Monday, September 7, 2009

New Liberal Ads from a Left perspective. . .

I haven't really seen how other leftists are looking at the recent ads by Ignatieff and the Liberal party but I think the ads were a fairly good way to go for the Liberals. By keeping it fairly positive and trying to say that Canada needs a government that tries to build rather than tear down the Liberals are certainly creating a different image than the Conservatives have created in recent years. Even though I am not a big fan of Ignatieff, the country could certainly benefit from a leader who is not so quick to poison the political well. 

There is, of course, an irony in this portrayal of Ignatieff being sold in the new ads. Ignatieff's now famous support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his stated support for "indefinite detention, coercive interrogation, targeted assassinations, and even pre-emptive war," place Ignatieff squarely in the realm of Harper and Bush on some pretty significant ways. But it also demonstrates Ignatieff as what he is, a child of the traditional noblesse oblige, cold-war, centrist who is quick to stand up for Liberal Values at home but not so quick to stand up for them elsewhere. Let us not forget the history of Western imperialism folks, it was perpetrated with the support of even the left wing parties in many countries, parties that knew that they and their working-class supporters stood to benefit from many of the imperialist escapades. Of course, the Conservative party can hardly attack Ignatieff for political positions that they themselves hold with even greater fervor. 

Still, given my basic political disagreements with Ignatieff, I will still give him a fairly high score for political strategy and a willingness to de-poison the political discourse. 


Ian said...

My issue with the ads was the lack of substance he gave. We still don't know what he stands for (besides quotes from years ago which are a bit scary).

kirbycairo said...

Yes of course, Ian. THere was no substance here. But that is because there is no substance to speak of. The truth is that Ignatieff is so close to the Conservatives in terms of actual policy that he has little to say that would be meaningful. And even if the Liberals were willing to make substantive statements that were different from the Cons on issues such as childcare or the environment, they are not in the financial position in which to deliver any real changes.

I was only really giving my Kudos to the Liberals here for the fact that they are at least attempting to take some of the poison out of the discourse.

On reals substance we will not see anything from the Liberals for a while now. I think though if they found themselves in a minority position with the NDP holding balance then we might see the beginning of the formation of meaningful policy initiatives. But historically the problem is that we get right-wing governments which push the country right and the Liberal just move right along and when they get in power they are not willing to turn the right-wing agenda back.

Wajid said...

A better ad: