Talk:Michael Ignatieff/Archive4

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This is an archive of discussion that previously appeared on Talk:Michael Ignatieff. The conversations here terminated on or before July 14, 2006. For previous discussion, see Archive 1, Archive 2, or Archive 3.

Nomination controversy

I've just deleted the following line from the section on Ignatieff's political careerL

The fact that the other candidates who contested the nomination were only given 36 hours to do so, and then found the provincial HQ to be "closed" (although workers inside refused to answer the phones or the doors) is continually erased by Ignatieff's staff on this site.

Although this is funny (actually, I'm not an Ignatieff staffer, I'm his mother. Now you leave my little Iggypoo alone! He's a good boy! j/k), it obviously has no place in the article. However, does the information it relates belong elsewhere in the article? I suppose a subsection in the Controversy section could be made to present all the gripes surrounding Ignatieff's nomination. Here's why that idea bothers me: anyone who has been to a riding association meeting knows that there's always factions, and they're always bickering. I don't think that sort of infighting is really important to the general public, only to the internal factions themselves. On that note, let's all try, when working on this article, to keep the audience in mind. Wikipedia is written for the general public. This article should provide someone who doesn't know anything about Ignatieff with a basic outline of who he is, why he is significant, what have been his main contributions to his fields (political, literary, and academic), and what he has done. We have not come to bury Michael, or to praise him, just to report as factually as possible the aspects of his public life that a member of the *general public* would think important. Joel Bastedo 16:23, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

The section reads much cleaner now. Kudos. 19:55, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
If the 36 hours quote is going in there, we need a source. While I agree with J.B. that it's unneccessary (gripes about riding association protocols don't belong here), there's absolutely no way it should be included unless a reputable news source can be found to cite. 22:35, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreement on order of article?

I hope that we can decide on the clearest and most logical order for the sections of this article. I propose placing the "Political Career" section before the "Controversies" section because, until the context of those controversies is established (ie. until the reader knows the circumstances of Ignatieff's bid for Liberal leadership) the controversies don't seem very important. Only once his current political aspirations are described does the gravity of some of the controversies make sense. The other significant structural change I suggest is that in its current reverted state, the Ukrainian-Canadian controversy is tucked away into the Political Career section. I think it garnered enough attention to warrant its own subsection in the Controversies section, where it more logically belongs. Thoughts?

Proposed Contents
1 Background
2 Recognition
3 Ideas
3.1 On Canadian rights culture
3.2 On equality rights
3.3 The Lesser Evil Approach
4 Political career
4.1 Leadership bid
4.2 Extension of Canada's Afghanistan mission
5 Controversies
5.1 Doubts about his national self-identity
5.2 Invasion of Iraq
5.3 Ballistic missile defense
5.4 Torture
5.5 Remarks about Ukranian-Canadians
6 Bibliography
6.1 Fiction
6.2 Non-Fiction
7 References
8 External links

