Because really, who wouldn’t want to lead this army of Bravehearts?


Liberals call for Dion’s head: a found poem from this morning’s newspapers.

senior party members said

An Atlantic MP said flatly

An Ontario MP referred

One well-connected party member

Another influential Liberal

senior party members

a Liberal source who is understood to have been in contact with the former Canadian ambassador

une source libérale

Plusieurs militants influents

Selon nos informations

un libéral influent au fait des intentions de l’ancien premier ministre du Nouveau-Brunswick

cette personne bien placée

Une autre source libérale

Veteran Liberals



Because really, who wouldn’t want to lead this army of Bravehearts?

  1. You know, firing all those “anonymous” sources (that are actually real Liberals), instead of Mr. Dion may be the first step towards the cure.

  2. since liberals (and, let’s face it, most politicians/organizers – just look at what’s happening among Republicans in the states) are always going to be a bunch of backstabbing weenies in this regard, it falls to our media to be the grownups.

    i don’t understand why the globe and others who fancy themselves real newspapers don’t implement a more stringent policy on anonymous sources, a la the new york times. they’re fine for getting info that otherwise can’t be obtained, but they shouldn’t be a free pass for attacks and bellyaching.

    besides, if ever there was a time to stab the leader in the front, this is it.

    one other note: from what i’ve witnessed in journalism, and what i saw in politics, i can assure you that many reporters do not try very hard to get people on the record. through their laziness, they empower and encourage those with a grudge.

  3. I agree with Me Dere Robert. I think there are alot of “Senior Liberals”, or, “Influential Liberals” out there who need to walk the plank before anyone else. Either that, or maybe some bold journalist can accidentally drop on eof the names into their piece. Apologies to the “senior liberal”, of course, would follow.

  4. The Libs are in total denial about their financial situation. If they think they have problems now, wait until Harper pulls the plug on Parliament right after they crown their new leader.

    The LPC will be bankrupt before that election even begins.

    With Dion gone, who will they blame then for their trouble? The new leader?

  5. What I find interesting is that CTVGlobe would honour their promise of discretion with those anonymous liberal sources yet thumb their noses at the one they made to Dion when they told him that the controversial footage would not be aired.

  6. I’m afraid I’m just never gonna forget the sight of Sarmite Bulte on some TV panel on election night, saying that, you know, there were problems and the party had lost seats in Ontario and….

    And then came the point where it was time to say the party should change leaders. But she couldn’t say it, because this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. She’s supposed to be able to say it over the phone, off the record, ideally with some kicky metaphor (“it’s time to change the sheets” was how one Insider put it this morning).

    Actually call for the leader’s head on camera in front of God and everyone? Sam Bulte couldn’t do it. So she let the sentence trail off and just sat there, smirking.

    Like a five-year-old.

  7. Starting with this one, DR.

  8. well, paul, jane taber has trained a lot of them very well. she just couldn’t say it without jane there to assure her of anonymity and hand her a snausage.

  9. If I’m one of those “anonymous” liberal sources, I’d think long and hard before trusting a CTV/Globe reporter’s word ever again.

  10. I for one won’t believe all of these rumours until they are confirmed by:

    People familiar with the thinking of Stephen Harper

    somebody familiar with the thinking of the Prime Minister

  11. “Conclusion: There is little published academic research on ‘Stockholm syndrome’ although study of media reports reveals similarities between well publicized cases. This may be due to reporting and publication bias.”


    Ti-Guy — Did you mean this Stockholm Syndrome?
    Purge of some propogandists journalists couldn’t hurt.

    Given the humiliation this guy has had to suffer from all quarters, resignation would be very mild revenge on his antagonists.

  12. I think it’s pathetic how people aren’t brave enough to come out and say what they are thinking. I admired Stephen LeDrew a few weeks ago when he published an article, with his name on the byline, setting out what he thought what needed to be done.

    I don’t understand why reporters let people get away with anon comments because they are mostly innocuous statements that surely could be said by someone on the record.

    However, I also understand that leadership rivals can’t come out and say Dion has to go because the person who sticks the shiv in the leader’s back rarely wins the next leadership contest.

  13. jwl, I don’t admire what LeDrew did, because he didn’t do it to help anyone but himself. I would have been fine with it after the election, but to stab the party in the back in the midst of a campaign.

    Hope it was worth it to get your name in the paper, LeDrew!

  14. Agreed Andrew. I love the way those Libs have put all the blame on Dion’s shoulders for what happened in this election. They don’t seem to realize that sabotaging your own leader before, during and after turns off voters too.

    I know that myself and several of my friends and family are walking away from that party for that very reason. I find such behaviour despicable.

  15. Every party needs its scapegoat. Sounds to me like there’s not enough stroking to go around.

  16. Boudica raises an excellent point. Why is it imperative that journalistic rules be broken so that we may see Dion have difficulty with an odd-sounding question, but the identity of backstabbing liberals be protected at all costs?

  17. boudica, I think it works both ways. What I found remarkable in the lead-up to the election is that nobody from Dion’s “camp” was out in the media, trying to manage expectations when it was clear that they would lose (e.g., traditionally lib leaders get two elections, it’s only really bad if we lose more than X seats, etc.). So it seems to me that Dion’s “camp” doesn’t actually exist, and he never made an effort to build one.

  18. In your best Maxwell Smart voice:

    The old Unnamed Sources Said trick, eh?

    (Some will recognize what’s now happening to Dion as another manifestation of Joe Clark disease.)

  19. Everytime I see “A senior Liberal”, I substitute that for “Ray Heard”, and assess credibility accordingly.

  20. I think disqualifying anyone from the leadership who allowed themselves to be quoted off the record by Jane Taber would be a fantastic start.

    Think she’d be willing to provide a list?

  21. You’re all missing the point. Our media has been reduced to a pack of gossiping fishwives writing stories that are best suited for publications like the National Enquirer.

  22. Or Frank Magazine.

  23. Or Celebrity Sleuth

    Yeah, Robert nails it. IIRC Wells talks about this phenomenon in his last book.

  24. “So it seems to me that Dion’s “camp” doesn’t actually exist, and he never made an effort to build one”

    How do you know that he never made the effort to build one, exactly?

  25. boudica, two things are clear: first, surrounding yourself with allies is job number one in politics; and second, the leader has tools at his disposal to create and maintain allies, even in an organization as Byzantine as the Liberal party.

