Sweet revenge for Denis Coderre - Macleans.ca
 

Sweet revenge for Denis Coderre

Denis Coderre’s resignation begs the question: can Michael Ignatieff run a tight ship?


 

Sweet revenge for Denis CoderreThey say revenge is a dish best eaten cold, and Denis Coderre has always been fond of generous portions. There was a weekend between Sept. 25, when Michael Ignatieff stopped taking Coderre’s advice on Liberal candidate nominations in two key Montreal ridings, and Sept. 28, when Coderre convened a news conference to resign as Ignatieff’s Quebec lieutenant. During that time, sources say, the Liberal leader telephoned his pugnacious deputy repeatedly. Coderre wouldn’t take the calls. He preferred to plan his revenge at leisure.

So on Monday, Coderre, a scrappy Liberal lifer whose Rolodex is as formidable as his self-regard, told a national television audience he could no longer run his leader’s Quebec operation or serve as his parliamentary defence critic because he had consistently been “short-circuited” by “the leader’s inner circle in Toronto.” Hours later, five other Liberal officials in Quebec with ties to Coderre quit their own positions. Le Devoir’s headline the next day said the party had been “decapitated” in Quebec.

The good news, then, is that there is actually somebody in today’s Liberal party who can plan his way out of a paper bag. The bad news: his target is his own leader. “It’s another great day in the life of the leader of the opposition,” Ignatieff told reporters, wearily.

The timing of Coderre’s blow only added to the greatness. Last week should have been filled with celebrations for the Liberals: they finally tabled a motion of no-confidence against the Harper government. Harper has been in power for three years and eight months and, outside last December’s bizarre attempt to form a coalition to replace him, the Liberals had never moved in Parliament to take the PM down before. It was mostly a hollow gesture, given that the NDP was promising to vote with the Conservatives and avoid an election.

At this point Ignatieff might be more grateful for the reprieve from a date with the electorate than Harper is. Since the Liberal leader announced in September he would no longer support the government, the Conservatives have pulled away from a statistical deadlock to open a consistent lead of six or seven points. The Conservatives also hold a steady lead in Ontario, where one-third of the seats in Parliament are won and lost, while the Bloc Québécois remains strong enough in Quebec to deny the Liberals any hope of substantial gains.

That grim Quebec situation was what sparked the confrontation between Coderre and Ignatieff. The Liberals hold 14 seats in the province; if they’re to present a credible fresh face it has to be in those ridings or in fewer than a dozen others across the rest of Quebec where they have any hope of making gains. In Outremont, a cozy Montreal enclave where the Liberals have lately fallen out of a winning habit, former justice minister Martin Cauchon sought to return to politics five years after he retired. Coderre believed a fresher face was needed, so he dug up a little-known businesswoman, Nathalie Le Prohon, to run in Cauchon’s place.

But there isn’t a Liberal in Canada who doesn’t know that Cauchon, 47, and Coderre, 46, are rivals with leadership ambitions who can’t both have the top job. (Whether either of them should bother getting their hopes up is a question for another day.) Cauchon, an urbane lawyer, turned out to have friends willing to stick up for him, including Bob Rae and the man whose campaigns used to be run by Rae’s brother, John—Jean Chrétien. Chrétien called Coderre and chewed him out. Coderre hung up on his old boss. Big mistake.

Coderre, it turns out, is right to complain that Liberals in Toronto take an interest in the party’s operations. One is Alfred Apps, the party’s president. With the approval of the party’s national executive, he told Ignatieff a coherent system of local candidate selections had to take precedence over the whims and grudges of a regional strongman. Cauchon was invited to run for the nomination in Outremont, which was all he’d wanted all along. (Le Prohon was invited to run in another riding that Coderre had briefly offered Cauchon as a consolation prize.) Unfortunately for Ignatieff, he reached the solution he should have defended from the outset only after defending Coderre’s strong-arm tactics for three days.

The Liberals have been left rattled by the whole experience. A party struggling to lay a glove on the Conservative Prime Minister spent last week punching itself senseless instead.

