05.03.2011 07:39 AM

In today’s Sun: change

Michael Ignatieff has to go.


There is no other option. He ran a good campaign, he did better on the hustings than anyone expected, he impressed Liberals from coast to coast.


But Canadians weren’t impressed, at any point. From the start, they were unenthusiastic about the former Harvard professor. Liberal lefties thought he was too right wing; Liberal veterans thought he wasn’t ever a politician.


And Canadians didn’t like him.


The multimillion-dollar Conservative attack-ad campaigns didn’t help matters, of course. Those ads were designed to define the new Liberal leader before he could define himself, and they worked. (If there is any comfort for dispirited Libs this morning, it is that the main beneficiary of those attack ads wasn’t the Conservative leader who approved them — it was the NDP leader.)


So, are any Liberals in shock this morning? Not all of us.


Despite what you may read elsewhere, take it from this chastened Grit: The reality of the Liberal Party’s humiliating defeat didn’t actually become known last night, after the polls closed.


Among many Liberals, it was known the party was heading for a crushing loss for about three weeks. In the past week, however, the bad news got even worse. It came into sharp focus when I got a call from a senior member of Ignatieff’s team of advisors.


“We’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do, but I don’t think it will involve Ignatieff,” this Grit said. “The leader is going to lose his seat.”


And he did. Politics is a cruel business, and Ignatieff knew that when he sought the top job. So that’s that.


But Ignatieff’s departure alone won’t solve the Liberal Party’s many problems. It is unfair to blame Ignatieff for everything that went wrong. The Liberal caucus needs new blood. In many cases, Grit MPs have represented their ridings (well) for decades. But we need new blood. We need new ideas, new passions, new people.


We need to get much better at raising money — after all, it was a Liberal government that ushered in the changes to the way federal political fundraising was done. And that’s not all: The Liberal Party itself needs to become a true federation, and not just a loose coalition of regional fiefdoms.


Better election readiness. Better policy-making. Better unity. And — most of all — a better understanding of all of modern Canada, and not just the urban enclaves where the party still has some strength. All of those things are needed if the Liberal Party of Canada is ever again to be relevant to Canadians.


As I watched Michael Ignatieff from the Sun News TV studio Monday night, I felt sad for him. He isn’t a bad guy. He isn’t what those Conservative ads said he was. In the brief period I worked for him, I thought he was a smart man, one with lots of ideas, and a drive to serve his country.


But none of that came across on TV. And Canadians, as I say, never felt comfortable with him.


I wish him luck in whatever he does next. Liberals, too, I wish luck. We have a big, big job ahead of us.


I’m confident we’re going to get that job done.

 

306 Comments

  1. Craig says:

    Hopefully the party does actually learn something. If Bob Rae is even considered for leadership, then no lesson has been learned.

    • Punji Panicker says:

      You clearly haven’t learned the lesson of last night, it doesn’t really matter who you as long as you can connect Canadians. Bob Rae was an NDPer, now try to imagine how different this election outcome would of been if he was our leader. He would give OBAMA a run for his money when it comes to orating.

      _

      • Craig says:

        Bob Rae would get obliterated in Ontario. He’s an old world politician in what clearly isn’t an old world anymore.

      • Intrep says:

        You will never win Ontario with Bob Rae leading….and if you can’t win Ontario, I don’t know how you will ever win a National election.

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        Rae? Haven’t you learned anything from Dion and Ignatieff?

  2. I suspect he will step down in relatively short order. With any luck, a new Liberal party will emerge and rebuild, but time will tell.

    The story of the election, though, for me as a westerner is that the road to a majority is no longer through Quebec. That’s a tremendous statement on the shifting political values in this country.

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      News conference scheduled for 10am…in about 45 minutes from now I suspect Ignatieff will be history.

      • He has little other choice. A good man, but a flawed political strategy from the get-go. Do Liberals continue to eat themselves alive now that he will likely be gone or will the truly rebuild the brand?

      • What do you do for a living Gord? Imagine you’ve just spend a few years of your life in politics, and have failed, shouldn’t we also expect you to go back to something you were good at?

        Don’t be such an ass.

        I do hope Ignatieff finds a professorial home in Canada. In that case he may become a more effective critic from the outside than he was inside our shallow political system.

        • Martin Cooke says:

          The guy was at the absolute top of his field…would be great to have him in Canada, but the academic job market isn’t exactly very active right now. Hard for us to compete with Harvard. Either way, it was nice to have someone in Canadian politics who was internationally relevant, for a change. Ah, well.

      • EM says:

        Yes, because in Gord’s world, being a world-class academic is something to be ashamed of and should lead you to hide in your mother’s basement.

        I suspect it mainly helps Gord justify his current accommodations.

      • W.B. says:

        Well, we’re going to get a great book out of it anyway.

      • myntje says:

        It wasn’t the CPC ads, it was the fact that the ads were true. Canadians saw a cynical Liberal Party so bereft of leadership material it couldn’t find even one candidate in Canada, so it had to import a man who hadn’t lived here for more than 30 years. Whether he was a good man or not was irrelevent. Canadians saw the flaw in this. Lots of us have relatives in the US who wouldn’t dream of themselves as Prime Minister of the country they left behind decades ago.

        That was just one factor that led to last nights result but it was an important one.

  3. Harith says:

    Harper will eliminate party subsidies and the Liberals will have a hard time in the next 4 years.

    And the grits will elect another crap leader, you just wait.

    • fritz says:

      And the grits will elect another crap leader, you just wait.

      Who would you consider not a crap leader?

      • Jane says:

        It should have been Manley over Martin…..no going back now, but should be a lesson for the future.

      • Chris Pakkidis says:

        Frank McKenna

        • que sera sera says:

          I wonder if you get weary of being God? Such a heavy responsibility – orating upon your mount for all us lesser mortals to genuflect to.

          You truly are in a league of your own when it comes toverbose, self-satisfied, smug, righteousness.

          Good grief.

      • Lord Kitchener says:

        Dominic Leblanc?

    • nastyboy says:

      You think Manley or McKenna are going to leave their cushy gigs to captain the Titanic?

      • Justin says:

        I can’t see Manley, McKenna, or anybody else “from the 90s” being the right choice. Come on now, I think what’s needed is a little bit of “what’s past is prologue” thinking, rather than trying to re-live it over and over. e.g., I never again want to hear a Liberal leader mention the “Liberal Brand” on the stump.

  4. Chris says:

    I’m ready for the rebuild.

  5. Todd says:

    As a life long Liberal, I think we have to move forward with the understanding that the LPC as we know it is doomed, we had many of our left leaning supporters defect to the NDP, and it seems many blue Liberals gave Harper his majority. The Liberal brand has too much negative baggage across the west and in Quebec to place a lot of hope in a comeback. A united Liberal Democrat party is the obvious answer, but I don’t see it happening.

    I think many of us red Liberals will just move over to the NDP where we are more comfortable.

    • Pedro says:

      Sit back, take a deep breath and read some history and Shakespeare.
      The current governing party will develop an arrogance just as the Liberals did.
      Work on it now so that you might be ready when it happens.
      I would prefer a small “l” liberal alternative to a radical’ left-leaning one.
      The children of conservative voting boomers will be waiting. Mine included.
      If you care about it.

      • The Other Jim says:

        Hmmmm, “will develop an arrogance”?

        Dude, where have you been the past couple of years? 😉

        • Pedro says:

          Hey Other Jim,
          Snark is a good thing to bring to the rebuilding meetings.
          At least for the first ten minutes anyway.
          Then maybe put the intellect to work a bit on something else.
          See ya in four years.
          For Canada’s sake I hope you’ve put the snark aside to provide voters a choice.
          Or not. It’s up up you.

      • Todd says:

        I live in St. John’s South, Mt Pearl where our very effective MP lost by 7400 votes to an NDP candidate, who was not a star candidate by any means. Here on the ground in NL, there are rumblings that if the provincial PC’s start to lose ground after Danny’s departure, the NDP stands to make the gains, not the Liberals, who are financially broke. It’s tough being Liberal today.

        Looking at the electoral map today gives me a little bit of pleasure in that good old NF looks pretty red, but in reality there is not much red on the map. I just don’t see how we come back from this.

        The only thing that gives some reassurance is that with our present economic boom, we can afford to remain progressive, as we surely will be given the stiff arm by SH.

      • Reality.Bites says:

        The NDP isn’t going to be a radical left-leaning opposition. They want to form the government and they aren’t stupid.

        For the Lberal party to come back they have to make people believe they’re a better alternative to BOTH leading parties, and that’s an extremely tough challenge. Best scenario for a Liberal return to power would be:

        1. People in 2015 hating the Conservatives at the end of 9 years in power (on this one I’m pretty sure we’ll catch a lucky break!)
        2. A disastrous NDP government in 2015 (also achievable)
        3. An election called while people still remember how much they hated the Conservatives.

        This is basically the scenario that brought Mike Harris to power and subsequently brought Dalton McGuinty to power – a hated party in power and a hated party that was recently in power.

        I would say though, that the chances of the Liberal party regaining power or official opposition status in 2015 are slim at best. 2019 is when we might see our next Liberal government.

        • JamesF says:

          2017 would be a possiblity. Harper has his majority and I don’t expect voter rage in 2015 would be enough to oust him from power but it could reduce him to minority status again and then the timelines for elections change.

        • I agree with R.B.

          Having brought his party upwards along a steady and now accelerating trendline, Jack Layton – provided he’s got the health and desire to keep going – and his team are certain to spend their next four years carefully cultivating a “government in waiting” image. Just for a moment assume they can do this with competence – what will the New Democrat Official Opposition of Canada look like:

          – extreme elements of party quashed relentlessly
          – moderate policy proposals put forward constantly
          – high degree of focus on constituency service
          – elevate members of high competence to key critic positions
          – As is their usual practice, ensure it isn’t just Jack getting exposure
          – keep the team united and out of trouble

          In short, they run their usual playbook and borrow a little from Harper’s.

          One key addition to the plan: very carefully treat Quebec issues and those in the rest of Canada with fairness and balance. If rookie MPs in their caucus is one immediate problem, navigating Quebec’s needs and desires is an on-going challenge for him and his party.

          But… not too much of a stretch to believe… just assume he manages to handle that balance issue well. In that case by election #42 Jack Layton could look like Captain Canada, hold most of his support in that province and get a big thank you from the rest of Canada and be on his way to a minority or majority government… I’d bet the latter in this scenario fully plays out.

          Anyway… if you had a choice between having Layton’s problems and the Liberal Party’s problems, which would you prefer to be handed to fix?

  6. Dr.J says:

    I could not believe all of the names that lost last night, just not Liberals but all parties (except for the NDP) Ministers Lunn, Cannon & Blackburn, Martha Hall-Findley, Mss. Minna, Dan Mctague…..I thought all those names were all safe going in. From my helping the Chris Alexander campaign yesterday we had a good feeling Mark Holland was going to be history as the CPC machine was rolling to get the vote out all day. From the outside looking in the Liberal mess, all I am thinking about, why the rush with Iggy to be leader to begin with? Now you have 4 years to rebuild or die off. It is like looking at a demolished car and thinking should I fix it or buy something new. Best thing about last night I think is no more BLOC and that is great for the country no matter what side of the fence you sit!!

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      Ah, but there is still a Bloc. In Quebec it is now called the NDP. With 54% of the NDP caucus being former Bloc supporters, you bet there’s still a Bloc.

  7. Paul says:

    The next leader needs to be from Quebec. Dips and Cons cannot compete with that.

    BTW – who won the Warren Kinsella seat prediction contest?

    • Dan F says:

      Even better: a perfectly bilingual Acadian, from somewhere like New Brunswick.

