CNGPM: Chris Horkins

Here’s another contestant in CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister contest responding to the Bonus Video Question: “Will Michael Ignatieff lead the Liberal Party back to power?”

Take it for whatever it’s worth, but I found a number of his comments kind of interesting as a summary of the ambivalent feelings some appear to have about Ignatieff, his past statements, and the process by which he assumed leadership of the Liberals.

Odds are Ignatieff will defeat Stephen Harper eventually as the Canadian electorate moves back towards its comfort zone on the centre-left, however I take care to point out that the unopen and undemocratic process by which Ignatieff assumed the helm of the Liberal party will make this a harder task than if they had opened the decision to their membership, and the Canadian people. In the end, however, to quote Iggy himself: “I’m not losing any sleep over it.”

If nothing else, it highlights Chris Erl’s genius in making his response come in under a minute.

17 Replies to “CNGPM: Chris Horkins”

  1. I really hate to break it to the political pundits, political bloggers and all of the others in the chattering classes but Canadians do not give a damn about how the leader of the Liberal Party is chosen. Or the method of choosing the leaders of the NDP, the Conservatives and the Nuke the Gay Whales for Jesus Party for that matter.

    I would challenge anybody to ask any Canadian, not of the chattering class, who was Mr. Dion’s opponents in the last Liberal leadership race. Some would know but I would wager a large sum of money that a frighteningly large percentage of them would not be able to do so without prompting.

    Or, if you like, ask them about the last battle royal in the Liberal Party, Chretien vs. Martin. Again, ask who was Mr. Chretien’s opponent in the race where he won the Liberal leadership. The answer would be educational.

    When the next election rolls around I am pretty certain that the central issue, if not the only issue, will be the economy. The level of importance of the issue of how Mr. Ignatieff won his position will be somewhere down around that of who shot JR. And for that matter even if the economy was booming the level of importance of the issue of how Mr. Ignatieff won his position would be somehwhere around that of who shot Mr. Burns.

  2. Very well said. Most people don’t follow “politics” with any regularity or serious attention and “inside baseball” issues like how Ignatieff came to be leader of the LPC really couldn’t concern them in the least. In a month, it will be almost completely forgotten, or will seem like something that happened ages ago. And if they’re not involved, well why should they care? It’s such a non-issue, but it’s funny to watch the Conservatives trying to flog the “unelected leader” bit. Shows how shallow their criticisms are more than anything else.

  3. My 60 year old mother has voted Liberal her whole life, I asked her what she thought of Dion last election and she said, “who”?

    Will Ignatieff’s undemocratic crowning work against him? I guess it depends on what kind of narrative develops with regards to his leadership of Liberals. Then again, the Conservatives might be to busy defending themselves to make much of a attack anyways.

  4. Blues Clair: you can say “undemocratic crowning” as often as you like (I’m not sure if you really believe this) but this is the procedure set out by the party constitution. Therefore the decision is legitimate.

  5. I’m with Ottlib, I mean what does

    “if they had opened the decision to their membership, and the Canadian people.”

    even mean??? The Canadian people? So now we need to vote for each party leader and THEN vote for the House? Just try talking about democracy after stacking the Senate with 18 hacks. If the inside workings of the Liberal Party are all the CPC has to go on, this is going to be SOOOO much fun.

  6. Well, I guess we have King Stephen and King Michael – even.

    I have an elderly aunt who has been a staunch Conservative all her life and still defends Mulroney (if you can believe it).

    She doesn’t like Harper, Rae or Layton. She likes Ignatieff – will wonders never cease.

  7. “I have an elderly aunt who has been a staunch Conservative all her life and still defends Mulroney (if you can believe it).

    She doesn’t like Harper, Rae or Layton. She likes Ignatieff – will wonders never cease.”

    Well, Ignatieff is George Grant’s nephew … so I don’t know if that is a real surprise – at least from an intuitive perspective.

    As much as I dislike the LPC and its continentalism, I do find that I like Ignatieff too. Enough to vote Liberal? Well, I doubt it but one should never say never.

