Saturday, December 06, 2008

Somewhere Warm, A Cardboard Box, A Pencil, A Members List And A Scrutineer

Any decison towards an interim leader is a lateral move, that completely fails to accurately respond to the situation. Scott Brison:
"I believe it's very important for the party to be election-ready for the end of January or early February," Brison said. "We need a leader in place for that election."
I completely agree, and the above begs the question- if election readiness is our thrust, do we want to fight that election with a caretaker as leader? The answer is obvious, or should be, we need to get this leadership question resolved, once and for all, put our strongest foot forward and present Canadians with a CLEAR alternative.

If the idea of our executive and MP's making a decision leaves you queasy, then any grassroots sensitivity is completely alleviated by the idea floated yesterday. On January 5th, Liberals from across the country gather in every riding and vote for a new party leader. A candidate wins a riding, he gets one vote out of 308, the person with most riding votes wins the leadership. Each leadership candidate has one representative on hand, to scrutineer the results and ensure fairness. Quite simply, a more free expression of democracy than the convention set-up.

Oh wait, this is an Ignatieff supporters ploy? Actually, this setup has the potential to work against Ignatieff, or more correctly it eliminates potential strengths. Does anyone doubt that Ignatieff would not carry a sizeable percentage of the ex-officos and MP's in a convention? This solution disallows that voice, leaving it entirely in the hands of the membership, the rank and file, so to claim an advantage for any candidate, essentially admits grassroots support. This solution is a compromise position for the Ignatieff campaign, it is not the best case scenario, so within that simple fact, it should be more palatable to others. Surely, Mr. Rae agrees that, for the good of the PARTY and the COUNTRY, it is in the best interests to "expediate" the leadership question. Surely, Mr. Rae can see the value in letting the rank and file decide, in a completely democratic process? Any hesitation sends a clear signal, that you can't win, which in and of itself is more proof that it's time to GET ON WITH IT.

The problem, Liberals tend to compromise, rather than step on toes, we like to be politically correct, which sometimes has the affect of self-imposed paralysis. It's time to be bold, and the above gives a new leader the legitimacy in the minds of Canadians, required to be an effective alternative. Drop the half measure of an interim leader, it's a pointless move. Get a LEADER, and find a way to do it soon, because Harper has given us a window to get our house in order, once and for all.

Find somewhere warm, slit a hole in a cardboard box, check off a ridings members list, find a pencil that is capable of producing an X, and ensure that it's fair. Sounds simple enough, it's doable, if self-interest doesn't pollute reason. Let's be pro-active, the times demand it.

An interim leader isn't a solution, it's a timid and temporary response to an extraordinary circumstance.


Anonymous said...

Why not have a vote for mid-January? It'll keep the public engaged and interim-PM Harper disengaged. Whether Jean grants an election request (unlikely) or not (likely), an earlier election would save everyone time and money.

Anonymous said...

Three problems:
1) Ignatieff is currently WAY ahead in memberships and was the day Dion stepped down. LeBlanc and Rae are catching up. Anything that speeds up the process benefits Ignatieff HUGELY. You can't pretend otherwise.
2) What if people can't be in their ridings on that day? Wouldn't an entirely online/phone vote be better?

3) We have ZERO open debates. This is supposed to be someone that leads the Liberals for 2-10 years! Do you have ANY idea what ANY of them would do as leader let alone PM? ANY IDEA AT ALL?

4) Didn't you critize Harper for putting out his platform so close to election day? NONE of the leadership candidates have submitted one and you want us to vote ASAP anyway?

5) Weren't you one of the ones saying it was good to have Obama so thoroughly vetted through tough debates and attacks from Hillary before the real game against McCain? Wouldn't a short time line prevent that for Ignatieff?

6) No leader in Liberal history has won without getting at least 50% of the vote on the final ballot. What you are proposing is someone wins by winning less than half of the ridings, merely a plurality would suffice.

Everything you propose is to the huge advantage of your candidate. No vetting, no debates, no chance to catch up, just lay low and win in a month's time. That's what you are proposing.