      • bruce the painter says:

        You said it Dan! But let’s face it, if Dominic is too proud to entertain a merger, he’s just going to be another placeholder for the true saviour. Leblanc is smart and assertive. I cant see him taking the shit that Iggy took. Bob Rae is a conservative wet dream. They probably have already story-boarded that attack ad. Too bad because he is a quality guy. He will still be a respected voice in the party.

    • MM says:

      From a quick scan of the predictions I’d say Tom Hawthorn might be the likely winner:

      Tom Hawthorn says:
      May 2, 2011 at 5:17 am
      Conservatives: 156

      NDP: 94
      
Liberals 40:

      Bloc: 18

      Green: 0
      
Ind.: 0

      He at least got this much right: Cons majority, NDP official opposition, Liberals 3rd, Bloc 4th. Though he didn’t quite capture the extent of the decimation of the Bloc and Libs.

  8. nastyboy says:

    The only thing that would have made last night better is if Fry and Trudeau lost their seats too.

    Liberal tears of impotent rage always taste better the next day.

    • 4 MP’s west of Ontario. 2 of them in BC. 1 of them Hedy Fry.

      Ok, you’ve only got three team players (or fewer) from Manitoba to Vancouver.

      No doubt this is the first time and very likely the last time that I’ll ever find myself in agreement with a Conservative troll, but I do wish that Hedy Fry had been turfed. ABH – Anyone But Hedy.

      Imagine how fun it’ll be trying to rebuild Liberal fortunes in BC with Hedy “thar’s crosses burnin up north!” Fry throwing her self-absorbed ass into the mix.

  9. Pedro says:

    Too bad you and others in Liberaldom can’t have the class to say things like “a smart man, one with lots of ideas and a drive to serve his country” about anyone but a Liberal member.

  10. kitt says:

    What a load of bull.

  11. Joshua Shang says:

    As a lifelong liberal voter but a recent liberal party activist, I can attest that many of the things you have mentioned are true. In the past year, I have contacted 4 different Liberal riding presidents, was ignored by 2, and brushed off by the remaining. I was seeking advice, and possibly help for my own political ambitions, and in return, I offered exposure for them, and support in their future campaigns. I would have accepted a sincere and truthful response that they where unavailable or unable to assist. I understand the politics, but brushing someone off that was motivated and had the resources to help expand the Liberal brand is never a good politics, especially someone that is young and has good outreach in the 25 to 35 age demographic. Hopefully, there will be renewal within the party and a more open door, as many of the new NDP supporters where once Liberal, and turned away like myself.

    Cheers

    • james Smith says:

      Joshua, here’s what you need to do:
      1 Join your local riding association
      2 Raise some money
      3 Bring some friends with you
      4 Raise some money
      5 Get involved in the unglamorous, but necessary, nuts & bolts of an association
      6 Raise some money
      7 As part of your Riding’s executive, participate in regional, provincial & national councils & conventions
      8 Raise some money
      9 Repet steps 2-8

      Just remember -many times great candidates, with great organizations get kicked in the guts because of the national campaign, (Gerard Kennedy? Martha Hall-Findlay?).

      • Robert says:

        Joshua makes an excellent point. James outlined the “old school” way of getting involved. This is what us young people DON’T want. Some of us want to get involved, just to make this country a better place, and feeling rejected by the “old guard” isn’t helping. Almost 40% of people didn’t vote, and a large number of them could probably be swayed by a party with open doors, open communication and fresh faces. I would love to see some excitement in federal politics, and not just on the far-left. But it’s not going to happen when the only way to be allowed input on policy directions is to buy a party membership and spend years getting shit on.

        • Martin Cooke says:

          So, you’d like the “new” way of getting involved…Twitter?

          One way or another, you need an organization. The only way that organization gets built is though, well, organizing. This means lots of boring meetings and crappy coffee.

        • A Liberal riding president says:

          Robert (and Joshua):

          I’m all about renewal, but as a current Liberal riding president (in my early 30’s) I’d probably turn you guys away too (albeit for a different reason). There are WAY too many people in the Liberal party who want to get to the top without putting in the work.

          I am fortunate to be a part of an association that is full of active, committed, dedicated members who bust their butts doing the ‘boring’ things that associations need to actually FUNCTION and to ensure our MP gets re-elected (check).

          There are NO shortcuts.

          • Justin says:

            It’s been my experience that thinking like that, Riding President, has become a big part of the problem. When a person’s contribution is measured by anything other than talent (i.e., “putting in the time”), your organization will eventually fail.

            Which is what makes a purge like this a net positive. The confirmation bias that has led to a hierarchy that believes what you do will hopefully be flushed out too.

          • Robert says:

            Woah, Riding President, it’s that kind of arrogance that turns us away before you ever have to meet us. I didn’t say I wanted to get to the top. I don’t want to be party leader, a delegate at the leadership convention or a candidate. I don’t want any power or publicity. I just want to be heard, I want my voice to count, I want to be able to care about federal politics. But with the way things are, me and 40% of Canadians can’t seem to find any better alternative than spoiling our ballots or staying home.

            Martin Cooke: No, not Twitter. I’m on twitter, but I didn’t follow the election tweets because I needed to feel engaged in real life. I’m not criticizing the Liberals (whose candidate follows me on Twitter), I’m suggesting that if you’re rebuilding, authentic opportunities for citizen engagement might get me involved. And I’ve never voted Liberal before in my life.

          • James Curran says:

            Cherniak, is that you?

          • A Liberal riding president says:

            Since I can’t reply to the below two comments:

            Putting in the time counts fella. I don’t care how talented you are if you can’t help us canvass during off-writ periods, organize fundraisers, engage with the community etc. Show me the commitment and what you can do, then we’ll listen. If all you can do is grace us with your presence, lecture us on how we can do better, and then leave when the work begins, then we don’t want anything to do with you.

            And oh yah, the people on our association put in plenty of time and are plenty smart as well and they still put in the time. And we know what it takes to help our MP win.

          • james curran says:

            “And we know what it takes to help our MP win.”

            Nope. Definitely not Cherniak.

            But that leaves one in 34 chance.

            Just curious though what a president does when the sitting MP is not interested in the association’s activities and cares not whether he/she canvasses between elections. I mean really? What’s and executive to do oh wise one?

          • Dave says:

            You sound exactly like the BS I received from my local riding office, which is why I voted NDP as a proud Liberal. Your arrogance and ego is what has destroyed the Liberal Party and if you knew “how to get your MP elected”…actually, I can’t even help but to laugh at that statement after the election results. If you will only listen to someone because they are a physical body for you to canvass with, then your priorities are severely skewed and you are now the proud riding president within a failed party. Great job! Keep doing what you’re doing.

            FWIW, I have never experienced a ruder bunch of full time staff at my local office than I did this election. I never even had a chance to speak to the candidate, and I didn’t want to after I dealt with some of his/her staff members. They were brought on board, and therefore they directly represent the candidate. They lost out on a lot of talent and guess what…I didn’t want any recognition in return. Your assumptions of human nature are very pessimistic and flat out wrong.

  12. Patrick Hamilton says:

    As a new Liberal, I am very proud of Michael Ignatieff…..He ran a classy campaign, had the best platform of all the parties, but unfortunately, I kept hearing over and over again, at least in my riding, “I dont like Michael Ignatieff”….an irrational view to be sure, and the result of the non-stop hatchet job by the Cons, but frustrating just the same.

    I think if there is to be any hope of salvaging this party, it has to start with a clean slate.

    And please, no truck nor trade with the Neiman Marxists, let them implode on their own. Ive gone down the merger route before, (as many of you on this fine forum know), and I will regret doing so to the end of my days…..

    I just hope that the Liberal Party can get its act together before Mr. Harper and his merry band of neo-cons change the fabric of this nation irreparably.

    • Foxtrot Bravo says:

      I am biased to the right, so please take it with a grain of salt. I don’t know what Ignatieff was like in person, or off-camera, but seemingly every time he was seen on TV he was being rude and nasty, and he showed, or would even fake, zero respect for Harper. You have to remember that many people voted for Harper, and by calling Harper he devil, and telling him to go to hell, and always calling him “that guy” and going on endlessly about the contempt thing and the democracy, etc. etc., Ignatieff was in effect insulting a lot of people who voted for Harper, and I know the minute Ignatieff opened his mouth I switched the channel because he made me feel like a stupid redneck, which I don’t think I am, I just have generally conservative morals (at the moment). I really know the Liberals can’t see this, and I appreciate it, but Ignatieff wasn’t “nice”, taken at face value, word for word, he was an order of magnitude more insulting and negative then Harper. Ignatieff would have gotten much more of a look if he wasn’t sort of spitting in the eye of 40% of the country. On his part, if you look at Harper, I challenge you to provide one link where he says a single condescending or mean-spirited about Ignatieff (maybe the comment about his immigrant roots, but I don’t even think that’s for sure since Ignatieff was really stretching)… he sort left that to the ads, and there-in lies the huge difference between the leaders and the parties, and their results last night.

      • Ian says:

        “he sort [of] left that to the ads, and there-in lies the huge difference…”

        Well, therein lies the huge hypocrisy and cynicism of Harper. Don’t you see that? It’s a scandalous statement about Harper’s character.

        I actually agree with you about how Ignatieff came across, but at least he was direct and honest and didn’t pretend to be above the fray while sending goons/goonish attack ads to do his dirty work. Whatever his faults, he deserves way more respect than Harper.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Liberals brought this on themselves. First, they got rid of Chretien because they thought Iggy was the messiah. Second, they got rid of an elected leader, Dion, with another messiah. Third, they brought the government down because they thought they could win.

    And now they are done and it’s entirely their fault.

  14. Also a reminder to those who are bitter about the Conservative win: our system, despite its flaws, works. Canada is still a great place to live and if we feel we’re hard done by, then we’ve had far too much pie. Look around the world – Canada is a democracy and people voted in a peaceful election last night. Nobody died. Nobody stormed the barricades. We have much to be thankful for regardless of our feelings about Stephen Harper or the Conservatives or the vote.

  15. eattv says:

    Watching the leadership possibilities tossed around last night, I saw Rae and Trudeau amongst the names offered, but no mention of Brison. Personally, I think a Rae or Trudeau leadership would be indicative of the Libs’ bad habit of looking to their past instead of trying to figure out their future. For my money, Brison seems like someone who could begin to put the past behind, and do the job well.

    • fritz says:

      I have to agree Brison is a strong candidate for a new liberal leader but I think it will come down to a battle between Trudeau & LeBlanc. Some will say Rae or Coderre but their time is past.

    • MJH says:

      Brison? Isnt he the same person who ran unsuccessfully for the Conservative Party of Canada??

      • Patrick Hamilton says:

        A long time ago, 2003….Canada was not ready for a Gay PM…..I believe it could be now, and for my money, Scott Brison could be just the man to help get the Liberal party back in shape.

        FYI, he also ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2006.

        • POMO says:

          THIS Canadian is ready for a gay PM. Or a black one, female one, disabled one, trans one, three legged tuba-playing insomniac one… Seriously, it doesn’t matter in the slightest to me. And I can see some very real advantages to our PM having an identity/ identities outside the usual white male kind…but it’s not the part that’s sufficient or necessary.

          No, the kind of PM I want someday is the GREAT kind. Whether that greatness comes in a package other than the traditional straight-identifying white male one or not. Just great, please.

    • AmandaM says:

      NO. Someone NEW, with NO BAGGAGE. No floor-crossers, no ex-leadership candidates, no one who has STAFF already working in the party.

      This requires wholesale change, not leftovers.

