12.09.2010 09:57 AM

The stench of death (updated)

Everyone who has worked in politics knows what it is.

It’s hard to define, as is the joy that you get from a winning campaign. It’s a feeling, and one that you really can’t put into words.  You walk into a winning campaign, or attend a jubilant rally, or whatever, and you can feel it. It’s a winning feeling.  It’s the best feeling there is, pretty much.

It’s not a scientific measurement, by any means.  When I had the privilege to run for Jean Chretien in North Vancouver in 1997, for example, a member of my family – one who had lots of political experience – observed my campaign office and amazing team, and said that it truly “feels like a winning campaign.”  Except that I lost, decisively, to a guy the Canadian Press called “elfin,” and whom his own leader despised.  So it’s not always an accurate measurement.

But this week, at least, quite a few political noses are starting to twitch.  They are wondering if the smell of defeat is starting to settle in around the Liberal Party of Canada.

First, there was the respected Nik Nanos, suggesting in his big end-of-year survey that the Reformatories are on track for a majority.  Said Nik: “The current configuration of national support for the Conservatives suggests that numerically a Tory majority government can be formed without significant breakthrough in the province of Quebec.”

Then, there was that Abacus poll everyone was wondering about, showing there Harper party more than ten points ahead of the Ignatieff team.  Said Abacus, which is not yet well-known: “The Conservatives dominate the opposition parties among Canadians aged 45 and over, and have large leads in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and in British Columbia.  In battleground Ontario, the Conservatives have an 8-point lead over the Liberals, with the NDP trailing at 21%.”

Then, yesterday afternoon, the Angus Reid poll that really had Grit phones and Blackberries buzzing: the poll that had the Grits a big 12 points behind the Reformatories – and half of the identified Liberal vote wanting a change in leadership.  Unlike all of the other leaders, Angus Reid said in a release, “the situation is unquestionably different for Michael Ignatieff, with a majority of Canadians (56%) and almost half of Liberal voters in 2008 (46%) claiming that the Grits should change their leader before the next federal election.”

And, finally, last night – not a poll, but a performance.  Stephen Harper tinkling the ivories, and singing up a storm, at the Conservative staff Christmas party.  Even the paper that historically favours the Liberal Party, the Toronto Star, was gushing: “Stephen Harper as Mick Jagger? Hard to imagine, but there was the Prime Minister belting out “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in front of a packed crowd of Conservative MPs and staff Wednesday night…[it was] a foot-stomping, hand-clapping show that had cabinet ministers dancing.”

(The OLO response? They deplored the fact Harper didn’t sing anything in French. Seriously. Perhaps the unilingual anglophone OLO Director of Communications came up with that one.)

What’s it all mean?  Well, some will say it’s a lot of rock’n’roll sound and fury signifying nothing, of course.  The polls are outliers, Harper’s performance won’t change voters’ views about him, no one cares about politics right now and they don’t want an election anytime soon, and so on.

Those are all fair comments.  They may even be true.

But on this bitterly-cold December morning, I can tell you that quite a few Liberals are starting to get highly, highly uncomfortable.  They are unhappy. They are asking questions.  They are wondering if this week is a blip, or a trend.

And their noses are starting to twitch, and not just because of the cold.

UPDATE: And Frank Graves clears the air, returning it to its previous pleasant odour!


  1. Michael Bussiere says:

    I once knew an ‘average voter’ who complained about Trudeau because the government wouldn’t let them build a large deck at their cottage. Wonder if there is some spillover in Ont and Que from provincial discontent. Who the hell knows!

    • Paul says:

      That average voter had a point. If Trudeau had remembered to include property rights his wonderful charter, there would probably be no need for people to ask “the government” to “let” them build things on their own damn land.

  2. Catherine says:

    You have had too many late nights.

    The air is clear and the fire soot is beginning to mount on the governing party.

    I don’t care much about Harper’s ‘performance.’

    I have kids with educations who need to find jobs.

