Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Turns Out Michael Ignatieff is Staying on As Leader!

The joke's on you media folks!

Did I ever mention this f****** guy Alf Apps has to resign? What, fellow Liberals, is the point of us ever making up rules, regulations, constitutions if this guy just keeps making his own? Can someone please tell me?

Just so I understand Mr. Apps. We keep the leader that doesn't have a seat in the House and have him resign in December? So, no leader in the House for six months? Am I getting this right?

Liberals balk at immediate leadership vote; Rae touted as interim leader
By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Shell-shocked federal Liberals overwhelmingly don't want to be plunged into an immediate leadership contest.

So machinations are afoot to determine whether the party's constitution actually allows Liberals to avoid a fullblown leadership contest within the next six months and, if so, who should be chosen interim leader.

Montreal MP Denis Coderre set the cat among the pigeons Wednesday, saying Toronto MP Bob Rae should be named interim leader for two years.

"Then we call a leadership convention. Let's take our time. No rush," he tweeted.

In a subsequent interview, Coderre said the party needs to conduct a thorough post-mortem of what went wrong in Monday's election, which saw the once-mighty Liberals reduced to a rump of 34 seats and overtaken by the ascendent NDP as official Opposition. After that, he said the party needs to set to work rebuilding its finances, structure and policies before choosing a successor to Michael Ignatieff.

Ignatieff lost his own seat in Monday's bloodbath and has since announced his intention to step aside as leader at a time deemed best by the party.

"I'm the son of a carpenter," said Coderre. "You don't start to build a house with the roof. You start with the foundation."

There appears to be little disagreement on that score.

"The idea of taking our time with the leadership I think is a great idea," said Montreal MP Justin Trudeau, who is not ruling out a leadership bid of his own.

"I think the Liberal party has gotten in trouble in the past by expecting that picking the right leader is going to fix all of our troubles. Obviously, it hasn't."

Liberal party president Alf Apps said he's consulted with the heads of the party's provincial and territorial wings and its various commissions and the view is unanimous that the party should proceed with a previously scheduled biennial policy convention in December and hold a leadership contest sometime after that. He's heard the same view from hundreds of Liberals who've phoned or emailed him.

"Literally, I would say it's running like 100 per cent to zero" against a leadership contest this year, Apps said.

Trouble is, the party's constitution specifies that a leadership vote must be held within six months of the leader publicly stating his intention to resign.

It was widely reported Tuesday that Ignatieff had resigned. But in fact, his statement was carefully worded in a bid to avoid immediately triggering the six-month countdown. He said he "will not be remaining" as leader but will consult with party officials to determine "the best timing for a departure so we can arrange a succession in due time."

Apps said nothing in Ignatieff's statement "has led us to triggering anything yet" in terms of the succession process.

The constitution presents another problem: in the continuing absence of a clear statement that he intends to resign, Ignatieff would have to face a confidence vote by all party members, coinciding with the December convention.

However, Apps suggested there could be a way to avoid that potential humiliation. Ignatieff could wait to clearly signal his intention to resign until shortly before the convention, thus pre-empting the confidence vote. And convention delegates could then change the constitution to delay a leadership vote beyond next spring, if more time was deemed warranted.

In any event, Liberal MPs appear to be counting on the party to find some way to put off a leadership vote for as much as two years. Who to choose as interim leader will be one of the primary topics discussed next week at a meeting of Liberal MPs, defeated candidates and senators.

Coderre said he believes Rae, a former Ontario premier, would be best because he's experienced and a good performer in the House of Commons and in scrums. Other Liberals have mused about Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale but Coderre said the interim leader needs to be bilingual, which Rae is and Goodale is not.

Rae, a leadership candidate in 2006 who's thinking about taking another run this time, declined to comment Wednesday on the idea of interim leader.

But the key issue will be whether the interim leader is precluded from running for the permanent leadership. The party's constitution is silent on that matter and Coderre said caucus members will have to sort it out.

