Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two of the Worst Kept Secrets go Public

1. Michael Ignatieff is in. And why will he win? Why else. "CHANGE". Why does he think he can win this time, queries Julie Van Dusen - and the answer is “change” - he’s changed, the country has changed, the world has changed.

Me thinks I've heard that line somewhere before.

2. Warren is supporting him. And I'm certainly glad he explained all this:

In case you don’t have time to poke through the Google entrails, here’s a summary of what I’d written about Michael Ignatieff, and what I think now:

• On Québec, I had opposed the “Québecois-are-a-nation” resolution with which Ignatieff had been associated. I still oppose it. But every non-separatist political party – and every non-separatist political leader – came to support it. And, I admit, the country did not fall into chaos or the vortex of endless constitutional gamesmanship. We are still here, the resolution notwithstanding. That is the reality.
• On Iraq, like many Canadians (but not Stephen Harper and not a few Liberals), I had opposed the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and its allies. Ignatieff initially supported the war – as had the Clintons, and as had most of the Democratic Party establishment. By March 2004 – long before he became an MP, let alone a Liberal leadership contestant – he was writing in the New York Times that he had been wrong. That impressed me.
• On Israel, I and many others had been upset that Ignatieff wondered aloud if war crimes had been committed in Qana. Soon afterwards, he agreed that such determinations should be left to international bodies – and he went to Holy Blossom Temple to apologize, and accept personal responsibility for his error. That impressed me, too.
• On torture, I made an error myself. I relied upon some highly selective accounts of Ignatieff’s writings on war, terrorism and coercion – accounts cobbled together by Ignatieff’s partisan and academic detractors – and rushed to my computer keyboard. If I had read more widely, I would have seen that activists at places like Human Rights Watch had defended Ignatieff’s position – and I would have seen that his true position was a complete ban on torture, because the use of it places us all on the inexorable slide towards the appalling notion that, as he warned, “human beings are expendable.” I had fundamentally mischaracterized his views, and I regret that.
• Finally, on one occasion, I had been spun by a group of Ignatieff’s harshest critics in the party – to the effect that he and his team forced out Liberal MP Jean Augustine in Etobicoke Lakeshore. That, as it turned out, was simply false. Jean supported Ignatieff then, and she supports him now.


Sinestra said...

All that to say, WK is easily impressed....

Francesco said...


Would you like Dion to remain as our leader??

MississaugaPeter said...

The part about Warren's Iggy endorsement that bothered me most was:

"Some months ago, I was in Montreal to give a speech to a group of Conservative, Liberal and Green Party students at McGill. Out of the blue, one of Michael’s staff people called me up, and asked if I would consider having breakfast with the Grit MP at a nearby hotel. I was a bit surprised."

This, coupled with this article:

titled: Daniel Goldbloom on Michael Ignatieff's Leadership Re-launch: The war for control of the Liberal Party of Canada is back on

So what is killing all Dion supporters, and why many folks are not very happy with Iggy, is true. Iggy was working WK, in his words "Several months of Michael’s staff people called me up..." and the aforementioned April 25, 2008, article..."


A BCer in Toronto said...

That's ridiculous Peter. If the deputy leader of the party wasn't meeting prominent former Liberals and encouraging them to get involved in the party again, then he wouldn't be doing his job, would he? Reaching-out is what good deputy leaders do. It's what good Liberals do.

Francesco said...

misspeter...your thoughts and exercise in detail i applaud but your conclusion is incorrect.....all the leading liberals or leadership canadiates were talking to everyone about getting all liberals back in the fold...that should not be surprising ...if one of the top strategists in canada is a former liberal why the heck would you not want him back in the party...maybe dion could have done the same???

MississaugaPeter said...


More from WK's endorsement:

"We didn’t actually talk about politics very much at all. He was friendly and engaging and self-deprecating. I was impressed."

I'm sorry, I don't see anywhere that WK was being rallied to help the 2008 election campaign.

Tactical Rifle said...

Well, it certainly puts the lie to all that mock rage and the prospective dire result of getting 'Team Chretien' off the bench for the sake of certain aged and infirm Adscammers.

It was in the works long before that ... who'd a thunk it?

Dave in Maple Ridge

A BCer in Toronto said...

