But he has read about Canada

As the mainstream Canadian media continues in the Obamafication of newly-anointed Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, I must concur that he looks really sharp in his red ties.

However, am I being petty in my concern that the man has lived in other countries for most of his adult life (1978 to 2000 in the United Kingdom, 2000 to 2005 in the United States, not to speak of the stints in southern France)?.  If a messiah is to appear to save us from the evil Harper, is it reasonable to want him to come from our own country?

Obviously many Canadians don’t share my concerns, according to the most recent polls.

Ignatieff is an intellectual, so I am sure that he has researched the subject of Canada.  Actually living here before his appointed time was apparently optional.

6 Responses to “But he has read about Canada”

  1. Eric says:

    Since a large number of successful canadians spend at least some time outside of Canada for schooling or for employment in their chosen fields of expertise, I can’t see this as a real issue. It’s not like a party leader who hasn’t lived outside of his or her own province before going into politics, is unfit. I mean, Quebec is quite different than Alberta. In any case, having someone who has held teaching positions at Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, the University of London, the London School of Economics, and the University of California. But, that said, there seems to be a fear of the academic in Western Canada, some of it deserved I’m sure, that borders on the phobic. Unless the intellectual is an economist from the U of C – of course.

  2. Eric says:

    There’s an incomplete sentence in there…sorry.

  3. Phil L says:

    The issue isn’t whether he has spent “at least some time outside of Canada”. Being well-travelled and cosmopolitan is an asset. It’s the fact that he has only spent about three of the last 30 years in Canada. His expatriate decades concern me. Experiencing something is different than reading about something. Just my humble opinion.

  4. Eric says:

    I agree with you that experiencing something is diffferent than reading about it. However, I don’t see the relevance with Ignatieff, and I fail to see how is expatriate decades at the leading universities of at least 2 countries is a worry. Certainly its no more of a worry than a pm with little real world (read private or public sector) work experience outside of a relatively radical rightist think tank and a masters in economics from the u of c (hardly a premier university). For example, it’s not like Dad was incapable of practicing medicine here even though he spent 15 years overseas. Ignatieff’s “canadian experience” is just a red herring thats being floated by the Conservatives. Maybe to shift attention off of the “there will be no deficit…oh wait…”, “senate appointments are bad…unless it suits me”, “fixed election date…unless I think I can win”, “our environmental policy will mirror the americans…because we have nothing to present to a US president who gives 2 shakes about it”, “we will do away with the long-gun registry…maybe someday when it suits us”, “a coalition with the Bloc is bad…unless it would have helped us defeat the liberals” current government since Ignatieff is already more popular. Just a thought

  5. Phil L says:

    Eric, The analogy of your dad is a poor one, since qualifications to practise medicine are more transferable between countries than the qualifications to be Prime Minister. We have several doctors in P.A. who aren’t even Canadian, and I don’t question whether they are qualified.
    Going back to your earlier comment, you stated, “It’s not like a party leader who hasn’t lived outside of his or her own province before going into politics, is unfit. I mean, Quebec is quite different than Alberta.” Since you are obfuscating the issue of living outside of Canada with living in a different province, let me ask you a question. If some highly-qualified Quebecois had lived the last 30 years in Alberta, do you think he/she would be accepted as Premier of Quebec? If not, would it be a “red herring that’s being floated by the Conservatives”? Of course not – the people of Quebec would rightly believe that the person may not fully understand their province.
    By the way, you ought to qualify statements such as the “red herring” one with “IMHO”. After all, I believe I have a valid concern about this issue despite not receiving that particular memo from the Conservative Party, and many of the Liberal delegates to the 2006 convention who shifted support to Dion as part of the “Anyone but Ignatieff” move had the same concern.
    I won’t bother to address your other points because they aren’t related to the topic.

  6. Eric says:


    I didn’t realise there was a set of qualifications for PM. Cerrainly there’s no constitutional requirement that a person spend x number of years as resident, or that they be born in Canada, etc. They do have to be a party leader and a citizen. As for the quebec analogy, I’m not sure if thats an obfuscation as you think, given the significant cultural differences between the provinces, and the issue isn’t one of residency in a particular province per-say, but of whether the voters would support such a candidate. It has nothing to do with qualifications and everything with votor perception.

    So, the issue with ignatieff isn’t of whether or not he’s qualified, arguably he’s much more qualified than any of the other party leaders given his background in the political sciences and less tainted by not having been at the trough of government for as long as some of the others (Bloc especially), but of whether or not voters are comfortable with his not having lived in Canada for such a length of time.