That Krieber manifesto, short version -

That Krieber manifesto, short version

Colby Cosh on Janine Krieber’s open letter to the Liberals


1. I believe the Liberal Party of Canada is destined to become a miserable component of ephemeral coalitions, like the liberal parties in Europe, because it refused to submerge its identity in an ephemeral coalition, the way the liberal parties in Europe did.

2. Our party was inherently doomed from the moment Mr. Martin ousted Mr. Chrétien. So my husband’s subsequent leadership really never had a chance. Nonetheless, given a chance, my husband certainly could have saved the party; it would be quite wrong to suggest that it was doomed.

3. Nothing good at all can come of using polls to attack a party leader, but did I happen to mention how badly Mr. Ignatieff is doing in the polls?

4. I dream of a party where the order of the day is happiness, and not assassination. Now excuse me for a few moments while I disassemble, clean, and conceal this fragrantly smoking .50-calibre rifle I’ve just noticed lying at my feet.


That Krieber manifesto, short version

  1. Shorterer version:


    • Yes…throw toast at them both just like in Rock Horror!

  2. Wow. Well done.

    This woman teaches university?

    • Of course she does. Where else would you expect some unhinged lefty to work. Academia is lousy with these types of supposedly smart people who talk nonsense most of the time.

      • I agree, academia is crawling with unhinged people that are untouchable.

      • It would be more accurte to say that society in general is lousy with mediocrities. It's the the way of the world…no doubt it's more evident in Academia than elsewhere…although it's the one place we'd hope not to see it…which rather proves my original point really.

        What did Wilde say? [We can forgive almost everything, except genius]. If he didn't, he should have.

        • "The public will forgive everything but genius"

          I agree society is full of mediocrities, about 70% of population is average or below. But there also seems to be a fine line between burger flipper and professor.

          • Can 70% of a population be "average or below"? Wouldn't, like, 19% of that 70% be above the average?

            I guess it depends upon whether one is defining "average" as median, or mean.

          • "Average" always refers to mean, never median.

          • Actually that's not true. Mean, median and mode are all types of averages.

          • The "average" is a measure of the "middle" or "expected" value of the data set. In certain limited contexts (e.g. the set {1,2,5,5,5,13} or neighborhood house prices) one would be justified in referring to the mode and median, respectively, as the "average".

            However, in the context of the entire Canadian population (which is what jolyon was talking about) the "average" almost always refers to the "arithmetic mean".

            I should have been more precise in my earlier comment.

          • If you take him to mean the arithmetic mean of competence, then the chances of said average lying exactly on the median are slim to none. Therefore it is possible for 70% to be below average.

          • Therefore it is possible for 70% to be below average.

            It would be quite inaccurate to say that. Much too ambiguous.

            Here's the correct way to express your thought: "70% of the population is below the median."

          • You're right. It is possible that 70% would be below average, but it seems unlikely. For very large populations the median tends to be close to the mean.

          • That's only true for large populations in a symmetrical distribution. Competence may not be such a distribution. Actually I'd assume it isn't, since highly competent people are disproportionately drawn away to the US while nothing similar with the least competent people, leaving a distribution weighted toward incompetence.

          • Technically, exactly 50% of the Canadian population is "average or below".

          • That's not necessarily true. Take some objective measurement standard (say "height") and it is possible that some small number are very tall, while everyone else is comparatively short. Because the average height falls between these two groups, the larger group will all be below average.

            It is entirely possible that more than 50% of the population are below (or above) average in terms of competence.

          • That's right. I was making an assumption that the Canadian population had a bell curve distribution in which the mean was close the the median, but this assumption is not necessarily correct. Our actual distribution could be skewed, as you suggest. My bad.

          • I know. I can't imagine any self-respecting Wendy's hiring Tom Flanagan.

    • Sociology. They're not known for their command of logic.

