This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


We need more intellectuals to run for office.

This Magazine Staff

The Liberal Party is imploding, with Stephane Dion as unpopular as ever and left-leaning people increasingly shifting to the NDP, or even the Green Party. This is not the Liberal Party’s year. But aren’t they so very lucky to have Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal MP and deputy leader, as a member of their club? Yesterday, The New Republic, a very influential publication out of the United States, published a book review written by Ignatieff. The book he reviewed was Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention, by Gary J. Bass.
It’s a history of the intensely debated idea of humanitarian intervention, and Ignatieff displays a genuine understanding. Which is not very surprsing considering that in the past he has been a professor of history; a journalist; director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University; a writer of books on nation-building and human rights; and even a writer of novels. Humanitarian intervention has been a point of great focus and research time for him.
We can’t really say the same thing about other politicians. Their grasp of issues are usually superficial and glib. More of our representatives need to be like Ignatieff. We need more people like him in the room when foreign policy issues call for subtle and deep thinking. I hope the party to lead at the end of this election has someone this smart around, because it just doesn’t look like it’ll be the Liberals.

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