Sunday, December 7, 2008

Michael Ignatieff cares not about the 67924 of YOU!!

Clarification: I have long held the opinion that Steven MacKinnon is one of the brighter lights in the Liberal Party. I have often said that he speaks well on our behalf, both on TV and in print. Steve contacted me last night to offer his side of the story. Fact: Steve has not been doing any "lobbying" for this alleged system proposed by his candidate's camp. I have no reason to doubt him. He's never lied to me yet.

The Liberal Party of Canada has roughly 68,000 card carrying members.

Yesterday and today, Steve MacKinnon, National Director of the Michael Ignatieff campaign, has been lobbying to have the 77 member Liberal caucus choose an immediate, permanent leader. 76 as the speaker of the house is not likely to vote apparently.

So what does this mean?

It means that only 76 ridings of 308, or 25%, will be represented via their elected MP in terms of selecting a leader. Worse yet only 0.1% of the entire party will be selecting our new leader.

But hey, who really gives a shit about the grassroots of the party. And, hey, who cares about the movement for one member, one vote. Or, for that matter, the supporters of a coalition government. It's not like the brass was ever going to listen to the grass anyway.

Let's take it a step further.

We will have no Liberal from the province of Alberta eligible to cast a vote for leader. We will have one vote in the province of Manitoba and one vote in the province of Saskatchewan eligible to vote for leader. All of southwestern Ontario will have but two votes. North of Richmond Hill in Ontario there will only be one ballot cast. There will be zero votes for Liberals outside the isle of Montreal in the province of Quebec. In BC, if you are a Liberal outside of Vancouver or out on the Island, you're shit out of luck.

On the positive side, 6 of seven ridings in Newfoundland will get to have one vote apiece toward the selection of the leader. Even tiny PEI will get more votes than Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta combined. Finally! Equalization for the Maritimes!!

Now that's the Ignatieff that's certainly going to rejuvenate the grassroots of the party and listen to all the members. Yep that sure is democratic alright.

I wanna be part of the minority that votes. Part of the 76. So here's a song for ya.


JCKelan said...

So, to what extent do the agreements, accords and letters which put the coalition in place apply to the successors of the signatories?

If Dion is out, I would expect that the Accord is dead and, consequently, the coalition is dead. This is particularly true if Iggy is successful in taking the leadership of the Liberal Party. After all, Mr. Lukewarm has done nothing to give the GG any assurance that he is fully committed to this "coup de graceless".

Consider, he only reluctantly stepped before the microphones with the other two aspirants to say he was in. Never has he shared the stage with Layton or Duceppe, let alone Dion, on this crucial matter. Never has he given a "come hell or high water" quote ... and he always has a good quote.

Now, if Iggy is willing to align the Liberals with the NDP and Bloc once again, Ms Jean may have something to think about. Clearly, the new Liberal leader will have to go through the hand-shaking, accord-signing ritual with his socialist and separatist friends to make the GG take even a passing glance at an alternative government.

I am confident, however, that Iggy recognizes the folly that this represents for the already tarnished Liberal brand and will let this thing die.

Bottom line - if there is a successful non-confidence vote in January, we will be going to the polls. With no alternative drooling at her front gate, the GG will have to proceed with disolution and a trip to the polls.

Get your campaigns ready, folks!

JC Kelan

RuralSandi said...

Funny, at the last leadership convention Belinda Stronach put forth a motion for the one member one votes system and the "very few" delegates that decided to show up to vote on resolutions voted her down.

And now their whining?

James Curran said...

It appears that Sandi's okay with this folks. Then again, she is an Iggy supporter wo screw the rest of you 67,000 Liberals.

I guess I was one of the few that showed up to vote in support of the OMOV. BTW Sandi, that motion required 66% to pass. Had it been 50+1, we wouldn't be having this conversation now would we.

Steve V said...

James, just for clarity, can you change your title to 67923 Liberals because I'm good thanks.

RuralSandi said...

Of all the members in the last leadership race - how many actually had a vote? Not too many, only delegates, most of which were too lazy or too hungover or whatever to even bother to show up for the votes on resolutions.

I say any delegates that didn't bother to vote on resolutions should be allowed to be delegates - they didn't do their job.

