Monday, April 14, 2008

June Anyone?

A Hill Times article, which eludes to a possible June election. Let's hope so:
Last week, at a quasi-emergency meeting of the Liberal shadow Cabinet, the need to go to the polls as soon as possible was debated, recognized, and there was a general consensus that the Conservative immigration reform plan would be the trigger. According to Liberal sources, Canadians should go to the polls in June. This seems to be the plan.

If the Liberal plan holds—and the "if" is necessary considering the twists of the last few months—the final vote against the budget will take place during the first half of May and Canadians would go to the polls in June.

Pretty much sourced from the same meeting of the Liberal shadow cabinet, as earlier reported, but the secondary confirmation adds weight.

One of the angles for an election, that I haven't really discussed, revolves around Dion's hold on the leadership. If, the Liberals continue to abstain, and we go into the summer break without an election, one has to wonder if Dion will face fresh attacks. There is already talk of the Conservatives pulling the same strategy as last summer, proroguing Parliament, MP's coming back mid-fall. With a potential long gap, that could mean Parliament reconvenes, with the Liberal convention in December looming. While there is no leadership vote planned, the event could still be risky for Dion politically. Fast forward to the late fall, and the prospects of the October 2009 mandated election seem plausible. Would that reality, a perceived pause, give the anti-Dion crowd some wind to argue for replacement?

The article I linked, includes some outlandish quotes from the usual anonymous Liberal:
"Of course the best for the Liberals," a party strategist told The Hill Times last week, "would be the removal of Dion before the vote and, even if this development is highly unlikely, it doesn't mean that some Liberals have completely given up their hopes."

I'm not putting any stock into these quotes, the thoughts of moving against Dion before a potential June election are so ridiculous that you have to wonder about the source. That said, a long summer break, with the convention starting to surface on the horizon, provides idle minds with a potential game plan.

I guess the question, can Dion afford to wait for an election? Does a delay bring risk, when you are dealing with an objectively demoralized base, scant fundraising, a general malaise?

48 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

This is all silly talk (removing Dion I mean). There is no mechanism in place to remove Dion (or any other Liberal leader) before an election -- only after one.

The only thing they could try to do is mass gang up on him and try to convince him to resign. But I don't see Dion doing that, and I think that's just a coup d'etat lite.

The delegates in December 2006 voted for Dion, and he earns at least 1 turn on the election hustings. If there are Liberals who want him gone, I'm sure a poor election result wold lead to his resigning.

What I'm worried about more are the Liberals (aka the Quebec wing) who hate Dion so much that they don't want him winning an election, period.. and will work behind the scenes to do so.

Steve V said...

scott

What I'm saying, is delaying a election might not be the best scenario for Dion.

Anyways, according to Jason 99.9% of Liberals are behind Dion, so no problem ;)

Steve V said...

BTW, this isn't an anti-Dion post. I'm just presenting possible pitfalls in waiting.

Scott Tribe said...

Well then, we have nothing to worry about if Jason says so ;)

I know this wasn't an anti-Dion post.. I'm just making the point that any Liberal who thinks that Dion can be removed before an election is delusional and also trying to subvert the June 2006 voting results.

Gayle said...

"What I'm worried about more are the Liberals (aka the Quebec wing) who hate Dion so much that they don't want him winning an election, period.. and will work behind the scenes to do so."

You are not the only one.

The biggest reason Dion looks weak is not abstaining - it is his own party.

I know I am just repeating myself, but until someone can convince me that replacing Dion with anyone is actually going to fix the party, I am not in support of replacing him.

If there is another leadership race the liberals are simply going to go through the same split as before. It is a wonder to me why the grassroots of the party do not get up and say enough is enough already. This stupid notion of having an election asap so you can dump Dion is self destructive.

Meanwhile, the rest of us non-party members grow more and more frustrated that you cannot mend the rifts so you can go back to being concerned about the country instead of the party.

Steve V said...

"This stupid notion of having an election asap so you can dump Dion is self destructive."

I'm arguing the best-case scenario, out of not great scenarios, where Dion has a CHANCE to win.

