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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Matter settled

Yesterday afternoon, I received a telephone call from a (very) senior staffer on Michael Ignatieff's campaign team. While he and I do not share the same view on the Liberal leadership, I consider this individual to be a friend, and I look forward to working with him in the future.

He was concerned about my recent comments on Michael's absence and his tardiness in issuing a statement on the Israel-Lebanon issue. In particular, he was troubled by my characterization of Ian Davey's comments about an "illness in the family" as a "lie." After a lengthy discussion, he and I agreed to the following:

1. Linda Diebel does not like Michael Ignatieff.
2. Her article, on which my comments were based, clearly made it seem as though the Ignatieff campaign lied about the mother-in-law issue.
3. Ian Davey's comments were perhaps unintentionally misleading, but they did not amount to a lie.
4. The Ignatieff campaign did not do enough to correct the record and make it clear that there was no health crisis.
5. No leadership campaign should be held responsible for comments made by their blogging supporters. As such, I should not hold the Ignatieff campaign responsible for false suggestions by his supporters (e.g., TDH Strategies) that Ignatieff's family member was "deathly ill" and that the family was enduring a "tragedy" in Hungary.
6. I was perhaps too hasty in my assessment of the situation.

With these conclusions in mind, I reaffirm the following:

1. My continued belief that Michael Ignatieff is not the right person to lead the Liberal Party of Canada;
2. My continued belief that Bob Rae is the right person to lead the Liberal Party of Canada;
3. Notwithstanding these beliefs, my commitment to support whomever is elected Liberal leader in December.

I hope that settles everything.