Canadian Political Crisis Ends, Not With A Bang But a Whimper


Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Stephane Dion after the last leadership race

During the last Liberal leadership campaign, delegates looked at front-runner Michael Ignatieff and thought "who is this guy, he spends 25 years swanning around Oxford and Harvard and comes back, expecting to be Prime Minister?" Then they looked at Bob Rae and thought "who is this guy, he is the socialist premier of Ontario and runs it into the ground and then switches parties and expects to be Prime Minister?" So they voted in Stephane Dion as Liberal leader. He is smart, he is the greenest candidate we ever had, even more so than the Green Party, he is honest as the day is long and he was absolutely hopeless as a politician. The final straw was his video response to Prime Minister Harper last week, delivered an hour late and looking like a bad outtake from youtube.

Yesterday Bob Rae graciously withdrew from the race to replace him, leaving the job to Michael Ignatieff, who will shortly be anointed the new leader of the natural governing party of Canada, aka the Liberals.


Iggy is no fan of the coalition with the NDP and the Bloc to replace Stephen Harper, preferring to bide his time and let the economy do its job on the Prime Minister. Thus we can expect it to die a quiet death and for Canada to fall off Jon Stewart's radar for another few years.

He comes from a long line of important government officials; his grandfather was the Minister of Education for Tsar Nicholas II and one of the few in his government to get out of Russia with his life. His father was a senior diplomat once thought to be the prime candidate for Governor General. (Pierre Trudeau gave the gig to Ed Shreyer instead). He has written sixteen fiction and non-fiction books and was the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In addition to his PHD in history from Harvard, he has nine honorary doctorates.

He is not known to be particularly concerned about environmental issues, although prior to the last convention he did favour a carbon tax at the pump, noting:

"We simply cannot be afraid to talk about the use of tax instruments to reduce emissions. It would be more relative to the cheaper fuel, but if you're going to the gas tank and you have one price for the dirty stuff and one price, considerably lower, for the cleaner stuff, my guess is that everyone is going to go with the cleaner stuff, if they can. This is not about penalizing people -- it's about incentivizing people."

harper and giorno

Prime Minister Harper and chief of staff attack dog and political goon Guy Giorno

So Canada will once again drop off the radars, Stephen Harper will be polite and much more careful about what he says in public, a certain chief of staff named Guy will be looking for a new job, and we will probably continue with a minority government under Prime Minister Harper for another two years while Iggy sharpens his knives as Leader of the Opposition. Move along, nothing to see here folks.

Stephane, we hardly knew ye:

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