    • poorly I might add

  3. You ignored the part about the evil administration now at the helm. How convenient.

    • The other day I was ordering breakfast and the server talked about what crappy weather there was without once mentioning the "Ask Me About the Evil Harperite Dictatorship Destroying This Country!" button I was wearing. Conspiracies abound!

      • Who would want your opinion with that stupid button?

  4. Nothing like the opportunity to revisit the crucifixion of Dion to get everyone to switch the channel from the fact that our govt officials might be guilty of war crimes in Afghanistan.

    I predict that by Monday, Taber will have a whole heap of anonymous-super-senior-super-insider-know-it-all liberal sources joining the fray to anonymously attack both Dion and Iggy.

    Canada's official opposition is simply useless. To think that Harper could get away with making our country complicit in torture in times of war because the Libs are too busy stabbing at each other is infuriating. The press is no better. Who cares what Krieber has to say about Iggy? Focus on finding the truth on what happened in Afghanistan!

    • I doubt that Mme Krieber intended this to go public (the fact that no-one has yet linked to her Facebook page leads me to believe it is closed to most). She was probably venting to her close friends/followers.

      Naivety about the internet is probably her biggest mistake. Of course I'd be intersted in following the twitter account Voice in Mme Krieber's Head just to confirm….

      • It doesn't matter if she intended to do it or not. It is done.

        The Libs should have all of their resources focussed on unearthing evidence of what Harper may have done. Where the hell is Ignatieff? Why has he been silent on this? The last I heard of him was in response to the disgusting "libs are anti-semites" leaflets.

        We are talking about Canada's good name being mired in war crime charges and Ignatieff has nothing to say? Not a word?

        • No more significant than you or I writing negative comments – linking her's with Liberal infighting/lack of focus. In that respect, I agree with your original comment " Who cares what Krieber has to say about Iggy?"

    • PJ, Aaron's running himself ragged covering that story.

      The Krieber letter is important I think for this reason, it may signal that Dion may bolt from the Liberal Party. Until Dion denies he's going anywhere, speculation will grow. This facebook entry was not a mistake, it was quite deliberate.

      • jarrid, nonsense. you are just hoping that the spotlight will get removed from Harper's abject and potentially criminal behaviour. As much as I admire Dion and hope that he does indeed leave the Liberals considering how they treated him, he is not the issue.

        Insider party gossip is of no relevance compared to the fact that Canada may be guilty of war crimes.

        We've lost over 100 soldiers in that country. I don't know about you but I sure want to make sure that their contribution is not stained by what this government may have done.


          Seriously. That's what you sound like. It's going to be awfully crushing for you when no one you hate is, in fact, ever charged with or politically damaged by the threat of a war crime.

          • Steady on there, avr. You'll blow an O-ring.

          • I see avr is decompensating again…

          • Why don't we start mentioning that it was the liberals under Paul Martin who decided that it would be a good idea to hand over the POW's to the Afghans. Did he not do any research? Was it just a lame attempt to poke the Americans for political gain? Were the afghan guards watching our election and decided to start their misdeeds only when Harper was elected? Why is Martin silent on this issue? Where is Ignatiefff? The liberals started this problem and the Conservatives dealt with it.

          • "The liberals started this problem and the Conservatives dealt with it."

            Apparently, they didn't.

            And you're up to speed.

          • When was the last time a POW was handed over to the Afghanis?


        • "Insider party gossip is of no relevance compared to the fact that Canada may be guilty of war crimes."

          Can't we care about allegations of torture and gossip like fishwives at the same time? As jarrid writes, Wherry has at least ten thousand posts on torture the past few days. The spotlight has not been removed – Krieber is a nothing story except to us political obsessives who like to natter about what it all means.

          • "Can't we care about allegations of torture and gossip like fishwives at the same time?"

            joylon, it is because we follow politics the way you and I do that you and I both know that Kreiber's musing is going to take away from the intensity needed to uncover what happened in Afghanistan. I expect Harper and cie to do everything possible to change the channel. I do not expect the Opposition, the people who are supposed to be seeking the truth, to be doing it for them.