Yup, I'm an Iggy supporter and I certainly don't need to apologize for it, nor should anyone have to feel bad or have to apologize for who they support.

You need to settle down - anger management course or something.

Blues Clair said...

Ignatieff lost the last leadership race to Dion, so what does he do? He rigs the next one. Pathetic really. Now Sandi, go fight those Anti-Democratic Tories.

whyshouldIsellyourwheat said...

Bob Rae has no problem with MP's selecting the prime minister. Why would he have a problem with MP's selecting the Liberal leader?

Chrystal Ocean said...

This is bad enough for LPC members, which (understandably) is what Libs are almost exclusively focusing on. But for non-LPC members, the view from the outside looking in only reinforces the criticisms of a party which is outdated and no longer relevant.

The party executive really needs to think hard about allowing Iggy to muscle his way into the leadership spot. That's right; this looks very much like the bully tactics we're used to seeing from Harper & Co.

How's that for an image of a new, improved LPC?

MadHacktress said...

I fear that your 67924 may start to look like the opening sequence of Battlestar Galactica if this keeps up. :(

I agree that now is not the time to proclaim a leader without representation from every riding. But I also don't like the idea of an Interim Leader necessarily - it seems weak. Not that Dion leaving in May doesn't seem weak as well. It's a terrible situation to be in, really. If Jack Layton really did know that he was going to do this from Day One (as Stephen Harper suggests) then he should have tipped Mr. Dion off so he didn't commit to resigning! This whole situation would be a lot different in that case.

But here we are, with a lame duck leader and a lame ass Prime Minister.

What's a liberal to do?

MadHacktress said...


Actually, I think that Bob Rae is asking the Governor General to choose a Prime Minister who parliament has confidence in... y'know, per constitutional convetion, pesky though it may be.

MadHacktress said...

Chrystal Ocean,

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I have to think that if the antithesis of the Liberal's being outdated is the example being set by the Conservative government... I'm good with being outdated.

You're right on with the bully tactics being the mirror of the man from Calgary Southwest. However maybe he's hoping - and I doubt it will work - that people will see him as the way to fight fire with fire.

Tactical Rifle said...

I should have known it was all over when WK went on vacation ...

Susan said...

Well as they say in poker, I fold.

Aurelia said...


If you check the LPC constitution, only the National Executive can vote in the interim leader, and the caucus may advise, but they can be utterly ignored if the Exec so chooses.

Plus, since it is only constitutionally possible to get an interim leader for now, the only way the interim can become a permanent leader, is if every other candidate resigns prior to the convention.

And I assure you, that convention must take place. Or we legally have no leader.

I think that Rae and Leblanc and Iggy all have to start looking at each other and figure out that they can't keep the fighting up, because this time, the losers have the winner by the shorthairs.


lyrical said...

The Dion comment from the Globe and Mail has now been posted on the Georgia Straight. Is there some kind of momentum building happening here? Are we supposed to add a comment and send a copy to the LPC?

Hey, how about a new acronym?
LYL - Love Your Leader.

Devo said...

Stop being a knob James. Why don't you wait until you actually know what's going on before going losing your mind...

Leny Vilekoskytch said...

I know that Harper's visit to the GG wasn't the most popular thing in these parts, but it did give Liberals time. There's no pressing need to have a new leader at the end of this week.

The party has the time to put in place a system (and I'm good with mail in, internet, phone, texting from 7pm to 9pm) that would give the rank and file input even it wasn't binding.

Feel free to put me in the not happy with this category.

Noah said...

you can make the number 67292. I have absolutely no problem with this. In fact it is Rae who is proposing a system which violates the constitution of the Liberal party of Canada.

We are at a crossroads of Canadian Politics right now and the opinion polling has shown that the coalition is not a positive step for this party. Furthermore polling tells us that Canadians have not and will not warm to the idea of Bob Rae as PM. Ignatieff is the only candidate who has a reasonable chance at winning and election.

janfromthebruce said...

I know this is not my fight or anything, but after only one week of the coalition, where rallies got great response, and Canadians are only now understanding what the coalition could mean to them, it seems like libs do pretty knee-jerk reactions to polls that only highlight that 1st week.
Give the coalition a chance - considering that when surveyed, the coalition's major supporters of the various 3 parties was highest among liberal voters at 67%.
Personally if the libs waffle and back up Harper, never again can Canadians think that libs are interested in main street Joe and Mary more than their party interests.

whyshouldIsellyourwheat said...

