Liberal opposition party leader Michael Ignatieff is thought to be swimming in a tank of sharks. A group of top Liberal politicians thinks he’s politically dead or heading in that direction. Ignatieff’s plummeting popularity is a concern for some of the wannabes in the federal Liberal party who are sharpening their knives. His approval rating is now down to 20 per cent.
In his published resume, he says he’s not a “church guy” and he sure proved it by alienating a large segment of Christian voters by recently urging that abortion rights must be tied to any Canadian plan to improve maternal and infant health in the developing world. Ignatieff appears to be unaware that killing unborn babies in developing countries is not helpful to maternal and infant health. In vain attempts to shore up his dwindling support, he has swallowed the NDP’s solidly pro-abortion agenda.
In highly unusual moves, Calgary Bishop Fred Henry called Ignatieff’s proposal “pathetic” and Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins described the federal leader’s position as “sad.” Collins said Ignatieff’s “negative proposal in no way serves to improve the health of mothers or children but rather imperils the most vulnerable among us.” Amen.
Just think if Catholics ever voted as a bloc, the way homosexuals and lesbians do, Michael Ignatieff would be back as an academic at Harvard in the U.S., a country where he spent 30 years of his life.
It’s been said that Ignatieff was supposed to be holding the seat for Justin Trudeau’s eventual victory parade into the leadership of the federal Liberal party, the heir to the Trudeau throne, but Stephane Dion got in the way briefly before being banished to the back seats before Ignatieff took over the job of leader with disappointing results.
Ignatieff has the problem of being an academic who swims decently enough in an academic lake, but once he is out of that milieu, doesn’t function as well. His political judgement is certainly in question. No street-smart politician would ever have made as grievous an error of angering the large Catholic constituency as Ignatieff has. Some day, they might rise from their doldrums and shock their opponents.
I did have this dream recently that I was at Michael Ignatieff’s wake. He did not die (as I had been told in the media) rescuing an elderly woman from a nearby house fire, but rather, he passed from this Earth after climbing a ladder in the library of his house to get a copy of his memoirs off the top shelf when he fell and landed on his head. His death was instantaneous.
Tributes had been coming in from all over the world about Michael’s brave attempts to have that old woman and hundreds lined up to view his body. I was privileged to be able to get in with my Queen’s Park press pass to a special viewing of the late Liberal leader. To my shock, I found in attendance a pack of Liberal politicians whom I had been bad mouthing for years. There was no way out; I had to face the music.
Death, I knew, had a great way of drawing people together and this occasion was no different. I said to Bob Rae: “That was too bad, what happened to Michael.” Bob said: “Yes, I worshipped the ground he walked on. How are you coming along, Frank?” I said: “Oh fine, except for that case of leprosy I’ve got.” Bob said: “Oh, that’s too bad.” And he moved on.
Stephane Dion, the former Liberal leader, noticed me and fought his way through the crowd. “How are you, Frank?” he asked. “Dat was most terrible what happened to Michael. I treasured him. Dat man was my closest friend. How are you doing, Frank?” I said: “Oh, fine, except for that leprosy.” Stephane said: “Keep up the good work, Frank” And he was gone.
Gerard Kennedy (no relation) spotted me, came over and said: “Hi, Frank, haven’t seen you since the Christmas party. I wore that: ‘I Celebrate Christmas’ badge you gave me all over the place. That was too bad about Michael. Well, we all got to go some time. Let’s get together after the funeral and have a beer.” He winked and added: “Maybe you can tell me all about your leprosy.”