          • 'Harper and cie to do everything possible to change the channel.'

            I see Colby Cosh's name up top, not Harper's.

            The articles are still coming out. TorStar interviewed anonymous NATO official:

            ''… The official described the tensions over the fate of detainees as "uniquely Canadian" – despite the fact that doubts over the treatment of Afghan detainees were ubiquitous among all NATO partners with military footprints in Afghanistan.

            "It was not an issue for anyone else, though other nations ought to have been as concerned as the Canadians. The Americans in particular were not remotely squeamish on this. To them, everyone was an enemy combatant." ..''

            If you read the entire article, it becomes clear that Colvin had an agenda,
            and this 'war crimes' thing is going no wherem
            do to reality….


          • 'The official described the tensions over the fate of detainees as "uniquely Canadian" – despite the fact that doubts over the treatment of Afghan detainees were ubiquitous among all NATO partners with military footprints in Afghanistan"

            I see Wilsn's still spinning away, even on the lord's day. And did we have exactly the same protocols in place as the Dutch or the Brits…no. As for the Americans…best left unsaid.

          • The intensity needed to cover the story?

            We don't need intensity, we need investigating. We need reporting, not hyperventilating. Blowing smoke does not advance the story.

    • To think a PolJunkie without proof repeats and tarnishes the good name and treasure spilled overseas.

      Where is your proof? We heard allegations without FACTS and names. Your personal political bias for a witchunt and refusal to pin a mission by the Liberals without an detainee agreement until they left office?

      When did Colvin arrive and leave, where is the list and the evidence? We only have allegations and you have repeatedly used language demostrating your bias.

    • You've got 50 Wherry posts for this, and now you're polluting the few posts that are not about this. Get a grip. See a psychiatrist if you need to.

  5. Mme. Kreiber – missed one fundamental point regarding the state of the Liberal Party. Until the constitution requires the Leader to support and promote the policies moved as policy resolutions by the party rank and file – we will be in this never never land – never knowing where the Leader stands – never knowing who is pulling his strings – if not the grassroots – and never knowing where the party stands as it swerves left and right depending upon who are the shadowy figures actually running the party.
    I'm convinced that the Liberal Party of Canada has its own Karl Roves and Tom Flanagans. Trouble is – like Messrs. Rove and Flanagan in their jurisdictions – the Liberal versions are largely not elected!

  6. If the rumours of Ms. Kreiber's health problems and personal issues are true, then the media coverage of this is quite mean-spirited.

    • The media did not trigger this story. Kreiber did by posting her letter to the public. And secondly, nobody knows anything about her health.

    • "If the rumours of Ms. Kreiber's health problems and personal issues are true, then the media coverage of this is quite mean-spirited."

      What rumours?

      • The ones he is trying to start.

    • "If the rumours of Ms. Kreiber's health problems and personal issues are true"

      What are the rumours and why should msm stop people from knowing things? msm acts as gatekeeper too much as it is, we don't need even more filtering.

    • It looks like someone is taking the low road in trying to discredit Ms. Kreiber. Her rant looks like a pretty accurate summation of the problems with "team Ignatieff"

  7. I see an very nice ad in the next election. Ms. Kreiber said what probably many in the party are privately saying.
    Currently the polls are bad and it is hard to see how Iffy will improve those polls. Once Canadians get something in their minds about a politician it is very difficult to change them.
    If Iffy comes out with the old policies i.e. national daycare Canadians eyes will glaze over. If he says he will reduce spending and cut taxes Canadians eyes will glaze over. The history of the Liberal party while in government will continue to haunt this batch of Libs for a long time to come.

    • ' The history of the Liberal party while in government will continue to haunt this batch of Libs for a long time to come'

      I must have been sleep walking through the parts where SH abandoned every con principle he ever had and broke more than a few promises…i'd say it's quicker now to start by listing the ones he has kept.

