Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Instead of Caucus Appointing the Leader...

...the rest of the Liberal elites will do it!


OTTAWA – Liberal Party President Doug Ferguson announced Monday that the Liberal Party’s National Executive has approved a consultative process by which it will appoint an interim Liberal Leader. This announcement follows the resignation of the Hon. Stéphane Dion announced earlier this week.

“I first wish to thank Mr. Dion for the courage and passion with which he led the Liberal Party of Canada ,” said Mr. Ferguson.

“At this critical time in our country’s history, the National Executive, in consultation with Caucus, is now tasked by our Party’s constitution with selecting an interim Leader who will preside over a very volatile minority Parliament, and a possible general election.”

Mr. Ferguson emphasized that the Liberal Party’s overriding objective is to select an interim Leader through a process which respects the principles of fairness and openness.

In this spirit, with respect to its decision to select an interim Leader, the National Executive has chosen to consult broadly with the Party’s constitutional bodies, including Caucus, defeated candidates from the last general election, Council of Presidents, and Commission Club Presidents. Through this process, an interim Leader is expected to be chosen as early as Wednesday, December 17, 2008.

"In keeping with our national Canadian character, the Liberal Party brought together good sense and balance in seeking broad consultation in an expedited timeframe," concluded Mr. Ferguson.

25 Comments:

  • I agree. This is essentially no change from what was previously planned. The only difference is that they gave out a meaningless bone for the party base to feel the process was more legitimate.

    If it results in the interim leadership of Ignatieff or Rae, it's undemocratic. There's no other way around it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:06 AM  

  • They could have had a riding by riding vote, administered by the riding, with third parties providing oversight, to collect the votes of their registered members. Could have been done in two weeks if a push was put on.

    But hey, at least they included some non-elites.

    "failed candidates" some how seem slightly less shiny.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:34 AM  

  • I think you mean interim leader, Dan, not leader. As I read it, the convention process would continue as scheduled.

    Anyway, my stated preference, and my advice for Michael and Bob would be that neither of them stand for interim leader. As Mr. Fergurson will be consulting "broadly" I'd encourage the consultees to send that message.

    By Blogger A BCer in Toronto, at 2:44 AM  

  • One Member One Vote: For Real or Liberal Style?

    Bob (this week) wants "one member one vote" . Ofcourse last week he just wanted the government handed to him.

    Note the light of democracy didn't get flicked on by Bob till this week. 61 years he had to tell us the Liberal Party needed reforming, and not until now do we hear a word of such things from Bob. But I digress.

    Is "one member, one vote" for real?

    Or are we gonna do this "Liberal Style"?
    Posted by hannah arendt at 11:37 PM 0 comments
    Kennedy Hearts Rae and Democracy

    Contestants' Summary(prepared by Elections Canada)
    Contestant's informationName of contestant Kennedy, GerardFinancial agent's informationName of financial agent Rosenberg, KennethSummary informationNumber of contributors 1,121Total amount of contributions ($) 689,338.19Total amount of transfers ($) 0.00Total expenses ($) 1,425,086.09
    NOTE: We publish these reports as and when we receive them. There may be conflicting information in some information fields. The data will be reviewed and updated regularly.http://www.elections.ca/scripts/webpep/fin/summary_report.aspx

    By Anonymous hannah arendt, at 2:54 AM  

  • Its a difficult situation for the whole party. This is what the constitution says. If Rae doesnt like it, he can try and change the constitution. However you cannot just alter the rules when you arent winning anymore.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 AM  

  • Jeff (BC'er):
    I'd encourage you to send that message to the Ignatieff team directly and request that Michael withdraw his name from consideration for interim leader and express your hope that both he and Bob can get behind a neutral person to take over like Marlene, Jennings, Goodale or Dryden.

    I've e-mailed the campaign myself that message, but since I'm not a declared Ignatieff supporter I don't expect a reply and I figure they would write me off as "self-interested Rae supporter" (which is not true) anyway. Your view would command more respect and would be seen as much more principled.

    Bob Rae has already clearly stated he will NOT be putting his name forward for interim leader, I hope Michael can do the same so that the permanent leadershp race can carry on unaffected by messy squabbles over who gets to be interim leader.

    By Anonymous Mike, at 3:02 AM  

  • I'd also like to throw the question out there:
    Has any CANADIAN political party EVER appointed a current leadership contestant interim leader during an ongoing leadership race?

    I think there's a very good reason for this long-standing tradition and hope the Ignatieff campaign can come to understand that.

    By Anonymous Mike, at 3:06 AM  

  • yeah, I'd just like to re-iterate that the party had no option. The national executive is required by the constitution to do this. They are going above and beyond what is required by consulting more than just the caucus, and that may be designed to pacify people who think that the cabinet and the national executive by themselves area foregone conclusion.

    BUT MOST IMPORTANT: THERE IS STILL A LIBERAL LEADERSHIP RACE ON. Until there is a nomination deadline passed with only one candidate in the race, or until a convention elects a new leader, the current leadership race will continue.

    So on the one hand, Bob Rae has nothing to complain about, except for the fact that the leader we've got later this week isn't "permanent."

    On the other hand, he's looking at campaigning against the leader of the party for the job of leader of the party while the leader of the party is leading the party through a federal election.

    Come to think of it, those might be the same hand.