    An awful lot of people supported Dion in 2006 — where are these people now? I find it hard to believe that the dozen or so MPs who endorsed Dion from the start, even before he seemed likely to win, would have abandoned him even if he was making a significant effort to keep their loyalty. Or that his caucus was so disloyal that he couldn’t find allies even knowing how important it was, and with all the influence at his disposal.

    If he was making an effort, it wasn’t enough, and he should have known that.

  26. “I find it hard to believe that the dozen or so MPs who endorsed Dion from the start, even before he seemed likely to win, would have abandoned him even if he was making a significant effort to keep their loyalty.”

    Andrew E, you do realize that we are talking about the Liberal Party of Canada, yes?

  27. “Or that his caucus was so disloyal that he couldn’t find allies even knowing how important it was, and with all the influence at his disposal.”

    Are you kidding me?

  28. I am hopeful that Frank McKenna ends up running for leader.

    The guy is a genius, vice-chairman of TD, and has excelled at everyone job he’s ever had.

    Also McKenna has already stated that the party needs to reform. He knows if he took over leadership it wouldn’t be out of a simple lust for the limelight, it’d be to remake the party into something bigger and better than it is right now.

    Thats why we need Dion to step down and let a real leader run. Not Iggy, not Rae, not young Justin Trudeau.. but a real seasoned veteran like McKenna. He won’t try to put a fresh coat of paint on an old barn… he’ll completely rebuild it.

  29. Well, yes. But in the same way that Dion seemed incapable of the nuts-and-bolts of retail politics, such as fundraising, it’s quite plausible that he didn’t appreciate the importance of doing favors for friends — and thus keeping their friendship.

  30. Scott,

    Reporters might be lazy but its editors that are supposed to prevent them getting away with it.

    If Eddie Greenspon wanted to stop Jane T from being such a gossip girl he could. That he doesn’t says what exactly, he can’t, he won’t or he doesn’t care?

    Van Dusen at the CBC is engaging in this as well, quite lustily in fact.

    I look forward to Maclean’s breaking this rule down, I am sure the memo is being circulated at Macleans right now.

  31. boudica, your argument seems to be that the Liberal party is ungovernable. Then why even bother looking for a new leader? May as well just fold it up and move on.

  32. stephen – yes, that was what i was trying to get at when saying papers (ie. editors, the people in charge) need to change their policy.

    riley – what a passionate advocacy of mr mckenna. one question: does he still speak french like this – juh sweeze oon canadian come vooz – because if so that might hamper the rebuilding effort in a certain province.

  33. “Thats why we need Dion to step down and let a real leader run. Not Iggy, not Rae, not young Justin Trudeau.. but a real seasoned veteran like McKenna. He won’t try to put a fresh coat of paint on an old barn… he’ll completely rebuild it.”

    Will you listen to these people going on about McKenna like he’d be the Second Coming of Christ?

    And will your new Messiah use his powers to multiply the few dollars the LPC has left in his coffers like he did with the fish and bread? Because the LPC will need that kind of miracle to financially survive yet another leadership race AND the election that Harper is sure to call soon after your new Miracle Worker is crowned.

    If the Libs are that stupid, they deserve to be wiped out of Parliament.

  34. Earlier post translated…

    For Liberals: The rejected stone will become the cornerstone of the wall.

    For Conservatives: It’s insane to oppose when you can neither win nor compromise.

  35. Does Dion still have the power – the actual power, not just the formal authority – to fire anyone but himself?
    Some of the nameless whisperers are still useful to the party, which is more than Dion can claim.
    Yes, Dion’s critics are behaving badly, but trying to discipline them might provoke a mutiny that would get him fired and would further damage the party.

  36. “…but trying to discipline them might provoke a mutiny that would get him fired and would further damage the party.”


    is cowardice

  37. I think McKenna speaks French just fine, and to boot he governed a bilingual province and won plenty of francophone Acadian seats.

    He might need to brush up a bit, haven’t heard him speak lately.

    As for finances and the LPC, I once went to see Bill Clinton talk in Halifax. Frank McKenna introduced him and the crowd went crazy. They loved him MORE than Clinton I think. I thought he was dynamite. He spoke like a pro and actually talked about the U.S./Canadian relationship and how Canada uses it abroad.

    This is someone who could easily raise money for the party. He knows the business community. He could pack any fundraiser.

    Also, would Quebec not be more inclined to support an anglophone leader who came from Canada’s only bilingual province, over say… a Toronto MP who lived in the U.S. most his life?

  38. “boudica, your argument seems to be that the Liberal party is ungovernable. Then why even bother looking for a new leader? May as well just fold it up and move on.”

    Andrew, your problem is that you fully bought into the notion that Dion cannot be redeemed. You also seem to believe Dion is THE problem within that party and that once removed, the LPC will regain its glory.

    This is where even I have to recognize the brilliance of the Harper NotALeader campaign. The ONLY REASON why the LPC is in this mess is that instead of rallying behind your leader and working as a team from day one, that party did everything imaginable to sabotage Dion.

    Harper didn’t even have to do much to discredit Dion because the Liberals (Manley, Easter, Frulla, Lapierre, LeDrew to name but a very few) did all the work for him.

    Dion wanted to go to the polls much earlier but it was his own caucus along with the Quebec wing of the party that stopped him from doing it. But who was labelled as a spineless coward? How many then stepped up to defend him?

    The only thing that angers me the most in this sorry situation is that Harper was easy pickings. He had no platform, no plan to address the economy or the environment and he had the sorriest bunch of Cabinet ministers this country has ever seen. He started free-falling in the polls a week and half before the election.

    Had the LPC used its powers against Harper as oppossed to its own leader, they might have been the ones planning a transition at the moment.

    So now we are stuck with yet another Harper govt to face seriously perilous economic times. I shudder to think about what that bunch of imbeciles he calls “Cabinet” will dream up to keep us afloat. Our social institutions are not likely to survive the cuts that are now sure to come.

  39. I’ve had the misfortune of watching McKenna ever since he was president of the Student Council at St. FX in the late 60’s. He’s not the original hollow man but he’s full time member of that club.

    That doesn’t disqualify him from being a successful politician. But don’t judge him on his tenure in NB. It’s basically a very conservative pocket borough. And that pocket belongs to the squires – the Irvings. They don’t try to control everything but everything gets their sniff test.