I know you mean well and we face some tough choices here but at the least if your proposal would need a lot of tweaking with things such as:
-weekly debates set up between now and then
-have the date of Jan. 5 maybe pushed back a few weeks
-allowing a prefential ballot so that someone actually achieves 50%
-force the leadership candidates to release detailed platform AT LEAST 3 weeks before the vote.

and probably other tweaking as well, it's not so simple. If the procedure seems biased to one candidate it's just not gonna fly.

Steve V said...

Fine by me. I just picked a day, that was as quick as possible and allows time for a new team to get settled prior to the critical vote.

Anonymous said...

What I really really want to know is, who's going to be replacing Stephen Harper?

Is Prentice the best shot? What if Casey comes back?

Steve V said...


That's all fine and dandy under normal circumstances, but these are historic circumstances, please amend the ideals accordingly.

Anonymous said...

I might note as well that LeBlanc hasn't even launched his campaign yet and no one has plunked down the $90,000 to enter the race at this point.

Steve V said...


Oh good grief, LeBlanc isn't winning anything, nor do I want another kingmaker. Let's get real here, just this ONE time. Please.

Anonymous said...

Steve are you saying let's say if a vote was held on Jan. 20, the following wouldn't be possible?
-weekly debates set up between now and then
-allowing a prefential ballot so that someone actually achieves 50%
-force the leadership candidates to release detailed platform AT LEAST 3 weeks before the vote.
-allowing for members to vote online or by phone

What of those don't you support?

As well, can you at least admit of the possibility that a rushed process could lead the the winner being absolutely demolished by Harper due to the lack of vetting we put him through?

Steve V said...

Vetting??? You don't have a sense of Rae and Iggy yet?

Okay, set up a debate, fine by me. I'm up for delaying until mid-January, have a whole slew for all I care. Yes, release a platform, that should already be in the works by now anyways, if not, then... Whatever, just get a freaking real leader, once and for all.

Robert McClelland said...

Since liberals aren't likely to unite behind either Iggy or Rae, how will this end the ongoing civil war within the Liberal party?

Jesse said...

The thing to do is to focus on Leblanc. He's probably not going to win anyway. If you can come up with a dramatic, future-building way for him to drop out and demand a winner be chosen quickly and fairly, you'd have some mo.

Steve V said...

Umm, Robert, if that's true, then a convention brings the same result. If Rae were to win this format, I'll back him 100%. Rae's a good man, with superior intellect, who is so much better than Harper, I'd have NO hesitation. Liberals will rally around the new leader, and the times will demand it.

Thanks for you disingenious concern :)

Robert McClelland said...

Liberals will rally around the new leader, and the times will demand it.

They haven't rallied around the last two so what makes you think they'll rally around the next one. I have a hard time believing rightwing liberals would rally around Rae or that leftwing liberals would rally around Iggy.

Thanks for you disingenious concern :)

Sorry, I didn't actually mean to show any concern. The liberal civil war is working out great for us dippers.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Liberals will rally around Rae...Ontario sure won't...nor the rest of Canada.

Rae=Dion Part II

But not because of ineloquence, but because of severe baggage.

Anonymous said...

"Dion, Layton in Toronto for coalition rally" (The Star, today)

We need to keep up the PR offensive. Huge rallies in Toronto and Montreal will help.

sjw said...

nor the rest of Canada.

That's bullshit.

Do people really think that Bob Rae's tenure as Ontario premier some 15 years ago resonates greatly with the rest of us in the country? Get over yerself Upper Canada.

Anonymous said...

sjw...the Conservatives will MAKE SURE it resonates with the rest of Canada through a countless wave of national attacks ads that NOTHING could overcome in this ECONOMIC DOWNTURN.

Sorry for the caps, but come one, scares me that so many are even considering a Liberal leader who's qualities (and they are many) simply do not fit the times.

sjw said...

Conservatives will MAKE SURE it resonates..

Well, then stupid is as stupid does.

Karen said...

I really don't see a down side to this proposal Steve.

Tweaking as some have suggested here, is easily enough done. Debates shouldn't be tough to pull together and platforms should be close to ready at this point.

