2 min

Their leader is so much cooler than anything we’ve got

Canadians would have still been basking in the afterglow of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration when our own political soap opera resumed with Parliament on Jan 26.

With their president so much cooler — and promising so much more — than any of our national party leaders, Canadians are suffering from hope-and-change envy.

“Canada got served with that inaugural dance,” says celebrity blogger Ryan Porter. “Ignatieff and his wife might be able to bluff their way through Beyoncé’s rendition of ‘At Last,’ but there’s no way they could make their booty touch the ground, pay their automobills or put a ring on it.”

“Michael Ignatieff is certainly better than Harper or Dion,” says Ottawa activist and graphic designer Glenn Crawford. “But he lacks Obama’s overall charisma and so has a low reading on my hope-o-metre.”

“The only way to create the Obama-fever that washed over America is to brand it and market it to the people,” says comedian Shawn Hitchins. “That takes money, creativity and insight. Have you seen the Liberal Party lately? The only hope and change on Iggy’s agenda is hoping for pocket change at fundraisers.”

Obama is even cool enough to win a Grammy. Sure it was for the audio version of his book, The Audacity of Hope, but a Grammy is a Grammy. 

“In order to compete Michael Ignatieff needs to get into the studio and lay down a sweet track,” says Hitchins.

While Obama combines nerdy smarts with sexy grace, casting director and acting teacher Ron Leach says Ignatieff’s stodgy, egg-headed professorial style actually works against him. Leach says he needs to show some warmth.

“Less lecture and more nurture,” he says.

“Ignatieff should carry the Sexiest Cerebral Man plaque he won from Maclean’s with him at all times,” says raconteur, sensualist and philanthropist Lex Vaughn. “I mean, who wouldn’t do that?” 

“Jack Layton is more my style,” says Crawford. “I’ve always seen him as a silver fox who would be a sexy leather daddy.”

Vaughn agrees that a new kind of coalition might do the trick. Ignatieff and Layton could form an elite bromance club for Canadians to blog about.Vaughn worries that Canada’s meagre leadership choices point to a deeper problem.

“I think Canadians like to suffer,” she says. “Otherwise why on earth would we endure the GST, grey boxy buildings, cuts to our arts and cultural funds and Crash Test Dummies? Someone has to tell Canada what to do next, like a big bossy top. Is that Ignatieff? I don’t know. Let’s put a daddy cap on him and see if we believe it.”