06.09.2010 03:20 PM

Statement, etc.

Watch Power and Politics at 5 p.m.

I may be wrong – I often am, God knows – but I always try to tell the truth as I know it. And I did.

Tune in, if you’re so inclined.


  1. I hate music says:

    Dude, I’ll join the new party if Scott Reid isn’t in it.

  2. Jan says:

    Scott Reid threatening to eat a microphone if he’s wrong – why is he so dug in?

  3. Michael Watkins says:

    CBC posted WK’s affadavit here.

    Scott Reid calls WK a liar via his comment “I don’t believe it” and that he’ll eat his microphone if it (a new political organization) happens.

    I’d like to see him chow down on that, and hope it happens soon.

  4. auntie-em-m says:

    Yech! I’m opposed. I do not think Chretien worked so long for the party and really supports its demise. Et tu?

  5. Paul R. Martin says:

    Very interesting. As far as I am concerned, Warren has more credibility than Scott Reid. If Scott Reid has to eat his microphone as he just promised, I suggest a chaser of beer and popcorn.

    Warren is also quoted as telling Mr. Apps that a merger would be risky. A conspiraacy theorist might think that Warren by placing the merger idea on the front burner was trying to sink the idea. I strongly doubt that he would do that as Mr. Chretien seemed to favour a merger if it was doable. As an outsider, it certainly does appear to me that the division between the Chretien and Martin camps remains.

  6. '46 Knucklehead says:

    Why in the name of all that’s holy, would the NDP totally capitulate and fold itself into the Liberal Party of Canada? They’ve already shifted as far to the right as they dare & now occupy the place on the political spectrum that the Libs held in the ’70s; the Libs have become a right-wing party run by big-business heads and that is anathema to the core of the NDP members.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree. I know too many NDPers who would never vote Liberal – it’s just not their cup of herbal tea.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Why does it matter whether they talked about it in the past, anyway? Talk is cheap – it’s what is actually happening that counts. Who cares what they talked about – if they did? It’s like tattle-tales – why is this creating such an uproar?

      It’s going to get so that people will be afraid to talk to each other without witnesses; I think it’s really sad that conversations have to be reported as if it’s some kind of crime.

      • Justin says:

        What I find fascinating vis-a-vis the “I know Liberals/NDPers who would NEVER vote NDP/Liberal” is that it presupposes that the amalgamated party a) would capitulate, wholly, to one or the other, b) that this capitulation would overthrow business liberal candidates in blue ridings who hold seats or social democrats in orange ones in a similar position at the other extreme, and c) that the party that emerged would be a party-line whipped organization like traditional parties in this country.

        I really don’t believe any of those would hold in reality. Social democratic candidates and executives would dominate the ridings they traditionally do. Blue liberals would in the ridings they traditionally do. And such a coalition wouldn’t hold without a more open policy regarding backbench votes (ie three-line whips, etc).

        And the party that could credibly pull that off (and either the left or right will soon enough)? That’s a sustainable majority government.

        • '46 Knucklehead says:

          It demonstrates a little more than arrogance when a struggling Liberal Party demands that in order to have a chance to unseat the Harperites, the NDP abandon its core values and bow down before King Michael. Much has been said about uniting the left in this country, much as the “unite the right” movement a few years ago; the problem being that the Liberals are a centre-right party and the NDP represent the working-class (just to the left of centre). Recent polls have shown that a majority of voters prefer Layton over Ignatieff. The Libs are not the party they were in the Chretien era.

          • Justin says:

            I disagree with your assessment, and I think it really represents the outdated view of whipped party politics I was talking about. The enclaves of working class New Democrats are about the same as the enclaves of Liberal farmers: Sure, they’re around, and they still elect a few people, but they no longer represent the whole of the party.

            The NDP and the Liberals both represent rather broad coalitions that range from moderate and socially conservative on the right of the Liberal Party to socially conservative populists on the left, such that it is, in the NDP. And remember, Layton is the NDP leader who has tried, sometimes successfully, to recruit on Bay Street.

            On the whole the parties compete for a bunch of socially liberal Keynesians who want to see their kids go to university, move to the suburbs, buy nice things, but still give a crap about the rest of society and the world at large. About 20 minutes with the CES data from the last couple elections would show this empirically.

            It isn’t 1970 anymore, and I think outside of the activists in both parties the country would prefer a broad coalition party of the center-left as an alternative to the Conservatives, rather than a protest party and a bunch of old white guys trying to relive the 1990s.

  7. allegra fortissima says:

    Moi? Jean Chretien soutient une coalition, je dis. Ne pas une fusion…

  8. Emily says:

    I’ll join the new party, but not if either Iggy or Layton heads it.

    A new party has no baggage, and requires a new leader to match.

