08.02.2011 06:14 AM

In today’s Sun: no way Bob Rae

In fact, in the view of a growing number of Liberals, Rae and his inner circle are busily at work on making the interim job permanent.

Assisted by a group of take-no-prisoners strategists who haven’t been seen since the brief Paul Martin era, Rae is making plans to jettison the many Michael Ignatieff loyalists who still make up much of the Liberal Party executive. Once that is done, Rae apparently intends to secure the approval of his own loyalists to seek the full-time job.

That is something that should never, ever be allowed to happen.

For starters, the Liberal Party needs new blood. Too many of its MPs had been in the House of Commons for too many years, which is one of the reasons it lost so badly on May 2.

Offering up a leader like Rae — who will be closing in on 70 by the time the next federal election takes place — is a big, big mistake.


  1. I have no problem with the age of a leader. I don’t think Bob Rae would be the best Liberal leader as the Conservatives would attack him for ruining Ontario during his years as premier. I also do not care about uniting progressives under one party. A united Liberal-NDP could move a new party further to the right. It seems only Liberals wanting to talk about uniting progressives. I don’t hear NDP supporters doing the same.

    • Tiger says:

      Re a merger — I just don’t see how it happens pre-2015.

      But if the October 2015 election goes like 1983 did in Britain (and I bet it will), expect to see merger calls follow the day after.

  2. I do think that when the Liberal Party announces the official leadership race, Bob Rae will resign as interim leader so he can run for the full leadership position. The party will need to find an interim-interim leader.

    • Pedro says:

      S**t and you expect a Liberal (or any politician for that matter, but the Liberals have been acclaimed to have perfected the ruse for others to copy) to be held to a statement made in the midst of other mitigating circumstances that may have caused them to misstate themselves because it meant the future of this great land in the face of marauding invaders who wished to rend this great nation…blah, blah, blah…
      Get up! Stand up! Don’t accet the crap!
      My Canada includes all those around me who don’t accept the *t!

  3. Dave says:

    Excellent synthesis of Rae’s unbridled ambitions. It is a slam dunk that he will massage the rules, engineer a shot at the leadership, (and now with Layton’s health in limbo), good old Bob will seem to have the experience to lead the fold to the promised land.

  4. Tiger says:

    I assumed this was what he could be up to.

    Well, Ignatieff’s people did it too — turnabout is fair play.

    Mind you, the NDP interim leader was just revealed as a longtime Bloc member — so who knows what can happen!

  5. Marc L says:

    Yes, it would be a big mistake to leave Rae as leader of the Liberals. His days as Ontario premier have not been forgotten. But getting together with the NDP to unite the self-described “progressives” would be just as big a mistake. First, there is nothing “progressive” — as in left-wing — about the Liberal Party. I don’t recall the Chrétien years as being an experiment in left-wing politics. Why you want to shift the Liberal party to the left and get in bed with the protectionist corporate-bashing tax-and-spend NDP is beyond me. Looks to me once again like a shortcut to avoid having to deal with the most important issue: you have nothing to offer Canadians — no policies and no vision for the future. Is the real solution to describe yourselves as “progressives” and then go sucking up to the NDP (yes, THEY have the big end of the stick now)?

    • Pat says:

      Good post.

      • Cath says:

        ditto – something else to consider is how the fortunes of the provincial NDP play out, or not, in the Ontario provincial election. Horwath answered the “Bob Rae” history in Ontario question really well on TVO a while back. If the NDP unveil their education platform at the union AGMs in August and push the agenda of a merger to One School System – all bets are off in my opinion and THAT becomes, once again a provincial election issue. The non-responses by both Hudak and McGuinty to the whole prayers in public schools will not stand a chance.

        I would expect Bob Rae to want to cosy up to Dalton McGuinty this campaign also. What a photo-op that would make and the captions left up to the imagination.

    • Kev says:

      yet Ontario voters have forgiven Mike Harris by putting a good chunk of his former provincial caucus into federal office?

      I don’t buy the Bob Rae Ontario myth. At all. What did he do? Run a deficit? Like Harper?

  6. Wannabeapiper says:

    Absolutely predicable! No big surprise. A real disaster. Surprised he didn’t change parties again to run the NDP.
    Ho humm and sigh………….

  7. JStanton says:

    The elephant in the room that nobody talks about – not the MSM, because there are so few professional journalists left in Canada , and not opposition parties, due, I imagine to “professional courtesy” – is that the Harper government is comprised of school leavers, entry-level job seekers, and washed up under- achievers. They have not the training or experience to run a corner store, let alone a country, and certainly none of the intellect required for governmental decision making. Their saving grace, I suppose, is that since the paucity of Mr. Harper’s personal and professional achievements sets the bar so low, none of these mere sycophants looks particularly bad next to him.