  40. “Well, yes. But in the same way that Dion seemed incapable of the nuts-and-bolts of retail politics, such as fundraising, it’s quite plausible that he didn’t appreciate the importance of doing favors for friends — and thus keeping their friendship.”

    Andrew E, that is a total crock. The Liberal’s inability to raise funds has nothing to do with Dion and you know it. The new rules on donations (thank you Chretien) has seriously affected the LPC because they have always relied on corporate donations. Add to that the leadership convention bills that had to be paid off before the election, the LPC wouldn’t have been able to cope regardless of who the leader is.

    Which is why holding yet another leadership convention shortly after an election that most certainly put the LPC further in the red is spectacularly stupid… and part of the very public Tory strategy to anihilate the Liberals.

  41. These Anony-mouse Liberals remind me of rats on a sinking ship. They keep trying to hedge their bets and stay in power by running from one side to the other which only tips the ship and sinks it faster.

    I do feel sorry for Dion. His biggest mistake was trying to work with rats.

  42. Riley,

    Don’t you understand the donation limits? You cannot have a corporate fundraiser, at all, and individuals can only contribute $1,100 per year.

  43. boudica, I’m arguing that it’s a two-way street. Yes, the caucus should have been more loyal. But the leader also has a responsibility to encourage loyalty. Dion did not.

    It’s implausible that the confidence of the entire Liberal caucus could have been shattered by a single series of attack ads. By that argument, the “Mr. Dithers” article should have done the same thing to Paul Martin. But Martin had a lot of well-cultivated friendships in caucus — a lot of people who owed him and were therefore loyal to him. Further, Dion did not face Martin’s huge disadvantages — an emerging scandal and a lot of well-cultivated Chretienite enemies to go along with his friends.

    The funny thing about this election is that Harper did not need a plan. Dion ran on the platform of his choice, and all Harper had to do was point at him and say, “Do you believe he can do what he promises?”

  44. “boudica, I’m arguing that it’s a two-way street. Yes, the caucus should have been more loyal. But the leader also has a responsibility to encourage loyalty. Dion did not.”

    And I’m arguing that you are glossing over the history of that party. I do not have enough fingers to count the number of Liberals who have told me that they did not want to win this election. It was more important to them to get rid of Dion than to govern.

    What possible encouragement could Dion have given when faced with such attitudes?

  45. Style, should Dion resign, I think that he should leave politics and start his own environmental NGO. He’d be able to get much more done for that cause as a Suzuki-like community leader than he would as a backbencher.

    I think he should leave politics and watch the LPC self-destruct from a distance.

  46. Peter,

    what I am saying is that Frank McKenna could pack a dining hall with people who could AFFORD the $1100 limit. This is because he knows every facet of the business community.

    Look, I’m not saying the guy is the second coming. I’m merely pointing out that if the Libs need someone who can raise money, McKenna can do that. Do they need someone with an economic background? Check. What about the need for someone who understands the bilingual nature of our country? Check. What about experience? Check. How about not being associated with bitter rivalry wars in the Liberal party? Check.

    Everyone has faults and I am sure McKenna has his fair share. All I mean to say is – the guy is exactly the type of centrist, economic focused leader that the Liberal party needs.

  47. Mr. Wells – Sam Bulte was a protege of Sheila Copps – or at least attached herself very tightly to Sheila’s apron strings for career opportunities..but…when the winds changed….well – what do you know – Sam was a closet Martinite all along!
    I’ve thown up my hands with Kinsella the last two years – he was too much in love with Harper – but it has been pretty clear that Dion was submarined by the shadowy figures in the background..and his caucus are a pretty cheap bunch…who are loath to let any new blood in…
    Example – when she stood down for Belinda to cross over – Martha Hall-Findlay was offered a riding that she had strong connections with – by local connected Liberals and a few weeks later by Martin’s PMO – she delcined for her own reasons – but wandered in the wilderness for best part of two years because no-one wanted to retire and give her a shot. Then Jean Augustine was apparently persuaded to retire – with the assumption that Martha could run there..except the same PMO came up with its own preferred candidate, Iggy, that it wanted to plant there…just one typical example!
    Not surprising that refreshing new candidates are not prepared to jump between the sheets with this current lot!

  48. Also, who here thinks that a leadership race between Rae and Iggy is going to generate much public interest? Maybe Michael Valpy could re-publish his G&M piece on how Iggy lost his virginity. A great moment in journalism ps.

    The only way Liberals are going to shake their future up, is by reaching elsewhere for a leader.

    If Manley and McKenna got into the race, it would get some real buzz.

  49. “Look, I’m not saying the guy is the second coming.”

    Hmmm… Yes you are, Riley.

  50. I love all the pseudonyms here denouncing anonymity.

  51. I’m not the one calling Jane Taber to backstab my own leader, Mitchell. You sound confused.

  52. The poor guy clearly is going. Fair has nothing to do with it.

    But if the galloping ghosts push him, he will push back.

  53. How do I know that, boudica? You’ve probably got her on hold right now.

  54. I have a mental image I can’t get rid of: a thousand years from now, the world is pretty much as portrayed in Futruama, and the top news item of the day is “Frank McKenna’s head considers run for top job.”

  55. Dion isn’t the only one who should go ….. Harper and Layton should also take a long look in the mirror. They have to get serious counsel on the question: is this as good as it will ever get?
    Harper, who has all the charm of wet toilet paper and Jack, “the moustache that walks like a man” have squeezed as much as they can from Canadians and should leave on a high note.
    People who are as apolitical as possible are now asking, “why did we spend $300mil on this election during a time of financial distress?”.

  56. I think Frank McKenna considers leadership runs the same way most people consider going on a diet…

  57. A few years back, whenever a newspaper quoted “a source close to Brian Tobin”, it was code for “Brian Tobin”.

    This is the way politics works. I imagine Rae and Ignatieff have all of the reporters on speed dial.

  58. I think it’s the way Harper floats trial balloons. ‘Someone familiar with the thinking of Harper’ allows Harper to float ideas, but not take responsibility for them.

  59. How screwed up is our political system when the leading candidate to deliver the left is a personal friend of George Bush Sr. and a former member of the Carlyle Group?

  60. Calgary Grit,

    Oh man that is the best line of the whole comments section ha. You’re probably right, which saddens me. But I can still hope!

