Michael Ignatieff still does not understand the part he played in his party's worst defeat in history. Bob Hepburn writes that Ignatieff's new book should be titled It Really Wasn't My Fault:
According to Ignatieff, the Liberals were trounced because they lacked money to buy television ads to counter Harper’s attack ads, which kept hammering away at the fact Ignatieff had been out of Canada for nearly 30 years, because they were in worse shape internally than he had imagined and because Harper and Layton were veteran politicians who knew how to connect with voters better than he did.
To Ignatieff, the Liberals’ demise had little or nothing to do with his flip-flopping on key issues, his failure to focus on two or three issues about which he felt passionately or his wooden, cold television image.
If anything, the book reinforces the widely perceived image of Ignatieff as arrogant and aloof, a man who turned voters off, not on. It’s as if he is saying about his political life: “I’m brilliant, I’m better than this.”
Hepburn writes that Ignatieff made all kinds of mistakes:
As leader, he was uninspiring and his political smarts were questionable. He failed to establish distinctive policies that set him apart from Harper. He failed to tell Canadians two or three key issues that he felt most passionately about. He supported Harper on virtually every Conservative legislative initiative, keeping the Tories in power.
At the same time, Ignatieff excluded his own MPs from a major Liberal policy conference. He failed to attract star candidates. He showed little understanding of what he wanted to do as a politician or how he would achieve it. He was terrible on television and refused to listen to advisers who wanted to help because, as a former TV star, he knew better.
Canadians didn’t like him not because he wouldn’t get down and dirty in politics, like Harper does. They voted against him because they knew he didn’t have any core values and because they felt he looked down on them.
There's a lot that Ignatieff has failed to learn. A man can be very bright -- and utterly blind.