Monday, December 08, 2008

Ignatieff Speaks

Just landing in my e-mail box...

Dear Friends,

Over the past few days I have been honoured by the incredible surge of support from all parts of our party for my candidacy for the leadership.

The week ahead promises to be an exciting one and I wanted to share with you my thoughts as it begins.

First, every one of us owes a debt of thanks to Mr. Dion for his public service as Leader of our party, as a cabinet minister and an MP. I hope that we may continue to count on his contributions to Canada and to the Liberal Party.

Second, I want to share with you that I will stand as a candidate to replace Mr. Dion under the process outlined in the party constitution, as voted upon by the delegates of the grassroots of our party at the last convention in Montreal, for replacement of a Leader who resigns prior to a leadership convention. I am doing so because our parliamentary caucus and party need leadership now to confront Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

Third, should I succeed in winning the support of the national executive of the party and our caucus as leader, I remain committed to having that leadership confirmed by our party at our upcoming convention in Vancouver, as our party's constitution requires.

Fourth, should I become leader I hope to immediately engage the grassroots in the very real policy challenges facing our country at a time of peril and in the party renewal challenges that all Liberals must face together. I will need the best from each and every one of us in this regard.

Thanks to each and every one of you for all your hard work and support on my behalf. It is appreciated more than I can say. If you haven’t done so already please tell me what you think, volunteer or make a donation.


UPDATE: Set your TiVo as I will likely be on The Agenda tonight, discussing the state of the Liberal Party with the always awesome Steve Paiken.


  • Might've been nice if he'd engaged with the other arguments (undemocratic).

    I suppose we're all guesstimating that his support is strong enough that this doesn't leave him weakened by having the threat of Liberals changing their minds by convention time on him? I think we've seen that, when threatened, he turtles and tries not to take any chances.

    By Blogger Jesse, at 2:57 p.m.  

  • Surely you have an opinion on such matters no?

    I for one welcome the onslaught of arguments here from Ignatieff suppporters about how this is perfectly legitimate and if Ignatieff is selected on Wednesday it in NO WAY gives him an unfair advantage in the race for permanent leader, none whatsoever.

    It's all fair and democratic as it should be of course. And best of it's completely inclusive, looks he even let us know IN ADVANCE! How nice of him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 p.m.  

  • That's f#$k*&g crap! How do you appoint as interim leader one of the Leadership candidates without making the whole process illegitimate. I quit. I've been a member for 25 years and I'm tired of a party incapable and unwilling to connect with its grassroots. I'll wait for confirmation of this coup and then I'm sending in my letter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 p.m.  

  • There's something about Ignatieff that makes me think he'd be a good villan in a Mike Myers comedy. He comes across as effete on television, not as an alpha-male. He seems to appeal the the type of people who think they're smarter than everyone else.
    After two hapless leaders, can the Liberals win with him? Maybe if they take Harper down in a recession. No way if they continue the coaliton idea.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 3:02 p.m.  

  • You have GOT to be kidding me.

    Appointed leader by caucus? If you want proof of Ignatieff's poor political judgement then this is all you need.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 p.m.  

  • That's it... I'm done... if Ignatieff doesn't support a democratic vote within the Party, then I don't support the Party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • Someone needs to prorogue caucus. ;)

    By Blogger catnip, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • Well, Rae hasn't earned my support yet, but with this move by Iggy he's earned a donation

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 p.m.  

  • This should be good for the NDP membership numbers.

    By Blogger Chrystal Ocean, at 3:17 p.m.  

  • Looks good on Rae. They agreed to leave neutral Dion in place and Rae et. al. rolled the dupe. Iggy would not put his name forward as interim leader unless the majority of caucus is on board. This way they make sure Rae's chances depend on the coalition not taking power before May.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 p.m.  

  • Summation of LeBlanc press conference: "Stephen Harper pulls the strings in our party. Because of HIS decisions we need a leader AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:22 p.m.  

  • Listen. The party has decided that Michael Ignatieff should be the leader. Why waste time with a vote when we all know he’s going to win? This let’s the party unite and prepare for an election that I am confident we can win under Michael’s guidance.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:40 p.m.  

  • Oh, c'mon people. There's nothing more "undemocratic" (Which annoyingly has basically become shorthand for 'situation that I personally dislike') about this then how every other interim leader was chosen. The only difference is that in this situation the interim leader is actively seeking to eventually drop the 'interim' part of the title. Does this give MI an advantage? I guess... if he does the job well then yes I imagine it does, if he does the job poorly then no it doesn't. He'll have to wear his successes and his failures. Either way you look at it I find that to be preferable to the situation we find ourselves in now.

