Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Manley Out

Just this morning, I was reading speculation on Manley's entrance, mere hours later comes this:
John Manley says he won't be seeking the leadership of the federal Liberal party.

But as he's done this time, Manley ultimately decided he wasn't prepared to throw his hat in the ring.

Part of the problem here, these potential candidates are up against several campaigns which have been planning for months, if not YEARS. Not an easy task to elbow in at this stage, despite some outreach, a sense that others are too far ahead in terms of ground game.

I don't dislike Manley, quite a capable man, with an impressive pedigree, in many areas. However, when Manley decided to carry Harper's water on Afghanistan, it revealed a stunning naivety, the panel always a calculated ruse to get Harper off the partisan hook. Manley gave Harper credibility, Manley allowed Harper to enact recommendations which were always pre-determined, even Manley himself mused about the certainty, prior to the panel's creation. That panel, was quite simply a public relations exercise to absolve Harper, nullify the issue. For all of Manley's expertise, the fact that he failed to see his involvement for what it was, would have haunted him, if he chose to run.

I can't say I'm disappointed with Manley's decision.


MississaugaPeter said...

A straight shooter. Met him at a Gerard Kennedy fundraiser many years ago. Good guy. But agree with you, not satisfied with his conclusions on Afghanistan.

Alison said...

Long-time supporter of deep integration, as well.

PoliticallyHomeless said...

Not satisfied with his conclusions? In what sense? Not satisfied because of his methods? Not satisfied because he was not exahaustive? Or not satisified because the findings did not match your own predetermined answers about the war?

Steve V is not satisfied with the membership of the panel. That's fair I think, although they did conduct extensive consultations, collected much evidence and visited Afghanistan several times. I agree, Steve, that the panel was picked because of their leanings, but I don't think that all of these people, including Manley "the straight shooter" are the immutable type or the deceiving type.

Moreover, the findings of the report, predetermined or not, seem to jive with the responses from those people I know and trust who have been on the ground, as soldiers, as journalists and as NGO workers. I have yet to meet someone who has been to Kandahar who comes home and says, "what an unworthwhile cause." No, they all say "holy shit we need more people here."

Manley out of the race is a big loss for the Liberals. He was a centrist, a pragmatist, and would have attraced many votes from the soft right.

But he agreed with Harper on something...ooooooohhh. He attempted bipartisanship and now he's blacklisted.

Have fun in the cellar Liberals.

Dame said...

No Great loss ... he showed zero wisdom and sensitivity regarding the Afghanistan file actually he was plain dumb with His assesment especially the WAY he made the case for Harper and collected a bag of money while as a sideshow he "rubbed some liberal noses " just For Fun . He has way too big ego and would be divisive by acting without any diplomatic sense .. . Good Riddance I say .

If any one has no great desire to leave comfy life and Fight for this country keep out!!!!!!!


Steve V said...


The last thing Liberals need concern themselves with is the "soft right".

I'm afraid I don't see the big loss here.

MississaugaPeter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MississaugaPeter said...


Manley Conclusion: An additional 1,000 additional NATO troops in Kandahar are going to get Canada out of its combat mission within a reasonable time frame.

Reality: 600,000 more ruthless Russian troops (with over 14,000 casualties and over 400,000 sick or wounded) and 10 years were not enough.

No Manley Conclusion or Explanation why under the Taliban, there was almost complete eradication of heroin production in Afghanistan. And how under Karzai, heroin production had increased 50% in 2006 and how over 92% of the world's heroin is produced in Afghanistan.


Other comments from U.N. Report:

"The world’s leading drug producer

In 2007, Afghanistan cultivated 193,000 hectares of opium poppies, an increase of 17% over last year. The amount of Afghan land used for opium is now larger than the corresponding total for coca cultivation in Latin America (Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined).

Favourable weather conditions produced opium yields (42.5 kg per hectare) higher than last year (37.0 kg/ha). As a result, in 2007 Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006), becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market).

Leaving aside 19th century China, that had a population at that time 15 times larger than today’s Afghanistan, no other country in the world has ever produced narcotics on such a deadly scale."

No Manley Conclusion or Explanation why Canada's sacrifice in Afghanistan up until February 2008 was greater per capita, than any other country in the world (actually 3X greater than the United States).

politicallyhomeless said...


