05.17.2011 12:39 PM

Alf Apps: for the love of God, go

A Facebook thing has started up, urging the Liberal Party “president” to do what Michael Ignatieff did, and accept responsibility for the party’s massive loss.

And, from this morning, Mark Dunn – a Sun colleague and, like me, a one-time Grit staffer – writes a top-notch piece on why Apps’ presidency is an unmitigated train wreck, and needs to be brought to an end.


And if he won’t resign, fire him.


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    James Bow says:

    Was the picture you selected intentional? Are you subliminally telling us to “Mock” him?

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      Warren says:

      It’s a good one, eh? Found it on a LPC website, no less.

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        Cath says:

        I particularly like this bit because it’s bang-on.

        “If the dwindling grassroots don’t rise up and rid themselves of those who were part of the broader team that orchestrated the May 2 drubbing, then the Liberals deserve to wallow in the wilderness for years, generations and perhaps even longer.”

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          andrea says:

          The grassroots aren’t dwindling, Cath. But they are rising up. We have no intention of doing anything other than rebuilding the Liberals into a party stronger – read: more relevant to grassroots – than it’s ever been. Many, many people inside the party are on the case.

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    Anonymous says:

    Who fires the President of a party when there is no leader and he (the President) gets to appoint a leader? A conundrum.

    I say the Apponator stays. In fact, Harper should make him a senator for all that he has done for the Conservative party.

    Alf Apps should stay. He still has some work left. The Liberal caucus isn’t down to two members yet, and you need someone extremely and proudly stupid to finish the job.

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    Bob MacMorran says:

    Right on .. Apps must go, and Apps must go NOW not later.

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    james curran says:

    But Warren, Alf says only 8 or 10 people don’t like him. HUNDREDS (not dozens) HUNDREDS are telling him he’s doing the right thing. Just ask him.

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    WesternGrit says:

    While the party did well in the area of fundraising, and building online tools (there was a turn-around in these areas – we started to learn how to do it right), the presentation of the leader, party cohesion, and election strategy were a shit show.

    When you “win” a job in a corporate setting, or in any setting, you always take the best of your rival’s efforts and utilize them. You welcome your rivals into the fold (not set them on rear benches), and MOST IMPORTANTLY you identify (you actually should know this during the contest) your rivals’ best strategists and figure out how best to use them in your own organization! After all, most political hacks tend to be looking for what’s in it for them. They generally tie themselves to one bandwagon in the hopes of being the “king-maker” or “lynchpin” in the organization. Well… if they fail in one area, they may be quite receptive to an offer from the organization that just beat them.

    Have these idiots never read Sun Tzu? “The Art of War” should be MANDATORY reading for all Liberal staffers. There should also be a sub-section/addendum on realizing who the REAL enemy is, and WHEN to stop rattling your f’n mouths.

    As a life-long Liberal (started out at the age of 5, actually, but close enough) I blame all the partisan assholes for what happened on May 2nd. After a leadership contest your loyalty should be – irrevocably – behind the elected leader. Period. In Sun Tzu’s time, they used to execute those who wavered in the support of the leader.

    We’ll rebuild the party, for sure, but we will be dumping some folks who don’t want to ascribe to the “party first=Canada first” objective.

    Yes, Apps should likely resign. Even if they feel they built a solid framework for organization and fund-raising, the leadership needs to take responsibility for what happened. We need to remember what side we’re on.

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    Bruce Stewart says:

    Dear Mr. Apps:

    As a former riding President, (Peterborough) and a current EDA executive member I have, over the past few years, become very disenchanted with the
    operation of the Liberal Party. the top down management and controlling “we know what is best” attitude of the National and Provincial Executives have led us to the edge of the precipice. Mr Apps, the disatrous Michael Ignatieff experiment lies squarely on your plate. I know you care about the party, it is time for you to set an example for the rest of the failed Machiavellian stategists and take your leave as President. Please resign now!

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      Patrick Hamilton says:

      As a new Liberal member, I have to say my experiences in trying to become active locally were not particularly ones to inspire an “esprit de corps”. I wont air the dirty laundry here, but I will mention one thing..if I have a beef. I can email the PMO or Jack Layton, and get a response 75% of the time…..In a lot of cases, a canned response, yes, but at least an acknowlegement.
      Not once did I ever hear back from M. Ignatieffs office, not once. Hell, I would have been happy with a FOAD note. It would have at least been an acknowledgement.
      Not exactly the kind of stuff that makes you want to leap into the trenches for the party.
      Better communication between the party brass and the plebs might be a good place to start in improving this party’s fortunes….

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    Patrick Hamilton says:

    A thorough house cleaning is what the party needs, from top (kaff, Apps, kaff) to bottom. Better yet, perhaps a rather large enema is in order…….

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    The Doctor says:

    Apps probably should go, but I sure don’t find Dunn’s column to be very convincing about anything. To me, it reads like one of those cheesy partisan fundraising letters, full of soundbites and assertions that call out for balance or a counterpoint.