Ignatieff’s ability to run a tight ship remains open to question. In June, he postponed a confrontation with Harper because he wasn’t ready. Now it is October and he is not any readier. March anyone?


 

Sweet revenge for Denis Coderre

  1. I think the last few weeks have been disastrous for Libs. Since Sudbury meeting, surely the Libs wanted the focus to be on Cons and all the things they are doing wrong in lead up to yesterday's motion. Instead, we have seen that Libs are still a gang that can't shot straight and Iggy has revealed his stellar leadership skills in run up to possible election call.

    "Ignatieff's ability to run a tight ship remains open to question."

    I don't think it does. Has Iggy ever run anything before? If he had ability surely he would have used it over the past week or two. I think the question answers itself when you write "In June, he postponed a confrontation with Harper because he wasn't ready. Now it is October and he is not any readier."

    There were a few columns yesterday about some rumblings within Lib ranks that not every one is happy with Iggy and his brain trust. I would be interested to learn if this is normal/regular amount of caterwauling that goes on behind the scenes or it more than that.

  2. I think the last few weeks have been disastrous for Libs. Since Sudbury meeting, surely the Libs wanted the focus to be on Cons and all the things they are doing wrong in lead up to yesterday's motion. Instead, we have seen that Libs are still a gang that can't shot straight and Iggy has revealed his stellar leadership skills in run up to possible election call.

    "Ignatieff's ability to run a tight ship remains open to question."

    I don't think it does. Has Iggy ever run anything before? If he had ability surely he would have used it over the past week or two. I think the question answers itself when you write "In June, he postponed a confrontation with Harper because he wasn't ready. Now it is October and he is not any readier."

    There were a few columns yesterday about some rumblings within Lib ranks that not every one is happy with Iggy and his brain trust. I would be interested to learn if this is normal/regular amount of caterwauling that goes on behind the scenes or is it more than that.

    • "Has Iggy ever run anything before?"

      You may be on to something there. From what I know of his resume, I don't think he's had much, if any, managerial experience. And no amount of oratory skill or intellect can substitute the ability to effectively manage. And that includes not just directing and handling people, but learning how to digest and use the input of advisors.

      It can certainly be learned 'on the job', but likely not in a matter of months. Harper didn't really have much executive-type experience under his belt when he assumed leadership, but he seemed to acquire a style that works (without debating the long-run implications of his authoritarian leanings).

      • "It can certainly be learned 'on the job'"

        Arguable. Getting people to do what you want is extremely difficult and is a skill set just like anything else. I am far from convinced that a 60+ year old is going to learn how to do it effectively. I am no expert on Harper's bio but I think he ran NCC while he was there. And as you mention, Harper might have innate ability to lead because Cons certainly coalesced around him when he returned to fold.

        • Harper ran the NCC, and played an important backroom role in the early days of the Reform Party. Burning the bridges on Meech was his idea, for instance. So he has some leadership experience. I think he also benefits from the lower caliber of his caucus. There are only a few people with the pedigree (eg. education, experience, intellect, eloquence, connections and personality) to successfully challenge Harper. Those that might – Baird, Flaherty, Clement, Day and Prentice have either been accommodated or co-opted. I don't think Peter Mackay was ever a threat. He is an intellectual lightweight, who only briefly ran a party so moribund that David Orchard could play a significant role in its leadership convention.

          The Liberals, by contrast have a reasonably talented (though overrated) caucus. However, most of them are there because they think they have a shot at the leadership, or were recruited by Paul Martin to be cabinet ministers. So there are a lot of big egos. That, coupled with Ignatieff's background may make Iggy a lot more of a spokesman than a leader. That Ignatieff says little may be less a reflection of his own mind, and more a reflection of the deep disagreements within his party. Hence the attempt to conduct a "we can do better" campaign arguing not that Harper's vision is wrong (or Ignatieff's correct), but that the Liberals are more competent.