  61. Pete, wait until Manley throws his hat in.

  62. “I thought he’d already transcended politics, and that was his big problem as Liberal leader.”

    That was supposed to be his greatest feature. Guess Dion didn’t realize that he had jumped head first into a snake pit.

    I pity the next one to make that mistake… except, of course, if we are talking Manley or McKenna… Or Iggy or Ray.

  63. CG: Something difficult, uncomfortable, and likely not going to work, but that you have to do anyway once in a while?

  64. On anomyous sources:

    Agreed with psoters who think their use has become much too liberal (pun intended). Also, they need more specifics – when the Times does it, they list more detail if possible (e.g. a sr cabinet minister, a senior advisor, a senior party executive) and they list the reason for the source remaining anonymous. “Liberal Veteran” doesn’t cut it – this could be a party member who’s been putting out lawn signs for 30 years but is off the deep end.

  65. News of the day: Apolitical Quebecois wonk crashes and burns … desperate Liberals turn to … Louise Arbour????

  66. If that woman has any sense (and she does) she will keep away from the LPC.

  67. Hamilton Ti-Cats keep replacing their quarterback and each new “leader” spends his season running for his life or lying on his back underneath a Defessive End.

    My point is that there is more wrong with the Liberal team than the quarterback, and that it needs to rebuild at the policy level, at the riding level, in fund raising, and in election preparedness or the leader is going to be sacked over and over, no matter how fast he can run or throw. He’s weak because the team isn’t supporting his leadership properly.

  68. How dark are these shadows? It must be obvious who some of these people are.. why aren’t they dealt with? how much power do they have?

  69. “My point is that there is more wrong with the Liberal team than the quarterback, and that it needs to rebuild at the policy level, at the riding level, in fund raising, and in election preparedness or the leader is going to be sacked over and over, no matter how fast he can run or throw. He’s weak because the team isn’t supporting his leadership properly.”

    Spot on. This reminds me a lot of the Oakland Raiders recent coaching change. Yeah, Lane Kiffin may not be a coaching genius, but the problems with the franchise run a whole lot deeper.

  70. The last people I would rely on for “real” news are Miss Hot and Not who desperately needs to trim her bangs and the Duffinator and anyone on CTV.

    We have short memories don’t we? Remember 2004 when Harper lost and disappeared for a few days?

    I won’t believe anything until Dion comes out and has a press conference and states what he’s doing.

    We have truly pathetic excuses for journalists/media (Macleans people you are excluded).

    I think it’s time to challenge them.

  71. Policy is probably the one thing that can save the Libs. it’s everywhere else they need improvement.

  72. We have truly pathetic excuses for journalists/media (Macleans people you are excluded).

    I think it’s time to challenge them.

    How can we challenge them exactly? How can we stop these articles full of “anonymous” sources. And how are we suppose to know which sources are real and which are not?

    Honestly, what can be done?

  73. Anyone got any guesses as to why it’s Thursday afternoon and we still haven’t heard from Dion? No scrums. No discussion of post-election. Not rallying the troops…. zip.

    How long that this last? Through the weekend maybe?

  74. Mr. Wells – loved the new haircut…and the Left Bank couture you just displayed on CBC Newsworld..so – can you superimpose any french political scenarios upon the current Liberal leadership mess?

  75. Anyone got any guesses as to why it’s Thursday afternoon and we still haven’t heard from Dion?

    Yeah, he’s waiting for his copy of Macleans to find out what happened.

  76. Yeah, geez. Those Liberals are almost as parasitic as journalists, eh?

  77. “Anyone got any guesses as to why it’s Thursday afternoon and we still haven’t heard from Dion? ”

    Hold your horses, Riley. He’s stepping down. You’ll get your crucifixion soon enough.

  78. Interim leader – any bets?

  79. Goodale.

  80. Ah, right. Funny how his name never comes up for the non-interim leadership, eh? Is he just not interested?

  81. My what a taste of Liberal infighting. Here’s a tip. Pick a leader next time.

  82. Boooodica has it all wrong and Riley, you gave up way too early…Frank McKenna coming back to lead the Liberals would be far better than the second coming. JC has the leadership qualities but lacks in the political and networking categories. Also, he couldn’t hold a candle to Franks economic development gusto or work ethic. Frank once won all 58 seats in NB…no way JC could pull that off. Unfortunately, Frank has said that he does not aspire to become PM, too bad for us, he’s clearly the absolute best choice to get Canada back on track. little over 2000 years and JC is a no show…let’s hope a sense of national urgency, global economic crisis and a devastated Liberal Party convinces people to convince Frank and Julie McKenna that his vision and leadership is what we need.

  83. Hey Daryl,

    You Tories might want to take note of the fact that your own leader is the reason why you seem completely unable to achieve a majority.

    How many more times will you allow him a kick at the can? 3? 6 more times?

    Just askin’

  84. Or hers. Frank or Julie. Is little Skip McKenna ready to serve the nation yet? Frank, Julie, Skip, or Uncle Hank McKenna. One of them has the vision and leadership we need.

  85. “let’s hope a sense of national urgency, global economic crisis and a devastated Liberal Party convinces people to convince Frank and Julie McKenna that his vision and leadership is what we need.”

    Now where have I heard that one more before…hmmm… Isn’t that what they said about Paul Martin?

  86. It just occured to me that the Conbots have been unusually quiet today. What? No gloating?

    What gives?

  87. Paul, you should have added to your list the Toronto Star, thanks to their story this morning that Dion was about to step down (unsourced), because he was supposed to on election night and didn’t (also unsourced)!

    I think the Red Star realizes that a majority would actually have been better for the Liberals, and hence are wielding the fastest, sharpest knife of them all.

  88. I spoke too soon.

  89. I’m telling you, “Liberal Idol” is the way to go. Speeches to whittle the list down to 10 or 12 – you could have the “At Issue” panel be the judges – followed by a season-long series of segments: motivating the grassroots, preventing mutiny, appealing to the West, tightrope-walking on Quebec, debating, etc. Someone gets voted off every time, until it’s down to three, and then you have the speech to end all speeches for the season finale. All Canadians get to text their vote. You get a ton of prime-time exposure for free, the how-it-plays-in-Kenora element is built-in, and you couldn’t ask for more democratic legitimacy. I’m not being satirical here, someone call CBC.