Vetting? Please. These aren't unknown quantities.

Robert as to the party splitting over this and using your logic as to why, precisely the same thing would happen under conventional rules.

I'd be considered 'left' in this party and I can now say that I would support Ignatieff were he to be chosen. The left/right split is hardly as dramatic as you make out and in these times, it's unlikely that our focus would be there.

And to those who continue to suggest that Steve is putting out ideas to favour Ignatieff, give your heads a shake. If he hadn't declared his preference, you'd be hard pressed to read most of his posts and determine favouritism.

Anonymous said...

sjw...with respect, it's NOT stupid for Canadians to not want to elect a man who has a reputation of severe economic mismanagment. No, it is not stupid, not in THESE TIMES.

I often hear the defence that Rae's poor running of the Ontario economy has been overstated. You know, I can actually agree with that. But it DID HAPPEN. For the Liberals to choose this man would be political suicide. I'm almost ashamed for the party that he's even in the running.

This is despite that fact that I have personally NOTHING against Bob Rae and I probably agree with him in more things than I do Ignatieff. But now is the time for electability. I'm not saying victory is automatic with Ignatieff, not by a long shot, but he HAS A CHANCE, unlike Rae.

sjw said...

Ah, the pick Ignatieff cuz only he can win scenario...well, I've discussed that particular bent already and this Canadian isn't convinced.

Speaking of stupid, I have a stupid question that I was wondering if someone could help me with...
Does my Laurier club membership status translate into party membership status? I'm thinking no, but I'm not sure. Attempted a phone call to HQ this am, but alas, they no worky on Saturday apparently. Thanks..

Anonymous said...

I've just gotta ask...when did "electable" become a dirty word in the Liberal party?

Anonymous said...

Steve to be clear I'm not saying you are deliberately proposing stuff to favour Ignatieff as it's clear you have honest intentions, but what I'm saying is that it's just a fact that a sped up leadership race DOES favour Ignatieff.

Which is why Rae and LeBlanc won't likely agree to it and nor with their avid supporters. I agree something in late Jan. might be preferable as long as the sorts of conditions and format are along the lines being thrown out here. But the fact that it certainly favours one candidate over another (bc as I said the other two are in the process of catching up in membership sales and with a few more months may get much closer to Ignatieff in sales), creates a problem.

And at the same time, if both Rae and Ignatieff have been thoroughly vetted, why did Ignatieff REFUSE to agree to Rae's proposed weekly debates? Rae put out this proposal what 3 weeks ago and it was turned down by Ignatieff's camp.

To me it just seems like dumb politics if the BIGGEST CONCERN people have about you is that you're a closed door who is gaffe prone you'd think you'd want to be out front and centre putting that to rest.

But that remains another sticking point, Ignatieff wants fewer public debates than the others. An agreement would have to be reached that would mean more debates than he initially wanted.

There is much to be resolved, but maybe that's why a professional mediator is coming to caucus on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

This proposal is very similar to one I recommended recently as a permanent process for selecting the party leader. I think something along these lines is a better method.

sjw said...

Hey! No queue-jumping in the Question Asking department, Jack

I for one do not believe "electable" is a dirty word, I just happen to think that maybe Ignatieff is the one who isn't.

Robert McClelland said...

I'd be considered 'left' in this party and I can now say that I would support Ignatieff were he to be chosen.

Sorry, but I don't find your pledge of allegiance a compelling argument that either of the two likely leaders can unite the party. And the fact that nobody seems to be able to even take a shot at providing an argument that one of the leadership candidates could unite the party leads me to believe it won't happen.

Anonymous said...

I am going to rain on your parade, so apologies in advance.

I reiterate the comments I made right after the election: the problems within the LPC are clear and changing leaders won't address them. Changing boats midstream does not alter the stream and the trends are clear and becoming entrenched. The Liberals are leaderless but not because of any deficiency in the leader(s). Since at least 2000, the trend has been to attack, divide and betray the leader, whoever it is, and if there isn't one, then it is attack the potential leaders. If the media starts it, or internal battles or the Cons, or all of the above at once, doesn't matter, this is what happens.

