Friday, September 1, 2006

Does Ignatieff sound like Trudeau?

As an intellectual figure who has an international reputation, Michael Ignatieff, one of the eleven candidates in the leadership race of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC), definitely has the technique when he wants to say ludicrous things. As a former university teacher, people expect Ignatieff to be very intelligent, but his remarks often illustrate a disconnection with reality. Furthermore, if you're a foreigner, don't wonder why so many Canadians compare him to Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Prime minister of Canada 1968 to 1979 and from 1980 to 1984.

Obviously, as opposed to Michael Ignatieff who didn't have any experience in Canadian politics before the federal election of the 23rd of January 2006, Pierre Elliott Trudeau has been the Minister of Justice in the government of Lester B. Pearson, which means that Trudeau did have some experience before he became at the same time the leader of the LPC and eventually Canada's Prime minister.

In this article written in French, it is reported that Ignatieff has said that the Clarity Act was necessary in the province of Quebec, because it can supposedly prevent a civil war if a referendum on the independence of Quebec is won by the separatists. Trudeau also resent the Quebecker separatists even though he used to be one of them back in his days of being a young student. Jean Charest, the federalist-leaning Premier of Quebec, said that he never felt that a civil war would potentially start back in the days of the referendums of 1980 and 1995. As for, Jonathan Valois, a deputy of the Parti Québécois, he said that even Quebecker federalists don't make such remarks about the separatists. Moreover, Ignatieff has said in the past few weeks that the bombings in Lebanon wouldn't make him stop sleeping.

Although his viewpoints on foreign policies (which are so different from the ones ofPierre Elliott Trudeau), Michael Ignatieff could have been a deputy of the Conservative Party, but this party wouldn't accept Ignatieff in its ranks, because of his vision of Canadian federalism. Indeed, just like Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Michael Ignatieff is firmly convinced that Canada must be governed by a strong federal government that must, at times, take into its hands the provincial governments' competences. Besides, does Michael Ignatieff admits that there's a fiscal imbalance (a concept in which the federal government has too much money to fullfil its responsabilities while the provincial government don't have enough money to fullfil theirs)? Who knows...

If Ignatieff was elected as the new leader of the LPC, you can be sure that this party won't be able to win some seats in the province of Quebec. In fact, Michael Ignatieff would remind people of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, because just like the latter, Ignatieff advocates a concept of Canadian federalism in which the federal government is very strong at the point that it can take the provincial governments' competences into its own hands. Michael Ignatieff's political vision doesn't correspond to today's reality and Bob Rae can certainly be a good leader, but people in Ontario have a sad memories about Rae's mismanagement of Ontario's finances. We'll see who will be at the head of the LPC in December.

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