be desired. Do you really believe that it’s too late to get rid of that loser?
    BTW Susan Delacourt is morally dagerous company to be keeping. Isn’t she the same one whose always implying that the sponsorship scandal authors were national hero’s. She’s got her “L” tattoo and her nose up in the party’s nether regions as surely as Lorne Gunter has for the Cons. She’ll a cheerleader “journalist” for the same sense on entitlement which put the Libs in the doghouse with the electorate in the first place.

    Should Canadians not be entitled to leadership that isn’t morally bankrupt? Shouldn’t journalists be trying to keep their personal feelings out of the reporting?

    I’m worried that in your desparation to keep Stevie away from a majority that you might sell your integrety as well. Please tell me I’m wrong.

    ck Reply:

    You tell me Hopeful Joe, You’re willing to entertain a Harpercon dictatorship for some pie in the sky dreams that will never happen; not with the center-right mentality of the majority Jane and Joe Six Pack at Timmy Horton’s. I learned a long time ago to accept certain realities. I wish more progressives did the same. Because waiting on a pipe dream is counterproductive and just increases Steve’s chances for his majority.

    Sorry, survival is the key word of the day here and with a Harpercon majority, killing all our social programs in one fell swoop; survival becomes problematic.

    Look at what Steve’s been doing! All this with a minority! Imagine if he were let loose with a majority? So yeah, I want him out of office, and frankly, I don’t really care how it’s done. Desperate times call for desperate measures. You can’t honestly think Iggy and the Liberals will be this terrifying?

    And, HJ, I actually took the time to meet Iggy when he came to Montreal with his bus tour, if you had taken the time to attend an event on a stop nearest you, you would have found, as I have, a very different man from what you read and hear about on the newspaper and big tv screen. A very bright, concerned and engaging man.

    The bus tour has done the party some good and it has improved Iggy’s confidence.

    And that ol’ sponsorhip scandal. Can we please let it die a well deserved death already? TAlk about beating a dead horse. Like Steve is so honest and open and accountible! Gomery finished his Inquiry a long time ago. Whoever was implicated was either fired, moved out of the country, sent to jail and/or passed away. Iggy wasn’t even in the country when it happened. I’m sure what ever knowledge he had of it was as limited as ours is; whatever access to Canadian Media he may have had at the time. Why should he take ownership of it?

  • Hopeful Joe

    So I’m not wrong. How sad! The same guy who gave the Bush administration their justifying language for torture with terms like “enhanced interogation techniques” is the lesser evil than Harper. You may be right. But how does one wash themselves clean after having debased themselves by being in his cheerleading squad?

    On the subject of the sposorship scandal; he takes ownership when he invites the perpetrators to come back and be his be his advisor for Quebec. He has no choice but to take ownership of the culture of entitlement which produced it; it’s all the Libs have got for now. The only selling point that the Liberal have is that they’re not the Conservatives.

    Remember that Iggy doesn’t share your point of view about doing all one can to prevent a Harper majority. If he did, he wouldn’t have kiboshed the coalition. He’s an “in-it-for-himself-shiester” like the rest of them.

    I’d tell you that I’ll start reading your blog again after the Libs win and you can start being objective again and remorseful for helping Iffy in, but I truly believe that the Canadian electorate needs the wake-up call of a Harper majority to remind them to pay attention, participate and vote. It’s going to be a painful four year and it will likely take us 10 years to rebuild all that Harper destroys. Disaster wakes people from their slumber and from it, real leaders are born.

    ck Reply:

    But how does one wash themselves clean after having debased themselves by being in his cheerleading squad?

    So you propose we entertain a King Steve dictatorship a la General Pinochet lite until Gawd knows how long, because he won’t call elections (I will provide video later; but STeve did use a campaign slogan for the 2009 byelection of “No Election” at work now and can’t access it from this computer), for what?