    The Liberal front bench look like giants compared to those light-weights. These are people of enormous achievement, and this is the Liberals greatest asset. So to suggest that the LPC should jettison them or face the party’s demise, is a tough argument to make.

    Frankly, the awfulization of Mr. Rae’s record as Premier is a hatchet job, and people should look at the facts, rather than be so gullible. But of course, since the MSM has invented the meme they will run with it, whatever the facts.

    Liberals don’t have to allow themselves to again be co-opted by Mr. Harper’s tactics. We might instead define the discourse – as, for example, being one of comparison between achievers and under-acheivers – rather than slavishly buy into the notion that the party has to become CPC-lite.


    • MedEditor says:

      Agree with that analysis.

      I have no dog in the federal Libs’ leadership fight, but I find the demonization of Rae’s term in Ontario peculiar. I think that, in retrospect, “Rae days” in the midst of a recession look awfully tame compared to the bloodletting (actual as well as metaphorical) of the Harris tenure.

    • Phil in London says:

      As per my comments below you are the architects of the NDP and CPC sucesses. It does take someone from the party of Mssrs Chretien, Martin, Dion, Ignatieff and Rae to recognize low standards based on their own achievement free reigns. Of course at least Chretien re-wrote the book on integrity-free politics. Thanks again all of you for delivering us a conservative majority! (And the Left / Right polarity)

      • JStanton says:

        … as you can imagine Phil, I feel really awful for you, since you are evidently one of the less than 20% of Canadians that were duped to vote for Mr. Harper. Logic suggests that voters like you experienced severe cognitive dysfunction, evidently being unable to reason, or separate facts from Harperland fantasies.

        He has trashed more jobs of ordinary working people than anyone else, continues to cut the social safety net and government services on which so many of them rely, and increased the debt enough through weapons purchases and boondoggles, so that he cannot lower their taxes or enable their children an education to improve their lot. And yet folks like you generally vote for this effete, soft-handed megalomaniac, whose idea of hard labour is evidently exclusively sitting around on his arse plotting against those that disagree with him, as opposed to doing what real working people go through every day.

        This is a man who has worked little, earned no professional credentials, published no ideas of substance, accomplished nothing in a professional capacity, or actually kept any promises you think he might have made, and yet, you thought that he would serve you better than other candidates, each of whom individually has comparatively vast achievements. Take your pick Phil – are you simply a dupe, or are you a fool?


        • Phil in London says:

          The liberal guilt that has you believe none of us could amount to anything without you causes me to feel a similar sorrow. It’s great how you can all categorize someone like me without knowing a damn thing about me.
          If you morons took some time to listen to someone who did in fact vote for the person who did all the things you so aptly described but fail to attribute to Chretien and Co. You would not be the fools who don’t get it today.
          You’re spew of hate is so typical of the high foreheads still “managing” the Lieral party today

    • Bil Huk says:

      that’s not an elephant in the room.

      its just not the political advantage it used to be, and even if it partially is, it pales in comparison to fundraising, policy, and grassroots support/stability.

      the canadian electorate is very cynical about politicians, they all get painted with the same brush.

      Harper’s 3 election wins isn’t luck, and isn’t because of the MSM, and isn’t because the electorate is dumb.

      they raise more money, they put forth policies that (on the whole) that Canadians like, they have a rock solid base of support that would show up to vote on the last day before Armageddon, and they play bare knuckle politics as good as the Liberals used to.

      • The Doctor says:

        I agree with JStanton that the Libs front bench is more impressive than the CPC’s, by a significant stretch. But I also agree with Bil Huk that in today’s Parliament and federal political environment, that doesn’t count for much. If the Liberals were a stone’s throw from 24 Sussex, that sort of stuff would count for something politically. But they’re not.

      • JStanton says:

        Lets apply some critical thinking to your points, Bill:

        1) Harper’s 3 election wins isn’t luck.
        Yes it is; its complete and utter luck. Mr. Harper, with no substance himself whatsoever, was lucky to go up against successive opposition leaders that were each defeated by their own party

        2) and isn’t because of the MSM.
        Yes it is. The internet and the process of media convergence has meant the end of professional journalism. All that’s left, virtually, are inexpensive talking heads and free-lancers who deliver productized content that fits the theme defined by the company owners, and that increasingly reflects whatever the sensationalist meme of the day happens to be. Mr. Harper’ operatives understand this well, and feed the media product that requires no overhead to publish, so the media does so, uncritically.