Joel Bastedo 15:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Of course, we'll probably get some anon reverting it with OMG PRO-IGGY BURYING CONTROVERSY GET CONSENSUS!!1!! I started typing that as a joke but on second thought it doesn't seem so implausible :( -Joshuapaquin 15:34, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
If I may continue to advocate a split approach: I think we should look at Dion, Rae, Kennedy, Dryden's pages and try to approximate the same level of detail; I appreciate that there are differences (EG, Dryden's hockey career, Rae's time in office demand detail, as do Ignatieff's writings) but I think that if we present a lot of details on Ignatieff's views we might end up getting into familiar arguments about people's subjective interpretations thereof.
If, however, we took the controversies section and instead replaced it with something along the lines of "Michael Ignatieff's candidacy for the Liberal Party Leadership has attracted considerable criticism relating to his views on the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Canadian-American relations, his absence from the country and other issues. See also Controversies relating to Michael Ignatieff's candidacy for the 2006 Liberal Leadership." we could keep it short, keep the topics topical, and get around the glaring issue that it will be hard to find a consensus on the correct level of emphasis for the controversies section. Clearly, I agree that having half the article devoted to criticisms is not balanced, but can we find consensus on that? I don't know that we can; and I think this affords us an encyclopedic way out of that issue. I don't really find it inelegant.
As we discussed above, such an approach has tradeoffs for pro-Ignatieff editors like myself and for anti-Ignatieff editors; it legitimizes the controversies as a 'considerable' issue but also makes it possible to move dubious subjective edits of other sections (eg, his biography, bibliography) to the relevent critical parts of the other article.--Haligonian Lucullus 16:09, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Haligonian, I still have reservations about creating a separate article, but you're right that we're having a heck of a time getting any kind of consensus with the anons. I suggest we go ahead and make a separate article - if it succeeds, great. If it doesn't, we can always fold it back into this article. Let's call it a 'pilot project'. Joel, what do you think? -Joshuapaquin 16:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking of it basically being the existing controversies and integrating other critical pov remarks from elsewhere in the document as they came up; however, I think it's best to hear critical comments about the idea before creating the new article and especially before trimming from this one in a way that might lead to revert-fighting. Canuckster,,, your thoughts?--Haligonian Lucullus 16:43, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Of course, the new controversies page would also include statements defending Ignatieff from such criticism, right? BTW, I have posted a link on the Wikipedia:Canadian Wikipedians' notice board in hopes of attracting more seasoned Wikipedians to balance out the anons. -Joshuapaquin 16:49, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I'll support this idea and help however I can, but with some qualifications. I know that much of the current focus on the controversies is a product of factional griping at the front runner in a leadership race. However, some of the controversies themselves — especially over Ignatieff's stance on coercion and torture — exist independently of that race. While dwelling on the criticisms levelled against Ignatieff's campaign may be out of step with the articles on the other contestants, separating the criticisms of his ideas from the ideas themselves might be out of step with articles on other thinkers. So I agree in principle, but think that somewhat more of the controversy material needs to remain in the main article than your sample sentence suggests. Joel Bastedo 17:22, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I get what you mean. FWIW, I've read pretty much everything he's had to say on the subject, and other than a lukewarm endorsement of some coercive interrogation in a May 2004 issue of NYT Magazine, (a position he unequivocally distances himself from later, eg with his Prospect article, he's not really got very much to say about it that's controversial. Other than that one article, the 'quotes' about 'torture' are just out of context.
The thing is, I think Ignatieff's having been pro-Iraq War in 2003 really set him up as a sort of Christopher Hitchens-type hate figure for a lot of people, and when I read Connor Gearty et al it really only makes sense to me from that light; Ignatieff is unequivocal on torture to the point of not allowing a "Jack Bauer Clause" for the silly superbowl bomb scenario. If he had maintained the coercive interrogation viewpoint as in the NYT Magazine article, one might make a case, if one wanted, that he muddied the waters, but even that is a long stretch as of more recent writings (his contribution to the HRW torture book, etc)
This is my pro-Ignatieff interpretation of the documentary record, of course, but since the issue has come up - I'd never be pro-Ignatieff if I thought he were even 'wobbly' on torture, torture lite etc. It's far too important an issue. So, the wording I'd find appropriate in the main article reflects that view of mine; perhaps something that can be hashed out on the talk page or elsewhere.
In terms of the controversies I actually have people ask me about when I talk politics, the two main ones are usually his Iraq stance and his having been out of the country.--Haligonian Lucullus 17:53, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
