The sounds of teeth gnashing rang out through the blogosphere (and the MSM last night), as commentators attempted to puzzle through the implications of Harper's Quebec Nation bombshell. There seems to be quite a bit of negativity out there, from both left and right, which I, at least for the moment, do not share.
However, one sentiment common across the political spectrum is that the serial bumbling of Michael Ignatieff's campaign for Liberal Leadership has brought the nation to its current state. After all, his recent pandering to Quebec seperatists over the issue of Quebec nationhood has its roots in an attempt to recover from earlier missteps in La Belle Province (Qanagate, for example).
Now, the happier take on the situation is that Harper has just bailed the Liberals out of Iggy's mess. Support the motion and dump the resolution! Presto! Liberals divisions are papered over just in time for the convention! However, even interpreted this way, none of what has happened should incline Liberal delegates towards supporting the Ignatieff camp. The odds that Iggy can, if lifted into a position of real power, happily drift across the landscape like Chance the Gardener, miraculously rescued from the consequences of his own actions, are minimal. Look at the damage he has already done to the Liberal Party through his confused response to the Israel/Lebanon conflict.
And of course the unhappier take is that, in the long term, or perhaps even in the short term , this has merely emboldened seperatists to make further and even more ridiculous demands on the federal government. At the extreme, Andrew Coyne seems to feel that we have woken up to the first day of our dying as a country. In which case, the appropriate response is, once again, to blame Iggy. How has this man, as a lowly MP, managed to do nearly as much damage to the fabric of the nation as Mulroney managed in two terms as Prime Minister?
Should Canada fly apart, Michael Ignatieff will surely go down in the blurred history of the dark ages to follow as the man who unleashed the forces that led to its destruction.
They will call him Iggy the Destroyer.