Peter, by that logic, I don't see where he was being rallied to a speculative future leadership campaign either.

The deputy leader was trying to open the door for the return of a former activist. A hard sell probably wasn't needed, or a detailed talk of politics -- they're both liberals. The goal was for them to both be Liberals, which meant making him feel welcome. Which is what it sounded like to me.

MississaugaPeter said...


Then we come full circle and ask why

"Out of the blue, one of Michael’s staff people called me up, and asked if I would consider having breakfast with the Grit MP at a nearby hotel. I was a bit surprised."

As deputy leader, as you so astutely reminded us, why did Iggy not try to get WK on board and why did he not ask for input on the upcoming election campaign?

And you still have not explained the April 28, 2008, National Post article titled: Daniel Goldbloom on Michael Ignatieff's Leadership Re-launch: The war for control of the Liberal Party of Canada is back on

And how is that David McGuinty all of sudden is at Iggy's announcement. After it was confirmed that GK was not running, WK wrote on his blog prophetically:

"UPDATER: The previous update was true, turns out. CTV's Roger Smith nails it! Now, David McGuinty is out - a guy I believe will be leader one day."

Was the Iggy/WK/McGuinty Plan to have McGuinty play diversion if GK ran? Connect the dots. No Mensa membership needed here.

Disappointed and disgusted.

James Curran said...

With all due respect Jeff...I know you know better.

Don said...

Kinsella says that Iggy's people called him for a meeting while he "was in Montreal to give a speech to a group of Conservative, Liberal and Green Party students at McGill".

A simple search of his blog puts that meeting around the date of March 25, 2008. (Montreal-Bound: Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 02:08 PM, On the plane to Montreal, to speak to a McGill assembly of young Tories, Grits, Dippers and others!)

Kinsella asks: "How did I come around to supporting Michael Ignatieff? Because he asked."

He Asked? Really? In March 2008? Really? The same Ignatieff that urged Liberals to come together, saying "united we win, divided we lose."*

The same Ignatieff that never missed an opportunity to publicly declare that he supported his leader?

Is this the kind of leader that we need now? The kind of politician that sneaks behind the backs of people he says he is loyal to. The kind of politician that speaks in high platitudes about party unity and loyalty, while the whole time he was working against those very principles?

It's time for a new class of politician. The time is over for politicians who put their own personal ambitions over interests of the very people that they say they want to serve.

"Ignatieff urges Libs to come together, says 'united we win, divided we lose'"; The Canadian Press Friday, September 28, 2007

S.K. said...

Yeah, it would be a change for Canadians or liberals to elect someone who didn't want to live in Canada for his entire adult life.

S.K. said...

And Jeff, Were you born yesterday? Everyone and I mean everyone within a few hundred miles of Quebec knows that Iggy's entire team in Quebec has not stopped trying to win the leadership for their guy. Not even for one minute in the last two years did any of them support Dion.

Of course Iggy's campaign staff met with Kinsella.

A BCer in Toronto said...

sk, i try not to judge the liberal party, or any candidate for its leadership, by what comes out of the quebec wing of our party. They are truly a distinct society.

Peter, you're the one positing conspiracy theories. I'm merely pointing-out you've presented no convincing evidence to support them. So Warren and Michael had breakfast. Perhaps the most important meal of the day, but the least important meal socially. Should every potential leadership candidate not ever try to bring anyone into the party, or even be friendly to them?

Attention possible future leadership candidates: eat alone, if you know what's good for you!

MississaugaPeter said...


A lot of people are laughing/disappointed by your defense. Are you on the Iggy/WK payroll now? I hope so. Because those reading your defense are not naive or stupid. We expect more from you.

burlivespipe said...

I'm beginning to wonder if Peter had breakfast with Oliver Stone. Minus some zapruder footage, i think there's genuine logic that suggests some pieces are true from both re-enactments: Ignatieff was inviting a former Liberal strategist to breakfast, to soft-sell him on rejoining the movement; the Quebec win, one that has a track record of plotting the end of Turner/Chretien/Martin, likely has pockets of non-Dioners who never stopped grumbling. That being said, it wasn't a few Quebec windbags bleating to the media that lost us the election, nor was it a few riding associations' ranting about the leader than made him resign. He had no caucus support, Dion's skills of listening and being inclusive were limited, and he had an opposition carpet bombing the electoral landscape well in advance to an election.
While I understand the disappointment over you man not running, MississaugaPete, it's time to park the wild grumbling and see what we can work on.
I've heard various rumours/stories that slam the likes of Dion/Kennedy/Ignatieff/Rae during the last leadership campaign. I could care less at this juncture - we might as well be fighting the Winters-Helleyer battle again.