That all sounds reasonable. I guess now we wait for Canuckster and the Anons to weigh in? Joel Bastedo 19:05, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, we all have editorial vetos, so I think it would be best.--Haligonian Lucullus 19:26, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Just removed from the article by an anon was the paragraph about Gearty's criticism. The thing is, I think that a clear citation of academic controversy is much more welcome than the present system, which is a list of ideas attributed to Ignatieff that are assumed to be controversial. The fact is, the current controversy section contains little to no citation that the listed items are, in fact, notably controversial. This is a problem, but also an opportunity: If we require citation for controversies, and try to keep the section as academic as possible, perhaps it can be made more encyclopedic. -Joshuapaquin 20:19, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
This is, I think, strongly related to WP:WEASEL. -Joshuapaquin 20:23, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I frankly think Gearty's been taken awfully seriously for what was basically just a hatchet-job on a bigger-name academic. Would Gearty (and similarly, Laurie Taylor be as critical as they were if they weren't still chippy about their erstwhile colleague who 'ought to have known better' about Iraq? I think not. Further, a lot of that commentary has more to do with making political statements about Bush and Blair and not being tough enough on them than it does with a close-reading of Ignatieff's actual position. That's my POV, but I have read all the relevent material and I'm inclined to take allegations on an issue of that weight very seriously, and I do believe the torture stuff is really rubbish. Please note, I put this on the talk page, with a handy dandy red "POV" warning.--Haligonian Lucullus 21:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
But I'm digressing somewhat from the matter of revamping the article. Could some of the people who felt it was being 'gutted' offer views on these proposals?--Haligonian Lucullus 22:34, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
None of the "proposals" are based on NPOV. They all drag in obvious pov of the editors; e.g.; "Would Gearty (and similarly, Laurie Taylor be as critical as they were if they weren't still chippy...". Sorry, but I see no npov at all in the discussion above nor the obvious pro-Ignatieff edits. I revert to Canucksters last edit. 03:03, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Interesting discussion. Though, does anyone else notice that "Canuckster" is quite clearly a sock puppet of the above user connecting with a 67.71.*.* dynamic ip? The reversions and similar styles make it obvious:
(cur) (last) 12:40, 26 June 2006 Canuckster (Talk | contribs) (revert as NO CONSENSUS REACHED FOR THESE PRO-IGNATIEFF CUTS!)[[1]]
(cur) (last) 00:17, 27 June 2006 (Talk) (NO CENSORSHIP PLEASE; please obtain consensus before stripping away non-pro iggy edits) [[2]]
(cur) (last) 02:59, 28 June 2006 (Talk) (revert as NO CONSENSUS REACHED FOR THESE PRO-IGNATIEFF CUTS!)[[3]]
Wikipedia policy on the such reversion abuse is quite clear. -- Finnegans wake 05:13, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Comment; Bell sympatico is a huge ISP in Canada (likely the largest)and even if true there is no 3 RR in 24 hours. Accusations of sockpuppetry should be verified with checkuser; not made frivolously. 11:45, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Come on,, Haligonian Lucullus clearly stated that he was "degressing ... from the matter of revamping the article," and was just throwing out his Point of View "on the Talk page, with a handy dandy red POV flag." What about all the edits under #Cuts, #Haiti and Kyoto, and #Ballistic Missile Defense that are awaiting feedback? Are you being deliberately uncooperative, or are you just not bothering to read the discussion? Joel Bastedo 05:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I felt I parsed that comment in a very frank way, but at any rate, it was a digression from what I'd really like here which is more comments from relatively anti-Ignatieff users on the concepts of article revamp in general and a seperate criticisms article in particular.--Haligonian Lucullus 14:05, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm not comfortable going ahead on any major changes without a balanced discussion here. Canuckster,,, other Ignatieff critics please weigh in.--Haligonian Lucullus 20:31, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? --Haligonian Lucullus 01:40, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Gee, if I didn't know better, I'd say that these folks are uninterested in constructive discussion and more interested in edit warring. -Joshuapaquin 02:12, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I dunno. There are some pretty deeply suspicious editors here but I would have thought that discussing this in advance on the talk page would be enough to give an indication of good faith and a desire to respect fair practices. --Haligonian Lucullus 03:02, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Folks, having reviewed the edit wars on this article, collaboration makes sense. I think Joel's approach to incorporating all information on this one page is preferential to Haligonian Lucullus's suggestion to splitting off controversies into a separate article. Often, I find this tends to either (1) bury controversial aspects of a people/places/things or (2) swing to the other extreme, where people have a "free for all" on the "controversies" page whilst editors watch the main page tightly. Ignatieff is, no doubt, a controversial figure in certain circles given his hawkish stand on foreign policy in recent years, so those aspects of his politics ought to be acknowledged here. At the same time, I don't think that means the article should be converted into a "quote depot" where people quote for the sake of quoting (as I believe Joshuapaquin said). - Finnegans wake 03:26, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