    I don't know about any of you but I'm sick of being stuck in some sort of perpetual leadership limbo where everyone runs around like a chicken with their head cut off, I'm sick of the Liberal Party looking like a bunch of undisciplined fools, I'm sick of perpetual "Senior Liberal Party" leakers, I'm sick of the lack of teamwork.

    If doing this will stop (or at least reduce) all that then I'm for it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:40 p.m.  

  • How the heck do you pronounce Ignatieff anywat?

    Is it Ig-na-tee-eff? Ig-nay-chiff? Confused minds want to know.

    There's no way he goes through with the coalition. Destroys Rae at the leadership convention. Waits a few months, brings down Harper. Fall election, here we come.

    Given the option between Ignatieff and Rae, you obviously have to go with Ignatieff. I think he's going to come across as a pompous ass though and Harper will get another minority.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:41 p.m.  

  • R.I.P. Stephane Dion

    R.I.P Stephan Harper next

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:44 p.m.  

  • You can't appoint as interim leader one of the leadership candidates and still say the leadership race is legitimate. If they were going to do this they should have had a consultation process with the grassroots.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 p.m.  

  • R.I.P. Liberal Party of Canada

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 p.m.  

  • With Dion resigning, an interim leader has to be chosen. Why can't Michael run for that?

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • Look, full disclosure, I’m supporting Rae.

    However, I’ve never been adamantly opposed to Iggy. I prefer Rae - but Iggy’s been a fine runner up. If he wins, fair and square, count me a loyal foot soldier. However, a caucus vote is absolute BS (holy 1948 Batman), I can’t believe that he and his strategists think that this is going to be good for his long term prospects, or that of the party. As I’ve said before (here), it plays to every elitist charge that the Conservative’s throw against the liberals in general, and Iggy in particular.

    Hasn’t the party alienated enough people? Please don’t disenfranchise the base.

    I’m seriously becoming despondent.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 3:55 p.m.  


    We acknowledge we have disappointed you. At times we violated your trust by letting our quality fall below industry standards and our designs become lackluster. We have proliferated our brands and dealer network to the point where we lost adequate focus.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:00 p.m.  

  • Wow. What a shallow letter.

    Handpicking leaders.

    Fake respects to Dion.

    Nothing on the coalition or on his own political agenda.

    Nothing on using the leadership contest to renew the party.

    What a lame ass -- he really thinks he has the superior wisdom to just catapult the liberals into a majority. what a dreamer.

    Why are people seduced by him?

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

  • Jason, Let me first say I'm a big fan of yours and really think you should be back blogging, especially given all the shit that's going on these days.

    But would you honestly have accepted Ignatieff being named interim leader instead of Bill Graham last time when you were supporting Dion? Be serious. It was a minority then and the same argument could be applied.

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

  • Harper can wait .... How about that communist Layton, if he hadn't worked behind the scene and invited the Liberals to join the Bloc on this deal, we would be having a debate on leadership and not taking apart Canada region by region.

    Layton is poised to take as many "soft" Liberals with him unless Liberals show unity. Layton is dividing the LEFT vote to come to NDP because the NDP seem more united.

    As much as Liberals hate Harper, they are overlooking the NDP as a threat. Watch out for the grass roots ... they should be weary of the NDP and educated as to why Layton has his own interests at hand and not the Liberal or Canada. He loves this disunity because it makes him seem like a leader.

    If you guys were smart, you would be working on a budget to counter the Conservative budget in Jan. Show Canadians that you have a plan rather than, "Harper must go at all costs."

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

  • Jason:

    Every interim leader in this party's history been neutral with respect to an ongoing leadership race

    That's a pretty established tradition in every party. Michael Ignatieff should respect that tradition and him and Bob should continue the leadership race on accelerated schedule and not throw a battle of interim leader into the mix of it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • Established tradition? That train left the station a week ago.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 p.m.  

  • "I remain committed to having that leadership confirmed by our party at our upcoming convention in Vancouver"
    As Chris Rock says you shouldn't get credit for shit you supposed to do.

    By Blogger Jacob, at 4:39 p.m.  

  • I think anyone watching LeBlanc's press conference today will be scratching their head wondering why he's dropping out and the other two are staying.

    I agree with what he said ... the LPC has to put to rest the internal politics and get down to the business of doing what's best for the interest of Canada. Picking an temporary interim leader now to then pick an permanent interim leader in January until a permanent leader is chosen in May comes off as Mickey Mouse.

    Liberals are sitting back waiting for Harper and the Conservatives implode over the mishandling of the economy. Conservatives are sitting back waiting for the LPC to do itself in (even further) over leadership.

    You can't help but know the CPC is sitting back collecting material to add to the already produced attack ads after the leader is chosen.

    The LPC had better work quickly to give the public a worthwhile alternative view to compare against those ads. Right now there's not much to compare.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:40 p.m.  