Liberals close to Rae believe there's no way he'd agree to do the heavy lifting for two years and then simply bow out. They point out that the constitution's silence creates a loophole which the party allowed Ignatieff to exploit in 2008.

Rae appears to have considerable caucus support but Apps pointed out that the party's national board of directors must approve caucus's choice of interim leader. And he said the board "will want to ensure that the appointment of interim leader doesn't confer any unfair advantage" in the subsequent leadership contest.

"I don't think anyone believes that a candidate for interim leader ... could also be someone who's contesting the permanent leadership of the party."

Ignatieff did precisely that in 2008 but Apps said that was an unusual situation, in which Liberals were panicked by the possibility of a snap election into bending the rules. With Stephen Harper now firmly in control of a majority government, there's no similar pressure.


A Eliz. said...

We need new blood at the top. We also need to get back to the roots of Laurier and Pearson,... good Grits

Mark Francis said...

These guys just don't stop, do they? It's the Iggy death grip. The man wasn't even elected into position, and now doesn't even have a seat, and continues to lead. He should have resigned and returned to Harvard yesterday already.

Anyway, taking forever to get a new leader just means whomever is in that position is a lame duck, without respect.

What a great start to rebuilding the LPC.

Liberals members are wasting their time. Swallow pride: Jump ship.

Craig Chamberlain said...

James, I agree with Trudeau that we have to get away from trying to find just the right leader and all will be well again. Yes, we have to do a good job of ensuring that our choice in leader is someone who is not an easy target for Mr. Harper's attack machine -- so I think academics and Mr. Rae are not options. Let's learn something to what has happened in the past.

I think the election result was so bad that it actually gave Liberals the room they need to rebuild in a careful, intentional way and staring death in the face is a good way to focus -- it gives the party the freedom to do what it wants.

The bottom line for me is there will always be the left of centre crew and the right of centre crew, both who will be trapped by ideologically driven decisions that come to really turn people off. Liberals should stick to their values which should also be pragmatism over ideology.

The fact is, Liberals can now say -- we're done. Let's pack it in. Or they can say, we're done. So, what do we have to lose? Let's get a new leader, work on our base, bide our time and see what shakes loose. The result was sufficiently horrible that Liberals actually have nothing to lose by giving it another shot.

If it's a disaster next time then fold the party -- whatever is left of it. But for time being, a merger would be a poison pill for both the Liberals and New Democratics alike on the hustings. The worst of both parties would be used against the unified party.

James Curran said...

This is a very good read:

Craig Chamberlain said...

Thanks for the link. A lot of wisdom in returning to values. And I think we may only be on the cusp of what is possible with social networking.

Pedro said...

Your political leader of such astounding academic achievement didn't take the time to read the Liberal constitution or ask his advisors to lay out likely scenarios to any resignation statement.
And many liberals are still keeping to the "He ran a good campaign" meme.

sharonapple88 said...

Liberals members are wasting their time. Swallow pride: Jump ship.

The other boat doesn't look that solid. ;)

Anonymous said...

I would have taken Layton or Ignatieff, any day before Harper.

I hear Harper's convicted felon, that was working for him, is now gone. Harper sent his henchmen, to Guelph University to stop students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes. Harper and the Conservatives, are in contempt of the House. Fascism and dictatorship anyone?

Harper gives, banks, mines, large corporations, gas and oil company's billions of our tax dollars. I saw that motion pass on the House of Common's TV channel. Harper gives these giant company's, huge tax reductions. He just gave them ANOTHER tax reduction, which will be taken off Canadians paychecks. Harper is thieving from Canadian citizens, and giving our money, to the wealthiest outfits in the world. Why?

Harper is a war monger. Canada is in two wars. The cost is at, $36 billion. However, Harper extended our troops stay in Afghanistan. More billions of dollars wasted. The jets "with engines" will be $40 billion. Harper will hide, how many billions his prisons will be. If the opposition demands to know the cost, Harper will prorogue Parliament AGAIN. Harper is a very much behind our back politician.

I am very afraid, we will wake up one morning to find, Canada gone.