    Dunn’s column covers a lot of ground and a lot of recent LPC history, and it’s quite a one-sided, simplistic account, devoid of balance or nuance. Of course there is a lot of truth there, but I think the recent history of the LPC is a lot more complex than as depicted in Dunn’s column. Just to take one example, while I think Apps and Iggy both did lousy jobs, it’s simplistic in the extreme to lay the defeat and problems of the LPC solely at their feet. There’s a lot of blame to go around for this mess.

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      Attack! says:

      But it DOESN’T lay the blame just at their feet, but at the feet of a whole coterie of backroom ‘elitists’ — in BOTH camps (Dion & Iggy) — who were undercutting each other and the party. Reading comprehension: Fail. And why are you intervening in internal LPC politics, anyway?

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        Craig Chamberlain says:

        Who was responsible for Dion’s horrible video-taped national address regarding the coalition? (Pray tell!)

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        The Doctor says:

        Who are you, the self-appointed administrator for loyalty oaths on behalf of the Liberal Party?

        Anyway, I found Dunn’s article to be a lot more critical of Iggy’s posse than Dion’s.

        And in any event, I think the problems go further than just the “elites” in the party. I’d argue, for instance, that it’s been effectively a consensus view within the LPC that their weakness in Western Canada is no big deal. I really haven’t heard a significant number of “grassroots” Liberal Party members express much concern at that. So that’s an example of a problem that exists from top to bottom, not just among “elites” in the party.

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          Craig Chamberlain says:

          It’s likely best that the membership owns the outcome and not pass it off. Ironicly, that includes owning who is at or remains at the top.

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    Rob W says:

    Apps should go. A break from the old guard is important.

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    Dude Love says:

    Politics is a blood sport…so what are the factions within the party? Team XXXX and Team YYYYY and Team ZZZZ???

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    Cath says:

    speaking of Apps and losers in general I see that Jack Layton’s true colours are coming into clear focus.
    How do’ya like him now?

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      Warren says:

      Meanwhile, when I went to Disneyworld, my wallet was removed by a big mouse, and wasn’t the same for months afterwards!

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        Iris Mclean says:

        Anybody who gets sucked in by The Mouse, deserves to be sucked in.

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          Warren says:


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            Iris Mclean says:

            Sorry Warren. I’ve had a serious hate on for The Mouse for fifty years.
            Animal abuse in “nature” films etc.

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      The Doctor says:

      “Still, to gauge just how hypocritical Mr. Layton’s union-paid Florida trip was, try imagining the reaction if Stephen Harper had accepted a similar trip underwritten by one or more of the companies that operate oilsands plants.”


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      Craig Chamberlain says:

      Brian Stewart, CBC, July 7, 2010


      “We created this mess over the years by going into our usual moralizing routine whenever we would read of MPs and their travelling”boondoggles.”

      Well some were and some weren’t, but at least they were Canadian boondoggles.

      Now MPs are so afraid to use taxpayer dollars to study the world, they prefer the dole of other countries.

      For a developed nation like Canada this is in equal parts shabby and shortsighted.

      The solution is pretty simple: Parliament should first discourage, perhaps ban, all such free trips.

      Then it should vote an annual and substantial budget to send MPs on serious study tours about issues that count. Let a committee work all this out in public.

      Few problems of international security are ever easy to fix. This one is.

      If we do nothing, those ugly suspicions of influence, and of shadowy favours given and received, will inevitably creep still further into our political system.”


      OK. So, we have a federal government which has talked a lot about scrapping the party subsidy that seems to be silent on our political reps traveling for free on the dime of lobbiests and other nations?

      That’s curious. Canadians are not suppose to support their own political party system with modest taxes but if elected one can accept unlimited travel perks from those who have other interests than Canada’s at heart?!

      A vibrant arty system? No, thanks. We’re Canadian. But if you want, you can buy us off with a trip somewhere!

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      Michael says:

      For those that live in the city of Toronto this is nothing new. While city councillors Layton and Chow lived in subsidize housing.

      To quote Brian Mulrooney, “There’s no whore, like an old whore”

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    Mulletaur says:

    Thus, the inverse meritocracy continues at LPC …

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      Ian Young says:

      Yea, verily…

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    Anonymous says:

    You gotta give this to the Martinites, the Hurly-burly boys. They sure know how to pick losers. Turner. Martin. Iggy. Three strikes and they should be out.

    The Chretien people picked one loser, Dion, that we know of. So they have a slight edge.

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      Dave says:

      I thought the Chretien people “picked” Rae. Or tried to.

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    Rudi in Ottawa says:

    Everytime the Toronto gang runs the show, things fall apart for the LPC. This is the same elite bunch that also supported the crowning of Turner, Martin and wanted to tell Coderre how to run the nomination in Outremont- and what a disaster that turned out to be! To Alf and the rest of the so-called power brokers and official party spokes people ( that includes has beens like Scott Reid, etc)- off with your heads and time to get yourself a real job. The grassroots doesn’t want you around anymore. Bye bye.

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    student501 says:

    Apps won’t depart quietly.

    A lot of crash since 2009, but not enough burn.

    Anyway, why would he deprive the Liberals of a Wagnerian Valhalla exit?

