Ignatieff @ UVic

Michael Ignatieff speaking at UVic earlier this week in an open forum with students to discuss some of the current issues in Canadian politics…

Thanks to AM Fresh Radio for the videos.

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37 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff

37 responses to “Ignatieff @ UVic

  1. Interesting; you’ve reposted these without comment. Usually if you feel negative about something Ignatieff says/does, you say so. Curious what your view was on how he did here.

  2. Scott — It’s just my way of encouraging folks to watch the videos and judge for themselves.

    Also, given the fairly limited number of views on YouTube so far, I thought they deserved a some additional exposure and this was my little effort to help in that regard.

    I’d like to see Iggy engage in more of these kinds of “town hall” forums as he’s quite good at them. I liked the way he handled the Greenpeace demonstration at UBC, for example.

  3. Thanks for posting RT. I’m planning on playing hookey tomorrow afternoon and attending his townhall at the University of Ottawa, if I can get in.

  4. Shiner — My pleasure.

    If you manage to get in, let us know what your impression was of the event.

  5. Tomm

    Interesting ideas. Many of them parallel my own thoughts or life experience.

    Although they seem a little scattered.

    I think he may be a PM without a focus, although given the audience being University students, he kind of has to be all things to all people.

    It is good these are getting some air play.

  6. I think he may be a PM without a focus, although given the audience being University students, he kind of has to be all things to all people.

    I don’t know about that. It takes cajones to tell a room full of UVic students that you’re against a tuition freeze.

    The CPC hits hard, fast, and first. Any concrete policy idea floated out during these townhalls will be in a CPC attack ad the next morning in close proximity to the word “tax”.

  7. Ted

    I’ve been asking around, but with no success so far, so I’ll post my question here as well: has Stephen Harper, since becoming leader (or ever for that matter), held a town hall or any kind of open forum, with unscripted Q&A from the public?

  8. First one to pop up on google is a Cambridge town hall in June described thusly:

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a town hall meeting today in the centre of Gary Goodyear’s riding of Cambridge North Dumfries. The one hour speech and question and answer period was delivered to a PC friendly audience of invitees at the Armenian Club on Dunbar Road.
    The room was packed with local politicians and community business owners and key position holders. Absent were a demonstrator of any kind, and the atmosphere inside was warm and fuzzy as the PM touted the Conservative parties report card on economic recovery.

    Former CTV commentator and critic Mike Duffy (now Senator Mike Duffy) was moderator of the Q&A period

  9. BTW, the Cambridge town hall would be the one that taxpayers were billed $108,000 for.

  10. sapphireandsteel

    so it was a town hall devoid of average Canadians who may ask an uppity question?

  11. Ti-Guy

    so I’ll post my question here as well: has Stephen Harper, since becoming leader (or ever for that matter), held a town hall or any kind of open forum, with unscripted Q&A from the public?

    The answer appears to be NO.

    Stop asking the question. Just assert that he never has and get one of the Conservative catamites to prove you wrong.

  12. So, academic Michael Ignatieff attends “town halls” of University students across Canada.

    In other words, to borrow a phrase, a crowd “devoid of average Canadians who may ask an uppity question”.

  13. Ti-Guy

    Don’t fucking start with your faux-populism, Rob Harvie, LL.B.

  14. Is there any other kind of populism, than “faux-populism”.

    Are we being fooled that because Michael is speaking without a tie, with his sleaves all rolled up, “common-man style” that he’s a man of the people?

  15. Ted

    Rob H.

    Well, no, actually. They are open to anyone. Conservative MPs have even been attending as well as some Blogging Tories and campus Conservatives. They were all just as free to ask questions.

    By contrast, not only does Harper avoid us common folk altogether, but I’m reminded of the time a few months ago when Harper held a public announcement of some Economic Action Plan spending in New Brunswick with the Conservative candidate on the stage but they refused to even allow the Liberal Member of Parliament from that riding into the room.

  16. Ti-Guy

    Is there any other kind of populism, than “faux-populism”.

    There is just “populism,” What is motivating your critique in this instance is faux-populism.

    It’s a load of bullshit anyway. 48% of the Canadian population between the ages of 24 and 65 have either university or college degrees.

    Are we being fooled that because Michael is speaking without a tie, with his sleaves (sic) all rolled up, “common-man style” that he’s a man of the people?

    I don’t know. Why don’t you get off your lardy arse, attend one of these town halls and ask him?

  17. Sure TG.

    And I attended University.

    And when I did, I voted Liberal, oddly enough.

    And while there, I went and watched soft-ball questions being lofted up for Jean Chretien at U.B.C., much like with Michael Ignatieff.. and, like many students at UVic, I was all impressed and all with Chretien, the man.

    And then, when I entered the real world, and more importantly, started to be a gross contributor, as opposed to a gross recipient, of the taxation system, well, my perspective somewhat changed.

    ..now, don’t get me wrong. I have a certain degree of admiration for Ignatieff, the academic, in some of his writings in struggling with the competing interests of security and freedom, for example.

