Despite having lived in Canada for more than twenty years, and being interested in all matters political for much of that time, I really don’t know a great deal about Canadian politics. This is especially true of the raft of individuals who comprise Canada’s political elite; I could definitely tell you more about, say, Tom Daschle and Barack Obama than any of their Canadian equivalents. References that people like Tim, Tristan, Spencer, and Emily make regularly leave me with no idea of what they are talking about. That probably has something to do with a lifetime in which I have skipped straight to the ‘international’ section of the newspaper, followed by ‘United States,’ and then ‘science.’ I rationalize it to myself on the basis of the general hope that Canada will muddle through on its own and that if something really spectacular is going on, I will hear about it anyway.
In a bid to partially reverse this long time trend, I have decided to learn a bit about Michael Ignatieff: at least to the point where I can endorse or reject him as a possible leader for the federal Liberal party and, by extension, a possible Prime Minister. To that end, I am now reading his book Blood and Belonging: Journeys into the New Nationalism. It seems to be more about the world in general than about Canada specifically, but it should at least lay bare some of his assumptions and modes of thinking.
To those much more aware of this contest than I am, which of the other potential Liberal leaders are worthy of some examination?