If the Round Tables were Ignatieff’s finest hour, as Dryden claims in his new book, then he is in worse shape than he thinks.
Ignatieff personally invited me to present the Marshall Savings Plan to the Liberals at these round table gatherings only to have the invitation overturned by those in the party like Gerard Kennedy who are interested in pandering to Corporate Canada and kow towing to the Life insurance industry. The Liberals are grossly conflicted on matters like the income trust issue and have proven themselves clearly incapable of doing was is right for 99.9% of Canadians, including the 79.6% of Canadians who supported implementation of the Marshall Savings Plan as determined by an an Environics poll.
The Liberals are no better than the Conservatives on matters such as the trust tax fraud, as their record of total inaction demonstrates.
Goalie-turned-MP Dryden takes a few slapshots at Liberal captain
BY CHRISTINA SPENCER,
OCTOBER 23, 2010
OTTAWA — In a new book, hockey-great-turned-MP Ken Dryden delivers a blunt analysis not only of his own party's political woes but, more surprisingly, of those he thinks have dogged his boss, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.
Becoming Canada, Dryden's fifth book, is meant as a rallying call for a better Canada. But the former Montreal Canadiens goaltender spends much of it analyzing the shortcomings of the federal Liberal party, which he says was bereft of ideas and direction by the time Stephen Harper's Conservatives won the 2006 election.
"It had been a long time since Liberals had acted and felt like Liberals," Dryden writes. "Perhaps the last best time had been in 1982 with the passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
"Since the 2006 election, the Liberals have seemed always on the edges of the game and never back in it."
Dryden describes Ignatieff, who formally became party leader in 2009 after two lacklustre years of Stephane Dion's helmsmanship, as having yearned for the prime minister's job since his childhood.
What the leader hadn't envisioned, Dryden suggests, were "the tactics and manoeuvrings that make politics function."
Instead, Ignatieff "was more confident in his understandings of the world than of Canada," writes Dryden.
By contrast, he argues, Harper is so politically skilful that the public spotlight has turned mostly on the Liberals since 2006.
"It is Dion and now Ignatieff, who have had their flaws so starkly revealed," he writes.
"Today, Harper seems less worn than Dion did, less worn than Ignatieff does now."
It's unusual for a politician to so bluntly describe his party leader while still working for him. Dryden, MP for York Centre in Ontario, was minister of social development in the Paul Martin government, and is now the party's national outreach adviser for poverty and working families.
"When Ignatieff was only ten years old, he didn't only dream of being Beliveau or even Rocket Richard or Gordie Howe, as other boys did, he dreamed of being prime minister," Dryden writes. "What would a prime minister say? How would he say it?"
Once Ignatieff became leader, he "seemed remarkably comfortable," Dryden wrote. But he says this didn't shield the former international journalist and scholar from Tory attacks that defined him as "just visiting" Canada.
"From his first boyhood imaginings, he had put himself inside the skin of prime ministers and presidents, living out their experiences with them, deciding for himself what he would have done, how he would have looked and sounded in their stead. He arrived in his new role 50 years experienced. But what were not in his boyhood fantasies, or much in his adult observings, were the tactics and manoeuvrings that make politics function," Dryden writes. "Here, he was not experienced."
Nonetheless, Dryden describes early 2010, after Harper prorogued Parliament, as a glimmer of hope for the Liberal leader. During that period, the Liberals held dozens of roundtables on ideas and policies, attended by experts and duly reported by the news media.
"This was Ignatieff at his best — listener, learner, ponderer, sense-maker, meaning-seeker, big-picture-finder. In those three weeks, his confidence growing, he seemed finally to realize: I can be good at this. It might even be fun."
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Saturday, October 23, 2010
Posted by Brent Fullard at 7:10 PM