02.07.2011 12:54 AM

In today’s Hill Times: a gentle tribute to Rocco Rossi

I am delighted to see my friends Brad and Tim so very concerned about the future of the Liberal Party. Their empathy, and their conviction, is positively heartwarming.

In Internet circles, they might be referred to – uncharitably – as “concern trolls.” But I am a nice person, and I take their expressions of support in good faith. Thanks, fellas.

Since they are both so worried about Liberal fortunes, let me assure them that the Liberal Party is not all that panicked about the departure of Rocco Rossi, a.k.a. Benedict Baldy. The reverse is true, actually.

Rocco, you see, is all about Rocco. When he was National Director, he was heartily disliked by caucus and the leader’s office – because everything he did seemed to be all about advancing Rocco’s interests, and not the party’s. Remember, for instance, his bizarre kayak journey up the Rideau Canal?

I doubt you do. But the rest of us remember. We saw it as an epic dumb stunt, like many of the stunts Rocco did and does, which seemed to be more about raising Rocco’s profile than actually raising money.

As a McGuinty Liberal, I can also tell you that – with the possible exception of me – nobody really knew who Rocco Rossi was. He not once lifted a finger to assist the provincial party, not once, and his claims that we “courted” him are flatly false.

Just days before he reinvented himself as a Conservative, in fact, Rocco was told very clearly that the McGuinty team was not interested in a bidding war for his loyalty. If he felt he’d be more at home with the rural rump that is the Ontario PCs – with their plans to scrap human rights laws, and their plans to rip $3 billion from health care, leading to hospital closures and nurse firings – well, Rocco, go right ahead. Knock yourself out. The latest Ipsos – showing McGuinty with nearly a 20 point lead over Hudak in the GTA – makes clear that Benedict Baldy is going to get “knocked out,” too.

The Liberal Party is fine, thank you very much. Brad, however, should check his own party’s health – their willingness to prop up the Harper Reformatories in the coming budget vote doesn’t exactly suggest rosy-cheeked health.

Tim, meanwhile, should cast an eye to Alberta and BC – where the birthplaces of the Harper conservative coalition are now engaged in a bloody civil war, with conservative attacking conservative, and new right-wing political parties being formed every hour.

Again, thanks for the concern, fellas. And, Tim, Conservatives are welcome to take the bizarre and erratic Rocco Rossi.

They deserve each other.


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    nic coivert says:

    Square on. I look forward to Rossi flaming out and taking the hapless Hudak with him.

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    James Curran says:

    Can I get and amen!

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    Sandman says:

    I agree that Rocco is a bit of a weird twit but, Hudak has nothing to lose here. Ontario needs to get rid of Micshiffty and his band of merry idiots. The only Liberals that I know are either fools or, like Warren, they have something to gain by supporting them. As far as I am concerned, Liberals can go to hell. Post this,,,,,, chicken.

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    JenS says:

    If self-promotion was his goal, then he did a pretty craptastic job of that, too, because other than those who were deeply involved in inside party baseball, no one knew who he was when he launched his mayoral bid. Then, I guess he quickly found out, no one much cared who he was.

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    jStanton says:

    … Well, the play is obvious for all to see. Mr. Hudak will not do well against Mr. McGuinty in the next election, and it will be painfully clear how green he is, and that he simply is not ready for prime-time.

    After the election, the knives will come out, led no doubt by the flat-earth wing of the party. Enter Mr. Rossi, the voice of reason, who is able to promise both wings of the party whatever it is they want, and after the leadership review and consequent departure of Mr. Hudak,(to spend more time with his family, natch), Mr. Rossi is anointed to the party leadership.

    The election following, sans Mr. McGuinty, may be touch and go for the Liberals.

    So there you have it; Premier Rossi in 5 moves.

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    Jonathan Giggs says:

    Warren – Why did you support his candidacy for Mayor? Seems “bizarre” if what you write about him now you knew then. Jonathan Giggs

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      Warren says:

      Because he lied to me about what he believes, and who he is. And I was dumb enough to believe him.

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        Marko says:

        Really? He lied to you about his beliefs? Seems to me Rossi ran a campaign that was, in many ways, to the right of the Ford platform. He definitely ran as a fiscal conservative. Huh… right there in full sight of all his “liberal” brethren.

        At least then, he has beliefs. McGuinty’s philosophical backbone is sticking his finger in the air and seeing which way the wind is blowing that day.

        Rossi is a goof. But then so is McGuinty, even more so. If we’re lucky as a province, neither one of them will get elected next time round.

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          Warren says:

          I’ll bet you a thousand bucks McGuinty is re-elected. What say?

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            Marko says:

            If you mean McGuinty himself, or if you mean his government, either one would be a stupid bet… we are talking about Ontario afterall, a province that elected the NDP once upon a time.

            I only said we’d be “lucky” not to have either. That’s not prognosticating, that’s wishing. For the record, I am a small “c” conservative and neither Hudak or Harper impress me all that much.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Jack has a choice: he can take his political hit now and lose several seats (while the phenomenon is still containable to some degree) or he can prop up this Prime Minister (and that is less than a given what with the Conservative majority mindset) or he can blow off the election to next year, where NDP hopes will be considerably diminished as strategic voting builds from this point forward…

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    Jan says:

    I hope you’re not counting on that clown car that is the B.C. Conservative Party – Darrel Stinson, Randy White? Please.

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