      • and that is different from the Liberals how?


      • Looks like he is going to keep the gun registry promise. If he keeps that one I will be donating big to the CPC for a long time.

  8. "Academia is lousy with these types of supposedly smart people who talk nonsense most of the time"

    Unlike online comments sections which feature some of our age's finest thinkers.

    • I hold academics to a higher standard than anonymous commenters.

      But perhaps my view isn't shared by all.

      • "I hold academics to a higher standard than anonymous commenters."

        Many of whom have advanced degrees. That's sadder still.

      • Then don't worry. Currently it's news when an academic stuffs up like this. That's a good thing.
        What's bad is when an academic stuffing up like this is treated like an anonymous commentator.

        Remember, it's not news if it's normal.

  9. Nice work, Colby! A witty critique of the many contradictory assumptions that underlie Krieber`s manifesto.

  10. I see that jaded comprehension is your strong suit Colby…

  11. I see that jaded comprehension is your strong suit…

  12. Actually, I'm pretty sure this is a failed satire. The original document still seems kookier.

    • Don't fret. We're all rootin' for ya. You can do better if you try.

    • The original document still seems kookier.

      I could be wrong but Kreiber's message looks like she's thinking about leading progressive liberals over to the NDP.

      • That's probably not what Cosh meant by "kookier." He was probably thinking along the lines of "shrill" and "overwrought." Menopausal, even.

      • I'd guess the Greens. She seems like she wouldn't forgive the sin of trying to beat M. Dion in the last election easily.

    • Indeed.

  13. What"s with all these people and their FaceBook and Twitter accounts ?

    I never want hear that tired old "In politics there is no private life" again.

    • Politics + celebrity status + a wired world…what could possibly go wrong.

  14. 5. Did I mention I was Stephane's key advisor and we felt that we did not want to change advisors?

    …Dion never changed his team, Ignatieff has.

    • "Dion never changed his team"

      Ontario you know that's not true.

      • Dion did change his team and the results?

  15. Cosh

    Right on the mark. With each new revelation of Lib infighting I am torn between hoping its the final nail in their coffin, to make sure they are dead, and yet wanting them to live on for a while because its so entertaining. I guess you could call me a torture lover on the level of political parties. Tighten those screws baby! No a life long Con BTW, just some one who loathes the LPC

    • The UK got rid of the liberals, as I am sure we will

      • They are a throwback to pre WWI era, just took a long time for progressive positivist Liberalism to die here in NA because we have yet to experience a war on our own turf. Both WW I and II can be attributed to Liberal ideas, especially WW I. All the well known Liberals of Weimar Germany signed the Kaiser's declaration of war.

        • Had it not been for a liberal lady and her money the CPC would not exist today.

  16. Iggy and the LPC are like my MP…Wayne Easter…
    -In power he cut farm subsidies, now wants them back
    -In power he spoke against same sex marriage and voted for it
    -in power he voted for the Gun Registry and now voted to kill it.
    It is not the leader it is the Party that stands for nothing, sadly.
    —Life long former supporter of the LPC

  17. Maybe the rot that developed while Chretien was in power is so deep and fetid that it will take ages to repair. And remember, Dion was a part of that…

    • A good point to mention. Blame Paul Martin all you like, but it's not exactly easy to get 95% or more of a winning party to long to see the back of their leader. Martin's defeat and the party's subsequent difficulties have caused Liberals to remember Jean Chretien a whole lot more fondly than they thought of him 6 years ago, a state of affairs that was entirely his own fault.

  18. Dion is a pretty smart guy but not a leader. Maybe he should have been a top beurocrat. Anyhow, he is still fairly young, if they really believe he is so good he can run in the next leadership convention.

    • If you read his academic work it really isn't that groundbreaking. He has no quantitative skills, but rather weaves a clunky narrative. His basic argument on secessionism is that decentralization/concessions to separatists increase the confidence of people in the separatist region that they can actually govern themselves, thus increasing the long-term likelihood of secession. Of course he also would have given the Bloc Quebecois de facto membership in his government.

