Michael Ignatieff supporters are sabotaging Liberal efforts in the Outremont byelection in hopes of weakening Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, Dion loyalists say.
Dion loyalists suspect Liberal organizers who support Mr. Ignatieff have been undermining the campaign, hoping that a loss would force Mr. Dion out of the leadership once Liberals realized that he couldn’t deliver seats in Quebec.
"I only know what I see, and I see some suspicious stuff," said one Liberal worker on the ground.
The Dion people say organizers in the riding have made a series of bizarre, counterproductive moves.
"There’s one of two options," said one source close to Mr. Dion. "There’s some folks there who are either grossly incompetent or intentionally malicious."
Only a mindless fool, with no foresight, would actually sabotage this by-election, effectively introducing a new player into the province and undermining the Liberal Party in such a fundamental way. These "loyalists" offer pathetic rationalization for potential failure, and if the claims are true, the conclusions actually reflect poorly on Dion. The leader of the Liberal Party has no control over the organization, in a by-election, with his hand-picked candidate? Things are far worse than the press speculates, if the above accusations are true. Did Iggy's minions prevent Dion from campaigning in the riding weeks ago?
The more people bellyache about undermining, the more they actually articulate weak leadership. Iggy made us lose in Outremont is hardly a positive statement on who's really in charge. If there are people who aren't "inspired" by Dion, and don't put out full effort, then that is a failure, not a conspiracy.
As an aside, I'm not sold on the idea that the Liberals will lose this by-election, far from it, more a commentary on the signals and situation, as it stands. Others have articulated all the mechanisms in play, which make definitive predictions impossible.