Sunday, December 07, 2008

LeBlanc Out...

...Dion expected to resign this week, and the leadership race rumoured to be moved up. And here we thought all the political insanity had been prorogued until January, eh?

As a LeBlanc supporter I'm obviously disappointed by this turn of events. I never expected Dominic to win, but felt he had a lot to bring to this race - especially on the issues of party renewal and of growing the party outside the GTA.

I do think that by dropping out, Dominic has missed a golden opportunity to showcase his many talents, but I'll leave it to him to explain his reasoning come tomorrow.

UPDATE: The talk of caucus appointing the leader? Ain't gonna happen. Not a chance. I should probably know better by now than to use the "not dumb enough" argument on anything the LPC does, but I have to think that the Liberal Party is not dumb enough to actually try something like that. It wouldn't serve anyone's interests. Not Rae's. Not Ignatieff's.



  • There are good times to hang around, drag out the race, and lose, just to "showcase your many talents".

    This isn't one of them.

    By Anonymous Mike G, at 9:23 PM  

  • Just a guess, but perhaps LeBlanc dropped for altruistic reasons. He is still young and given his experience, who knows what the future holds.

    By Blogger sassy, at 9:28 PM  

  • He is young and bright but would have trailed signifcantly anyway in a regular leadership race.

    The "new leadership" race probably makes this race less about ideas and the future. The new race will be about the coalition and who is best to bring down Harper.

    Seems like it is being setup to be a referendum on the Coalition concept with Rae most passionately for it and Iggy cooler on the concept.

    By Anonymous Rob C, at 9:33 PM  

  • It is too bad he is out. It is just too close to the last race for new members to influence a new slate of candidates. He would not have had the time to grow his support. Let us hope that Iggy and Rae work out something that keeps our party together.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:40 PM  

  • There is no race, Iggy holds 80% support.
    Rae will drop out, Dion resign,
    Iggy uncontested.

    By Blogger wilson, at 9:57 PM  

  • He is a sign of the future of the party: Dominic, Gerard, Martha, Navdeep, Mark Holland, etc.

    The next generation is here already and raring to go. And we already know most of them simply by their first name which highlights a good depth in the Liberal Party.

    Pearson was 66 when he took over the party and, because of another caucus full of incredible talent and great thinkers and do-ers from old guard to new guard, he was probably the most progressive activist PM in our history. Our next leader will be younger than Pearson and stronger than Pearson and our caucus will be stronger than his.

    There is no question that this Liberal caucus will form the government. And it will be one for the ages.

    By Blogger Ted, at 10:05 PM  

  • I'm with Iggy, but stand ready to support Dominic next time. He should be deputy leader, deputy PM, and ready to take over and be the best PM since Trudeau.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 PM  

  • Wilson,

    Ignatieff "may" have close to majority support in the caucus, but how could you conceivably say that he has 80% support in the party when the party has never spoken in that regard. You think you can speak for hundreds of thousands of people - and for 10,000 delegates yet to be chosen.

    This is iggy juggernaut spin. Frabrication, made up out of thin air out of desperation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:12 PM  

  • Canwest is carrying a story quoting LeBlanc officials stating that he has not decided to drop out tomorrow.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • Ignatieff's desire for a caucus vote is sickeningly anti-democratic. If the Party can't bear to let my voice be heard, then it doesn't need my time, effort, energy, money or vote.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • Does anyone else think that the party rushing to pick a leader is a BIG short-sighted mistake?

    By Anonymous Deb, at 10:16 PM  

  • Personally I'm okay with Iggy or with Rae. But I do think the leadership was a foregone conclusion and clearly heading towards Iggy two weeks ago.

    Now, he probably still leads considerably but by much less. His luke warm support of the coalition concept and Rae's take it to the streets attitude has undoubtedly changed some opinions about both leadership contenders.

    @ Ted. Great comments about Pearson. I hope you are right about this caucus!

    By Anonymous Rob C, at 10:18 PM  

  • Rob C

    Iggy on the way down, so he tries to get himself annointed by caucus?

    What a way to start - in a completlely illegitimate process.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 PM  

  • LeBlanc is smart. He knows that even if Ignatieff is crowned "leader", the leadership review process is still automatic after an election...which might not be that far off.

    As others have pointed out, Ignatieff is the candidate of the eminances grieses, the "old guard", the people that put the Liberal Party where it is today. Ignatieff is the "star" candidate when the Liberals should be developing policy and substance rather than marketing a "style".

