Tuesday, November 21, 2006

T-Minus One Week

Buried within a Globe and Mail article about Michael Ignatieff's unfortunate run-ins with the English language of late, was this:

"At his last public event in the city before the Dec. 2 Montreal convention, the first-ballot front-runner delivered a rousing call to his party to make Canadians believe again that governments and politics can build a better country.

The purpose of politics for Liberals, he declared, is not self-interest but “hope, faith, belief, patriotism. ... We don't do this for ourselves. We do this for our country.”

And that's why I'm going to this convention. It's why I've asked my friends to give up money they don't have; to participate in a system a lot of them aren't fans of. It's why I'm heading to Montreal and missing the Calgary Deal or No Deal auditions (not that I've been invited to participate... yet).

This man is offering me something to believe in.

I'm left of centre, ideologically. There's enough out there that I believe in that could be considered "right-wing" that I essentially end up in the middle. That either makes me a Liberal or a Progressive Conservative. But that's always been a default assumption on my part. It's not like I "believed" in the Liberal party--or any party, for that matter. It's pretty tough to do when they don't actually offer anything positive, and instead either coast from policy to policy or just snipe at the opposition.

Maybe it's Ignatieff's background as an academic, a profession that constantly demands the formulation of opinions and encourages the development of overarching theses. Maybe it's because he's written books that stem from a common centre: human rights and respect for others. I don't know what it is.

But he offers something; something to believe in. And he could make the Liberal party something I could believe in; and if, with any luck, such a party were to take power in this country... well then.

That would be a country that stood for something. A country fueled from coast to coast to coast by hope, faith, belief, patriotism.

And people call me cynical.


Anonymous said...

I don't know much about politics, but this dude does indeed sound like someone I could get mildly excited about. Especially the fact that he's an academic, which I have an understandable bias towards. It makes sense to me that a leader should be someone who's proven himself able to think about deep issues and communicate them effectively; something that's essential in academic settings.

Nice blog by the way. You're like a political blogger now. Maybe you'll be invited to sit at a computer and blog at major world events.

Beatrice said...

Yay! Chris has a blog! I hope that you keep it going after the leadership thingy is done.

iBrett said...

Iggy is a bum. :P