11.29.2011 08:00 AM

Sting Rae

I see.

So it’s okay for the interim leader to break his promise to not run for the leadership, and to squelch the ambitions of anyone other than himself?

Because, make no mistake, he promised not to seek the leadership post. And he said he would encourage, not discourage, others to seek the leadership.

He’s not telling the truth. And this is one “stupid blogger” who intends to make that point, over and over.


  1. SteveV says:

    Just curious when this moves to Copps, who is CLEARLY opening the door? Why does the concern stop with Rae and not his “stalking horse”? Odd.

  2. Pat says:

    I didn’t see anything in that story that suggested that Bob Rae is on the verge of breaking the promise he made when he became interim leader. Could you point it out to me? Or have you heard something behind the scenes?

    Just because other people are talking about it doesn’t mean it is on Bob’s radar. I mean, look at Dalton, should we still be talking about how he is going to abandon Ontario an run for LPC leadership? That wouldn’t be fair to him, especially after he said last week that he is not interested. Why is Rae any different? Why should we assume he is breaking the promise he made when he became interim leader?

    • Warren says:

      What he’s saying November 2010: “I think the role of the interim leader is to do everything possible to rebuild the party. Beyond that, I don’t recall anything in the job description that went beyond that.”

      What he said in May, when he was after the job: “Mr. Rae told reporters he had pledged not to run for the permanent leadership in writing.”

      So, he’s forgotten, or he’s not telling the truth now about his position then.

      Either way, I intend to remind him and his at every possible opportunity.

      • Ted H says:

        In the article Mr. Rae was emphasizing the interim leader’s task to rebuild the party, not recruit leadership candidates. In that context the words are reasonable and do not necessarily indicate an intent to run for permanent leadership.

        He is correct about internecine rivalry, the split between the Martin/Cretien supporters helped destroy the LPC as much as anything, you have said that yourself Warren. Give Bob a break, he is doing his best for the party

      • Pat says:

        But not running for the permanent leadership is not part of the role of the interim leader, it is a condition of the interim leadership position. From my reading it seems clear that he means that his job is to rebuild the party. In fact, you actually misquoted the article, because that line is in reference to the fact that he doesn’t believe it is his responsibility to recruit candidates for the permanent leadership. I agree that it would be nice if he categorically refuted that he would pursue the permanent leadership (the words “I’m philosophical about that. People are going to say lots of things” aren’t comforting), but I don’t think he is being particularly misleading.

        If I knew Sheila Copps, as you do, I’d be more concerned with making sure she is committed to not allowing him to run for the permanent leadership – as was stated in his job description. If the President of the LPC is supportive of his running in the permanent leadership, then we have a problem.

      • Pat says:

        I don’t want you to misconstrue this though. I certainly don’t want Bob Rae to be the next permanent leader of the LPC.

  3. Kirk says:

    Let’s make no mistake, Rae has told directly some of those who want to run, that they cannot start their leadership campaigns without retribution from the leader.

  4. Craig D says:

    This is a critical point for the Federal Liberals. I’ve read all the increasingly positive press around Rae and seen the (let’s be honest, irrelevant) polls showing Grit gains. A lot of the positive points on and about Rae are true or at least have some truth to them. I’d even be willing to agree that Rae might actually not be as weak as commonly accepted in Ontario. However all that ignores this critical point regarding an actual election. Voters will know Rae promised his party he would not to run for leader. Voters understand that there is no formal rule against Rae running but that he did give his word he would not. Voters will see Rae as dishonest, opportunistic and not to be trusted. I predict a total Liberal decimation in any federal election with Rae as leader.

    • hollinm says:

      He has been getting positive press in the media because the media is desparate for a Liberal resurgence. However, when you look at the Nanos leadership polls you really understand what people think of Mr. Rae. So the Libs better not be backslapping themselves and believing they are on the rebound because Canadians don’t think much of them and their leader.
      Kinsella is right. The fix is in and Copps is the stalking horse for Rae. It clearly needs to be pointed out and often. Otherwise there will be another coronation before we know it.

      • Tiger says:

        Well, whether there HAS to be or not, I’ve broken out the popcorn — it’s darned interesting watching the Liberals at work.

        Whether there’s another coronation or not — from the perspective of wanting to watch a competitive leadership race, I suppose I prefer not — it’ll be good television as it happens.

