Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Next Liberal Leader

...according to CTV.

More thoughts tonight.

59 Comments:

  • He will be the illegitimate leader of the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 AM  

  • This is a complete gong show. The grassroots of the Party will remember this. Why would I renew my membership? My voice does not count.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 AM  

  • wooooo!! back to the centre we go!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:19 AM  

  • MI is a perfectly legitimate leader. While you may question the wisdom of his decision to run for interim leader, you have to admit that the reason he's the last one standing is because of his overwhelming support within the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Loogan, at 11:28 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Corey Hogan, at 11:32 AM  

  • With Iggy, I will never vote Liberal again....
    He's Harper lite, the only good news is that he may now stop spamming me....

    By Blogger Cherniak_WTF, at 11:32 AM  

  • It was not the "ideal process" but Iggy is one million times better than Harper! Rae will still be in caucus, leading a young wing of reformers (Kennedy, Hall-Findlay, ect). Its time to take this sorry excuse for a government out of its misery, and force the Conservatives to replace their leader. Take the coalition and election next year!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

  • Grassroots is the most overused, misused, confused, and a-bused phrase in Canadian politics.

    Throwing the choice to riding presidents and past-candidates was hardly leaving the choice of interim leader to the political elite.

    Anonymous 1118: Your voice doesn't count? Did you go to your local nomination meeting and vote for a candidate? Did you vote for your riding president, or stand for the office yourself?

    Your votes have been counted a half dozen times along the way here. We don't run the Liberal Party by perpetual referendum.

    That's really more of a Canadian Alliance thing.

    By Blogger Corey Hogan, at 11:33 AM  

  • I agree with Loogan - the last thing the Liberals need is a slapped together convention in January to pick a leader. Given the circumstances that exist - this is the best alternative - but still have a convention in May.

    The Liberals need to be election ready by Jan 26th - there is a lot of work to do between now and then - and getting a leader is only step one. You need a platform, and alternate budget, an attack plan, a defense agaisnt the coming attack ads, and most importantly unity in your party in order to give a credible alternative to the voting public.

    This change will allow the Liberals a chance to wash off any "coalition" residue, and, if palyed rightly, show that the Liberal party is trying to "make nice" and get parliament to work.

    By Anonymous Tim N, at 11:36 AM  

  • "(And when you read all these anonymous posts crying indignantly about their right to vote, remember that no one has more to gain from a divisive mid-stream Liberal leadership fight than the Conservatives.)"

    Well, apart from the NDP becoming the Loyal Opposition and being on the verge of creating a Social Democratic Canada. It wouldn't be unprecedented- witness the disappearance of Mulroney's Conservatives for the more right wing present day Conservatives. Or America's Whigs collapsing and bringing us the Liberal Lincoln Republicans and the nativist American Party (there's a reason why you may not know about the latter). Or something you may prefer: the fall of the somewhat left-ish (War on Poverty was Lloyd George's phrase) and ill-defined Liberals in UK for Labour.

    Canada is still, nominally, a two party system (though increasingly German in a way). But parties have been known to collapse...even from the Prime Minister's seat. Harperr may not necessarily gain from this. Someone else might.

    By Blogger The Internationalist, at 11:37 AM  

  • Harper shut down parliament, the Liberal party shut down democracy. All hail illegit Iggy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 AM  

  • Shouldn't your blog title be, "The Next Prime Minister," like every other Lib blogger does whenever someone becomes party leader?

    By Blogger Brock, at 11:41 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ted, at 11:42 AM  

  • I am a dedicated Ignatieff supporter and think he is not just good for the party but the right person at the right time.

    That doesn't mean I am completely happy about how he has become leader. I would much prefer to have a full leadership race: it is better for renewal, better for increasing memberships, better for vetting candidates, better for training candidates for an election and for training campaign teams, better for re-energizing the rank-and-file with a big celebratory party.

    But we can't wait until May.