FW: I think Joel and Josh were, with reservations, on board for the seperate articles notion. Essentially, we're at a situation now where the ~3300 word article has 1300 words on "controversy," which to myself, an Ignatieff supporter, is more than ample grounds for keeping the NPOV tag up and requesting change. On the other hand, just today a critic of Ignatieff described the article - with that balance - as being pro-Ignatieff. It seems to me that it's impossible that the Ignatieff critics will agree to a 200-word controversy section or that Ignatieff supporters such as myself will agree on an article which is basically an Ignatieff Controversies article called Michael Ignatieff.
If the candidacy controversy article were seperate, there would not be a proportion issue, there would not likely be edit wars (since there would be room to simply incorporate opposing views on the controversy without the expansion of the discussion overwhelming a biographical article) and it would all be relatively encyclopedic. I am not proposing, to be clear, the notion of an Ignatieff article for Ignatieffites and a controversy article for anti-Ignatieffites; I simply thing that trying to keep all this in one article is the root of the current NPOV emphasis and topic drift problems with this article right now. I hope that my (honestly owned to) POV doesn't result in people thinking this is a POV proposal; I think it is the best course in terms of collaborative behavior and fair expression of views without interference or edit-wars. --Haligonian Lucullus 16:28, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Elephant in the room

This sentence by Ignatieff in the NY Times Magazine (2004)is arguably the most reported and talked about sentence he ever made; "To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war." Why is it always being watered down or explained away or even deleted from the article? It is nonsense for us to be trying to explain "what he meant". Our job is to state clearly what he has said and done, and this sentence is crucial to any accurate article, it seems to me. What's the big deal about it? 05:49, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Er, the big deal is that it is 22 words out of a 6,895 word article, which can be viewed here. It is not the introduction or the conclusion; it is smack in the middle of the text. I would think it nonsense to not include some context. For example, on detention:
"Clearly, there need to be rules to govern detention, and the key rule -- one that defines democracy itself -- is that no one, citizen or otherwise, should be held without access to public review of his detention by independent judicial authorities. Where they are held, whether offshore or at home, should be immaterial. If they are detained by Americans, they are America's responsibility, and basic due process standards should apply."
Or on coercive interrogations: "An outright ban on torture, rather than an attempt to regulate it, seems the only way a democracy can keep true to its ideal of respecting the dignity even of its enemies. For that is what the rule of law commits us to: to show respect even to those who show no respect for us."
My point is not that you have to agree with Ignatieff here. But surely you cannot claim that such statements are immaterial compared to the quote that you mentioned? -Joshuapaquin 06:47, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I do not think we have to agree with any subject about anything nor should we. We simply record the history of what they say and do. To me it's ok to report both and let the readers decide whether Iggy's allowances; "Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress." constitutes "torture" or not (e.g.guantanamo,abu ghraib to some was/is torture; to others it's not). Sure, everyone wants to ban "torture"; it's the definition of torture that is debatable. The point is, it's Iggy's "Lesser Evils" statement that has defined his recent career as it is a bit different,shall we say. The calling for a ban on "torture"is not so identifiable with this particular person. 14:30, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I'd certainly concede that the NYT Magazine article is the favourite source document for Ignatieff's critics, but it - or even moreso, culled versions of it - are not the focus of a biographical article of the man. The statement you just quoted on coercive interrogation (with hoods, etc) is something that his later (and far more topical) Prospect article emphatically concludes against. If you want to point out that in a magazine article not centering on torture, before Abu Ghraib broke, he was once wobbly not on torture, or torture lite, but 'coercive interrogation that could become hard to distinguish from torture lite,' then yes, you can say that he said that. Once. And then measure that against everything else he wrote, particularly the topical article on the very subject of what is and isn't permissible, which is a laudible document that could serve as a policy guide on the issue anywhere. ( )
Remember that emphasis - how much of the article is devoted to arguments and counterarguments about arguably irrelevant or trumped up controversies - is a POV issue as much as unbalanced comments would be. As well, to respond to your criticisms above, I really must disagree that the article at the moment is pro-Ignatieff. I put on the NPOV tag a while ago (see talk above) and started talking about changes in Talk because I thought it was, as it is, basically a clearinghouse of anti-Ignatieff 'controversies,' links, and decontextualized quotations. AFAIK I am the only pro-Ignatieff here, as against what at least appears to be several sharply critical ones (just on Talk) and Josh and Joel who are not supportive of the man but have cut both pro- and anti- errata.
Please continue to comment in talk - eg, what do you think about a controversy article? - as I think there are ways that people who disagree (intensely) on the issue of the man's views and characters can still find a way to identify and balance views and facts without agreeing on fundamental conclusions. --Haligonian Lucullus 16:07, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I have read the arguments above and I am Opposed to a "controversy" article as I would be for Bush,Blair or CIA. I also think's argument is the most NPOV as it seems more grounded in logic, to me. Neutralizer 20:15, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Could you elaborate? I don't see a way, as I mentioned, to find a 'happy medium' between an article with 1300 words on controversy and one with 200; I have no desire to be in an edit war over that issue. If the controversy warrents that much discussion, I don't see why it wouldn't warrent an article of its own, especially given the benefits in balancing both pieces. eg., discussing (and their attendent controversies) within the CIA article is impractical.
