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Archive for January, 2010

Michael Ignatieff at UBC

4:40 – Iggy (President of the UBCYL) get up to thank Iggy (Leader). And gives him some of the ‘beer out here’.

4:38 – Magic words!

Equality. Equality of opportunity. We always have to think about who’s not in the room.

4:35 – What will you do to address western alienation? He comments on how all of these policies are intrinsic to national unity. The next question is actually pretty similar, and he gives a good speech about how immigration and our cultural diversity, when acknowledged and treasured, actually makes us stronger.

Well, I just spent 45 minutes defending the Alberta oil sands…

I will not pit one set of the country against the other.

4:33 – Question about the 0.7% foreign aid. Bit of a softball question, but really in Ignatieff’s element. Although, his statement, “The answer is… maybe” is funny. He talks about the requirement to ensure that the money that Canada invests and donates must not be stolen (ie. not Angola, not Zimbabwe).

4:32 – Would you lift the ban on gay men donating blood?

Absolutely.

4:29 – What is the ‘race’ that Iggy thinks we’re running? It’s somewhat of an existential question, and we get a bit of an existential answer, but he does give some

4:26 – He will not raise taxes, as the current recovery is too fragile.

4:25 – We need to not cut research and PSE, and must lift the cap on the aboriginal PSE.

One of the greatest mysteries in Canadian political life is why the Prime Minister of Canada has a reputation for good economic management.

4:24 – I… don’t know what this question is about. It’s a bit of a sentence salad.

4:20 – Ben West asks a reasonable question on the environment. Iggy invokes Peter Lougheed’s opposition to the speed of Tar Sands development, and how he won’t run against an industry just because they’re Albertan.

4:16 – I want these Greenpeace jackasses to go away.

4:14 – Arts funding. We should double the funding for the Canada Council.

4:09 – A question on Tar Sands. I’ll disclaim this by saying that I support tar sands development. And Greenpeace shows up and makes asses of themselves. We showed up to hear one of our leaders speak, a potential future Prime Minster, and you are poisoning our national discourse.

4:06 – How will you hold CIDA accountable for reporting where our money is going?

This is really why Parliament should be sitting.
-Michael Ignatieff

APPLAUSE!
-Audience

4:03 – Question on crime, and the ‘tough on crime’ v. ‘rehabilitation’ dichotomy. He mentions that he has never seen anyone come out of a prison better than when they went in. He mentions how we are asking police to do social rescue jobs that they are not equipped to do. A holistic approach is better than just introducing stricter penalties.

3:59 – A question from the overflow area! It’s on foreign aid, and CIDA. He mentions something about more international engagement, and partnering with NGOs, like the ‘various organizations without borders’. International development assistance should be focused on poverty reduction.

The Harper government has walked away from Africa, and we want to walk back.

3:57 – What can we do to make politics less about the parties, and more about the country? Michael ‘makes no apologies for being a partisan’, but he makes a distinction between smart partisanship and dumb partisanship.

I don’t want to score cheap points when people are dying.

3:55 – Kyoto Plus – will he sign on today? Some heckler yells the same question out, and Michael tells him to just wait for the answer. He talks about creating a credible governing policy.

3:53 -Question on Marijuana. Not an exact quote.

I’ve never felt that marijuana use or possession of small amounts of marijuana should be criminalized. However, when people ask me if marijuana should be legalized my answer is ‘no’.

3:51 – Another supertanker question – what will you do in opposition? He says he will hold the government accountable. I don’t really get this question – the opposition really only does one thing: oppose. The moratorium has worked so far, and thus far doesn’t need to be legislated.

3:50 – Supertanker question. He says he will stand by the moratorium on tanker traffic.

Questions are short sentences that finish with a question mark. Little short ones.
-Michael Ignatieff

3:47 – He’s talking about access to education now. There is some basic talk about underrepresented groups (a CASA term if I ever heard one), especially aboriginal Canadians.

3:45 – We also have to be the most environmentally sustainable, and more international. He’s giving an amazing articulation of how Canada needs to interact with other countries around the world – it also serves as an incredible rebuttal against those silly ‘Just Visiting’ ads.

In 2017, we have to be the best educated society on the planet!

3:43 – I’m a little concerned with the interchangeable use of Intellectual Property and the general concept of a knowledge economy, but I think he has the right idea, and his stances on the Canada-DCMA thing brought forward by Prentice (when he was in Industry) allay my worries.

3:41 – Talking about the economic situation now, and how it is no longer a given that the 21st century belongs to the US, but rather to Brazil, China and Africa, etc.

3:40 – I’m watching Taylor watching my blog about watching Michael while watching Michael. Amazing meta-social media!

3:38 – Our job is to get involved, but he’s meeting that with the concept that the political parties must present a vision, and should do better at articulating that vision – acknowledging the perceived faults is a good idea, I think. I actually think Iggy’s policies are fairly clear, but thats just me.

Everywhere I go, people are experts on prorogation. It’s an interesting little phenomenon.

3:34 – Michael starts off by talking about cynicism in politics, and decline in turnout amongst youth, and how rates of participation were higher in the USA then they were in Canada. He’s talking about the people who exploit cynicism, and now is moving into prorogation talk.

3:33 – Michael arrives, asks someone to take charge of his coat. Apparently UBC is the biggest crowd he’s seen anywhere in the country on this tour.

3:30 – Josh Hutchinson is up, giving an introduction, talks about the 2017 conference, and introduces the Liberal candidate in Okanagan-Coquihalla, Ross Rebagliati. He introduces Michael, who he describes as:

A man who exudes character, integrity, and above all, humanity.

3:26 – Michael is apparently scrumming upstairs, then is coming down in a couple of minutes to finally start the event. This… is about on par with other events.  Great attendance though.

3:17 – We are crammed in here like sardines. Too bad the club couldn’t find somewhere bigger. Nothing much is happening other than people getting seated and such.

3:09 – Oooh! Ben West is here! I’m just pleased as punch! (For the uninitiated, I ran against Ben West in the Electoral Area A election a year and a bit ago.

3:04 – Here we go. The stage is filled. The Norm is filled. There is a huge amount of people already lined up at the microphones. And I will be covering it all here, live, from the Norm Theater at UBC. Michael is coming!

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