    • Ted H. says:

      I agree, this is just bread and circuses and very little of it is bread at that. If a tacky cover of Neil Diamond by the PM is all it takes to get a majority, God help us, we really would be stupid. The quality of the PM’s performance matches the quality of government the Conservatives are offering.

      Someone has to get real and start talking about serious issues. No more garage band government.

    • Herta says:

      Me too. There are too many young adults struggling either to find a job or juggling two or three poor quality jobs, despite having a great work ethic and a solid education.

  3. Harith says:

    If the liberals had some backbone and actually tried to even pretend they were an effective opposition then their fortunes would turn. But as it stands, they seem to shy away from anything that could actually trigger an election because they know it’s a lose-lose situation. This also includes voting with the tories on things that should never pass.

    Frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that liberal support and support for this so-called leader of theirs is so low. This could be a big breakthrough chance for the NDP, though.

  4. Catherine says:

    Warren, I’m not sure about your views.

    You seem to be more focused on the foibles of ‘our team’ rather than ‘their team.’

    And ‘their team’ is consistent with their ability to ‘hang together’ against the other guy.

    • Warren says:

      If OLO is circulating the pleadings in my divorce to the media and others, I owe them nothing, wouldn’t you say?

      • matt says:

        Dude! Break some teeth.

      • Namesake says:

        Sigh. Very sorry to hear that, for _every_one concerned.

        I’d assumed from your earlier hints about this that it was a continuation of your feud w. the distorting To. Star reporter.

        Instead, it’s your former employer trying to undercut your Sun-enhanced profile & discount your crit’s by portraying you as just a disgruntled, troubled, vindictive ex-employee… which may not only be as illegal & unethical as you suspect, but is also very stupid politically, because it summarily cuts off one of the otherwise very sturdy legs of their attack platform of this gov’t as a bunch of bully boys who stoop to cowardly, unseemly & sometimes even illegal means to silence their watchdogs & critics, as in their complicity with Veterans Affairs dealings with Sean Bruyea. Maybe an expensive, ugly lawsuit could effect a regime change in that OLO bureaucracy & the sr. ranks of the Party that condones that sort of behavior?

      • Cat says:

        You’re exactly right Warren. You’re thoughts in your post are dead-on. Clearly the more folks warm up to Harper the more they move away from Ignatieff (and if you believe the polling numbers on popularity to Layton).

      • Michael Reintjes says:

        Man…That is truly Brutal…I know Politics is a cut throat business, but that lacks any scruples and compassion….So Sorry.

      • Lance says:

        Wow. Just when I think that the bottom of the barrel is reached, then I read here that a trap door is on the bottom of that barrel and see that once opened, there are more subterranean floors. Unreal. And unfortunate. Sorry, dude. 🙁

  5. Rick T. says:

    I smell a majority and probably this Spring. The Conservatives are very tried of bills getting tied up in committees with amendments. They want the Bills passed into law. Non confidences votes in the near future.

    • Kevin says:

      The Conservatives should probably stop proroguing then, and start calling their own bills instead of letting them grow stale on the order paper. They could also stop shouting down motions to pass some of their bills on voice votes. They might even scrap their own big binder of how to tie up committee business.

      Every time I see Rob Nicholson on the TV I want to throw things at him and his big lying mouth.

  6. Be_rad says:

    On the momentum to dump their leader: Do the Liberals have a Chretien waiting in the wings? Some one who has the political smarts to mount an effective campaign, who has a winning persona and who has the necessary national profile and network to get grassroot Liberals energized and back on board? Some one who can correct the damage done at the riding level by Martin that has still to be addressed? And someone who can do all this after conducting a proper leadership race, win it and then consolidate everything in time for an election call by March/April?

    • James Curran says:

      At least when Martin ruined the party he ruined it with 200,000 new members. These fawckers don’t want members. They don’t even want anyone claiming to “want to organize” anything in this fucking party at all. They make up rules as they go. Screw the constitution of the party and its rules and regulations (we’ll have a caucus revolt and 58 of us will implant a new leader circa 2008). They want their own little personal fifedoms and to run the show in their little tiny corners of the country. I’m gonna guess membership nationally is a pitiful 50k or less right now. I hope someone comes on here and tells me different.

