It's sort of like he's inviting the fat girl to the prom because her folks have a pool. He'd rather not but he just can't wait to go swimming.
Maybe Michael Ignatieff doesn't know that we Westerners read papers and that we also read between the lines but it sure sounds like he didn't get that memo.
“Sometimes we've fallen prey to the temptation to run against the West, you know, to run against Alberta, to run against the Saskatchewan energy sector. This is not the way to go.”
“The Western economy is the beating heart of Canadian progress in the future. This is where the action is. And, if this is where the action is economically, then we have to be there, too.”
So, in Iggy-speak, opposing the environmental disaster of the Athabasca Tar Sands is, "...to run against the West." I guess that twisted logic explains why Tar Sands Mike has become far less critical of the devastation than even Stephen Harper or, for that matter, Ed Stelmach.
Then, in an ass-backward way, he assures Ontario with a wink and a nod that he'd rather not pander to these damned Westerners but, "...if this is where the action is economically," he'll do whatever it takes to win votes.
Iggy seems to be a man of unconditional love. He showered unconditional love on Israel when it smashed its way through the Gaza Palestinians and now he's lavishing the same thing on the Tar Sands.
Will it work? Probably. I suspect Iggy's going to get invited to the pool but I think he's going to be restricted to the shallow end and Tuesday mornings only... and he's going to have to keep dating that girl.
Unless he stumbles badly I think Iggy can probably defeat Harper in an election but I think that's as much due to Harper's inherent weakness as Iggy's strength. Ignatieff would probably discover that he's painting himself into a "minority" corner.
And then there's Obama. I think Canadians are less troubled that Harper is to the right of the American president. He's from Calgary, he worshiped at the altar of Bush/Cheney - we get that. Iggy's the one who'll really come off looking bad. He's a Liberal and Liberal leaders aren't supposed to stand to the right of American presidents, even Democrats. That's something we notice.
Ignatieff's comments come off as simply patronizing. If we have to... well then okay. And there's one other thing he needs to understand. There's a hell of a lot more to "the West" than the Tar Sands and a lot of us think he's dead wrong on Athabasca.