I'm not sure I buy the election to dump him argument, because in Quebec those people risk losing their own seats, it's not in their self-interest to lose. The Liberals are never getting a breakthrough in Quebec, so it's basically a "hold the line" scenario, and the people involved want to hold on to what they have.

northwestern_lad said...

Two things Steve.... 1) i'm at the point on the next election where "i'll believe it when I see it" and 2) you decried the "anonymous Liberals" (and rightfully so) who attacked Dion but yet you have equally anonymous Liberal sources who say that this government will fall in June... isn't that a bit inconsistent??? (not trying to be an ass, but just saying)

Steve V said...

cam

The source on Dion could be anyone, and the logistics make it seem far fetched. There are two, separate sources, who confirm what was discussed in the same meeting. That obviously holds more weight, doesn't it? One is just someone spouting off, the other is confirmed elsewhere, referring to an actual meeting.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve... who are these two confirmed sources??? What are their names??? What's to say that they aren't just spouting off like these other anonymous Liberals??? I don't see any difference thus far, other than the fact that they are saying something that most Liberals would like to hear. If we want to get into a contest, I can come up with more anonymous Liberals spouting off about Dion (each confirming the other) than your group of anonymous Liberals saying this government will fall.

just saying :)

Steve V said...

cam

There was a meeting, we've heard two seperate confirmations of what was discussed. Do you really expect someone at the meeting to go on record? Are they suicidal? If you want to dismiss it, that is your perogative, but I find this second source intriguing. Now, compare that to someone suggesting a practically insane proposition, would you give it weight?

If we ignore all off the record commentary, then we might as well ignore almost everything, since people RARELY go on the record. The trick for me, is sifting through a narrative to see if it sounds reasonable, like when the NDP strategist said they bailed on Cadman for political reasons. That seemed reasonable, given the completely contradictory things said, over the span of three days by Martin. I believe that anon source because it explains the head scratcher, it makes it all fall into place. You don't like it because it paints the NDP in a less than favorable light. I've quoted plenty of anon Liberals before, when it sounds credible, I'll use the emergency meeting of Quebec Liberals as an example, it fit with what was known.

Steve V said...

I would add, just because this was discussed, doesn't mean it will happen. In January, people were told, by a Liberal at the top of the food chain, that we were going to an election in February. That source was first-hand, told to the face, irrefutable confirmation, and yet, it never happened, because conditions changed afterwards. It's just a momentary decision apparently, but I cling to the idea that it is being seriously considered, and if things remain the same, we will go. Hopefully.

Sean S. said...

June election is what I have heard through "sources" as well. I assume its over immigration. Also, apparently most MPs have no idea what business will be dealt with on a day-to-day basis as the Cons are keeping everyone in the dark.

Steve V said...

Sean

Any names for Cam's benefit? ;)

Christian Conservative said...

So, 99.9% of Liberals support Dion, eh? All it takes is that 0.1%, leaking stuff to the media every single day, to totally decimate you guys during the campaign. ;-)

June election? BRING IT ON!!! LOL

Steve V said...

I have a quote from an unnamed junior Liberal:

"Let's GO already"

Steve V said...

"June election? BRING IT ON!!! LOL"

It's so funny to hear the cocky Conservatives, have you seen your guy?? My goodness, Mr. Go Nowhere, no traction, despite the most favorable conditions in recent history. Basically, my dud is better than your dud. LOL is right.

northwestern_lad said...

Steve...

We had the whole "anonymous" source discussion when that supposed NDP quote came out, and I told you then that I look at any anonymous quote with suspicion and don't take it at face value as a result. I look at quotes attacking Mr. Dion in the exact same way.

As for people going on the record and alike, if they are so afraid of what might happen if they do go on the record, should they really make the comments to begin with? I'm sorry, but if you really believe in what you're saying, attatch your name to it and stand by it. It's not like going on the record with your name about possible election dates is a "whistle blower" kind of situation. It's not like someone's life is a risk if they do it. The only thing they risk is putting themselves in crap with their party, and maybe they should be in crap with their party if they say those things. It's about having the courage of your convictions.