  90. OK let it be Iggy vs Rae, bring on the debates, and all the video clips for the next round of NotALeader tv ads …

    Rae: You were going to follow George Bush into Iraq

    Iggy: Don’t let him bankrupt the Liberal Party the way he bankrupted Ontario

    It’s going to be hard to have substantive, honest debates, with the fear of Conservative ads hanging over their heads.

  91. LOL!!! Love it!

  92. Those cowardly anonymous sources aren’t the main problem. The LPC executive are the ones responsible for the floundering campaign and much of the backstabbing. It almost seemed like they set Dion up for failure because he wasn’t their first choice as leader.

  93. gabe, you accidentally pasted in “it almost seemed like”

  94. I don’t think Frank has much French either. Riley, the problem with fundraising is that those whoc can afford the $1,100 and Liberal sympathies already give it to the party. Their average donation is twice or more the Tories average, but the Tories get money from 200,000 donors each year. Frank can’t have dinner with 200,000 folks.

    Doesn’t matter anyway. Once Frank gets a look at the books, he’ll run straight back to Bay Street.

  95. It’s goon a be Iggy vs. Rae redux, with some new bit players. Once the fight gets going, watch for Jason Kenney with a garden sprayer full of gasoline, and listen for the woooooffff!

  96. Anyone see the photo the Globe had with its Dion story? Looked like Dion had just been rescued from the trunk of a car, that the photographer showed up seconds before and saved him from being transported to the waterfront.

  97. As a card carrying member of the Liberal party, I would like to propose the following petition:

    WHEREAS the inability of certain party members to support their leader even in the middle of the election creates a bad image for the party


    WHEREAS the inability of certain party members to keep quiet for five minutes and focus on advancing the party for the good of the country has cost us the election


    WHEREAS leaks from “insiders,” “senior Liberals,” “sources within the party” keep far too many political journalists employed and prevents the country from focusing on clear and present problems

    We, the membership kindly request that the People in Charge shut the @#$%^ up and stop airing the dirty laundry in public, and further that they get on with the business of advancing the Liberal brand in Canada before the country goes to hell under successive neo-con administrations.

  98. I’m telling you, Frank McKenna could not have governed New Brunswick if he wasn’t fluently bilingual.

    Peter and others keep talking about the Liberal books. They have just had poor management. Dion was not a manager. McKenna knows how to run a show. He ran a province and now helps run a bank. He knows how to organize and be fiscally prudent.

    McKenna would not only be able to get in the big fundraisers with the big 1100 limits (per year), he could also encourage average fundraisers bringing in smaller amounts. He’s got the managerial skills to create the machine to make that happen.

    Iggy the Prof, and Rae the lefty, are not going to be able to have that kind of pull.

    But it’s probably a moot point. I doubt McKenna would leave a lucrative job to run for leadership. But still, I think he’d make for a very interesting race.

    Hands up if you think a race between Rhuby Dallah, Mark Holland and Dominic Leblanc would be more interesting than a race between Iggy, Rae and McKenna?

  99. “Doesn’t matter anyway. Once Frank gets a look at the books, he’ll run straight back to Bay Street.”

    Exactly, Peter. And this is where the LPC comedy show comes to a head.

    At some point, someone will point out that holding a leadership convention under the threat of an election within 12 to 18 months is suicide because there is no money. At some point, the caucus and the executive will listen. Only then will they realize that keeping Dion while the party is “under construction” is the only conceivable way out of this mess.

    The problem now is that the said caucus and executive spent the better part of the last two years emasculating their own leader to the point where no one will take him seriously.

    Any way you play this one, the LPC is screwed and Harper has achieved what he set out to do.

    The funny part in all of this is that this particular Tory strategy was never a secret. Loose-lip Flanagan went as far as putting an Op-Ed in the Globe and Mail, outlining a step-by-step plan on how Harper is conducting a “war of attrition” against the LPC.

    How this Liberal bunch ever had the smarts to run this country for 13 years is beyond me sometimes…

  100. “Peter and others keep talking about the Liberal books. They have just had poor management. Dion was not a manager. McKenna knows how to run a show. He ran a province and now helps run a bank. He knows how to organize and be fiscally prudent”

    Hopeless, I tell you. These Liberals are hopeless…

  101. Yeah, what about Ruby Dhalla? She’s young, female, serious, from a non-metropolitan riding, a visible minority, and, let’s face it, by far and away the most attractive MP to sit in the House since the Bronze Age – which might have some slight appeal in a politics overrun by airbrushed middle-aged men. She doesn’t fit the prescription for appealing to the West per se, but I would start focus-grouping that option immediately. At the very least she should run so as to raise her profile. Does she speak French?

  102. Mitchell, she’s young, a woman and she’s pretty. If the Lib caucus doesn’t get her first, the press gallery will tear her to pieces.

    Remember Stronach? Ambrose?

  103. I strongly suspect that if Dion is willing to go quietly and the top liberals are united in wanting a new leader quickly without an expensive or lengthy leadership contest (or even a leadership contest at all) they will find a way to do it.

  104. Oh, I don’t know I can think of a few places where the liberals could stand to improve their policy. For example, the Green Shift could have a lot more revenue shifting and a lot less government micromanaging.

    Also, of course the Liberals need to elect a leader that skews to the right. The left wing votes aren’t easy pickings anymore so they have to appeal to the right to form government.

  105. Mike T., this is the 4th time today that I’ve heard this one. How would this go over with the rank and file?

    And I have a hard time believing that a group as fractious as the LPC could come to a consensus on such an important decision.

    That being said, if it can be done, it just might be their only way out.

  106. What about Dalton McGuinty? I don’t know if he speaks French, but he’s got a non-metropolitan name (acoustically speaking), he’s big on provincial rights (which should gratify SK & AB), he’s done rather well in winning Ontario votes, and he could wipe the floor with Flaherty. Problem is, he’s on track to be Premier until I retire . . .

  107. There would be nothing wrong with a visible minority candidate for the west, she would just have to take the following positions:

    1) Yes you do need less of a tax burden if you own a business instead of being a wage-earning professional.
    2) No, we won’t expect resource economy to pay the lion’s share of the costs of environmental measures while coddling consumers and manufacturers.
    3) We don’t think you are evil for disliking our high abortion rate, and we will lean on educators to teach how to access government support and make more government support available for struggling mothers.
    4) Of course you shouldn’t be forced to sell your grain through the Canadian Wheat Board.
    5) Why shouldn’t first nations people have expanded individual property rights on reserves?