        3) and isn’t because the electorate is dumb.

        Yes it is. Despite the facts that contradict Mr. Harper’s every utterance, despite his failure to live up to any promise, or to articulate a progressive vision, roughly 18% of Canadians vote for him. That is dumb!

        4) they raise more money
        Yes they do indeed. But people give Mr. Harper money because he promises to do things that he will not or cannot do. Sounds like a scam to me.

        5) they put forth policies that (on the whole) that Canadians like
        Well, firstly, there are no “policies”. Mr. Harper has fact-free opinions that the government is forced to execute. There is no coherent plan; just reactionary, knee-jerk responses to events that he happens to have noticed. And “Canadians” as a whole do not “like” his ideas – remember, 76% of the electorate voted AGAINST Mr. Harper.

        6) they have a rock solid base of support that would show up to vote on the last day before Armageddon
        Yes, well, see point 3)

        7) and they play bare knuckle politics as good as the Liberals used to.
        There is no “they”. There is just Mr. Harper his and tax-payer funded operatives who have been hired to undermine the Canadian democratic process by manipulating simple folk to sabotage their own best interests.

        It’s not pretty Bil. Save yourself and all of us by voting anyone-but-Harper.


        • The Doctor says:

          “76% of the electorate voted AGAINST Mr. Harper”

          I don’t think that’s a true statement. It seems to me you’re roping into that number people who didn’t vote at all. People who didn’t vote didn’t vote for or AGAINST anyone. They simply didn’t vote. So you can’t logically assume that had they voted, they would have (all) voted for parties other than the CPC.

          I get and appreciate your point that most people who voted voted for parties other than the CPC. But overstating your point like that just undercuts your credibility.

          • Bil Huk says:


            it is a true statement. but only today, and only for this election.

            eventually, some other party will win a majority with 39% of the votes cast in an election where only 65% of eligable voters participate.

            Then, it’ll be that the canadian public has FINALLY spoken!!

          • The Doctor says:

            I do find it amazing that only 61.4% of Canadians actually voted, 39+% of those who voted cast their ballots for the CPC, and yet J Stanton manages to derive from those raw numbers the (apparent) fact that 76% of the electorate voted AGAINST Mr. Harper.

            Maybe it’s those unreported votes? 🙂

          • JStanton says:

            Yes, you are right, I inadvertently mis-stated the facts.

            76% of the electorate did not vote for Mr. Harper

            82% of Canadians did not vote for Mr. Harper

            60% of the electorate voted AGAINST Mr. Harper

            And I don’t have credibility to undercut in any case. Its the internets, dawg..

        • Bil Huk says:


          at least i got a laugh from your response!! you sound like i did during the chretien majorities !!!

          the conservatives will eventually lose, and it won’t be because the electorate got smarter, the MSM gained more substance, or Harper’s facade is finally discovered anymore than the facade put up by any other successful politician eventually is.

          and when Harper does lose, it’ll probably be because someone promises to do something popular. Like, ‘renegotiating free trade’ or ‘scrapping the GST’, just two examples from my political memory. And if you lose an election because of stupid promises like those, ones that didn’t make sense at the time and weren’t ultimately fulfilled, i would understand your frustration

          But I imagine, in that instance, you weren’t really concerned with the stupidity of the electorate or the vapid nature of the MSM, because they colluded to the benefit of your political preferences.

          • JStanton says:

            These are good points Bil, except the last, which presupposes that the political class could ever meet the standards of my “political preferences”.

            And not because there are no good people out there. Occasionally one becomes florescent, and surprises me with good sense, decency or courage. But they are so thin on the ground, that they cannot ever hope collectively to overcome the inertia of a bad system getting worse.

            And it doesn’t help the right, incidentally, when their best people are actively discouraged and marginalized by a party leader who can’t stand the thought of his mediocrity being exposed by the talents of others.


      • allegra fortissima says:

        Hahaha JStanton – compared to those, Pavlov’s Dog sounds like a reasoning creature!

    • Bubba says:

      “The awfulization of Mr. Rae’s record”?? Seriously c’mon now – you just did that to see if you could get a rise out of a right-winger, hoping desperately for some sputtering frothing at the mouth retort. But your post is good comedic writing – giants on the Liberal front bench (as a side note, can it be called a front bench when you have so few mps that you couldn’t fill a school bus?) Hedy Fry as minister of…. cross burning? Stephane Dion as minister of…failed leadership? John Mccallum as minister of … in-flight beverage services? Justin Trudeau as minister of… vacuous pretty boy politics? I’d go on but i’m already over 10% of sitting liberal mps – and you guys still can’t find somebody qualified to even drive your short bus. And as for school leavers, i’ll put my doctorate and MBA up against whatever you got and raise you my young drivers of canada certificate.

