Where is Michael Ignatieff? Is he just vacationing?

Everyone in Ottawa is starting to wonder. Unlike the Prime Minister, who has official duties representing this country at events like the G8 and at funerals for past Governors General, as Opposition leader, Michael Ignatieff doesn’t have any real obligations when the House isn’t sitting beyond representing his constituents in Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

Being the type who would have his own passport stamped in the country of its issuance, Michael Ignatieff has been rumoured to be clearing customs at other ports of entry. Michael Ignatieff updated his twitter on July 17th and 18th to suggest that he’s been in Ottawa, at least recently, but many observers have noted that he hasn’t even been spotted on the hamburger circuit pressing the flesh with us regular folk besides his $40 a head, no hat, no cattle pancake breakfast fundraiser during Stampede. Instead of beating a party-building path flipping burgers and chewing the fat with the locals coast-to-coast, Ignatieff has been spotted in London giving a lecture on Liberalism and “tough times” to his friends who attended the Isaiah Berlin Lecture. This shouldn’t be so easily dismissed; this is a rare piece of work where the Liberal leader has mused openly about the economy, yet is characteristically light on what to do about it. His office has denied it, but besides London, Dr. Ignatieff has also been rumoured to be stimulating the economy in Provence, France, where his family has owned a villa for decades.

If so, I say let the man have his rest. He got himself worked up over EI before the summer break and when it was all over he couldn’t even get the Conservatives to concede the colour of the blue ribbon committee to investigate reform of the system. While some Conservatives may suggest that Ignatieff’s true employment insurance is Harvard should he lose the next election, for now Michael Ignatieff deserves a break before more concessions in the fall.

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