    • Well, he's running the party into the ground.That's a start

      • It is very scary the thought to have this man running this country, and Harper's arguement is becoming more convincing , that it is time for a majority, imagine what would he do with the economy and foreign affairs, will completely bring us down as a nation, he just doesn't have killer instincs like Chretien or Harper for that matter, I am dissapointed though, I really expected more from him!!

  3. At this rate, our next federal election will take place in October 2013.

    • Presumably Harper would not have the gall to ignore his election law requiring elections at least every four years. Since he’s demonstrated that it does nothing to limit early elections, the law serves only to reduce the mandate of parliaments from five years to four.

    • Just for fun, the whole country should play a prank on Harper by making it look like he will finally win a majority. Then at the last second lets make him one seat short of his goal. I think children should be involved in the plan. Why? I think Harper is pretty likely to say "Curses! Foiled again by those pesky kids."

      • I hear he chases kids off the front lawn of 24 Sussex with a rolled up newspaper.

        • No, actually, but he does babysit lots of neighborhood kids.

          • He's not bad at it, either. Though I wish he'd be a little stricter about Baird having a daily nap. He'd be less cranky for QP.

      • Harper and his Cons will lose the election to Ignatieff and the Liberals!

  4. March maybe…but he needs longer….and he shoudl follow Heberts advice and get off the track to an election to buy himself some options and that most precious of commodities, time.

    He should be looking at Throne Speech 2010, he, his party and the the electorate are all not prepared for an Ignatieff election. There was a time when many wished it….I know I welcomed the alleged rising to a higher level, it just makes everyone better. All dashed.

    Why do they keep trying to shortcut this?, the issues for the Liberal party havent changed since Martin lost, or was about to lose. And yet they keep avoiding renewal.

    It isnt unrecoverable, politics is filled with stories of redemption…but this one is beginning to look like a story of failed promise, thwarted ambition and experience never gained. Well, at least his memoir will be a good read.

    • I think more than anything this is a reminder that Canadians don’t elect governments, they throw them out. The public doesn’t seem quite ready to turf the government. They need to continue hammering on the government’s credibility. They have not been giving this too much focus so far, given that they had their eyes on a Fall election. Let the NDP prop up the government and continue to hammer away.

      • While i think you're exactly right about govts losing rather than opposition parties winning. But what strategy to us? If you keep on hammering away and vote against evrything you wind up wearing the 'you're not making parliament work label' – not good. If you prop up the govt you're a eunuch, patsy or whatever – not good. Much of this is of course down to Harper's misuse of confidence motions. Perhaps there's a middle way as the at issue panel mentioned last night. Ignatieff needs to define himself as something, anything and stop worrying about he'll look if he does this or does that. Find the sweetspot between making parliament work without looking impotent and opposing vigorously and offering an alternative. Easier said than done against this crowd, who notwithstanding their shrill rhetoric have little or no interest in cooperating with anyone – that is, unless its all on their terms.

        • This has nothing to do with Harper. It has to do with an arrogant Liberal party and its neophyte, narcissistic leader.

          Iffy is the author of his own problems.

          He holds a disaster of a news conference in June where he basically ran and hid when the PM told him to get stuffed.
          He showed little inclination to work the BBQ circuit during the summer and was virtually AWOL. In fact rumours surfaced that he was vacationing in France. All of which feeds into the Just Visiting theme.

        • hollinm continued……

          Then he arrogantly stands up in Sudbury and says Mr. Harper, you time is up. Is it? He forgot the small part that he needs the other two opposition parties to support him to make the government's time expire.
          The he says the Liberal party will not support any legislation put forward by the government. Hello, how does that fit into the theme he had been saying when he did speak in the summer of trying to make parliament work. Canadians look at this and say what the hell.
          .

        • hollinm continued…..

          Then Iffy puts forward a non confidence vote which would put the country into an election when Canadians are overwhelmingly saying they do not want an election.
          Iffy tries to convince Canadians in Parliament yesterday why the Libs lack confidence. A laundry list is simply a laundry list. Many of the issues raised do not fit into what Canadians see as the realities of the day. More importantly Iffy offers no solution. Anybody can criticize. Its another thing to offer positive solutions.