Mala Fides said...

Come on Burl and Jef, Liberals simply do not like supporting backroom backstabbers and leadership sappers who say one thing and do another.

Ignatieff and his people have not stopped campaigning for the leadership. . . EVER!!!!!

Ignatieff did not ask Warren to breakfast to recruit him back to help the Party or the Leader.

If anything, the breakfast was about getting Warren to lock onto Team Iggy once Dion's balloon had burst (heh heh).

The proof of this is in the fact that Warren was essentially campaigning for Harper throughout the election (i.e. Steve Harper is an everyman and the relentless attacks on the Green Shift etc . . . etc. . .)

By the way, where are all of Warren's posts from 2006?


Where are all of his criticisms of Michael Ignatieff?

It's his website, so he can do whatever he wants with it, but the fact remains, Warren launched a litany of criticisms on Michael Ignatieff during the last leadership and most intelligent people will not believe that one brush off of a blog article can wipe clear all of those concerns.

Really though, who cares about Warren's apparent about-face and mercenary brand of politics - call it whatever you want. I doubt its sincerity and I doubt that it is based on any policy principles he actually believes in and claims to have fought for.

BTW - Winning, is not a policy or principle. It is a goal.

Have fun with your leadership. It is quite obvious that the Liberal Party of Canada has chosen to continue to repress its demons and avoid doing the job that it needed to do to put itself back into fighting condition by focusing on modernizing our systems of membership, fundraising, Voter ID, and GOTV.

Where is the Policy part of the Convention?

This is and always was ALL ABOUT MICHAEL IGNATIEFF.

Thank God he came back to Canada to save us!!!

Thank God he will finally Constitutionalize Quebec's status as a nation within Canada!!!

Thank God we have Michael Ignatieff!!!


James Curran said...

Can I get an amen?!!?

James Curran said...

This would explain Jeff's position.

MississaugaPeter said...

After watching Braeden Caley post his Rae video up 3X in the last 2 days, and learning he is a paid employee of the Rae campaign, I believe all bloggers should state if they are PAID or VOLUNTEER bloggers/supporters.


A BCer in Toronto said...

So Peter, having no argument to make, resorts to attacking me personally. Bravo to you sir.

James, I know how you love kabuki plays, but I decided to put my position, arrived at honestly, out there the same way. I look forward to hearing where you (and Peter) end up, and how you arrive there. I trust there will be no strip teasing along the way.

In the mean time, if you're ever in Scarborough James I'd like to buy you breakfast, as long as no one thinks it's part of my plan to run for leader in 30 years.

James Curran said...

Kabuki? I'm great at that game. That's the one with the 9 boxes and the numbers right?

And Jeff, I have been at odds with Iggy "organizers" for two years. Y? Because they never stopped organizing. So if you think that breakfast was not part of gaining more support for the next run, you'd be wrong. And most of us not living under a rock and that are active in this party know that.

Having said all that, disloyalty breeds disloyalty. You, Warren, Matt are entitled to support anyone you want. And I'm happy for all of you.

I've talked at length with Michael's wife and I've talked at length with Bob and his wife. I wish all of them good luck.

There will be many Liberals sitting this coronation out because of the disgust. Trust me, there's lots of apathy out there. Surely you've seen this on the blogs Jeff.

You yourself have written about rotten apples in Iggy's camp that have undermined our current leader. Denis Coderre comes to mind.

MississaugaPeter said...

OK, Jeff,

After saying Amen, you just can't do the same. What the f**K is your problem man.

Has WK sent you on a mission or what? Are you on the Iggy/WK payroll? WK's explanation for supporting Iggy is so full of holes, it is close to total BS. But you know what, it does not matter. Iggy will win, and bringing things up now only helps the Conservatives later, so I said, as James suggested, AMEN.