        Note that Rae feels that the rules were rigged against him both in 2008 and in 2011 by the Ignatieff people (Apps et al.) — I don’t think that he feels bound by the promise they extorted from him.

        Hence this post.

      • James Curran says:

        Copps won’t beat Crawley.

    • Philippe says:

      The public at large won’t care what Rae promised. All he has to say is that he didn’t have the *intention* to run at first, but he was encouraged by the polls, enjoyed the job, and believes he has something to offer- therefore changed his mind. There’s nothing wrong with that and Canadians would certainly buy it.

      Let’s stop the bullshit of ripping each other the shreds and rather focus on our common enemy (The Cons) because if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’re no better than them. Let’s leave egos at the door, pick the best man for the job (in my humble opinion that’s Rae) and move forward shall we?

      • Jan says:

        Hear, hear. He was fabulous in the House today – just tore a strip off Harper. I don’t think there’s anyone else in the House right now that could do that as well.

      • James Curran says:

        Maybe when this is a truly democratic party from within we can begin to not Rip each other. Until then, it’s a bunch of people entitled to their entitlements making up the rules as they go.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

        Well said, Philippe……cuz if we continue the internecine stuff…….the future leader will only have a rotting carcass left to lead……..

  5. wannabeapiper says:

    Never liked him and this is totally predictable. I don’t know anyone who believed him from the start. So none of this is a surprise.

  6. Tim says:

    well said Pat….put your guns down Warren

  7. Lisa says:

    If Rae stays than I fear the Liberals will be finished. The Conservatives ad campaign will destroy him and they must be filled with glee at the thought of this happening! Plus, his legacy is similar to Mike Harris’s – In Ontario people still remember him and will NEVER, EVER vote for him. So stupid!

    • JStanton says:

      … these points are absurd. Firstly, Mr. Harper’s propaganda machine will smear and attempt to destroy anyone he chooses. Mr. Rae is as vulnerable to Mr. Harper’s deceit and fabrication as anyone else.

      Secondly, Mr. Rae’s legacy is in no way “similar to Mike Harris’s”. While Mr. Harris attempted to execute a policy to scour the province of all he felt piqued by – regardless of prudence or consequences – Mr. Rae made efforts to to repair the social and economic damages largely ignored by the less-than-competent prior government. This included tough choices – like standing up to the union bosses who up till then had considered him bought and paid for.

      Some Ontarian’s may remember the dis-information spread by Mr. Harris and those union bosses during the subsequent election, and been taken in by it. But most people were either not so gullible, don’t remember, or don’t care what he did historically, in another job.

      At this point in time, Mr. Rae is the LPCs best chance. No-one else is on the horizon, and it is tough to imagine anyone else better suited for the role.

      The question remaining is whether or not the LPC will screw this up, the way they have everything else they have touched since they sat back and allowed Mr. Martin’s coup d’etat – that which precipitated the decline and irrelevance of the Liberal party and brand so evident today.


      • The Doctor says:

        “Mr. Rae made efforts to to repair the social and economic damages largely ignored by the less-than-competent prior government.”

        Yes, that Peterson government was positively neanderthal, wasn’t it?:

        “Peterson’s government introduced several pieces of progressive legislation. It eliminated “extra billing” by doctors, brought in pay equity provisions, and reformed the province’s rent review and labour negotiation laws. His government also brought in pension reform, expanded housing construction, and resolved a long-standing provincial controversy by extended full funding to Catholic secondary schools. Peterson was also a vocal opponent of free trade with the United States in 1988.”

        • JStanton says:

          … how was it neanderthal? Don’t put words in my mouth.

          It was less-than-competent because, by the time that Mr. Rae had to contend with a recession, there was no money left to weather the storm. Hence, he had to cut back public sector expemses.

          Mr. Harper in contrast, had an enormous nest-egg, carefully cultivated by successive Liberal governments. He chose to squander it on weapons systems, an increase in public sector expenses, corporate welfare, and such frippery as the G20 summit.

          Now that the economy is tanking, largely due to his mis-management, he can plead poverty, and commence to cut social programs, and force wages lower.


          • The Doctor says:

            “It was less-than-competent because, by the time that Mr. Rae had to contend with a recession, there was no money left to weather the storm. Hence, he had to cut back public sector expemses.”