  9. bc says:


    Kudos for telling the truth in this whole matter. And despite objections to many of your posts, you are a person I feel is honest.

    Though these rumblings suggest that perhaps the Liberal party and you don’t believe that Ignatieff really is the leader you’ve boasted about for the past year.

  10. Joseph says:

    Consider the fact that Iggy himself knew it, if it was necessary for him to know it, but didn’t know it, if it was not necessary for him to know it.

  11. Namesake says:

    Yeah, I don’t believe my namesake would be both jeopardizing his career (doubt he’ll be getting any major federal Loberal contracts any time soon) and perjuring himself over a lie; I really don’t think he’s making it up out of whole cloth that at some point there were such discussions. Glad Terry Milewski was on P&P to throw a lifeline & provide a little perspective on how to read b/w the lines on the carefully crafted official denials, & Lord knows, given the rough ride he received, he’s probably no great fan of Chretien or his team. And for what it’s worth, it was Chantal H

  12. Wascally Wabbit says:

    Well done.
    Get all this stuff out in the open.
    Deals cut in dark smoky back rooms never look good in the clear night of day.

  13. Andrew says:

    I find that both parties and leaders are “protesting” too much about any discussion of a coalition or merger. Its almost as if two guilty lovers were caught and are now trying to deny anything and everything.

  14. Erik says:

    This is very interesting. Power & Politics is NEVER this interesting!
    Who is John Meraz?

  15. J. Coates says:

    Jezus Murphy. Why do so many people think the universe revolves around Ottawa?

    As any fool knows it revolves around Calgary. 🙂

  16. Jim says:

    Now who is lying, Apps or Kinsella?

  17. George Webb says:

    Hey Warren
    As a 69YO Albertan I fail the majority of my demographic on at least 2 counts. I have voted Liberal in every election since 1962 and I have post secondary education. I have worked and contributed on 12 provincial an federal campaigns, I have never voted for a successful candidate and in only one case when I was in Ontario in 2008 did I work for a winning candidate. (I did a poll drop for the leader) As a Liberal voter before Scott Reid and David Hearle were born I seen a lot of Liberal winners but I’ve also learned to recognize losers and Reid & Hearle are losers as was their former boss. If the OLO doesn’t get it’s shit together they will lose me which really does not matter, but they might miss the contribution to the victory fund every month.

  18. Paul R. Martin says:

    Now Mr. Apps is claiming that Warren called him and told him of the meeting of senior officials from the two parties and that he discouraged Warren from pursuing the idea. Interestingly, Mr. Apps did not appear to deny that meetings took place. Where there is smoke there probably is some fire. Warren submitted a sworn written statement. Mr Apps seems to have left himself some wriggle room.

  19. Michael Watkins says:

    John Mraz: Backs up WK with his own affidavit, notes also “Joe Clark” among those involved in whatever negotiations are happening with elder LPC, NDP, statesfolks. Well, sometimes things get stranger before clarity dawns.

    • Michael Watkins says:

      CBC published affidavit of John Mraz now. Says Apps claimed Joe Clark and Roy McMurty involved http://bit.ly/aCdG4G #cdnpoli

      It it were a hoax, it at least has some intricate elements to it. McMurty is an age old pal of former Ontario PC leader and premier Bill Davis and through him has connections with John Tory. Davis played some role in bringing the CA-PC together and/or giving it legitimacy. Davis was not comfortable with the Mike Harris rightward lean, and was supportive of some of Trudeau’s policies in particular repatriation of the constitution and the hated (in the west) NEP. Davis is the sort of middle of road leader that most Canadians like. Ok, most east of Alberta.

      McMurty also had a hand in ousting Diefenbaker.

      What a novel this makes, but I’ll allow others to use their imaginations lest I become wordy.

      Bottom line, if you are going to create a party that appeals to real centrists, these are certainly some elder statesfolks you could include on the team, along with Broadbent and others. I don’t think someone like Mraz would throw these names around casually unless there were truth to the matter.

  20. Michael Ross says:

    Hello Warren Kensella,

    Liberal and NDP merger: great idea. No one today advocates the replacement of capitalism with socialism, including the NDP and other social democratic, socialist, progressive, labour or centre-left liberal parties. Consequently, there is no reason to split the left vote. It is in the best interest of all centre-left, left. Liberal and NDP voters and supporters for these parties to merge and fight an election unified. The majority of voters in most advanced liberal democratic polities are progressive. You are a brilliant political individual and I hope you will do what you can to push this merger into fruition. I will support you anyway that I can.

  21. Namesake says:

    (cont’d; cut-off portion) …it was Chantal H

  22. Iris Mclean says:

    Why would the NDP want to form a coalition with the Liberals, who have already had a coalition with the Reformatories for the last four years?

