Wednesday, July 06, 2005

In The News

1. This could prove to be a very useful site. You can track MP attendance records to see the keeners and the delinquents of the House. You can sort by words spoken and then scratch your head at what the heck Larry Bagnell needed to say in 73,000 words that couldn’t have been said in 12. You’ll also wonder who Peter Julian is and why he’s talking more than Stephen Harper or Paul Martin. All in all, a very fun website for political geeks.


2. In case you missed it last week, Michael Ignatieff is looking to run for the Liberals next election with his sights set on the party’s leadership. I think Ignatieff’s presence would add some nice flair and spark to the Liberal leadership race and, to be honest, this party could really use an exciting leadership race about ideas and Ignatieff’s candidacy would move the race in that direction. After listening to Ignatieff’s speech at the Biennial Convention I felt he had some interesting ideas but would need a lot of experience before being a credible leadership candidate. So my verdict would be that he’s not ready right now but the kid has potential. After three or four years in Cabinet, he might be ready for the top job.


3. This is really interesting. I know it’s been a tough year but it’s pretty obvious the Liberal National Executive has dropped the ball big time. I mean…we’re raising money at the same level as the NDP. The NDP! The NDP?!?! It’s almost as if the current National Executive was elected as a reward for their loyalty to the PM rather than their abilities to run and fund a party.

16 Comments:

  • It appears that only one party will miss the $100,000 donations from our large corporations and from the uber-wealthy, and it happens to be the party which has the influence to sell.......who'd a thunk it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 PM  

  • Claudette Bradshaw has said not one world in parliment. Now that takes talent.

    Colleen Beaumier comes in second with 13 words uttered. Here is what she said... "Madam Speaker, I wish to be recorded as voting no to the motion."

    By Blogger Political Nobody, at 2:02 PM  

  • Wouldn't the fact that the NDP are joined to their provincial wings make their numbers slightly skewed? Regardless, the National Executive always knew the new legislation was going to hurt the Liberals the most and help the CCP. The trends historically have always shown that the CCP/CRAP/Reform have had a higher proportion of donors among their grassroots members. That’s why this National Executive, like the previous executive, opposed the new rules. The new finance legislation may have been the right thing for the government to do, but for the Liberals it was shooting themselves in the foot.

    By Anonymous bwest, at 2:55 PM  

  • We started this discussion at Cerberus a little while ago. As I posted there:

    "I was on a couple of right wing sites and they don't know what to make of him. He has policies that are very right wing from a Trudeau/Chretien point of view but also left of them. I think part of the already way-too-excessive interest in his "candidacy" is that he is clearly an ideas person in a time when too many are slaves to pollsters and pundits and being "liked" by everyone. See Allan Gregg's great article in this month's Walrus Magazine on the need for a return to the politics of ideas (and not the idea of politics).

    I like a high-profile candidate/personality who can stir things up. I'm coming around to the idea of Ignatieff. Consider him as a high profile Minister in Martin's cabinet and the kind of spur he could be to this government.

    Forget about leadership ambitions for now - he has to prove himself first and the only way he can do that is as part of the cabinet. The great thing - yes, let's give credit where it is due, the truly GREAT thing - about the Reform Party coming out of the middle of nowhere with nothing to lose and completely driven by policy is that they changed the framework of the debate, made us all think of the long-admitted problems from a different angle. The two biggest problems got solved as a result: CPP threatened bankruptcy and out-of-control deficits. It seems to me that the party and the country need someone to stir the pot a little bit. Ignatieff as a nice little sous-chef could do the trick.

    But can the sous-chef be the chef?"

    ~ TB

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 3:00 PM  

  • All I have to say is Howard Dean. If the Liberals want to energize their base, they are going to have to speak to it and not ignore it. This means above all else tabling some sort of bold agenda and stop polling of policy.

    By Anonymous koby, at 3:42 PM  

  • It's not really all that amazing that the federal Liberal Party has had trouble raising money. After all, they've been plagued by scandal and ugliness for the entire year. When you read about allegations of extreme party corruption and fundraising irregularities, does that really drive you to donate cash?

    I suspect as election season comes around again and the Gomery nonsense is behind us, the Liberal support will pick up substantially again. Especially if it looks like Harper and his band of crazies is gaining in the polls again...

    By Anonymous ryan, at 6:08 PM  

  • On fund raising:

    What bwest said. The Liberals have become the party of corporate Canada. Chretien's banning of corporate contributions, while highly commendable, obviously hurt the party's pocket book.

    On Ignatief. I think anyone who brings actuall ideas to the table is a welcome inclusion. As for leadership asperations the obvious comparison is to Trudeau. How long was Trudeau in Cabinet before becoming PM? Four months? Someone who can make a decision and defend it in comprehensible language will hopefully expose Martin for the snivelling fraud that he is.

