Michael Ignatieff is a control freak!

…and other opinions we won’t hear from the Ottawa Parliamentary Press Gallery anytime soon.

Jane Taber:

Ian Davey is Michael Ignatieff’s principal secretary and he admires Stephen Harper’s steely control over the national media and the Conservative caucus.

More than once, Mr. Davey has dismissed a reporter’s attempt to get behind the scenes of a Liberal decision, noting the Harper Tories do not allow the media that kind of access.

Tearing a page from the Harper playbook is revolutionary for a Liberal. For years the Grits have suffered from very public in-fighting – battles which landed on the front pages of newspapers, aiding and abetting the party’s demise – while not a peep has been heard from the Tory caucus since Mr. Harper became leader.

“It’s worked for Harper,” Mr. Davey said, suggesting that iron discipline over caucus members and keeping the media at arm’s-length are the keys to victory.

Cue Don Newman!

Cue Bruce Campion-Smith!

Cue Tonda McCharles!

Cue Chris Cobb!

Cue Bruce Cheadle!

Comments

comments

  • Alberta Girl

    Gee – isn't it funny how acceptable and admirable it all is now that it is a Liberal leader doing it ! Of course Jane has no comments on that story – probably because she knows that she would get lambassed.

  • David

    That would explain why Bob Rae has been nowhere to be found as of late. So much for the “strong front bench”.

  • David

    That would explain why Bob Rae has been nowhere to be found as of late. So much for the “strong front bench”.

  • Ted

    Uh, excuse me?

    Bob and Scott, and John and many others have been <a href=”highly visible.

    At some point, you conservatives should try joining the reality based world, the one that is not just a regurgitation of Tory talking points and wishful thinking.

  • Bec

    What will the Liberal friendly, PPG call this posturing by the, Liberal leader?
    I venture to guess that it will not be, “hidden agenda”.
    My instincts tell me, that if the best they can do is, Ms Copps, Mr Boudria, Mr McCallum, Mr Brisson…., then they still have some work to do.
    My mute button is getting a lot of overtime with the, interrupting, loud and abusive nature of their interviews.
    BBDA = Best Before Date, Applies.

  • Bec

    What will the Liberal friendly, PPG call this posturing by the, Liberal leader?
    I venture to guess that it will not be, “hidden agenda”.
    My instincts tell me, that if the best they can do is, Ms Copps, Mr Boudria, Mr McCallum, Mr Brisson…., then they still have some work to do.
    My mute button is getting a lot of overtime with the, interrupting, loud and abusive nature of their interviews.
    BBDA = Best Before Date, Applies.

  • Charlie

    What's next is he going to select members of the press to lob pre-selected questions? Now, that would be scandalous….

  • Cale

    Here's the thing though. Ignatieff is looking far meaner and mean-spirited lately than Harper. Down right arrogant and nasty if you ask me. Hey, but keep it up. At least Mr. Harper has a good sense of timing and knowing when to fight back smartly, and when to keep quiet.

    Actually, it's about time the MSM got its own report card.

  • bob

    Press release from the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association:

    Senior Ignatieff Liberal’s “cat meat” comment offends the Chinese community

    Chinese Canadian Conservative Association calls on Liberal leader to fire Senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella

    Toronto – Alex Yuan, chair of the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association called on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to distance himself from the comments made by senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella. In a recent blog posting Kinsella likened the meat found in Chinese cuisine to cat meat.

    “Back in the Big Owe for a couple weeks, so what better way to kick things off than with some BBQ cat and rice at the Yang Sheng, hangout of our youth? Yay!”

    Kinsella repeated the offensive comment in a video posting on his website.

    “Our community is deeply concerned with Mr. Kinsella’s comments. Kinsella repeats the most vulgar and offensive stereotypes by associating the meat served by Chinese restaurants to cat meat. He has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and disrespected the Chinese culture,” continued Yuan.

    “This is not the first instance of such intolerant remarks by Mr. Kinsella therefore we call upon Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to fire Mr. Kinsella as his senior strategist and apologize to the community.”

    Mr. Kinsella was forced to apologize for another intolerant blog posting in 2007. In the 2007, he wrote a post suggesting that Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod would rather bake cookies than run for office.