    We can't wait until the middle of January.

    And we can't win an election with an interim leader.

    And we can't pick a new leader by ignoring the constitution.

    And we can't allow Harper to screw Canada and our Parliamentary democracy for another minute longer than it takes to force him to have the confidence vote he has been desperately avoiding.

    This is not my preferred way of getting a great Canadian in as leader of the greatest party. But we are where we are because of the autocratic governing of the Harper "government". And we need to pull together a strong opposition to Harper, we need Michael to still hear our voices and calls for membership and party renewal, and very quickly, if we are going to get rid of Harper and the Conservatives.

    By Blogger Ted, at 11:43 AM  

  • Brock - One step at a time...

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:45 AM  

  • The Liberal Party grassroots rejected democracy last time by voting down one member one vote.

    They voted for the elites to retain power.

    Just chickens coming home to roost.

    The delegate process allows mischievous frontrunners to control the process by controlling the party apparatus. Delegated conventions will never be a modern democratic process.

    Many people laugh at the process the Alberta Conservatives use, which is an wide open two stage "primary" process, but it has facilitated the reinvention of the Alberta Conservatives twice to retain power, by testing a candidates electability in a "real" election.

    By Blogger whyshouldIsellyourwheat, at 11:52 AM  

  • What the National Executive has done is a far cry from what the delegates approved of. The National Executive has just implemented One Member No Vote.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 AM  

  • Ignatieff was entitled to the leadership. Therefore he is becoming leader in true Liberal fashion.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:01 PM  

  • What a joke.
    Leader by coronation.
    Wait we did this once before. What was his name? Paul Martin.
    Wow that worked really well.
    There is NOTHING grassroots in this deal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 PM  

  • Leader by coronation. How did that work with Kim Campbell and Paul Martin Jr.?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:07 PM  

  • Unlike various wheat salesman I do not believe one man one vote is the only way to be democratic (the country is not one man one vote, for instance, rather our national elections are much closer to the delegated convention the Liberals had planned).

    As for Ignatieff's victory, like Martin, I think you will see that victory without contestation has serious costs. I don't give a rat's ass about legitimacy, it is the party's interests that were challenged today.

    A real leadership race would have rejuvenated the grassroots of the party, and forced multiple candidates to reach out to new Liberal members. No, they wouldn't be able to fundraise for the party in the short term, but a larger member base works out in the long run - just ask the Tories.

    A real leadership race might have featured, you know, ideas. Everybody ignores policy announcements at conventions (especially if those conventions are just going to ratify an existing interim leadership race).

    Real leadership races force candidates to prove that they are up to the job. Frankly Michael Ignatieff didn't show that last time - in 2006 he was a walking gaffe machine (sort of a hybrid between Mitt Romney and John Kerry). Has he gotten better? We don't know. Will voters accept him despite not living in the country for 40 years? That we are going to find out very soon, once the Tories start running attack ads.

    Leadership races are exciting and produce large bounces in the polls as well. A six month bounce is not nothing - it is a period with above-average fundraising, greater reception to the major policy proposals of a leader, and 6 months during which Harper is unlikely to call an election. Instead we are about to get a long period full of stories about Liberal in-fighting and accusations that Ignatieff's leadership is illegitimate. The same divisions that Iggy used to bring down Dion are going to turn back on Iggy.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 12:08 PM  

  • Just how many elites is the Liberal Party supposed to have? We have something like 8000 delegates to a leadership convention. That is one huge smoke-filled room.

    Our delegate process is a little complicated, but actually quite elegant. And fairly tough to game. It's not nearly as bad as you may have been led to believe.

    And as somebody who is just wrapping up the management of a campaign in one-member, one-vote, let me tell you, there are serious democratic deficits to that as well.

    In my second Canadian Alliance reference of the day, the reason Stockwell found himself leader was his ability to sign up a large number of people in a small geographical area.