  23. JStanton says:

    It appears that nowadays, Mr. Ignatieff takes his advice from Mr.Reid and Mr.Herle, who have everything to lose should the LPC’s current circumstances change, and new opportunities and new blood emerge. Given their record of failing to have Mr. Martin best Mr. Harper, I’m confused as to why Mr. Ignatieff follows their advice so slavishly.

    Insofar that, as we are told by Mr. Johnson, “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”, when I hear Mr.Reid and Mr.Herle bleat piously about how the history and traditions of the Liberal Party must be cherished and maintained, I am immediately suspicious and alert to treachery. This, after all, is the same party they sought to undermine, while mounting a coup d’etat against its most successful leader, that has led directly to the party’s current unhappy circumstances, and the need for grass-roots liberals to take extraordinary steps to ensure Canada does not sink further into the barbarism of a Conservative world-view.

    I had hoped for a coalition of the opposition parties to take out Mr. Harper. This could have occurred rapidly, through the non-confidence route, enabling an immediate change of government. The new government could have been arranged through a power-sharing agreement between all stakeholders, including the Bloc (who are, after all, the representatives of a significant number of Canadians).

    But, clearly, with Mr. Ignatieff’s intransigence made clear today once and for all, we are left with only one alternative – to form a new party among left-of centre realists who are more concerned with saving Canada than, as is the case with entrenched LPC operatives, maintaining the failed status quo.

  24. Miles Hopper says:

    This whole topic is a storm in a teacup, it’s the attention getting talking point of the day. The Liberal Party of Canada was out of power for nearly a decade (twice as long as the current situation) while Brian Mulroney was Prime Minister and never had to seriously consider a merger or talk about a coalition government to come back as strong as ever with Jean Chretien as leader. Furthermore, a merger between the Liberal Party and the NDP is a virtual impossibility. Jack Layton is never going to be subordinate to Ignatieff. Layton has been a party leader longer than Ignatieff has been a politician. Also, if an NDP party member can’t be leader of the new merged party then they will certainly expect to fill the second most influential post in government – finance minister – and the notion that the Liberal party members would stand for having a former member of a ‘socialist’ party as finance minister is incredibly implausible.

    • Dave in Maple Ridge says:

      “… and the notion that the Liberal party members would stand for having a former member of a ’socialist’ party as finance minister is incredibly implausible.”

      And what position did Bob Rae hope to gain with the federal Liberals recently? A former NDP premier and not a mere finance portfolio …. so, not that implausible in my view.

      Power has made stranger bedfellows than this.

      • Miles Hopper says:

        The crucial word there is “hope”. There is a reason he was unsuccessful. It would be all too easy for the Conservative party to criticize, and mount a potent negative campaign against a party lead by Ignatieff and with a NDP finance minister. The merged party would not be as powerful as some may hope, which makes it much more of a risk than the potential benefits merit. What the Liberal party needs is patience and a solid strategy to rebuild without a merger.

  25. wallyj says:

    An interesting scenario to ponder; Parliament reconvenes in September. The first bill,a confidence matter,that is tabled is the one that does away with the party subsidies. What next ? Do the Libs/Ndp support the bill and commit a slow financial suicide? Do they vote it down and go into an election with a coalition intact ? Or with the ‘coalition if necessary’ platform? The last two choices stink to high heavens of desperation fueled by greed… That noise you hear in the distance is the Conservative steamroller coming your way.

  26. TheDazzler says:

    Given Reid and the Martinites are the ones who have destroyed the LPC due to their anal-retentive Bay Street values, I almost welcome their loss.

    How about taking one for the team boys? No? Ahh well I guess we know whose interests you have eh Reid et al. You know what, I liked Reid’s feisty nature in the past but really it’s 2010, the machinations of the past are irrelevant in todays world.

  27. Michael Harkov says:

    Warren, wow what a day. I may not agree much in any way with your politics, but I am sure as hell looking forward to reading your next book, if you are so inclined. Anything in the works?

  28. Jim says:

    Yes, a most interesting day. It is times like these that make being a political junkie seem worthwhile.

    As much as I disagree with WK, I have to commend him for standing by his story on this one. I believe WK to be alot of things, a liar is not one of them. And the LPC is most certainly calling him one while trying to stuff him under the bus.

    As an aside, I would not be surprised to see the next few polls trending the CPC into majority territory.

    The LPC is weak and hopeless at controlling the message. Any public mention of a merger or coalition should have be squelched at the outset, but it seems “progressives” like to talk too much and cannot play their hand close to the vest.

    The hell with a merger or a coalition…how about the LPC just die the death it has brought on itself and voters can just choose between the NDP or the CPC (and the Bloc, of course). Notice I didn’t mention the Greens? Well, they are destroying themselves with no outside help.