    I am impressed with the willingness of Ignatieff to move beyond ideological barriers and politically correct refuges to discuss difficult issues when he was writing as an academic – but Ignatieff the politician is a different matter.

    Where is his critique for his own party’s adoption of Kyoto and then abject refusal to do ANYTHING. He’s quick to comment on the Harper lack of movement.. of course, that might be expected from a ne0con.. but where’s the scorn for those who, supposedly, “know better”?

    And.. as for getting off of my lardy arse.. hey, if they have a meeting in Lethbridge, I’ll be there. I’ll be respectful, but pointed and ask him that same question.

    And I may ask him why sovereignty is such an issue when it comes to waiting on implementing Kyoto, or Copenhagen or whatever.. but it’s no issue at all, when it comes to acquiescing to the proposals in the first place.

  18. Ti-Guy

    How can someone with such a raging case of ADHD even make it through the day?

    Pick an issue and focus, Rob.

  19. Ted

    “Where is his critique for his own party’s adoption of Kyoto and then abject refusal to do ANYTHING. He’s quick to comment on the Harper lack of movement.. of course, that might be expected from a ne0con.. but where’s the scorn for those who, supposedly, “know better”?”

    And where’s the evidence that you have been paying any attention to Canadian politics for the last three years?

    The Conservatives ran a whole ad campaign around Ignatieff’s “critique for his own party’s adoption of Kyoto and then abject refusal to do ANYTHING” and Dion’s infamous reply that “it is hard to make priorities”.

  20. Ti-Guy

    And where’s the evidence that you have been paying any attention to Canadian politics for the last three years?

    Lost in Rob’s scrutiny of the Liberals’ sartorial choices, where the signals with respect to the really important issues of democratic politics, such as authenticity and character, are to be found.

    I’ll never forgive these people for dragging this American shit into Canadian politics.

  21. Well, I’m back from the UofO event. I’m sure the answers weren’t as black and white as the Robs of the world would like, but my initial impression of him as a pragmatist was reinforced.

    A mixed crowd, and nobody was giving him any slack. A tiring number of questions on the oilsands. He simply pointed out that it was for the Albertan government to decide what to do with them, and, if they’re willing to slow the pace of development, he would support that.

    Majority of the other questions were on education, which he is clearly passionate about, as both a means of learning skills, and as a nation building tool. Once again he told the crowd of debt-laden students that a tuition freeze was a rotten idea. If you want a wonderful education, you should have to pay for it.

    A couple wishy-washy answers, unfortunately he backed off of a question on mandatory minimums and the Liberals’ support of them, but, by-and-large he gave clear answers and spoke down to no one. These were smart people and he spoke to them like smart people.

    Hopefully a full report on it at my place later this evening.

  22. Ti-Guy

    What sets me off in these discussions are remarks like “average Canadian” and “man of the people.” I suggest most of us here are “average Canadians” (even more so than other Western country, Canada is a very middle-class nation) and I don’t even know what “man of the people means.” We’re all people here and when it comes to elections, the local candidate’s ability to resonate with the community is really all that should count.

    My Conservative candidate in the last election was an owner of an upmarket car dealership and the Liberal candidate, after working in an average job in Sault-Ste-Marie, was a United Church minister with a history of pastoral work in a variety of places across Canada. In a diverse riding (both ethnically and economically), who is “more of the people” here?

    It’s fool’s game to expect one person, the leader of a political party to exhibit all of those qualities satisfactorily and really quite cynical for Conservatives to try to suggest that their compliment of career courtiers, spokesmodels and various and sundry sycophants comes anything close to authenticity.

  23. Ti-Guy, I’d add that the “average Canadian” is much different than the “average voter”. Education is a pretty important predictor of voting behaviour.

  24. Rob — And then, when I entered the real world, and more importantly, started to be a gross contributor, as opposed to a gross recipient, of the taxation system, well, my perspective somewhat changed.

    Interesting comment. A “gross contributor” is an amusing expression, if nothing else. From an economic standpoint however, I think perhaps the preface “net” would be more appropriate.

    As someone who’s been on both sides of the “real world” fence in this regard, I can honestly say that my status as a net contributor overall never influenced my opinion regarding taxation. By my estimation, I’ve contributed about half a million dollars in tax overall and during that same amount of time have received less than $20,000 in direct benefits.

  25. Ti-Guy/Shiner — The “average” person is nothing but a statistical construct — the empirically reduced common denominator, as it were.

  26. CWTF

    I stopped on the same passage:
    And then, when I entered the real world, and more importantly, started to be a gross contributor, as opposed to a gross recipient, of the taxation system, well, my perspective somewhat changed.

    Shorter Rob: After sucking all that I could out of the system to get the advantages that I have, I decided that now that I was well off and had to pay taxes, I’d start complaining…

  27. Ti-Guy/Shiner — The “average” person is nothing but a statistical construct — the empirically reduced common denominator, as it were.