As for my views on the NDP Steve, go back and look at my comments of March 17th and then say what you just wrote. I'm not afraid to put my name on the record when I am upset with my party and stand by it completely. Also, if you had a glimpse into my thoughts over the past couple of weeks about the NDP you'd be quite surprised at what you might see.

Steve V said...

cam

That is my point, your resistance to anon sources started when you didn't like hearing that the NDP bailed on Cadman because they "didn't want the Liberals getting traction". IMHO, that unnamed strategist connected the dots for all of us trying to reconcile the complete contradictions coming from Martin. Friday, we want it to go to committee, the RCMP can't be trusted when it comes to political investigations, then Monday, we don't support a parliament hearing, it should go to the RCMP exclusively. Again, that source is credible, because it all makes sense then, the 180 degree turn over a weekend explained. Martin was ready to go, then the party decided it wasn't politically positive, hence the Monday U turn. I know you're view, but you can't expect people to go on the record, when they risk getting in trouble. I believe a June election was discussed in that meeting, based on my own mental math, as I believe the NDP played politics with Cadman, given what was said prior. Others, can reach their own conclusions :)

northwestern_lad said...

Steve... i've always believed that anonymous sources shouldn't hold weight... I just happened to have said it when that case came up.

Steve V said...

Fair enough.

northwestern_lad said...

merci, miigwetch, thanks

Steve V said...

BTW, I'll believe it when I see it too :)

wilson said...

'' Mr. Go Nowhere, no traction''

Not so Steve,
while the Liberals look for the right moment/issue to bring down the government,
the Conservatives made some popular moves,
just in the day to day business of running a government:

-saying NO to the US take over of a Canadian company
- seizing a militant activist ship that was endangering Canadian lives.
-new product/drug safety laws

Oh.. those scary evil Conservatives!

Steve V said...

wilson

Oh yes, all those popular moves, which explains why they haven't moved in the polls, Harper hasn't endeared himself to anyone outside of the koolaid crowd like yourself. Oh, and BTW, while he was bringing up all those positive issues, they were also defending homophobia, anti-immigration, backtracking on the constitution and generally "spinning their wheels". As I've said a million times, if what wasn't for the Harper Conservatives, the Liberals would really be in big trouble. You guys are our greatest asset, see it works both ways :)

Anyways, chug a lug.

northwestern_lad said...

Ummm Steve.... sorry to be a "nervous Purvis" but it only works both ways if you are on different sides... Sadly when the Liberals don't oppose these Con measures, that asset is squandered..... i'll just crawl back into my hovel now

Antonio said...

can we stop blaming quebec liberals for everything that is wrong with the party when you have a quebec lieutenant who makes jason cherniak look like a genius.

Can you blame Coderre and Rodriguez for staying away when they are getting blamed for everything all the while being pushed away? If they were to take the job of getting LPCQ's act together in Quebec, they would blamed for the loss and the famous "sabotage" word comes up even if they tried their damned hardest.

it is not the Liberal Party's fault 90% of quebecers think their native son, Stephane Dion, is not the best choice for Prime Minister. Stephane Dion needs to look in the mirror. This was the argument of well over three quarters of the delegates from Quebec at convention. Nothing has changed since December 2006 in Quebec. They didn't like Dion then, they don't like him now

remember what took down paul martin, his people's unwillingness to look in the mirrors for any flaw in Paul Martin, preferring to point to "leadership conflict".

northwestern_lad said...

"a quebec lieutenant who makes jason cherniak look like a genius." oh, burn

Sean S. said...

I choose not to divulge my source at this time....ooooo, can I call him/her a "senior NDP insider"?

Gayle said...

Antonio - I know little about liberals in Quebec, other than what I read and see in the news. And what I have seen is not good, and I have yet to see the Quebec liberal caucus make a concerted effort to change the impression the rest of the country has about Quebec liberals.

Frankly, when I read your comments that basically suggest "see, we TOLD you Dion would not fly in Quebec", I wonder what you are trying to accomplish. The race is over. Liberals can get on side and work with their party, whether or not they approve the choice for leader, or they can get lost. This middle ground, where they certainly give the appearance of working against Dion, is not particularly helpful to anyone.

