Just who is Michael Ignatieff and what does he stand for? Sometimes it's hard to tell. We check out the fine print in a political career coloured by contradiction and controversy.
A selection from the curriculum vitae of the political chameleon who would be PM.
Mixed-up moral code
A self-described progressive, Ignatieff is no utopian liberal like Trudeau, the man to whom he likes to compare himself. Unlike the internationalist Trudeau, Ignatieff is known for his appetite for destruction, supporting Bush's faulty "war on terror" and harbouring few regrets, despite apologizing, about his support for the tragedy built on a pack of lies in Iraq. "I let emotion carry me past the hard questions," he says.
Twist on torture
Ignatieff maintains that he opposes torture, but displays a convenient moral relativism on the subject. His credo: the war on global terror, like politics, is about choosing between "lesser evils." Even if a few thousand prisoners have to have their fingernails removed in the process?
No angst over Afghanistan
He's one of the few Opposition MPs to express "unequivocal support," equating Canada's involvement in Afghanistan to "the best traditions of our people... from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach, from Rwanda to Bosnia." Yes but this Vietnam-like quagmire we're in now is more an American tradition.
Israel full circle
Went from "not losing any sleep" over the Israeli air strike that killed 54 civilians in Qana, Lebanon, in 2006, to calling the attack a "war crime" before going into damage-control mode and saying it was "the most painful political error of my political life."
True patriot love?
Ignatieff describes Canadian anti-Americanism as the "patriotism of fools. In a world where the key public policy issue for every nation on earth is how to handle the Americans, anti-Americanism is the form of patriotism we can least afford," says Ignatieff. Roll over for the elephant?
Whichever way the wind blows
He's pledged to make polluters pay, but is also hinted at enviro deregulation while pushing rapid development of unproven tech like "clean" coal.
A big friend of Big Oil. "Too often we have appeared to work against Alberta's energy sector, when we need to work with it as a partner."
"As you know, you can always tell a Harvard man. But you can't tell him much."
Coronation fit for a big ego
His first reaction when Lib party heavyweights arrived at Harvard in 2004 to recruit Ignatieff for the Liberal leadership: "That should be fun. That should be easy."
Just what is Ignatieff's base? Supporters in Etobicoke-Lakeshore cheered when he beat back a spirited challenge by Tory Patrick Boyer in October. They cheered even louder when TV commentators predicted a Tory majority.
On the Lib-NDP coalition
"Coalition if necessary, but not necessarily coalition."