    For more information please contact:

    Tom Pang, CCCA Director

    416-447-0446

  • bob

    Press release from the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association:

    Senior Ignatieff Liberal’s “cat meat” comment offends the Chinese community

    Chinese Canadian Conservative Association calls on Liberal leader to fire Senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella

    Toronto – Alex Yuan, chair of the Chinese Canadian Conservative Association called on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to distance himself from the comments made by senior Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella. In a recent blog posting Kinsella likened the meat found in Chinese cuisine to cat meat.

    “Back in the Big Owe for a couple weeks, so what better way to kick things off than with some BBQ cat and rice at the Yang Sheng, hangout of our youth? Yay!”

    Kinsella repeated the offensive comment in a video posting on his website.

    “Our community is deeply concerned with Mr. Kinsella’s comments. Kinsella repeats the most vulgar and offensive stereotypes by associating the meat served by Chinese restaurants to cat meat. He has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and disrespected the Chinese culture,” continued Yuan.

    “This is not the first instance of such intolerant remarks by Mr. Kinsella therefore we call upon Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to fire Mr. Kinsella as his senior strategist and apologize to the community.”

    Mr. Kinsella was forced to apologize for another intolerant blog posting in 2007. In the 2007, he wrote a post suggesting that Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod would rather bake cookies than run for office.

    For more information please contact:

    Tom Pang, CCCA Director

    416-447-0446

  • Calgary Junkie

    All fine and dandy in theory, but how does Iggy enforc this discipline. Like Dion, he doesn’t have much in the way of carrots and sticks to use on his caucus. Besides, Iggy’s leadership still has to be ratified by delegates at their May Convention. Iggy will have to show the Party something substantial, in the way of donations and polling results. I just don’t see Iggy as having earned the kind of loyalty that Harper earned early on as CA, and then CPC leader.

  • Calgary Junkie

    All fine and dandy in theory, but how does Iggy enforc this discipline. Like Dion, he doesn’t have much in the way of carrots and sticks to use on his caucus. Besides, Iggy’s leadership still has to be ratified by delegates at their May Convention. Iggy will have to show the Party something substantial, in the way of donations and polling results. I just don’t see Iggy as having earned the kind of loyalty that Harper earned early on as CA, and then CPC leader.

  • Gabby in QC

    1. I am surprised that Jane Taber would divulge the information cum commentary lockdown put in force by Ignatieff.

    2. Did you notice how other leaders, now that Pres. Obama is in the White House, have adopted the doors to the HoC as background for their pressers?
    Both Duceppe and Layton used the same venue to give their reactions to Ignatieff’s decision on the budget.
    I also notice a podium is now acceptable in the PG press room, which Ignatieff used for his presser.

    So, it’s no longer considered tacky republican American-style? Or is it OK to like Americans again? (not that I ever stopped liking them).

  • Gabby in QC

    1. I am surprised that Jane Taber would divulge the information cum commentary lockdown put in force by Ignatieff.

    2. Did you notice how other leaders, now that Pres. Obama is in the White House, have adopted the doors to the HoC as background for their pressers?
    Both Duceppe and Layton used the same venue to give their reactions to Ignatieff’s decision on the budget.
    I also notice a podium is now acceptable in the PG press room, which Ignatieff used for his presser.

    So, it’s no longer considered tacky republican American-style? Or is it OK to like Americans again? (not that I ever stopped liking them).

  • GBS

    Hear ye the thunder from the Big Ig, the Canadian Fog, Count Ig, the privileged son of entitlement, seeks only self aggrandisement, personal power and ego satisfaction. We will rue the day when we let this interloper sway our minds. He has done nothing for Canadians in this budget thing, seeking only to position himself and his party (may they rest in peace) for the challenge for power. He signed the coalition agreement with the separatists. His father is rolling over in his grave, wailing in despair at his son's crass politics.

  • batb

    Re Ted's comment: “Bob and Scott, and John and many others have been <a href=”highly visible.”

    At first, I totally agreed, because I thought Ted had said, “Bob and Scott, and John and many others have been highly RISIBLE.”

