Friday, May 20, 2011

Get With The Program Or Get Lost

One thread I particularly liked from Rae yesterday, this idea of "changing the culture" within the Liberal ranks. This morning, I read an article on the whole Rae issue, and it's accompanied by this glorious quote:

"It gives one a completely unfair advantage compared to everybody else," said a re-elected Liberal MP, who deemed Rae's letter a showcase of "unbelievable vanity."

Speaking of vanity, feeding the press lines to make yourself appear important. I know I'm not alone, many grassroots Liberals are SICK AND TIRED of this bullshit back biting leaked to the press. As far as I'm concerned, job ONE on changing the culture within the Liberal ranks is to PURGE this type of nonsense, which only undermines, creates divisions and very unhealthy atmosphere. Think Rae is angling for something else, call up your colleagues, express yourself at caucus, call Rae and challenge, whatever re-elected Liberal MP, but don't be such a GUTLESS flea and run to the press with your beefs.

I know our numbers, and I suspect re-elected Liberal MP is also aware, which provides a sense of confidence. However, I don't care if we have 8 MP's, if I were to become interim Liberal leader, one of my first directives would be to tell everyon, either get with the program or get lost. There are a million venues to express displeasure with this or that, but nothing is ever accomplished with these unhealthy leaks. You don't see Conservative MP's engaging in this behaviour, NDP MP's, no this is a Liberal DISEASE and we need to cut it out. As well, this habit of people shooting their mouths off under the guise of "outspoken" has to stop, again have a point, raise to your colleagues, not to the press. If people can't respect this most basic of party discipline, then it's time to move along, find another party, become an independent, whatever but GET LOST. I'd rather have a smaller, unified (at least in public) caucus and apparatus, then be forced to cringe for the next four years as loudmouths run to cameras to appear important, that's not "independence", that's BULLSHIT.

If Rae does get the gig, I hope his first order of business on the "changing culture" front is to read the riot act, and beyond that forcibly pursue every single leak of the above order and when found out, enact the strictest discipline. It's simply inexusable that other parties can present a unified public face and the Liberals are continually hobbled by back stabbing. Enough is enough, once and for all.

18 comments:

Tof KW said...

Well put Steve!

You would think after being reduced to a rump of 34 seats the remaining MPs would figure this out by now, and stop the perception of public infighting by zipping up their own lips to the press without having to be told so.

But I guess not.

Steve V said...

Perhaps feel even more untouchable, given the reduced ranks, no leadership at the moment. Whatever, you can narrow it down pretty quick.

Mark Francis said...

Not to mention that it is reasonable for Rae to speak like a leader. He's senior, and has ran for leader before. He's in the twilight of his career, and, frankly, should he become interim leader, removing himself from the field is a good thing. The party can make use of his knowledge.

I don't get the jealousy.

As for infighting... An anonymous coward speaking to the press bears no critical weight, but does bring the party down. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

However, don't get so much command and control going that the LPC starts behaving completely like Harper's machine.

Steve V said...

Mark

I think he's the perfect fit for this job.

These leaks really affects moral, create a climate of suspicion and undermines leadership. If Rae becomes leader, and we see further leaks, first thing I do at caucus meeting, ask that every MP hand in their BB and we have someone review their "recent" exchanges. I'm dead serious, it's time to shake the tree, and really, is IT that great a mystery?

Dan F said...

"...if I were to become interim Liberal leader, one of my first directives would be to tell everyone, either get with the program or get lost."

That settles it. I'm voting Steve V for leader.

Steve V said...

My checkered past.... Ha!

A Eliz. said...

Does one not stop to ponder that the upper echelons maybe just as in-fighting as anyone else or perhaps some pro Chretien and pro Martin feuds there,They have to go ,if so.

Steve V said...

Be cautious about former hacks using the "renewal" and "grassroots" mantra to reassume control.

A Eliz. said...

One thing we must do, as a party is to make sure a new Leader does not become ultra controlling like Harper.There is definitely someone out for us..have to be a Liberal? Hear about the Tory fighting going to come up at their Convention....old Alliance party members against PCs in Quebec and Atlantic?

sharonapple88 said...

I'd rather have a smaller, unified (at least in public) caucus and apparatus, then be forced to cringe for the next four years as loudmouths run to cameras to appear important, that's not "independence", that's BULLSHIT.

Agreed.

Someone should beat into all their heads -- they're a third place party. Fight inside caucus all you want, but you look like idiots when you talk to the media like this.

As for this anonymous sources... what do they want from Rae? He's written in the letter he'll abide by the rules. He's given an interview where he said he wasn't going for the job long-term. He's met them more than half-way.... Give the guy a break.

Tof KW said...

A Eliz. said...
There is definitely someone out for us..have to be a Liberal? Hear about the Tory fighting going to come up at their Convention....old Alliance party members against PCs in Quebec and Atlantic?

I can shed some light here A Eliz. First off, the Red Tory PC-types are pretty much gone. The PCs were overrun by the Alliance members as they were purchasing memberships and exerted their influence to ultimately end the party of Sir John A. That's how the merg ...oops I mean the takeover took place.

Right now the CPofC is a really tight ship, but it was not as much back in 2003 immediately after Harper became leader. To eliminate the infighting Harper instilled his classic tight control, but also the rewards of power plus the fatigue of a being a divided opposition for the past decade also helped everyone to rally to the cause.

