Monday, April 24, 2006

What About Bob?

For better or worse, Bob Rae is off and running in the Liberal leadership race. While a lot of people are questioning the motives of Rae's supporters, I tip my hat to them. The Liberals backing Rae can say that they have been with him since the day he became a Liberal Party member, which shows dedication.

Rae is also set to launch his website, going with the slogan "call me Bob". Bob has wisely decided to put the bad connotations of "Rae" behind him. I consider it a worrisome sign when a candidate is running from his own name.

In other leadership news, Carolyn Bennett has launched and has the best website of the bunch. Bennett even has her own Blackberry blog, which is a cute idea.

Also in the race is Scott Brison, a talented politician with a very bright future in the Liberal Party. Scott, for obvious reasons, does not have a Blackberry blog on his site.


  • The party is leaning so far starbord that it risks suffering the same fate as the Queen of Prince Rupert. Maurizio Bevilacqua is looking better by the day. He's the only one left (sic) capable of fighting for votes in the Harper centre.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 p.m.  

  • At least he is sticking with "Bob." I mean, a lesser man would have probably gone with "Robert" (or "Rob" if he was looking to keep it folksy...although "Rob" does have some negative connotations when talking about the guy collecting taxes). I for one am applauding the courage that Bob Rae has shown by not legally changing his name prior to getting into this race.

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 12:04 a.m.  

  • Hmmmm, I wonder if the Abotech Scandal (go to will rear its ugly head to give Scott Brison claim to two bonafide scandals. The other one of course is the Income Trust Scandal.

    Are the leadership pickings so slim you have to accept guys like Brison, Vlpe, Ignatieff,Rae, etc.

    Surely there must be SOMEONE in the liberal party that is not tainted by corruption.

    Oh yea, I forgot-it IS the Liberal party after all.

    Horny Toad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 a.m.  

  • Horny Toad you are hilarious. :)

    Shouldn't you be getting back to spinning the Emerson comment as good thing again? :) I loved your post at Cherniak blog, I never laughed so hard in my life.

    It's always amusing to see Tories with egg on their face.

    Thanks for all the concern you have about LPC. I think we will be ok, despite your pathetic attempt at downplaying the quality of candidates.

    I would pick Kennedy, Dion, Ignatieff or Dryden over Harpo any day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:36 a.m.  

  • This one made me snort my tea. Have you ever considered standup?

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 12:39 a.m.  

  • I notice Brison's website asks if Canada should support the Kyoto Protocol but says nothing about implementing it. I guess that kind of language is why greenhouse gas emissions went up 30 per cent under the Liberals. Does Brison have a plan for cutting emissions? As Tom Axworthy said, Liberals need to move beyond press releases on the environment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 a.m.  

  • Nothing like a Monday to get the 'Anons' crowd out and griping. When you've got one hockey hall of famer, a former premier and -Rhode scholar, a Harvard professor-journalist-human rights activist, a Quebec scholar, the leader of the first food bank, a doctor (or two), an accomplished lawyer, and a handful of experienced MPs all ready to grasp the brass ring, I guess it makes a tory crow. Yep, it'd be so much better if it was just a dork ex-health minister, a sulking dweeb policy wonker and a rich car parts heiress... Must make you blue in the face!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:31 a.m.  

  • Sorry, this is off topic but worth mentioning.

    It''s going to be rather entertaining watching Scott Brison trying to explain this away.

    By Blogger BL, at 3:26 a.m.  

  • The only future Scott Brison should have is one in jail.

    I had a dream the other day about Rae winning the leadership race; for some reason it quickly shifted to a tale of the Liberal Democrats. What's that all about?

    By Blogger RGM, at 7:34 a.m.  

  • Brandon...not much to explain with a shortly after 9/11 speech, especially from a Maratimer.

    CG...I disagree that Bennet has the best website, it's sort of cute, but Brison's site looks a lot better - I think he's got the best of the bunch so far.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:38 a.m.  

  • Cmon Anon 5:38
    Bennets site is clearly the best.
    It is accesible, well layed out interesting and tons of good info.
    As an Iggy supporter I can admit that Bennet has the best. Cmon, Brisons is actually almost particulary lame. Standard design, makes no use of what the web is capable of, boring layout and info overload. Dions looked like it started off good and then never got finished, it has a good look, but.... Really most of the sites are just same old.
    Be fair, I mean to a degree it is all subjective but cmon Bennets kicks, brisons yawn...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 a.m.  

