After a few weeks of blissful silence, Iggy emerged from the box his campaign staff have kept him in yesterday, and immediately shot himself in the foot with his mouth:
"That's [appealing to NDP voters] fishing in the wrong pond. That's the wrong strategy," Mr. Ignatieff said yesterday.
"He [Bob Rae] doesn't realize that Liberals fight the NDP in election after election.
"What Liberals need is someone who can run down the middle with a progressive message, and leave the NDP in their own particular ghetto," Mr. Ignatieff said in an interview.
He argued that instead, he would win votes from the Greens with environmental policy, and from the Bloc Quebecois with social and environment policy and "a language of respect for what makes Quebec specific."
So Ignatieff is willing to write-off the NDP vote, and willing to come out and announce as much in Canada's national newspaper. That is bold leadership. Stupid perhaps, but bold.
Put aside the fact that, as someone whose vote swings back and forth between Liberal and NDP depending on the election, I personally am one of the (occasional) ghetto-dwellers Iggy refers to, and I will not vote for some four-eyed poindexter from Harvard who insults me. No, set that aside and ponder instead the logic behind the remark. Because the kind of environmental measures that Iggy would employ to woo Green Party voters, are very much the same kind of measures likely to attract NDP support. All things being equal, he should get a twofer with them. This being the case, Iggy must go out of his way to extract the votes he doesn't want (NDPers) from the votes he does want (Greenies)...via insults.
And why is Iggy willing to deliberately insult about 15 to 20 per cent of the Canadian electorate? Well, its to take a shot at his leadership rival, Bob Rae, whose pool of potential support would include a good section of this 15 to 20 per cent.
...which is a bit like criticizing Ralph Klein's policies by calling Albertans ugly, except that here the term "ghetto" has overtones of class and maybe even ethnic lines which must not be crossed; in ideological terms, NDPers are from "the wrong side of the tracks", or some such thing. In any case, they're not good enough for Iggy.
Byt the way, h/t to The John Lennard Experience.