Bob Rae says the country is in crisis, that Liberals must sign on to a coalition with the opposition parties, and defeat Harper immediately.

The logical consequence of this is that the Liberals must have a leader immediately, and the logical corollary to that is that the leader must have the confidence of caucus.

Rae's argument for the crisis disqualifies him as the choice for leader because he calls it a crisis, and he doesn't have the confidence of caucus.


If he wants to be leader and have a normal leadership process, he should have put the crisis on hold, and said that the Party can wait 8 months to defeat Harper. But Rae's position is that Harper has to be defeated in January. So if Harper is to be defeated in January, the leader has to be someone who has the confidence of caucus.

diana said...

As a member of the LPC, I support a process that is within the democratic framework of the LPC Constitution. Personally, I'm a supporter of a 1M1V system as FUTURE policy, and I plan on getting behind it at the Local level.

Any attempt to change the Leadership process and rules that exist today would over turn the democratic result of the last National. It is in fact undemocratic.

I agree with the whyshouldIsellyourwheat: “Bob can’t have this both ways, it’s either a crisis or it’s not.
“But Rae's position is that Harper has to be defeated in January. So if Harper is to be defeated in January, the leader has to be someone who has the confidence of caucus.”

I’m getting more uncomfortable with Bob by the day now. In trying to convince me that I’m being disenfranchised, He’s claiming that the democratic decision taken at the last national is somehow now undemocratic.
In fact: Bob Rae is using ignorance of the Party rules to fire people up, and attempt to taint/stop Iggys’ win as Interim Leader. BTW: this is exactly how Harper has used ignorance of our Parliamentary system to paint the coalition as an undemocratic coup.

I may not really like the process that we have, but I accept that it IS the process.

S.K. said...

The man couldn't even legally vote for 32 years in Canada. (you can only reside outside Canada for 5 years to vote) Why would he care about Liberal membership, constitution or a democratic election.

If he is installed as leader, I will be voting For someone who has actually lived in Canada for the last 40 years, so will most Canadians.

roblaw said...

Interesting news article today - suggesting Dominic will withdraw and throw his support behind Ignatieff..

I agree that a 1M1V system (a la PC Party in Alberta) is better.. and in the long run, the Liberal party would be better served by being more patient - pressing Harper to produce an "acceptable" budget, which he will now do, and then go through the leadership process.. otherwise, between the taint of the "Coalition" (and there is a taint) and what might appear to be a hijacked leadership process.. that doesn't serve the Liberals well coming into a possible spring election..

How does it go.. "slow and stead wins the race?" Asking for too much, too quick is going to hurt Iggy..

Dan said...

I think we agree that the best outcome for the party would be to pressure Harper to propose a milquetoast budget (with a stimulus package, but a simple enough one that most people can agree on), let it pass when it comes to a vote, and then have a full leadership Convention in the spring as scheduled. Ir order to do that - specifically, in order to have any credibility when negotiating with him and when selling our story to the rest of Canada - we need a strong leader that people can, at least somewhat, trust and see as a viable alternative.

Dion's not that, which is why it's nice that he's dropping out this week. As for which of Iggy or Rae can do that, there are legitimate questions. What there aren't questions over, though, is that we need someone to do it.

As it stands now, a Caucus vote is the only solution within the Liberal Constitution that works in any time frame. OMOV should be our position in the long run, but we just don't have the time now to get it in place before January.

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

James, you are sadly right. This must not be allowed to happen, for th party's own good.

SK makes an interesting point. Did Iggy vote in 2006?

RuralSandi said...

Blues Clair, et al - there wasn't anything democratic about the last race - it was by deals, not votes.

We don't have one member one vote - but the next best thing would have been to do the round of votes.

Ah, yes, I remember how petty and pouty Rae's reaction was then, some things don't change.

James Curran said...

Sandi, I have no idea wtf convention you were at. Us people in the Dion camp worked our asses off to get second and third ballot support. And that my friend had nothing to do with me have shots in a backroom with Eddie Goldenberg!