      • Patrick Hamilton says:

        Hmmm, we tried a political neophyte, that didnt work out so well, did it?…….

        Ill take experience over a fresh face anyday……

        Having said this, the Liberal party has to stop looking for a messiah….smart, engaging, politically savvy, and someone who wont be afraid to roll up his/her sleeves and do a major housecleaning is what I am looking for…..

        • AmandaM says:

          I’m not saying a political neophyte (I wouldn’t call Ignatieff a neophyte – his books were required reading when I was in University), I’m saying someone who doesn’t come with baggage and staff who don’t understand that they live in an enormous bubble.

          I’m saying someone who has been a hardworking backbencher, with the qualities you list and who will emerge in the coming months. I’m thinking about Scott Andrews (Avalon), who withstood a serious challenger with lots of money. By all accounts, Andrews has been a good constit work MP, has spoken out on a variety of issues and came in after the wars – a definite plus, not a party insider (it seems). He’s young, engaging, smart and progressive. I’m impressed with him so far. Check here: http://www.scottandrews.ca/personal/about.aspx

          Basically, anyone who was there before 2006 (and I’d prefer 2008) has been around too long and will not do what needs to be done.

      • POMO says:

        Agreed.

  16. Joe says:

    The problem wasn’t Ignatieff in particular it was Ignatieff in principle. It wasn’t that Ignatieff was the the leader but it was the way Ignatieff became the leader. The Liberal brass decided to go outside the country to bring a ringer. Mistake. After Dion’s demise the party brass imposed that foreigner as leader over the objections of many of the grass roots. It gave the impression of some tiny little power bloc in Toronto trying to tell Canadians who to vote for. It doesn’t work that way in a democracy. Canadians want and demand a leader who at least has shared their cares and concerns over the many years leading up to an election. Had Steven Harper spent the last 30 years living outside the country and then come back to lead the Conservatives we would have a Liberal majority right now. That being said how big an ego does Ignatieff have that he would even consider trying to run for the leadership of the country he left 30 years ago.

    • Reality.Bites says:

      Sorry, I lost track of what you were saying. I got all giddy at the thought of Harper living outside Canada for 30 years.

      I’m willing to chip in for luggage, just sayin’

  17. Phil in London says:

    What’s left of the Liberal party in terms of elected MPs are mostly left of the NDP. Take the time to find yourselves while electing a leader that can bring you to the center where you have a chance of offering something different.

    The NDP surge is not all that big a story. If you strip out Quebec they are not really that much stronger and in a majority mandate they will have a tough time getting beyond Jack Layton. This is the only reason a merger makes sense. If Jack’s health is not so good, what’s left of the NDP?

    I still think you need to look at this as the protest vote it was. Canadians are not tired of the Conservatives or Stephen Harper, they are very tired of Liberal elitists who have lost their way.

    The center is you natural home. You need to weed a lot of Hedy Frys and Carolyn Bennetts out to have an appeal to the rest of Canada. Look at some of your more center or center right candidates many incumbents who are gone. Voters saw a clear choice, the real left and the real right (neither extreme) but saw a mushy middle which they couldn’t discern from either winner last night.

    I can’t keep giving you guys all this free advice someday you need to have that ah hah moment.

    RBAF

    • Mandos says:

      But…why strip out Quebec? Is it not actually an integral part of the country, then? Is it not (as it has historically been) a potential wellspring of political growth and success in other parts of the country? It’s a very strange thing to discount the NDP because it is strong in Quebec.

      • JamesF says:

        Because the NDP strength in Quebec is new and quite possibly not at all deep or strong. Whose to say that it’s not the federal version of the ADQ… here with great fanfare one minute, gone the next (In this case with Murclair playing the role of Mario Dumont).

        • Africon says:

          I completely agree with Phil.
          I am not a Con troll nor even a party member just an ordinary immigrant, libertarian, internationalist and fiscal conservative.

          Yes, strip out the Quebec results as they were largely a protest vote.
          Without the Quebec phenom, the NDP picked up only 10 seats across the country – no big deal.
          Add in all the new ridings that will come out of the census primarily in the West and Ontario and Jack has a big mountain to climb.
          So many of his new and wacky MP’s will make the early and new Reform goofball MP’s look smart and provides hours and hours of material for future attack ads..

          The Liberal brand is dead in the water, they just don’t know it yet.

          • Ron says:

            Oh I disagree with your last statement
            The Liberal party is not dead…it is being redefined

            It may take probably 8 to 10 years…there are some deep cuts here
            When you consider that after Jean Chretien won the Liberal leadership the Martin people where already plotting how to replace him…those divisions ran deep and probably still do

            Consider that the new leader will have some significant challenges to overcome. I caught Warren on Sun TV today and he had some really insightful comments on what it’s going to take to get the brand back to prominence

          • Hollywood says:

            Somebody should run the Monty Python “bring out your dead” sketch here.

      • Phil in London says:

        Mandos, I don’t feel I have stripped out Quebec as much as Quebec has stripped out of the equation. WIth two very viable federalists options they have chosen to be a protest movement almost as a province. The Bloc wipeout is a good thing but Mr. Layton will have his hands full for three reasons 1) his own health may be in some ways questionable. We don’t know that for sure but it points that way.
        2) he will not continue a largely free ride now. Something like the massage parlor thing will be under a bigger microscope now. Again my own opinion is who cares but he doesn’t need to appeal to me.
        3) what is the NDP without Jack? You’ll recall a very similar argument about Stephen Harper’s team. but this is a lot different with very few experienced MPs to draw on. The news conference today showed the media may become a lot harder on him. So. I don’t want to discount Quebec but they have changed dance partners before and did not select either of the two traditional mainstream parties. I would love to include them but they have exccluded themselves with minimal cabinet material to offer the Prime Minister (and it was there to elect).
        What I am saying is that Jack’s surge was a regional phenomenon. Yes there was strong support elsewhere but without the Quebec replacement of protest parties the gains are minimal.

        It isn’t a hate Quebec thing, it is a question of how much sway Jack can hold and I don’t think it is much. The on the ground team was lucky timing wise but it takes years if not decades to build that kind of organization and I think Quebec is a little too fickle to wait for that to happen.

  18. wannabeapiper says:

    Hey, is it me, or are you speaking as a true leader-vision, tenacity of purpose, optimism, strategic thinking, and the gonads to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?

    I say we get going. Is there a better day to start than right now!

    PS-sorry to say this again but the Sun News Media channel is a real dud.

    Just saying………….

    • dave says:

      It crossed my mind that the majority Conservative win at this time is not good for SunTV.
      SunTV looks like it has to sell with irony, outrage, and irreverence.
      But SunTV, to most of us, is mouthpiece for the Conseravtive Party, and irony, outrage and irreverence on behalf of a majority government will look too much like the powerful dumping on the rest of us.
      So, I think the majority will make it harder for SunTV to sell its product.

      (Of course, if they could get the government to put them on tier #1…)

  19. Michael S says:

    What’s going to be interesting is that it’s going to be a lot harder for PMSH to keep the foamies in line with a majority than it was with a minority. It will also be hard for OLJL to keep his Quebec caucus in line, but that will be easier. Hard, but not impossible. What I do know is that any Liberal dreaming of Justin Trudeau as a messiah might as well get off the bus now.

    • JamesF says:

      What’s with your hatred of Justin? No one thinks he’ll be a “messiah” but he’s young, smart, and charismatic I fail to see why he couldn’t be an effective party leader.

      • Michael S says:

        Sigh.

      • nastyboy says:

        He’s a lightweight.

        • JamesF says:

          Poppycock. “Lightweight” is just a term people use to hate on him for his last name without hating on the last name and not give him a fair shake. No one ever bothers even trying to define what it is that apparently makes him a “lightweight” or what a “lightweight even is for that matter. I’ve met Justin, he’s a very engaged, articulate man, an excellent communicator. He has all the raw tools needed to be an excellent retail politician.

          He deserves a fair chance just like anyone else.

          • nastyboy says:

            If it wasn’t for his last name nobody would even look at him. He’d just be some drama teacher who give hammy overly dramatic eulogies.

          • que sera sera says:

            6000 attack ads and the usual Conservative foamies will cut him down to the small size of Stephen Harper – just so all Conservatives are kept satisfied with their mailroom boy.

          • Bruce Wayne says:

            A mailroom boy who’s kicked the asses of 3 liberal leaders. Including two university professors. Those who can do. Those who can’t become leader of the LPC.

      • Ron says:

        and that is the problem
        there is no messiah…that’s what they have to stop doing

    • Reality.Bites says:

      I don’t see why. Being PM with a majority gives him even more control over his caucus. Pierre Trudeau mused that MPs are nobodies away from Parliament Hill. Harper’s MPs are nobodies ON the Hill too. They know their job – shut up, applaud, don’t give interviews or attend all-candidate meetings and collect $157,731 a year.

  20. Bill From Willowdale says:

    Consider:

    – Liberals have never been in third place before
    – the LPC vote percentage is the lowest it has even been
    – seat levels have declined for four straight elections
    – the OLO budget has been lost
    – the vote subsidy will be eliminated
    – progressive Canadian voters have given the NDP the nod as their left-of-center alternative

    Warren, more power to you and the Liberals on rebuilding but it will be a very, very steep hill to climb.

  21. Robert K. says:

    Yesterday was an all-round shitty day for this Liberal.

    That said…, Onwards and upwards.

  22. Mandos says:

    As an NDP…sympathizer at the very least, I’m not happy about a Cons majority—but a minority would have had a free had for three years or so, because no one would have wanted to call another election, so we really have to put this in perspective. But now with an NDP opposition, there will be actual, you know, opposition, a clear, sincere, and known clash of views with a credibility that the Liberals have lacked for a long time.

    I’m sad that such a historic brand and heritage that is the Liberal party has lost so much value in what is not really, in historical terms, a long time, but I don’t see how it can recover without a complete change not in its leadership, but in what remains of its base of support. What remains that isn’t either Conservative or NDP lite? In huge measure, the Paul Martin faction of the party has a lot to answer for, sacrificing party development for a series of bizarre vanity projects increasingly disconnected from any part of the Canadian political spectrum. The Liberals became less a “centrist” party, and more an “unmoored from anything” party, and the copious quantities of their own blood that they spilled have darkened the waters of their future.

    I note that people are underestimating the NDP caucus as of yesterday. Remember that the Liberal (and BQ) political graveyard was just greatly expanded with the bodies of the careers that the allegedly inexperienced NDP leadership have handily slain. Yes, a big chunk of them are new to the federal scene, but that is always true in a political shift. They have said that about the Cons MPs too. But many of them have a history of activism and knowing their stuff, regardless of how long they’ve spent in politics. You may not agree with a full-throatedly left-wing agenda, but it is a coherent alternative on which a lot of people have spent a lot of time thinking about.

    • Ian says:

      Yes. The NDP success in Quebec is not some fly-by-night operation. For sure, there will be a few “characters” and some rookie mistakes. But these new MPs are psychologists, teachers, activists, and yes even a single-mother waitress who went on an ill-advised trip to Vegas but still might be turn out to be a way more sincere and grounded person than half the current Tory cabinet. These are people who, in standing for the NDP, knew that they would be targeted as “vendus”. They certainly are not motivated only by power, because they chose a party that wasn’t expected to win.

      Now it seems all sorts of people in English Canada are veritably looking forward to watching them screw up.

      I do think it’s going to be fun, for sure, and hopefully more good fun than schadenfreude.

