Sunday, December 7, 2008

How Bob Rae Would Like to Solve a Quick Leadership

I don't speak for Bob personally, but this is the feeling I'm getting out of the Rae camp:

We want the broadest possible franchise, allowing for the pressing timelines. That could be internet, phone, in-person voting or a combination of the three.

We do not want the 75% of ridings without a Liberal MP to be left out entirely.

We do not want Party executives and activists to be excluded or given some bullshit post-facto "ratification" vote.

We do not want 77 MPs, representing only 1/4 of the ridings (and 0.1% of the Party membership) to control the outcome.

We cannot see how if we are fighting Harper's attempts to impose the will of 37% on the 62% majority that we can turn around and ignore 3/4 of the country and 99.9% of the Party

What we would like - in a word - DEMOCRACY.

10 comments:

wilson said...
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Leny Vilekoskytch said...

This proposal seems better than leaving it to the caucus.

I suppose the only issue would be timing.

whopitulia said...

Dominic LeBlanac is out. That simplifies things I suppose.

Lizt. said...

That leaves only two so I guess I would go for Ignatieff, as Rae, trying to get this coalition going more, is that he was an NDPer and that leaves me cold as the left of the party is too much. We need more centre to beat Harper

Reid said...
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Leny Vilekoskytch said...

Although with Leblanc dropping out, a coin toss might be the easiest alternative.

Hooey said...
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James Curran said...

sorry trolls. this is a family feud.

Patagonia said...

I am a member of the LPC residing in Windsor which, as you pointed out, is one of the many ridings without representation in Caucus. Oh, once upon a time we did have a voice in Ottawa under the Liberal banner. But we lost it largely because of internal machinations which tore us apart. Mr. Rae has admitted to learning from his own past mistakes - but has he learned from the mistakes of others?

What we have witnessed in the last week or so of (unusual) high-drama in the Canadian affairs of state are the makings of a “perfect political storm”: political events made powerful by the existence of aggravating factors and exigent circumstances coming together simultaneously. Here are some of the more significant ones: a minority government in its infancy, a maniacally partisan and untrustworthy Prime Minister, a potentially (real or imagined) extirpative balance of power, provisions of a constitutional monarchy coming home to roost, and a lame duck leader of opposition. This last factor reaches its best-before date this week and, I don’t even need to pull out my crystal ball to predict, we are in for another interesting week in Canadian politics.

I don’t think that John Manley’s catalytic article in Saturday’s Globe hit all the right notes but it reached near-perfect pitch in denouncing Dion for binding “his successor to a controversial arrangement…leaving [the candidates to succeed him] no option to endorse it or break with him as a party leader”.

Liberals have been down this road before: break with the “leader”, even in most justifiable circumstances, and you nevertheless tear the Party apart. I am sympathetic, therefore, to the leadership candidates Ignatieff and Leblanc and the precarious position they were put in by the irresponsible actions of Mr. Dion. In the end, however, they chose to “do the right thing”.

My sympathy does not extend to Rae, however. Rae didn’t reluctantly “get on board” the coalition train to safeguard against derailment. Rae’s team has been driving this train from the get go. They didn’t soberly consider the GG’s ability to re-route the trip and they underestimated how many Liberals would, in the end, choose to “go that way”.

Fast forward one botched video tape. Dion is done. Now what? Another “lame duck” interim leader pending convention? Unacceptable. The Liberals need a leader and they need one now. The Liberal Caucus has the responsibility to see that done. Period.

I agree with electronic one-member-one-vote and we should act decisively to put this in place for the next time. As it is, however, we cannot re-write the rules mid-way through to suit Mr. Rae's personal ambitions.

Will Mr. Rae put the Liberal Party’s interests ahead of his own? I hope he realizes the magnitude of his choices now and governs himself accordingly. “Perfect storm” often refers to a hurricane that hits a region’s most vulnerable area, resulting in the worst possible damage. For the sake of LPC, and the country, I hope Rae is not that hurricane.

James D. said...

As much as I respect Rae as a politician and as a Canadian, his tactics in the leadership race have been far too brash for me. Many of his actions - from his indignant response to the closed-door meeting last month, becoming the spokesperson for the coalition, or painting himself currently as the potential victim of an undemocratic process - have essentially been granstanding tactics. He knows he is not the front runner, and so he's basically doing all that he can to stand out and portray himself as the victim of party practices and policies.

The reality is, the party rules specify how an interim leader is to be picked; senators and riding presidents are more widely dispersed that this blog would have us believe; and these are not two unknown candidates, but the same two who were the front runners from the previous leadership campaign.

This is an extremely important time for Canadian politics and for the Liberal party itself, so let the party move forward according to the rules it has prescribed for such situations.