Quotes by Michael Ignatieff (Politician/Canadian).

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Lincoln was not an intellectual, but no one in 200 years understood the language of the King James Bible or learned Blackstone's Laws of England, or Cicero, or the language of the Founding Fathers, better than he did.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Not even a superpower can hold onto its economic sovereignty if it fails to get its fiscal house in order, and no one needs a well-regulated international economic order more than the United States.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I had a lot of hubris going into politics, but I didn't think I was Pierre Trudeau.
• Michael Ignatieff
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It turns out that there is nothing so 'ex' as an ex-politician, especially a defeated one. Your phone goes dead.
• Michael Ignatieff
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There's a civic nationalism in Britain and dozens of other countries.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I may have come into politics with an unacknowledged condescension toward the game and the people who played it, but I left with more respect for politicians than when I went in. The worst of them - the careerists and predators - you find in all professions. The best of them were a credit to democracy.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Relying exclusively on air power has limits: planes are effective against fixed strategic targets, like petroleum storage, bridges, and command bunkers; but even then, air power rarely succeeds by itself in destroying a regime's ability to command and control its forces.
• Michael Ignatieff
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There's a way in which these guys all think absolutely media, day and night. Access is what it's all about, so they spin 24 hours a day and that's a problem.
• Michael Ignatieff
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There are hundreds of thousands of Scots who acknowledge English, Irish or Welsh parts of their very being. Lives and destinies are similarly intertwined in Catalonia and Spain, in Ukraine and Russia.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Both Iraq and Syria are a fissile mixture of ethnicities and religions thrown together after Versailles by departing French and British imperialists and only kept together by Baathist tyranny and violence.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I had the vocation for politics. What I didn't have was any aptitude for political combat. I took the attacks personally, which is a great mistake. It's never personal: It's just business. It was ever thus.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Commerce has changed the ethics of citizenship and the incentives for national service. America now buys private contractors - we used to call them mercenaries - to do the country's fighting.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I'm not tribal Labour. I'm a Liberal at heart. Different tradition, different language.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Thinkers too often disparage men of action in ways that do them no credit.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Liberal democracy has endured because its institutions are designed for handling morally hazardous forms of coercive power. It puts the question of how far government should go to the cross fire of adversarial review.
• Michael Ignatieff
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The core of human rights work is naming and shaming those who commit abuses, and pressuring governments to put the screws to abusing states. As a result, human rights conventions are unique among international law instruments in depending for their enforcement mostly on the activism of a global civil society movement.
• Michael Ignatieff
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The legitimacy of coercive acts in a democracy arises from the process by which they are justified and by the degree to which we regard decisions as rational. If the justifications proceed properly, through recognized public institutions, and if they make sense to us, they are legitimate.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Loving a country is an act of the imagination.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I think no one could have made peace in Bosnia besides Holbrooke.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I teach students that what people say about failure in politics is mostly wrong. People always told me, 'They'll praise you on your way up and kick you on your way down.' That wasn't my experience. I can't walk down the street in Toronto without someone coming up and saying hello.
• Michael Ignatieff
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For someone like me who, as a kid, walked to school muttering little political speeches to myself, it was irresistible to finally get a chance at political life for real. When the people of Etobicoke-Lakeshore elected me their MP, it changed me forever.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Politics is intensely physical: your hands touch, clasp and hold, and your eyes are always reaching for contact. None of this came naturally to me. I'd always put my trust in words and let the words do the work, but in politics, the real message is physical.
• Michael Ignatieff
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I've been both a journalist and a politician, and I can tell you it is more fun to ask the questions than have to answer them.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Desert Storm created the pattern for the American way of war that eventually prevailed in Kosovo. America learned from Vietnam that unilateral use of force eventually forfeits international legitimacy and domestic support. Desert Storm demonstrated the political necessity of coalition warfare.
• Michael Ignatieff
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Intellectuals are good at seeing the big picture. But they are not so good at process.
• Michael Ignatieff

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