            So is your position, then, that the Peterson government should have spent less? Or taxed more? Or both?

    • Pat says:

      The fact that Flaherty, Baird and Clement can still get elected suggests that the people of Ontario have short memories.

    • Jan says:

      Au contraire, the Cons seem quite threatened by Rae.

    • Ken says:

      Name a potential Liberal leader who is Tory-proof.

    • Jane says:

      Agree on all points. Why the Rae faithfuls don’t see the big picture is a mystery to me.

      • Warren says:

        It happens with partisans. But, as I always tell the youngsters who work for me: “You owe your candidate your judgment. Not worship.”

        And: “Don’t fall in love with the meat.”

  8. AP says:

    Sorry Warren I still don’t see what has changed.

    I will say though that if Bob Rae becomes the permanent leader it won’t be because he changed his mind and threw his hat into the race, but rather it will be because there will be no race. I’m not yet convinced that people are lining up to lead the party.

    Bob Rae may just be the only one left standing.

    • hollinm says:

      The issue of not protecting incumbents will be a real problem at the convention. As well it is fine to have primaries across the country but that will increase the cost to run for the leadership of the party. With Harper changing the rules about borrowing money i.e. must be from a legitimate lending institution the Libs will have to stop with the smoke and mirrors and it is going to cost the candidate plenty of cash running around the country. Therefore only candidates with considerable resources are going to be able to run.
      The Conservatives are just salivating at the possibility of having Bob Rae as the permanent leader of the Liberal party.

      • Tiger says:

        I don’t know.

        Whatever else you can say about Rae, he understands parliamentary democracy.

        That isn’t something one could say about Messrs Dion (till just before the end) and Ignatieff.

        I think Bob Rae might be more dangerous than people let on.

        • James Curran says:

          Um. Dion forgot more about parliamentary democracy than the rest of the house combined. (now that Milliken is gone)

          • Tiger says:

            Rae would’ve done a coalition straight off the bat in the 40th Parliament — right on the initial Throne Speech, when nothing could have been done by Harper to forestall it.

            Which is, incidentally, why I do fear him a bit.

      • Jan says:

        B.S. Beware Cons trying to help out.

    • Lance says:

      Each of the last two leaders, each of whom lost more ground with each successive election, finished ahead of Rae in a long gone leadership race. So, the answer for renewal is that the Liberals should acclaim, (which, like Ignatieff, would be the second one in a row so acclaimed) the one who finished third behind them? THAT is the answer to the gaping abyss that is before you? THAT is how the Liberal party starts the process for renewal?


      • Lance says:

        Sorry AP, I realize that you are not actually saying that is something you would necessarily support or advocate, just that this is the way things just might end up anyway. However, any way you slice it, (and I’m sorry for using such language on your blog Mr. Kinsella), that is right and royally fucked!

  9. Rick Thomson says:

    This is not a surprise. He has always wanted to be the leader and now that he has had a taste, he wants more. Copps will open the door for him.

  10. Shawn says:

    As a monthly donor to LPC, I do not want to fund a leadership campaign I have no choice over. If this is not resolved soon, I will likely end my contributions, and likely move it to my provincial Liberal party.

  11. Sean says:

    He’s not my first choice…. However, I do think the negatives about him have been wildly oversold. He is hands down the best “on the spot T.V. candidate” in the country. One thing I’ve learned from knocking on thousands of doors for many years is that no one gives a shit about how someone became the leader.

    • Pat says:

      Except for the people in the party itself, who are counted on for support. Iggy people didn’t help out much when Dion was leader, and non-Iggy people didn’t help out much when Iggy was leader. Liberals need to get behind whoever becomes leader next. While the general public doesn’t care how someone becomes leader, the LPC would still suffer if half the party thought that Rae came in unfairly.

    • Lance says:

      No you’re right, it doesn’t matter to “Joe and Jane Lunchbox”, but to the people in the party itself? That is another matter entirely, but just as relevant as if it did matter to them personally. Do you really think that the reverberation from something like that happening again won’t adversely effect the Liberal party in other ways that “Joe and Jane Lunchbox” won’t notice?

  12. Tiger says:

    Well, Rae may try to slow-walk his way to the leadership — as any common law lawyer knows, it only takes two or three slight shifts in phrasing to go from one clear meaning to one that’s wholly different.