          In the meantime the government continues to make announcements each day and you can criticize them for being too partisan but that's politics in Canada. Harper learned from the master Jean Chretien.
          So now we will see if Iggy is prepared to follow Hebert's suggestions or continue on his path to self destruction

        • hollinm continued…..

          Then Iffy puts forward a non confidence vote which would put the country into an election when Canadians are overwhelmingly saying they do not want an election.

          Iffy tries to convince Canadians in Parliament yesterday why the Libs lack confidence. A laundry list is simply a laundry list. Many of the issues raised do not fit into what Canadians see as the realities of the day. More importantly Iffy offers no solution. Anybody can criticize. Its another thing to offer positive solutions.

          In the meantime the government continues to make announcements each day and you can criticize them for being too partisan but that's politics in Canada. Harper learned from the master Jean Chretien.
          So now we will see if Iggy is prepared to follow Hebert's suggestions or continue on his path to self destruction

        • hollinm continued……

          Then he arrogantly stands up in Sudbury and says Mr. Harper, your time is up. Is it? He forgot the small part that he needs the other two opposition parties to support him to make the government's time expire.
          The he says the Liberal party will not support any legislation put forward by the government. Hello, how does that fit into the theme he had been saying when he did speak in the summer of trying to make parliament work. Canadians look at this and say what the hell.
          .

        • hollinm continued…..

          Then Iffy puts forward a non confidence vote which would put the country into an election when Canadians are overwhelmingly saying they do not want an election.

          Iffy tries to convince Canadians in Parliament yesterday why the Libs lack confidence. A laundry list is simply a laundry list. Many of the issues raised do not fit into what Canadians see as the realities of the day. More importantly Iffy offers no solution. Anybody can criticize. Its another thing to offer positive solutions.

          In the meantime the government continues to make announcements each day and you can criticize them for being too partisan but that's politics in Canada. Harper learned from the master Jean Chretien.

          So now we will see if Iggy is prepared to follow Hebert's suggestions or continue on his path to self destruction

    • Time is something Iggy doesn't have, given that the opposition to his leadership is rising within the Liberal party and amongst Canadians. I don't believe Iggy can hold on to his leadership of the Liberal party until the next Budget some 6 months hence.

      Iggy has already had two opportunities to bring down the gov't… once last June and now in October. He failed on both counts and has had his two kicks at the can and cannot gain the confidence of the NDP. Surely, Ignatieff can see he is losing the confidence of Liberal party grassroots members as well as most Canadians… and if he is truly 'intellectual', he should see it's time to make a decision in the best interests of the Liberal party, Canada and himself.

      • I think you’re living it fantasyland. There is no way Iggy will be dumped without even one election. And he did not fail this fall by any means. He deftly got himself out of having to prop up the government, which would have been more damaging. The NDP are the big losers in this situation. I suspect the Tory lead here is not durable. I do half-expect the Tories to call an election shortly after the Olympics.

        • Really? Iffy has backed himself in a corner. He has to keep 77 MP's whipped on every single vote (supply bill) before reading the Bill.

          How many of those 77 Liberals will continue to show up, follow this party into forcing an election by voting against the government?

          Denis has been absent, who else will find it difficult to show up on those votes?

        • Really? Iffy has backed himself in a corner. He has to keep 77 MP's whipped on every single vote (supply bill) before reading the Bill.

          How many of those 77 Liberals will continue to show up, follow this party into forcing an election by voting against the government?

          Denis has been absent, who else will find it difficult to show up on those votes?

          • Not too many, a lot of them weren't convinced in the first place, they just wanted to save the party and now they must be so angry to be drag in to this again and it wasn't even a choice, I think Iggy is toast!!!

  5. I think "unusual" would have been a better adjective than "bizarre".

    is coderre planning to return to politics in the party or will he be burning his bridges? Because if its the latter you can't really control someone who wants to drag everyone down, and Iggy can't be faulted.

