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Tuesday 6 January 2009

Liberal MPs gagged part II: The Hounds of the Ignatieffs or the Curious Incident of the Liberal MPs who did not bark

"The dog did nothing in the night-time,"Holmes said. "That was the curious incident."

According to Maclean's columnist Kady O'Malley, the office of Michael Ignatieff has said it is "absolutely untrue" that Liberal MPs have been told not to speak at Gaza solidarity rallies on the pain of having their nominations rejected in the next election. The question then is why was at least one rally organizing committee told otherwise when invitations were extended to Liberal MPs and why is it that not one Liberal MP addressed a single one of the cross-Canada rallies last weekend when NDP MPs such as Irene Mathysson and even a Liberal MPP from Dalton McGuinty's caucus did? Normally, loquacious MPs would climb over each other for the chance to speak to thousands of people and there is no shortage of MPs in the Liberal caucus who have been outspoken supporters of the Palestinians in the past.

Is Ignatieff's office telling the truth or is this a case of plausible deniability?
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Jennifer Smith said...

I really don't think there's any mystery here. Palestine is a political third rail guaranteed to really piss off at least half of your potential voters no matter which side you support.

Why would they go there?

Anonymous said...

I think Jennifer sums it up well. Lots to be lost and what to be gained? Bringing peace to palestine? Not too likely.

Anonymous said...

A Liberal MP representing a large Arab or Muslim population who neglects this issue has much to lose.

Skinny Dipper said...

I will agree with Jennifer. The optics of a Liberal MP appearing at a rally, especially when people fly what looks like Hezbollah flags, doesn't look good for the Liberal Party.

There are more Muslims than Jews in Canada. However, I think that the Jewish community is better organized politically. They have the Conservative Party actively supporting Israel. With that active support, the Jewish community will reciprocate and offer donations to the Conservatives. The Muslim community has more recent immigrants to Canada. They are not as well organized politically. While the Muslims can raise the human rights issue about the bombings in Gaza, I think a big hurdle the Muslims have to face is that they have to work with established European/Eurocentric Canadian values. This may seem ethnocentric. Life isn't always fair, even in a place like Canada.

The Liberals need to attract Jewish votes and donations from those who supported the Conservatives. There isn't as much marginal gains in trying to shift Muslim votes and donations from the NDP.