Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sactimony Unbecoming

Michael Ignatieff wrote an interesting op-ed today, presumably prompted by a recently published report and article examining expatriates. In it Ignatieff shares his less than pleasant experience on the subject, thanks to the political games employed by the Conservative Party of Canada, but he speaks to the broader issue and what it might mean for the future.

The general thrust is the impact of attacking people who choose to live or study abroad when they return home and offer to contribute. It's a conversation worth having in my view and he simply shared some of his thoughts.

That seems to have bothered the predictable suspects. Snide comments on Twitter appeared this morning, then I caught Tim Powers contribution. I have to say, I did not expect it from him. Now, we know that Powers is often called on to be the Conservative talking head on TV panels, but this isn't that.

This is nothing more than a cheap shot by someone I thought had more decency. He not only implies that Ignatieff believes that his being an expat was the reason for the election results, he distorts what the Conservatives actually did do to his reputation.

Tim suggests that Ignatieff played into/fit the Conservative narrative perfectly. No, he did not. The narrative was designed and all the material they used to support it was contrived. Quotes taken out of context, juvenile photos and all nuance expunged. Those lies fit the narrative and were torqued. Tim then goes on to say that this particular political calculation was sophisticated. Again, no. It's old school, good 'ol boy, nasty politics, but then again, perhaps that passes for sophistication in certain circles.

The fictional picture that the Conservatives drew of Ignatieff, did indeed have an impact on voters. If you knocked on doors or did any work during the election, you'd know that, but that isn't really Michael's point.

To continue to attack him as if he is still a political opponent is crass in my view. He's now a private citizen who has the right to express his opinion and actually contribute to an important discussion. That opinion, can of course be debated, but sitting on high horse tossing out sophistry does not qualify as debate.

In Tim's case, it's both surprising and unbecoming.


Scott MacNeil said...

Well said. I too know 1st hand that the CPC targeted character assassination of Iggy in the media was front & center on voters minds and on their doorsteps in the last campaign. A masterful if dark-hearted strategy, the CPC's incessant vilification of Iggy in the media achieved its goal (too bad that it worked as well as it did).

Sadly, Powers' cheap disparaging remarks today are indicative of a CPC mind set wholly incapable of grasping that, after a war has been won, a victor's dignity rests on its ability to deal fairly with those they have bested on the field of battle. Powers failed in this regard. Shameful.

Dan F said...

Tim has been nothing but a partisan hack for years now. I have never found anything even remotely constructive or insightful in his columns, which are usually just a recitation of Conservative Party talking points. The Globe should really send a bill to the Party for advertising in what pretends to be a column.

Karen said...

Thanks. I do think that Tim is a good guy, so this piece genuinely surprised me.

There are some important converstaions to be had in this country and I for one would like to see Michael participate in them without being attacked each time.

A Eliz. said...

Michael is one that remembers Peterson and Trudeau and remembers the way Liberals used to be. He said once he would like to help the Liberals renew themselves. I am sure he could be of help!