Monday, December 1, 2008

Open Letter to the Liberal Caucus and Executive

Received this yesterday. Thought it best to post it this morning. Emphasis her own as written.


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
November 30, 2008

Mr. Doug Ferguson,
President, Liberal Party of Canada
Members of the National Executive
Liberal Party Caucus members

Dear President and Members of the National Executive,

I am writing to you as a member of the Liberal Party who is greatly concerned about the reports and interviews in the media where comments are being made by Liberal caucus members and "insiders" about "who should be the leader of the coalition" (between the Liberal and New Democratic parties). The media reports, gleefully, that various proposals are being discussed, and that there is a plan to oust our present leader, Mr. Stephane Dion, and replace him with a more palatable (to the caucus, to the executive members, to the party elites) person.

That this could even be talked about in Liberal party leadership circles is shocking, as it indicates a lack of elementary loyalty to, and solidarity with, our elected leader and a contempt for the membership, an attitude which will only create havoc in the party, and perhaps lead to a severe crisis from which the party will not recover for years to come.

The facts are these: back in December 2006, in our convention in Montreal, Stephane Dion was elected by the membership to be the party's leader. He was chosen, I believe, because there was a strongly-felt need for something new and fresh, not part of the "same old, same old" which had ceased to attract Canadians to the party, as members and voters. This decision by the members stands, and cannot be undone by a handful of individuals in the caucus and on the executive.

It should be no surprise to anyone that Mr. Dion did not fare well in the electoral arena. He inherited the fate that had befallen the previous leader, Mr. Paul Martin, of being defined by the Conservatives before he had a chance to establish himself. Paul Martin's rapid descent from an experienced and competent politician, and — unlike Mr. Dion — well known to Canadians, to "Mr. Dithers," was even more spectacular, and speaks to the success of Stephen Harper's U.S.-style negative campaigning. This aggressive campaigning will no doubt define the next leader as well, unless we can stop it — and unless we are prepared to protect our leaders better than we have in the recent past.

The only remedy we have as party members is our loyalty and respect for the men (and women, when that happens) who are putting their lives and reputations on the line for the good of the country. To see a leader as shabbily treated as Stephane Dion, not just by the media and Conservatives, but our party's parliamentary caucus and behind-the-scenes elites is intolerable and unforgivable. It was bad enough that he received the bum's rush after the election and was forced (by the caucus, we are told) to walk the plank and be publicly humiliated in the process, but is outrageous beyond belief that now we have the same people, often without their names known to us, speaking to the media about replacing Stephane Dion with "somebody else" if and when the coalition becomes a reality. We only have one leader and by definition a coalition government will have as its leader the leader of her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. End of discussion!

Along with other party members, I expect public assurances, in words and actions, from yourself, Mr. President, and the national executive, that there will be no coup d'etat attempted, no subterfuge tried to replace Mr. Dion, and that the caucus and the executive will act as loyal members of the party, and not as some self-selected rogue element which makes decisions without the slightest consideration for the membership — or for the consequenses of their actions on the future of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Awaiting your response, I remain

Sincerely yours,

Marjaleena Repo
Saskatoon (Blackstrap)

P.S. Much is being made, STILL, of the fact that under Mr. Dion's leadership, the party lost 26 seats. Do the caucus members, executive members and various "anonymous Liberals" not know or remember, that under Mr. Martin the party dropped 69 seats in his two elections? Clearly, there is more to be questioned than the performance of the current leader, and by focusing on his alleged shortcomings, the party itself, with its lack of any sign of "renewal" or "revitalization" (as we are so often rhetorically promised), avoids a well-deserved scrutiny.

Marjaleena Repo


FredM said...

"The only remedy we have as party members is our loyalty and respect for the men (and women, when that happens) who are putting their lives and reputations on the line for the good of the country"

If Marjaleena Repo is so concerned about "the country" then why are you all and her trying to put a party into power that nobody wants. You didnt win so you cheat your way in. Enjoy while you can if it happens, voters will remember how you all cheated to get in.

FredM said...

Its funny how the liberals where shouting and screaming when Harper appointed no-elected cabinet ministers but its ok to put the un-elected NDP and liberals in as leaders of Canada, talk about hypocrites.

penlan said...

FredM said...
"Its funny how the liberals where shouting and screaming when Harper appointed no-elected cabinet ministers but its ok to put the un-elected NDP and liberals in as leaders of Canada, talk about hypocrites."

Dec 1, 2008 9:11:00 AM

Er, Fred? All those NDP'ers & Liberals ARE elected MP's - just not elected by those who voted conservative. And more people voted for them & the Bloc than for the CPC. They do, as a coalition, have a MAJORITY of seats in Parliament. That is fair & democratic govt.