    • "and Iggy can't be faulted"

      Iggy certainly can be faulted when it was his actions that led to Coderre setting off his stink bomb.

      • Absolutely true. Iggy had agreed that LeProhan would be the candidate in Outremont while he knew Cauchon was actively considering coming back and wanted that riding. He did not anticipate.

        He certainly didn't consider the reaction he was going to get from Coderre. If he knew him he would have known the reaction and he got it in spades.

  6. Slap Chop! Another Conservative minority!

  7. You're quoting Star Trek now, eh?

  8. Revenge is a dish best *served* cold. No one actually wants to eat the dish revenge as that would imply they are being revenged upon, not the ones doing the avenging.

  9. I think the Liberals better get used to the Opposition side of the house, at least until Justin Trudeau grows up and leads them to the "promised land"

  10. Ouch!
    Cons 37: Libs 27

    ''The vote came on a day when a new poll showed little change in voters' preferences. The Angus Reid/Toronto Star poll showed the Conservatives at 37 per cent, Liberals at 27 per cent and the NDP at 17.

    The poll of 1,000 Canadians was done Tuesday and Wednesday and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.''

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/704254

    • Sadly the details of the poll arent out yet, just the headline numbers. Mind you the move is within the MOE, so nothing dramatic, but it is bumping along the MOE of the last poll, any lower and you could say there had been a move.

      Would love to see the regionals, if they have 'em.

    • Off-topic as usual.

    • Shhhhh….you'll make the Libbies cry!

    • Interesting quote: "little change in voters' preferences"… when in fact we have not seen a number so low for the Liberals in months.

      And, no doubt about it, this poll was buried by the Star, as the last couple of lines in a long article. Gotta love the Star, they did not want to be seen not publishing their own poll, so they buried it instead.

      • I noticed the same thing and had the same reaction. Little change. Hey there is a 10 point difference and that means a Liberal defeat in an election. Good old Liberal rag, the Toronto Star.

    • If Iggy drops below 26%, that has to bring at least a little to Dion. "Dee people, dey love me… spee-king rela… tiva-ley."

  11. “In Outremont, a cozy Montreal enclave where the Liberals have lately fallen out of a winning habit, former justice minister Martin Cauchon sought to return to politics five years after he retired. Coderre believed a fresher face was needed, so he dug up a little-known businesswoman, Nathalie Le Prohon, to run in Cauchon’s place.”

    Ok so… I’m confused. Several reports seem to suggest that, in fact, Le Prohon had already been unofficially selected for this seat when news of Cauchon’s claim on that seat made it to Coderre’s office.

    Not that it matters much in the grand scheme of things at this point, frankly. That being said, that little detail would discredit the much publicized notion that Coderre tried to block Cauchon from making a comeback, wouldn’t it not?

    In any case, he’s still an a$$hole..

  12. There once was a man named Coderre,
    Who got in Ignatieff's hair,
    Ig overruled,
    Coderre felt schooled,
    And resigned from l'affaire entière.

  13. MEMO

    TO: Trolls

    From: Stephen Harper

    RE: Majority Government!

    ———-

    Well here we are again. 37% in the polls! About as high as we can get. It was tough to do while running a $50 billion+ deficit and having nothing to show for it, but hell we did it. Good work guys and gals.

    Reaching 37% is only half the battle though. The other crucial thing is keeping Liberal support down and Liberal voters at home . I've done my part by throwing a little EI bone to the NDP so that they don't look too bad for rolling over. Now here's where you guys come in. As we discussed earlier, political popularity is all about leadership these days. It is absolutely essential that we keep hammering away at our "Just Visiting" and "Not a Leader" themes when it comes to Michael Ignatieff. I know it must get tiresome repeating the same old talking points in blog after blog, but I have faith in you guys. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat! If we keep this up I am convinced we can get the Liberals to undermine yet another one of their leaders.

