Liberez Nous Des Liberaux

  • 4/18/2011
  • P-ublic E-nemy
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  • Canada's general election is only a few weeks away (May 2, 2011). Given our natural resources & strategic're probably wondering what emerges when an oil-rich heiress straddles the worlds greasiest gigolo.

    But first, an important message from Canada's intelligence agency (CSIS):

    Richard Fadden, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, told CBC News in an exclusive interview: "We're in fact a bit worried. We have an indication that there's some political figures who have developed quite an attachment to foreign countries."

    Source: CBC

    Yeah yeah, whatever.

    Today, we meet the leader of the honourable opposition (Liberal Party of Canada), Michael Ignatieff:

    He has been a writer, a journalist, a teacher of human rights, and a proud voice for Canada on the world stage.

    He is a leader who listens. Since he was elected to Parliament, Michael has travelled to every province and territory, sharing his vision with Canadians in communities large and small.

    If you haven't heard of him, don't worry - neither have we. Nobody saw him for 30 years, then he just showed up one day. The news told us an international superstar had arrived to lead us into globalization. I don't know...Global TV said the same thing about Kevin Newman & Dawna Friesen.

    In the 30 years that writer Michael Ignatieff has lived abroad, he has sometimes heard the opinion that what happens in Canada is neither interesting nor instructive to others. "This view of my native land is painful to me," Ignatieff writes.

    So why does he stay away? "It's not easy to justify even to myself," Ignatieff says.

    He wanted, he says, to get his name up on "the Big Board"- publications like the New York Review Of Books and the New Yorker, to which Americans pay attention. Now that he's accomplished that, he hints that he may be ready to return.

    There have been Conservative attack-ads claiming Michael Ignatieff "didn't come home for you" (ie. the Canadian people). If you've ever seen HBO's polygamist drama 'Big Love', you'll know that it's not easy looking after four homes.

    Ignatieff says his journey "home" to the Ukraine was emotional and he hopes it shows onscreen.

    Ignatieff sympathizes with Ukrainian linguistic and cultural aspirations, but admits "I'm also what Canadians would call a Great Russian, and there is just a trace of old Russian disdain for these 'little Russians'."

    This phrase -- a well-meaning, but condescending one -- would drive most Ukrainians crazy.

    For those who deny that there is an American ideology, Michael Ignatieff has a crisp rebuttal: "Yes, we do have an ideology and, like all ideologies, it doesn't believe it is one. It just believes that it is The Truth."

    It is hard not to agree with Michael Ignatieff when he says: "There is nothing more frightening than American innocence. It's a fearsome, sometimes murderous innocence. Our inability to question our own motives is truly alarming."

    Maybe I shouldn't judge. After all, we're a worldly peoples. We humour third generation Canadians who add prefixes to their nationalities. We encourage trips to Paris, so the Quebecois can hear what French really sounds like. We even tolerate Albertans & their various cow-related fetishes.

    It's not like Michael Ignatieff's slagged off Canadians & pledged loyalty to a foreign nation.

    [Michael Ignatieff writing in the Toronto Star]

    There remains in the Canadian psyche what Freud called "the narcissism of minor difference" - a stubborn insistence on the small but vital inflections that make us different from the waning imperial culture to the south.

    If Canadians want a quiet life, they may have to give up on Canada altogether.

    Source: Toronto Star

    [Michael Ignatieff writing in the National Post]

    "Don't attack me, I'm a Canadian," is a very, very strong reflex in our country and always has been. And to be blunt, it is naive narcissism.

    In Washington, I live my working life in a policy environment in which Canada is a kind of well-meaning Boy Scout. We have aligned our foreign policy with that multilateral vision of the world and our neighbours to the south don't like it one little bit.

    Michael Ignatieff, who teaches at Harvard, concedes American misadventures...but he is most influenced by stirring words he repeats here:

    "First a wartime president, then a battlefield rabbi, then a black pastor -- all reach into the same treasure house of language, at once sacred and profane, to renew the faith of the only country on earth that believes in itself in this way, the only country whose citizenship is an act of faith, the only country whose promises to itself continue to command the faith of people like me, who are not its citizens."


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