    One member one vote rewards staying home and pandering to your base, delegate elections force you to go into areas your party is weak and try to broaden your appeal.

    In the Alberta Liberal leadership race, it was very tough to justify taking Dave Taylor out of the population centres of Calgary and Edmonton to Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, etc.

    Imagine what it would mean nationally. Nobody would ever go west of the 905.

    By Blogger Corey Hogan, at 12:09 PM  

  • I'm not very persuaded by the undemocratic argument. These people are usually chosen in backrooms anyway. Conventions give you a choice of picking from the 2 or 3 that have received the backroom nod.

    I think the last thing the Liberals needed was another coronation without any sort of policy renewal. Is it wise to pin all your hopes on one man - he'll save us. And maybe he will, but he could just be the next Paul Martin.

    In the eyes of most Canadians, the Liberal Party stands for nothing. It's reason for existence is to be in power. See previous few weeks for example. "Oh, there they go again. Their leader has been overwhelmingly rejected but they assume that he should be PM just because he's Liberal."

    Ignatieff may turn out to be a great leader, but I haven't heard anything from him about what sort of policies he would implement.

    He does not come across well on tv. He looks and acts arrogant. It doesn't matter if he is. He looks it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:11 PM  

  • So why can't the Liberal party mail/e-mal ballots to party memebers and get this done before Jan 26?

    Not covered in the LPC constitution?

    Is it too much to ask?

    Or should Jacques Layton decide for you?

    By Blogger art, at 12:37 PM  

  • Let's see. Having angered Canadians with their failed clandestine backroom coup to replace Canada's duly-elected Prime Minister without going to the Canadian electorate, the Liberal Party of Canada has responded by . . . well . . . conducting an INTERNAL clandestine backroom coup to dispose of its own elected leader, the chief knock against whom is that he is a hopelessly out-of-touch academic, and replace him with another hopelessly out-of-touch academic without going to the Liberal Party membership.

    Somehow, I don't think that this open display of the increasing insularity, elitism and Toronto-centrism of the Liberal Party of Canadawill play all that well on Canada's main streets.

    We are still, after all, a democracy. Elections are important.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 PM  

  • The process wasn't ideal. I would have preferred Rae, but there are bigger things at stake. I'm willing to give Iggy the benefit of the doubt so he can try to bring about a better Canada.

    By Anonymous Rob C, at 12:41 PM  

  • I second what Rob C said. I preferred Rae as well, but am willing to give Iggy a chance. The big battle is to defeat Harper and bring sane government back to this country.

    By Blogger Hassan, at 12:59 PM  

  • Iggy is too arrogant to be elected by the membership, he prefers the elite.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 PM  

  • I'll give Iggy and his team the same chance they gave Dion.

    By Blogger Tania, at 1:01 PM  

  • After a lot of soul searching I finally joined the Liberal party (I'm a past Red Tory and briefly NDP supporter) last month and had intended to support Bob Rae for leader.

    That said I do like Ignatieff a lot and think he would make a fine PM. At this point though I'm feeling a little gunshy about the electorate...I feel a little like Gerard Kennedy...

    On the upside my guy for PC party leader in 1993 just won his third term in office...so perhaps it all works out right in the end.

    By Anonymous macphear, at 1:03 PM  

  • Quite a photo CG - he looks like Kramer.

    Michael St.Pauls

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:12 PM  

  • This is a coup of the old guard of the LPC! Iggy is an American who championed Jeffersonian democracy but who himself doesn't understand Canada or what Canadians think of democracy especially here in the West. I could never join such a party.

    By Anonymous jonevan, at 1:30 PM  

  • Speaking of Kennedy - he sure picked a good time to shoot his load. 2 hours before Rae drops out he throws his support behind him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:33 PM  

  • Gee, I would have thought the Liberals would learn to stop providing the CPC ammunition for their attack ads:

    From CTV:

    Liberal Sen. Céline Hervieux-Payette, who participated in the conference call, was reportedly furious over the process by which Ignatieff will take power.

