The Commons: Rave-up -

The Commons: Rave-up


The circular amphitheatre, used in other circumstances by a circus school, was bathed in red light. A muscular DJ spun pounding dance music, the heavy bass shaking the floor. In the audience, signs and thundersticks waved approximately to the beat.

After a few warm-up acts, Justin Trudeau bounded on stage, vibrating with apparent enthusiasm. He wore a suit jacket, but no tie, the top two buttons of his dress shirt undone. He and a cohost proceeded then to introduce the party’s Montreal team, Mr. Trudeau announcing each arrival as if introducing the starting line-up of the ’76 Habs.

On defence, the bespectacled one, Francisss Scarrr-pa-leggia! At left wing, in the tweed coat, Irwinnnn Cot-ler! Each descended the stairs from the top of the crowd. Each of the men wore the same look: suit jacket, no tie, top button of dress shirt undone. The lone candidate in a tie promptly removed his upon arriving on stage.

Finally, the captain, Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leader appearing in a pink shirt, his wife by his side.

He took the stage hand in hand with Zsuzsanna Zsohar and then accepted an enthusiastic hug from Mr. Trudeau. He shook hands with several of his team and then turned to the crowd. “Mi! Chael! Mi! Chael!” they chanted. Looking up into the lights he mouthed the word “woah.”

In French and then in English he told the thousand-strong who they were. “You are proud Quebecers,” he said. “Yes,” they said back. “You are proud Canadians,” he said. “Yes!” they said back. “You are proud Liberals,” he said. “YES!” they said back. This was a revival meeting now. “And I am proud to be your leader,” he enthused.

He proceeded to the indictment of la regime Harper. “Boo!” they called at each new charge.

He pivoted to the Liberal plea. He looked up into the lights and they chanted the name his parents gave him. He spoke without a podium, without notes, without a teleprompter, just a microphone in his hand. Every so often he spread his legs shoulder width apart and bent at the knees and seemed very nearly to straddle the stage.

He talked about that 13-year-old kid in Winnipeg. “I’m in politics to give that kid hope,” he said. “We’ll stick with you through the thick and thin,” he yelled to that kid over the crowd’s applause. “We’ll be with you the whole way.”

He finished with a call to arms, to unity and victory and then his theme song blared again. He spread his arms wide and bowed as the crowd cheered and then he leaned forward to shake hands with the young people surrounding the stage. Down off the stage he waded into the crowd, shaking hands on either side. Then back up the stairs, more handshakes and a thumbs up and then out of sight.


The Commons: Rave-up

  1. Wow….this is one of THE most embarrassing things to appear in a 'newsmagazine' that I have seen in a long time…and that is saying something.

  2. If that's a good account of what happened, then maybe something good can happen for Iggy this election.

  3. A circus school?

    Notice to LPC war room: Try not to write the other guys' jokes for them.

  4. This isn't a 'newsmagazine,' it's a blog. Do try to keep up.

  5. Was it the words 'pink shirt'?

  6. The real joke is Cons gave money to circus schools.

  7. Mr. Trudeau announcing each arrival as if introducing the starting line-up of the '76 Habs.

    Too bad Toronto MP Ken Dryden wasn't among those being introduced, thus depriving Mr. Trudeau of the opportunity to introduce an actual member of the starting lineup of the '76 Habs.

  8. No matter how much fan adoraton you heap on Iggy it is clear he has now been fully corrupted by the liberal party. He wanted to take the high road and not be cornered on the coalition issue and when the press would not let him fudge on the question his handlers talked him into telling the big lie. Iggys corruption is now complete to the point where he will lie, steal and now cheat for an election win. He has truly become a liberal.

  9. Are you saying the Liberal party cloned Harper? What a cunning plan.

  10. People are afraid of Harper; people love Michael Ignatieff.

  11. No, you are.

  12. It's good to see Wherry cover his favourite party, at least for a little bit. Sweet gig for him, eh?

  13. You can't be serious. lol

  14. No, you're saying it, and in your usual knee-jerk one liner fashion. Yes, very cunning. lol

  15. Its in the liberal DNA. Wasn't Dion the scrupulous candidate, the liberal of honor who said no coalition but did it anyway?

  16. Liberals are afraid of Harper, Canadians are afraid of Ignatieff.

  17. Wouldn't it be a burr in your saddle if Mr Ignatieff turned out to be a decent campaigner.
    Coupled with a Stephen Harper who seems desperate to change the channel from the issues, this could get interesting.

  18. The logical insinuation from this must be that Liberals aren't Canadians. Did I read that right?

  19. Actually we should get at a minimum one of these adoration blog posts per day, yesterday Wherry did a post on how the liberal supporters managed to finally master the use of thundersticks.

  20. No. But thanks for playing.

  21. -This isn't an argument, it's just contradiction!

    -No, it isn't!

    -Yes it is!

    -No, it isn't!

    -Yes it is!