    Further, Canada is NOT a “centre-left” political culture. From a traditional and outmoded politico-economic perspective, we are a CENTRIST political culture. Ahhhh … but it is not that easy is it?

    Some of you consider me a reactionary, while others call me a socialist. There are many out here like me. It’s Canada after all.

  8. Ignatieff brings a POTENTIAL gravitas to his role. Something that neither Harper of Dion possess. Layton has never been able to control himself – going back to his days on TCC. Duceppe is the best politician of the lot.

    The sad part of being a Conservative in Canada is that (like the Liberals), the leader is usually a prick who can win elections. But he still comes off as a prick.

    The best potential candidates only triumph as party leaders occasionally. More often than not, the arseholes win the day. What does that say about us as a people and a nation?

    I have no idea. But it has always been generally our reality.

  9. I never thought I’d see my face on one of Canada’s “top 25 political blogs” so soon! Thanks for noticing. I hope that you haven’t misconstrued what I was trying to say here too much. It’s not that I’m not losing sleep over Iggy’s undemocratic rise to the Liberal throne, I’m just not losing sleep over the fact that that will (as I predict in the video) prevent him from becoming PM anytime soon. Because, as you might guess, I’m not overly fond of the guy.

    I’ve voted NDP my entire political life (which has provided more a few opportunities to cast a ballot thanks to minority rule), Bob Rae might’ve made things a little more convincing, but the Liberal party are still the same lot they always were. The “Al Davis” school of politics: just win baby. Not my cup of tea. But hey, vote for me on CNGPM if you like what you see:

  10. Gee, I had to go back and scan the comments to see if I’d said anything nasty about you I might have to apologize for. 😉

    I’m taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to Iggy. I like what I’ve seen so far, but it should start to get quite interesting as this new budget evolves and the opening of parliament draws closer.

    NDP, huh? Maybe if/when Mulcair becomes the leader I might have another look at them. Unfortunately, their plans don’t add up — fiscally speaking. They’d be an unmitigated disaster for the economy.

    Anyway, good luck to you. I’ll be watching the show with some more considerable interest this year than has been the case in the past.

  11. No worries, I’m just surprised to see the blogosphere taking noticed, unsolicited at that.

    If Ignatieff attracts the “red tory” demographic, then I think he’ll be a success. There are plenty of people out there who voted for Harper because of a lack of suitable alternatives. But I would disagree with anyone who says Dion’s Liberals lost because he was “too left wing”, he lost because he was a terrible strategist (and the sad fact that a strong accent will always keep you down).

    Mulcair is the future for the Dippers and I think he knows it all too well.

    Keep watching the campaign, I might win you and your readers over yet. I see you’re a fan of Chris Erl, my favourite other candidate this year. We seem to agree on just about everything.

  12. I think there are some soft Conservatives (“Red Tories” for lack of a better term) who might find Ignatieff a reasonable alternative to Harper. He seems inspire a degree of confidence and steadiness that Dion was never capable of fully mustering. I’ll be curious to see whether he can cut through the spin and get to the essence of what Harper is about — it would be nice to see some framing that went beyond the usual “neo-con” and “Bush-Lite” references and spoke more to his real (and not at all “hidden”) agenda of establishing the Cons as the new “natural governing party” for the next few decades at least. Does Harper’s vision extend to anything beyond this…? If so, it continues to elude me.

    As for Chris (the other one), I vaguely “knew” him from a previous online venture. He used to run a blog called “Mr. Erl Goes to Ottawa” (ala Mr. Smith, one presumes) that started off as quite a conservative affair, but then evolved a more generally progressive tone after a while.

    Just out of curiosity, who is the designated “conservative” frontrunner in the contest.

  13. I hear you on Harper. I’ve been saying this since day one: the man’s sole policy objective seems to be winning a majority, at all costs, and keeping it that way. Sometimes the campaign needs to end after the election.

    There’s no shortage of Conservative types vying for CNGPM, the first winner after the contest went on TV is now one of James Moore’s staffers. I’d check out Michael Crook, Kaitlynn Dodge, and for a real treat, check out Adam Yoshida (who I think might be a big Ayn Rand reader).

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