Oliver referenced Cullen's co-operation idea, asked Rae "what's your view of that, is that something you would welcome as a good idea in order to prevent a split which elects Conservatives?"
"Well, as I said, I think we have an effective three party system. Mr. Mulcair last night, as I heard him, was very definitive in saying no co-operative arrangement with anybody else, ever, which is very much in keeping with Mr. Mulcair's accomodating personality. I think we'll just respond to that by saying look, we're going to be carrying on as very effective national party, we're going to be running candidates in 338 ridings and we're going to continue to do that. I think it's a big mistake for people to start speculating, this isn't a political science seminar. You know, you've got a newly elected leader of the opposition saying he doesn't want to have anything to do with any form of co-operation or discussion with other parties, and frankly we just respond in kind, if that's the way it's going to be, that's the way it's going to be, we're very determined to carry on as we have done and will continue to do"
I find Rae's posture here fascinating.
I'm sure both the CPC and the Liberals will be tripping over each other trying to look more reasonable than Mulhair. The CPC with softball attacks because they don't want to weaken him too much. They want him to split the vote with Rae, since they know they will be facing Rae in the next election.
The Liberals appear to be continuing to follow their strategy of giving plenty of rope to their opponents. It's not so flashy though, they find themselves apologizing and taking responsibility for minor incidents of their own political incorrectness, while waiting in vain for any indication from the CPC that they've ever done anything wrong, ever. But that does sink in over time. Giving more rope also means not reacting as expected, such as the recent attack ads that were supposed to elicit a "but Harris was worse". Instead we have chuckling about "why don't they give me credit for the Jays winning the World Series?"
Rae's keeps slowly advancing his appearance as being not just a PM in waiting but as being a statesman. He looks and acts like a statesman, while his opponents split the job of looking and acting like henchmen.
I'm not an LPC supporter but I have to say that Rae has been doing an excellent job as interim leader. It's a real shame that the LPC brain trust ruined all our lives by anointing Ignatieff as leader. Good grief, that was the worst political move ever. And we are all suffering for it today.
Rae would make an excellent Liberal leader, despite his baggage, in my view. I once didn't think he would run for permanent leadership (?!) after his stint in interim, but how many other leadership alternatives are there for the Liberal Party right now, really? Dom LeBlanc? Scott Brison? Dalton McGuinty?
However, even if Rae becomes leader, electoral circumstances are working strongly against him. Mulcair's NDP will have a stranglehold on Quebec, leaving little room for the Liberals to grow there. Rae's leadership might help as much as it hurts in Ontario, but attaining even a modest gain there would be an uphill battle without some sort of arrangement with the NDP.
The prairies? Without a western leader, forget it.
British Columbia? Not exactly friendly territory for federal Liberals, even in a *good* year. And it's always been relatively fertile territory for the NDP - surely the province won't abandon them now that they're the second party. Barring the election of a Liberal leader from the west, the Liberals will face a pretty firm ceiling of about 4 seats.
Atlantic Canada? It's always a crapshoot. New Brunswick went largely to the Conservatives. PEI and NL went largely to the Liberals. Nova Scotia was a 3-way split. And even if the Liberals become the dominant party across that region, where does that put them? In about the same position as the PC party in the late 90's? That's probably not a position they want to be in.
Rae's reflecting what a percentage of supporters in both parties are hoping for -- more co-operation.
Charlie Angus had some interesting comments about Nathan Cullen's potential future in the party. Basically, Cullen might not have much of one. (But the comment could have been sour grapes. Angus was a Dewar supporter, and apparently Dewar had counted on support that Cullen drew. Cullen managed to out campaign the party's finance and foreign affairs critics, not a bad achievement on his part.)
The Charlie Angus comments are bizarre.
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