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Sunday, August 06, 2006

For shame

I've changed my mind from the post below. I will never, ever support Michael Ignatieff for the leadership of the Liberal Party. If it comes down to him or anyone else on the final ballot, I will vote for anyone else. If I can't bring myself to vote for the other person, I will abstain from voting. If he wins, I don't know what I'll do. I'll probably bite my tongue, accept the result, support my local Liberal candidate in the next federal election, and then wait for the leadership review to come around.

Why do I take this position? For one, I don't like being lied to. And two, Ignatieff is clearly not up to the job. He doesn't have the tact, the political smarts or the common sense to be leader of our party, let alone Prime Minister.

His supporters have spent the past couple of weeks peddling the bold-faced lie (August 1) that Michael's recent MiA status was due to a "deathly ill" mother-in-law. They got this impression from a statement by his campaign manager, Ian Davey, and other campaign officials who claimed that Michael was away dealing with a family illness. In fact, there was no illness in the family. His campaign manager made it up. He was just on vacation.

In the middle of an international crisis, the widely recognized "expert" on foreign policy was on vacation. For two and a half weeks, he made no statement on the Lebanon crisis. No support for Israel. No support for Lebanon. No calls for an international intervention to prevent a humanitarian disaster. No calls for a ceasefire. No sympathies for the casualties on both sides of the conflict. No pleas for peace. Absolutely nothing.

Then he has the nerve to call Harper's response to the situation "inadequate" and to claim in an interview that "we are in a race against time." A race against time. Seriously, he said that.

Nobody should fault Ignatieff for wanting to take a couple weeks off. I mean, this leadership race is tough for all of us involved, from the candidates to the paid staff to the volunteers. Everyone deserves some down time. But if you're a human rights scholar and foreign policy expert running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada and you see that the Middle East is about to explode, for God's sake, make a statement. Take a stand. Show us the knowledge and experience you've gained in your thirty-plus years abroad. Offer a solution. And do it quickly. The indepth op-eds in the Globe can come later.

And tell your campaign manager not to lie to us. That really pisses us off.