As well, we aren't in the situation of the Bush or Blair articles in terms of voluntary editors, editorial oversight, or freezes/vandalism status. --Haligonian Lucullus 20:45, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm finding the pushiness a bit excessive; my opinion is the level of controversy is no greater here than with other controversial issues or people; it's not rocket science; each side of the controversies should be presented for the readers without censorship. Neutralizer 00:13, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Respectfully, do you have a PoV on Ignatieff? I don't think that having the article utterly dominated by controversy (in a way that the man's life and indeed candidacy have not been) is NPOV. Alternatively, as indicated above, some see the article as being pro-Ignatieff even now. What do you think about an appropriate word count for the full article vs. the controversy section, and how would you relate it to the other candidates' pages?
I've left the article untouched and I don't think that Talk Page 'pushiness' is comperable to, for example, the reversion behavior that's gone on hitherto. OTOH, some people do seem to be boycotting discussion. --Haligonian Lucullus 11:28, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I differ with the editor directly above. The article is not dominated by controversy at all even though the talk page is; which may explain the talk page boycott. I add my voice to the list of those opposed to separate controversy article. 18:55, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
May I refer you to my calculations above, under "Collaborative Revamp", in which I found the length of the Controversies section to be twice that of the next smallest section, and 41% of the entire body text. The Controversies section darn well does dominate the article, and consequently asserts notability to a non-NPOV extent. -Joshuapaquin 21:55, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I guess in a sense it's a shame that I personally suggested a seperate article, since it would be neither a pro- nor an anti-Ignatieff change but simply one that would encourage fairness, accuracy and encyclopedic standards. However, it would seem that an adversarial POV approach is going to be the result whatever compromises are proposed. Really, I ask people to use logins (or static IPs), express POVs frankly if they have them, and sound off on what percentage of this article is supposed to be "controversy centric." This isn't meant to be yet another internet flamewar; this is meant to be a neutral source of non-advocacy-based information. --Haligonian Lucullus 23:08, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
My own recommendation is that we aim for a controversy section that is 40% of the length of the article. 30% would probably be ideal given Ignatieff's notability prior to his political career, but that seems unrealistic at this point. -Joshuapaquin 23:15, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. I came became familiar with Ignatieff through his 1990's era journalism (ie: in the Balkans) and work on ethnic nationalism and rights theory. I read this article and get the impression he's said nothing of note until, oh, say, 2004 when he wrote that NY Times article "Lesser Evils" (an obvious fan favorite of some regular editors on here) and his text "The Lesser Evil." There's no mention of Isiah Berlin in the article, either. To my mind, to understand Ignatieff you need to understand Berlin. -- Finnegans wake 00:59, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I just don't think anyone outside of Counterpunch/Rabble/Blogging Dippers etc rates the fellow as "30 percent controversy" in his political career, much less his whole life. However, so long as it's a clash of subjective judgements, I don't think we'll get to 40%, let alone below it; remember that to some people this is currently a 'pro-Ignatieff' whitewash, which speaks volumes of the strength of political convictions I guess. We don't have a metric of "how controversial he really is" that can be agreed upon. Certainly his press coverage is not a litany of 40% controversy, but then, the press in Canada has genuine bias troubles that would tend to make Ignatieff-critics discount that out of hand, since they perceive him as of the right.
I'd like to hear counterarguments on why the controversy article wouldn't improve POV; consider, for a moment, that the idea might be good for wikipedia's treatment of the subject even though it comes from a pro-Ignatieff voice. This article would still point straight to it; there would no longer be an issue of length or topicality. Dignifying the subject would scarcely bury it, and noone is suggesting that critics of Ignatieff would stop watching this article as well to contribute to its NPOV-ness. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Haligonian Lucullus (talkcontribs) 20:05, June 30, 2006 (UTC)
Haligonian Lucullus - regardless of what those with political agendas may say (ie: blogging dippers), it would be a failure of Wikipedia if we have to split off an article because the person had been involved with something "controversial". By comparison, look at George W. Bush's article. Talk about a polarizing, controversial figure. Yet, his article actually looks like an encyclopedia piece with a section for "criticism and public perception" near the end, which constitutes no more than 10-20% of the entire article. And no "split off" article. If you examine the edit history of this article, the problem appears to be the fact that a number of anonymous and/or newuser account editors conducting edit/revert wars. -- Finnegans wake 01:39, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Agree 100% with editor above that "it would be a failure of Wikipedia if we have to split off an article because the person had been involved with something "controversial"." 21:26, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Ideas Section