      • Ron says:

        Heard on sun today when Warren and Monte were on that Jack has put a muzzle on all of them (new people that is)
        They’ll have their “flakes” just like all parties…what will be interesting is to see how much air time they get when they make an outrageous statement
        will it be played a lot on MSM or become a footnote at the end of the nightly news…time will tell

  23. Marc L says:

    Excellent comments!!! Bang on. It’s just too easy to blame others (the evil conservatives and their “hatchet job”) … the Liberal party has been on a steady downward slide for a while now. As I write, I see Iggy’s comments on my Bloomberg and here he is blaming the attack ads again. The Liberal party is like a spinning top with no vision or sense of purpose, ready to latch on to whatever they think will get them back in power — this time around, it was to portray themselves as “left”..with Iggy at the helm to boot. The left-wing Ignatieff. Right. Well, they now have 4 years to figure it out.

    • The Doctor says:

      Agreed that the LPC complaining about attack ads is just lame. For decades, the LPC were the masters at the Black Arts of politics. Hell, Exhibit A is Warren’s book. The LPC mercilessly mocked Stockwell Day and completely defined him a negative way via attacks. When the same tactics are aimed at Dion and Ignatieff, all of a sudden the LPC makes out like it’s some sort of Boy Scout. Gimme a break. Politics is a tough business, and if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

      • Curt says:

        Hi Doc,
        I agree with your Black Art of politics but I also feel they practised the Black Art of Policy too By alienating Quebec (Trudeau) Western Canada Trudeau and Lalonde, Dion, and Iggy. Now with new seats coming onto the seats with additions to Onatrio, Alberta and B.C. where the Conservatives now have over 45% of the vote, the question: is How do the new Liberals become attractive to those citizens?

        • JJ says:

          I am not sure the Liberal DNA will allow the change needed. It would require your party to start thinking of the west as the leading sector of Canada, not just a ATM machine you can ignore or dismiss. If you can not honestly show the same respect to Alberta and BC that you do to Quebec or Ontario dont bother trying.

  24. Rich says:

    Phil in London
    Right on the mark !
    This country needs a strong, 2 party system both having centrist leanings IMO.
    Having voted Liberal in earlier years, I was dismayed by what I viewed as a hard turn to the left.
    My feeling was that the party left me. I voted CPC.
    Quebec’s dalliance with the NDP will pass.
    Above all, do not merge with them.

  25. JTanner says:

    I think this election result demonstrates that Leadership is everything to the voter and policies are not so important. You need to be a great orator, who is to the point and can shine in a debate. The Quebec vote is fluid, it could change quickly again. The next Liberal leader needs to be prominent and raise money. This is a tall order with last night’s result. I thought both Layton and Harper did not reach out to Liberals last night and were quite smug. Blue Liberals will not merge with the NDP and they do not like Harper. Time for a fresh approach.

  26. Bill M. says:

    Time is always the oppositions friend.

  27. wassup says:

    Warren:

    I don’t think you understand, we’re just getting started. This is a lifelong project to eliminate our former Overlords, the dreaded Liberal Party of Canada, and yesterday was just the end of the beginning.

    Now it’s time to get medieval on the Liberal Party.

    You’ve already lost your mouthpiece, The “Orange” Star. Next to go will be your leader, then your visibility in the House. We’ll take your Government funding away by the fall, and have what’s “left of the left” of your organization reporting to Stornaway Jack by Christmas.

    • Michael S says:

      Orange and Red are neighbor colors my friend. A broad spectrum, unlike Blue lasers.

      • wassup says:

        Can you say that in French? Your new Orange Masters don’t have much experience with Yorkville Elitist accents… They prefer to learn English in the casinos of the Vegas Strip and from listening to Elvis records.

        What a wonderful time you’ll have the convention next year in St-Jean Sur Richelieu. Seated between Yvette, the Foreign Affairs Critic and part time amateur masseuse and Bubba, the CAW Union “Enforcer” who lives in a wonderful garden home just steps from the 7 Eleven.

        One word of advice, learn to drink your coffee black and from a paper cup… never, never ask for a latte again.

    • Bill M. says:

      Interesting that you’d rather have to face the far left rather than the center.

      A pseudo right wing party that buys car companies and keeps supprting universal health care is no ideological threat Elmer.

      Remember, you now have nobody to blame.

      You bought it, you own it.

  28. Cath says:

    Watching Ignatieff give his speech at the end of the night last night I couldn’t help feel that if he had exhibited THAT tone and in THAT manner throughout the campaign he would have done better.

    In addition to Ignatieff going, I’d kick any of those twits who advised him – including Donolo as far back from re-building as possible. Ignatieff got his instruction and advice…..from those people and it was bad stuff. Most of the blame needs to go to Iggy’s advisors and handlers.

    The biggest losers in this campaign remain the MSM and some pundits of the PPG. Canadians deserve much better reporting than we got this time.

    SunTV was a breath of fresh air. I hope you stick with them WK…. because they’re breaking the kind of new ground that the LPOC will have to break.

    The Liberal base needs to own their party again. Help that happen Warren – and Bob Rae is NOT the answer – need another champion – someone of this decade with NO baggage.

  29. Dan says:

    I hope the Liberal Party finally recgonizes that there is no band-aid solution.
    Four years to rebuild-I’m ready to help out anyway I can.

  30. Mike London says:

    The Liberals and NDP simply need to come together. The PC / Reformers did it, now it has to happen on the center left. For Liberals that don’t support that idea, they can vote for the Conservatives.

  31. Michael Bussiere says:

    Down, but never out. RE: Ignatieff, sad for the man, but a dumping now will only trigger a time line for replacement that should probably wait for a spell of time. What’s the rush? There are more important things to do at the moment. But when the time comes, I’ll be working for a certain natural-born bilingual Acadien.

    I love you, Liberals. Hold your heads high! Re: Quebec/NDP, just remember the ADQ. Re: Harper, just remember Dief. Re: Liberals, there is a collective IQ here that still tallies higher than the other parties combined. Time to use our brains, hearts, and determination.

  32. smelter rat says:

    PMSH IS a foamy. Why would he want to keep them in line?

  33. W.B. says:

    One thing we can all agree on: There is no place in Canadian politics for someone like Michael Ignatieff.

    • Michael S says:

      Sad but true.

    • If you don’t believe that Stephen Harper is an “elite” (using the same definition you’d apply to Iggy) you really need to get new specs. Lensmasters has a sale on.

      Post election you aren’t allowed to throw out meaningless talking points.

      • Ian says:

        I think that for some people, “elite” means thoughtful and educated. If you have any sort of liberal arts education, and if you choose your words carefully, some people will always accuse you of being arrogant before they even get to know you, and then call you “elitist” even when often they are in fact the wealthier ones.

        Psychological formula:
        (1) I’m feeling ashamed and defensive in the presence of this person…
        (2) Hey, it must be that person’s fault that I’m feeling ashamed and defensive… (Because it obviously has nothing to do with me)…
        (3) Therefore that person is an ELITIST.

      • Ian says:

        In other words I agree with you Michael, hope that was clear.

      • JJ says:

        Harper was key to rebuilding the Con party, Ignaetiff slipped in at the last moment on a fancy resume. You want to know whether or not Ignaetiff is elite, look and see if he is still active in the Liberal party a few months from now. Is he staying to do the hard work of rebuilding, now that he has no chance of being the party leader? Or was he just an oppurtunistic guy, out for himself?

    • Michael S says:

      Dude. I’ve got a few Calgary oilmen in my Rolodex. You should meet your new CPC masters. They make the Power Corp folks look like pussies. Plus ca change.

    • AmandaM says:

      Can you tell me just what is wrong with the smartest person we can find running the country? Don’t we WANT to reward excellence? The Prime Minister and Minister Flaherty certainly said they do, just look at the budget.

      I don’t want to have coffee or a beer with the PM. I want him to run the damn country to the very best of his ability, and the very best ability of the smartest people he can find to work with him. I want him to be creative and intellectual and well-spoken and well-educated. Is that not the definition of “elite”? What, exactly, is WRONG with that?

      • Curt says:

        Intellect does not make a leader.
        Ralph wasn’t into rocket surgery but he sure was a leader when the people of Alberta needed him.

  34. AB Observer says:

    Most people commenting just don’t get it. Warren touches on some of it, but the Liberal Party just doesn’t stand for anything that the normal Canadian can reiterate. The CPC does, the NDP does, and even the BQ did.

    Sad to see the Liberals fall this far, with what appears to be a systemic problem. I would never in my live vote Liberal (hell, I’m right of Attila the Hun), but the Liberal left-wing leanings were tempered with at least some common sense on sober second thought.

    I am afraid that the NDP will never show that; instead, we are likely that there modern day reiterations of the old Waffle movement will have far too much influence, and at some point, when Canadians get tired of the CPC (all governments get long in the tooth or screw up), the alternative will not be the Liberals, but the NDP

    THAT is a scary thought.

    For my Liberal friends, take the four years, get it right, and rebuild. Remember the Tories were down to 2 seats at one point, and after almost 2 decades of hiccups, Harper constructed a winning and governing model.

    I don’t think the Liberals have that much time… become the opposition again PLEASE in the next election, and when the CPC does screw up, be ready to be the alternative.

  35. Peter says:

    As a con supporter who most definitely does not feel gleeful at the prospect of a Lib demise, I do hope you aren’t about to start a civil war over whether the party should move “right” or “left”, which will just end up camouflaging the demographic, ethnic and geographical shifts you have to confront. If I were a Lib, I’d start by asking myself why, if we keep telling ourselves how progressive we are, do more and more of the electorate seem to view us as increasingly reactionary.

    Also, I would think last night should have buried Harper Derangement Syndrome for good. Try shifting your rhetoric from “evil” and “stupid” to “wrong” or ‘divisive”. You are just insulting 45% of English Canada, and we know it. Bad career move.

  36. dave says:

    Having so few seats, and having a new leader will make it tougher to attract candidates to run for the party.

    I am wondering if the Liberals will now, finally, start to think about another step forward in our democracy by looking at the ‘first past the post ‘ system as a drawback, rather than an easy way to gain power.

  37. Cath says:

    WK – “Michael Ignatieff has to go” – I said that I thought last night Iggy gave a nice speech. Well, listening to his resignation speech just now I see that he blamed everyone but himself. WORSE resignation speech EVER – hasn’t learned a damn thing! Even using the same Donolo-trained talking points that stood him sooo well in this campaign!

    • JamesF says:

      What speech were you watching… he took complete responsibility.

      • Marc L says:

        No he didn’t, he blamed the attack ads, which “villified” him.

        • Those ads had a lot to do with the public’s very low level of acceptance of Ignatieff, so in that sense, he’s quite correct in blaming the ads.

          Ignatieff and his team’s culpability is they did nothing effective to change public perception in the face of the relentless assault, so there is plenty of blame to point inwards. How could they not perceive the problem after the same successful CPC strategy used on Dion was so fresh? Was Iggy or his inner circle so arrogant to believe he was immune?

          The ads were effective. In chatting with all sorts of folks over the course of election it surprised me how often Conservative talking points on Iggy were mouthed by people I was speaking to, even those who have voted Liberal in the last election or two. Truth be told I was surprised at how many otherwise bright people bought it.

          Some might conclude that the Conservative attack ads were a form of propaganda directed at the enemy, Michael Ignatieff. I’d agree with this but hasten to add that the Conservative’s targeted two enemies with their propaganda — Ignatieff, and the Canadian public.

          General Election 42 promises to be a humdinger.