    OTOH, maybe he’s the best the Liberals have got…

    Your fight, of course.

  13. l.millar says:

    Troubled facing the Libs goes back to Turner,Cruton, Martin, Dion, Iggy, Rae and now Copps —all old and has beens–they need a transfusion of young people not led by an over the hill gang–Just hope that Newman’s “Death of the Liberal Party–is correct , after all by the time the next election rolls around Rae will be close to 70 years old.

  14. Pat says:

    I haven’t heard of much going on… I’m wondering who they are consulting…

    • Philip says:

      The two tele-conferences were well received by the members that I have been talking to. Some crucial votes were taken on those. BTW, those tele-conferences are open to every party member, as is the oting during them. If you haven’t participated yet, talk to your riding association or go to the web site to register. Delegate selection proceeds apace. The interim leader has another fund raiser scheduled in this neck of the woods, to which I have already purchased tickets. Fund raising is on the up tick but nowhere close to where we need to be. A lot of behind the scenes stuff but just the type of thing we need to do right now.

      As Mr. Tulk isn’t aware of anything being done, I’m sure the above is simply a product of my fevered imagination.

      • Philip says:

        Wow. I think I almost got knocked over by those moving goal posts again.

        You asked if “anything else” was being done by the Liberal Party other than Bob Rae’s pan-Canadian tour. I gave a short list of some the activities I was familiar with. I guess I really should have realized when you used the phrase: “anything else” you specically meant: “constitution issues voted on(!) or policy issues”. Do be a bit more precise next time, Mr. Tulk, we can’t all delight in your world class psychic abilities. Some of us just have to muddle along the best we can.

      • WesternGrit says:

        Actually, we’ve been working on policy resolutions across the country. I’ve submitted thoughts, and grass-roots Liberals all across Canada have done the same. Several priority resolutions are on the LPC website… Many of us are having focus groups and forums to discuss further support of the measures – as well as the proposed leadership process.

  15. steve says:

    Rae is getting positive press cause the neo cons love him. He is to old, carries more baggage than a Airbus 380, and radiates a sense of entitlement.

  16. Mulletaur says:

    Being the leader of a zombie party is not much of a prize.

  17. Neil says:

    Warren – I agree with you, Rae wants it and is trying to move to taking it. I don’t think it is gonna happen. I remember meeting Chretian and I was always surprised by his vitality and energy in person, the guy had energy. Dion, Iggy had no energy, they did not put out that image, and I liked both of them. I met Rae in the last election and talked with him a bit and ended up having to walk with him for awhile and while he spoke superply, comfortably and smoothly with great humour and charisma, I was shocked by how much he “doddered” he walked around like an old man. I don’t want to be mean to him but it was very true. I just don’t think he has the gas to make it to leader, and I know he does not have the gas to win a general.

  18. Mae says:

    “So it’s okay for the interim leader to break his promise to not run for the leadership, and to squelch the ambitions of anyone other than himself?”

    I read the article, but I’m just not seeing where he said he was running for the leadership, ro where he is “squelch[ing] the ambitions of anyone other than himself.” Can you point to where in the text it says anything like this?

  19. michael hale says:

    wow. Liberals go up in the poles and what do our elected reps do? They fight about leadership. That sound you hear is the collective sigh from Canadians as they turn away again, bored to death by our own self-importance and our own obsession with “leadership.”

  20. Erik says:

    I like Rae, and am impressed with his work as interim leader, but he gave his word he wouldn’t run for the permanent leadership and I expect him to live up to it.

    • Warren says:

      Me too. The guy is brilliant, and I believe his heart is in the right place, etc. etc. But, if he’s going to run for the top job, quit as interim leader right now. It’s not fair to use the resources of that office when your opponents can’t. And, what’s more, the LPC doesn’t need another inside deal on leadership. That didn’t quite work out last time, as I recall.

      He wrote to each member of caucus and said he wouldn’t do what he now gives every appearance of doing. That’s not right.

      • The Doctor says:

        Well put and well argued, WK. A very principled position.

      • Stu B says:

        Excellent summary Warren. You are not alone. Let’s keep this message front & centre.

      • Philippe says:

        That’s a very fair position Warren. I’m of a different mind but your argument seems reasonable.