I respectfully disagree. I think there is a burgeoning centre-right movement that, like me, has nowhere to park its vote.

I'm not saying the Grits need a full swing across the centre. Rather, I think SOME of their policies should be aimed at the progressive right.

That way, you retain your centre-left core in Toronto and the Maritimes on social issues, environment and immigration (and the arts!), while attracting others with a fresh and realistic take on the economy and national defence.

It seems, though, that you are likely accurate in that the party will not concern itself with the soft right at all and instead continue to split the Left, guaranteeing more years of Tory rule...unless you can obliterate the NDP.

Bob Rae vs. Jack Layton.....that's some serious hair splitting.

polticallyhomeless said...


Good answer, I suppose I jumped to "conclusions" by assuming you sought a retreat.

I agree that the opium/heroin issue was not given nearly adequate attention and therefore: unsatisfactory.

Canada's disproportionate sacrifice is a problem too but I don't see how Manley could answer for the other NATO members who don't pull their weight.

Steve V said...


What about the center? That way, you might appeal, without selling the progressive farm. I see no reason to entertain anything on the right, because afterall, this is a center-left country in a majority sense. Socially progressive, with a strong centrist approach on the economy, is the winning coalition in my eyes.

politicallyhomeless said...


I don't know what "center" means or if it actually exists, and I really don't know what "strong centrist" means. I usually picture the center as a point, like on a roof, on which nothing will balance. I'm all for getting as close as possible, but I seem to slip to the right most often, other times to the left.

Yes, if you could get everyone left of center you would have a majority. But as long as the (gaining) NDP and the Greens account for nearly 30% of the vote while the right stays united, you will be in opposition.

I agree, selling the progressive farm is out of the question, for you and me alike, but it's not necessary.

You just need to throw the progressive right a couple bones: a tax cut here, some bureaucratic humility there and, most important, some spending restraint/ability to say no to special interests. After that, go progressively nuts.

It would work for me....

Steve V said...

Well then, we're agreed :)

politicallyhomeless? said...

Deal. I'll join the Party once your leadership bid is finalized...

Koby said...

“I think there is a burgeoning centre-right movement that, like me, has nowhere to park its vote.”

“You just need to throw the progressive right a couple bones: a tax cut here, some bureaucratic humility there and, most important, some spending restraint/ability to say no to special interests.”

You do not have much to complain about. The Liberals are not much better than Stephan Harper on Prozac. Indeed, the central plank in the Liberal platform was reducing income taxes and replacing it with a regressive tax. The Federal Liberal platform hardly differed at all from the Gordon Campbell’s government. Now granted the makings of “universal” daycare plan was in place when Martin lost in 2006, but in terms of implementation since 1993 the Liberals have only cut taxes and social spending. Where you do have an argument is that the Liberals have failed miserably when it comes to standing up to “special interests”. Whether it be the Kelowna Accord, the Atlantic Accord, asymmetrical federalism, Liberal party Affirmative action, the Liberals have come to resemble at best a new social movement and provincial clearing house and at worst their servant.

Your belief that Liberal party have moved left reinforces my belief that the Liberals need to reverse their traditional modus operandi. They need to talk right and govern left instead of talking left and governing right. They can start by sending the right message to the public. That is they can start by abolishing the Women and Aboriginal People’s commissions, revamp the delegate selection process or dump it altogether and stop insisting on a quota of women candidates.

Anonymous said...

Leblanc is the best choice for the party. He will renew the party and bring in new members. He is a not a divisive candidate like some of the others.

Steve V said...

" He will renew the party and bring in new members."

Wow, that's quite an assumption, given the guy hasn't even SAID anything yet, or demonstrated squat. Let's give it a couple days ;)

Möbius said...

I think Manley was the best of the fence-sitters.

He's almost conservative enough for me to like, as a former LPC voter!

Möbius said...

Kiss of death, of course.

Anonymous said...

Who is our Obama?

Antonio said...

(Insert preferred candidate here) is the best choice for the party. He will renew the party and bring in new members.

This was said about Dion too, despite the fact his home province and those who knew him there were screaming bloody murder...