    Personally, I could see a CPC majority with the Bloc as official opposition being a real possibility if this idiocy comes to pass.

  29. robert says:

    Good. Now let’s get on with cleansing this country of Harperites. And, if down the road it needs be done again – so be it. Canada first, last and always. Screw ideology.

    • Jim says:

      You make me laugh robert. Do you not realize that the “Harperites” as you call them make up a large and broad section of Canadian society?

      I am a nonreligious, fiscally conservative, socially liberal, small business owning, high tax paying Canadian that is fairly happy with the changes the CPC has made to make my life better.

      There are alot of us.

      To “cleanse” the country of “Harperites” would require some sort of genocide I am sure.

      Perhaps trying to convince people like me might be a better course of action would be a better tack.

      • Jim says:

        As well, robert, please express to me what your idea of Canada is?

        A free ride because you were Canadian born perhaps? I doubt it has anything to do with personal merit forwarding your standing as a human being and a Canadian citizen working for the betterment of Canadian society.

        So many of you chatter and complain, yet you offer nothing.

        Why should I, as a net benefit to Canadian society listen to any of you?

        Convince me!

  30. HonestB says:

    While I don’t doubt that Warren is being honest, I’ll be more likely to believe something will come of this if I hear some NDP sources backing the idea of a coalition. The problem is, a weak Liberal party looks good for the NDP, and Layton enjoys more personal popularity than Ignatieff. I’m not sure they’re entirely unhappy with the ongoing minority situation, which gives them more influence and higher profile than they’ve had in years.

  31. Steve T says:

    Harper throws Guergis under a bus. Iggy throws Kinsella under a bus. What’s next? Jack Layton dissing Libby Davies? What a strange time.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    I’d like to see an organizational/genealogical chart of everyone in the Liberal party to date – starting in about 1950 – who knows who, who’s closely associated with who, what alliances there are, and what continues.

    Canadians are generally ignorant of all this stuff, but it’s what makes the wheels go around. Baggage, and loyalties, and none of it makes for logical decisions.

  33. Namesake says:

    I think my msg kept getting cut off ‘cuz I used an accent:

    …it was Chantal Hebert who first leaked (on the ‘At Issue’ panel a few weeks ago) that there were high-level discussions among the eminence grises – incl. JC & Broadbent. I doubt WK was her source; be interesting to know who was.

    Also, to those who are now branding WK as a traitor for bringing this out when it seemed to him the party was doomed to founder on its present course, & that at least he shoulda shut up now because the Libs are gaining steam over this G8/20 stuff, I say:

    Come on. Don Martin was right (on P&P): this Fake-Lake-Gate stuff’s just a blip, a tempest in a teapot; it’ll be forgotten over the summer, & the Cons will spin whatever meager results come out of the meetings & hype the wonderful economy to overshadow all that small beer stuff. And like WK, I believe if the Libs continued in their usual wishful thinking fashion, they’ll resoundingly lose the next election (-s: probably plural).

    But look what WK’s agitation has accomplished within about a week: Iggy’s had to retract the idiotic stance released in those talking points that he wouldn’t even entertain a colation _after_ the next election; all the buzz has got much of the electorate now thinking much more favourably about various possibilities to unseat the Harper-tator, and that maybe there will be some point to voting, after all; and acc. to the CBC, he’s even managed to galvanize & unify the party today: suddenly putting Iggy in a greater position of strength than he’s ever had. No small feats, those, and all done not only for free but also at considerable cost to his career.

    Whereas what have all those Monday morning quarterbacks, cheerleaders, & apologists accomplished. Nada: they’re prepared to go down with the sinking ship for the next 4 to 8 to 12 years, praying for a big enough scandal to sink the others’ ship, instead of shoring up or righting (or in this case, lefting) their own.

  34. Greg says:

    So the libs want a coalition with the NDP. I thought the cons and libs had a coalition. Didn’t the libs just support another con budget?

  35. A merger wouldn’t be necessary if the Liberals and NDP agreed to adopt proportional representation.

  36. Gord says:

    I agree with those who point out that this is not an ideal time to talk about a possible merger between the NDP and Liberals – but the idea has some merit given the realities of electoral arithmetic in First Past the Post. Although I believe Canada should adopt some form of proportional representation, I seriously doubt we will see this for a long-long time (like several decades).

    The Liberals as a party seems to be resting on its past glories and needs an injection of some new ideas. Same goes for the NDP – although I think they have a good focus issue with expanding CPP.

    Lets assume that the next election results in another Harper/Conservative minority or even possibly a conservative majority with less than 40% popular vote. I think that this should induce a merger between Liberals and NDP and I like the sound of “Liberal Democrat” as that certainly is where my natural affinity rests.

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