Sunday, December 16, 2007

Michael Ignatieff "cannot speak to the process" of how his election parachute opened to land him in Etobicoke

This from the National Post, "Ignatieff endures heckling: Wins nomination", (National Post, Dec.1, 2005):

"Etobicoke-Michael Ignatieff, the Harvard academic turned star Liberal, was nominated to run for the party in the constituency of Etobicoke-Lakeshore last night at a noisy meeting during which members of the local riding association accused Paul Martin of manipulating the process to "parachute" in his preferred candidate.
Mr. Ignatieff was drowned out by protesters when he rose to make an acceptance speech and a large number of the audience at an Etobicoke hotel walked out.
"I cannot speak to the process by which the party designated me as a candidate. I can only say I have been given honours in my life. But the greatest honour of my life just occurred tonight when I was put up for nomination by a great Canadian -- Jean Augustine," he said of the MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore who is retiring.
Two other local potential candidates -- riding association president Ron Chyczij and Marc Shwec -- had filed nomination applications but were ruled ineligible by the party, leaving Mr. Ignatieff as the only member standing.
However, the local riding association secretary, Myroslava Oleksiuk, called on the party's "sense of fair play and decency" to motivate the chairman to adjourn the meeting, saying Mr. Chyczij and Mr. Shwec had met all the necessary conditions. She moved a motion to disqualify Mr. Ignatieff on the basis he was not "ordinarily resident" in Canada.
Michael Eizenga, the Liberal party president who chaired the meeting, dismissed the point of order and said any appeals would be dealt with at a later date.
"The appeal procedure will be dealt with entirely appropriately," he said.
"You just lost the riding," shouted one protester.
In the foyer outside the meeting, one protester donned a George W. Bush mask and waved a sign saying: "Bush-Ignatieff -- Partners in crime," in protest against Mr. Ignatieff's support for the war in Iraq.
Another protester, Irene Oliinyk, complained that Mr. Ignatieff has argued torture was acceptable for detainees in Iraq. "Why would the Liberals parachute someone like that into the riding?"
Ms. Augustine was greeted by protesters shouting: "Shame, shame, shame," as she proposed Mr. Ignatieff's candidacy. She was heckled as she proclaimed him "the son of immigrants, a teacher and champion of human rights."
When asked about the protests after the meeting, Mr. Ignatieff said he thought it was "a great evening.... This is politics." When pushed to defend the nomination process, he said he "was not going to second-guess the party."
Most of the opposition was from Ukrainian Canadians, who objected to some of Mr. Ignatieff's past writing on Ukraine. However, Mr. Ignatieff defended himself: "I have stood all my life against intolerance. Do you seriously think I would insult any community in our country?
"The words so often quoted against me are not an endorsement of the slander against Ukrainians but a criticism of them, root and branch." He pointed out that his great-grandparents were buried on Ukrainian soil.
Ms. Augustine accused the party executive of hijacking the meeting."


Regarding the above story,“Ignatieff endures heckling” from the National Post, Dec. 1, 2005: how troubling is it that Michael Ignatieff, who’s been a Harvard lecturer for years, now conveniently claims he “cannot speak to the process by which the party designated me as a candidate.” If at the get-go he won’t even speak to the legitimacy of his own perceived fixed nomination, is this the kind of evasive candidate the citizens of Etobicoke-Lakeshore want to possibly represent them as an MP?

This parachute ploy smells of typical Liberal ‘plausible deniability’: staging an illusion of fairness, while manipulating the entire process from behind the curtain. Ironically, the local Liberal riding association has been made to look like a bunch of chumps – victimized by ideologues of their own party. They too have now had a taste of the elite Liberal contempt which has been foisted upon Canadians across this country.

Is Ignatieff’s ‘acclamation’ much different from the politburo ‘elections’ of Soviet Russia?
So ask not whence he came, little peasants; but step aside and rejoice, for your anointed prince has been divinely delivered onto you by your red king. Ask not what a Liberal can do for Canada, but what Canada can do for the Liberals. Continue to sing your paeans to democracy and fairness, and trust that this is all done for your own good.

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