  38. MM says:

    It’s a sad day for the Liberal Party for sure. It’s a sad day for me too. I spent many hours volunteering for candidates and the party over the years but not of late. Truth is, the Liberal Party hasn’t resonated with me in years. Successive leaders have been more concerned with winning power than actually addressing the concerns of the middle class. There is a lot of voter angst out there as was clearly demonstrated last night. People are also intensely more cynical about politics and politicians than at any time that I can remember. They can spot a hollow shell a mile away. The Liberal Party has been exactly that for probably the last 5 – 10 years. Layton, and to a certain extent Harper, love them or hate them, actually appear to stand up for something. Trying to be a willow in the wind as the Liberals have done repeatedly of late isn’t good enough anymore. If voters are going to change a government they want more than “we won’t be like the other guys”. Depending on how this all plays out and who remains in the Party, maybe it is time to come back. If it is the soup du jour crowd going forward then just stick a fork in it. It’s done.

  39. Joe Jablonski says:

    You don’t see how the cons can achieve
    a majority.

    You don’t see.

    May the Liberals take all their
    advice from one who cannot see.

    That will be good for Canada.

  40. Al in Cranbrook says:

    I’d predicted here a CPC majority, and a crushing defeat for Libs. However, I seriously underestimated the Bloc’s demise.

    Here’s the good news for Liberals in all this…

    Last night was as good as it gets for the NDP. When Layton has his first caucus meeting, what’s going to become ever so clear to him and other senior Dippers is that for the next four years managing this group is going to be the equivalent of the proverbial herding of cats. And there’s no way Smiling Jack is up to the task. He just stepped into the big leagues, and he simply is not ready for it…not even close.

    Thus, the Liberals have 4.5 years…the next election is already fixed for Oct. 2015…to get their act together.

    The Libs will be tempted to yet again look for shortcuts back to power…big mistake. The next leader of the party wasn’t among those elected last night…meaning if they default to Bob Rae, they will proven they’ve learned nothing. And I have no doubt Rae has the leadership of the party squarely in his sights.

    The future of the Libs, IMHO, is not on the left of Canadian politics, but at the center with a pragmatic moderate at the helm. And it will take, at a minimum, two elections to get there.

    Quebec is now in transition, but the NDP are merely a sign of the times, not the path to its future. If moderate, slightly center/right leaders can get their act together in Quebec, they will form the next provincial government, and the days of separatist/federalist wrangling will finally come to an end. I believe Quebec is about to step out of the past and rejoin with the present, and look for realistic ways to move forward towards earning and attaining for themselves a prosperous partnership within Canada. This is where opportunity lies for the Liberals…and the Conservatives.

    FWIW

    • Mandos says:

      Quebec is now in transition, but the NDP are merely a sign of the times, not the path to its future. If moderate, slightly center/right leaders can get their act together in Quebec, they will form the next provincial government, and the days of separatist/federalist wrangling will finally come to an end. I believe Quebec is about to step out of the past and rejoin with the present, and look for realistic ways to move forward towards earning and attaining for themselves a prosperous partnership within Canada. This is where opportunity lies for the Liberals…and the Conservatives.

      The next most likely government in Quebec is the PQ, and the question will be: does the RoC-elected federal government match Quebec values. And if they are able to establish that the answer is “no”, it’s referendum time. The NDP fulfils the role of showing that yes, there is a base of support outside Quebec for Quebec values.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      I should add to this…

      Most of the Liberals that needed to be shown the door yesterday, were. Holland, Findlay, Volpe, McTeague, Dhalla, Dryden…and would have been properly completed had also McGuinty, Goodale, Fry, Rae and McCallum. These were the faces of an angry, bitter, self-serving, and thoroughly self-centered Liberal party. They would do well to clean up this image as soon as possible by moving some new faces of moderation and civil tone to the front lines.

  41. Pedro says:

    For your own good stop saying Ignatieff ran a good campaign.
    You’ve already trotted out a couple of mistakes like not reponding forcefully to the attack ads, not defending Canadian muticulturalism in the debates and not defending Canadian unity in the face of Bloc attacks in the debates.
    What about the Ignatieff campaign should future Liberals repeat?

    • que sera sera says:

      “What about the Ignatieff campagin should future Liberals repeat?”

      Just offer up another “Leader”. So the Conservatives can unleash 6000 attack ads before an election called. Three times the charm!!

      Repeat ad nauseum.

  42. Marco A says:

    I checked back to the stats of the 1993 Federal Election:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Canadian_election

    Coming out of that election the Reform and PC parties (the eventual ancestors for the new CPC party) had a total of 54 seats. 52 of those seats well-entrenched in the West.

    Coming out of the 2011 Election the LIberals have 34 seats and I guess they are only well-entrench in the GTA and Montreal remnant areas.

    It will be a long hard road back. I am thinking the only way back is for the Liberals to become popular with French Quebec once again.

    Is not this the first majority gov’t. that absolutely needed no help from Quebec in ages?

    Tories may become incrementally more popular in Quebec now, so that this province can get back the accustomed influence that they just lost in the 2011 election.

    • The Doctor says:

      Never mind not learning it: most Liberals don’t even want to talk about it. The blindness and denial are astounding.

    • Ron says:

      Gord:
      The road to any future majority runs through the West. That the LPC hasn’t learned that even now is a bad sign for that party.

      Even if they do learn that, the memories of Trudeau’s NEP run very very deep. Meaning they will never trust the Liberals especially if there is even a hint of a cap and trade policy or something related to it

      The west will have to won one riding at a time

    • Bruce Wayne says:

      Liberals hate the west. Always have.

  43. JH says:

    WK – I’m really looking forward to a good analytical piece in the Sun about the abject failure of the pollsters. Obviously while the media, couldn’t see it – the Canadian public recognized that they were basically serving up a dog’s breakfast.
    It would also be great to have an article about the punditocracy, the hatred for Harper by the Parliamentry Press Gallery types that Ibbitson wrote about etc. The media for the most part did not serve Canadians well this time around and a hard look at their efforts would be welcome. Their focus on the daily Tory scandal and Harper’s 5 question limit, instead of the various campaigns and in depth issues was really sad.
    The Liberal failure has been beaten to death and they will move on. I think there has been a massive failure by the above two entities as well and would really like to see you explore that in depth. It would be a service to history in my estimation.

  44. GMD says:

    “Better election readiness. Better policy-making. Better unity. And — most of all — a better understanding of all of modern Canada, and not just the urban enclaves where the party still has some strength. All of those things are needed if the Liberal Party of Canada is ever again to be relevant to Canadians.”

    how do we make this happen?

    • Glen says:

      I have never posted before. I am what should be a poster child liberal voter, fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I’ve also voted conservative the last few elections. Why? My liberal party is represented by the Martin and Manley liberals, they have been left behind in the move towards the left. I live in Alberta now, but have lived in NB, PQ, ON, and SK. Past mistakes have consequences, the liberal party should sincerely apologize for leaving Quebec out of the constitution and for the NEP if they hope to have success in either. It seems simplistic, but as a now westerner when I hear Cap and Trade is on page 46 of the platform I vote conservative. If you want cap and trade put it on page 1 and explain exactly how it works. If you support electoral reform put it on page 1 and explain it. The only thing that appeared as a priority was anti-Harper, that apparently was not enough.

      Two suggestions for electoral reform that fits my “liberal” position, term limits for all MPs, two elections max. No whipped votes in the house, let the MPs represent their ridings.

      Just my opinion, obviously.

      • Stuart says:

        “We will work with the provinces and territories and our NAFTA trading partners in the United States and Mexico, at both the national and state levels, to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and air pollution, with implementation to occur between 2012 and 2015.” – Conservative Party platform, 2008, p. 32

  45. Ottawacon says:

    I think the Liberals are in a very tough place – they really need another Turner sort of figure who can work to rebuild for 4-5 years knowing full well they are likely to get pounded again. By losing his seat, Ignatieff was disqualified from even that role.

    • If you guys think a silver spoon fed elitist whose reality is so far removed away from the average Joe that it’s not even in sight is your next saviour, then just thrown in the towel now and be done with it.

      I mean, really..

      • que sera sera says:

        You realize your words can equally apply to mailroom boy, aka “Bubble Boy”? Good grief. Look in the mirror before you spout off.

    • Ottawacon says:

      I think he would be an iteration on the same slow-motion train wreck that Liberal leadership has become. There is no magic wand, especially not one called Trudeau. He lacks the experience of building an organization to do what needs to be done, he would be in over his head with nothing but charisma to carry him forward.

      Simple example – the Tories’ CIMS database is a successor to a system that Reform developed, having observed the organizational effectiveness of Gingrich’s Republicans. It has been invested in, refined and improved, volunteers trained how to use it, embedded into the heart of their local and national campaigns, and has data that goes back to 1996 tracking a steadily growing number of votes.

      The Liberals bought one in 2008.

      This is the electoral equivalent of the invasion of Iraq, both sides had planes and tanks, but one side was fighting in the dark with no clue as to what was going on.

      Until the Liberals start to fix that class of a problem, a pretty face will accomplish nothing.

      • Ian says:

        “…but one side was fighting in the dark with no clue as to what was going on.”

        Are you comparing the Liberal Party to Cheney and Rumsfeld? That’s not very nice!

  46. smelter rat says:

    Jack will expand the NDP base over the course of the next 2-3 years then retire. The NDP will elect Gary Doer as their next leader, and he will be PM in 4 years time. You read it here first.

    • Transplanted Doerite says:

      Intersting smelty, but you’re assuming quite a bit, viz:
      a) That Mr Doer would be interested at all (not clear);
      b) That Messrs. Topp, Lavigne et al, have actually learned anything from the Doer experience (also not clear, notwithstanding – in fact, despite of – the outcome of May 2, 2011);
      c) That Messrs Topp, Lavigne et al, have the capacity and cajones to actually DO what is required to create a national Third Way/Doer strategy (also not clear)
      d) That Mr Doer would be interested even if evidence of b) and c) surfaced.

      I wish it were clearer, but I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting for Messrs Topp, Lavigne et al to see the blindingly obvious since they haven’t shown any inclination to do so up to now. Maybe now that a new paradigm is in front of them they will…..

      ps what smelter did you come from: Sudbury, Flin Flon, Thompson?

    • Ian says:

      No, it will be Mulcair, aka Grizzly. It will be Grizzly-mania in 2015.

  47. CQ says:

    Since Ignatieff was a cabinet member and leader of the Liberals across five years, he should take the bulk of the election results blame for his party. I had thought his speech last night was ponderous – coming after the sound trouncing which included his own fortress apppointed riding.

    It would nice to see ‘ol Dion, who actually won(!), be re-given an interim party leadership for a few months to a year. That would be without running for the permanent role, as Ralph Goodale also once did. And at approximately five years, is Ignatieff eligible for the lifetime pension?

  48. CQ says:

    Since Ignatieff was a cabinet* “critic” and leader of the Liberals across five years, he should take the bulk of the election results blame for his party. I had thought his speech last night was ponderous – coming after the sound trouncing which included his own fortress apppointed riding.

    It would nice to see ‘ol Dion, who actually won(!), be re-given an interim party leadership for a few months to a year. That would be without running for the permanent role, as Ralph Goodale also once did. And at approximately five years, is Ignatieff eligible for the lifetime pension?

  49. Fred says:

    A word of advice . . . Liberals need a reason to be apolitical party . . . the raw naked pursuit of power isn’t a good reason.

    Coherent policies . . . . and much less arrogance. Much, much less.

  50. nastyboy says:

    Just Visiting……Just Leaving.

  51. Michael S says:

    So, WK, personal issue for you: Unless there is a minority government in Ontario this fall, there will be both provincial and federal elections in October 2015.

  52. Mike London says:

    One positive note to this story. Ontarians almost never have the same party in Ottawa as they do at Queens Park. Dalton McGuinty will likely win in the fall.

