Saturday, September 15, 2007

Not Buying It

I'm putting this charge in the complete bunk column:
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.

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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.

10 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I am not buying it either. Although Michael Ignatieff probably has leadership aspirations in the future, I have a tough time believing he is willing to see Harper win a majority in the process of this. For starters, the by-election hasn't occurred yet and considering the fact by-elections generally have low turnouts, I wouldn't read too much into the polls.

For one thing, the demographic that generally votes NDP generally has a lower turnout than those who vote Liberal.

doz said...

Reality check!

Yes, Mr Ignatieff was the runner up at our last leadership convention. Anyone who was there would know that had Mr Ignatieff faced either Mr Kennedy or Mr Ray on the final ballot the result would have been the same. Mr Ignatieff would have been the runner up. Mr Ignatieff was not the second choice of the delegates, but probably the fourth.
It is difficult not to see the people promoting these stories, not as supporters of Mr Ignatieff, but as shit disturbers from one of the other parties.

Steve V said...

miles

I completely agree with your cautions, I just put the poll in with all the other signs over the last weeks that a credible threat exists. In my mind, victory might be something different than who actually wins the by-election, if you get my angle.

doz

I don't doubt for a second, that others with an agenda outside the party are fueling the "tensions".

Antonio said...

Good Call Steve

this one is pure bunk, and did generate a good laugh when i read it

In_The_Centre said...

Yes, good call Steve

I appreciate the fact that you’re not some blind Liberal partisan as some of the other bloggers have become.

It has become very easy and convenient to beat up on former Ignatieff supporters and the man himself.

-ITC

Anonymous said...

I think you're a little off target on one aspect. I don't think that if Ignatieff's minions are truly pushing for a loss in Outremont it's because the leadership is weak but because they are extremely stubborn and very sore losers.

Mushroom said...

Note that Iggy was in Montreal last weekend while Dion had to attend a conference in Vancouver. He played the loyal soldier. Jean Lapierre, that is another story but this is the same as asking Paul Martin to show up in Outremont.

Given the response of Jason Cherniak and James Curran, I am not sure who is "whiter than white". We are reflecting our concerns and two days before the by-election, recriminations are out in the open.

My take is this. Iggy is three-quarters of a million in debt and has no ability to mount a challenge to Dion. Given his age, a long spell in Opposition would not benefit him and would want a senior Cabinet position before heading off to retirement as a global jet setter. This would mean supporting Dion.

With regards to others who were affiliated in other leadership camps, I will not say. All I know if that I may exaggerate my contribution to the party somewhat and should have contribute more than most loyal cadres.

burlivespipe said...

Agree, and think those who are eager with a pre-emptive finger should consider the likely most obvious subject of sabotage...
Naturally, the PM can't be accused of it, however, there are more signs that show Harper and the CONs have strategized this kind of 'storm' from the beginning. He knew which of the Quebec ridings to put his forces in and where to pull out of... He also doesn't mind seeing the NdP, which is wisely throwing all its resources and ground-skills to the one riding where Harper could be a secondary-winner.
That he refused to call the other due byelections, with the half-bunk about not wanting to confuse the Ontario voters, meant more chances to gang-up on the Libs, who have been prone to being slow off the mark and taking certain things for granted.
That he can also have the same people who lurked at the convention, tossing off 'Bob the Red' buttons and more mischievious items, now working the streets and shadows of Outremont whispering 'Ignatieff' does wonders for creating smoke and commotion in the camp of his enemy.
While I consider Harper's governing to be the work of an average, underaccomplished man, his work in subterfuge seems to be very calculated, almost Stalinesque, minus the piano-wire.

Anonymous said...

You know, if it is true and I doubt it is (sabotage) I think it's more about the immaturity of the Dion supporters in not facing truths and trying to blame someone else.

Problem is a bunch of hero worshipping youth got to vote as delegates instead of a one vote per member. Think about it, why would the large majority of "experienced" politicians back Ignatieff? Ya, the "EXPERIENCED" ones.

The are so immature they don't know their are hurting Dion with their whining - if its' true, which I doubt.

Looks like CPC operatives got the ball rolling on this - this I believe to be true.

Steve V said...

It creates this paranoid seige mentality which isn't constructive, and actually achieves the accusation, through the insecurity.