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    Greg says:

    I see Liberals are still concentrating on witch hunts, who’s to blame and settling scores. I have yet to hear why Canadians should trust the LPOC with the keys to power much less the keys to a lemonaid stand.

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    M says:

    Why does Apps have to take responsibility for the failure of the leader, the candidates and the platform to engage the voting public?

    And if he does have to wear it, why does it stop with him?

    As President, Apps is the President of a Board.

    While Apps may be the figurehead, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he must wear the blame for the failure of the candidates, the platform and the leader to attract votes. Nobody was voting for Apps. While Apps has said some dumb things that didn’t help the campaign, you have acknowledged that the campaign was run pretty well. Many others acknowledge that the LPC has come a long, long way in changing the way it fundraises and otherwise engages the grassroots. Not far enough for my tastes, but lack of progress on that front seems to be the result of institutional intransigence as much as anything. Now that the ranks are a bit thinner, perhaps we’ll be more nimble as a party.

    Your previous writings on this subject suggest to me that you are not so much concerned about Apps’ alleged incompetence or his deserved comeuppance, but you are moreso frustrated with Apps standing in the way of an NDP merger. Here’s my take:

    1) No interim leader gets to negotiate the death of the party. Should that come about, it should be the result of meaningful consultation with the grassroots and those they delegate to run the party.

    2) Replacing a President prior to appointing the interim leader does not assist the process of appointing the interim leader. It’s not about Apps.

    3) Apps was elected, the same as anyone else and Liberals should elect to remove him by the same process if they so choose. Alternatively, if there were consensus among the Board as to Apps being an ineffective leader, it’s incumbent upon them to voice those concerns.

    I realize people want their pound of flesh, but I don’t think Warren has made the case. I, for one, completely agree with the criteria for the interim leader. I mean wouldn’t it be nice to have someone without a personal leadership agenda steering the ship? At least until the party can figure out what it’s vision for the country is?

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      James Curran says:

      1. No National Executive should change the meaning of the constitution of the Liberal Party and make up rules that don’t exist. If the rules were good in 2008, they should be good today.

      2. It should be the entire caucus, including senators, along with the Nat. Exec that select and interim leader.

      3. Alf was not elected. He was coronated. Anyone suggesting that they were going to run against Alf were thoroughly drummed out or bought off. Most of the Board are part of Iggynation and were put in place by Alf and Iggynation. If Alf steps aside we’re stuck with two Alf puppets at vice president. So the board will not be voicing anything negative about Alf. Their is currently only one brave soul on that board voting agains Alf. Imagine that. Just one.

      Yes. Alf is the one responsible. Interference in nominations, manipulating riding associations, agms, ptas. That’s Alf’s legacy. It’s his pound of flesh that should be added to Iggy’s next. There are others provincially that should resign as well. But why the hell should they if Alf ain’t?

      And notice that I use my real name here. I do this because this is nothing that I haven’t put in writing or said in person to/about Mr. Apps.

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        M says:

        Hi James – just to respond to your points:

        1. If the Rules do not permit the National Executive to depart from the Constitution then the Constitution should probably say that and have the teeth to enforce those rules. Perhaps there needs to be reform of that document. As it sits, my guess is there are enough lawyers involved with the creation of that document and on the National Executive that what they’ve done is probably justifiable. If you think they’ve departed from some substantive article in the Constitution, let’s hear it.

        2. Similar to the point above, if you think the interim voting restrictions are against the Rules, voice your concerns and pursue change. Personally, I don’t see the point in having appointed Senators enjoying a louder voice than those who were elected by the Members. Sounds like a recipe for cronyism to me.

        3. It also appears as though you have a gripe with the nomination and election process for the National Executive. I would be interested to learn more about that too. Without more, I’m unable to conclude that Apps deserves to follow Iggy out the door.

        I’ve noted your use of your real name. I use mine too but choose not to broadcast it to the group.

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    Dave says:

    Nancy Pelosi *won* an election.

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    Kelly says:

    Apps must definitely go. Canadians might start taking the Party seriously again if someone actually takes responsibility for poor decisions and terrible results. Saying you take the blame, however insincere, is not good enough. Liberals must do something beyond symbolic, of which as well Canadians are tired of getting from Liberals who just talk and do not know how to act. Can someone please direct me to facebook page asking that Apps resign. He doesn’t seem to care, ad nauseam and par usual, about what the membership think or want.

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    Harry P.Ness says:

    This is great fun to read. How did Apps get in charge. The comments here make Apps sound like that person you wake up beside after a drunk night at the bar and go “Ugh, how did I get here? How can I escape?”

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    Cath says:

    looks like Apps says he’aint goin’ no where! You say you want a REVOLUTION? This guy’s sure not doing the grass root support base or your party’s future any favours.


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    Michael Bussiere says:

    Warren, do you think the one-member/one- vote system that has finally been put in place will eliminate the kind of bullying and ‘party elite’ maneuvering described here?

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    Dan says:

    I don’t see what the huge rush is.
    He will go at the next biennial convention (January).
    Having an interim leader, and an interim President won’t be doing the party any favours.

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