The search for simple answers

Having taken a full four days to think it over, various Liberals have settled on two explanations for their party’s losses: their leader and their leader’s answer to one criticism levelled during the English language leader’s debate.

Veteran Toronto MP Jim Karygiannis groaned along with Liberals across the country. Apparently, Ignatieff didn’t understand the pivot. Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt), who easily spends more time in his riding than in Parliament, was practically screaming answers at the TV screen: “Look, you’re a professional pol, Jack. You stay in Ottawa. I’m out working hard and talking to real Canadians, listening to them and working with them. That’s … what I’m doing.”

Extensive Star interviews with campaign insiders and politicians show a large slice of the loss must be attributed to the arrogance of the Liberal leader. In the end, a central Conservative criticism against Ignatieff — that he was arrogant — turned out to be true. It wasn’t the demeanour of a man deliberately trying to be haughty. Rather, as a Liberal communications expert noted: “Any political party is like a Masonic Lodge. You’ve got to know the secret handshake — and he didn’t know what he didn’t know.”

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