Continuing to break through the crap on the Ignatieff Me site, I see their first entry is a very brief column by Don Martin, that may have triggered this initiative.
It was kind of a catty piece, not the usual quality of Mr. Martin, so I even questioned for a moment, it's validity. Was he just having a bad hair day, or maybe an 'I'm losing my hair' day?' Or is he like some journalists, a little envious of Michael Ignatieff's career?
Ignatieff has covered many modern conflicts from the ground, reporting back to major news sources, while Martin is stuck writing opinion pieces for the likes of the National Post. (So, who's being catty now? Meow)
Actually, I usually enjoy reading Don Martin's columns, which though often attacking the left, will still make me smile and grimace at the same time. But he will also go after the Conservatives when they do something he doesn't like, and it was he who first broke the story of the 200 page manual that Stephen Harper and his caucus use to make sure that Parliament doesn't function, hoping to show Canadians that he needs a majority to get things done.
A recent poll suggests that Canadians agree with the majority idea. Just not for Harper and the Conservatives.
But now with the piece that may have started it all. Excerpts from an interview given to the press by Michael Ignatieff concerning the future of the government, that got Don's shorts in a twist. I will interject with an almost identical one between Stephen Harper and Evan Solomon of the CBC, soon after the 2004 election; discussing Harper's attempt to form a coalition with Gilles Duceppe and Jack Layton.
I, Michael Ignatieff, Am All About Me.
By Don M (I notice he only signed it Don M. I wouldn't have used my full name either. Will their be a senate seat in his future?)
May 26, 2009
There’s something singularly irritating about the Liberal party leader. Whenever he opens his mouth, out comes ‘I’ after ‘I’. If not ‘I’, he’s full of talk about ‘me’ or ‘my’. It’s often harder to find a party-friendly ‘we’ in his statements than a “Wii” electronic game in Future Shop.
Consider the typical statement delivered by Michael Ignatieff on Monday as he held court with reporters, preening and pretending he holds the fate of this parliament in his hands. This conveniently overlooks the minority math that requires both the New Democrats and Bloc Quebecois to bring down the Conservative government, but “I, Michael” doesn’t let that enter the equation.
Ignatieff: “The difficulty I'm having is I'm trying to make Parliament work, right? I'm here to get improved EI for Canadians, period. And the difficulty I've got at the moment is every time we put a proposal forward, we get it systematically misdescribed, I will - that's polite language. And so we have a problem but we're still trying to make Parliament work for Canadians and that's my position. It's been my position since January.”
Now Harper in a similar situation:
Evan Solomon: "Parliament opens on Monday, and in a sense you're the most powerful Opposition Leader in a generation and people want to know how you're going to use your power. So the fundamental question is: under what circumstances would you call a vote of non-confidence?"
Stephen Harper: "First of all, I can't forget my first responsibility - which is to be the Leader of the Opposition and that's to provide an alternative government. We've always said we'll support the government when they do things that we can accept, which you know the health accord. I supported the health accord, I called for the government to end the pay increase, they're going to do that, I'll support that, but in general my obligation is to provide an Opposition. It's the government's obligation to look really to the third parties to get the support to govern.
The question asked of both men uses the words 'can you' so a natural response would be 'I'.
Question to Liberal Leader: Can you foresee introducing a confidence motion on this during an Opposition Day?
Ignatieff: “I can certainly foresee it. I use your word. I can foresee it.”
Question: In the near future? (a continuation of the question above)
Ignatieff: “I can foresee it and I can foresee it in the near future. But I repeat the word foresee. Let me say it again so it's perfectly clear: I am trying to make Parliament work for Canadians, number one. Number two, I am trying to get EI improved for all Canadians. That's what I'm trying to do.”
Back to Don Martin: This scrum exchange clocks in at 168 words. There are 16 references to himself and only four references to ‘we’ as in his party. In other words, almost 10 per cent of the word count are devoted to Iggy referring to Iggy. Gosh. No self-absorbed attitude here at all.
It must have been a slow news day because Martin's entire piece makes him sound like a moron, and I know for a fact that he is not. I suppose if Michael Ignatieff had answered the reporter when he asked 'can you?' with 'we', Martin would have called him an idiot because he wasn't asked what they (we) were going to do but what he (I) was going to do.
Shame on you Don. I thought you were above the petty.