Can Ignatieff use George Grant to gain Tory cred?

July 14, 2009

George Grant still carries some weight with my generation of Canadians.  His pessimism ignited our nationalism;  his acceptance of the inevitability of American domination left us determined to prove the prophet wrong.  But the stimulus and the passion came from Lament For a Nation.

In True Patriot Love Michael Ignatieff uses Grant to establish his Conservative chops.  Last week in London he served notice in the Berlin Lecture that the CPC is no legitimate heir to the support of Progressive Conservative voters.  He stated in his lecture that Progressive Conservative leaders subscribed to a liberal-democratic tradition very like that of the Liberal Party of Canada.  He’s not wrong in this.

Then Tom Flanagan wrote the think-piece in the Globe accusing Liberals of squealing like little girls over a few attack ads, and Harper found himself inadvertently tarred with the Republican brush.  All of the sudden Uncle George starts to look pretty good to us wannabe Canadian nationalists, and Harper’s made-in-America politics doesn’t look Conservative at all.

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