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‘I am the creature of the Liberal Party’: Ignatieff

A mob of Young Liberals of Canada welcomed Michael Ignatieff to the Vancouver Convention Centre this morning, shouting “Michael, Michael, Michael” with the over-the-top enthusiasm that only a room full of twentysomething Grits could muster for a former journalist and university professor.

“All right. Let’s settle down here. Gracious,” Ignatieff said, after making his way through the cheering crowd and mounting the stage.

“You’ll have to indulge me,” the interim Liberal Party leader began. “This is the feeling I felt in 1968 at the great convention that chose Pierre Trudeau as our Prime Minister...

“I’ll never forget that. I was 21,” he continued, “I had a feeling for the first time in my life that I wasn’t a spectator… And this is what the Liberal Party of Canada offers you: together, we make the history of this great country.”

Ignatieff asked for the Young Liberal help in rebuilding the party, and repeatedly compared himself to them in his short remarks.

“I am the creature of the Liberal Party of Canada. I grew up in this party,” he said, shortly before donning a Canucks jersey.

Though the hundreds of Young Liberals attending this convention are an ethnically diverse crowd, many dress in the universal uniform of white frat boys: blazer and striped shirt. Watching their faces as they gazed on during Ignatieff’s short speech, more than a few of them appeared to be harbouring the same thought as well: “Yeah, I could be Prime Minister some day.”

Monte Paulsen reports for The

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