    Calgary Junkie: “I just don't see Iggy as having earned the kind of loyalty that Harper earned early on as CA, and then CPC leader.” Good point. Iggy was parachuted into the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding and now has been parachuted into the leadership position. The guy's a poseur. I especially love his furrowed brow, which passes for gravitas and professorial wisdom. Nice try, Count Iggy, but no cigar. On the other hand, PMSH has actual gravitas and is a pretty shrewd political strategist, something that really irks the Liberal patsies in the MSM. Well, tough.

    As for Tonda McCharles and other journalists' whining about the CPC and PMSH's reticence to be open with the media: Why would they after the abysmal abuse of the PM and his party by the MSM? 'You kick someone in the solar plexus over and over again and then get sore because they won't shake your hand or invite you home for dinner? What kind of sadists are these folks?

  • gimbol

    Ignatieff is starting to get to the point where a politician is ridiculed.

    I wonder how many hours he stands in front of a mirror practicing his “stern looks”.

  • wilson

    michael said:
    ''First of all, Michael Ignatieff is world renowned as a public intellectual. Stephen Harper is has an M.A. but that's hardly public intellectual material.''

    Are you fool enough to think that because some dude has 37 letters behind his name, he can run a country?
    Less than 15% of Canadians can relate to a guy who likes the smell of cowpoop yet has never had to shovel any.

    ''Secondly, for Ignatieff to show up on the scene and so quickly move to the top (and replace Harper at the top of popularity polls since) clearly demonstrates his ability as a politician and strategist. He couldn't have done the things you allege unless that much is true.''

    Iggy's numbers didn't even come close to the highs Dion got from his 'bounce':

    Liberal popularity peaking with Dion: poll
    CanWest News Service
    December 08, 2006

    • 38 per cent of decided voters would cast their ballots for the Liberals, up by seven percentage points since the last Ipsos Reid poll in November;

    • 32 per cent would vote for the Conservatives, a drop of five percentage points;
    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id

    Dion Liberals jump in poll
    Leader's upset win puts party six points ahead of Tories, new survey shows
    It shows that if an election were held today, the Liberals led by Mr. Dion would garner 37 per cent of the vote, compared with 31 per cent for the Conservatives.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RT

    New poll out today, first post budget poll for Iggy:
    Cons 38
    Libs 29
    http://www.angusreidstrategies.com/uploads/page

    That's where we were on election day, Liberals worst showing in 100 years.
    Iggy has done nothing for you.

  • Scott

    The adjective that comes to mind for Iggy is 'BULLY'.

    Wouldn't it be nice to start hearing that in the MSM?

  • terry1

    wilson, I hope you read the full poll and noted that Harper's credibility has nosedived and pleas read the articles out tonight that has everyone of his old mentors and coworker at the NCC being severely critical of him. His days are now numbered after his major screw up in November.

  • wilson

    Gee Terri, you don't have to go far to find an article critical of PMSH, and that's been the case since at least 2003 when 'opinion was' Harper was unelectable, even from 'supposed conservatives'.

    Did you read the numbers Terri?

    Voting intentions, Cons 38, Libs 29
    41% say Harper has a clear plan to deal with the economic crisis; 26% say Ignatieff does

    In Ontario, the Conservatives hold an eight-point advantage over the Liberals (41% to 33%)

    The Conservative leader also edges the Liberal leader on having a strong team (40% to 31%).

    After issuing the budget, at least three-in-ten Canadians perceive Harper as a leader they trust to deal with taxes (35%), boost the national economy (34%), get Canada out of a recession (33%) and minimize the federal deficit (31%). Ignatieff cannot clear the 30 per cent mark in any of these issues.

    The governing party is holding on to 91 per cent of those who supported it last year, even after the first deficit in more than a decade.

    Iggy is not likable. He just isn't. He is not nice, he is not fair and Iggy is not loyal to anyone or any country.
    Iggy loves Iggy, and it shows.

  • http://www.torytattler.blogspot.com Michael

    Bob wrote an op-ed in the National Post, and appeared on television in the last two days.

  • http://www.torytattler.blogspot.com Michael

    Boy. You’re doing an awful lot of griping for someone whose party is in government. It must be pretty embarrassing to have your hard man Harper so emasculated in front of your eyes.

