12.26.2010 06:40 AM

I know the author of that email

…it was me.

Angelo’s column today, always worth a read.

I stand by what I said: if the Conservatives and the Reformers got their act together, we’d be in big trouble.  They did; we still are.

And they’ll keep winning as long as we keep splitting the vote.


  1. Bill says:

    His columns are their usual drivel.

    I hope he got that Fantino poster he wanted for xmas and some former close advisor got another Ignatieff dartboard.

    New Year’s resolution; stop reading nonsense.

    • Paul R Martin says:

      As long as Liberals refuse to listen to reason, they will continue to spin their wheels and will remain out of power. That was a well thought out and well reasoned article. Anyone who thinks it was drivel has his head in the sand.

      • JenS says:

        He’s right. As long as there’s this petulant attachment to specific dogma, the united right will remain on top.

        • Jan says:

          What specific dogma are you referring to?

          • JenS says:

            I’m not referring to a specific piece – I’m saying there neeeds to be less time spent moaning about how different in ideal the Libs and the NDP are, and start looking at where they could meet in the middle. There seems to be a sense that compromise is unacceptable; yet in real life, it’s often the only practical solution.

    • Brammer says:

      Don’t shoot the messenger….

  2. Bill King says:

    Yup. Must be all Angelo’s fault.

    Keep on fighting kids.


  3. Bill Templeman says:

    Warren, thanks for this. Of course, you are right. While I agree with Angelo, maybe he doesn’t go far enough? Yes, LPC in-fighting is sapping the party’s strength. Yes, there is a vitiating and perennial battle between the left and right wings of the party. Yes, the hypocrisy of the Entitled is crippling election success. Yes, the parade of over-managed and over-coached post-Chretien leaders on very short leashes have not connected with swing voters. Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    The party has made modest efforts to reach out to disaffected Conservatives. Fair enough. But what about the other opposition parties? There are lots smart people who vote Green. There are also lots of smart people who vote NDP. What policy efforts has the party made to reach out to them? From the dearth of substantial policy statements emanating from on LPC Mission Control, perhaps you will forgive me for assuming that the LPC power brokers are of the opinion that all Greens are dangerous eco-terrorists and all Dippers are radical 1930’s Marxists. Shouldn’t the Liberal Party be putting up a bigger tent, one held up by clear and inclusive policy statements?

  4. Conservative Peter says:

    Warren can you give us a hint as to who the recipient of the email was ? Would it have anything to do with a statement about beer and popcorn ?

    I watched in amazement as Paul Martin and his “team” adopted a “scorched earth” policy towards anybody and everybody who had opposed or delayed his accession .

    The video of Mr Martin shrugging off Sheila Copps at the leadership convention as he stormed passed her , not even stopping to shake her outstretched hand , was remarkable .

    I mean why would you want to make an enemy out of her ?

    In his article , Angelo seems to blame weak leadership for the infighting , but I would suggest its the infighting that has left the Liberals with weak leadership .Who from the outside , not involved in either faction would want to lead the party ?

    Before there can be any talk of a merger between the NDP and the Liberals there first has to be one between the two Liberal factions

  5. Sean says:

    I got a card from an MP who has never sent me a Christmas card b/4. This guy has been a Liberal his entire career, speaks both official languages, has lived in every region of the country, has served both in oppo and cabinet. Never, ever recieved anything fron his office b/4.

  6. Conservative Peter says:

    Can you give us a hint ? Is he your MP ?

  7. Massimo Savino says:

    I’m beginning to wonder what it will take to get the vultures out. Unfortunately it may be necessary for a Campbell-style blowout for the rebuild to start.

  8. J. Coates says:

    I’ve often thought that Sheila Copps would have made an excellent leader and PM. Think of all the political hassles that would have been avoided.

  9. orval says:

    Ignatieff is saying today that a vote for Layton and Duceppe is a vote for Harper, therefore NDP and Bloc voters should vote Liberal. Interesting but self-defeating strategy because: (1) there are not enough Winnipeg North type seats to make a difference; and (2) for every two votes the Liberals draw off the NDP and Bloc, three or more Liberal voters will go to Conservatives (e.g. as in Vaughan).

    Liberals have to get away from this dumb idea they have to be DIFFERENT from the Conservatives. They have to be BETTER than the Conservatives. Forget about forcing the next election. The next election will come when it comes. FOCUS on building a better Liberal party that will re-capture voters from all across Canada by being a more-appealing, more competent and better-organized centre-right alternative to the Conservatives. This will not happen overnight. But START NOW. Because today, compared to the Conservatives, the Liberals truly suck.

