Canadian PM contender Michael Ignatieff former history professor

Historians in the News

...How do the front-runners in Canada's federal election stack up?

All three possess many of the qualities of a CEO, but which candidate has the right skills for the times is an open question. The NDP's Jack Layton scores well on personality traits with his humour, honesty, tenacity and self-assurance. He is also an extraordinary communicator, fights for his people, and has the most operational experience of the three, having been active in politics since high school. In fact, the latest polls seem to recognize his leadership qualities, ranking the party above the Liberals for the first time. One pundit quipped that Jack's on a roll, but he should rip up the NDP platform before anybody reads it.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has been fighting an uphill battle, unable to escape the coalition trap set by the Conservatives. But his CV paints the portrait of a true renaissance man, a Canadian version of the Czech Republic's Václav Havel. A professor of history (PhD from Harvard) and student of famous liberal philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin at Oxford, Ignatieff has been a print journalist, a radio and television broadcaster, and an author of both fiction and non-fiction, whose pedigree is noble from both the Russian and Canadian branches of his family.

Despite his remarkable professional achievements, he has been unable to articulate his political vision or display the CEO qualities Canadians say they want in a leader....

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