From the moment Michael Ignatieff became leader of the Liberal Party, the Conservatives went on the attack and pinned a host of labels on him. Not being a politician by trade Ignatieff was slow to fight back. Probably thinking the charges were so ridiculous that who would pay any attention? Sadly that's not how politics, even in the great polite North, works these days. So Michael has had to re-introduce himself to the Canadian public this summer, and has done a creditable job of it.
Witness this report from the Kelowna bclocalnews.com site that echoes what was posted here yesterday about the B.C. leg of his Express tour. “I just wanted to find out what kind of guy he was and whether he can reach the common man,” said attendee Warren Waddell. “I think he came across as a warm and caring Canadian... very much in tune with the country.”
Now I realize it's anecdotal, but the pitfalls of such a tour are far more numerous than the opportunities and he's managed them well. He could very well have been done at the end of this tour. Instead, he's managed to make his way across the country, talking and listening to Canadians and more importantly dispelling some of the characterizations the Tories had made stick up until now.
It remains to be seen if he can be a more effective leader of the opposition but he is giving every indication that he will be.I liked the agressiveness of this statement he made to the people of Kelowna, “If you vote Green, or vote NDP you are getting four more years of Stephen Harper.” If he can follow that up by getting Quebeckers to understand that parking their votes with the Bloc Quebecois is a vote for Harper and make it stick, he has a real shot at turning his party's fortunes around.
Iggy's ace in the hole? He's not Harper.