    There you go, Liberal seats in the west, and the only thing that would make Ontario scream is #2. After all, that Harper is starting to look too much like that Mulroney fellow.

  108. Scott, Paul,

    Any sense who would have written today’s Globe and Mail editorial whose final line calls for the resurrection of that endangered species, the “Blue Liberal”?

  109. Say Terry, do you think that the Dipper who kicked Rahim Jaffer out of office had those positions?

  110. 3 could be addressed by acknowledging that many abortions are driven by poverty. Women who can’t afford to raise a child will abort it instead.

  111. Kidding aside.
    The Liberal Party problem is systemic.
    Just changing the leadership will not work.
    Grassroot campaigning and fundraising are needed desperately.
    Yes I am a Tory.
    I recognize however that for a strong Canada we need a strong government overseen by a strong Parliment.
    I am not a ConBot. You trivialze or deride people who might hae voted Liberal.
    Think about this.
    If the plant grows in sandy soil its roots will be washed away by the heavy rain.

  112. Boudicca – I’m sure if all the Tory MP’s are as negligent and irresponsible as Rahim Jaffer the NDP could probably pick up a few seats. Surely though, you have more ambition for the Liberal Party than this?

    Andrew – The social conservatives are sympathetic to that argument. So faced with a Liberal Party that says that they find abortion problematic but necessary and works towards making it a less necessary or attractive option, and a party that has pledged to do nothing, you can guess who would win. Harper hasn’t seen the fallout from making the Conservative Party pro-abortion yet, but it will come.

    Look at the Christian Heritage Party’s platform of $1000 per month for a family to raise their own children, which was selected because that is about as much as most secondary income earn. That is an anti-abortion measure.

    Of course, if it was true that poverty and lack of support for unmarried mothers caused abortion, Quebec would have the lowest rather than the highest abortion rates. The only thing that is going to reduce abortion rates is for more people to find abortion morally repugnant. As of now the left doesn’t find abortion to be a problem, but a solution to a problem.

  113. DarylH> I think both the Conservatives and the Liberals will have to put aside the culture wars if they want to govern.

    For that matter, why did the Greens purge their party of conservatives and select the culture warrior de-rigeur Elizabeth May?

    Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar was won by the Tories by about 200 votes. If Elizabeth May hadn’t purged the Green Party there would probably been at least 200 Green Party votes that could have been poached from the Tories.

  114. Pretty easy question, Terry. Lefties hate people on the right. Period. Righties think people on the left are wrong, but acknowledge their right to be wrong. Elizabeth May hates people she disagrees with, and so she got rid of them.

  115. Jack: Have you ever heard Dalton McGuinty speak? The man has the charisma of a piece of cold toast.

  116. Quite the impartial analysis there, Peter. Wrong though it is, you know we love you, don’t you? We cherish you, and your right to be wrong, and your little wrong dog too.

  117. Andrew E, no, I haven’t. Well, too bad, but nice simile.

  118. Terry, Socons aren’t happy unless they are keeping women out of abortion clinics with unregistered firearms. Once the kids are actually born, they become other people’s problem. It’s incredibly unlikely that a large number would be mollified by increased government benefits for lower income parents.

  119. Mike T> Oh… I guess I’m not a social conservative then, and neither are most of the social conservatives.

    You know, one thing about being a religious man is that I’m familiar with themes of a demonic enemy that has to be faced in a symbolic cosmic struggle. You might want to study up on that to be more self-aware.

  120. comment by Terry on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 5:08 pm:

    Mike T> Oh… I guess I’m not a social conservative then, and neither are most of the social conservatives.


    If you and they feel that socons would be mollified by anything except a ban on most or all abortions, then yes that would be the proper analysis.

  121. Mike> There is a difference between being content and being mollified.

    If we are really that rigid, then how has Stephen Harper gotten away with it for so long? Why do so many evangelicals and conservative catholics in Canada’s evangelical heartland (urban ontario) still vote Liberal?

    A demonic enemy might be good for firing up the blood, but maybe you might want to actually get to know people if you want them to vote for you. If you make it clear that you don’t to represent people, then you can’t expect their votes.

    The culture wars are a religious war, and they don’t really need to be. The NDP used to be the most religious party on parliament hill for example and contained many social conservatives. If they wanted them, they could possibly have those votes again yet still advance goals of social justice shared by the far left.

  122. Jack, my little wrong dog is a not so little chocolate Lab, and she has a virtue beyond the character of the modern leftie, loyalty. There is talk of a Liberal bloodbath, I fervently hope for such a delicious spectacle. The Liberal Party of the last 15 years has morphed into nothing more than a feudal spoils system, with the victors enjoying unalloyed access to the public trough for the bottom feeding lawyers, sleazebag accountants and oily communications types which became the “braintrust” of that Party. Power corrupts. They treat their grassroots supporters as little more than useful idiots to be mobilized at election time, thus their woeful ground game and pathetic fundraising.

    If my party continues its current trajectory, I realize it runs the same risk, I hope we are strong enough to resist the siren song.

  123. I am going to try to throw some new names out there to stir the pot of Liberal leadership speculation, because its just plain fun. 3/4 are party-switchers too!

    1. Elizabeth May – she has a profile and people generally like her. She could run on a platform of uniting the Greens and Liberals (even if they didn’t merge, like with the Canadian Alliance they would get most of the Green vote, ensuring the eventual death of the Greens.
    Cons: bad French, too left wing, possibly disliked by Greens now and Dion’s strategy failed last time, why would it work now?

    2. Jim Dinning – he was clearly a Martin Liberal, and could win most of the Alberta Liberal delegates. He has credibility on the economy, having been a successful treasurer and an executive vice-president. Could he turn things around in the west?
    Cons – possibly too right wing for Liberals, likely flack for cuts in the 90’s (though Paul Martin escaped that charge). Bilingual?

    3. Christy Clark – was BC minister of education, is a young mother (she is 43), and was edged out by Sam Sullivan in the nomination for the NPA to run for mayor (there is probably some “I told you so” credibility in that defeat). I think she would be an interesting candidate, and one (unlike Rae, McKenna or Iggy) that you could see taking a long view in rebuilding the party. BC is a crucial battleground, and she is well-connected with the BC Liberals. I think she is a far better choice than Ujjal two-seat.
    Cons – Bilingual? Lost in Vancouver mayoral nomination race.