      You know Warren, I’m just pissed off enough right now to start taking ridings over again.

      • Be_rad says:


        The only thing I know about Liberal riding associations sis that their numbers were certainly plumped up under Martin, but it was done at the expense of the experienced teams in place. They displaced executives who knew who their voters were, where they lived, who would take signs, where the signs were, who had a truck…etc…

        Those 200,000 new members have vaporized and left empty executives behind them. The old guard have gone on with their lives. From your answer, I gether it hasn’t improved any.

        If you are influential within your party, get the power balance back. Make the party about the people at the grassroots as much as it is about the leadership at the top. You need both: meaningful input and influence from the base and smart coordination at the top. As WK will tell you, a party needs its leadership to make choices that will make it successful, but those choices have to be within the sweet spot expectations if the party base. Right now, it seems it’s all about looking for insignificant zingers, and not about building a coalition of support among the regions.

        Economics, social policy, quebec/national unity: Liberals used to have the ability to claim those three and balance them appropriately for the times. They need to get back to their strengths.

  7. billg says:

    The OLO’s response was pathetic, and, so very predictable. Mr Harper looks like a man who is becoming more comfortable in his skin.

    • The Doctor says:

      And it’s characteristic of one of the general problems with the Liberal opposition’s approach these days: it’s scattershot, and consists of this automatic, predictable negative REACTION to anything Harper or his government does. This is not a winning strategy. This is not even a strategy, really. A strategy is proactive, not reactive. The Liberals end up looking petulant, and no consistent, coherent vision or message is communicated to the voters.

  8. Christian says:

    Up until a month ago, I was a supporter of the Liberal Party. I was donating monthly and I was attending events (as time allowed) such as the policy conference in March. Than came the the Harper-Rae-Ignatieff Afghanistan fiasco and it all changed. I could no longer deny the fact that the Liberal Party sole interest was the interest as expressed by the top dogs and backroom boys. It was not interested in actually doing its vitally important job as the Loyal Official Opposition. It became absolutely crystal clear to me that their one interest is to displace the Tories at all costs and would make any deal with the devil to make that happen. This was criticism that I had been hearing from friends and collegues but I defended the Party’s actions as “necessary”.

    I’m tired of defending them and I won’t do it any longer.

    The Liberal Party does not need a new leader. As far as intelligent, thoughtful leaders go you can’t do much better than Ignatieff. No, what the Party needs is a new culture one that isn’t defined by power for powers sake. Until the culture changes nothing will change. The Party will continue as it has regardless of who the leader is. How will we know if the Party has changed its culture? When it finally decides to be an effective Opposition as Canadians expect it to be. When it holds the Harper gov’t to account for its mis-deeds (and there are many). When it doesn’t back away from a fight because it MIGHT trigger and election. Once that happens I (and I think many other former supporters) will once again consider the Liberal Party of Canada worthy of my support.

  9. Bruce Marcille says:

    Warren, I like you when you are obviously mad and willing to share the unvarnished truth. It seems you’re at your best when writing to wound (ie the loathed P. Martin.)
    Your inner Punk shines through!!

  10. John W. says:

    As much as a regret it and fear the results of a majority, slowly I think Harper has convinced that Canadians that he looks like the PM, acts like the PM, is acceptable and comfortable as a PM, is competent on the big stuff, and doesn’t have a fearful hidden agenda. I’m not an historian, but I think he was once Nixon, but has now morphed into MacKenzie King. I think Paul Wells identified this strategy: something like every day he is PM, he’s PM; he’s outlasting Canadians. I fear a majority. Hey Warren! What about Harper and Hudak both with majorities???

  11. Bill says:

    Harper will get his majority.

    Oddly, that may be his undoing.