  • http://www.torytattler.blogspot.com Michael

    Don’t be so disrespectful. Did you know Michael Ignatieff’s father?

  • http://www.torytattler.blogspot.com Michael

    Your statement is full of ridiculous contradictions.

    First of all, Michael Ignatieff is world renowned as a public intellectual. Stephen Harper is has an M.A. but that’s hardly public intellectual material.

    Secondly, for Ignatieff to show up on the scene and so quickly move to the top (and replace Harper at the top of popularity polls since) clearly demonstrates his ability as a politician and strategist. He couldn’t have done the things you allege unless that much is true.

  • http://blog.ederek.net dbo789

    I haven't seen polls saying Ignatieff is on top, but I'll take your word for it. That said, he has a total of about 5 minutes of opposition leader experience under his belt. (Pardon my exaggeration.) If he is on top, it has absolutely nothing to do with abilities as a politician and strategist, but rather to do with the honeymoon new prominent politicians get in the polls shortly after they step into the limelight. You can't read the numbers in the paper a week after the new kid strolled into town and expect them to read like tea leaves.

    Secondly, you are equating intellectual knowledge with political ability and strategy. Apples and oranges! Even if such a thing DID matter, Ignatieff has a PhD in HISTORY. Of the Social Sciences, History might be the least useful in the political arena. (Somewhere between anthropology and linguistics.) On the flip side, Harper's MA is in economics – something that might come in handy considering the recent market conditions.

    I hate getting into tit for tat arguments, but I just had to point out that the 'ridiculous contradictions' are in fact all yours.

  • batb

    Michael: “Stephen Harper is [sic] has an M.A. but that’s hardly public intellectual material. … for Ignatieff to show up on the scene and so quickly move to the top … clearly demonstrates his ability as a politician and strategist.”

    When I read this, I laughed out loud and asked myself, “What planet is this guy living on — or is he just very young, inexperienced, and naive?”

    GOOD G*D!! The LAST thing Canada needs in a prime minister is a “public intellectual.” There’s more than a small connection between the world’s oldest profession and “a public intellectual.” The “public intellectual” has often sold his/her soul for all of the adulation, some of it deserved, a lot of it not.

    I have to confess, I’ve read only one of Iggy’s many tomes, the novel whose main character’s mother has Alzheimer’s (definitely autobiographical, as The Iggster’s mother, Alison Grant Ignatieff, suffered from Alzheimer’s) and have to admit that I was underwhelmed. Iggy’s “public” intellect has a lot to do with a) the silver-spoon-in-his-mouth he was born with, b) the connections he made at Upper Canada and Trinity Colleges, c) his connections through his father’s diplomatic, and latterly, academic career, and d) his exposure to the public via the CBC and the BBC, neither media corporation exactly known for its objectivity. In case you are unaware of it, Michael, both the CEEB and the BEEB have a reputation for listing heavily to the left of the political spectrum and, essentially, pillorying anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with their socialist ideology.

    ‘Just so you know, Michael. Mr. Ignatieff”s reputation as a “public intellectual” isn’t the pinnacle of either high moral or political ground that you’ve cracked it up to be.

  • Russ Clark

    Type your comment here.
    If, in comparison to Harpo, you consider Iggy to be a control freak, you must live on a planet far from the sun where there is very little light.

  • Gabby in QC

    The point of this post, unless I’m mistaken, is that the PPG is not very objective in its treatment of politicians. There’s plenty of evidence of that, in addition to the obvious characterization of Ignatieff as disciplinarian vs. Harper as control freak.

    Personally, I would like Conservative MPs who agree to appear on shows like Don Newman’s Politics to politely insist on getting equal time on MPs’ panels.

    Again yesterday, for example, Conservative MP James Rajotte was cut off at the end of a segment with no possibility to rebut some of the silly stuff spouted by Lib. motor mouth Ruby Dhalla and to a lesser extent NDP Nathan Cullen, who’s also prone to verbal diarrhea himself, but whom Newman interrupted at one point.

    Maybe Don Newman could “manage the time” better if he asked less convoluted questions.