    • JH says:

      Keep telling yourselves this Stanton and you’ll continue the course you’re on. How’s that working for you so far? Wk is right about Rae and those ‘Giants’ better find themselves a course of action and a leader that is acceptable.

    • Pedro says:

      Wow! I left school, tried several entry level jobs, went back to school, left a ***tload of acqauintances back at school, lost a business but have my business today as well as a job yada, yada, yada.
      I’ve met quite a few people who are active in politics today from all sides of the spectrum.
      You have described the problem Canadian voters had with Michael Igantieff quite succinctly.
      By the popularity of the Liberal party in Canada, I might guess you and those of your views comprise the base of Liberal voters in Canada today.
      Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education (with apologies to Mr. Twain).
      Good luck to you in your rose-smelling commode.

  8. Bill M. says:

    One, make a racket in the House of Commons, which is where all the action will be for the next four years.

    Two, try and get noticed by the media, so folks know you and your party are still alive.

    Three, get Liberals feeling good about themselves again — and, wherever possible, raise some dough.

    Four, get ready to hand over the leadership to the duly-elected, full-time leader, sometime in 2013.


    I would have added “Have some policies that differentiate you from others”.

    Health care constantly polls as the top issue in the country and SFA usually gets done because it’s a provincial issue.

    In a country the size of Canada, I think HC should be a federal jurisdiction item to benefit from economies of scope and scale. Same for education.

    The LPC should move in that direction. Now that would be BIG change.

  9. Jordan says:

    Time for a fresh face. I think there should be a draft Tim Hsu movement afoot.

  10. Phil in London says:

    I always laugh when some out of touch Lib demonizes Harris who you coud never beat and Harper who you can’t figure out and yet can’t identify with the hate others have for Jean Chretien. It’s kind of cute really.

    But I digress – the stench of Bob Rae is already spoiling your party. You better look around because the choice is getting clearer for you Liberals – the artists of political polarization in Canada – you stole from left and right for so long you’ve bankrupted your morals and are not likely to gain much credit for some time. You better choose left or right because you’ve raped what you view as the middle.

    • Bill M. says:

      Stealing from the left?

      I guess buying GM was Harper’s sincerest form of flattery then.

    • Attack! says:

      That’s Phil, for ya: all bile, no guile. How’s that ulcer doin’, oh, ever caustic one?

      • Phil in London says:

        Love those personal attacks. I’m doing fine thanks for asking glad to know that I am still so wrong with my truths that it hurts you enough to respond.

        • Attack! says:

          oh, I doubt there’s a lot of love in your life, acerbic one. And it’s not your ‘truths’ I’m responding to, it’s the emotive noise pollution of your tone.

          What’s with you cons, anyway: camped out here, day after day, carping about the LPC, like bitter exes? Move on! Get a life!

          • Phil in London says:

            If all Liberals were as brilliant as you they would have finished third in the last federal election. You may have to read this a litlte slower so you can catch the sarcasm. Attack! ? I’ve been more perturbed by house flies, you are about as fearsome as a lapdog.

            As Kinsella said in another post today it’s an opinion, if you don’t like it too bad, I am not going to disappear unless the good diarist wishes me too.

            Now speaking of love kiss my ass good night you moron.

          • Attack! says:

            Planting roots, then, are you, Philodendron?


            But you’re right: unlike me, your breed’s bark DOES bite… it’s toxic.


            Well, enjoy your life as a stalker as best you can, then…. everyone needs a hobby, I guess… even bitter shrubs.

  11. Nuna D. Above says:

    Like George Smitherman, Rae doesn’t think his disasterous public record matters much. Like Smitherman, he will find out the hard way that ego isn’t everything. Let him run, the Liberal party can use the deposit money.

  12. Bob C. says:

    I am a Liberal, not sure why anymore, but I remain liberal, whatever that means these days. Selecting a new leader is like buying a set of tires. You can buy used tires with brand names like Sheila Copps, Stephan Dion, or Paul Martin; retreaded tires with brand names like Belinda Stronach or Scott Brison; or you can buy a brand new set of tires with brand names like Justin Trudeau, Dominic Leblanc, Kristy Duncan or some other proven brand that has upgraded itself to the type of tire I require.

    I may, on an interim basis, install a used or retread tire for my use only, but I would not trust the lives and safety of my children and grandchildren to ride in a car that has a set of USED or RETREAD tires on it. In the long term I want a new set of tires, no matter what the cost, as the security of my family depend on them.