I do blame Coderre. He should be helping his party. The fact he refuses to is making a statement.

All that said, I am more than prepared to be convinced I am wrong. In fact, I would love to be wrong. I just hope someone also takes the time to convince the rest of the country too.

Steve V said...

Looks like June is a go, you don't get posts like this independently.

Anonymous said...

Dion promised religious schools money for security.

You've got to be kidding me.

We won't go to the polls over Afghanistan, Kyoto, the budget, crime legislation, or gun control; but we'll go to the polls and offer Canadians security for religious schools.

Please God let this man disappear and I say that as someone who was his delegate at convention.

Dion is out of his mind. If he had gone in the fall he had a chance, and if he gained any seats could have held on to the leadership now it hopeless.

The Liberals have no leadership.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing about this election would be if Ignatieff lost his seat. That might makeit all worth while.

Steve V said...

anon

If Iggy loses his seat, I'll shut down this blog. Promise.

Did you read the asinine comment in the post link??? Yes, the Liberals are really worried in Toronto, good gracious.

Anonymous said...

I doubt he would lose his seat but sometimes sweeps happen and if this election tilts Conservative and there's a good chance it will, Ignatieff could lose his seat.

He's not local, not well liked and perceived by many in the riding to have won the nomination unfairly. If you lose a riding association machinery and an election goes south, you can lose a seat for sure.

An election could stay even. It could tilt Liberal???? something big would have to happen for that to occur. Or it could tilt Conservative, likely, and many Liberal seats will be gone. Those without long time local well liked MP's will go Conservative.

It could happen. Don't bet your blog on it not happening.

I'm sure that money for religous school security platform will go over great in Ontario. Enough said. June is a bad idea.

Steve V said...

"It could happen. Don't bet your blog on it not happening."

The only way that happens is a massive Tory landslide. If you think there is a Tory breakthrough in Toronto, then you just aren't paying attention. Yes, and maybe the Liberals will win some seats in rural Quebec too. Please.

Möbius said...

What's good for Dion and the LPC are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

He was elected by party rules, but can't seem to gather the faithful.

His fault, or the party's fault?

It's a huge mistake, akin to accepting the CPC arguments against him, to sabotage him now.

liberazzi said...

Scenarios:
1. Strategic patience - Canadians will see thru it. Libs will have no issue to campaign on, since they have not stood up for anything. Allows Harper more time to build case with voters.
2. June election:
a) Harper majority - worst case, Libs rebuild around a new leader, solid policies, time to build up a nest egg. Hopefully, 4 years is not enough time for Harper to completely destroy this country.
b) Harper minority - able to contain Cons, Libs rebuild around a new leader with solid polices. Finances will continue to be a problem. Hopefully, have everything in place within 18 months.
c) Lib minority - Dion given a breather and time to demonstrate the Libs competency and progressive viewpoint. Can rebuild finances with the luster of being in gov't. Actually, more ideal than a Lib majority, as it will probably produce more progressive policies.
d) Lib majority - ya right

Sounds like the Libs are getting the message...we hope.

Möbius said...

I'm arguing the best-case scenario, out of not great scenarios, where Dion has a CHANCE to win.

The only winning scenario right now for Dion is a Liberal minority or better. What chance is there of that at the current time?

There will surely be an election in October 09, so what's the hurry?

Steve V said...

lib

Option 2 brings the risk of a Harper majority, but that risk will be there up until Oct 09. Right now it's still a very slight risk, when you do the math, there is potential for the odds to increase in time. Absence of a miracle, the Libs are never leading nationally, in an substantive way, so when you look it, in many respects it's as good as it gets right now.

liberazzi said...

Don't know if anyone mentioned an excellent article by Simpson on Saturday. He stated that the Libs should be so bold, as raise the stupid GST cut (which will probably land us back into deficit), dramatically reduce personal income tax and put in a carbon tax, thus raising about 60b which then could be put towards various social/environmental programs. Bold, innovative, something to run on in June? Of course, most Canadians would only read the headlines, which would be "Libs to raise GST", but if the Libs could fight thru it and get their message out, it would be a great move for the country if they won.