That is what keeps the party together and kept MPs from going off-script, but now they finally won their ultimate victory on May 2nd. And over the years the CPofC has become more moderate, and I know many here don't want to believe that, but it's true. It is in the next four year that we will see just how well the CPofC stays together. Really the loudmouth social-conservative gang is the minority in the party, just they are the most vocal and that gives the illusion their numbers are greater. But it is from this gang that we'll see any potential problems emerge.

Now that Harper has his majority, the SoCon backbenchers will be looking for their agenda to be addressed. Harper will have to throw them a few bones here and there, but he is not stupid, and he won't jeopardize the CPofC being the new 'natural ruling party' by going hard-right on social issues. Not only would it split the electorate and likely cause his party to lose power in 2015, but it could end up splitting the party again.

Harper has a delicate balancing act now, but not an impossible one. Mulroney's troubles were much worse really, since he was sitting on moderate Red Tories, the western populists, plus the Quebec nationalists in order to hold power. At least Harper doesn't have to worry about Quebec.

There would be a split again in the CPofC if Harper was ever defeated, but that didn't happen. And I'm actually thinking he may be resigning before 2015, as he would at that time be zeroing in on a decade as PM, and close to 13 years as party leader. At some point he will understand he has to let the party grow beyond him.

But should he run in 2015 and lose power, watch the CPofC split between the moderates and the SoCons (kind of like how the Republicans in the US have a pretty deep split right now). The leadership race after this kind of scenero would be very fun to watch.

But there are very few real Red Tories left in the CPofC. The ones that remain are obviously part of the more moderate majority in the party, but as a group have little representation or power anymore.

- - -

By the way I would like to give the Liberals some advice here in that they need a bit of a control freak as the new leader, just to end all this bullshit infighting once and for all. Just don't pick someone who's a career political hack, like a liberal version of Harper. The opposition already has a hack in place, his name is Jack Layton.

Kirk said...

"The rules of the game are no money is being raised for leadership, we are not in leadership race, we are in a period of rebuild and remake, and that's what's happening and that's what will happen under the leadership of the interim leader," Rae said.

This I agree COMPLETELY with.



However, he refused to rule out a run for the permanent leadership and did not deny that if a new executive changed the rules allowing the interim leader to run, he would throw his hat in the ring again.

And this is where he turns it all on it's head and allows that he might use his high profile as interim leader to advance himself as permanent leader.


But I completely agree about running to the press with these whines. It accomplishes nothing except to feed the ego of the whining MP.

Omar said...

..he refused to rule out a run for the permanent leadership and did not deny that if a new executive changed the rules allowing the interim leader to run, he would throw his hat in the ring again.

One of the aspects I like about Bob Rae perhaps seeking the permanent leadership role is that he appears to really, really wants the job. Dion, who never expected to win the leadership, only slightly came across as wanting to be prime minister and Ignatieff never fully seemed like he wanted the top job. Rae on the other hand seems eager to want to lead this country and for me that is a huge plus. That he will be 67 or whatever at the time of the next election is of no consequence for me. I want someone with ability and passion and Rae has both.

Sophie-Anne said...

Thing about a smaller caucus, is, it's now pretty clear who Anonymous Lib MP is. Harder to hide in the numbers.

crf said...

Discipline and a program are both needed by the Liberals. But there is time to develop a program. And I think the Liberal leader, rather than the rank and file, needs to be much more involved in writing the next platform (since he is the one who needs to be the most committed to carrying it out). Listen, but lead. Discipline is something that is needed right now.

Ignatieff supposedly had an election platform with some good bits in it. Lots of grassrootsie stuff no voter really seemed to care about. As did Dion and Martin.

But if the party has a political platform, then it needs to speak with one voice on it. Authoritatively.

Platforms that are weak and vague, and appear to be written by a committee, mean nobody, not even the leader, can speak authoritatively on them. And you get a lot of hemming and hawing, pathetic appeals that they "reflect the grassroots" or some populist nonsense, and endless backtracking and "clarifications". Iggy was especially egregious in this regard.

You don't need caucus discipline and clear platform to win. One of the worst things that can happen is if a party gets into power and has no clear legislative agenda.

Here's two contrasting examples: the Democratic party in the US, once swept into power by voters dissatisfied with the state of government in 2006/2008, didn't have clear policies or, it turns out, a strong leader enforcing discipline to carry them out: and then they lost the public's confidence. By contrast, the Liberal party in 1993 were elected by a public dissatisfied in Mulroney, but proceeded to lead a (mostly) disciplined government with (mostly) clearly articulated policy.

Beware the lessons of history. Conservative majority governments tend to eventually get hated by the public. The Liberals need to be ready.

A Eliz. said...

One that does get in a tirade once in a while, is Jim Karriganis

rockfish said...

What is just mindblowing is that somehow these anonymous types think the press is there to help them -- look at where those editorial page endorsements went! While a lot of reporters may have small-l liberal-like leanings, no one is out to do the Liberal Party any favours. A wretched, long death knell is good copy, just as a comeback to the people who call the shots.
United we stand etc etc.

Fred from BC said...

And over the years the CPofC has become more moderate, and I know many here don't want to believe that, but it's true.


Amazing.


Really the loudmouth social-conservative gang is the minority in the party, just they are the most vocal and that gives the illusion their numbers are greater.


Again...amazing. I really didn't think you had this in you, T. Well done.

(oh, and Bob Rae? I'll repeat the same advice I've been giving for the last couple of years: he's got to go, period. The Martin/Chretien divide will not end until you either purge your party of *both* factions or find an acceptable compromise candidate)