Is Dion a weak leader? Certainly, he sure is now. His own party stood by and watched this happen, beginning one month after he became leader and continuing to this day. Others are always to blame. The media, the Con attack ads. True, but there was no defense. None. So was Martin weakened similarly, Chretien near the end was also under siege. Liberals think their job is to form a gauntlet and force their leaders through it in public. The Canadian people are influenced by this. It is the Liberal Party that should be leading Canadians, giving them reason to think differently. In Canada, we elect parties, not Presidents.

The idea that this is a blood sport has so taken hold that the bloodletting will not stop until Liberals realize that this is a team sport. The problem is with rank and file Liberals. They can't and / or won't play for the team. Everyone wants to be a star and go their own way. The Cons win these skirmishes because they do play as a team. The irony of this is that if it is a blood sport, then clearly the team Liberal should be attacking the Cons, consistently and relentlessly.

This internal dynamic the Liberals have allowed to develop is being used quite effectively by the Cons, the media, and even the grossly uninformed public. This past week is only the most recent in a long line of examples. Same actions garner the same results.

In the 90's, the Liberals enjoyed majority gov'ts and some unbroken years of implementing policy. Why? Jean Chretien was such a great leader? Not according to many dissenters. No, I do believe it is primarily because in the 90's, for the most part, Liberals were team players and this dynamic makes any leader a better leader.

This is no longer the case and national conditions are different. We now have a media cabal, a dishonest Conservative party in power, a growing segment of the voting public who are apathetic and uninformed, an aging population with some ability to grasp what is happening losing influence, greater interest in American politics while neglecting our own, economic issues dominating, environmantal issues being pushed right out of the debate.

After this election, the to do list should have been to immediately begin fundraising and connecting with grassroots. That election sent two messages which still have not been received - one, the Liberals have no money, and two, the Canadian people have an incorrect view of this party. No fundraising since then, no efforts to address the disconnect with the constituency. Just more leadership bullshit. More infighting, more disagreement. Meanwhile, we have had no parliament since June. Nothing has been done. No work for the country accomplished. Nothing for the environment. Harper has successfully averted what should have taken him out by using a remnant from our days as an outpost of Britain, an unelected person.

This coalition may have been the best solution, forcing the opposition to co-operate at long last, acting like a majority for once, providing the leadership Canadians need and voted for. However, are we seeing grassroots, "Leadership" from all coalition partners, and rank and file out there, explaining this, consistently and forcefully? No. Instead, we are back to arguing Liberal leadership and actually entertaining the possibility of another election in the new year. Another two months with no gov't, another 300 million gone.

We are in deep trouble.


Anonymous said...

Robert, it's not possible to GUARANTEE that a leader will succeed and unite the party until he/she is actually CHOSEN and given the opportunity.

It's always a leap of faith to some degree.

But I think Ignatieff has served ably thus far; he has proven able to go toe-to-toe with the Conservatives in the House of Commons. He doesn't scare the Moderates and the Left are warming up to him. He commands respect across the country. It's ridiculous to suggest he has not been vetted after all this and that leadership race he ran two years ago.

I want the Liberal caucus to unite and put their faith in this man, because right now he's their only viable option...and a good one at that.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, while the Liberal "team" is navel gazing and pondering leadership, Harper is gleefully watching the Coalition go down the drain along with any hope of his defeat. The NDP and the Bloc are not backing down. Liberals, if you love your country above your party, vote for your leader NOW and concentrate on what really matters, the removal of Harper.

Anonymous said...

The party needs to unite around whoever wins, but Jack, for all your dismisalls of Rae quick question:
- Who is supporting Ignatieff in the West? Anyone in caucus? Any former members of caucus?
If he loses every province out West and yet still wins on the first ballot what message will that send?

Rae has the support of Anne Mccllennan, Lloyd Axworthy, Ralph Gooddale, Reg Alcock, Hedy Fry, Raymond Chan, Ujal Dosanjh, BC YL's President, Tina Keeper, Ken Dryden (not out west but a good unifier), and basically all the other big Liberals from out West. Why?

