Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If You're a Liberal Leadership Candidate Hiding in the Bushes and You Aren't Coming Forward Until After Sunday


This weekend the LPCO is holding their Executive Board Meetings in Toronto. The usual suspects will gather. Potentially, there will be up to 300 ex-officio leadership convention delegates there.

The last event of the weekend will be a "Leadership Town Hall". To date, only 3 candidates will be attending, Bob Rae, Dominic Leblanc and Michael Ignatieff (I missed his press conference with his announcement).

So, bushwhackers, if you're running, RUN.


penlan said...

Certainly hope there are more candidates than those 3 for leadership. If not then we are doomed to lose again in the next election. GAH!

James Curran said...

The fourth and fifth may not excite you either.

Mala Fides said...

A rotting fish would excite me more than the two "leading contenders", so don't speak too soon.

MississaugaPeter said...

There will not be more than 4.

This increases the likelihood that after the DSM, one of the 3 or 4 will have a majority. This in turn, increases the possibility of a poorly attended convention.

All those MPs who wanted as few candidates as possible will be getting their wish.

James Curran said...

Coderre is out now.

Ted said...

Don't be too disappointed or dismissive of a race with few candidates, or one that gets locked up fairly early. I'd like to see a 4th but no more.

Remember Chretien won on the first ballot. Yet the convention was well attended and there was a sense of dark clouds on the horizon with the idiots wearing black armbands, but there was also a sense of 'finally, some unity and now we can focus on winning'. If it wasn't unity in the heart, it certainly ended outright dissension in caucus.

There is a real value in a leader winning early. Less disappointment, less bitterness, more focus on policy as non-winners don't have to pander for votes and can speak out about real issues, etc. It also, ironically, tends to make fundraising a lot easier. Once it became clear that Martin had it in the bag or that Obama was going to win, their leadership donations and donations to their parties shot up. Harper too with all those big corporate donors he continues to hide and protect.

Frankly, I think it would be better for the party if either Rae or Ignatieff emerged early as being way ahead so we can get on with rebuilding instead of continuing to fight ourselves.

MississaugaPeter said...


You can spin it the other way I guess. Only time will tell.

Ted said...

I'm actually trying to have a discussion, MP, not trying to spin anything.

Looking at history, it seems parties do best when a clear leader emerges - Trudeau, Chretien, Mulroney, Harper, Harris in Ontario, each of which fully renewed and reinvigorated their parties and their grassroots were more engaged each time - and perform less well when there is dissension at the highest level - Clark, Turner, McKay, Martin, Dion. All of these made promises of renewal and none succeeded either in winning or strengthening or renewing their parties.

This is even more true in the US where a clear winning candidate without a significant challenger has been essential in winning the presidency. Carter couldn't win a second term with Kennedy challenging him; Bush Sr couldn't with Robertson. LBJ walked away altogether because he knew he couldn't get re-elected with the dissension in his own party. Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama (even though H. Clinton stayed on past when it was obvious she couldn't win) all locked up their leadership early and then spent the rest of the campaign unifying disappointed losers.

Once a leader is locked in, he or she can start focusing on building bridges to other candidates and their supporters and re-building the party. Until then, we're stuck with rigid camps, fighting, competition among ourselves for meagre fundraising dollars, spending those few dollars on internal campaigns instead of payind down debt and building a campaign warchest.

S.K. said...

Ted you're spinning and we all know your candidate is very fond of the US. Unfortunately for you, many of us like the way we do things up here better.

Ted said...

s.k.: if this party has any hope, then we will need to refrain from making everything a personal attack like you did the last time.

People can have genuine differences of opinion and not be "spinning" or be the doom of the party. Jim and I disagree all the time but we're still going to knock back a few (several!) pints at the convention.

If you have an opinion about my recitation of factual history, then let's hear it. But it is not healthy for the party to dismiss everything you disagree with as "spin" by some "camp". In fact, it is more than unhealthy, it is detrimental.

S.K. said...

Ted if a candidae had a record to stand on then we wouldn't have to look at their personal life, but since your guy came back to canada after working and living elsewhere for 37 years, and had no leislative record there was nothing else to discuss other than his views he widely wrote about or his personal choices in life.

Now we know he supports Quebec's distinct statud and wanted to extend themission in Afghanistan, that and supporting the war in Iraq, and carbon taxes. Anything else you'd like to add, because your guy still has a pretty thin record of achievments in governement or Party politics to run on.

And yeah it is relevent that he spent 37 years outside of Canada. Do you think the Conservatives won't bring it up????? They need one add, "Not a Canadian"

It is relevent. And when you're spinning, you're spinning. At least don't deny it.

S.K. said...

Oh sorry, Ignatieff supports coersive interrogation, something that not even John McCain, the much villified among liberal circles, supports.

Can't forget that one. Is that a personal attack Ted? Are you going to call me racist now?

Ted said...

What are you talking about s.k.?

I was not talking about Iggy. I was talking about regular Liberals like MississaugaPeter, Jim, me voicing our opinions and thoughts about what the Liberal Party needs, and others accepting that our respective views should not be dismissed simply because we support one candidate or another.

I presented an opinion about what has historically resulted in renewal and success for the party. Rather than agree or disagree like a reasonable person, your response is to attack me as "spinning". And then you change the subject and go on and on with this tirade about one of the candidates. Bizarre. The more things change...

That kind of attack just makes me sick and belies any claim about being in any way interested in renewal. This is what the party thugs have done year after year. Make as many idiotic statements about any of the candidates that you want, sk, I don't care. But the old guard way to win a leadership race is to suppress or dismiss all opinions that don't agree with "mine" and reject anyone or anyone's opinion because they support "the other side". It's bullshit. It's what killed the party and, judging from your comments, what will continue to kill the party.

We have to do things differently. We have to do things better.