    / cont…

  14. -2-

    To that end, I have some good news to report. It appears that our friends in the MSM (and not just Canwest this time!) are on the same script. Yipee!!! Who knows how long it will last though? Run with it guys. This is exactly the kind of politics we…I mean, Canada needs.

    Time to teach our enemies a lesson!

    • You are so desperate! Harper needs to do nothing. Iggy is hurting himself because he is narcissistic and out of touch with the mainstream of Canadian society. Read my earlier postings and it will make it a lot clearer for you.

      • *Inserts a quarter in the Conbot coinslot*

    • I feel, for you Anon Lib. We have witnessed a rare alignment of Canadian punditry – almost every pundit from the right and the left seems to think that your leader's a dud. Clearly they are all mistaken, because Iggy is a Phoenix will rise from the ashes of his earlier self-immolation to astonish us all with his…

    • I feel for you, Anon Lib. We have witnessed a rare alignment of Canadian punditry – almost every pundit from the right and the left seems to think that your leader's a dud. Clearly they are all mistaken, because Iggy is a Phoenix who will rise from the ashes of his earlier self-immolation to astonish us all with his…

    • I feel for you, Anon Lib. We have witnessed a rare alignment of Canadian punditry – almost every pundit from the right and the left seems to think that your leader's a dud. Clearly they are all mistaken, because Iggy is a Phoenix will rise from the ashes of his earlier self-immolation to astonish us all with his…

    • …STILL waiting on any kind of 'Liberal' financial plan OR proposal OR platform that states how Libs would address what's going on right now….tick tock…..tick tock…and in the meantime, getting very tired and rolling eyes a lot at Media Iggy crying Wolf and stomping his feet while grandstanding at every little thing he wants to bring the government down for almost daily….and still waiting for the Libs to work constructively for Canadians as an official opposition and earn their ruddy keep as Canadians have elected them to do, as we do HERE IN CANADA; rather than storming off daily in the press with their marbles. Oh, and consider myself a political neutral who votes on issues rather than for parties.

  15. Who is deciding who should speak for the Liberal Party and why were they placing Marlene Jennings and Hedy Fry as their spokesman in the House yesterday trying to convince whoever that the CPC have no confidence —–don/t they realize that Jennings are probably their 2 most annoying MP/s.

    And then I am watching the National last night and even poor Mansbridge was cringing when he showed Hedy Fry in what might be described as a vomit dress complaining about the uniform our atheletes will wear at the Olympics. Something has them on self-destruct mode.

      • I would pay money to watch Elsie Wayne duke it out with Hedy Fry. Does this make me a bad person?

        • not a bad person. Elsie would be the clear winner.Fry is too busy putting out fires, well okay, crosses burning in Prince George BC.

  16. Please, 'Begging the Question" is a logical fallacy. What you're looking for is "Raises the Question".

    • Begging the question, "Why"?

      "Begging the question", is simply a poetic expression for "raises the question" with more earnest.

      • Wrong. 'Begging the question' is a circular argument that assumes the truth of the very question being posed. I'm always surprised when a good writer, such as Paul Wells, gets that wrong. It's like saying 'irregardless'.

        • Well I can't even find where Wells uses it, but unlike irregardless, "begging the question" could be valid enough. As in, the strong suggestion of a corollary to the original premise.

        • Maybe he just forgot to type "for" between "begs" and "the question".

  17. Iffy, er, Iggy, has had one small blib in polling since he over-took the liberal leadership. He had no honeymoon period, he should have been polling at 40% at least for a couple of weeks. Canadian recognize a snob when they see one. A snob who can write books, teach and enjoy luxurious holidays on a regular basis. Unfortunately, he's also a snob that knows nothing about the economy or how to run a party, let alone a country. Dion was better, at least he was a long time liberal and had experience serving this country. Iggy has only paid taxes in Canada for 1.5 years of his entire life and has done nothing but look down his nose at us, only mentioning Canada in the most belittling way…"a failed nation". Nope, the liberals goofed with this one and are now realizing their mistake. Next…

  18. Just to briefly interrupt the jaw-jaw and spin I'd like to point out that if the world had
    a rule that we could only have one Apps, I think it should be Gillian. Thank you.

