The quotable Ignatieff

Canadian Press has now moved at least three stories on Michael Ignatieff’s town hall meeting in Halifax—one on his proposals for the economy, one on his thoughts about Israel, and now one on some of the Liberal leader’s more personal comments this evening.

Anyone want to guess whether CP managed three stories from a single public appearance of the Liberal leader when Stephane Dion was that leader?

Anyway. Take it away, Mr. Ignatieff.

On government cuts to literacy and his son: “If you allow me a little bit of raw political anger here to surface – that was one of the dumbest things I’ve seen during my time in Parliament. We would not do that … He has a problem, my own son. This impedes his capacity to succeed. He needs a lot of help. My wife and I have put a lot of investment into this to get this right. Every family needs help with that problem … We do not want a small businessman, a large factory owner to be sitting there, watching a kid come onto the shop floor and say, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know how to read this diagram.’ We just can’t afford this as a society. As the parent of someone who has watched a brave young man struggle with this his whole life, I don’t want this to happen to other Canadians.”

On his career as a freelance journalist: “I had four pots on the stove at any given time and sold intellectual products in the marketplace without any safety net. I know about being a small, self-employed businessman. People think I spent my life in a sheltered, ivory tower, but for 16 years I was out there thinking, ‘I’m not sure what I’m living on in three months.'”

Suggested topic for a future Harper/Ignatieff debate: Which of you can more convincingly claim to understand the experience of the small businessman?

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