  12. Lance says:

    “The LPC has a little under two years to prepare for the next election – no vote happens unless the LPC agrees to trigger one. They control the timeline.”
    No, that is not quite right. It is the Tories that decide what the trigger will be. It will up to the LPC to pull it or not, to decide to swallow poison or not. And the Tories can ask the GG for an election any time. They did the last time and got one, winning again.

    “Oddly, that may be his undoing.”
    Why? After 5+ years with two minority governments and 4+ years with a majority, he may want to leave on a high note anway, a legacy cemented.

  13. Art Williams says:

    I think that it may be going in this direction but a more definitive sign is needed. An example? Well the Conservative Government has been Israel’s best friend and the CPC has courting communities with large Jewish populations as a small part of their ethnic outreach program. Having Volpe or Dryden decide to retire and holding a by-election in one of those two ridings would be a true test. Many people don’t know but, last election in the City Of Toronto, the Conservatives had some of their best gains in Eglinton-Lawrence and York-Centre. A win or even a near win would shake the Liberals to the core. Regardless, the signs are worrisome.

  14. Thank you for this post. It takes courage to call your old team out on a stupid communication response to a Christmas party that the media publicized. You will be attacked by those too close and loyal. Questioning strategy or communications out in the public is a sign of weakness. They media will exploit it.

    I believe Janine Krieber’s post one year after the dumping of Dion. What has changed from December 2008?

    Again thank you for your insight.

    • James Curran says:

      What has changed from December 2008?

      The environment, as an issue for the Liberal Party, is dead. It died with Stephane’s leadership.

      And, we’re 50000 members less than we were.

  15. JStanton says:

    I’m reminded of the sign-off by Peter Truman, back when journalists worked at the Networks – “that’s not news, but it too is reality”.

    Mr. Ignatieff was anointed by the LPC 2 years ago tomorrow. By the Summer of 2009 we knew our hunches were correct. While a great intellectual, and fundamentally a decent person, Mr. Ignatieff was unprepared for and unable to fight a successful campaign for dominance by the LPC.

    With his demise now sufficiently inevitable that even Liberal caucus members have figured it out, I hope he has the grace to avoid the street-fighting, deceit, and betrayals that are to come, and move on to something better-suited to his nature.

    Mr. Harper will support this exit strategy,( by calling/forcing an election soonest), insofar as Mr. Ignatieff will get his kick at the can, after which he may gracefully bow out, “to spend more time with his family”.

    Yes, that’s right: the necessary purging of the LPC necessitates an election, and probably a Harper majority. Sad, even ironic, but true.

    And I blame the hubris of Mr. Martin for all of this.

  16. MJH says:

    The Liberals would do well to reign in their over-the-top and constant criticisms of the Cons. Terms like Harperites and Reformatories are very stale and illustrate Liberal pettiness. It does them no good at all and sounds very immature.

    • Warren says:

      I invented Reformatory, I think. I therefore welcome your compliment!

      • Art Williams says:

        Actually, the term “Reformatories” is dating anyone who knows what it means. If you asked a twenty-something they’d reply, “what are talking about”? Still, it bugs Conservative hacks especially those of the Red Tory stripe.

      • hugger says:

        Actually I used the term here first. I think… whatever.

        If it annoys the Cons that’s good. It was intended to .

    • The Other Jim says:

      I float to the right-side of the political spectrum, but I have to admit to being far less annoyed by either of those terms than I am by “Lieberals” and “Leftards”. I really don’t get commentators (mostly in newspaper comments but also on some blogs) who think that they are being clever/insightful/whatever by typing Lieberal in every freaking sentence. Honestly, it makes the commentary almost unreadable.

    • Dave says:

      What about Fiberals, Lieberals, etc, etc?

    • Kevin says:

      How did over-the-top and constant criticism work for the Tories in opposition?

      (Hint: they aren’t in opposition any more.)

  17. Brad says:

    The Harper gov’t has the worst financial record in modern times and thats nothing new with PC gov’ts. Yet Canadians when polled always indicate the PC’s are the best party for managing finances.

    Why can’t the LPC start to hack away at that myth. If Harper ever gets a majority, we’ll never know the truth about how all the stimulus money was squandered and you can bet a lot of it was wasted.