Harper has a MINORITY govt.

Leny Vilekoskytch said...

I admire the passion, but not the part of the argument that got emphasized.

The leader of a coalition goverment will be whomever can get the support of the coalition.

roblaw said...

I might suggest that it's time for all parties to take a breath and re-evaluate just what they are doing.. and as a Conservative, I'll have my party take the blame for starting the stupidity.

Harper has announced making concessions, including implimenting an earlier stimulus package.. perhaps the Libs and NDP's could take credit for pressuring that move.. and see if some stability can be brought to the house..

If not.. it's going to get worse before it gets better, coalition or not.

FredM said...

In case you forgot the last election, the liberals lost seats which means Canadians don't want your party in power, but i know with liberals it isnt what the people want, its what the party wants. This move is pathetic and i shouldn't have to pay my tax dollars to an un-elected governing party. Hey if you cant win then cheat to get in.

James Curran said...

You know who's cheating Fred? This rotten, good-for nothing government that continues to spit in the face of Canadians and Canadian institutions. That's who's cheating Fred.

I'm looking forward to the aftermath of the latest Conservative violation of the Criminal Code for taping NDP conversations FRED. Not to mention the ongoing losing lawsuit Harper v. Liberal Party. Not to mention the ongoing losing lawsuit Harper v. Canada. Not to mention the aftermath of the In and Out that will be resovled soon. Not to mention....never mind...the list is too long.

Now go cry on some NDP and Bloc blogs will ya!!

FredM said...

Its not crying James, its the truth, and the truth is the liberals have no right to be in power, and unfortunately for Canada liberals see nothing but their own gain. Canadians aren't stupid, we seen how pathetic the libs where in the last election and we will see right through this also. And James this was a good thread, no name calling or childish typing until your comment showed up, thanks for your expert opinion, you bring so much depth to the conversation.

roblaw said...

"You", "us", "them".. not exactly a remedy for what ails us..

Oh, btw, taping a conversation is not against the Criminal Code as ONE party is aware.. but, threatening criminal prosecution to obtain a benefit MAY be an offense..just FYI..

Though, the silliness never ends, does it? - who is colluding with who, etc., etc.. none of it is helping Canada develop economic stability.. exactly the opposite.

FredM said...

Part of what you say is right "roblaw" be it conservative or liberal the fighting is stupid and we deserve a much better service. And we also deserve a much better government than one that got in with out being voted in.

RuralSandi said...

FredM - you are so wrong. The Liberals have every right to be in power as head of the coalition - because they got the number of votes required to be the official opposition.

Also, Harper DOES NOT have full power - he has a minority.

Pretty basic stuff here - not rocket science. Don't forget we have a parliamentary system and a constitution that makes you so "bitterly" wrong.

roblaw said...

..and following up on an earlier post to James' last blog, while I agree technically, a coalition government is possible and not necessarily "evil" or dishonest.. it's not likely to survive long, in all candor, and a "Liberal/NDP" common government could be a long-term concern for the Liberals having regard to:

- very poor presence west of Ontario;
- perception of the Liberal center that the party is moving left.. I used to vote Liberal at one time.. and others, like me, could be pushed to the Conservatives if they perceive a move too far left.. ie) first Bob Rae, then the Lib/NDP ticket.. (we'll ignore the BQ issue for now)

André Migner dit Lagachette said...

Well, it would be nice if meek Stephane Dion did inherit the country after he was so shamefully skewered by Harpers' ten percenters. A very nice man, Dion. I would love to see him stand with Obama and do something good for the world. It is sooo time! Bonne chance à nous tous.

Mala Fides said...

Hey Fred,

Maybe some simple math might help you get over your "cheating" allegations.

There are 308 seats in the House of Commons.

Those seats are filled by Members of Parliament who are elected by Canadians across the country (and yes Fred, people who live in Quebec are still Canadians (even if they did vote for the Bloc)).

To be able to do anything (ie keep the confidence of the house) you have to have the support of the majority of the people sitting in those seats. If my math is correct, that would be at least 155 seats.

The Conservatives only have 143 seats.

Just in case you're having trouble Fred, 143 seats is not 155 and does not equal a majority of the seats.

To put it a different way Fred, the other three parties have the majority of seats.

So like it or not Fred, when your Buddy Steve Harper can't get the support of at least another 12 members of Parliament to pass his CRAP initiatives, he is done. Finished.

It ain't cheating buddy, it's simple math.