  • caz

    “I hate getting into tit for tat arguments, but I just had to point out that the ‘ridiculous contradictions’ are in fact all yours.” EXACTLY! I’m afraid Iggy has yet to experience how fickle the MSM is. It will be a tad bit more difficult than he thinks. His arrogance is up front and center as he condescends to Canadians whenever he speaks. Pretty words that prove how “intelligent”” you are will not be enough in the long run. it will be fun to watch.

  • Michael

    Your assessment of the study of history clearly shows that you never studied it, and therefore have no frame of reference on which to judge its merits with any degree of accuracy.

    And it was the previous poster who called into question Ignatieff’s professorial wisdom.

  • Liz J

    Geeze, I can't look at the picture of Iggy on this thread too long, I'd have nightmares. He looks like an eagle about to pounce on it's prey.

    Gabby I did notice them using the HOC doors as a background. I also recall all the chatter when PM Harper did the same. Alas, that's all changed, Bush is gone, the US has a Democrat in Office , all's right with the Lefty world.
    Problem is, Obama has a conservative edge they can't see through the stars in their eyes.

  • Gabby in QC

    Well, it appears the bloom is off the Obama rose, given the news about the protectionist measures threatened in the “Buy America” bill set to wend its way through Congress.

    However, I'm sure the blame will be placed on PM Harper, instead of where it belongs, should the Americans pass the bill as is. Already some of the talking heads are saying that Obama cannot possibly veto the bill at this time, given the dire US economic conditions AND the infancy of his presidency. Pres. Obama has already been absolved of any blame, and PM Harper is being measured for another hairshirt.

  • Jon Evan

    Mr. Ignatieff is not a leader. He is into lofty rhetoric, spin, and public lecturing where he comes across as angry waving his finger impolitely at us! It is hardly the message of hope.

    You can't call a budget flawed and then go and support it! He should have led instead either by becoming leader of Jack's coalitiion and presented his own budget or go to an election with a better budget plan if he had one. But he has nothing to offer Canada. He doesn't understand Canada because he thinks with an American mindset. He does not think as a Canadian and he scares me and my children.

  • Ker

    I seem to remember Layton using the entrance to the House of Commons as a backdrop a couple of times before Obama was sworn in, and even before the U.S. election happened.

  • http://www.torytattler.blogspot.com Michael

    The Ekos/Globe and Mail poll suggests the Liberal Party is gaining momentum as economic concerns grow, with a majority of Canadians now holding a negative view of Conservative Leader and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Of the 1,000 respondents, 55 per cent disapproved of Mr. Harper's handling of his responsibilities, while 35 per cent offered their approval.

  • terry1

    dbo789…..Harper may have a degree in economics but an economist he is not. He has scrwed us royally for many years to come with his populist stupidity.

  • terry1

    Wlson you can quote that poll, which is speculative based on its timing, but underneath it Harper's reputation has suffered immeasurably and when people in your wn party start talking about his time being over you know he's toast sooner than later.

    The governing party is holding onto 91% of its voters you say. That decline of 9% will cost him the next election if it holds. Losing 9% of his voters when we know Lib voters sat on their hands could be the best present ever for IGGY who will sooner than later be PM.

    Running a deficit right now is fine but Harper is paying the price for his November fiasco and will continue to pay the price for that. It looks good on him.

  • batb

    Michael: “Stephen Harper is [sic] has an M.A. but that's hardly public intellectual material. … for Ignatieff to show up on the scene and so quickly move to the top … clearly demonstrates his ability as a politician and strategist.”

    When I read this, I laughed out loud and asked myself, “Where’s Michael BEEN all these years — or is he just very young, inexperienced, and naive?”

    GOOD G*D!! First, Michael Ignatieff is neither a politician nor a strategist, just well connected, and second, the LAST thing Canada needs in a prime minister is “a public intellectual.” What IS “a public intellectual” anyway, except a writer or professor who has heavy exposure in the media or is declared to be “a public intellectual” by Wikipedia? So, how is it that The Iggster got all this media attention?

    Might it have something to do with the silver spoon in his mouth, or the connections he made at Upper Canada and Trinity Colleges, or his connections through his father's diplomatic, and latterly, academic career, or his exposure to the public via the CBC and the BBC, neither media corporation exactly known for its objectivity? Or all of the above?

