As the Liberal party turns - Macleans.ca

As the Liberal party turns

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On his way out, soon-to-be-former Liberal party president Alf Apps apparently posits that Bob Rae could run for the party leadership.

Eight months ago, Mr. Rae may have promised to not do so. Last week, Mr. Rae may have left open the possibility. Last November, as previously noted, he seemed to completely dismiss the idea.

As for Rae’s part in becoming the new leader now that Michael Ignatieff has stepped down? “It won’t be me,” he said, to which the atmosphere in the room became heavy. “I’m not going to run for leadership.” 

Anyway. Mr. Apps throws out three precedents for the current Liberal predicament—their electoral defeats in 1930, 1958 and 1984. Each time, the Liberal party rebounded (eventually) to win government. But those defeats also probably underline just how far the Liberal party has fallen and how much further it has to go this time.

A quick comparison:

1930. The Liberals won 36.7% of the seats, 45.5% of the popular vote and finished second.
1958. The Liberals won 18.1% of the seats, 33.4% of the popular vote and finished second.
1984. The Liberals won 14.8% of the seats, 28.0% of the popular vote and finished second.
2011. The Liberals won 11.0% of the seats, 18.9% of the popular vote and finished third.