I'm not from out West myself but it surprises me that no one has noticed just how much Ignatieff's operation is predicated on sweeping Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces while losing the West entirely. Explains why he didn't speak out in favour of the convention being in Vancouver.

It's something to bear in mind, but obviously if Rae won he would have massive problems in all the places Ignatieff is clearly ahead so in some ways whoever wins is really not to be envied.

Anonymous said...

Mike...I'm asking because I genuinely do not those same MPs (and former MPs) still support Rae?

I know many gravitated to his side two years ago, but I've not become aware of ANY MPs endorsing any of the three current candidates yet.

But really, my position is that the time is needed to stop the backroom bickering and divisiveness. It's time to unite behind one candidate.

Of course, my position is that the logical choice is Ignatieff. I can see how he may have scared off a lot of people two years ago. He was a relative unknown...not an insider...and he made some controversial decisions during his initial campaign. But I think he's grown and proved himself.

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff has to be less equivocal about the coalition. It may well be the road to forming a government in Jan./Feb.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the commentary Steve and as always some bracing discourse here today. I think having a warm place to vote is utmost in all our minds. As for the details I had a similar debate with some Liberal friends last night and have posted that commentary on my own blog rather than filling your comments section with me, me, me. This is all good and I only hope the powers that be are also having similar discussions and thoughts. We seem to be facing a battle between pragmatism and ideals both on the coalition front and also for the leadership. I wonder if there's any way we can have our cake and eat it too?

Anonymous said...

Jack I know for sure that Anne Mccllennan, Lloyd Axworthy, Reg Alcock, Hedy Fry, Raymond Chan, BC YL's President (who is Rae's youth chair), and Tina Keeper
have formally endorsed because I read it on his website over a week ago.

The others they supported him last time and Gooddale and Dryden I believe still support him now as I believe that the reason there's been problems over selecting an interim leader is because McCallum, Goodddale and Dryden are the best options and all 3 are apparently committed.

I think it's something to consider though that the West was finally going to get its convention and then not only do they not but the guys who loses every Western province wins.

Of course the alternative is not great either Rae winning the leadership without winning the two largest provinces in the country.

Whoever it is has a lot of bridge building to do and I hope they realize that.

Anonymous said...

You know - I was thinking. We already know Ignatieff and Rae from the last leadership race and it was not all that long ago.

So, give LeBlanc some exposure - interviews, etc. to bring him up to the forefront for people to get to know him.

Then vote ASAP. Why do we need a lengthy race when we already know Ignatieff and Rae - kind of a waste of time and "money" isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Damn it, Steve is right.

Choose a leader already.

The nation does not run on the Liberal's schedule, sadly.

Leadership is needed NOW, not next May. You may have noticed a Parliamentary crisis arose last week. You may also have noticed the economic woes continue to mount.

Be done with it already and find a way to make it happen.

Prove that the Liberal party has stopped musing about change and is actually changing. The nation is screaming for leadership now. Please provide it.

You have 3 capable candidates. Choose One! Vote! Get on with It!

Kris said...

I have been supportive of Rae since the first convention and would still like to see him as leader. I do not care greatly for Ignatieff, have concerns that Canadians will be unable to relate to him and have been thourghly unimpressed with his tepid doublespeak about the coalition so far.


I have the creeping feeling that Liberals cannot wait for the convention and time Rae would likely need to win, and that a leader should be elected within 6 weeks, be it Ignatieff or Rae.

Riding votes in January.
At least 2 debates.
Full platforms released.

I'm 100% for it, regardless of whether it favours one candidate over another. We need to move NOW.


RuralSandi said...

The one thing that the GG would have to be convinced of - stability.

With a lame duck leader, then an interim leader, then the leadership race - talk about unstable.

Anonymous said...

Well the concerns of blowing away the West AGAIN are not answered, I'm concerned we'd just be seen as writing it off again.

How do you address that?

If we choose a leader NOW and then we get blown away in the next election with even less support than the last what will be your response then?

Will it have been worth it?

Just for a second stop and pause, if you go with the assumption we lose the next election and Harper wins a majority or another strong minority, what is the BEST approach?

