Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This is as real as it gets

It would be easy enough to dismiss this with a mocking comparison between Michael Ignatieff and Walter Mondale and otherwise ignore the subject. But there's a trend developing among the Libs' faithful that deserves to be pointed out.

As best I can tell, the two most-trumpeted events from a tour that was supposed to reintroduce the Libs' leader to the country have been...Ignatieff dancing, and Ignatieff reciting an SNL catchphrase. Which seems to signal that Lib supporters are highly motivated by the prospect of taking our already-limited political discourse down about three more notches, to the point where the role of a prime ministerial candidate is to soak up attention by providing comic relief.

Now, I'm not entirely sure whether that's the result of a conscious effort by the Libs themselves to play up those aspects of Ignatieff's tour above all else, or simply an unintended and spontaneous show of what actually drives the Libs' supporters. But either way, it's hard not to notice the contrast between a party with so little commitment to any particular vision as to focus its attention on the most banal moments imaginable, and one which is harnessing social media to get people talking about issues. And with Ignatieff having a long way to go in trying to reverse all kinds of negative public perceptions, it's doubtful that voters identifying him primarily as "on a boat!!!" will get them very far.

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