    LeBlanc has time on his side, and can use that time to build his organization, increase his public profile, raise money, help rebuild the party, think long and hard about policy direction, etc.

    When (not if) the old guard is thoroughly discredited, LeBlanc will be well placed to take a more serious run at the leadership, IF there's still a Liberal party to lead.

    By Blogger Party of One, at 10:25 PM  

  • ''The Liberal caucus is to meet on Wednesday,
    which will include 57 MPs who support Ignatieff,
    Oliver said. They would "almost certainly" vote to make Ignatieff their parliamentary leader, putting
    immense pressure on Liberal MP Bob Rae to drop out
    of the leadership race.''

    Anon, 57 out of 77 is 74% support, booboo saying 80%

    By Blogger wilson, at 10:30 PM  

  • //Ignatieff's desire for a caucus vote is sickeningly anti-democratic. If the Party can't bear to let my voice be heard, then it doesn't need my time, effort, energy, money or vote.//

    You can't have it both ways. Rae says MP's are good enough to choose who is prime minister. How can he say that MP's aren't good enough to choose who is Liberal leader.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 10:37 PM  

  • @ anonymous.

    I don't think the way either Rae or Iggy would get into office is the most ideal way, but I'm also a realist. We need a strong leader in place before the budget. It seems that there either will be a new PM or another election in the next few months. We need to elect someone and the timing might not permit the most ideal way of electing that leader. This just may be an emergency situation.

    I'm for electing a leader with the most membership participation that can reasonably and accurately counted before the budget.

    I have to confess, I like Rae's take it to the street attitude. And I'm less than impressed with Iggy's wishy washy stands on certain issues. My take, Rae's a more ideological choice, Iggy's the pragmatic choice. The risk with Rae is voter's memory of Rae Days. The risk with Iggy is that he might not appeal to enough voters outside of the urban areas. You have to love Rae's passion and intensity. You have to love Iggy's resume and intelligence. Both are qualified and have postives/negatives.

    A more thoughtful leadership race is desirable but not likely given the circumstances. two cents worth.

    By Anonymous Rob C, at 10:42 PM  

  • So, to what extent do the agreements, accords and letters which put the coalition in place apply to the successors of the signatories?

    If Dion is out, I would expect that the Accord is dead and, consequently, the coalition is dead. This is particularly true if Iggy is successful in taking the leadership of the Liberal Party. After all, Mr. Lukewarm has done nothing to give the GG any assurance that he is fully committed to this "coup de graceless".

    Consider, he only reluctantly stepped before the microphones with the other two aspirants to say he was in. Never has he shared the stage with Layton or Duceppe, let alone Dion, on this crucial matter. Never has he given a "come hell or high water" quote ... and he always has a good quote.

    Now, if Iggy is willing to align the Liberals with the NDP and Bloc once again, Ms Jean may have something to think about. Clearly, the new Liberal leader will have to go through the hand-shaking, accord-signing ritual with his socialist and separatist friends to make the GG take even a passing glance at an alternative government.

    I am confident, however, that Iggy recognizes the folly that this represents for the already tarnished Liberal brand and will let this thing die.

    Bottom line - if there is a successful non-confidence vote in January, we will be going to the polls. With no alternative drooling at her front gate, the GG will have to proceed with disolution and a trip to the polls.

    Get your campaigns ready, folks!

    JC Kelan

    By Blogger JCKelan, at 10:43 PM  

  • WhyshouldISellYourWheat said "Rae says MP's are good enough to choose who is prime minister. How can he say that MP's aren't good enough to choose who is Liberal leader."

    That's cute. Made me laugh. Simple answer: The Canadian constitution says that MPs can oust a government and the GG can (not must, but can) install another one in its place. Likewise, the Liberal Party Constitution says that the Liberal Caucus cannot replace the leader.

    He's just playing by the rules.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 11:24 PM  

  • I'm really surprised. I posted at my blog about how Dion can be removed, and a new liberal leader selected. I would just point out - having the caucus pick the leader is not on the table. The national executive does that. Not the caucus.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 11:27 PM  

  • Under the assumption that Iggy isn't another coalition mole like the one on the road, Dominic's stand-down makes sense if the Liberal party is to survive. That's a big assumption, though.