    What he seems to be asking for is to lose in a process that is merely unconstitutional, not divisive and self-destructive.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 3:17 AM  

  • At this point, I do not think it is fair for a leader from either camp to be appointed through this undemocratic process. Constitutional or not, the party should try to expedite the leadership process by appointing a neutral interim for now and speeding up the delegate vote to january.

    I really don't see how that can be so hard.

    It is more important that the democracy of the process is served rather than to undemocratically elect a leader.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 AM  

  • This proposal is the equivalent of only the superdelegates electing the Democratic nominee in the Democratic nomination race. Which would have elected Hillary Clinton and not Barack Obama. See the problem here?

    Let's be real if Ignatieff is elected interim leader, the race is over,the pressure on Rae to resign will be HUGE! Which means the DSMs to elect a permanent leader would only have one name on the ballot, hardly giving the grassroots a say.

    So this IS elites choosing the leader unless Ignatieff agress to reverse course and withdraw his name from consideration.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 AM  

  • I would warn that ANYONE hoping to be leader would do well to avoid being the interim leader. ANYTHING can happen in the next few weeks, and it will be a rocky ride. Every single thing the interim leader-who-also-wants-to-run-for-the-job does is going to be under a microscope. Not only can we NOT run a party like that, but the candidate themselves stand to lose a lot of ground to their opponents if things don't go smoothly.

    Now, I know BOTH these guys think they are God's gift to the Liberal Party, but they should really BOTH rethink sitting in as interim leader. Let someone with teflon skin, and already playing a similar role take on the mantle.

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 5:39 AM  

  • I would warn that ANYONE hoping to be leader would do well to avoid being the interim leader. ANYTHING can happen in the next few weeks, and it will be a rocky ride. Every single thing the interim leader-who-also-wants-to-run-for-the-job does is going to be under a microscope. Not only can we NOT run a party like that, but the candidate themselves stand to lose a lot of ground to their opponents if things don't go smoothly.

    Now, I know BOTH these guys think they are God's gift to the Liberal Party, but they should really BOTH rethink sitting in as interim leader. Let someone with teflon skin, and already playing a similar role take on the mantle.

    By Blogger WesternGrit, at 5:39 AM  

  • Well, the bellyaching HYPOCRITES - where was the democracy when backroom deals were done instead of letting the vote rounds play out?

    Where was the democracy when delegates (who frankly wanted to control elections and make it their role to decide) voted down the OMOV?

    Where was the democracy when you did vote down OMOV - and now want to use it for your own convenience - and how many supporters felt disenfranchised because you wanted to keep the antiquated old system (for the benefit of delegates) when you had a chance to make changes?

    I really am tired of hearing all this sudden democracy concern.

    I think you'd be shocked at how many people got fed up and decided they didn't want to pay money for membership and donate - with no say whatsoever.

    Now it's hitting you on the backside - and yet you have the arrogance to cry about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 AM  

  • Well CG, the consultation did get quite a bit broader with the inclusion of defeated candidates.......there being so many and all. WG, don't be so limited. I think these two consider themselves God's gift to the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 AM  

  • The system remains elite selection but is at least regionally balanced.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:47 AM  

  • The existence of the Coalition and a normal leadership selection process are mutually exclusive concepts.

    Liberals have to get it through their heads that they can have one or the other, but not both.

    The coalition idea should be dumped or suspended in favour of a normal leadership process, by just using the simple logic that the coalition cannot be a success without the Liberals having a permanent new leader.

    The country can survive 8 more months of Harper.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 9:03 AM  

  • The GG has the option to install a gov't without an election. A front runner has the option to run for interim leader and compromise a leadership vote. Who used their power more wisely? And don't bother telling anyone scary Harper left no options.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 AM  

  • Well this is certainly an improvement over just having the MPs and Senators vote.

    However, I agree with Jeff that no leadership candidate should fill this position.

    I would urge everyone to write to Liberals they know holding these positions and urge them to make this recomendation to the national exec.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:25 AM  

  • It’s like we’ve embraced illegitimacy in everything we do.

    We are now that party that tried to change the government based on constitutional legalities without any moral legitimacy.

    And now we pick our leaders, future prime ministers, in backroom meetings without even bothering to let party members have a voice – let alone a say. But don’t worry, because we’ve got every constitutional right to do it this way.

    Seriously, we’ve got to get out of this game. I guarantee you, voters see through us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 AM  

  • What exactly does the Liberal party have against voting anyway?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:08 AM  

  • Honestly, I blame this whole mess on Dion. We've turned everything upside down. Lusting to get back into power has totally messed us up.

    We need to focus on a proper leadership race; a program of party renewal and preping for a future election.

    There are no short cuts for us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:10 AM  

  • Bob is dropping out of the race at 3pm today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 AM  

  • If it wasn't already enough of a mess...in order to get Rae to drop out Ignatieff will promise to honour his signature on that letter to the G-G ... until he doesn't.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 AM  

  • I think Ignatieff's promise to Rae should last at least as long as Mackay's promise to Orchard. :)

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:58 AM  

  • "As I read it, the convention process would continue as scheduled."

    Funniest line I've read on this whole matter.

    I just wonder whether the Liberals actually have a leadership selection process, or if they just make it up as they go along. 'Cuz this looks to be about the fourth process they've used in the six weeks since the election.

    And it still seems to dance wildly around the relevant campaign finance law.

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 5:20 PM  

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