For Immediate Release
Ignatieff blames Liberals for family break ups
Fathers 4 Justice Canada is hoping his 2002 book, the Rights Revolution, gives some insight into the man who now leads the Liberal Party in the House of Commons.
With statements like, "As a father, I find it hard not to be pained by the statistics of modern fatherhood and divorce in Canada: Mothers get custody in 86% cases, and more than 40% of children in Canada's divorced families see their fathers only once a month."
"These are sensible and overdue suggestions, and the fact that they're being made shows that men and women are struggling to correct the rights revolution, so that equality works for everyone," in reference to custody and access being replaced by shared parenting after the 1998 For the Sake of the Children report.
He goes on to say that the Liberals must shoulder some of the blame for family break up and they must 'face up to their responsibilities'.
"We couldn't agree more," says Kris Titus, National Coordinator for Fathers 4 Justice Canada. "Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Harper may just provide the perfect balance to finally help Canada's children of divorce who are suffering so badly without both their parents."
A Fathers 4 Justice member who attended candidate debates during the election says Michael reaffirmed this stand when he asked him if his opinions had changed on shared parenting since his book to which Mr. Ignatieff replied, "No".
" My question obviously prompted him to remember the pain he felt about his children and after the meeting he came over to me and thanked me for asking the question," says the Fathers 4 Justice supporter in is report to F4J Head Office.
Fathers 4 Justice Canada has many supporters who reside in Mr. Ignatieff's riding.
"Oh yes, he can expect some kind of meeting invitation from us," says Titus, "We don't like lip service from politicians as Mr. Layton could attest."
The group has an entire section devoted to Ignatieff on their website at: http://www.fathers-4-justice-
CONTACT: Nationally, Kris Titus 1-888-F4J Canada
( 1-888-345-2262 ) ext. 704
National Website for more information about Fathers 4 Justice Canada: www.f4jcanada.ca
National Action website: www.f4jcanada.com
Canadian politics will now mostly revolve around two cerebral, distant leaders: Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff. Warm, and fuzzy they are not; smart they are.
There, the similarities stop. We will now have Mr. Harper, the economist, versus Mr. Ignatieff, the humanist. A political lifer versus a relative newcomer. A leader who had barely been out of Canada before becoming prime minister versus someone who had barely been in Canada before returning in 2005. A man with a sharp ideological edge versus someone of centrist preferences. A fierce partisan who has trained himself to view almost everything through a political prism versus an intellectual who must now curb his instinct to view issues in the round.
Of Mr. Harper, Canadians now know plenty; of Mr. Ignatieff, they know little. A Liberal Party leadership contest might have provided windows into Mr. Ignatieff, but those windows never opened.
Instead, because Bob Rae correctly read the inescapable signs of his defeat and departed the leadership campaign yesterday, Mr. Ignatieff will be anointed leader without a contest, debate or clash of ideas. He didn't even have to give a major speech. Instead, the leadership fell into his lap, a testament to his tightening grip on the party and to the luck of circumstances.
Five years ago, he was teaching at Harvard; within days, he will be leader of the Opposition.
Had the Liberals proceeded with their plans to hold a leadership convention in Vancouver in May, Mr. Ignatieff would likely still have won. But, as the events of recent days have shown once again, a week is a long time in politics, and five months can be an eternity.
The political drama of last week, however, changed Liberal calculations. The urgency of ridding the party of Stéphane Dion coupled with the apparent need for someone credible to lead them through the weeks ahead propelled Mr. Ignatieff forward as the candidate of whom the party asked: Why wait for spring? Why not do it now?
Defeat was conceded graciously by Mr. Rae, who stilled his privately expressed anger at the fates that had brought his friend and rival to the leadership, instead of himself.
Mr. Rae is a proud man, with much to be proud of, and it was a terrible blow to that pride not just to concede but to have found himself in a position of such relative weakness that he could not even put up a successful fight.
Like Macbeth's “horrible shadow,” Mr. Rae could not escape the reality and mythologies of his years as the NDP premier of Ontario. They have stuck to him and tormented his political career as a Liberal. Even outside Ontario, where Liberals and others had not experienced those years, the telling of the province's travails, and those of his government, spread across the land, seeping into the common (if potted) wisdom of what actually happened and why.
Mr. Rae was, therefore, the candidate with the record, much of it admirable and politically saleable but for that “shadow” from which, however unfairly, there seemed no escape – whereas Mr. Ignatieff, by virtue of having been away from Canada for so long, had a long record all right, but one forged in writing and commenting on more worldly matters than the merits of saving a Northern Ontario paper mill.
Mr. Ignatieff must steer his bedraggled party through the perils of the coming weeks, holding out the prospect of the coalition his predecessor negotiated (and which he supported) while preparing his party (and the country) for the Liberals' eventual exit from that unhappy strategy.
Once the budget is passed, as it will be, Mr. Ignatieff will face an array of internal challenges – squeezing a better performance from a talent-challenged caucus, revamping the party's fundraising, producing a coherent long-term vision for the country – while keeping up a steady attack on Mr. Harper's government and trying to become someone Canadians might actually like.
A Liberal revival must begin with one simple, difficult rule: unity. Mr. Harper earned unity and enforces it with iron discipline. Mr. Ignatieff will have it only if Liberals reflect on the fact that they have been intermittently tearing themselves apart since 1984, when John Turner defeated Jean Chrétien and the loser never reconciled himself to defeat.