  • Brison is Joe Volpe annoying....and that is not good.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 a.m.  

  • “[Bevilacqua is] the only one left (sic) capable of fighting for votes in the Harper centre”

    What? Harper may have convinced you that he is the centre but the rest of the country is not so easily fooled. Harper has been straining until his buttons pop to expand his vote share from 30% to 40%. It is essentially impossible for a right wing party in this country to break 40%, and if Harper does it is because a significant slice of the population believes he is not really right, or, more likely, because they are voting for his federalism instead (i.e. soft sovereigntists). I would think the experience of the PCs and Reform should be convincing evidence that it is slim pickings when it comes to votes on the right unless you want to be an Alberta rump party. Contrast that to Liberals majorities that co-existed with a significant NDP party. The natural Conservative constituency of 25 to 30% is the Liberal party’s FLOOR. Without the Bloc, it would break down 30% Tory, 50% Liberal, 20% NDP. It is more important, and easier, to hold the NDP to 20% and pre-empt with Greens with environmental policies than it is to let the NDP run wild because the Liberals are playing footsie with the right. How are you going to convince NDP voters to stop Harper with a Liberal vote when you are trying to jump into bed with him?

    The Liberals did EVERYTHING wrong and still got 100+ seats on Jan 23. Harper did EVERYTHING right and barely managed 36%. A 3.5% vote swing and Harper would still be in opposition.

    This is not the US. How many US politicians style themselves "liberal"? A few radicals at best, because it is the minority position. "Conservative" is considered good branding for a US politician inclined that way anyway (or Supreme Court judge). Now how many Canadian politicians are proudly "on the right", to borrow Klein's wording for why he did not believe Harper could win a mandate?

    Swing right and even if the Liberals did win there would be no way it would be a majority. In which case you would likely be forced into a coalition with the NDP and end up having to govern to the left anyway! If Harper manages to win a majority it would be because A) the Liberal leader had too much baggage (not necessarily an ideological issue) B) after 13 years of Liberal rule the electorate would see 6 years of Tory rule as a balance and, last but not least, C) Harper has, against his will, been forced to campaign on traditionally Liberal policies. With respect to C if what ultimately matters is the policy not the nominal person, we should be grudgingly satisfied with a Harper government, and honourable opposition until the scandals become distant memories. The Liberal party lost some of the electorate’s confidence precisely because it was believed to be willing to do anything to win.

    - Scarborough Liberal

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 a.m.  

  • This is really bad for the Liberals. The Liberal party is a "centralist" party. Its a no-win situation for the Liberal. If Rae or Iggy do well, then many non-left or NDP-negatives leave to the not-so-scary-anymore Harper Conservatives. If they do poorly then the left leaning ones go to the not-so-scary-anymore Layton NDP. Things are not looking good.

    Who is advising Rae and Brison? Or is it just their egos? Or are they bent on destruction?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:28 a.m.  

  • I've been a Bob Rae fan since the good 'ol days when he was Premier of Ontario. He was a strong, Third-Way (think Pre-Bush Blair, not Ralph Klein) political thinker. I was appalled by how the party treated him and when he quit the NDP, so did I. I couldn't figure out why some members (especially from the Labour wing) couldn't see that an NDP defeat would mean a Mike Harris landslide.

    All that aside, while I admire Rae, I wouldn't want to see him as Lib leader. Too easy a target. Personally, I think Dion would be a real asset to our country as PM.


    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:42 a.m.  

  • For those who care Ken Dryden will be officially joining the race Fri Apr 28 at Humber Valley Village Junior Middle School in Etobicoke
    Is Mr. Dion making any kind of effort to learn English language.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 a.m.  

  • Hey billybud,

    Is Dryden making any kind of effort to learn how to be more human and less snooze inducing robot?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 a.m.  

  • Hey Kevin couldn't agree more, Dryden is champion of 5 minute sound bite.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 p.m.  

  • Sorry I thought it was the other Bob who was running.

