This past election showed that Karl Rove politics in Canada are alive and well.
And nothing defines that more than the character assassination of Michael Ignatieff.
Michael Levinson writes in the Boston Globe: Harvard connection plays in Canadian’s loss
At Harvard, he was a superstar — a handsome and popular academic with crossover appeal whose essays appeared in the New Yorker and whose fiction was short-listed for the Booker Prize. His foreign policy classes were oversubscribed, and students scrambled for invitations to the dinners he hosted at his residence at Mather House. Few from the Kennedy School have appeared on the cover of GQ. But he did.Enter Karl Rove:
Attack ads in the race prominently featured a 2005 quote from the Harvard Crimson in which Ignatieff declared: “If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back.’’ The ads ended with a voiceover darkly intoning: “Ignatieff: He didn’t come back for you,’’ or “Ignatieff: Just visiting.’’His students — a global gathering that included Israeli soldiers, and Palestinians, Serbs, and Kosovars — packed his class on international policy dilemmas ... “He was really admired ..." Just not in Canada, in today's political climate.
Adrienne Redd writes in the Tyee: Ignatieff, the Best Prime Minister Canada Will Never Have
And Andrew Potter says that Canada is: No country for good men
We, along with the rest of the modern world, mocked the United States when they elected George Bush to a second term. The first time around, we could forgive them. After all, we assumed, they didn't know the real Bush. In 2004 they had no such excuse.
Now we are the ones being mocked. Because after five years of standing by while our democracy was under attack, we not only gave Harper another mandate, but a majority, which means we trump George Bush by at least another year.
We are now the world's laughing stock.
But maybe we can finally address what really happened here. Harper's victory was a Republican victory. He no longer has to pretend to be a moderate. Jason Kenney no longer has to pretend to like immigrants. And we will no longer be forced to call the new Conservative Party of Canada 'Tories'.
Gerry Nicholls is suggesting that they can now be themselves, what neocons believe to be the only appropriate Conservative party.
They have four years to sell us on the notion that their way is better.
Meanwhile, those of us in the centre and on the left, must use those four years to build a progressive movement. One that includes a renewed Liberal Party and a sustained NDP.
When Jack Layton teamed up with Stephen Harper to destroy the Liberals, he helped to cut out the middle, and left himself with few allies. He'll never take down this right-wing movement on his own.
And now that Michael Ignatieff has left politics, I can tap into his intelligence and quote him freely.
"Nothing has done the electoral and moral credibility of liberalism more harm than the failure to take this attack seriously" - Michael Ignatieff, University of Toronto, 1998, on Neoconservatism