    • Sean says:

      …such an absurd thing for him to say… a vote for Ignatieff is a vote for Harper’s policies.

      • Saperlipopette says:

        Orval says: “Ignatieff is saying today that a vote for Layton and Duceppe is a vote for Harper [… and this is counterproductive for the LPC].”

        Sean replies: No, no: — “… a vote for Ignatieff is a vote for Harper’s policies.”

        Saperlipopette suggests: “Maybe a vote for Layton is a vote for Layton , a vote for Duceppe is a vote for Duceppe, a vote for Ignatieff is a vote for Ignatieff, and a vote for Harper is a vote for Harper.
        And maybe Canadian voters are tired of being told by their politicians (from all parties), whom they should vote against, instead of whom they should vote for (and why), and maybe that tiredness with the negativity, explains almost fully the patterns of the voting that we see federally at the present time. Maybe.”

  10. Lipman says:

    I’m halfway through Brooke Jeffrey’s “Divided Loyalties” (WK’s name pops up a bunch of times) and all of this is just so depressing. That said, it is probably more painful reading fare for the folks who went through the worst of it in the mid-to-late 1980s, 90s, and 2000s.

  11. Lipman says:

    Retail price is $45 but I got it for Christmas. Definitely worth the money. Yes, you are mentioned in a number of pages. The book is pretty dense at 600+ pages, but will probably stand as required reading on the history of the party- especially during the period of ’84-’08.

    In one section, your website is referred to as “his blog.” I laughed at this…

  12. James Curran says:

    Sorry W., but it appears some good readers here are confusing the message. As in uniting the left. The message here is that the Liberal Party is broken. It’s broken from within. As in there is zero democracy left within theparty. Case in point most recently, Peter Foseca being appointed in Mississauga while others had already filed for the nominatation. You cannot go forward with uniting the left until you can demonstrate you have a tolerability for openess. The Martinites showed the world how to take over a party, and they did it well. Swelling the party ranks to almost a quarter million members. Now everyone in the party thinks they can have their own little fifedoms buy supressing membership altogether.

    In February 2006, in a little Indian restaurant in Hamilton, 14 of us sat around a table with a guy named Ignatieff. He asked each of us what had to be fixed to win back government. When it came my turn to respond I asked “if he would restore democracy within the Liberal Party”, including open nominations. He said yes. HE LIED! His morons, er, minions, instead chose to alienate anyone in the party that didn’t support MI….and they continue on their merry mission. Only now with membership under 50K nationally (nobody ever challenges that number when I throw it out there). Great job their Mr. Leader.

    • JenS says:

      I’m not at all sure anyone’s missed the message. I think the two are so inextricably linked, because with a united right there are so many theories on how to make the Liberal party viable again that the result is infighting that causes the perception the party is broken. I’m not sure the party is broken, but I do think it needs to pause to get its shit together. Right. Now.

  13. Reality Bites says:

    I have no way of knowing who’s “right” and who’s “wrong” in the long-running dispute but one thing is clear – that one side has an unblemished record of complete and utter failure in electoral politics, while the other has a pretty damn good record of success.

  14. Jim says:

    Your problem isn’t infighting – all parties and organizations do it and if it is managed correctly it is actually healthy and productive.

    Speaking for myself, I am pissed right off with the liberals and have been most of my life. Your problem is that you see nothing outside your own offices, and as you point out, your party is more about acquiring power than it is about doing what is best for Canada – or what is right. The current climate of regionalization and disunity in Canada is a direct result of liberal policies. Your economic proposals scare productive people spitless, and your reputation outside of Ontario and Quebec is one of corruption.

    From my perspective in the peanut gallery, your mode of operation was ‘divide and conquer’. Unfortunately the country is now so divided that it is almost ungovernable. We don’t care about your behind-the-scenes feuds and turf wars – we are worried about our jobs, our kids and our bills.

    Sorry Warren, but it IS about policies. You guys need to start thinking about what is good for the country and not just about what is good for you.

  15. Bill Templeman says:

    Orval, you make an interesting point, but the 2008 election results don’t support your conclusion. The Liberals have to both better than and different from the Conservatives.

    Lest we forget, the popular vote in 2008 by party was:

    Cons: 37.6%
    Libs: 26.2%
    NDP: 18.2%
    Bloc: 10%
    Green: 6.8%
    Other: 1.2%

    Add up the Cons and the Libs and you get 63.9%. That’s where all the centrist votes are. So following your analysis, at least 5.7% of the Conservative vote would have to migrate to the Liberals. So using the 2008 numbers, the popular vote for the Cons would have to fall to 31.9% for the Libs and Cons to be even. Translated that means very close to 790,000 Con voters would have to switch to the Libs just to break even. It just ain’t gonna happen.