      • Michael S says:

        Who’s the Ontario NDP leader again? Whomever it is, it isn’t Jack.

        • Cath says:

          I wouldn’t get too confident…not yet anyway. Both the CPC and NDP have mega-motivation likely to ripple into the provincial election. I’d say that Dalton’s going to have his hands full from two directions not just one.

          Never say never.

      • Ron says:

        still think you are in a tough fight in Ontario
        The only saving grace for the Liberals is Hudak and company are doing a terrible job of defining themselves
        which leaves the “master of spin” to do it for them

  53. Iris Mclean says:

    I wonder if Charles McVety has presented his shopping list to Harper yet. He sure sounded happy on the (soon to be gone) CBC radio this morning.
    Makes the blood run cold, it does.

    • Sigh.

      You folks just don’t get it. While not in politics, Harper was never, ever, a theocon. He’s using them for his own means. He’ll continue to use them. He’ll support some legislation that makes them happy but he knows full well that most Canadians are not theo-cons. Waste all the time you want on the subject it won’t do any good.

      McVety will be politely nodded to by some underling, sure.

      But in the Langevin block there’ll first be meetings with CEOs from oil pipelines, ports, energy producers and maybe a few mining co’s for good measure.

      Didn’t catch his presser this morning? Harper as much as said ‘full steam ahead’ on oil tankers on B.C.’s coast and pipelines across the province.

      That’ll become an issue, because most Canadians do not work at oil terminals but we do like our fish. But it won’t matter because we’ve got no say in anything. Thanks Toronto!

      • Patrick Hamilton says:

        Time will tell, Mr. Watkins….As stated previously some days ago, I am willing to recant and apologize to Mr. Tulk on this or any other forum, if what I and others have predicted doesnt come to pass.

        • Patrick Hamilton says:

          PS…..Why just blame TO?….the organizational rot in the LPOC is cross country, BC perhaps worst of all……

          • It is in our nature to blame TO for everything, kinda like folks in Dog River spit whenever Wollerton is mentioned.

            Try not to take it personally. 😉 More seriously I think antipathy towards TO is much less now than 20 years ago, at least here in urban BC. You folks are on your own in Alberta and the hinterlands.

      • Iris Mclean says:

        Michael, Are you saying that Harper will take their support and not reward them?
        These nut-bars, and there are a lot of them, have been behind Harper for a long time, and they want their reward.

        • There are a lot more hard right fiscal conservatives / libertarians in the party than social extremists. Lots more.

          Sure he’ll throw some breadcrumbs but they won’t amount to any wholesale changes. Sure they may engage in some cuts which look social but might be more aptly described as ideological. Pride day funding cuts, that sort of thing could be looked at both ways and indeed it makes more than one special interest group in the party happy.

          • Patrick Hamilton says:

            @ Mr. Watkins Ahem. Mr. Watkins, I live about an hour and a half outside Vancouver, hardly the “hinterlands”…..

            and quite frankly, the BC organization still bit the big one….but of course, Im used to Lois J…;)

            I hope she isnt too disappointed when she still isnt rewarded for delivering Van South…..

          • Patrick Hamilton says:

            Perhaps that is your experience in Van South…try reversing your statement when describing any of the so called “hinterland” ridings…..they dont call the Fraser Valley the Bible Belt for nothing…..

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      Its coming, to be sure……scares the bejesus out of me, too……Its payback time for the Christian Fundamentalist right, you know the ones who really call the shots in the Conservative Party of Canada.

      • The Doctor says:

        So are you going to predict for us what specific thing Harper is going to do for McVety?

        • que sera sera says:

          1. Create an Office of Religious Freedoms to promote & protect fundamentalist xtian missionaries interantionally & promote “xtian values” domestically while pretending “Religious Freedoms” applies to all “religions” not just “xtian fundies”.

          2. Stop funding domestic abortions.

          3. Link “Public Prayer (Christian) in Schools” and “Theory of Creationism in Curcciulum” with federal government funding increntives to the provinces/territories.

          4. Offload the deliverl of fully funde d”soft” social programs & services from government to “xtian fundies” to the Canadian populace.

          5. Link “xtian fundie” values to immigration practices.

          6. Stack the Supreme Court of Canada with “xtian fundies” to work on the gay marriage “problem” and women’s rights “problem”.

          7. Ensure ‘xtian fundies” have sole access to military bases overseas.

          8. Ensure ‘xtian fundies” get first crack at federal funding for Third World outreach work.

          • The Doctor says:

            I’m curious: how does the federal government stop funding domestic abortions, when health care is a provincial responsibility? As far as I know, abortions are funded by the provinces.

            Interesting too that you’re predicting that the feds are going to try to push school prayer and creationism in schools, when, once again, that’s a provincial responsibility.

            Personally, I think you’re on crack with those two particular predictions. Maybe we’ll get to compare notes in 4-5 years.

          • MCBellecourt says:

            @The Doctor: In answer to your first question, re. abortions, he could do the same thing to the provinces that he did to those international aid agencies–stop funding abortions or we stop funding your transfer payments–and there’s not a goddamned thing Layton or anyone else can do to stop him.

          • The Doctor says:

            Yes, he could do that. He also could go batsh*t crazy and slaughter his wife and children with an axe, a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining. But I suspect that he will do neither of those things. My bet is that he will do nothing to restrict a woman’s right to obtain an abortion in Canada. Apparently you disagree. As I said, perhaps in 4-5 years we’ll get to compare notes and see who was right, you or me.

          • Patrick Hamilton says:

            Spot on Que!

          • Patrick Hamilton says:

            and lets not forget this little gem, shall we….McVety has been strongly critical of the environmental movement, claiming that it leads to worship of the earth and the abandonment of God. Recently he declared his opposition to carbon cap and trade systems in Evangelical Canadian magazine’s Aug/Sep 2009 issue: “I believe this taxing and trading of “air” will fund the one world government of the Anti-Christ.”

            He also stated in the magazine’s Feb/Mar 2009 issue that he believed disgraced preacher Ted Haggard was led to homosexual desires because God had forsaken him as punishment for promoting “green evangelism”.

        • Iris Mclean says:

          He has to do something to keep them happy and loyal.
          Probably best to stop gay marriages, and then work slowly and incrementally from there.
          The list is long, and there are four years to get ‘er done.

        • Patrick Hamilton says:

          Charles H. McVety is a Canadian evangelical Christian leader. He has been the president of Canada Christian College in Toronto since 1993, and he is also the current president of Canada Family Action Coalition. He is perhaps best known for campaigning to repeal the law legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada. According to the CBC, Charles McVety is “one of the most powerful leaders of the Christian Right in [Canada]”.[1]

          Voila!

          • The Doctor says:

            Umm, I already knew who McVety is, thanks.

          • Patrick Hamilton says:

            @the doctor….nice dodge…..l was referring to Mr. McVetys and his groups vehement opposition to SSM…..and it was also posted for the benefit of those

            readers who may not heard of the gentlemen, thanks….

            So in plain language, Doc, the govt will plan to repeal same-sex marriage sometime in the future….capiche?…

          • The Doctor says:

            Well, I hope they don’t – but I guess we’ll see.

  54. nastyboy says:

    “Rise up Canada, rise up! RISE UP!!”

    LMAO

  55. Bill M. says:

    So I guess the cost of the jets just magically went up now that there’s a majority?

  56. Bill M. says:

    A majority government that rams through policies that the NDP is unable to stop.

    Warren, you may want to put up your hand for one of the first by-elections……..could be serious buyer’s remorse out there.

  57. MCBellecourt says:

    What strikes me as the saddest thing is how egos and ongoing pissing contests within the Liberal Party have set the stage for its downward spiral. Is there no room for concensus anymore?

    Ignatieff gave up a lucrative position in Boston to come up here to serve Canada, yet even some Liberals bought into the smear ads claiming he was only in it for himself. I don’t blame Ignatieff for resigning at all, and evidently, it’s made some people very happy.

    An internationally respected leader should have been privy to better advice, rather than having the dubious honour of being a uniter amongst a bunch of petulent children.

    I’m sorry, Warren, but the PARTY blew it. Not Ignatieff.

    It will only be a matter of time before we look back and remember Michael Grant Ignatieff as the best Prime Minister we never had. Laugh at me now if you want, I really don’t give a shit, but give it two years, if that.

    • que sera sera says:

      I agree with your post.

      The Benedict Baldy’s always have their knives out. And then bemoan the “lack of loyalty”.

      And that’s after the Conservatives 6000 attack ads which, it is arguable, the Benedict Baldy’s bought into quicker than the average Canadian.

      Chumps.

      • MCBellecourt says:

        Here’s one Blue Liberal/Red Tory (whatever) that cannot be accused of being a chump. This “new” government has already shown that it couldn’t manage a diarrhoea fest in a two-hole outhouse, never mind a national budget, and that is one of the main reasons for my disdain for this bunch of phony conservatives.

  58. Keith Richmond says:

    Warren, I think this is a blessing in disguise for Liberals. For the last 7 years, there has been too much focus on being ready to go at any time, and not enough time for party rejuvenation and renewal. With a Harper majority, this will force the Liberals to take a long hard look at where they/you are at and devise a plan of action to give Canadians a clear alternate vision of the Country. If this had been anohter minority, we all would be back where we started, and no one would be developing policy. It is wilderness time, and the Liberals would do well to make the most of it to get *truly* ready for the next round.

    • The Doctor says:

      Agreed. Post-Adscam, the Liberals needed to get put in the penalty box, just as the old PCs were in 1993. The problem was, with minority parliaments, the Liberals weren’t REALLY in the penalty box, or at least didn’t perceive themselves as being so — because they were always tempted to trigger an election and take a run at power. That hasn’t been good for the LPC — the temptation to take a shortcut to power has been too great for them to resist. Now, what they should have done years ago will essentially be forced on them: rebuild, renew and make yourself relevant, or die.

    • Cliff says:

      If this is a blessing, it is very well disguised.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      Spin it however you like. The facts are, is the Martin Liberals called an inquiry into the Adscam thing and lost the keys to the PMO as a result. It’s like sentencing a shoplifter to two seperate jail terms for a single offence to keep on spouting off about this now very-old news.

      No, as I said before, the main reason is the relentless slander against a damned good leader and the utter failure of the Liberal Party to stand behind him and fight back. Too busy spraying testosterone around the room to put their heads together and demostrate any sort of unity, because there bloody well wasn’t any.

      I will come back to the Liberals when the collective balls have finally dropped and there can be some adult discussion.

  59. James Bow says:

    What’s next?

    I was shocked to learn that the Liberals haven’t had a policy convention for about ten years. Wow. That’s a big problem right there. And I think your first priority is not to get yourself a new leader, but to do some real soul searching and have a good, honest, loud and diverse policy debate. In the meantime, appoint someone as an interim leader, maybe Ralph Goodale or John McCallum — possibly Bob Rae if and ONLY if he agrees not to run for the leadership in two years. The point of the interim leader is that this man has to have no leadership ambitions because the priority hear and now for the interim leader is to maintain the Liberal presence in the House of Commons. So that leader has to be a good speaker, and someone who will motivate the caucus to show up and hold their place while the rest of the party rebuilds.

    This example is similar to what the Ontario Tories did in 1987 when they were demolished by David Petersen. They handed the leadership task to Andy Brant — a respected parliamentarian with no leadership ambitions — and spent the next two years or so thinking through their policies before finally engaging in a leadership contest. And what should the policies be? I would personally recommend the Liberals try to re-establish its radical centrist heritage, grabbing some libertarian ideas into the mix. For instance, how about a national minimum income to replace Old Age Security, the Child tax credits and social welfare? Bring the ideas out and hash them out. That’s what’s going to turn the Liberals into a fresh face in 2015.