    Just so you know, Michael, Mr. Ignatieff''s reputation as a “public intellectual” isn't the pinnacle of either high moral or political ground that you've cracked it up to be.

  • Jen

    I don't see the reason behind the GAG ORDER. It is not to say that the MSM like Taber, Tonda, or who ever may be in the liberal world MSM will speak against the Liberals or say anything to damage the reputation of the liberal party; in fact, the MSM only will speak against the conservatives on a regular basis while protecting the liberals.

    If canada had a Democratic MSM like they do in the United States, Canadians may not have to dig into the net for up to date news. because, if one side MSM(dem or rep) decides to hide from the public; the other MSM(dem or rep) will reveal the whole story which makes things much easier.

    In the meantime, Canadians who want to know the truth of a story have no choice but to go to the NET and BLOGS.

  • Omanator

    Bec. you are so right. My mute button also gets a lot of overtime. In particular if that twit Ruby Dahla comes
    on. Can she ever say something that is grown in her own backyard.?

  • Omanator

    Michael your are out to lunch. Being intellectual does not mean being a good politician.

    Mr. Iggy stayed 30 years in the USA (I guess Canada was not good enough). Now he wants to be

    MP. Parachuted one at that. No Convention, No election. Yea, right.

  • Omanator

    Michael ,jealousy will get you nowhere

  • Omanator

    Gabby, When Obama Mania started I said: they will rue the day. Well ,they are already on the way.
    Our left danced in the street when Obama was elected. I wonder if they continue to dance if this bill goes through.

  • Liz J

    Iggy does like to use finger pointing for added drama, it's the professor on him. He may not be quite as forceful with the fingers a Lizzy May , who I thought was going to poke the PM's eyes out in the bogus/pseudo Debate, but he's every bit as arrogant.

  • batb

    And, Gabby, I'm in total agreement about Don Newman's BROAAAAAADCAST: He needs far fewer convoluted questions, he needs to give the Conservatives far more air time and the Liberal and NDP's windbags far less, and he needs to try and make his clear Liberal bias far less obvious.

    Are these requests for fairness and balance too much to ask the publicly funded CBC and their political commentators?

  • Gabby in QC

    Well, you know who will be fingered if the bill does go through.

    Canadians are free to react the way they like towards Pres. Obama. I just wish they knew what they like about the guy – i.e. maybe have a vague idea of the policies he wants to implement. That done, they can worship the ground he walks on if they like.

  • batb

    Sorry for double, sort of, posts, one an edited and shorter version of the other. I posted the first one last night and when it didn’t appear this morning– but I thought I saw other new posts — I figured it had been caught in a filter. So, I reconstructed it and, voila, two posts.

    ‘Didn’t mean to.

    been around the block

  • http://blog.ederek.net dbo789

    And you think that all economists magically agree on how the economy works and what should be done to stimulate it? There are as many views in economics as there are in politics – perhaps more.

    Furthermore I'm confused about how you feel he 'screwed us'? Are you naive enough to think that a the world economic recession, which has affected every country from the USA to China, was caused by ideals that our PM believes in?

    Furthermore, what qualifications do you have to question whether Harper should be called an economist?

  • http://blog.ederek.net dbo789

    Au contraire my leftist friend, my second minor is history. Why? Because I enjoy it. However, It would be a cold day in hell if I ever thought that such area of expertise would assist me if I ever ran the country. While I am not dismissing the subject's usefulness in areas of academic life, there are few advantages that history would directly provide that would come in useful while campaigning for office or verbally battling across the green carpet.

    However, the entire argument is moot, for as I mentioned before, intellectual knowledge has very little to no bearing on political ability. Perhaps no better example can be found than in Stephane Dion. He has a doctorate in sociology, and I think it can be easily accepted by both the left and right that he is perhaps the worst politician in Canadian history. (Aside from possibly Kim Campbell.)

    While I disagree with him on almost everything that comes out of his mouth, I am not saying Ignatieff is a bad politician. All I am saying is not to form any preconceptions just because he has a couple letters after his name.