  22. I'm enjoying all of the political coverage, including Wherry's posts. What I find really interesting is the narrative that's developing in John Ivison's columns for the National Post. Anyone that's watched Power & Politics knows he hasn't been very generous in heaping compliments on Ignatieff and the Liberals, so reading how impressed he's been with Ignatieff's campaign so far has got me thinking that this election is going to be a lot closer than most people were expecting.

  23. I wish there was some video of this, but nothing on YouTube yet.

  24. Has anyone else heard that the CPC has a clip where Iggy personally said there would be no coalition the last time around, just before he penned his name to the coalition?

    It's already difficult to believe the "no coalition" promise, given that Dion did the same thing the very last election, to go on to try to form one,

    but if Iggy himself was caught in that specific 180…yeesh…

  25. As for those predicting a close election?

    Iggy tells us the issue of this election is one of "TRUST".

    Alrighty then. The latest poll on that issue?

    Harper viewed as most trustworty, by…gulp…FORTY TWO percent.


    Well below Layton at….gulp…FIFTEEN percent.

    Best PM?

    Harper at FORTY NINE.

    Iggy at…..wait for it…..SEVENTEEN.

    I'm glad the Liberals are enjoying their "rave". It might be best to stay in their cocoon a little bit longer before being hit by reality like a ton of bricks.

  26. My only concern is that the Liberal party is preaching to the converted…

    It is not the party faithful they need concern themselves with, it is joe "why-do-I-need-to-vote-anyway-and-in-particular-you" that they need to sell themselves to. That is what will win them parliament.

    But it is a good sign nonetheless.


    Check out the video of Harper in Burnaby from this evening – screened list of people that had to show their ids, teleprompter with the same canned speech from this morning, Harper's handlers telling him when to kiss his wife… It's pretty sad to see how controlling and scripted Harper's campaign has been so far. He seems like such an angry and bitter person – all of the other leaders are like a breath of fresh air after watching Harper spit out his heavily tested buzzwords.

  28. And the fibs – he just claimed Canadian Labour Congress approves the budget – they have already had to correct the Cons on their position. Don't they realize these are being televised?

  29. I think John Ivison hit the head on the nail when he said that "Campaigns matter". You can point to a dozen different polls from the past couple of months that would indicate a Conservative majority, I can point to a dozen that show that the ground beneath the Conservatives is shaky and wobbling… I think the narratives that are starting to grow above and beyond the initial "Coalition" narrative are going to have a much greater impact than polls would indicate.

  30. No, but I'm sure they will edit something to sound like it.

  31. Press has nicknamed Harper's plane Scaremonger Air.

  32. Didn't catch that… Harper has had enough gaffes with the "Just a vote in parliament" comment about the contempt vote and his confrontational Q&A this morning I'm expecting to see some pretty pointed ads from the other parties in the very near future.

  33. The press has also told us the "not" was a scandal of epic proportions.

    The Liberals biggest problem by far has been relying on the leftis media echo chamber.

    The election night will be thrilling, no?

  34. No.

  35. I don't know if it was decided that it was a scandal of epic proportions, but I think it's safe to say that it did add another notch to the growing list of Harper's little scandals. Add them all up and it makes a pretty damning case.

    I am excited for the election, I hope others are too. It would be nice to see the number of people who vote in this election increase from the last one, regardless of what party they're voting for.

  36. I`m not sure how a rally can get more exciting than this one, what with all the candidates having the top buttons of their shirts unbuttoned and I think Justin undid the top two buttons, and Michael ( that`s the name his parents gave him ) wore a pink shirt and spread his legs real wide and " seemed very nearly to straddle the stage " .
    I`m not sure what the women candidates did to appear rah-rah—–I don`t think i want to know.

    OK, next time at the rally everybody takes their shirts off when they hit the stage—-that`ll be real cool—can`t wait to read the Wherry report on that.

  37. Revival meeting — that would be Harper's style, as he is a fervent member of the Alliance Evangelical Christian Church of Canada.

  38. Nice, Chet; the Ministry of Propaganda will give you a new badge for that one!

  39. Justin, sing us a song together with the chorus behind you:

    Harper evil, Harper bad. Come all, ya'll LIberals, Harper baabababababababbabbababbbaaaaaaaa!

    That a choir!

  40. How can Iggy not grow with CBC in his backpocket, and Justin the god of the CBC heavens.

  41. You're being pithy again. Elections are fun, try to get into the spirit of it. Winning isn't everything.

  42. Day 2 and Conservatives are already resorting to the "Evil CBC Conspiracy TM" talking points? What about the positive press Ignatieff is getting from the National Post? Are they part of the conspiracy against Harper as well?

  43. You're being a bit prudish. . Can't believe you're a BC'er.

  44. After reading through the blog post, and then reading through the comments, I'm of the opinion that there are a few frequenters of this board who have some difficulty in recognizing a little bit of parody from Wherry.

    The main impression I received from this post was that Wherry is starting to get a little tired of predictable rhetoric and cliche.

    But maybe that's just me.

  45. Oh, and here's a good tip:

    If you ever plan on phoning in to CBC cross country check-up, don't tell them you're a Tories supporter, because they tell you very politely that there's 45 minutes left and lots of time to have your voice heard on the air, but do they call back? Of course not.