    Return to the regularly scheduled programming …..

  19. The FTW, goes to Mr. Dion IMHO.

  20. Supposing Harper were to win a majority next election. What does everyone think Iggy would do for the next 4 years ie: stay on as leader of the Libs, move on to other things etc. If everyone thinks he would pack up and bugger off that should tell us what he is here for and whether he is worth voting for.

    • You can tell a lot about a man's character by the things he might do, in a hypothetical future, I find.

      • Fair point, but let's look at this from an oddsmaker's point of view. If you were in the gambling trade, what are the odds that Ignatieff will be Canada's 23rd prime minister, versus the odds that he will return to his old Harvard post? Before he resigned from the Carr Center and Harvard, Michael Ignatieff made arrangements to ensure that a position would be waiting for him, should he choose to abort his political sabbatical in Canada.

        • Well, he didn't abandon ship after losing to Dion. That seems to be overlooked a lot.

          I expect any time a potential leader is courted from outside the ranks of politicians, those individuals do a little bit of 'safety netting' in whatever field they happen to work in. If Iggy manages to drive the Liberals over a cliff, he may well be shoved out of leadership, and may well leave politics. As many others would possibly do in similar circumstances.

          But if the results are even mildly better than that, it's hard to say what will happen. And so making assumptions that he'd for sure leave, back to AMERICA, smacks more of Conservative talking/battering point (not in your case CR, but more generally) than a relevant line of discussion.

          • These are all good points. I agree that speculation about Iggy's possible post-political future is essentially an unfair cheap shot, and we certainly can't fault the guy for planning for various contingencies (any rational person in his position would have probably done the same).

      • Unfortunately when it comes to politicians that is what we do all of the time. We vote many people into office on the basis of what they might do. Canadians need to be smarter and asking why someone wants to be in office is a good start. Just as we are told to "follow the money" we need to question political motivation ie: quest for power, access to the political system, creating a legacy, someone said they would be a good politician or because they love and believe in Canada and truly want to work to make it better for all Canadians. We don't need to look at the hypothetical future to do that we only need to examine their past.

    • It doesn't really matter what he will do if faced with 4 years in opposition.

      It matters a little bit more why he wants to be PM (ie would it really be untenable if Ignatieff's entire reason for trying to become PM was so that he could impress his Harvard friends?).

      What matters most is what (voters believe) he will do if given the chance to be PM. If you like what he stands for (granted that list of beliefs is not at all clear right now) why would you hold back your vote, even if you knew that he was going back to Harvard or wherever after his term was done? You'd get what you voted for and no one is harmed in the process.

      • It's not the impressing pf his Harvard friends that concerns me; rather, it's doing the bidding of his Harvard friends that I save my Canadian concern for.

        • IMHO, that would be a much more legitimate reason to hedge your bets about Ignatieff, although I'm curious to know what you suspect that the Harvard crowd might want him to do on their behalf.

          That concern still comes down to the issue of what do voters believe he will do if given the chance. If you suspect that he will be doing the bidding of his Harvard colleagues and you support what these Harvard colleagues are pushing you should be inclined to support Ignatieff. Of course if you don't like the Harvard ideas then you should oppose Ignatieff.

          Personally, I try to assess both process and outcomes; often process matter, but outcomes always matter. If Ignatieff proposes doing what I believe to be the 'right things', but for the wrong reasons, he would still get my support.

    • I don't see Iggy staying in opposition during the next 4 years. The simple fact is that he is now 62 years old and by the time next election comes-up will likely be 63. Add to this 4 years and he will be an old man of 67 leading the Libs in an election in 2014. I don't think Canadians will vote for him at that age. And, of course, he will lose the opportunity to return to Harward.

    • I've thought that Ignatieff will win the election after the next. He is an interesting guy, smart. Maybe has some good ideas. But he has to show that he wants to stick around.