    In terms of the leadership race in 2015, I think that maybe Dion and Justin Trudeau have to be considered front runners at this point (Trudeau would be interesting in terms of a long-term rebuild; he might help the Liberals reconnect with youth), but the two year run could allow someone completely different to step forward.

    Your thoughts?

    • Ron says:

      Forgot about the whole Andy Brandt thing,
      This is exactly what Warren was talking about today
      Have a leader who is willing to hold it all together, help with the rebuilding and step aside when asked

      As for the policies you mention, add in a re-structuring of the Canada Health Act
      Be brave and take a leadership role on this important decision

      Can you imagine the impact this would have on an electorate down the road
      The new and improved Canada Health Act brought to you by the Liberal Party…That’s a platform you can run on

    • JStanton says:

      Mr. Trudeau’s candidacy would be still-born if he succumbed to such hubris. No, he has to work longer and harder to earn his place, or risk being dismissed as merely an over-reaching soft-skinned scion of a better man, with a misplaced sense of entitlement.

      Problem is, he hasn’t actually achieved anything noteworthy, and in politics, he hasn’t yet had the opportunity. Perhaps when the LPC once again earns a government, he will be ready for a “Junior Minister of Something Not Very Important”, and, if he is still there after a few re-shuffles, then maybe something more important.

      But to speak about him so prematurely as a contender for leadership, with his clear lack of gravitas, is to give his political future a death sentence. After all, the last two leaders were men of vast experience and accomplishment; better men then most of us, and yet the machine chewed them up and spat them out in short order. Mr. Trudeau wouldn’t have a chance.

      .

    • James Curran says:

      The convention in 2009 was a policy convention. A long winded policy convention that ran overtime. Unfortunately the policies passed were thrown out after the coronation of the King. The leadership must be called within six month by virtue of the constitution. The Convention can be no longer than 15 months from the previous convention. So the leadership race actually starts today. And Dion won’t be running. Neither will Rae.

  60. George says:

    MONTREAL – If the whole political thing hadn’t worked out, NDP candidate Pierre-Luc Dusseault was destined for a summer job at a golf course.

    Dusseault can forget the links.

    That’s because the 19-year-old is headed to Ottawa after becoming Canada’s youngest-ever MP with his victory in the Quebec riding of Sherbrooke on Monday night.

    Dusseault, who turns 20 at the end of the month, has just finished his first year at the Universite de Sherbrooke in politics.

    He tells The Canadian Press he hopes to make an impact in the Commons and represent young people everywhere.

    Dusseault voted for the first time on Monday — admittedly for himself.

    • Stuart says:

      That is awesome!

    • JStanton says:

      … and that’s why I love Quebec, and understand that a Canada without it is ruinously impoverished.

      Quebecers grasped that there was far more goodwill and decency in an ambitious teenager social-democrat, than a Conservative store-clerk under the absolute control of an hostile absentee megalomaniac, and they voted accordingly.

      Because in Quebec, they vote with hope, not with fear, and are thereby agents of real change.

      Quebec, if you ever vote “yes”, can I come too?

      .

  61. M says:

    I’m sure I will be summarily branded a pussy for expressing this view, but I feel it should be expressed:

    Given what we’ve witnessed with Ignatieff, Layton, and Harper, tell me what sort of public intellectual would want to participate in public life in this country? Particularly in the case of Ignatieff – I don’t know what he ever did to deserve to be so abused and pilloried aside from expressing his ambition. Sure, he was awkward, not a movie star and he had spent a lifetime writing and expressing his honest views, warts and all. But I had trouble with the constant smearing of his reputation, personal character, and integrity. Especially now with the blithe acknowledgement that these were, in fact, smears and the benign shoulder-shrugging that follows from those who observe: “they worked.”

    I mean, I have people all the way down my facebook news feed commenting on Ignatieff being a “moron”, “loser” or exclaiming “good riddance” and the man was only ever in Opposition! Perhaps I need new friends but I think the overall message is clear – public life is for suckers or sociopaths. I’m now suspicious of either.

    Granted, I recognize that a career in politics requires a thick skin, but you shouldn’t need to be some sort of reptile to lead a party in this country. And really – I’m not so sure insulating yourself under emotional kevlar is a worthwhile way to spend your life.

    Perhaps if you are truly smart, you just get out of the way and take care of yourself. At least that’s what I’m taking from our politics in 2011 and I’m probably too young to be that jaded.

    Who should I thank for this new perspective?

    • que sera sera says:

      “Perhaps if you are truly smart, you just get out of the way and take care of yourself.”

      The Conservative social contract in a nutshell.

      Excellent post. I totally agree with what you said.

    • Bryan Peeler says:

      I certainly will not brand you in that way. I agree 100%

    • Pat Heron says:

      Thank you M for this comment. It expresses my feelings exactly. My heart aches for Michael Ignatieff and his loved ones. But it also aches for Canadians who will be deprived of his wisdom. I also have great concern for those Canadians who entered with enthusiasm into the eviseration of his reputation. They have a lot to live with. My hope is that, despite this experience, other people like Michael will continue to put themselves forward — or God help Canada.

    • Gord, congratulations on a hard-blogged victory. I hope your Conservatives colleague understand that 60% of voters did not support them on May 2. Vote splitting kept Chretien in power for 3 elections. Vote splitting gave Harper this majority.

    • M says:

      That was the shocking part for me – these folks weren’t people I identified as partisans, yet there they are parroting these partisan one-liners without any substance. They haven’t even met the man they’re calling names. And why would they want to? He’s just some dope on television to them.

      And here’s the screwed up thing – as a big L liberal, I often have co-workers and friends stop by to chat about this or that. When it came to this election, these folks would offer their thoughts on Iggy’s debate “performance”, the commercials and the fleeting scandals. But when I had the temerity to ask what policies they were voting on, I mostly got a translucent blank stare. And then *I* felt bad for putting them on the spot!

      And whatever, you don’t have to be a policy wonk to vote, but if Canadian elections are really just a game about the sizzle, then do I really want to spend my time worrying about substance?

      Perhaps what someone should do is take these “fire-breathing” partisans and drop them in the middle of a community where government really matters. Say, an aboriginal reservation with tainted drinking water. Follow them around for two weeks and then see how their ideology changes.

      • MCBellecourt says:

        I often asked people what policies they were voting on, and like yourself, I got blank stares plus the usual slamming of the “American Iggy”. The difference is, is that I did NOT feel bad about putting these morons on the spot because THEY were the ones NOT paying attention and THEY were among the most vulnerable to the upcoming further marginalization of the working poor.

        I’m by no means rich myself, but when you deal with stupid people for this long day in and day out, you get cynical.

        I’ve been involved with politics provincially and was heavily involved online with this last election. I’ve said this before, but I mean it now.

        I’m done. Really done. I will continue to be as entreprenuerial and creative as I’ve always been, will continue to keep my arse out of debt (debt free for over two decades now!!), and I’ll sit back and watch them fall under the increasingly crushing weight of their own stupidity, wondering why the hell they’re there in the first place.

        Apathy is like Stage 4 lung cancer up here. To hell with it. I’ll watch them wallow in it and take care of myself and my loved ones.

        That’s it and that’s all. I’m getting too old for this crud anyhow.

        People like to learn the hard way, it seems. I say let them and put any sort of guilt aside. You tried. I tried. What more can we do? We’re going to have our own economic challenges to deal with, and believe you me, we need to be ready for it as citizens. No apologies here.

      • I’d watch that reality show.

        • MCBellecourt says:

          My kingdom for a budget that allows for a crew and equipment. It would be equally fun to produce because for once in my life, I’d be on the outside looking in.

          I know, sounds nasty, but I’m really pissed. Canada has been let down big–by her OWN PEOPLE. A majority far-right government and an opposition of political eunuchs tends to make me a bit bitchy.

    • Philip says:

      You are not a “pussy” or anything like that, I think you raise pretty good points. The cut and thrust of political debate should be robust, ideas and policy should be tested by questioning. But relentless personal attacks? Is that all Canadians can look forward to, regardless of party belief? 8 We get the democracy we deserve, I wish we desrved better.

      • MCBellecourt says:

        Democracy? Kinda like our economy.

        Described by my best RedTory buddy as “FALSE”.

        It ain’t Code Blue yet. Hmmm, another swing of the axe oughta do it.

        Flailing around, kinda like poor ol’ Sir Thomas More when his head was on the block.

    • Greg says:

      You mean like Liberals did to their opponents? Insulted Days religious beliefs, make up stuff about a secret Harper Agenda etc etc etc. The cons learned from you and got better at it. Libs were doing this for years.

      • Philip says:

        Errrr yes. Just like insulting Day. A more studied reading of my short post would have revealed the phrase: “regardless of party belief” tucked in there. Just as I have always maintained John Baird’s sexual preference is off limits as is the state of the Harper’s marriage.

  62. Bill M. says:

    First day of majority, dollar down 1/5th of a cent and the TSX off 240.

    Interesting.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      At the risk of sounding cliche?

      Things that make you go Hmmmmm….I heard something about that earlier, but reading it here from you is good enough for me. I think I’ll watch the market for awhile just to see what happens.

  63. Brad says:

    Seeing as Steven harper was by far the biggest contradiction in the election, what he says vs. what he is, I think Tim Hudak will walk all over MvGuinty, Dalton is done. I have seem first hand the improvements to our health care system. Online records, all the specialists can instantly see each others comments and tests, amazing. I’ll vote for Dalton (again), but the public doesn’t know or care that people like Randy Hillier actually get elected to office.

    Sad but true.

  64. JStanton says:

    gord, gord, gord… these are just stories you tell yourself to keep content, that have no reality outside of your imagination.

    Here is reality gord: Mr. Harper won nothing yesterday. He was given a few more seats by Liberals who were gullible enough to buy-in to his fear propaganda, so sold-out their leader, rather than vote their conscience. He is still rejected by the vast majority of Canadians, and represents the awful cost of an archaic political system that reflects a reality dated even at its inception. This is somehow appropriate; yesterday’s man cheats yesterday’s system.

    Lies, deceit and ineptitude is all Mr. Harper has shown us so far. So, evidently, those are the qualities you both champion.

    .

  65. I was a former riding association president and only donated and voted for the current liberal candidate in our riding due to her, not the party
    As far as I’m concerned I didn’t leave the liberal party, the liberal party left me. The last budget put out by Harper could have been a Paul Martin Budget, there was no reason to vote it down.
    The natural governing party has peverted that title into a “stand for nothing but middle ground”, and “whatever might get us elected” party.

    I was asked what it would take to get me back, I responded that it would take a platform. I don’t see the next liberal party platform being simply to counter any nonsense and arrogance from Conservative majority and NDP rookies MP’s.
    I don’t think the Liberal party is capable of standing for something anymore, but raised in a household watching Trudeau through my father’s eyes, I hope I’m wrong.

  66. Mark in Ontario says:

    Finally it’s over.

    Some observations:

    1. Results vindicate what WK and others were saying in March – from Liberal standpoint this election should never had been called. If nothing else, the red flag should have been the La Presse poll showing Liberals at 11% in Quebec. Liberals, the “National Unity” party, obviously obsessing about nonsensical Harper-scandals, had no plan to deal with Bloc Quebecois. The conditions were ripe, the Liberals should have won 58 seats in Quebec, not no-body NDPers. The Liberals needed more time to prepare, fund-raise, search for candidates in Quebec and let Sponsorship be forgotten. Harper was giving the Liberals a life-line – no election until October 2012. But noooooo.

