The Liberals have finally gotten their house in order with the elevation of Michael Grant Ignatieff as interim leader. A distinguished academic, descended from Russian royalty and Canadian White Anglo-Saxon Anglican ( W.A.S.A.). His paternal grand-father was Education Minister to Tsar Nicholas 11, and his maternal great grand-father was Principal of Queens University. His father was a Canadian diplomat and his mother was the sister of the late, great, Canadian philosopher and author ( Lament for a Nation, Technology and Empire etc. ), George Grant .
After stints as a professor at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, he returned to Canada in 2005, taught at University of Toronto and entered politics with the Liberal party. He ran and lost the leadership for the Liberal party to Stephane Dion, but twice was elected to parliament. He is better prepared now for politics, having put some distance from academia. He has gained experience from the " to and fro " of parliament, and is fluent in English and French. He is a strong supporter of the idea of Quebec being the " centre of Canada ", and this will win him great support in Quebec, especially after Harper's harsh condemnation of the Bloc's involvement in the joint effort with the Liberals and the N.D.P. to bring a vote of non-confidence against the Harper gov't.
His Russian background will serve him well amongst the ethnic communities, especially those from Europe. He is only the second non- British ( English, Scottish, Irish ), non -French leader of a major party and may become the first since Diefenbaker to be Prime Minister. Given the fact that the Liberals have always had a strong connection to the ethnic communities...Jewish, Italians, Greeks, Indians, but which has been eroding, the selection of Ignatieff may be the key to bringing them back and even extending to the Reform/Conservative, support amongst the Ukrainians, Serbs, Germans, Scandinavians etc , especially in the West .
Ignatieff has already breathed life in a somwewhat moribund and divisive party. He needs to establish his control over the party, bring back the discipline that was lacking under Martin and Dion, and clearly articulate his vision for the future. He must keep the pressure on Harper and must do so with clarity and verve.
Iggy is the leader who will strike fear in the shallow Ref/ Cons.He is informed, articulate and tough. He will excel in the rough and tumble of parlia