07.06.2011 07:55 AM

The permanent campaign

Susan’s yarn, here, on the (smart) Rae decision to get tough. Overdue.

Nay-sayers will say it’s closing the barn door after the horse has fled, etc., but that’s not the problem. The problem is that the Reformatories’ anti-Dion and anti-Ignatieff ads served to define Dion and Ignatieff before they could define themselves.

That’ll be the problem, once again, in 2013 or so: the Grits will pick another shiny new leader, and the Cons will spend millions to smear him/her before the election.

The Reformatory leader is a known quantity; the Grit leader-to-be isn’t. Attack ads always work best with the latter, not the former.


  1. Paul R Martin says:

    The phrases “slams” and “get tough” often puzzle me. Party leaders can say nasty things about the other guys, but if few voters care about the topic or the person making the statement the net impact is minimal at best and sometimes hurts the person who “gets tough”. I remember when the previous Liberal leader got tough and told Mr. Harper that his time was up. It just made him look foolish rather than tough.

  2. james curran says:

    “the Grits will pick another shiny new leader”

    Unless, of course, that leader happens to be Bob Rae.

  3. TDotRome says:

    That’s why my initial thoughts are for Marc Garneau to be the next leader……the man’s been to outer space! He fulfilled every little boy’s childhood dream! Astronauts are smear-proof!

    And, he’s a military man. I’d like to see the neo-cons attack that. Not to mention his Companion to the Order of Canada, and a high school named after him.

    He’s a bit older than some would like, but big deal. As long as he doesn’t say ridiculously stupid things, he’d be a teflon-don.

  4. Plugging a new leader into the same dysfunctional organization that reduced us to 34 seats and you get….? Before we start the coronation of the next White Knight and Saviour, how about dealing decisively with:

    1) the unraveled national, regional and local infrastructure of the LPC, including fundraising
    2) the lack of clarity on policy (what do Liberals stand for, beyond Harper is Evil and we are Good)
    3) the severe branding problem we have across the country. Outside of a few major metropolitan areas, mention the word ‘Liberal’ and dogs start snarling at you. Mighty trees wither and fall over. I don’t like saying this, but the word ‘Liberal’ is hate-speak in most of the country, thanks to the years of Conservative carpet-bombing, to say nothing of the legacies of former LPC leaders. I don’t know what the fix is, but the brand is really damaged, and to pretend otherwise is delusional.

    The focus should be on these 3 issues, not the next leader. No amount of Garneau-mania, Rae-mania (or anyone-else-mania) is going to matter one iota until we fix these three.

  5. Mark in Ontario says:

    Wasn’t Marc Garneau in the news lately about wanting Canada to send a robot to Mars?

    It’s going to take awhile I think for Liberals to realize it, but nobody cares what the Liberal Party of Canada does or thinks anymore.

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