Much has been written lately about Michael Ignatieff as he reflects on his political career while publicizing his new book. While having never met Mr. Ignatieff, he comes across as an intelligent, well spoken individual who despite the advertising by his political adversaries, entered politics for all of the right reasons.
We prefer to not be cynical about our politicians and believe that it is a noble profession. For the most part, Canadians enter politics as a service to their communities, province and country. Regardless of their party preference, most politicians have the best interest of their constituents front and centre.
With that said, Mr. Ignatieff’s leadership in the political arena will be judged by the historians as poor and ineffective. Ignatieff was out-matched and out-played by both the NDP and Conservatives and led the once great Liberal Party to its worse electoral showing ever. Worse than John Turner. Worse than Stephane Dion.
Perhaps if the party’s circumstances were different and he had been supported by a modern fundraising and election readiness infrastructure, the result may have been different. But it wasn’t. The reality is that the Liberal Party did not define itself and continues to a certain degree to allow the opposition to define their convictions and beliefs. Occupying the middle of the political spectrum for the sake of power is no longer possible.
Michael Ignatieff did not show the foresight or judgement when he was leader to be successful. And now he is doing it again. Why does Ignatieff believe that it is appropriate at this point to write a book describing or justifying his failures in office? We have not read the book however we are sure there are no forwards or endorsements by either Dion or Justin Trudeau.
Michael Ignatieff should have faded into history no differently than Kim Campbell did after the historic defeat of the Progressive Conservatives in the 1990s. The time is not right to publish his political memoirs. At a minimum Ignatieff should have waited until after the next federal election in 2015.
We wish Mr. Ignatieff all of the best in his future endeavours and we hope to interview him at some point. However for the sake of his party, current leader and country, he needs to step back and stay out of the spotlight.