    As for Bob Rae, he is a RETREAD, and may be OK on an interim basis, but in the long run, and for the good of the Liberal Party, he is NOT ACCEPTABLE as our leader going into the 2015 election campaign. He must step aside, as he said he would when he took on the job as interim leader, and he MUST come out and confirm it now.

  13. Austin So says:


    I thought that, according to you, the Ignatieff loyalists _were_ the problem…?

    Seems like people are feeding you again and you’re taking the bait…

  14. frmr disgruntled Con, now Happy Lib says:

    If Mr. Rae can get the job done in rebuilding the party…..(and I am withholding judgement for the time being that he can)…..then I dont see why he shouldnt have the opportunity to run for the permanent leadership of the LPOC…..Id hate to see Mr. Rae plant the garden, and then somebody else get to pick the flowers……Perhaps you are opposed because you see him as “box office poison” to the Ontario electorate….I suspect that after four years of Mr. Harper and his govt of neo-con sycophants and cronies, Mr. Rae may look very appealing indeed….

    As well, one of the most successful Liberal Prime Ministers, Louis St. Laurent, assumed the leadership of the LPOC when he was 65 years of age, I believe……”Uncle Louis” was a popular, and effective leader and Prime Minister…..for 9 years…..

    If youre worried about an “aged” appearance not appealing to todays hip and sophisticated social media addicted youth…why worry, past experience has shown they dont vote anyways.

    Perhaps you are opposed because you see him as “box office poison” to the Ontario electorate….I suspect that after four years of Mr. Harper and his govt of neo-con sycophants and cronies, Mr. Rae may look very appealing indeed….

    My two cents…..

  15. Quebeckor says:

    Phil is proof – Bob is an overwhelming success. Keep up the good work everyone!!
    I can’t wait for the “dippistes” commercials to begin from the CPC. Perhaps the Grey Cup would be an appropriate launch date.

  16. H Holmes says:

    As long as the NDP is having to fight a sovereignty battle in its own party, we can do well.

    We should be driving this point as hard as the conservatives are or harder.

    We are not and we continue to play nice with NDP as our walls burn.

    IMO this is because there are still to many people talking merger and not winning.

  17. WildGuesser says:

    Being old is not a strike against. What is a strike against is that the old demographic, who actually do vote, will remember Bob’s record as Premier. While it may be true that the 18-29 year olds don’t have a vivid recollection of Bob’s hurricane of economic destruction, they are not at the top of likely voter lists.

  18. Cath says:

    “I am a Liberal, not sure why anymore, but I remain liberal, whatever that means these days.”

    Bob C. wins the prize. If your base doesn’t know what you’re about how can you possibly begin to start fresh with an antiquated and undefined foundation?

  19. Kev says:

    Who the hell is an Ignatieff loyalist?

  20. Greg from Calgary says:

    If Rae does this I doubt he will be successful. However, he will damage the LPOC in the eyes of the public because it will appeat that select members of the party are putting personal ambition ahead of what is best for the party. The LPOC needs to shake that image.

  21. Philip says:

    One of the best things about this non-issue has been watching the usual suspects heads explode in a familiar lather of hate and bile. Almost as good is frantic concern trolling. All this strum und drang over a 70 year old man, who just happens to be the best retail politician in Canada.

  22. James Curran says:

    Of course, the truth will all come out come January. Then those that wake up to the new reality will have absolutely little to no chance of rallying anyone against the machine that will have been invented after Bob’s current leadership tour.

  23. Tiger says:

    If it’s what Rae’s up to, I don’t blame him. Not one whit — he got railroaded into accepting Ignatieff as leader because “there was no time” to consult the party membership.

    This time, they did do a quick consult, in order to spike his leadership bid.

    So why not just do what was done to him? If the other side won’t play fair, why should you?

    Now, as for the merits of a Rae leadership — who knows. I feared him for a 2008 election, and think he’d’ve done better than Ignatieff in 2011, but I don’t know how he’d be in 2015. That’s Liberals’ business, anyway.

  24. Welby says:

    I believe that Bob Rae is doing a good job and would make a fine permanent leader. He is articulate and politically savy.

    I became a Liberal because of Pierre Trudeau and I have voted Liberal ever since the 1973-74. I liked Paul Martin and I liked Michael Ignatieff. I admired Jean Chretien for his decision on Iraq. I will be gone formt he country for 3 years – home at Christmases and Julys – so I will be watchig the scene from afar. I think Bob Rae has the ability to renergize the party and I hope it happens. For someone who has been in sales where you never knock your company – it does bother me when people who say they are Liberals knock what Liberals are doing in the press

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