    2. If the Opposition forced the election (which was what happened),then somebody was going to have to pay for the 2008 Coalition blunder. I just didn’t know whether it was going to be NDP or Liberals. Ignatieff flubbed the Coalition question in the first minutes of the campaign, so it was assured that the Liberals would pay. What was unexpected was the Bloc would also pay for the Coalition blunder. I couldn’t figure out why Duceppe spent so much time about 2004 agreement. It just showed that he loved Coalitions as much as Liberals supposedly did. But Duceppe so badly wanted to prove Harper was a “liar” that he forgot that the Bloc Quebecois doesn’t exist to argue and politic with Canadian Prime Ministers.

    3. At the Debate, when Duceppe was trash-talking multi-culturalism. it was Harper, not Ignatieff or Layton, who made an impassioned defence of tolerance and diversity. That should have been Ignatieff’s golden moment. He was silent. So the only thing that people remembered about the debate about Ignatieff was Layton’s dig about attendance at votes. And also that a 19 year old was allegedly turned away from a Conservative rally and she cried about it. Why was the man who wants to be Prime Minister spending valuable time before the Canadian public talking about such trivia?

    4. Duceppe’s blunders changed the campaign. The reaction to the April 1 Lower Churchill loan guarantee decision demonstrated how irrelevant the Bloc really is in defending Quebec interests. Then the sparring with Layton about application of Bill 101 to federally-regulated industries at first glance seemed arcane enough, but allowed Layton to make outrageous pro-sovereigntist promises to Quebeckers. The decisive blunder was the PQ Convention. By boasting that the BQ majority of Quebec seats would be a precursor for the next referendum and that part of the plan was for the BQ to de-stabilize Ottawa, the jig was up. Four Bloc seats, and a defeated Duceppe. Sweet.

    5. This is why the Liberals should not merge with NDP. The Bloc has not disappeared – it has become the Quebec federal NDP. More than half of Layton’s caucus are neophyte MPs from Quebec who are nationalists – there will be a clash within that caucus between the dominant Quebecois nationalists and the traditional old-time Ontario and BC labour union NDPers. The NDP caucus is bound to be a train wreck sooner or later. Liberals, stay away!

    6. Liberals, learn from Harper! – Focused, disciplined, relentless, refused to be side-tracked, professional, determined, prepared, confident, disdainful of the media (like virtually all Canadians) but respectful and polite (Harper never referred to the Leader of the Opposition as “this guy”) . Harper gave a textbook demonstration on how to win a campaign. Be humble and learn from the master.

    7. Going forward, my advice to the Liberals is stay away from the hurly-burly House of Commons. Be respectful and professional as legislators, forget about faux-scandals and concentrate on policies that affect families and the economy. Support the government – you are the third party now, you don’t have to oppose everything, or be outraged about nothing. Stop the “planes, prisons and corporate tax giveaways” nonsense. A supportive, considered approach will reflect well on the Liberals especially when, as seems likely, the NDP Opposition descends into amateur night. When the NDP falls from grace, be there to pick up the mantle. Recall that the Liberals are still the Opposition in the Senate. That’s a good place to re-prove the party’s political bona fides. Then the people will trust your party again (one day) when the Conservatives head for defeat. Nothing is forever. In the meantime, get out of Ottawa and re-build a new, effective, relevant for the 21st century New Liberal Party of Canada.

    • Mandos says:

      But the Quebec NDP MPs are fully aware that they are part of a federalist party. Yes I know they’re as yet inexperienced but, you know, they aren’t blind and deaf. There’s a huge amount of Liberal wishful thinking about the NDP based on no evidence. Maybe it will turn out to be true, but…there’s almost no evidence other than inexperience, and any growing party will have inexperienced people.

      Seriously, there’s this Liberal Party habit of thinking that all reversals and electoral adversities are based on some kind of temporary factor and with just the application of time, the foibles of their opponents will lead to a return of the Grownup Party. Really? You sure about that?

      • Frank says:

        Agreed. If the Liberal plan is to wait for the NDP to self-destruct, you may be waiting for a long time. As an ancient African proverb says:

        He who waits for a dead man’s shoes will long go barefoot.

  67. Mandos says:

    We’ll see. Naturally a right-winger would see the left as politically incoherent, but the Reform Party, as I recall, had lots of those kinds of problems and look where it is now.

    Time will tell. I for one don’t make guesses.

  68. If Iggy is a first class guy and ran a good campaign why the hell fire him?

    Jack has been around for a long time and paid his dues. Hard to run negative ads against a fighter like him and have them stick. Same can be said about Harper.

    If you stayed with Iggy he could be PM in Four Years and he showed commitment to the party. You think he is too far right Warren, but my God, Canada just gave Harper a Majority.

    When was the last time Canada elected a PM that didn’t spend many years as an MP (MULRONEY). By turning on this leader, again, I hope the Liberal Party is taken out for good. As sad as that is.

  69. Hollywood says:

    Wow. Real Liberals. I never knew that there were any left. Any want to spend time in the Libersaur display at the museum?

    You know what, I don’t see the west ever going Liberal. Face it: The Liberal Party has been around for 144 years and have NEVER had a leader from west of Windsor or east of Quebec City (except for those from Britain).

    I frankly consider it a sign of bigotry. I know that Liberals see themselves as tolerant, open-minded, etc. etc. But come on now. Not even one leader born in 8 provinces and 3 territories? That defies all statistical probability.

    To rebuild your party a good first step would be to look in the mirror and ask yourselves hard questions about just how (in)tolerant you really are.

    Do you want western candidates who will represent the west to Ottawa? Or do you want western candidates who will represent Ottawa to the west?

    • The Doctor says:

      The last Liberal leadership race said it all: other than Dion, who was from Quebec, every other candidate was from the Greater Toronto Area. And when I pointed out to Liberals that this might be a problem, they seemed nonplussed.

      • James Curran says:

        Actually John Turner was out of Vancouver Quadra. William Lyon Mackenzie King was out of Prince Albert Sask. And, Hedy ran from the west in the last leadership. But don’t let facts get in the way.

        • James Curran says:

          Oh. And Dominic Leblanc was in during the brief 2008 fiasco.

        • The Doctor says:

          I was talking about the last leadership race, not every Liberal leadership race in history. Go take a reading comprehension course. Hedy Fry quit the last leadership race well before the convention, so I think I was quite correct in excluding her. And the fact that a pathetic lightweight like Hedy Fry was the only (albeit abortive) Western candidate that that the LPC could come up with — that speaks volumes.

          Anyway, you’re behaving like way too many LPC supporters on this issue: when the LPC’s pathetic weakness and lack of representation in Western Canada are pointed out to you, rather than acknowledging it, you get petulant and defensive and shoot at the messenger. For Christ’s sake, you have 4 seats west of Guelph. Wake up.

        • Hollywood says:

          Turner was born in England and did attend UBC as a student. However, he was a Montreal and Toronto-based lawyer and I believe grew up in Ottawa. He did run (when he was party leader) in Vancouver Quadra. He had no real western roots.

    • Frank says:

      Uh, John Turner?

  70. Mike says:

    Moving forward to rebuilding, I have to echo the comments that I do not want Bob Rae as interim leader. What I would like to see is two fold.

    1) Ralph Goodale as interim leader. Let’s face it, the next leader is going to come from Quebec/Maritimes so lets give a great western MP the opportunity to take the helm ever so briefly.

    2) Elect a leader through primaries. It would put our parties best on the ground dealing with regional issues across Canada. To run in the primaries you’d need to sign up X number of members and raise $X in each region or you would be excluded from that primary. I would be extremely happy if by the end of this year we could have accomplished those two small things.

    • Matthew says:

      Of course if you did primaries I’m sure the Tories would run a thousand articles about how you guys were “engaging in US style politics”.

  71. fritz says:

    Gord: The arrogance of your thinking is truly amazing. And you have so little to be arrogant about.

  72. Mandos says:

    It’s so cute all these people talking about whether the Liberals should agree to merge with the NDP and what terms it should demand. What makes you think that the NDP wants them so badly now (or that it ever did)? That’s something that Warren himself has pointed out on multiple occasions. Even *if* the roles were a little more even after the election, I would myself only advise the NDP to accept a merger under very, very favorable terms.

    The NDP can win seats in Quebec and it can win seats in the West—yes, it can even win and hold a seat in Alberta itself. What, exactly, do the Liberals bring to the table at the moment except a sense of being on the Failboat? You know, a merger with the Liberals might poison the NDPs ability to be competitive in all regions of the country. It might, for instance, taint to the extent that it can no longer hold Edmonton-Strathcona. After this defeat, you’d think that Liberals would take a moment to get a bit of perspective here.

  73. R says:

    This is strange anybody who fight Harper within a moth get disapper

    like mafia movie

    they hit him to get fire if some one say harper doing weired

  74. Stephen says:

    The Liberal Party of Canada

    We want to dominate Parliament Hill again and have the power.

    True? Of course!

    That’s what the political game is all about.

    How do we get the power?

    The only way we do that is by selling voters something.

    What do we sell them?

    Hope.

    That’s what people are buying when they cast their vote.

    Hope.

    “But this is obvious Stephen…”

    Is it?

    “Sell hope and motivate with fear.”

    That’s the winning formula.

    . . .

    Are we fanatical believers in our cause?

    There’s evidence of enthusiasm… but radical fanaticism?

    Now our back is against the wall.

    It’s going to be up to us if a 140+ year old political dynasty lives or dies.

    . . .

    Merger with the NDP?

    When the Spanish explorer Cortez reached the new world, he burned his ships.

    As a result, his men were radically motivated.

    There was no going back.

    We must burn our own ships… which translates into no merger with the NDP.

    . . .

    It’s the stated policy of the Conservative Party of Canada to kill us off.

    Rest assured, the NDP will be more than happy to see us go too.

    We cannot afford a protracted fratricidal civil war within our own party.

    . . .

    Just speaking out loud.

    Anyone else share similar sentiments?

    • MCBellecourt says:

      You pretty much got ‘er, I think. The Liberals are on their own. Harper obviously cannot be trusted. But when you look back, neither can Layton, and it is clear now that merger would be a mistake. Let Layton take his own fall. And mark my words, it will happen. In the meantime, the Libs can learn from HIS mistakes and not their own for a change.

      Do things quietly. The CraigslistConbots are obviously still spewing their bullshit on the news boards, and they have proven that people can be manipulated in to voting against their best interests. They don’t need any more news out of the Liberal war room to twist. Don’t give them the opportunity.

      (I wonder if Shiela Fraser will ever get the opportunity to find out how much those buttheads are costing the taxpayer?)

  75. MCBellecourt says:

    Winning seats is one thing, hanging onto them after this particular election will be quite another. First of all, Jack will have to attempt to deliver on his promises to Quebec. Duceppe was relatively safe doing just that because he wasn’t beholden to the rest of the country. But Jack is. Jack is in the absolutely dreadful position of having to perform a juggling act on a highwire pleasing Quebec without alienating the rest of the country, ESPECIALLY THE WEST, from his own party.

    The other factor? Jack will NOT be able to deliver because he has been politically castrated via a majority win by the most hyper-partisan political party ever seen in Canada. Harper has the seats, he has the House, and he has the Senate completely and utterly shackled. Not muzzled. Shackled.

    Jack won’t be able to do jack, and will only end up pissing everybody off. His party transformed itself into political lepers.

    The Liberals were right in rejecting this merger all along. Ignatieff was right. And it will be realized, thus facilitating the rebuild.

    The only message left for the Liberals? In the sea of adversity, you’ve been handed a gift.

    DON’T SCREW IT UP.

  76. Cath says:

    Hey Warren – pretty sure this beats the KD responses – a new record?

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