Couldn't believe Hebert was on her Dion hobby horse again. Does this woman have writer's block or something?

The Libs are solid in Ontario and could make gains, so this Iggy speculation is nonsense. Wells believes Iggy is trying to lay waste to his previous gaffes, Iraq, Israel as a lay down any previous markers for the next contest as he calls it. I don't think Trudeau will go next time, but I think Trudeau is almost a lock 5 - 10 years from now. Its Iggy, Rae or Kennedy's time next if Dion can't pull this out in June? However, is Findlay a potential dark horse? Although, they have stature, Manley and Mckenna would drag the party back to the right, which would not sit well with me.

Möbius said...

Bold, innovative, something to run on in June? Of course, most Canadians would only read the headlines, which would be "Libs to raise GST", but if the Libs could fight thru it and get their message out, it would be a great move for the country if they won.

Yeah, you want to run on a huge tax increase during the campaign. Good luck with that.

If the billions of GST money foregone could have been put to so much good use, explain why it wasn't done before.

liberazzi said...

mobius:

Dion's perception/performance will no improve with time. The only chance he has is to go into an election and prove to voters on a daily basis what he and his "team" are made of. If the Libs can make a stark contrast btw the likes of Van Loan, Bernier, Clement, Flaherty, Baird et al versus Rae, Iggy, Dryden, Findlay, Trudeau. In my opinion, no contest. Look at what a disgrace Bernier and Mackay have been overseas. I know someone in foreign affairs that says that those two are and were a joke within the ministry. Its doubtful, Harper will get his majority, but even if he gets a minority again, at least we have answered the Dion question, we can move on and really rebuild and the backstabbing, Lapierre/Quebec wing of the party can go into hibernation.

liberazzi said...

mobius:

Huge tax increase? Simpson, advised dramatically reducing personal income taxes, while raising consumption taxes. Something most economists seem to agree with. The Cons put politics and self interest above the interests of the country. They have dramatically diminished the ability of future governments to raise revenues in order to pay for better health care, environmental protection and other infrastructure and social programs.

Anonymous said...

Ooh Steve, I'm paying attention and I've seen a lot of elections swing in one dirrection or another as they are wont to do.

Very few Liberal seats are safe right now. Certainly not Ignatieff's.

AS I said before seats with long time well liked local Liberal MP's may be safe. Ignatieff doesnt qualify.

June is a REALLY bad idea.

I've got a baaaad feeling about this. And I wanted to go in the fall. WE had a platform in the fall, even in Quebec. Gun control, Kyoto pull out of Afghanistan. Everything Quebec and the majority of Canadians wants.

Now our platform is money for Religious schools. A very baaad feeling about this.

We should have gone in the fall or wait until next fall, as we can't change the past. We have no platform. How do you think that immigrant and money for religious school platform will go over in Quebec????

It will tilt Conservative since we have nothing to argue against now and have voted in favour of everything we could have argued against effectively.

Now, We need to wait.

Steve V said...

"Very few Liberal seats are safe right now. Certainly not Ignatieff's."

Considering the fact the Cons have given up on greater Toronto, I would say they fall into the safe category. Sure anything can happen, but I'm just not too worried. At all.

Anonymous said...

Well you Steve are an eternal optimist.

I take a bit more leary approach to triggering elections against sharks with money without a platform.

I would rather have gone into an election without a political machine in Quebec (which we still don't have) and with a good platform.

I think we could have won seats in Quebec in the fall. Not now.

But you get points for being an optimist.

Steve V said...

anon

Quebec is what it is, and it isn't changing anytime soon.

I hardly think arguing the 416 area code in Ontario is safe Liberal terrority makes me optimistic, it's called simple math.

And, don't worry about the platform, it is there, people are just afraid to release it before an election. The Liberals HAVE a platform.

Möbius said...

Huge tax increase? Simpson, advised dramatically reducing personal income taxes, while raising consumption taxes.

Like I said, campaign on that. Tell Canadians the GST is back up 2 points, but you'll give it back later in reducing income taxes.

I'm sure that will be very successful.