    What do we know about the Conservative vote? That’s right, it is very solid and their turnout is higher than the Liberals. What do we know about the Liberal vote? Over 800,000 sat on on their hands in 2008. So your notion of appealing to the centre-right doesn’t make any sense. The votes that will put the Libs over the top in the next election stayed home in 2008. And the number of Lib votes to be converted from the remaining 36.1% of the electors may be relatively small. So the Liberals need to be better than before and different from the Conservatives. Moving the party even further right will achieve nothing. That slot on the rink is already too crowded.

    • orval says:

      Hi Bill: The Liberals could win every single NDP seat (like Winnipeg North) and still lose the election big time to the Conservatives. And given that the Liberals are not competitive in Quebec off Montreal Island, there is no hope of big seat gains versus the Bloc.

      I am not convinced that 800K Liberal non-voters will suddenly decide to vote again en masse for a left-leaning Liberal party. Many would go to the Conservatives as Harper becomes more and more centrist. To win, the Liberals MUST appeal to large numbers of non-voters AND Conservative voters not only in Ontario but also in the West. They have to appeal to people for whom the long-gun registry is unpopular and a strong military (with modern fighter jets, ships etc) is popular, and who see Green climate-change activism as job-killing. There are not enough additional left-wing/peacenik/envirofreak voters to make a difference.

      IOW the Liberals have to break out of the TMV (Toronto-Montreal-Vancouver) and make broad gains across the country versus the Conservatives who now have more appeal to voters who used to vote Liberal (for a lack of a better term let’s call them John Manley Liberals).

      The Conservatives OTOH need only target small clusters to improve their position – a few more Vaughans in the 905 or even the 416; a couple of anglophone Montreal seats from Liberals and a few more rural Quebec seats from the Bloc; the six NDP seats Layton sacrificed on the long-gun registry to save Mulcair in Outremont.

      • Thanks Orval: I agree that the way to heaven for the Libs is not via winning NDP seats. And I like your positioning of the John Manley Liberals. But I just don’t know how many of those 800k who stayed home in 2008 would fall into that bucket. The way to victory is by attracting more centrist voters. The right-wingers already have a home. The Libs need more clear policies that appeal to the progressive centre. Canada is not becoming a more conservative place. The problem for the Libs is that the centre in Canada is a very wide field. The LPC right now is playing to right-wing side of that field and going nowhere. Why? Because those voters of that particular persuasion, perhaps your JM Liberals, can vote for the Real Deal in Harper. So the LPC is trying to attract voters who are not there. Like Leaf fans at a Habs home game. They just ain’t there. All I am suggesting is that the Libs may have more success if they start releasing policies that appeal to the rest of the centre.

  16. Jonathan says:


    For all the discussion on this site about ‘uniting the left’, what assurance do we have that if a deal were brokered, we can minimize NDP influence on policy decisions that many partners would find offensive? I imagine that many Liberals (even dyed-in-the-wool ones) would have a rough time supporting NDP defence or foreign policies. Why capture the left when what seems to work best is a stronger centre?

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Precisely. Furthermore, what can be done to minimize the hemorrhaging of those on the left of a merged party to whatever new-lefty-instaparty would surely be created?

      So, apart from combining poll numbers I ask: has political science research been done to reflect that supporters of the LIbs and NDP would in fact elect enough MPs to form a majority government? Again, is this reflected in detailed questionaires/interviews and not just in summing the current # of MPs or poll totals? I’d love to be proven wrong but it seems that merging the two parties together would make for an even more uneasy mashup that the Alliance-PC merger has.

  17. Paul R Martin says:

    A very interesting discussion. It is nice to see that there are some committed and forward thinking Liberals out there. Even though I support the Conservatives, they will not be in power forever. I just hope that the next Liberal government is run by competent people.

  18. Lipman says:

    Paul R:

    In all seriousness, could you name a “competent” Conservative government in Canada during the last thirty years?

    • John Testor says:

      The least popular Tory PM was probably Mulroney, yet if you put politics aside, he introduced long term policies that bolstered Canada’s competitiveness. Yes, the GST was/is not popular, but reality is, the tax it replaced, the FST, was regressive and out of sync with the rest of the OECD countries. The NAFTA, for all its faults, is still the best trade agreement that Canada has ever made. These two combined have massively increased Canada’s competitiveness in an increasingly smaller world.

      So, I would say that Mulroney was competent; not liked, but just like Paul Martin was a good finance minister, Mulroney was a good PM.

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