    Tip: tell them you want to talk about the unfairness of putting Iggy in a Tory ad: I have my suspicion the people at CBC will call you back to hear your opinions on the air. In fact, they may hold you on the line to put in front of everybody else!

  46. I can't wait to hear how Harper's poor performance so far is going to be blamed on the Liberals. That's usually what comes after blaming it on the CBC, isn't it?

  47. Are you choking on some food, chet? You seem to be doing a lot of gulping.

  48. Requisite conspiracy theory. I've always had the impression that most talk radio was heavily conservative. Indeed, the CPC is the only party, to my knowledge, that provides scripts to supporters to read on air to properly register the outrage of the party on various points. I find this more than a little creepy, that individuals are turning themselves into thought-automatons of a political party and representing the words and views of a political party as their own without attribution,

    But, I don't listen to talk radio.

  49. Thanks for pointing that out ,because I see him on TV but I'm not in the habit of reading him. Always appears to be bit of a tougn nut.

  50. Certainly not an unreasonable opinion, and besides, it's a demonstration of the effects of their respective strategies to date. Ignatieff is clearly out to win hearts and minds and erase the negative impressions of him, while Harper is doing his level best to terrify people about the possibilities of the "coalition." Certainly can't be surprised if Harper's playing of the fear card backfires, or be surprised when Ignatieff's hearts and minds tour actually wins some hearts and minds.

  51. The Liberal's have been playing the "Stephen Harper scary hidden agenda" card for years. The coalition has just given Harper the opportunity to turn the tables on them.

  52. I was at the Greek independence parade yesterday in Justin Trudeau's riding. While I noticed Stephane Dion, Thomas Mulcair and a few other pols as part of the celebrations, I did not see JT.

    It would have been nice for JT to have shown up to such an important event in his riding. I'm not a big fan of his, but I do hope he keeps his seat. Considering that Pierre Pettigrew lost this same seat to the Bloc a few years ago, I don't think JT should take the riding for granted and blow off such events.

    Of course, maybe he was there and I just didn't see him. Anyone please correct me if I'm mistaken.

  53. That is rich… because Harper is spewing venom on basic concept of a Coalition, yet he proposed one in 2004…

  54. I know it's always dangerous defending the incredibly unpopular ones, but Maclean's is, I think we all know, a news magazine. Insofar as it's website has any credibility at all, it is because it is, first and foremost, a news magazine. If Wherry wanted to writes just a "blog", he could choose any one of a hundred blog sites to help him start one up. Of course, the purpose of Wherry's "blog" is to contribute to the content of this news magazines website.


  55. Oh come on everyone, that was a pretty good jab/joke. Just because it's against the Libs does not mean you have to all thumb him down. My dream is for a day when comments are not thumbed up or thumbed down based on party line, but based on the content and substance and wit with which they are written.

  56. Given that for a number of reasons over 800,000 identified Liberal voters stayed home last time then getting the base excited and motivated is VERY important.

  57. Love? Not yet but he is getting a lot of second and third looks who are surprised that he isn't the scary guy in all those Conservative commercials.

  58. You rightly understand chet's comment above to be propaganda. Please, I am curious how you understand Wherry's post above as well?

  59. I LOL'ed at the "chanting the name his mother gave him line" also, and not because it was particularly clever.

  60. And they have lots of revival meetings in the Alliance…???

  61. And then maybe, just maybe we could start to evaluate policies on their effectiveness rather than on which party proposes them (but that's probably asking way too much).

  62. Come on now, let's stay within the realm of reality…

  63. Show me some backup that Dion was asked and said no to a coalition. Show us all.

  64. I'm far more scared of a harper majority than I am of a coalition.


  66. That's the thing — myl is one of the bunch who you have to actually read, as you usually can't guess in advance what they're going to say. Which is refreshing as all get-out. Crit and Claudia are others, and even though Alfanerd is pretty strictly on one side of the fence, s/he makes decent points often enough that s/he will be readable once s/he has dealt adequately with his/her anger management issues.

    But there are certainly plenty commenters here (conservative and liberal and other) for whom the most reasonable course of action is to De-Fonz and Carry On.

  67. Then who are Liberal Canadians afraid of? Both? Neither?

    Get back to us on that.

  68. "You win some, you lose some."

    – Some guy I forget

  69. Everyone misses a joke once in a while, but you can tell a lot about a person by the jokes they miss every single time.

    But then, conservatives are notoriously bad at comedy overall (with a few exceptions). I think it's a faulty subtlety gene or something.

  70. Papineau's gentrifying, and in core-Montreal gentrification probably means BQ/PQ support. I'm not a fan of JT either — every rooO-O-Osssse! — but he does seem to be taking it pretty seriously and it would be a shame for him to have missed that during a time when he will need all the local support he can muster.

  71. Ignatieff is not sure where we stands. He once said he American – the true white, red and blue; now he thinks he understands Canadians. Where is our money from the scandle the liberals use to buy Quebec. I think the Liberals need to look in their back yeard regarding ethics.