There was a bit of a buzz yesterday about an article published in the left-wing pages of the Guardian, a British newspaper, by Michael Stickings. However, most commentators missed a few important points about its significance. First though, here are some quotes from the piece,
“Why did Ignatieff do what he did? Because he has no interest right now in bringing down the government and thereby being compelled to share power. Because his political career has been about his own glorification, about his desire – for it seems to be the only reason he entered politics in the first place – to be prime minister. He may generously be called a chameleon, a shifty academic difficult to pin down, but perhaps more accurately he ought to be called an egotist who is sure of his own superiority and who seems to lack any real passion for the country he intends to lead.”
As the Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui put it back in December, Ignatieff has been even more of a George Bush cheerleader than Harper:
As is well-known, Ignatieff supported the war in Iraq, a position he only semi-retreated from last year, in year four of the botched occupation. Even then, he argued that he had been wrong for the right reasons (saving the Kurds from Saddam Hussein), while opponents of the war may have been right for the wrong reasons (ideological opposition to Bush).
He also supported the use of such harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects as sleep deprivation and hooding, even while saying he opposed torture.
He was also an advocate for American exceptionalism in defiance of international law.
“To me, though, he has never seemed to be much of a Canadian, and certainly not enough of one to be our prime minister. It’s not that he has spent so much of his life overseas – mostly in Britain and the US. It’s that he has seemed to aspire actively to be anything but Canadian, and more specifically to be American. Which is fine, in a cosmopolitan sort of way, but he comes back to Canada with an air of condescension about him, as if he has seen the world and conquered it and has now decided, with the coaxing of a party eager for him to lead it back to the promised land, to sully himself in the world of politics supposedly on our behalf but really because he just wants to be prime minister, so great would it look on his resumé, a capstone to a long and successful career.”
So who is Michael Stickings? Some have pointed out that he’s a Liberal-minded fellow who writes a blog. But let’s dig a bit deeper.
Michael Stickings isn’t just some grassroots Liberal-minded blogger, he’s a senior policy adviser in Dalton McGuinty’s public service! Stickings is listed as a senior member of the Ontario government’s “Strategy and Results Branch” of which reports to the Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
Stickings, now a senior public service staffer in McGuinty’s government, supported Bob Rae for the latest round of the Liberal leadership,
“I supported former Ontario Premier Bob Rae for the leadership, but Rae pulled out of the race late last year”
What we’re seeing here is an explicit shot across the bow and not one by just some Liberal-minded blogger against the federal Liberal leader, this is much more.
A senior policy adviser to Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario public service and admitted Bob Rae booster wrote this about the Liberal who will run to be Prime Minister in the next election,
To me, though, he has never seemed to be much of a Canadian, and certainly not enough of one to be our prime minister. It’s not that he has spent so much of his life overseas – mostly in Britain and the US. It’s that he has seemed to aspire actively to be anything but Canadian, and more specifically to be American.
This isn’t just some wannabe Liberal hack. This shows that there are some serious questions about Ignatieff among well-placed Liberal supporters.