Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ignatieff to Blame if Government Doesn't Fall

This is why Ignatieff will never win leadership. Disloyal, backstabbing, arrogant, self-absorbed supporters like these assholes.

And just when Dion is set to lead this country back to civility.

H/T to Grit Liberal

John Ivison: Coalition success may ride on Ignatieff, and he isn't gamePosted: November 30, 2008, 10:34 PM by Shereen Dindar

By John Ivison

Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff is unlikely to support the coalition deal being negotiated by lame duck leader Stéphane Dion - a decision that would doom the opposition parties attempt to bring down the government next week in a vote of no-confidence in the House of Commons.

A person close to Mr. Ignatieff said that any deal with the Bloc Québécois and NDP struck by Mr. Dion would be a "poison chalice" for the next leader. He said that Mr. Ignatieff has the support of more than 50 of the 77 Liberal MPs, so the success or failure of a coalition proposition will depend on how the leadership candidate views any deal.

Although Mr. Ignatieff has publicly maintained the official Liberal line that the government should fall over its handling of the economy, his supporters say any coalition deal with the left-wing NDP and separatist Bloc is fraught with risk. It would only take nine Liberals to be absent from the House next Monday for the government to survive and the source said he fully expects a number of no-shows.

Liberal attempts to reach a deal with the NDP face a number of hurdles, not least of which is the New Democrats' insistence on a senior economic portfolio such as industry for leader Jack Layton. The Liberals are equally determined that those economic jobs should be held exclusively by them. But one senior Grit confided that the internal leadership dynamic creates even bigger obstacles to an agreement than negotiations with the New Democrats.

The source in the Ignatieff camp said Mr. Dion is making all the running on coalition talks with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, and is not consulting with leadership candidates, Mr. Ignatieff, Bob Rae or Dominic LeBlanc.

"Dion is like Frankenstein's monster - he's on the slab and just had a jolt of life injected into him. He's going full tilt ahead with this coalition but his caucus isn't going with him," the source said.

Mr. Ignatieff's supporters are aware that a coalition would be shaky, and probably short-lived. The Conservatives opened their war-room yesterday, just in case the country is plunged into an election next week, and are already preparing to hammer the Liberals for striking a deal with the sovereigntist Bloc.

"Ignatieff knows he will probably be leader next May, so why not do it cleanly and properly? What's in it for him to be part of this power grab?" asked one Conservative, who said he was also hearing from sources that Mr. Ignatieff does not want to be part of any deal.

Despite the increased likelihood that the government will survive the confidence vote, the coming week is still likely to be full of high drama.

Yesterday, the government continued its attempts to remove the irritants that provoked the crisis. The proposed ban on strikes for the public service was ditched, following the remarkable u-turn on the public funding of political parties issue on Saturday. Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, said yesterday that he will bring down a Budget on January 27, although he stopped short of promising the kind of stimulus package the opposition parties have been demanding.

Scott Brison, the Liberal finance critic, said that the government's moves mean nothing. "We can't trust anything this government says anymore. We have no faith in this Prime Minister," he said.

The Conservatives hope that the focus of media coverage will now shift to the potential coalition partners and what the some Tories have been calling their "coup d'état". The allegation that NDP leader Jack Layton and the Blco Québécois' Gilles Duceppe held conversations about a coalition long before the current crisis offered the Conservatives the chance to hit back after days of being pounded over the political funding issue. They charged that the confidence vote is not about the handling of the economy or the government's fall update, "[It] is merely a trigger to execute a long-standing secret deal between the NDP and the Quebec separatists."

The Conservatives have alleged that the moves by the opposition parties to offer themselves up to the Governor-General as a viable alternative, should the government fall, are undemocratic. However, the Liberals retaliated by saying that Mr. Harper, Mr. Layton and Mr. Duceppe presented precisely the same proposal to former Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson, in 2005.

The only certainty amidst the drama is that Stephen Harper has been wounded by his miscalculation. His reputation for strategic brilliance is in tatters and many Conservatives have started speculating about leadership challenges. An unoffical website called Conservatives for Jim Prentice sprung up yesterday, pointing out that Mr. Prentice has invited his opposition critics to join him at the U.N.'s global climate-change talks taking place next week in Poland. "If the government had acted more like this, while still advancing the Conservative agenda in a less agressive way, we might not be staring into the abyss," wrote the anonymous supporter of the Environment Minister.


ottlib said...

John Ivison is a Conservative shill again using those infamous "anonymous sources" to try to change the channel. Expect to see more of the same from him, Duffy et. al. as they desperately try to save Stephen Harper.

And there is some valid questions on who would lead any coalition.

For me it is logical that it would be Stephane Dion but we all know that a few people in all of the leadership camps may not agree.

That could very well scupper any coalition. If that happens hopefully is if before one is formed and not afterwards.

Scott Tribe said...

How about we actually wait to see what happens before we go condemning Iggy or anyone else James?

Andrew Steele has a report in the Globe where he disagrees with Ivison and thinks that Iggy is on board. We'll find out soon enough.

Leny Vilekoskytch said...

Wow, this Ignatieff person is more god than man when it comes to controlling the government of Canada.

Gabe said...

Would it not have been prudent for Dion (the now-interim leader of the LPC) to ensure that all of the leadership candidates were on board with the coalition *before* committing to it? I just can't believe he overlooked that rather significant step.

Steve V said...


James Curran said...

Scott, I didn't write the article. Perhaps you can let John Ivison have it.

Gabe, Dion is the Leader, not interim leader. And, are you saying we should let this government live?

Jamie Callingham said...