    This compressed timeframe that suddenly developed offers serious risks to the party, and to Canada. Meanwhile, the deep-running torpedo AKA the Coalition AKA Think Twice (extended version) keeps running.

    By Blogger burpnrun, at 11:48 PM  

  • “Does anyone else think that the party rushing to pick a leader is a BIG short-sighted mistake?”


    Everything comes down to performance.

    Anyone would look good if he/she can score points off the New Government. Anyone would draw public support if he/she can offer a credible platform. Anyone would be a hero if he can defeat harper.

    Is Iggy the man for the job?

    Iggy isn't Obama. So, it may be that Iggy needs a putsch in order to show his best.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:10 AM  

  • How can Dion resign again?

    That's like resigning from your job, being asked to work out the rest of the month, and resigning again during that month.

    Just name a different interim leader, someone not in the race, like Goodale or McCallum or something.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:15 AM  

  • And Bob Rae is already scared stiff:

    By Anonymous Werner Patels, at 1:15 AM  

  • leblanc for interim leader!
    think about this...
    unlike goodale or mccallum, Leblanc is bilingual. He was neutral last leadership race, and this race of course he is with neither rae nor iggy.
    He is sharp, qualified, and well spoken, and a bit season too.
    From his perspective, if he was eyeing the leadership of 2020, this is great experience being interim leader for a bit.

    By Blogger ktr, at 1:23 AM  

  • ktr, I don't think Leblanc would make a good interim leader, considering he is untested (you'll probably make the Obama comparison - by the time the presidential election was under way, Obama had been tested by a tough primary), apparently not neutral in the Liberal leadership race (he endorsed Iggy, by SOME reports) and lacks a profile.

    I think John McCallum would make an ideal interim leader for the course of the leadership race (whether it is a month long or more), given his financial acumen. On the other hand, Harper is said to have a very good John McCallum impression, so look out!

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:17 AM  

  • What's to explain? The race is over and there won't be an opportunity to showcase his talents regardless of whether he drops out or not.

    By dropping out he keeps his dignity and is owed a favour by the new leader. There are worse ways to showcase his talents than as a prominent member of the shadoww and/or real cabinet.

    I'm a lot more worried about prospects of a long-term rift between the Rae and Iggy camps

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 7:08 AM  

  • Liberals are doing a great job learning lessons from the last election. Way to get the grassroots feeling more involved, by excluding them... now just sit back and wait for the donations to start rolling in...

    Maybe they're counting on many of the grassroots being like those girlfriends who are treated badly by their boyfriends but keep coming back for some reason..

    By Blogger me dere robert, at 7:19 AM  

  • //Does anyone else think that the party rushing to pick a leader is a BIG short-sighted mistake?//

    One mistake leads to another. The idea of a coalition forces this. If the Liberals dropped the idea of a coalition, they could have a normal leadership process, but as long as the idea of the coalition is clung too, then one needs a leader immediately which applies the party's emergency procedures.

    By choosing to support a non-grassroots process to choose the prime minister, it forces a non-grassroots process to choose the Liberal leader.

    Rae forced this on himself by going all-in for the coalition.

    The better option would have been to drop the crisis, have a normal leadership campaign, and defeat Harper in the fall, but Rae said the crisis was too important to wait 8 months to defeat Harper.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 8:54 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger me dere robert, at 10:20 AM  

  • They just have to say that the coalition was necessary because they could not let that fiscal update pass.

    Now that the fiscal update is off the table all they have to do is put out a statement that the coalition is over but will not be ruled out as an option in the future if Harper tries to bully the minority parliament again.

    It's not that difficult.

    By Blogger me dere robert, at 10:21 AM  

  • but I have to think that the Liberal Party is not dumb enough to actually try something like that.

    Why do you have to think that?

    By Anonymous bag of hammers, at 10:30 AM  

  • You're about as certain today about the Liberal party not being crazy as the rest of us were last month.

