Progressive politics, ideas & culture


The (political) science of topic avoidance

This Magazine Staff

Campaign update:

Warren Kinsella calls Jack Layton, “one smart friggin’ customer” this morning. Why? Because of this statement from Layton:

“If you think Jean Chretien made the right call on Iraq, vote for the NDP that supported him. Not Paul Martin who undermined him as Prime Minister and Liberal leader.”

An NDP leader invoking the position of a majority Liberal PM to attract votes. No guts, no glory, Jack. Brilliant.

And speaking of Iraq… or, er, not speaking of Iraq, or anything in fact having to do with foreign policy and the state of the world beyond our borders, I found the Michael Ignatieff leaflet outside my front door this morning. Here’s what it talks about:

– MI is an internationally acclaimed human rights teacher
– He understands the challenges our families face

After that we get the standard NDP, I mean Liberal, platform for this election:

– child care investment
– equal opportunity—nice photo of MI with Jean Augustine and Ujal Dosanj
– the handgun ban
– youth employment
– fiscal responsibility

Then another photo of Jean Augustine with a quote from her calling MI “a friend.”

Okay—the leaflet is opportunity #1 to be open and honest about your views, to make declarative statements about which direction you’d like to see Canada go. The only sentence using the pronoun “I” on this leaflet, is spoken by retired MP Jean Augustine, who is not asking for my vote.

If he understands the challenges I face, why won’t Michael Ignatieff talk to me?

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