This section could also be condensed by paraphrashing views and then citing to the quote or the work. As it is now, there are some quotes (ie: on equality / multiculturalism) on that could be summed up in shorter paraphrasing paragraphs, providing more room for additional ideas / information on other works etc. Thoughts? -- Finnegans wake 18:11, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Wording issues and NPOV

Several wiki users have made changes to the wording of the article that Neutralizer consistently reverts. Could we please get a consensus on these changes, rather than continue the ongoing revert war? 22:29, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

The recent edits by are reasonable and NPOV. 13:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Guys, this would be so much easier to follow if you would get user accounts. Please. -Joshuapaquin 16:12, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Let's face facts

  • When a political leader who calls himself a Liberal writes many things like this;"To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war." and when that same person who wants to lead Canada wrote 4 years ago; "I believed in America in a way Canada did not allow"; then controversy will be as rampant and overpowering as if George Bush were to announce he is in favour of a guaranteed annual income for all citizens, withdrawing U.S. forces from overseas deployment and free socialized health care, and says "I believed in Canada in a way America did not allow."
  • It's not our fault Iggy is controversial; it'll be our fault if we don't recognize the very real and dramatic extent of the controversies. 13:37, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
That's fine but keep in mind that we have to write about the actual controversy, in the real world, and not what we personally feel is objectionable. --JGGardiner 15:07, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. It is not for us to determine what should be notable and relevant, only what is. -Joshuapaquin 16:15, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. As we can see, many, many people have determined that the controversial aspects of Ignatieff's views are extremely notable and relevant which explains the enormous public and media record that addresses the controversial aspects. It is wrongheaded to pretend that the extent of the controversies is being exagerated here as ,in fact, if anything, the controversies and confusion surrounding what,if anything, this subject truly believes, are being quite well kept reined in and minimized; perhaps even too much so for an objective encyclopedia. 01:30, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Restating highly POV positions hardly makes them "facts" or encyclopedic. The first comment here is a recitation of the tired saws of anti-Ignatieff activists; out of context quotations arranged so as to approach the level of falsehoods. There is a reason why this is the only - only - supposedly non-biased information source that is so rampantly controversy-centric and critical; because of editors using it as a political instrument. It's extremely unfortunate and strident recapitulations of your hostile feelings are not serving any "fact-facing" or collaborative purpose. There are blogs and websites where wrongheaded, fact-free soapbox sermonizing is the appropriate content; please keep it there. --Haligonian Lucullus 18:47, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Torture citations on human rights