But you can't do the same. Your behaviour reminds me of the Martinites. They just would not say AMEN until they had their opponents on their knees, and then proceeded to squeeze the life out of them. So here it comes...

It's interesting that TED has not come onto this blog. Are you guys being dispatched/assigned to deal with different blogs?

Now let's attack your boss' explanations for supporting Iggy.

Each one acts like a mea culpa on the part of WK. The last one is the clincher: "I had been spun by a group of Ignatieff’s harshest critics in the party – to the effect that he and his team forced out Liberal MP Jean Augustine in Etobicoke Lakeshore. That, as it turned out, was simply false. Jean supported Ignatieff then, and she supports him now."

On each of the 5 points, including the last one, WK is giving us his mea culpa. It raises the real questions:

Why did WK not do his research better before spouting off in the past?

When WK realized he was wrong, why did he not post it on his blog, but waited many months after his breakfast with Iggy?

How much of WK's blog is just his own opinion that he writes/acts as if it is fact? Until he is asked to join (is that all it really takes; WOW) or is offered a PAID GIG.

Trust me, Jeff, a lot of people are very disappointed with WK. Usually he plays around the edges of what is right and wrong (and it amusing), but he has crossed the line and it is no longer spin. It is not because he is supporting Iggy that I definitely do not see this as one of his finest moments. Nor yours.


A BCer in Toronto said...

James, I think there's bad apples in every bushel. I think there are people who supported every past candidate, and people that are supporting future candidates, that never stopped organizing. I don't think any candidate, past or present, encouraged such behaviour. I don't want to say anything negative about any candidate. I'll just say that to single out any one camp for such behaviour is dishonest, and just a little silly.

Every camp has people in it who have done things I disagree with. That's life. I got the chance to meet Dominic Leblanc last week, and I thought he made an excellent point. Basically, he said I don't care whose slate did what to whose at the LPC Manitoba convention in 2001. I think we need to move on from that.

Some Liberals may well sit out this campaign in disgust for one reason or another, slights real or imagined. That's entirely their choice. I feel though that people have been sitting out for too long, and we all need to get involved in whatever way we're comfortable. Unifying the party will mean everyone being willing to move on, let the past be the past, and work together towards the future.

Peter, I apologize for not seeing your personal attack on me as your way of saying amen and let's move on. Silly me. Don't know how I missed that. Amen then to all, and to all a good night. For the record though, I'm on no one's payroll, and am no one's messenger but my own. And my motives, at least, are open and clear.


MississaugaPeter said...

Greatly appreciate you making it clear that you are your "own messenger".

And up until this blog's commentary, I always considered you motives as "open and clear". And henceforth, I will continue to do so.


Demosthenes said...

I'd be a bit more impressed if the defenses weren't so appalling weak.

Never mind the assertion about "spinning by critics" that ignores the more damning allegation that Ignatieff pushed out other contenders for his seat by locking the door. The assertion about torture is just ludicrous.

Yes, Kenneth Roth backed Iggy, but the article that got Iggy into hot water was still a tour-de-force of apologies for torture, an all-out assault on human rights advocates and torture opponents, and an article where the only reason he could give for actually opposing torture is that democracies can have their people decide to oppose it, leaving out any case for opposition in the first place!

Oh, and then there's Iraq, where the one guy who opposed it in America became the Democratic nominee and then president, whereas even Ignatieff's mea culpa on the subject talked about how it should have been presented as "a preventive war instead of a preemptive one."

No, "Iggy" needs to do a lot more to reach out to those who reject his incredibly hawkish positions than "I don't like torture, but do like telling people why it's great" and "the problem with Iraq is that we should have said Saddam wasn't an imminent threat, and then gone in anyway."

Because if he doesn't, he'll watch the entire progressive wing of his party march into Jack, Gilles, and Elizabeth's awaiting arms.

Demosthenes said...

By the by, it's not that I think that Ignatieff cannot put the "Lesser Evil" behind him. Bob Byrd used to be one of the most notorious racists in America, and he's now a pretty solid civil libertarian. People can change.

But I do think that he has not done so yet. And as long as he hasn't, progressives will be supremely vulnerable to any and every NDP/Green argument about "two right-wing parties".