Or do we refuse to consider that as a possibility even though an election could happen within months of whenever the new leader is selected.

All that said I'm in favour of late Janauary vote, weekly debates, online voting (with preferential ballot), full platforms, etc...BUT I'd like to see at least someone take into consideration what it would mean to say FU to the Western members of the party who were supposed to get the convention (and where Rae is stronger) and who will be best to rebuild the party if we lose the next election.

Or there some room to compromise for the people being snubbed here by bumping it all up? Can anyone take the long term view?

liberazzi said...

Like I said yesterday a quick vote spoils my fun, but probably best for the party. If it is a coaltion then I am fine with a new interim leader and we could proceed with our show in Van, but if we predict a snap election then Iggy or Rae should be appointed or somehow voted on, one member one vote tout de suite. Simple. I will not be offended if it a caucus decision, I rather just have a capable leader in place. I am an Iggy supporter, but I have no qualms with Rae. If it a coalition or fighting another election, Liberals need to focus on the real goal and I sure hope I dont have to spell out what that is.

Anonymous said...

Mike...we already had a fully legitimate, drawn out convention two years ago that should have settled things and satisfied the entire Liberal caucus.

Well, obviously it didn't.

I'm just saying there's no guarantees of unity in ANY case.

And I was looking at wikipedia, which talked about who exactly is for who in this,_2009

Anonymous said...

Well, James Curran just informed everyone Liberals were dead until the end of 2009 anyway.

And here I thought Liberals had faith in their values and believed in their ability to speak to and for the Canadian people.

His comments are about the most disgusting and stupid I've seen from a Liberal blogger.

I guess I'll take up another interest, send Harper a big smiley face card with a note saying go for it (whatever he dreams up, being such a "visionary" sort), and then just start some neighborhood chats to "talk up the party" for when their read to debut again, ignoring whatever crap is piling up from Harper in the meantime.

Strength, Speed, Innovation. Coming in 2010. Nice motto! It'll be just in time for the Olympics too.

I've read a lot of things that rile me up on these boards (and BTs when I venture over). But that one may top the list.

STRONG WORD OF CAUTION HERE! And be honest! If the real reason for those of you advocating a "slow and steady" leadership race is because your candidate needs "more time" then your priorities are really screwed up. You need to take a look at the reality of what is going on in this nation and see what is needed NOW. Not next May, now.

I'm not advocating anyone, but I see some very strategic shading going on here that has nothing to do with what is needed - not just by the party but by Canada.

Wake up, People!

liberazzi said...

On a side note, I attended the rally in T.O. It was well attended, but had a union slant to it, which is not really my kettle of fish, but whatever. Mary Walsh was quite good as the MC. I guess this was Dion's swan song if the rumours are true. Typical Dion speech, need I say more. Layton made a good speech, but seemed to be talking more about Dip talking points rather than coaltion ones. Felt a little uneasy about it. Notable Libs there were, GK, Bennett, David Smith, Dryden, Art Eggleton and a new MP whose name escapes me. Also, a sprinkling of Dip MPs. A little bit of music mixed it. Damn cold though, think I have frost bite.

I would say that a coaltion needs to be thought through some more, because I think the Dips might be pushing too hard to get their agenda passed. Just the impression I got from the rally.

Also, I saw Steve Paikin skulking around in a hoody with his son.

Dennis Hollingsworth said...


Sense or Urgency my Friends … find away to get er done & get er done pronto … too much at stake to fumble the ball now … do-overs are only allowed at the Kiddie table.

Democracy delayed is democracy denied !!!

Based on what we already know to be absolutely conclusive about how Harpie processes information, can you imagine what he’s really thinking right now … he has dodged a major missile attack … he’s so angry and full of rage with the impudent (lol) parliamentary majority that it is highly probable his head will explode sometime prior to mid January. Failing this retributive justice scenario, Harpie is maxed-out with rage.

All indications are that Harpie is a very mean-spirited, vindictive, vicious, vengeful, bitter, malicious, hostile and ruthless person (to use but a few from the applicable grist of descriptors) … it is important for us all to fully realize that HARPIE JUST CANNOT HELP HIMSELF.