Jim, I think Michaels interview on question period addresses this much better than this article. The Caucus as a whole are angry and ready to support the leader on this. This is typical anyone but Michael material.


James Curran said...

I guess John Ivison is lying then right Jamie.

RuralSandi said...

Layton makes me nervous and the final agreement has to be made public before I'd say yes or no. Personally, anything to get rid of Harper, but if the NDP have too much power/position/cabinet in this - it makes me nervous.

Gabe said...

James, sorry, I guess I should have used Iveson's term 'lame-duck leader', except I don't agree that he is.

I most certainly am *not* saying we should let this government live. In no uncertain terms I'm saying that this opportunity to rid this country of the Harper regime should not be wasted.

The point I was trying (so badly it seems) to make was that the Iveson story just seems a mite suspicious because I would expect that Dion would have consulted with all of the leadership candidates before making any commitment to the coalition because one of them will be PM.

Or have I totally misunderstood his point?

James Curran said...

I'm certain all of the leadership camps know where the talks are right now. And, believe me, on of those camps is pissed.

Ted said...


I had to walk away from your post before commenting. I thought about sending you an email but then I just couldn't leave this post without a public response.

Jim, you are friend. Take down this post. You and I don't have a third of the information about what is really happening. New stories, new twists, new information, new rumours are coming out by the hour. The Conservatives have been caught lying, breaking the law and you just trust "anonymous quotes"???

There is no coalition right now. There may never end up being one because Duceppe insists on something no one can agree on, or Dion takes a stand on an issue. Or we may have a coalition in half an hour. We have no way of knowing and everyone - EVERYONE, the Cons, Iggy, Dion, Rae, Layton, everyone in the media - has there own little agendas mixed in with the big agenda.

We have to stay together on this and NOT turn on each other before this is even worked out. We have to stay together on this and NOT turn it into some attack on Michael or Bob or Dominic.

There will be plenty of time later, depending on how all of this plays out.

To start blaming and attacking Michael when there isn't anything to blame for yet and when we don't have nearly enough information, is not helping Dion or the party, and is a deliberate attempt to pit people against Michael, to make this about the leadership race instead of about Harper. Only Rae benefits.

Take down the post, Jim. I'm afraid to say it but feel I must: this is beneath you.

James Curran said...


It is highly inappropriate to preach to me about "helping Dion".

As for the post? It's just the news Ted. I don't control Ivison, I will censor no comments, so feel free to yell.

As I said weeks ago - Harper will choose our leader, not us. It appears he has.

Scott Tribe said...


Ivison says Iggy is going to scupper the deal. Steele in the GLobe says he's on-board. Feel free to believe which columnist you choose... but I'm saying I'd wait til, you know, the guy or his supporters actually DOES what Ivison claims is the case before you go and drop a nuclear bomb on him like with this blogpost.

If Iggy and his supporters supports this deal and Ivison is out to lunch, will we see a public apology to Iggy from you?

For pete's sake Jim, I'm not even an Iggy supporter - I'm neutral in this affair so far.. but this post is over the top and rather premature.

James Curran said...

Scott, Ivison quotes "anonymous Ignatieff supporters". Who does Steele quote but himself?

The answer is nobody. he is a Liberal supporter forming his own opinion.

liberazzi said...


Your comments are inappropriate at a time like this. We can go back to the leadership wars later, but one thing at a time. Anything written in the National Pest needs to be taken with a grain of salt. I think Iggy and Rae are both acting responsibly throughout this crisis and have been saying all the right things. Relax and lets think this whole coalition thing through, without bringing in the leadership nonsense.

Blues Clair said...

Whats this? Mischief?

Ted said...

It's just the news Ted

You wrote the title, Jim.

And the introduction.

And chose to publish this particular article out of the thousands that out there about Harper and is illegal, unethical, anti-democratic, anti-Canadian acts, and actually about the crisis and not about a leadership race.

Whether intentional or not, this campaign tactic has Rae's style and hands all over it. Like I've said, when a candidate is so far behind, scorched earth campaigning is the only available option.

I really would not have expected you to go so full hilt for him like this.

Change and renewal starts when people like you and me stop doing it Jim, stop making every supposed anonymously driven rumour a leadership issue.

Ah well. Instead of "tous ensemble", I guess it's "plus ca change...".

Gene said...

Ivison reporting Ignatieff will become leader of coalition:



James Curran said...

In other words, Michael's people weren't going to support Stephane. What a surprise.

Gene said...

Time to move on, James. Dion had already announced he was resigning. A leadership contest had been called. Rae is bowing out. Next move is Harper's. Watch ... he will prorogue Parliament. The scoundrel.


James Curran said...

You mean just like Iggy supporters moved on two years ago? That kind of move on?

Steve V said...


Remember the real enemy here, and above all be nimble in extraordinary times.

Scott Tribe said...

As with the earlier Ivison story.. I'll wait until we actually see that happen before I worry about its implications one way or the other.

Mark said...

No James, you didn't write the article. But you did write this:

"This is why Ignatieff will never win leadership. Disloyal, backstabbing, arrogant, self-absorbed supporters like these assholes."

Do you really think that's a constructive piece of commentary at this time? Do you believe everything you read in the National Post?

I'm not supporting Ignatieff either. Didn't last time, and I'm not his time. But I'll take his word over John Ivison's any day of the week.

James Curran said...

Lost on you Mark is that it's not Iggy I ridicule. It's his "anonymous koolaid drinking gossipers" that I despise. I do believe Ivison was told this shit by someone in camp Iggy, and surely you're not naive enough to dismiss that part of the story.