    Didn’t the LPC agree to the spending if there was regular reports? Are they following up? I am sure if they took a decent look, they find all sorts of partisan waste.

    All I can think is, the LPC braintrust has decided not to do any pre-emptive campaigning, as Canadians are not interested anyways. Are they waiting until there is an election?

    • Warren says:

      All very good questions.

    • Harith says:

      Because the tories would instantly counter with wedge politics, bringing up things like the sponsorship scandal, etc. And sadly, those tactics resonate with enough people to keep the tories in power, for now.

      • The Doctor says:

        Sadly, sorry to bring this back to the fact-based world, but as I recall, the last credible report on the stimulus program suggested that this government had actually done a fairly decent job with the stimulus money. And one of the problems I see in the LPC approach these days is they hunger for this Magic Scandal, the silver bullet that’s going to smite the CPC and usher in a brand new day of Liberal hegemony. It’s so much easier to pine for that than to do grungy things like actually come up with policies and a plan for governing Canada.

        • James Curran says:

          Notto mention they just extended the funding deadline an extra six months for stimulus funds.

          • Cat says:

            what would really make me a happy camper is if they brought back the home renovation tax credits. Still not finished what we started.

          • Namesake says:

            Well, they could probably be easily persuaded to implement a tax credit to incentivize people installing those nice old-school low-efficiency oil-burning furnaces they used in the 50s!

  18. Brammer says:

    …or Campbell’s Tories.

  19. Andrew says:

    Time to rethink Iggy as leader of the LPC. I’ve read a few of his books and their is enough election fodder written in his own words to make any policy statements issued by the LPC to be shot full of holes and contradictions. The Conservatives will have an easy time picking apart an Liberal election platform.

  20. hugger says:

    I had seen the Ekos poll earlier and dug up Nanos and Angus Reid for comparison. One thing that strikes me odd is that Nanos always low balls the Greens. Often badly as in his latest offering. The comparisons were Ekos 10.4, Reid 7 and Nanos 3.

    Do these pollsters focus on specific areas of the country each time they do a poll? I can’t think of any other explanation for that variance.

    • Warren says:

      They’re media polls. You get what you pay for them.

    • Brendan Kane says:

      The other pollsters prompt with the parties’ names, Nanos doesn’t

      • The Doctor says:

        That would explain it. Prompting with party names would also presumably possibly register a point or two for the communists, Rhinos, Monster Raving Loony Party etc., depending how far down the list you want to go . . .

        • hugger says:

          Which would bring it back to what Mr. K wrote. It seems a bit of a stretch that mentioning the Greens would produce a 7% differential.

          Maybe Nanos could be swayed to prompt, R U gonna vote Conservative or Pinko?

    • Namesake says:

      It’s worth noting that the new Ekos poll has TWICE as many respondents as the others (about 2,600), and a correspondingly lower margin of error (>2), & it’s phone (incl. cell-) rather than internet based, all of which give it more credibility than the other more pessimistic ones this week.

      And even tho’ it looks a bit low for the NDP now (14.4), & the full report’s not out yet, I really think that with those margins of error, if the election genuinely were actually held next week & the undecided sorted themselves out, the results would be:

      pretty much exactly the way they were in ’08, in terms of the popular vote distribution (but w. more seats for the Libs & less for the Cons., so with a very good chance for the immediate non-confidence / coalition scenario to play out again).

      In other words: as you were, everybody.

  21. orval says:

    The LPC are in a sorry state because they actually continue to act like the “entitled to their entitlements” party – they refuse to face the truth about what went wrong 1993-2003 and won’t do their homework and earn their way back…they act like by some miracle those foolish Canadian voters will realize their huge mistake and come back to the warm comfy fur of the Liberal party and all they have to do is wait and just spend their days idly calling Conservatives and their growing number of supporters puerile names. It’s not going to happen. Unless they pull out of their steep dive now, they will inevitably go extinct. Which would be a terrible shame not only because of the Liberals’ great history, but also because Canada still needs a progressive, competent, pan-Canadian Liberal party. Canadian politics became unhealthy when the Progressive Conservatives imploded in 1993, the same effect will be felt if/when the Liberals implode and fracture.