      • Unlike of course, the entrails deemed your "erudition" wafting in hallowed halls of the Macleans blog…?

      • Why not de facto membership in government. We already have de jure membership of western separatists in the current government.

  19. Peter Donolo looks like he's a few short of a full deck. I'd like to know what he is smoking? Chretin started the rot in the party with the Adscam deal where the Leiberals gave themselves brown envelopes stuffed with thousand dollar bills. There is still three hundred million dollars not accounted for. Donolo was part of the pack when Adsmam was going full tilt. Most of them are in jail but the one that should be there is Coderre who ran the whole shenanigans at the time.
    It will take at least another ten years after Iffy is gone for the Liberal party to make a come back of some sort. In the mean time Harper is going to overhaul the justice system to put more crooks in jail, get rid of the slack Liberal judges and finally kill the two billion dollar long gun registry boondoggle. In a few weeks the Senate will have a Conservative majority so there won't be anymore Liberals holding up the passage of desperately needed legislation.
    There is a wind of fresh air blowing through the House of Commons.
    Good bye Iffy and the Toronto bunch of back stabbers.

    • a hearty goodbye! indeed

  20. Yes, yes, yes. The right honorable lady has made a few excellent points. The Toronto Elite, wants power and they were willing to overturn an election in order to grasp power from the electorate. They were intoxicated and oblivious to the massive rupture in national unity that such an ill fated plan would have had.

    As for Martin overthrowing Chretien, yes he did. But that's how the Liberals operate and she knows it.-they must all have spent time in prison because all of them have a shim in their back. But what she doesn't know is that a united Right spelled trouble even for the little guy from Shenanigan.

  21. Chretien was asleep at the wheel. He slept through a referendum where the federalists won by only 1%. He lied to the public with his RED BOOk, and clung to power only because the right was divided between the Reform and the Conservative party. To this day the little guy is not welcomed in Bloc territory-all of Quebec minus anglophone Montreal. But for some warped reason, Ontario loved the guy who was rejected by most of his fellow Quebecers.

    • Worst PM ever

  22. There is some funny rhetoric coming from the NDP, they think she might move her vote, from the old and tired liberals to the up and coming NDP! The liberal Star is besides themselves making light of how no damage was done, this liberal party is imploding daily not weekly.I will enjoying watching, with my beer and popcorn of course

  23. Ouch –

  24. I wonder how Stephane Dion feels about all of this. It can't help his chances of getting to be a senior cabinet minister in an (unlikely) Ignatieff government Joe Clark-style. Maybe he and his wife are just that confident that Ignatieff will never win an election.

  25. I hope Stephane's busy working on his English. Canada's in urgent need of an intelligent leader with courage and vision (who is also comfortable in both languages). What would it be like to have a PM who truly loves this country? We'll never know if we keep on hanging with Harper.

  26. The legacy of Jean Chretien is a Liberal Party imploding. He started it all with his internal feud with Paul Martin and campaign to screw him and the party. The same spirit of backstabbing and backroom treachery has continued with Ignatieff laying waste to Dion and Rae. Now Rae is turning the tables, but has to watch out for Coderre and Kennedy.

    Chretien has turned the internal workings of the Liberal Party into a Roman circus.

    Quite amusing if your are a Conservative supporter.

  27. Say what you will any way you care to say it, Ms Krieber was dead on right. Dion was right, and ran on a genuine issue. It was above politics. He signed a de-facto alliance with the Greens which was inspired. His inability to sell the Green Shift was largely a product of his ethnicity and Harpers thuggish attack ads. The Canadian electorate taught the politicos that issues don't matter, we much prefer lies and immediate gratification. I, alas, get the government other people deserve.

  28. How come when the Conservatives produce attack ads they get raked over the coals, but when Liberal party insiders like Keebler do it they're not held to the same standards?