    "This will destroy the Liberal Party, I'm devastated by what this will do to the party, they don't understand anything about democracy," she said, according to Fife.

    What a gift to the CPC; a quote from a senior Quebec Liberal caucus member saying that her party doesn't understand how democracy works. When writing attack ads about a subversion of democracy.

    Wasn't she Dion's choice? Even on his way out, he is the gift that keeps on giving to the CPC.

    By Anonymous john g, at 1:39 PM  

  • Dominic and Rae are out.

    The Liberals unite for a big push in January. Will it be a coalition of the centre-right, or a coalition of the centre-left?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:49 PM  

  • So at what point do we get on with the business of providing a vision for Canadians as to where this country can go and some concrete steps to start moving us towards there.

    The biggest concern of the Conservatives I spoke with about the coalition was how did the $30B get spent. Canadians are looking for an alternative ... they just don't want to pick a black box. And they certainly weren't impressed with a whole bunch of infighting.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 PM  

  • Now, none of the political parties -- not Libs, not Cons, not Dips, not Greens -- represent me. They all have deal-breaking baggage. Joy.

    Can the Bloc be persuaded to run some candidates in Ontario? At least I'd have somewhere to lodge my vote.

    By Blogger leonsp, at 2:17 PM  

  • What this I hear the Liberal Party has found "Unity" all over night. No, the Liberal Party with its 'Camps" and the Camp whore Followers have kicked out a "Pearson" to INSTALL a "harper". The Liberal Party has Lost FOUR Votes from my house that they'll never get Back.Liz May and the Green Party Will get these Votes. The Liberals have shown that they will Never CHANGE and are Nothing but a Party of fractured "Camps". Your Party doesn't understand the meaningsof the words"Loyality" and "Unity". Everything Dion was trying to do would BENIFIT all Canadians and you bunch of Backstabbing Camp Whores could only undermine him to get Your Guy in the Top Job.Well you Pricks succeeded and I hope there's a mass migration of Progressives away from your Rotten Stinking Liberals with thier CON LITE "leader". You couldn't even let Dion have what little of his Dignity that was Left .The CON Attacks Ads didn't Cower Dion, ,The Seperatists Didn't Cower Dion it was his "Loyal" members in his Party that Knifed him in the Back. Your Party hasn't done itself any Favours gaining the indy progressive Vote if I'm any indication for you All have turned My Stomach. Dion was too much of an Honest Ethical Man Lead the Corrupt Liberals. I Stayed and gave My support through AdScam,but I won't Vote for the Party of IGGYScam.You had your Chance to prove to Canadians you wanted to Stain of Corruption cleaned from your Slate and than you turn around and Have a Corrupt "Leadership" cornation. The Boys in the Backroom always wanted Iggy ,he can be bought. You throw out a Man of principal who wanted "A Greener,Fairer And Just Canada" for a Prick that CONDONES tortue and Illegal War.The Only people more Happy than Iggy 's Camp Whores are the Bomb Builders. The Liberals have shown that their Only CONcern is for Power Not helping Canadians. You spent more time backstabbing Dion than you did trying to Remove Harper. Through the ir Actions this week the Liberals have shown that they're more Corrupt than I thought. Too bad you "camp" Whores didn't work as hard trying to Remove Harper as You did Dion. The Liberals have Lost alot of Indy Voters in this and I think the Progressive Vote will go to the NDP and the Greens. Harper hasn't United the Left he just helped the Liberals get thier Corrupt Corp Lacky back as "leader".The Liberals I bet will Lose more Votes than Gain through thier Actions

    By Anonymous sue, at 2:55 PM  

  • Cons talking about party democracy is cute. yeah, your party is a bastion of grassroots democracy. The PMO called the party a "stakeholder." Did Harper even show up to your convention?

