Friday, March 25, 2011

True Patriot Abandonment

Back in April 2009 when my blog was just two months old, Mr Ignatieff the newly anointed leader of the Liberal Party released a book called True Patriot Love. As a patriotic Canadian, it bothered me that this man was writing a book about his "profound" patriotism, when he lived virtually his entire adult life abroad until Ian Davey went to Boston and talked him into running for Prime Minister.

This is what I had to say when his book was released. Sorry, I didn't buy it, I just read excerpts in MacLeans.

True Patriot Abandonment
April 26 2009

I recently had the opportunity to read excerpts from True Patriot Love in Friday’s National Post and again in MacLean’s magazine. My first impression of this man auditioning to become the leader of my country is that he is a gifted writer. That being said, when I am making my choice of which individual I’d prefer to become my Prime Minister, policy is far more important than the ability to write a narrative. Thus far Ignatieff refuses to release any policy. I want to know what he intends to do if elected when I make my decision; not read superlative rhetoric trying to convince me that he loves this country despite living anywhere but here for almost his entire adult life. I am getting the feeling that he loves 19th century Russia more than 21st century Canada.

That’s what I find creepy about this book, that he has composed this elaborate exposition of why Canadians love our country. I am a young adult and I love this country so much that I choose to live here! It’s as Mr. Ignatieff writes in his book “a country begins to die when people think life is elsewhere and begin to leave.” Oh, really? He thought life was elsewhere, and he left. Does this then suggest that the country is born again when those who chose to emigrate and live abroad for 30 years triumphantly return and immediately begin to campaign for their ascension to political power? Michael got out of Dodge before I was born, and returned when I was 26. I have my own reasons for loving my country, and I will not accept a naturalized foreigner obsessed with Czarist Russia to tell me why I am a Patriot.

Furthermore, he only decided to return to Canada after the Gomery Commission was going full steam ahead and ravaging the Martin Regime in the polls. It took Liberal insiders to actually visit him in New England feeding him delusions of grandeur to pry him away from the United States. Does anyone doubt that had Paul Martin won a majority in 2004 that Michael Ignatieff would still be living in Boston telling people he’s an American?

Now that he has ascended to the throne of Liberal leadership, the biggest obstacle standing between Iggy and true patriot power is justifying his 30 year absence. It is imperative that he make Canadians feel comfortable with his perpetual decision to live anywhere but here before he will ever be elected Czar of Canada. He must convince Canadians that he loves his country, despite not wanting to live here. Enter True Patriot Love, a manifesto of convoluted hyperbole designed to enlighten Canadians about how they feel about patriotism. It goes far beyond the author attempting to convince the reader that he loves his country; it has the audacity to inform Canadians of how we feel. Did he happen upon these revelations while he was living in Great Britain or while he was living in the United States?

It is abundantly clear in reading his writing, that Michael Ignatieff has a substantial preoccupation with his family ties to Russian Czarist aristocracy who were forced to flee Russia during the Russian revolution. My own ancestors immigrated to Canada from Scotland two centuries ago, because the new world was the land of opportunity and they wanted to live here. They were not forced to flee here as refugees because their own incompetence of governance led to the collapse of a hereditary monarchy. My patriotism has been passed down from generation to generation of middle class Canadians with a love of country that was born from our desire to live here. My ancestors did not resent that they had to leave their homeland; they were not angry that they had been overthrown from a position of entitlement and power.

Here is an excerpt from MacLean’s review of True Patriot Love

“Michael Ignatieff was drawn more to the Russia his grandparents, father, and uncles had fled than to the Canada they embraced, the country prepared for their arrival, in effect, by people like the Grants. “Between my two pasts, the Canadian and the Russian, I felt I had to choose,” Ignatieff wrote. “I chose the vanished past, the past lost behind the revolution. I could count on my mother’s inheritance: it was always there. It was my father’s past that mattered to me, because it was the one I had to recover, to make my own.””

He was not lured back to Canada for love of country, he returned because he wants to be the Czar of Canada. He resents that his ancestors were forced to become Canadian, and as evidenced by the sub-title “Four Generations in Search of Canada”, he confesses that his ancestors spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if they even liked it here. Four generations to make up their minds, that despite living in Canada they still felt the need to search for it. This culminated in Michael himself deciding that he wanted to live abroad once he had entered adulthood. This was not just a one year venture teaching English in Korea, he left for 30 years. He admits to telling people he was American while living in America. That sure sounds like true patriot love to me...*cough*cough* When I visit the United States, I wear my Team Canada hat, my Team Canada shirt, because I want everyone who sees me to know where I’m from because I am proud of my Canadian heritage, whereas Michael Ignatieff is in love with his Russian lineage.

“When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.”

-Sir Winston Churchill


  1. I do not have a problem with Ignatieff being in love with his Russian lineage, but I have a very serious problem with him claiming he knows and loves Canada while having never lived here during his adult life. It is the arrogance of taking us to be such gullible fools that we would never notice.

  2. My family came as U.E.L.'s because we lost the revolution in the States, but we stayed for the poverty:0)
    I know and keep my family history alive, but I don't think I would ever go and live back in Scotland, maybe the States if I had too. Nice places to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.
    That is the difference between most Canadians and Iggy; give the choice most of us wouldn't dream of going back to our ancestral home.