Under the torture section, we have 6 sources (17-22) which pretty much say the same thing - that there are a lot of human rights scholars who disagree with Ignatieff. While I'm not trying to censore any of them, I'm curious if we really need this many. Can the same point be made with fewer quotes? 23:14, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

The sources are there for those who are interested and they take up little space. Please leave them be. 01:21, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Sir, yes, sir!. Any other opinions? 04:13, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
I had said in my edit summary that I was fine with multiple sources, and I am, as long as they are helpful. I think that the source should be there to demonstrate the statement in the text. I think including so many is not needed and may have a "POV" effect. If the sources are just further reading, that's fine but I'd move them to the links section. Since two of them are already there, I'm going to remove those as sources and keep them in the links section. --JGGardiner 04:26, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Opponent Sites

I've taken a look at some of the articles on other controversial political figures (Bush, Blair, Harper, etc...), and none of them have links to "Opponent Sites" as does Ignatieff's. Does this seem inconsistent to anyone else?

That's probably more about the grouping than content. Only Stop Iggy is really an opponent website. One of the others is an article which highlights some controversies and the other is a negative editorial. --JGGardiner 05:35, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I may open a can of worms by suggesting this, but do we want to lose the Stop Iggy website and maybe try to find a few more op-ed pieces or review articles, instead? It just seems anti-Iggy to have opponent links when Bush or Harper's articles don't. 16:41, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with that. The page has little content, most of which is available elsewhere (if not in the article) and is only there to demonstrate that people don't like Ignatieff. That is already well-documented in the article and the other sources. And not even one anti-Ignatieff Liberal was willing to attach their name to that site. All it really does is show that at least one anti-Ignatieff Liberal can make a webpage. --JGGardiner 17:10, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I've seperated the articles by Ignatieff from the rest, and will combine the critical Op-Ed pieces from Opponent Sites with the Commentary and Review section. Stop iggy can probably be dropped - as you said, all it shows is that at least one anti-Ignatieff Liberal can make a webpage. Most of the legitimate criticisms can be found in the other pieces, too. 18:28, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I've added newspapers and dates for all the articles I could, but can't seem to find anything for the James Laxer article. As far as I can tell, it's just a blog entry. If no one objects, I'm going to recommend this link be deleted - blogs (even those of university profs) probably shouldn't be used as encyclopedic references. 18:38, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with deleting it. I don't mind the blog part so much. My problem is just that it is quite short, albeit well-written, and really says nothing unique. --JGGardiner 20:40, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


I've cleaned up a few of the references, but the article could use the help of a dedicated wikipedian or two to get some consistency in the format and style of the links. Any brave souls want to volunteer? 19:29, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Undue Weight is the policy on undue weight; I think it's valuable reading given that this is still in large measure the "Ignatieff Controversy Article" given the title Michael Ignatieff. The policy seems fairly clear; random IPs and the Etobicoke Lakeshore NDP riding association are not prominent adherents. I'm not sure if there's a specific tag for 'undue weight,' but I can't find it if there is. --Haligonian Lucullus 15:14, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Talk Page is Getting Long

Someone who knows how might want to archive topics not discussed in the last few days, as we're at 87k on the talk page. --Haligonian Lucullus 15:14, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Done. For what it's worth, you can create an archive simply by going to a new page name in your browser (e.g. "Talk:Michael Ignatieff/Archive3") and pasting in the text. -Joshuapaquin 20:22, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Invasion of Iraq

I've cleaned up this section a bit, but I have to ask: why is this in the Controversies section? There's nothing there about any controversy, except that Ignatieff acknowledged his position was controversial among liberals. Can it be moved to the Ideas section?