A big question for me is this : how much longer can the three dim bulbs Flaherty, Baird & Clement continue to deliberately mislead Ontarians / Canadians about mission critical facts, with anything resembling a clear conscience; with anything resembling credibility; AND with even an once of believability ??? ANSWER IS … the can’t, yet indeed they will, as they appear to possess the same arbitrary & dictatorial traits as Harpie !!!

Although I have always subscribed to Win / Win outcomes (and will continue to do so) in all my adult endeavours, this Harper Party of Canada scenario requires us to think (out of the box) about Win / Lose as the most probable outcome to this economic, political, democratic & constitutional crisis, single-handedly perpetrated by Harpie and his jack-boot thugs.

The outcome of this Harpie designed crisis will see one clear victor with the opponent bloodied & laying on the ground. This is Harpers design and I predict he can / will actually pull it off, if we remain complacent.

Anonymous said...

I just posted an apology at James' site and felt I should do the same here.

I still believe the comment he made is a defeatist attitude that just isn't necessary - or even warranted (and I'm far from an idealist these days).

But I don't believe Canadians as a whole believe in divisive winner-take-all attitudes, which is what Harper offers. But they need to be given a viable alternative. I just don't see how having an interim opposition in waiting can provide that. I strongly believe a leader is needed sooner rather than later to respond to the situation as it stands now.

And I believe the Liberals can respond to that need.

But I trust that James is simply expressing that he feels a strong rebuilding is necessary. I agree with that. We just disagree on whether the party can afford to take a methodical approach.

I don't believe the party can. Not with the stakes as high as they are now, due to Harper's hyper partisanship and due to the situations facing Canada, which include the economy but include so much more.

Anonymous said...

I’ll agree to any process that gets us a new Leader. A quick membership vote or caucus decision is okay with me, we know the candidates,lets’ get this done.
So many people are putting their trust into the GG allowing a coalition government should the Harper party fall in Jan.
I’m not at all convinced that she would do that. The Public IS against the idea. Read and accept the polls. Canadians don’t want this.
The GG is never going to make such a controversial decision that is directly opposite to the people. Her office isn’t really known to be cutting edge and radical.

I also don’t think that the coalition has demonstrated that it is a stable one. It has no permanent Leader. And I cannot imagine that the GG would install an interim PM.
Also, the deal was put together by one Leader, would be lead by our next Leader and then completed with our new Leader. Jeez, tag team Liberal Prime Ministers. You’re it! Sound Likely?

She has to be sure that whoever she asks to form a government can hold this together for longer than a week. She has a letter, a rushed deal and a PM now to be named at a later date. Also, the Liberal & NDP seat count isn’t even close the Harper party, jeez; she’s just never going to accept the BQ as the silent partner on top of our dysfunctional Leadership issues. It’s all too risky for her office.

Seriously, does this seem even remotely possible to anyone?
Not to me. Let’s face it; it’s highly unlikely that this coalition will ever do anything other than vote Harper out. After that each Party will be out fighting an election on their own. And there we’ll be; the LPC with a Leader to be named later!

We need a permanent Leader. Just do it already.

Also, I don’t back this coalition any longer after writing this. It’s friggin crazy.

Tomm said...


Good post. I am in total agreement. The caucus can select the leader as far as I'm concerned. The MPs are in with both feet and should know what is required to lead through Parliament. They are suitable judges and should select a reasonable leader.

It's also fast.

One question. If the LPC uses something like the caucus, should they allow their 50 senators to vote too, since they are a part of the caucus? If not, jhow does one exclude them without appearing mean spirited?

Tomm said...


I like your thoughts. It is important for the LPC not to put too much on the GG selecting the coalition at the end of Janaury rather than sending us to a new election. All the things you present could also be going through her mind.