    By Anonymous John D, at 3:17 PM  

  • Now that Sue is one sharp liberal,great post Sue.

    By Blogger greyburr, at 3:32 PM  

  • Okay, so we have some really, really STUPID people out there.

    Iggy is not American - he taught there for 4 years. "4 years".

    someone jealous?

    So, we have a guy accused of being American because he taught there for a very short time, yet we have a current PM that wants us to be American.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:32 PM  

  • The right wing hate anyone who's smart or who's got a good education.

    So right wing folks, do you want you children to go to university, get an education?

    Hmmm....Obama was considered elitist too.

    I guess they prefer dumb, dumbs to lead.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 PM  

  • "The right wing hate anyone who's smart or who's got a good education."

    No Ignatieff is an elitist (Obama isn't) because he is the recent descendant of freaking Tsarist Russian nobility, went to UCC and because his parents were in the corridors of power.

    "Iggy is not American - he taught there for 4 years. "4 years".

    He also did his Phd there, so it is 9 years. Calling him American misses the point. The point is that he is not Canadian. He left the country around 1968, and save for two years (1976-1978) lived elsewhere until 2004.

    Ignatieff's adult children are not Canadian, his wife, I believe, is not a Canadian citizen. Why does that matter?

    I think it matters where you are when something happens (just look at how inaccurate foreign reporting of the current political crisis is). In most of the formative events of the past 40 years, Ignatieff has not been here. He was not here during the summit series. Not here during the 1980 referendum. Not here during the repatriation of the constitution. Free trade debate? Nope. Meech? Nope. 1995 referendum? Nope.

    Secondly, it matters because if he screws up as Prime Minister, he can always retire back to England or elsewhere. He doesn't have the monkey on his back of thinking "what kind of future world am I creating for my children?"

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 4:11 PM  

  • I think Ignatieff's time away from Canada became very apparent during the Quebec nation fiasco.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

  • John D., conservatives talking about democracy is more than cute. It is hypocritical.

    The Bank of Canada announced we are in a recession today but Harper has done all he can to makes sure that Parliament has not been working since the spring and won't be working for Canadians until the end of January 2009. By then it will have been almost a year since he decided Parliament was worth his time.

    But it is, of course, worse than that. Harper broke a promise and his own law to call an election in September in order to avoid the effects of a bad economy. Then he cancelled an opposition day to avoid a vote on his lack of an economic plan. Then he cancelled Parliament altogether to avoid a vote on his lack of an economic plan.

    This is called working for Canadians?

    None of Martin in his desperate attempts to keep power, Chretien, Mulroney nor Trudeau went to such un-democratic lengths to keep power.

    Harper, the undemocratic autocrat has got to go. Now.

    By Blogger Ted, at 4:31 PM  

  • So Iggy is the anointed one to wear the Liberal Party crown.

    Hope he enjoys the thorns.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:19 PM  

  • Ignatieff is an accurate picture of what the Liberal party stands for today, it just took a while for the image to reflect the reality, that´s why its left has been abandoning it in droves, and this should be the final nail in the coffin.

    Why would anyone with a progressive bone in their body care whether its Harper or Ignatieff as PM?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:32 PM  

  • "The case for empire is that it has become, in a place like Iraq, the last hope for democracy and stability alike." -- Michael Ignatieff

    By Blogger Dru, at 5:44 PM  

  • It's good to see the Conservative posters are out in full force on this strand. We will see if Iggy is more resilient to the CPC garbage barage than Dion.
    I am a former (would still be if he was running!) Kennedy supporter and was planning to run this time as a Rae or Leblanc delegate. That said, I think this outcome is best for the party, under the circumstances. The Party needed a stronger leader and him getting into the job now will give him the time to get his legs under him before the showdown after Christmas, if it comes. As other posters have said, the process is not ideal, but is acceptable under the circumstances. We need to hold Harper accountable, and I am willing to give Iggy the chance to do that.
    I do kind of regret that that the coalition will probably not happen now. I would have been a big support of one and eventually could see a unite the left movement being a positive development.
    Bottom line though, Harper with his lies and venom, still needs to go. I, as a Canadian would like the thoughts of a MI/Jim Prentice showdown.
    Markus from Durham

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 PM  

  • Here, here!