    Kim Campbell – yes, that Kim Campbell. She would appeal to former PC supporters, without getting blame for Mulroney’s policy failures. She is experienced, smart, a woman, and a British Columbian.
    Cons – 3 husbands, bad leader (good cabinet minister) and… you have to think there is a reason she won 2 seats.

    On McKenna I think he is the second coming of… Paul Martin. In addition BO-RING (he would probably be a good PM though – unlike Ujjal and Rae he was a good premier)! Maybe McKenna is the second coming of Barbara Hall.

  124. No way McKenna still has the chops or the ground game/delegate support to win a leadership race. His appeal is with journalists, and that’s about it. 11 years out of elected politics, and he’s somehow the saviour? Come on…

    Rae still wears his time as Premier and the fact that Dion had him campaign everywhere in the country except there should make that pretty clear. Also, lets hear an idea or two this time and not simply “trust me, I am Bob”.

    Kennedy, Martha, Dominic LeBlanc… That sound you hear is the entire country saying “Uhmmm, who?”

    Justin? Okay, now say it with a straight face.

    Ignatieff is the only logical choice and last hope for a party on the brink of oblivion. He’s got some parliamentary experience now, the news coverage he gets every day shows that he is the most interesting/intriguing person in Canadian politics, plus everyone in the party knows he’s got the best team. That establishment charge he got last time was total BS and every journalist covered the campaign seriously knows it.

    No more screwing around: if Liberals want to win and win next time – they can, Harper made that pretty clear this time – then they have to pick Iggy. The party is over with anyone else.

  125. This makes a lot of sense – why wouldn’t the Liberals pick an uncharismatic academic who struggles in at least one official language and has no experience in government and no particular feel for Quebec? When has that ever gone wrong for them? Plus, Igantieff has all those interesting articles about why the Iraq war was a phenomenal idea, and certainly many more riveting arguments from his days in academe…

  126. Style, I don’t think Harper could rag on Iggy over Iraq. Iggy will at least be able to say his words were his own.

    Note that I am no particular fan of Ignatieff, I just find that particular angle of attack won’t work.

  127. Style – You haven’t the slightest idea of what you’re talking about:

    Language proficiency? Ignatieff is fluent in French. Clearly you are not.

    Appeal to Quebec? Remember the nation recognition? Who was the first one to suggest that? Oh right, Ignatieff. Also, most accounts at the time said he took 90% of the QC delegates at the last convention on the last ballot.

    Iraq may have once been an issue, but, as Andrew has helpfully pointed out above, Harper has his own issues on that. And, there is no chance the New York Times is giving our PM a chance to recant, as they did with Iggy.

    A nice attempt at Wells-ian sarcasm/cynicism, but facts are stubborn things, aren’t they.

  128. Harper may not be able to rag on Ignatieff about Iraq, but plenty of other people can. It speaks volumes about his judgment / susceptibility to faddish foreign bandwagons. Also his former habit of using the 1st person plural to refer to our American comrades, even after his fellow Canadians weren’t going into Iraq. Opportunism so naked is certainly edifying but somewhat unappealing.

    Rae – evokes such hatred among middle-aged Ontarians that it’s hard to see him winning back all those rural Ontario seats. Without them, how can the Liberals ever hope to win an election? He has mea culpa’d continuously for several years and it still hasn’t worked. I like the guy but I wonder if he can overcome the weird prejudice against him.

    It all reminds me of “Party Games” in Yes Prime Minister: the two fatally flawed star candidates and the need for a compromise Jim Hacker. ‘Cept I guess the Liberals have been there, done that.

    What about Rahim Jaffer?

  129. Jack, who else can rag on Iggy if not Harper? He’s a one man show. Get Kenney to read a teleprompter to two reporters at 6 am in the Little Shop?

  130. Iggy still hasnt recounted his support for Torture, or at least his acceptance of it.

    That wont go down too well with the left side of the Liberal Party.

    Iggy is also about Iggy…doesnt necessarily work and play well with others. Fine when you are prime minister, less fine when you are trying to become prime minister.

    Unless there is some accomodation the Rae Iggy fight will be like Thunderdome. It can work if one clearly defeats the other….ot worked when Mulroney beat Clark. But then Mulroney was smart enough to reintegrate the Clark people and Clark himself back into appropriate positions.

    Would Rae do that for Iggy and his people….probably….the other way around….I have my doubts.

    Re May. She is crazy enough to do it….I fully encourage her to do so, as I encourage David ORchard to run as well. It will be fun to watch the Loberal Party take a gasoline shower and then dance ever closer to the bonfire.

  131. Paul, thanks for highlighting the ineptitude in both the Liberal bellyachers, and the media for giving them front page coverage. There are more serious issues facing the entire country, than the downfall of a long standing political party. By a counting of votes, the vast majority of Canadians don’t give a hoot if the Liberals go away to stare at their navels in a corner.

  132. Andrew: No no, of course you’re right about the Tories, but methinks Layton could bleed off a lot of anti-Iggy Liberal votes – as stephen points out. The Left in general would have a hard time swallowing him, as would middle-of-the-road patriots like me (as you can probably guess!). For me the non-apology in the NYT was the last straw. I’ve never read a more self-serving self-critique. It made Christopher Hitchens look intellectually honest.

    But maybe he is indeed marketable to the political middle, I dunno. Not feeling very objective about it, myself.

  133. I’m thinking that after 5 or 6 years of Harper rule, the NDP will be in a precarious position. Jack hardly inched forward when the momentum was away from the Liberals. Everyone but Layton seems to know he won’t be Prime Minister. The only alternative in waiting is whoever the Liberal party offers. Whoever that is may not be perfect, but I’m guessing Harper will develop a few more chinks in his armour as well over the next few years (especially if we see the D-word return, as third-party observers suspect is likely).

  134. You’re right, Andrew, what the Liberals need is somebody who can unite the party and hold the fort for a few years while Harper spends himself in being PM but not implementing a radical agenda. So maybe Ignatieff fits the bill. FWIW, I’m guessing my own objections to him are not very widespread.