PS: This has gotten me thinking. As Joshua Paquin has pointed out, the Controversies section is currently just "a list of ideas attributed to Ignatieff that are assumed to be controversial" and "contains little to no citation that the listed items are, in fact, notably controversial." Could we do away with the subsections in the Controversies section (and eventually in the Ideas section too, perhaps), and just have a paragraph or two (or however many are needed) outlining which of the various ideas mentioned in the idea section have been controversial, with references to the printed media in which these controversies have been waged? Joel Bastedo 15:25, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Combining Controversies and Ideas

Regarding my suggestion made under Invasion of Iraq, I'm thinking in particular of these three subsections:

4.2 Invasion of Iraq
4.3 Ballistic missile defense
4.4 Torture

With slight modifications, Torture could be combined with The lesser evil approach, while Invasion of Iraq and Ballistic missile defense could be combined in a subsection called something like "On foreign policy" or "Empire lite." How about this?

3 Ideas
3.1 On Canadian rights culture
3.2 On equality rights
3.3 The lesser evil approach (including 4.4 Torture)
3.4 Empire lite (Including a brief (one sentence) introduction of his idea of "empire lite" and a description of the implications of that idea in terms of American foreign policy, including 4.2 Invasion of Iraq and 4.3 Ballistic missile defense)
4 Controversies

Introductory paragraph explaining that several of his ideas have incurred criticism from human rights scholars and other observers, particularly those that seem to endorse American expansionism, with citations as appropriate. Then some kind of blurb saying that, with Ignatieff's entry into elected politics in the fall of 2005, new criticisms have been levelled against him from his political opponents, regarding his national self-identity, and his opinions on Ukranian Canadians (and possibly the ethics of his nomination?). Then we'd have the two remaining sections from Controversies to explain:

4.1 Doubts about his national self-identity
4.2 Remarks about Ukranian-Canadians

How does all that sound? Joel Bastedo 15:49, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it would read much cleaner. 21:49, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

That sounds good to me. It seems like you've put a lot of thought and time into it. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much an article can suffer from disorganization. Although I think that it will require some care on the last part to avoid "POV" accusations. --JGGardiner 02:25, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. -Joshuapaquin 03:55, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Appreciate the effort. Is the intended length on controversies going to be roughly the same? As much as reorganization would clean things up, my undue weight issue with the page is still based on the disproportionate size of the controversy treatment as compared to treatments elsewhere and with reference to the standards of --Haligonian Lucullus 18:23, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I imagine it would be considerably shorter for two reasons. First, there is currently some repetition between the ideas and controversies sections. Second, some of what is now in the controversies section (notably the War in Iraq subsection) isn't really controversy (it's just an idea which many people disagree with), so although most of the information will remain, the recategorization will help provide the balance you're looking for. Joel Bastedo 22:42, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

List of articles by Ignatieff

Originally, I was planning to flush out the "List of articles by Ignatieff" but have discovered that he's a more prolific writer than I originally thought. Thus, there are lots of articles by him - maybe too many to list under this entry. So, here's the question: Which ones should we link to and/or list? I'm tempted to say "Important Ones", but that's a can of worms I'm not certain I want to open. So should we list all of them? Only ones that are on-line? Only the controversial ones (and risk undue weight)? I've included a version that goes back to 2002 - suggestions on where to take this would be much appreciated. Ideally, I'd also like to find a solution that doesn't involve triplicate "References/External Links/Biography" links. 18:47, 10 July 2006 (UTC)