    A majority Conservative Government would be good for the Liberals because, like conservatives in 1993, it will force them to be honest about themselves (they do not have a monopoly on “da Canadian values”) and actually DO SOMETHING to rebuild and remake the party. Pearson took the party to devastating defeat in 1958 but used the opportunity to prepare the party to be competitive and relevant once again. And this paid off in 1962 and 1963. Pearson, unlike Ignatieff, had deep roots in the party and could lead it. Ignatieff cannot. I fear the effort to recreate a modern party with broad appeal is now beyond the ability of the present husk of the once-formidable Liberal Party of Canada

    The Liberal Party has WASTED the time between 2006 and today. STOP WASTING TIME and start working, for Canada’s sake!

    • The Doctor says:

      What you say there reminds me of a good article that Lawrence Martin wrote in the G&M a couple of weeks back — his main point being that, ironically, the 1993 election result was actually a bad thing for the LPC — because, among other things, it served to paper over and hide some serious weaknesses (e.g., lack of seats west of Ontario, ceding much of Quebec to the BQ). The Ontario dominance under Chretien (e.g., winning 100 seats there) was only made possible by the Tory-Reform split. With that Ontario dominance now gone, those other weaknesses, which many in the LPC cheerily ignored during Chretien’s reign, have become all that more clearly debilitating.

  22. JH says:

    After reading all of the above I am no great political thinker but :
    The PM was partying with friends and colleagues – so what?
    The language of the songs criticism was just more evidence of lack of leadership in the OLO.
    The name calling on all sides of the political spectrum is silly.
    I think Ignatieff is a decent person – just way out of his depth.
    I think his failure to control the scandal-a- day crowd is his real downfall. The perpetually outraged Mark Hollands of the Liberal opposition have damaged the brand so much so. that ordinary folks can’t or won’t focus on legitimate opposition points or policies.
    I never really believed this arrogant ‘Natural Governing Party’ bs before – but their treatment of WK’s personal issues has led me to change my mind.
    Sorry Warren – don’t always agree with you or your politics – but it’s time you moved on. These people and their party are really plumbing the depths when they start on your personal life.
    Time to find a new way to rock!

  23. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    The underlying challenge is it’s a hard sell to Canadians that you deserve to be the governing party when you aren’t doing a good job of proving you deserve to be the Official Opposition. The NDP is a bigger threat to the LPC’s future than the CPC is. The Liberals need to go for the jugular when it comes to the NDP’s constitution.

    The Liberals have been too careful to keep their options open in their relations with the other opposition parties. Time to burn a few bridges. Fan the flames while you’re at it, though. Not some little campfire you can put out by just peeing on it.

    Walk your own walk and if others want to follow, that’s their business. Which takes me to another problem: the Liberals don’t trust Canadians to be able to make a good choice at the ballot box, so they’re playing for time. Waiting for the undeniably disasterous “gotcha moment” for the Harper conservatives. They don’t trust Canadians to be able to see the reasons why Canada would be better governed by them, and perhaps the Liberals should spend more time owning that. Canadians sense that lack of trust and are not willing to get behind the party.

    • hugger says:

      Each to their own, but I don’t see the NDP as the vital concern. They do some very good work at times but IMHO often go too far in support of unrealistic goals and concepts. That reflects on their leadership and will continue to hold them down in many areas.

      I see the main problem with the Liberals under Ignatieff as being the public perceives them as backing the CPC on too many really important issues. From there it comes down to status quo and how you like your oatmeal? (Plain and boring) or (plain and Boring)!

      There are other things of course, such as the base which the CPC targets and the ease with which they can be swayed. A field of sheep that thirsts for one liners.

      Then there is the lingering after effects of a coup to consider.