    Give Iggy Thumbscrews the chance to torture the nation with his leadership.

    Will he quote Aristotle when he accepts the nomination?

    Will he call the Americans "we" 52 times in his acceptance speech?

    Will he muse whether waterboarding is the lesser evil, and in what circumstances its practioners can be excused?

    Will Iggy Thumbscrews become the third Liberal leader after Blake and Dion never to become PM?

    Probably the latter.

    Let's hear it for Iggy Thumbscrews!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:55 PM  

  • Ignatieff is an accurate picture of what the Liberal party stands for today,

    The Liberal Party stands for grand leftist schemes now. I'm hoping Iggy will finally bring them back to where they belong, near the centre.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 7:55 PM  

  • You with the sad eyes
    Dont be discouraged
    Oh I realize
    Its hard to take courage
    In a world full of people
    You can lose sight of it all
    And the darkness inside you
    Can make you feel so small

    But I see your true colors
    Shining through
    I see your true colors
    And thats why I love you
    So dont be afraid to let them show
    Your true colors
    True colors are beautiful,
    Like a rainbow...

    Cyndi Lauper

    By Blogger Blair, at 8:05 PM  

  • "The Liberal Party stands for grand leftist schemes now. I'm hoping Iggy will finally bring them back to where they belong, near the centre."

    You do know he backed a carbon tax in 2006 while Dion didn't.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 10:02 PM  

  • "Quite a photo CG - he looks like Kramer."

    Waaay more like Jeremy Irons...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkB7cCfhkY4

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 10:04 PM  

  • Im wondering how the left wing of the Liberal party will welcome the Count as the new leader?

    People like Kennedy, Dryden, Jennings...Im thinking they arent going to find a happy home in a centrist party,these nutbars moved too far left in the past few years.

    Oh well, opposition has a way of pushing libs to retire, and since you will be there for a good long time, there will be lots of change.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 PM  

  • I'm with Sue, 'cept I'm goin NDP. Dion was the only thing the Liberals had going for them.

    By Anonymous Chuck, at 10:43 PM  

  • "People like Kennedy, Dryden, Jennings...Im thinking they arent going to find a happy home in a centrist party,these nutbars moved too far left in the past few years."

    Kennedy was education minister in the McGuinty Liberal government which is hardly a subsidiary of the red menace. Ken Dryden was touted as a prospective PC leader once upon a time.

    All of these leadership contenders joined the Martin Liberals. Martin's greatest accomplishment was cutting tens of billions in transfers for healthcare and education. When he was running his shadow campaign against Chretien he was for missile defence, the war in Iraq - the whole she-bang. When he talks about gay marriage he gets so awkward about it the only way he can defend it is by essentially saying "the constitution forces me to." Oh and what ever happened to decriminalization of pot, which Martin had plenty of time to bring back to life (Chretien's bill had some problems).

    There is an old saying about Canadian politics. People join the young Tories to get drunk. People join the young Liberals to get laid. People join the young NDP to get pamphlets. The Liberal party is not a party of ideas, it is a party of power (Calgarygrit is 100% exempt from that, and gains my Toronto Tory kudos). In that sense, axing Dion and bringing in Iggy represents a shift from loser to less loser.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:33 AM  

  • "wooooo!! back to the centre we go!"

    In order to go somewhere, you have to know where you're coming from.

    Aside from policy triangulation for the purpose of winning elections, I'm not really too certain as to what the LPC stands for. And that needs to change.

    Hopefully.

    By Anonymous rc, at 4:25 AM  

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