    Martin Cauchon was not found guilty of any wrond doing in the sponsorship scandal. If he were, wouldn’t he still be skulking somewhere in disgrace or in jail? He would at least be disbarred. He’s been working as a lawyer up until now for some Montreal law firm. As progressives we shouldn’t do like the Harpercons and promote guilt by association. So no, Iggy shouldn’t own the Sponsorship scandal. This is nitpickign.

    If he did, he wouldn’t have kiboshed the coalition. He’s an “in-it-for-himself-shiester” like the rest of them
    Oh Gawd! Don’t tell me I have to rehash the whole coalition thing yet again. Iggy’s in it for himself; yeah, ok. So what? So is every politician. Particularly in North America; that whole “every man for himself” mentality. Jack, Gilles, and Dizzy Miss Lizzy May…well, ’nuff said on her. Don’t have to even mention Steve the dictator.

    Has it occurred to you and other progressives to look at reality from time to time? If I thought for one moment that a coalition would get Stevie Spiteful out of office, I’d be leading the charge for it. Frankly, it’s tiring everytime folks start living vicariously through Britain or Australia everytime they end up in coalition talks and they think it’s all rosy and we should do it here. I think it’s time to realize that we’re different from them, culturally and politically. Culturally and politically, in a word, we’re Americans. The majority center, which is not mythical, but very much real tend to be ignored by progressives. We’re at their mercy. Trends are being set out of a doughnut shop. If Iggy kiboshed the coalition; trust he had help from the talk radio circuit and the Timmy’s Crowd who said ‘NO!’. Not only that, Steve’s poll numbers shot past 40% at the time. Liberals are trend followers; not trend setters. Iggy saw the reaction of Jane and Joe Canuck at Timmy Horton’s that we did. And face it, most outside of Quebec hate the Bloc and pretty much wish Quebec would disappear in the night.

    Steve salivates over the idea of a coalition. It’s red meat for him. He knows the math isn’t there.

    I’d tell you that I’ll start reading your blog again after the Libs win and you can start being objective again and remorseful for helping Iffy in, but I truly believe that the Canadian electorate needs the wake-up call of a Harper majority to remind them to pay attention, participate and vote. It’s going to be a painful four year and it will likely take us 10 years to rebuild all that Harper destroys. Disaster wakes people from their slumber and from it, real leaders are born.

    So I’m not wrong. How sad! The same guy who gave the Bush administration their justifying language for torture with terms like “enhanced interogation techniques” is the lesser evil than Harper. You may be right. But how does one wash themselves clean after having debased themselves by being in his cheerleading squad?

    On the subject of the sposorship scandal; he takes ownership when he invites the perpetrators to come back and be his be his advisor for Quebec. He has no choice but to take ownership of the culture of entitlement which produced it; it’s all the Libs have got for now. The only selling point that the Liberal have is that they’re not the Conservatives.

    Remember that Iggy doesn’t share your point of view about doing all one can to prevent a Harper majority. If he did, he wouldn’t have kiboshed the coalition. He’s an “in-it-for-himself-shiester” like the rest of them.

    I’d tell you that I’ll start reading your blog again after the Libs win and you can start being objective again and remorseful for helping Iffy in, but I truly believe that the Canadian electorate needs the wake-up call of a Harper majority to remind them to pay attention, participate and vote. It’s going to be a painful four year and it will likely take us 10 years to rebuild all that Harper destroys. Disaster wakes people from their slumber and from it, real leaders are born.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Most of us won’t survive that.

    I won’t be disappointed in Iggy because I don’t expect much from him and the Liberals. Just pretty much how things were before Steve and his junta came along. Folks won’t wake up. They just get beaten into submission til they can’t get up no more. 4 years? Refer to above paragraph; Steve won’t call an election in 4 years and if there is any opposition, they’ll be window dressing.

    Majority of Canadians just ain’t socialist. They’re not even to the left; they’re center and have been shifted to the right, thanks to the right leaning corporate media and their message controlled by Harper.