    I wonder how long the NDP will keep Layton? I agree he’s living in a strange alternate reality – he seemed genuinely dejected yesterday – but that seems to sit just fine with the rank & file.

  135. Christie Clark.

  136. A good party like a good team should be able to win with a mediocre leader/quarterback. Only if the front/offensive line is doing it’s job to buy him time and keep him from being sacked. A great leader on a bad team will spend most of his time looking over his shoulder for the next hit.
    Joe Clark and Stephane Dion should start a support group with some down trodden CFL (Argo) quarterbacks.

  137. Touché

  138. “No way McKenna still has the chops or the ground game/delegate support to win a leadership race. His appeal is with journalists, and that’s about it. 11 years out of elected politics, and he’s somehow the saviour? Come on…”

    I said, “better than saviour”! It is painstakingly obvious how McKenna is the clear choice, no matter what criteria you are looking at. No one else has a résumé that impressive. What’s more, take any two of the closest leadership options and combine them and they wouldn’t have as good of a résumé. And, it’s not about being for the good of the LPC, it’s more about what he would do for Canada. The man has fire in his belly…he’s as much a born leader as a born leader can be. Don’t you want a guy like that at the helm? Don’t you want that type of vision and direction for your country, for your children?

  139. There’s a fine, fine line between excellent satire and barking mad.

  140. went too far, huh?

  141. Cut the fun and games with that tiny perfect hero worship. Instead behold the new ride of the CTV suits or of the ladies that do protest too much. Why did Steve Murphy need defending by the CTV Toronto suits on the 11 o’clock news last evening? We got the message that it was not his idea to run those false starts of the Dion interview when he told us so before he aired them: he did what he was told by the Toronto office. Is it because they feel guilty that the geeking of Stephane Dion during the campaign (à la Joe Clark) had been so successful in destroying the liberals that they want to shroud their participation in it in fifth estate dignity? Demos

  142. Could you elaborate, Demos? I don’t watch CTV. How were they defending Murphy?

  143. Seems pretty clear to me that the CTV footage played a major role in the sudden bounce in Tory support during the Holiday weekend.

    CTV crossed the line and they know it.

  144. The real story here is the lesson for the next Liberal leader. He will know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that any attempt to “bring people in” is doomed to failure.

    You win, you pick a side, and then you BRUTALLY slap down those who aren’t part of it, promising support and cabinet posts only to those who demonstrate their loyalty beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    That’s the last thing the Liberals need right now, of course. But that will be the lesson.

  145. Oh, and Murphy was obviously forced to run those false starts by CTV higher-ups and/or Duffy. That much is clear.

  146. robert hurst himself and Peter Mallett (with a hang dog look)and I think Newbridge? came on for a good 5 minutes saying that poor Steve was being villified and roasted for running the false starts and that it was not his doing. They prattled on how: wow! when they saw the tape, they consulted far and wide with political experts, democratic experts, media profs and media pundits and decided that in the name of curiousness and democracy, they had to run these false starts to give full disclosure on the man. Because if he did not understand such a perfectly peachy clear question, he was not fit to be Prime Minister — more fit to be tied in a straight jacket — and led back to French-speaking Quebec where he belonged. That makes me think that either Murphy protested and asked for reinforcement that he did not want to do it — did not think it relevant or right. Particularly since the interview that finally happened was a tour de force for Dion. He was clear that what he was proposing was a structural change to the economy — not an increase in the tax burden — more even development across the country, while Harper had put all our eggs in the petroleum and high fungible finance basket and we now had the situation we have. Except for Hurst, none looked like happy campers. Real doggie doo. Demos

  147. The brittle winds whip
    In the season of slaughter
    The last trembling leaf

  148. I call BS on their claim to have consulted numerous experts about the tape. Do they care to provide a list so these experts could be asked their opinion?

  149. Lots of people debating who would/would not be the best Liberal leader, and a bare few who actually understand the real problem:

    The Liberals are dead in the west. Ralph Goodale is their only MP between Vancouver and Toronto, and they couldn’t crack 20% of the vote in any western province. That is a big, big chunk of Canada that wants nothing to do with the Liberals.

    It does not matter who the next Liberal leader is. Without any hope of being competitive in the west, the Liberals cannot win. The party requires a thorough, ground-up rebuild into something that westerners can look at without wanting to vomit. I have yet to see any sign that the Liberals even understand this, let alone care about it.

  150. Trudeau did because he carried the entire province of Quebec. The Liberals can’t pull that off any more; Quebec has been voting against them since 1984.

  151. Not so, Ian. They are dead because they were laughed out of the race. The liberals showed in 1980 that if you geek the leader, you destroy the party. Ironic that they were felled by the same sword. The magnificently ungeekable Mulroney was drawn and quarter on a phoney ethics sword — make him a crook, then we can make him a clown. Boy, how lucky the rest of the boys were that they had not entered their glass house yet,as happened with the Sponsorship program. At least Mulroney diddled with his own money — not ours. The results: 2 seats for the PCs – disappearance of the party, replacement by crazier and crazier and scarier people — decrease in voter turn-out because people will not want to be seen voting for a clown — a crook yes — but a loser crook, no. If the anybody-but-Harper does not yield a choice, then forget about it. We now have hit the lowest turn out in history. How do people explain not voting? He’s my party leader, but he’s a geek so I’ll pass. I don’t like any of them and my leader is a geek, so I vote with my feet. Meanwhile, the party brass and the mega egoes damn the geekable leader with faint praises — his provincial colleagues piss on his green shift because they want to associate themselves with polluting megaprojects to win their next election or just don’t want to change. So, yes there is more than a change of leader needed — the whole potage is poisoned. Time to rethink the way we do democracy — and throw out illiberal democracy. You need both universal secret suffrage and goood governance to have a true democracy — not just one person one vote but one informed and interested person one vote in a system that supports choice. So, unhand our democracy you dastardly dummer downers. Leadership of a country is not about looks, walks, voices, height of ears on the head, 30 sec clips that tickle somewhere, putting a puck in a net with ease, slamming you know who on the boards, wet dreams of messiahs. It’s all about informed choice and responsibility. Amen. Demos

  152. Style:

    Liberals can use 70-80 seats in Ontario, 25-35 seats in Quebec, 15 seats in Atlantic, and 15 seats in BC. That’s the basis of a minority government. Majority would be built on further gains in Quebec and prairies.

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