Right now the LPC can be defeated by the CPC simply waving the piece of paper around that includes Gilles' signature. It is a potent argument in much of Canada and actually doesn't hurt him in parts of Quebec either.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom

Like everyone else in that country I’ve given this a great deal of thought over the past week. The other point that I would suggest to everyone if we do get a Leader quickly (caucus vote fine or whatever) there is no reason that the May2nd convention can’t be turned back into a policy convention. We’d have a stable Leader in place and IMO that is when we should be discussing Coalition policy. The idea is an interesting one to pursue as future party policy. When would we form coalitions, why would we form them and who would we form them with? Be open about this as an option in the future.
It could excite people, and get some younger people out to vote & involved.

As this stands now, many people do understand that while this coalition could be an option for the GG in our system, they don’t like THIS coalition with the BQ. And just like appointing Senators while perfectly legal many people feel that it’s wrong.
We should, after resolving our Leadership, explore co-operative governing.
Rushing full steam against the public, will guarantee failure and set back change for years.
Two words: Green shift…..never going to happen now.


Anonymous said...

Canadians seem to prefer an election should the government be defeated in January and the GG will probably grant it. But as we go to vote for the second time in four months, you can be sure Stephen Harper, Mr. Dysfunctional, will not be viewed kindly.

Tomm said...


A policy convention is an excellent idea. If well structured, it would provide good material for the new leader to draw from. The LPC could depend on the LPC for its ideas and breadth, rather then getting fed material from Layton or May.

Karen said...

It is a potent argument in much of Canada and actually doesn't hurt him in parts of Quebec either.

It's an impotent argument if any logic is applied.

What parts of Quebec do you suppose are embracing Harper's idiotic rants Tomm? I mean, he had so many fans left after the last election, they must be positively glowing with pride now that he has insulted them even further.

Tomm said...


Welcome. Always enjoy your little insights.

The Compas Poll shows BQ 35%, CPC 32% and LPC at 19% in Quebec.

Funny how calling a separatist a separatist doesn't effect support when its the truth. I guess its just the media having a little fun with us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, one of many reasons to question the results of the Compas Poll. Even the other polls that showed a blip over the start of Harper's tirade (not the full blossoming glory we witnessed as the week drug on including today's rallies) also showed a decline of support in Quebec.

But not Compas! Soon they will project 100% allegiance with the Great Leader.

Tomm said...


Don't raise my hopes to such lofty heights.

But seriously. It is worth watching to see how the polls re-normalize themselves after this gut-wrenching week. The polls will settle into some stasis. That's when we can see the real damage to the different parties.

Möbius said...

Why not one vote for each current party member, with the plurality winning?

What's the advantage of "riding votes"?

Anonymous said...

An interim leader isn't a solution, it's a timid and temporary response to an extraordinary circumstance. Its seems to be the only solution available right now Stev. you can bet all your monies that if the shoe was on the other foot, Stevie cry babyHarpo would have done the same thing. He tried it once & he would do it again. You can bet on that too. As for your support of Iggy, No Thanks.In my book, he would be as bad as Stevie & I don't believe this country can have 2 of that type. Another thing that gets me seeing red is not only have the Cons poisoned peoples mind about Dion,so have the lIberals such as Manely, the other Liberal MP. This inside fighting is doing just as much damage as Stevie Harpo & his brain washed zombie trolls. That kind of stupidity has got to stop, right now, right here.

For all its wwworth, I feel a lot better for having my say.

Möbius said...

Ok, but I didn't understand your point at all.

Kris said...


if by "riding votes" you were referring to my comment, I was picking up on the suggestion of having party members in each riding take a vote, preferential if the third candidate, Leblanc, is still in, and deciding the leader that way. Quick, democratic, and much easier than a convention.

liberazzi said...

The All Politics blog says that the Liberal constitution does not allow for this to happen.

My prediction:

- Dion will resign by Xmas or this week
- new interim leader
- Harper plays nice
- budget passed
- leadership race continues as planned

Maybe a Sunday poll is in order to see what scenario bloggers think will happen?

liberazzi said...

If anyone is interested I created a poll here

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff and Rae on Question Period. Good performances. Rae makes point that we need membership to vote for leader. I agree. We'll be ready with new leader by January and we'll have momentum going into budget vote. Harper will be defeated despite what Ignatieff says about considering budget. The die is cast.