  • Ok, I have spoken to at least 10 other liberals in the last couple of hours since this email went out and everyone says this does not pass the smell test. (even though most want to support Ignatieff). Why are those who like Ignatieff but also like fairness, now stuck between a rick and a hard place?!?! We are toast if people think we are no better than Harper in terms of skirting the rules!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:44 p.m.  

  • How can Rae reconcile this and coalition government ? Freebie :Democracy is good for Liberals , the rest of Canada , not so much .

    By Blogger Bill D. Cat, at 5:05 p.m.  

  • Bill, come on, there is better things to do then Troll Libblogs, with thoughts that aren't your own. BTW, you know the difference.

    "In our parliamentary system of government, provided it comes soon enough, opposition parties can come together to provide an alternative to a government that has lost confidence without an election"
    - Bob Rae

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:41 p.m.  

  • Make me your leader and then I will allow the riff-raff membership to vote for me later. I promise I will allow, when I decide to make the decision at the right time to make decisions like leaders do, later make decisions.

    No wonder Iggy supported the anti Canada coalition with the Separatists. He doesn't like citizens voting on things, the will of the electorate been prime.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:56 p.m.  

  • How about Gooddale as interim leader? He'd be a no-holds barred public face that the Libs could use right now.

    By Blogger catnip, at 6:07 p.m.  

  • Where's Herb Gray when you need him? I lost count of how many times he was interim leader...

    By Blogger Party of One, at 6:20 p.m.  

  • I just can't see why we can't move forward the delegate convention to January 16, for example.

    By Blogger mezba, at 6:35 p.m.  

  • How the heck do you pronounce Ignatieff anywat?

    From the Russian, it would today be Latinized as Ignatiev or Ignat'ev.

    Emphasis on the second syllable.

    So... "IgNATyev" or "IgNATyef" would be the way you'd do it. People are actually pretty good at it.


    No comment on the rest of the news from this corner.

    By Blogger Ben (The Tiger in Exile), at 6:36 p.m.  

  • Anon , they missed that window , as soon as the GG recognized Harper as PM , they ran out of the option you ( and Rae ) are talking about .

    By Blogger Bill D. Cat, at 6:50 p.m.  

  • These are unusual circumstances and and huge number of people don't like the coalition idea.

    With Harper at the helm, something has to be done fast.

    If Rae wins - I'm out. He's an NDP in his heart and leans far to left for my liking. That is not the Liberal position - leave that for the NDP.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:50 p.m.  

  • One week ago Liberal Leadership hopefuls and the party told Canadians that Stephane Dion was the man to lead Canada. Today we are told that Dion has to go for the good of the Liberal Party. I guess that sums up the Liberal position of me first, country second.

    Wonder no more why you are in opposition and get used to the stay.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 p.m.  

  • Is this the same clown that came in second behind "whats his face".
    I've already had enough of this carpetbagging Yankee Doodle Dandy.
    It'll be nice to see PM Harper kick his sorry ass back across the border.
    signed : ggm

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 p.m.  

  • Good job tonight on the Agenda, Dan.

    By Blogger Joanne (True Blue), at 9:00 p.m.  

  • It's fascinating to read all these Anonymous people swearing they'll resign from the party if this, that or the other thing happens.

    How are we going to know they're gone?

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 9:13 p.m.  

  • "BTW, you know the difference".

    Sure. The GG not granting an election is legal but very rare. A party installing the front runner as interim is legal but very rate. And it's all scary Harper's fault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:58 p.m.  

  • Everyone should take a close look at what Bob Rae is doing.

    He's trying to change the rules of the game, in the middle of the game, so that he has a fighting chance of winning the leadership.

    But he can only do that if he signs up thousands of instant Liberals.

    We're talking thousands of Dippers and Conservatives signing up to swing the vote in Rae's favour, the Dippers because they want the Liberals to be more like them so they can replace us on the left and the Conservatives so they can move to the centre and win a majority.

    Is that what we want? Well, that's what we'll get if let Bob have his way.

    By Blogger Noam G., at 11:29 p.m.  

  • Great job tonight! The other thing I thought of, and I am an Ignatieff “properly-selected” supporter, is that if we went into a campaign, while Rae was still campaigning for the job (as David proposed), Harper could attack our leader(s) on two fronts. “But we can’t trust what Ignatieff says, he is not yet the leader!” “When Rae wins, he will do exactly the opposite…” They really need to do this properly!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 p.m.  

  • Both Iggy & Rae represent the yesteryear of the LPC. The Party needs to drop the old guard who are obviously only power hungry because of their biological clock is running out -- I mean both of them will be senior citizens in a few years.

    C'mon we need youth, energy, vision and grassroots support which these guys don't have. Iggy doesn't even know Canada: he thinks Ontario is Canada and doesn't understand the West.

    I cannot support any of them.

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

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