    By Blogger Dale Kirby, at 1:20 p.m.  

  • Scarborough liberal is living over in happy land - the liberals with a natural voting constituency of 50%? That is hilarious!! Priceless!

    The Conservative Party started with 30% of the vote in 2004, and moved up to 36% in 2005 - which is the same percentage as what the libs got their majority with in '93! Chretien only broke 40% once - against Stockwell Day, which was easy.

    The LPC needs to be worried, because all the lefties will push the blue tories who have been hanging with the libs for the past 10 years back to the CPC, where they belong.

    just a guy...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 p.m.  

  • That speech Brison gave to the American friends thingy is interesting. Many people including him don't recognize yet that Afghanistan is not in the Middle East, nor is it part of the Middle East. Yet he says we have the 4th largest allied troops there. Is he referring to our troops in UAE, or Afghanistan. I am guessing there are more troops in Afghanistan. And again it is not in the middle east.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 p.m.  

  • "Without the Bloc, it would break down 30% Tory, 50% Liberal, 20% NDP. "

    I think you may have gotten stuck in a time warp - the Liberals have not had a majority of the Quebec seats since Trudeau.

    A lot of those seats the bloc currently hold are not Rouge but are Bleu.

    Unless the Liberals can come up with a plan to end the domination of the BQ in Quebec and win over those votes they are not likely to come close to a majority for a long time.

    Harper ate away at the Quebec Libs but more so the BQ. Second place in 35 +- ridings as I recall - How many would turn Bleu without the PQ? Probably a lot more than would turn Rouge.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:02 p.m.  

  • 11:52 anon:

    No, the "blue grits" won't necessarily go back to the CPC. The advantage that the CPC has (a lack of competition on the right and its integration of the 'extreme' right) is also its weakness, as we've seen from the continual battle Harper has had to make to appear moderate. If his party's policies and identity is dominated by its more centrist wing, then he's fine, but if it's seen to be dominated by the far right the 'blue grits' will remain with the liberal party.

    Besides, there will be those blue grits that prefer to be a centrist force on a liberal party, rather than on a conservative party, because they self-identify slightly more with liberalism. The "fiscal conservative/social liberal" wing, which having an intellectually incoherent position, are still a prime example of that.

    Canada is not the United States: the word "liberal" is not an insult. If the CPC forgets that, they'll get creamed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 p.m.  

  • Ah yes, apparantly the Conservative Party has to worry about a ceiling despite the fact we've had government in the last 15 years which recieved more than 40% of the vote? When you come right down to it, I think the electoral math is currently set again the Liberals managing a majority anytime soon. Tories are now finishing second in the majority of Quebec ridings, the West is a complete wasteland for Liberals and the Liberal Party has lost its monopoly on Ontario.

    Considering the Liberal Pary has spent the last decade demonizing a Conservative government as being a creature out of the book of Revelations, and a horror that should not be mentioned in the presence of small children once that myth is dispelled there really hasn't been much else in the tank for the Liberals. Once people get used to the idea of a Conservative government, and we deliver on our priorities, we have more room to grow than any other party at the moment.

    By Blogger Chris, at 4:27 p.m.  

  • "Liberals did EVERYTHING wrong...Harper did EVERYTHING right"

    But Harper made one huge mistake last time he won't make again. He wasn't the prime minister last time.

    The Liberals had one big success they can't have again: demonizing Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 p.m.  

  • Excellent post again, CG. I was a high school student during the Rae Premier days, I remember the school labour disputes, teachers feeling they can use the classroom as their own political brainwash station, protests (I think they were practising for Mike Harris) and Rae Days.

    Now I see him and I'll be honest, I don't see the same Bob Rae. Maybe it's because I'm older, been through college, etc... but I just don't see him in the same negative light. I still think he's a longshot; but I also think, as long as he can articulate well and keep away from people using his past against him... he wouldn't be a bad leader.

    I still think Kennedy is broader appeal. But in a brokered convention, Rae could pull it off. What's with all the Ontario Provincial Libs going for Rae anyway?

    (I also think, after reading the comments so far, I won't have to buy any kool-aid all summer, I have enough cherry and blue raspberry to suit my needs.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 p.m.  