    So Bob says 50%+1 of MPs trumps every other notion of legitimacy, mandate, and honour and Iggy shows him just what that means. Enjoy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:57 AM  

  • It would have been passing strange if a Grit from Calgary were to support an MP-only process in which not one Albertan would have a vote and in which there would be two votes cast from those between North Bay, Ontario and the Vancouver City limits. Those would be Ralph's and Anita's (both support a broader franchise than just MPs, as far as I know).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:03 AM  

  • If caucus wants to give Ignatieff a veto on the coalition until the permanent leader is elected, why shouldn't they? Is that any worse than giving Duceppe a veto on our gov't? Rae rolled the last neutral leader, so why should he be surprised if caucus won't risk a reprise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 AM  

  • If Rae is unhappy about caucus wanting a strong interim leader in place for Jan. 27, he has himself to blame. Caucus is just adjusting his incentive. This way he needs the coalition to fail.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 AM  

  • have to think that the Liberal Party is not dumb enough to actually try something like that

    As the saying goes, I think the Party is just that dumb.

    More importantly, however, is that we need a new Leader. Dion will be gone before week's end, and if there's on thing that's harder than convincing Canadians that the Liberals have the right plan to move forwards with Dion at the helm, it's convincing them that we have that plan with no one at the helm.

    When we come back in January, Harper's going to drop a budget that's no better than what he hinted at in the update, but with the economy in a much worse place. To have any credibility in reacting to it - no matter what our reaction is - we need a full-time, committed, confident leader. And as much as I hate to say it (since it seems to be against the Party Building theme we've been on recently), the only way to do that within the Liberal Convention is to appoint someone (seemingly Iggy) directly.

    By Anonymous Dan M, at 11:59 AM  

  • well, so much for CG's dream of a LPC being competitive outside Canada's major urban centre's. LeBlanc seemed to actually have plans to address these issues. Instead you guys are going to opt for Bob Rae (No Rae Days!!) or a guy who moved back here a couple of years ago to become PM and lives in Toronto and probably will not stay on in the event of a Liberal loss.....good call! Maybe LeBlanc can win the leadership when Iggy gets knocked out next election and the LPC is forced to undergo significant change.

    By Blogger FOTP, at 12:06 PM  

  • It is over for Harper. His political life will finally be ended in January IF Rae and Ignatieff can keep unified on this. They owe it to the overwhelming majority of Canadians who want the Conservatives to have a new leader.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 PM  

  • I share my comment that I left on The Independent earlier today:

    This is complete madness. I am beginning to wonder if Liberals have an ability to think more than five seconds into the future. This reminds me of playing chess with a child who sacrifices his queen to take a pawn.

    There seems to be two options on the table:
    a) an interim leader (Dion or someone else) in put place until an accelerated e-convention chooses a leader in mid-January; or
    b) the caucus chooses between Ignatieff and Rae with the expectation that a May convention would ratify that choice.

    I don't think either of these fellows would be great leaders for the Liberals, but Ignatieff in particular gives cause for concern. It would seem that Liberals not only have an inability to look to the future, but also to the past.

    People forget that three years ago Ignatieff was rushing to get his residency moved back to Canada so he could be a candidate in the federal election that was underway. Two years ago he had just been beaten at a leadership convention largely because, other than his "early believer" supporters, no one could relate to the man and would not back him on later ballots.

    They also seem to forget that the man has no experience in government and that for the middle months of 2006, when the media spotlight was shining on him, his performance was a comedy of errors. Is the man intelligent and a good orator who performs well on the floor of the Commons? Sure! However, there are lots of intelligent men who perform well on the floor of the Commons (Joe Clark comes to mind) who are well regarded by all when they are not under the rigours of being leader, and widely mocked as failures when they are.

    Liberals ought to remember that one should be careful what s/he wishes for, it could happen.

    The one advantage to this situation is that Ignatieff and his power-hungry supporters seem to have control of the caucus and may also fall victim to this adage. If option 'b' goes ahead as they wish, the convention will technically be free to choose whoever they want, giving Liberals a chance for a do-over if they get buyers remorse between now and the first of March when delegates will be chosen.

    By Blogger nbpolitico, at 12:58 PM  

  • Lets assume the worst - Harper passes a tough uncompromising budget, but the Liberals can't do anything because they are in the middle of a leadership race and have no leader, so they abstain.


    1. Harper's popularity will plummet
    2. The next leader can ride a post-election honeymoon and force a VONC ASAP.
    3. Presumably part of the reason the Liberals would be against such a budget is that it would contain measures that were bad for the economy.

    Harper gets a 1.5 year long second term full of people calling upon him to resign, and emerging divisions in the Conservative party.

    The next Liberal leader, elected through a legitimate process, gets the best shot at a majority government the Liberals are going to have for a long time.

    And that's if you go with a May convention. Think long-term here, folks.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:13 PM  

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