  24. Dave says:

    Liberals – well, good to see you all finally having a look at your party. First time I bothered I planted signs for a Manitoba Liberal running for the Manitoba legislature around 1962, or so…I was helping out for the very good reason that the candidate played centre for the Blue Bombers. Later in the 1960’s I delivered flyers for a freshman Liberal( I thought he would have been NDP) named Lloyd, wandering around stuffing paper into mail baxes in St James with his equally famous brother, Tom.
    A little later, I was keen that the replacement for Pearson be Jean Marchand. When he did not run, I opted for Joe Greene. Trudeau I saw as almost as bad as Bob Winters.
    Later in the decade, the Manitoba Libs, after that fine man Gil Molgat left the leadership, lurched regressively right, making Bobby Bend their leader (lots of happy Bend guys on stage, all wearing white stetsons, and not a woman to be seen).
    I drifted away from the Libs then, although, I still liked Mitchell Sharp’s contributions…a lot.
    I came to BC where provincial politics had a sharper divide, and I chipped in for NDP candidates since then.
    But, I watched you Libs.
    Seems to me that after Martin left, the old guard of your party had Ignatieff ready to step in.
    But younger people in your party wanted a fresh start: Hall-Findlay, Kennedy, they gave some spark to that leadeship campaign. I thought that Kennedy threw his support ot Dion because he figured he could bide his time for a few years.
    But your old guard did not care for Dion, and were bitter about Ignatieff not winning that contest.
    So they hung back, dropped out.
    When Dion left, your old guard intervened and used the precarious balance in House of Commons to shoe horn Igantieff in. So your party did not get a chance to sort out what the younger types had begun with the Hall- Findlay and Kennedy campaigns.
    So, now you have a leadership group that seems adrift, – you have Bob Rae eager to get a job of some sort, and you cannot get any traction with the rapidly dwindling number of Canadians who vote.
    I figure your best bet to pull things together is that New Brunswick fellow, Leblanc…yeah, the guy your old guard cut off at the knees by avoiding a leadeship contest and simply put their man Igantieff into leadership.
    (But I live in the boonies, in the West north of 57 – nowhere near Toronto – all I know is what I read in the newspapers.)

    • Patb says:

      well said, I agree completely.

    • The Other Jim says:

      My immediate gut reaction to reading your post was, “wow, I’d be really interested to see either Hall-Findlay or Kennedy as leader of the Liberal Party”. I have no idea if either would get my vote (Kennedy is probably too far to the left for me), but they would, at the very least, get my attention.

      • Dave says:

        I exaggerated, saying that all I know is what I read in the newspapers. Actually, it’s what I seee on CPAC.
        I figure that Hall Findlay and Kennedy organized and reflected some newer voices in your party. And they still reflect that side of the Liberals. You have some others who do the same.
        But I think that Dom Leblanc would be a strong leader for the Liberals. He is well spoken, has presence, and seems to have ideas. He is not from either PQ or Ontario, so the West would not regard him as just another Central Canada leader.
        Some people mention Bob Rae as a leader, but I think that were Harper to win another minority that Rae is a guy who would `Emerson` the Liberals.
        Trudeau just does not show anything so far.
        Coady is pretty good – not sure she would be a leader, though.

        Ah – all speculation: but should you Libs have a leadership, I bet Leblanc would be a strong contender, and were he to win, he would be a very capable liberal Liberal Party leader.

  25. Kevin says:

    The Liberals would need both opposition parties on board to bring the government down. That ain’t happening. The election will come when Harper breaks his fixed-election law again.

  26. JeffM says:

    So when does Harper get to do a guest performance with SFH?

  27. jon evan says:

    With what has happened to the USSR and what is now happening in China then is socialism dead? If so, so go the Canadian NDP & LPC?


    Mr. Gardner points to this trend away from socialism. When countries become mired in wild debt there is no money for big gov’t social programs. Maybe that is why the LPC is stuck. Now there is only pragmatic economics left which would look the same no matter what party was in power. The only new thing left is wealth redistribution, but that can only work if there is only one world gov’t. with one world currency. Not popular yet but will it come?

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