  • One of my colleagues here, who immigrated from Iran in the 1980's, cannot stop singing Rae's praises.

    Without his commitment to social and educational programs, along with child support, she maintains that she could never have gone to university, and attained the comfortable middle-class status she now enjoys.

    Very touching. And very left-wing. And in consequence very, very off-putting to millions of Canadians.

    The Grits would be mad to choose him.

    So they probably will.


    By Blogger S.J. Valentine, at 5:43 p.m.  

  • "The Liberals did EVERYTHING wrong and still got 100+ seats on Jan 23. Harper did EVERYTHING right and barely managed 36%."

    And Harper will have expanded his resume and demonstrated that he is able to govern the country. If you think Harper did everything right, you have low expectations. The Libs will need to avoid running like they own the place next time.

    Ms. Bennett has a very professional and stylish site.

    By Blogger Brian C, at 6:17 p.m.  

  • ... but like most of the nonentities in this race, she has got next to nothing in the way of substance.

    By Blogger S.J. Valentine, at 6:30 p.m.  

  • Bob's a fence sitter. I voted for him. I kinda like him. I certainly don't blame him for the global recession or federal cuts to Ontario at the time.

    But he sold his support base up the river, students, workers, gays, welfare recipients, single parents to try to please people who were never going to support him. Bob can't be trusted to support his supporters once in office.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

    Fence Sitters make great diplomats and elder statesmen, maybe even great judges, but they make crappy political leaders.

    Sorry Bob.

    By Blogger S.K., at 10:23 p.m.  

  • I am a Conservative so maybe I don't have the best insite in the Liberal leadership race. However, one question keeps coming up in my mind. Who will be the kingmaker.

    The way I see it is:

    Michael Ignatieff
    Bob Rae
    Stephone Dion
    Gerald Kennedy

    Possible Kingmakers:
    Joe Volpe
    David Orchard (If he runs)

    No hope:
    Scott Brison
    Carolyn Bennett
    Maurizo Bevilacqua
    Martha Hall Finlay
    Ken Dryden

    There is simply so many delegates from Toronto and I may be wrong but I think that a lot of them will go to Montreal supporting Joe Volpe and then cross over to Ignaetief.

    There simply is not going to be enough of a base for Dryden or Bevilacqua to grow enough to be even survive towards the fourth or fifth ballot where they could then serve as compromise canadiates. Same thing goes for Finlay who will be thrilled to make it to the second round. As for Bennett she is not a comprimise canadiates and those looking for a left of centre candiate are more likely to go to Ignaetief, Rae, Dion or Kennedy.

    As for Brison he roots are too shallow and even Liberals understand that insider trading is illegal. A scandel ridden politican for a party that is trying to renew itself will be a no go. Besides the Liberals will not elect a leader from Atlantic Canada. I am surprised that Brison has not figured that out. But then again for some one with an ego the size of Brison it is understandable.

    For David Orchard to be a factor he needs to get his kool aid drinkers signed up in a hurry since he does not have a lot of time. If he does this then he could be a factor. I just can't figure out who he will support, though I leaning towards the assumption that he would go to either Bob Rae or Gerald Kennedy who are NDPers in red clothing. Same thing with Orchard.

    In Montreal it could come down to a showdown of the ethnic vote vs. the kool aid drinkers. One thing is for the convention sure ain't going be boring.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:53 a.m.  

  • "The Liberals did EVERYTHING wrong... "

    And they are about to do at least one more thing wrong this time around - I swear every lib I talk to plays the "hidden agenda" card once we start talking about the next election! It worked in 04, failed in 05, and will be a disaster in 06/07.

    just a guy...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:41 a.m.  

  • Oh, and did you read BOB's thoughts on the Harper govt in this morning's Star?

    "I hate spin" (he said, spinning ever so effortlessly), "All they ever do is spin" (he said, without seeming to spin anything at all).

    He is spin dizzy BOB

    Just a guy...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:43 a.m.  

  • Chantal Hebert's Star column today says Ignatieff, Rae, and Dion are running 1, 2, 3 in Quebec, with nobody else really on the radar screen.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 a.m.  

  • Rae is an excellent candidate and has an opportunity to shake up the race and shake the Liberal Party out of its rut.

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