    Well yeah, but that average isn’t Mike from Canmore anymore. It’s Abdullah from Oakville, and he’s getting his computer science degree. Harper and the folks at the top of the CPC know this. This idea that Harper won the last election by some Tim Horton’s strategy is nonsense. It was much more specific than that and now they’re working their asses off to win the loyalty of traditionally Liberal groups that don’t fit Rob’s definition of “average”.

    Statistical construct, yes, but, unfortunately, like most lawyers, Rob isn’t very good at math.

  28. Shiner — Agreed. I should have qualified that assertion. There’s a whole lot of heterogeneity in the “average” Canadian, especially in the country’s urban areas where the composition in all respects (income, ethnicity, occupation, etc.) can be incredibly diverse in nature. Maybe in smaller towns and rural areas this is less the case, but that’s a diminishing segment of the population. Being astute pollsters, the Conservatives are well aware of the demographic trends and are quite selectively targeting identifiable ethnic groups to, how shall we say… curry their favour.

  29. CWTF — Yeah, I’ve always been amused by the “real world” expression that so many right-wingers just love to wheel out as a means of elevating their own personal status in society while at the same time insinuating that anyone not engaged in profitable commerce is somehow living in an alternate world of fantasy.

    I would suggest that the world as experienced by students and others not presently engaged in work for whatever reason is every bit as “real” as the dreary existence which countless millions of salaried executives and lowly wage slaves endure on a daily basis.

  30. ..taxpayers are real people.

    Deny it all you want.. but whether it’s a lawyer, or a waitress or a barber.. the people that pay tax to provide the social programs that form the back bone of this country are real people and ds

    Now.. students are real people too.. and for many of them, in due course, they will establish careers and will join in the taxpayer effort with the rest of us.

    My point, which has been made obvious above.. is that it is one thing to wax philosphically about the need for government to do this and that.. when you aren’t helping to pay for it. It’s another thing when you are.

    So many of us treat the government treasury like it’s filled with pennies from heaven.. but its not. It’s real money from real Canadians and it should be respected as such.

    And,pardon me.. students to a great degree don’t understand it because they haven’t lived it yet.. not all of them, but a good number of them.

    My own son, while he’s still a student.. has been working now for two years.. and is very annoyed with the concept of “tax” being taken from his paycheques. But two years ago, it didn’t matter at all to him.

    That’s a reality.

    Make fun all you want.

    And I love CWTF’s commentary: “After sucking all that I could out of the system to get the advantages that I have, I decided that now that I was well off and had to pay taxes, I’d start complaining…”

    Might as well make another comment about lazy Indians and greedy Jews while you’re at it CW..

    ..why is it that bigots can stereotype all they want as long as it is the “accepted target” of the broader society?

    You don’t know me.

    You don’t know what I did to complete my education.

    You just make assumptions.

    ..and before you suggest I was doing the same, go read my post again. I was only speaking for myself. I, as a student, had a less discerning eye for the cost of the benefits that society provides us.. and as a self-employed business person, I have a more discerning eye for that cost.

    And.. I take some issue, R/T with your point regarding gross and net benefits.. only insofar as I think we all, you and I, continue to probably receive more from government that we are aware.. in roads and infrustructure and more hidden benefits, such as subsidy for many of the movies and documentaries we see and the music we listen to..

    But I have no illusion or concern about “getting out of the system what I put in.” I’m fortunate. I know that. And I have no problem sharing that.. I just would like a little more respect shown for how those funds are used is all.. including from our current Conservative government, truth be told.

  31. I was going to comment on your last post but I have no clue what your point is anymore. Students are stupid and selfish, Liberals are corrupt, Ignatieff won’t make a commitment to Kyoto (which you hate), your son is selfish. I give up.

    OT, and I apologize to RT for this but your blog, Rob, has a very nasty tendency to open up a million tabs on my browser and crash my computer and I can’t comment there. I did read the first couple paragraphs from your latest entry on the cost of the Afghan investigation, and it is honestly one of the stupidest things I have ever read. Won’t expand because this is Red’s place, but, for everyone else, it’s a doozie.

  32. CWTF

    Oh Robie, you are such a sophist…

    I targeted my comments at you, based on what you wrote. What do Jews and Indians have to do with this?

    I don’t see anyone stating that we should be foolish with government (and by proxy) money. If anything, that’s what we are complaining about…. I can’t believe that anyone would trust and vote for Harper and his minions after saddling Canadians with the larger deficit ever….

  33. CWTF, I’m sure you’ve read enough of Rob’s posts to know that anything the CPC screws up is the fault of the Liberals.

  34. Ti-Guy

    I was going to comment on your last post but I have no clue what your point is anymore. Students are stupid and selfish, Liberals are corrupt, Ignatieff won’t make a commitment to Kyoto (which you hate), your son is selfish. I give up.

    That’s probably for the best. Rob just can’t seem to focus. I suspect it’s to hide the fact that on any specific issue, he’s just not that well informed.

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