      If there is the slightest question, the only answer is to see what happens.

      I think he would stick around. I don't think the Libs would let him though.

      Derek

  21. Ignatieff should show some balls and kicks Coderre's ass all the way to Katmandu. Politics is like the mafia and that kind of selfish undermining of the Don should end with a political life buried in a cornfield.

  22. Has anyone ever seen Iffy look someone in the eye when his lips are moving? He has a bad habit of looking down his nose and turning his head from side to side not talking to anyone in particular.
    He is not a people person, he is so used to talking to large classes that he can't focus on one person.
    Iffy…..go back to Harvard and give us a break! Your visit is getting monotonous.

    • "go back to Harvard and give us a break!" — I think he is working on this. I believe that was his intention in withdrawing confidence in the government. I believe he wants out — who could blame him. I think he must have had a much more satisfying life as a philosopher /intellectual / writer. I just think he is in the wrong job right now.

    • So True Ron. When he isn't looking like a muppet he looks like he would like to find a rock to crawl under. Say what you will about Harper, put pictures of him and Iggy side by side and ask yourself which one do I want talking to political leaders of other countries?

  23. The Liberals are so bad in the public eye. Iggy looks like Uggy and Denny is the only one who sees that Toronto is the center of the world and all Iggy wants out of Quebec is votes then back to Gerard Kennedy and those other wimpy twits who brown nose for points and do not care about their French Canadian brothers ans sisters

  24. Iggy really messed this up. If there had to be a change of candidate in Outremont, it is Denis Coderre who should have announced it. Iggy should have sat with him and persuaded him that for the benefit of the Party, that change had to be made, instead he just jumped in and announced it himself without prior consultation with Coderre. Iggy is clearly a political neophyte.

  25. The federal liberals are determined to become a Toronto based party, land locked and, backed by the Toronto Star,

  26. Harper and his Cons spend $34,000,000 on the "plan" Ads and millions on the Ignatieff Attack Ads and they still are not in majority territory! Lets face it…if Harper thought he could win a majority and/or get rid of Ignatieff, he would have had an election! Actually, the liberals are in good shape especially, after all the pundits have written them off!

  27. Interesting how all of this Ignatieff's "fault." Responsibility, yes, fault, no. It was Iggy's responsibility to oversee a smooth Quebec machine, and part of that should have been to see Coderre's self-serving empire building and general sleaziness from miles away. Coderre seems to be getting off lightly in the media for his "it's my bat and ball and I'm going home" tantrum. He is no team player– anyone see Susan Delacourt's unearthing of an old 1984 "Coderre as leader of the Quebec Liberal Youth Wing has asked John Turner to resign" memos? The problem overall it seems to me, is that a person interested in old-school fiefdom politics was allowed to accumulate so much power and personal loyalty in Quebec at the expense of the party as a whole in the first place– and this has been going on for so long I'm surprised Chretien wasn't smart enough to nip it in the bud back when he was PM. So I'd say it's short term pain for long term gain for the Liberals. And Coderre is dreaming if he thinks he'll ever be leader of the party.

    • Come on. The Liberal Party was in doldrums in Quebec. Apart from the Montreal area and the West Island they have elected no one. Coderre cris-crossed the province (travelling some 50,000 miles), organized liberal ridings, helped select 68 candidates, raised millions of dollars in fund-raising, and truly renewed the Party in Quebec. He was also right from the beginning a supporter of Ignatieff, whereas Cauchon supported Rae. The present mess is definitely Iggy's fault. He first agreed with the selection of Nathalie Le Prohon as candidate in Outremont and then, after Coderre announced it, reneged on the agreement and declared Cauchon the candidate without even consulting with Coderre. Anyone in Coderre's position who has a modicum of self esteem would have done as Coderre did. It is very fortunate for Iggy that Coderre didn't jump to the Bloc, because he could have made Bloc win over 50 seats in Quebec. I actually don't see how Coderre can remain in the Liberal Party now and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

  28. Love the fat jokes. Classy.