    As for whomever referenced Allan Gregg's Walrus article. That article was lame. Allan Gregg wouldn't recognize a serious idea if a tonne of Ignatief books landed on his head.

    By Blogger Matthew, at 6:39 PM  

  • RE: Allan Gregg article.

    Maybe so; I don't know much about the man and the article does have a ring of "pot calling the kettle black" coming from a pollster. But forget about who wrote it: the article is bang on for what we need now. Go buy the Walrus anyway and support quality Canadian content!

    By Anonymous TB, at 9:10 PM  

  • On Trudeau vs. Ignatieff: Trudeau was an a Parliamentary Secretary for about 15 months before becoming Minister of Justice, which he held for a year (not 4 months). Of course, he was recruited as a star candidate, into a minority government, and still cooled his heels as parliamentary secretary before making it to the big table. Of course, I suppose he wasn't the former CEO of a big company, and didn't cross the floor; or maybe the rules were just different then...

    By Blogger Jim, at 9:10 PM  

  • Jim: nice one.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:41 PM  

  • While I do love Jim's line about crossing the floor and CEOs, to be fair, I do think Pelletier and Marchand got into Cabinet fairly quickly. Trudeau was always the third choice of Pearson's among the three wise men so that's why it took him longer to get into Cabinet.

    You have to figure Ignatieff would find his way into a Liberal Cabinet (IF they win, IF he wins, etc). Trudeau made a name for himself during his one year in Justice...it would be interesting to see what Ignatieff does with his spot. Martin's other star candidates like Dosanj, Emerson, and Dryden haven't exactly lit the world on fire during their first year (although Emerson and Dryden have done OK).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:25 AM  

  • bwest; Yeah, the NDP numbers are skewed because of the provincial parties.

    And even though it's been a tough year for the Liberals, it's innexcusable to get out fundraised by the Conservatives by a 2 to 1 margin. There are more Liberals than Conservatives in this country and just as many rich Liberals as rich Conservatives. Obviously the Tories have adapted to the new rules much more effectively than the Libs.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:28 AM  

  • Exactly, GC. I'd like to see Ignatieff perform with some real responsibilities before rendering any judgement pro or con. There have been lots of assumed Dauphins rising in the party over the years, but we're still waiting for another king.

    Don't know where you would put him though. Justice usually goes to someone who has gone to law school at least and, while he has done a lot on human rights, the position requires a lot more. Can't really move Cotler out of Justice anyway, I don't think. He doesn't have the skill set or the experience or the political ties to land any of the biggies like Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Industry, and doesn't seem cut out for such in the trenches posts like Transport, Public Works, Labour, Trade, Treasury Board, Fisheries. There's a fit maybe with Social Development or Citizenship (the irony there!), but you can't really move Dryden or Dion at this point without bigger internal fallout. Democratic Renewal might be a really good fit, but Martin already has about 4 of those doesn't he? He would lack any legitimacy in Heritage, having been out of the country for 30 years. Health? Too politically sensitive for an "outsider" although fresh ideas are needed there the most. Environment? Maybe. An interesting spot would be Security/Solicitor General: he has some knowledge on this if not experience, and he'd be in the limelight.

    But first things first I suppose. He's got to move back. Then maybe get a nomination. Then maybe get elected. Then, if he hasn't pissed anyone off too much, a Parliamentary Secretary posting. And then we'll see. Much ado right now about something long in the future.

    I think this early interest in him belies more of a hunger for ideas and leadership, than an excitement for him specifically at this point.

    ~TB

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 12:50 PM  

  • I don't think the Tories have changed one bit, actually. Reform and the PCs always have roughly even money coming despite the seat disparity. The split was 80/20 personal/corporate for Reform, and the reverse for the Tories. The Libs were similar to the Tories in their proportions, as I roughly recall. The Reform base, which powers the current Tories, is doing what it always does.

    By Blogger matt, at 1:06 PM  

  • TB; Foreign Affairs would be the logical spot for Ignatieff, although his Iraq position and lack of experience would sure make him a controversial choice. It would likely be better to start him off with a Junior portfolio anyways.

    And we should remember that Martin has tried to eliminate all leadership aspirants from the party? As soon as he took over, he made sure to get Manley, Rock, Cauchon, Bevilacqua and Copps the hell out of Cabinet and the party as quickly as possible. If Ignatieff is openly musing about leadership, he might not get such a warm welcome.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:47 PM  

  • Ture enough. But they were from the old wars. We'll have to see how the old fox fights his new wars. I'm sure he'll be as understanding and open as he said he wanted his predecessor to be. Right?!?
    ~TB

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 5:50 PM  

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