      • WesternGrit says:

        I don’t mind him running… Actually, I’d encourage it (can’t have too many good candidates in the pool)… There’s no reason he shouldn’t be allowed to run. Let’s keep it democratic.. BUT, Warren, I agree with you: He should resign if he intends to run.

        ps: When are you throwing in the hat? You may have some supporters out here…

      • Chris Prowse says:

        I agree too Warren. Well said. I wish Bob had won the leadership over Iggy, and I wish Ray had not taken the Interim Leadership job because I think he is the best Liberal to be leader of the party. Unfortunately he did promise not to run and I would lose respect for the man if he does.

      • Jim Hanna says:

        That I agree with 100%, actually – I have never liked it when people use an interim position as a springboard to the permanent position. I’m struggling with the fact that if he did, we now have a process where the interim leader is more than a caretaker, and I don’t know who would be willing to take that on. I still agree with delaying the process but in retrospect, its giving Rae a chance to prove many wrong about his ability as leader,

  21. ChadS_LPC says:


    Please don’t panic. Things are starting to move slowly in the right direction. Copps may well be a stalking horse for Rae and it will dim her chances because now I won’t vote for her. Rae as great as he is, is damaged goods in Ontario which is the one place in which the Liberals need to do extremely well in if they have any hope of forming govenrment. I like Rae alot, I think he is a good man but I cannot bring myself to vote for him as permanent leader. Someone who votes for Rae for the permanent leadership is espousing a defeatest attitude in my opinion.

    Preventing the Interim leader from running is not why, I and many Liberals like myself, will not vote for Rae although a few more may feel that he wasn’t living up to his agreement.

    Regardless, Bob Rae has an extremely thankless job at the moment and it would be really nice if you try to go a little easier on him and give him some benefit of the doubt. If only to provide him with a graceful exit as we all hope we get once our time is done.

    I think Bob is doing a very good job as Interim leader at the moment. Thank-you Bob Rae..but please don’t run for the permanent leadership. We do not need the internal turmoil that it would cause. Just look over at the NDP… It doesn’t serve anyone well.

  22. Michael S says:

    Oh hells bells, the circular firing squad reloads again.

  23. Alex Cameron says:

    Warren, I think it’s ok for any candidate to break or make a promise to become our leader.
    It’s good practice for the job that they will be faced with in victory.

    What’s really important is that they can win, they can unite the angry, and become the leader.

    I want a person who will kick the opposition in the nuts, and be loved for it.
    I don’t want to hear about how i should be enraged, I want to laugh about how my leader F’d them.

    See if Bob (or anyone) can do that-this week. Then, if he can, he deserves it.

  24. mrburnsns says:

    If the federal Liberals want to have a shot Bob Rae needs to understand he has to become someone’s Joe Clark. Running for PM will end in tears, but his presence as a senior statesman in cabinet would be a big asset for a younger leader.

  25. Cromwell says:

    The federal Liberal party is dead. The federal NDP, despite their recent electoral success, is irrelevant. The one and only way to challenge the new electoral hegemony of the federal Conservatives is for moderate progressives to start a whole new party that’s attractive to Liberals and NDP alike, and get them to sign up. Merger of the federal NDP and Liberals will never, ever happen. Only the creation of a totally new party will get the job done.

  26. VH says:

    Personally, I don’t see how these sorts of stories and issues help anyone on the big red team “rebuild” but then again I don’t understand anything the party has done since 2003. Assuming the goal was always to win elections, that is.

    Warren, normally I chime in here about why Bob Rae’s a bad choice for rebuilding and reference something about his past in Ontario politics.

    But at this point, the die has been cast.

    You can’t pull someone back onto the team if you don’t throw out a rope.

  27. Tim says:

    If Bob Rae thinks he wants to lead the Liberals in to the next election then he should do the honourable thing and resign the interim leadership. It would be a great springboard to an open and competitive leadership race.

    If that were to happen (and I doubt it will) my support would lie elsewhere. From his stint as Ontario’s premier (see Rae Days, also Brian Mulroney’s Charlottetown Accord Typist) to his party changing, to his support for continuing the war in Afghanistan, to his age, Bob Rae is unelectable in my opinion. A most valuable member of the team for sure, but not the leader.

    I think the next Liberal leader is going to lose the next election and I feel it would be a good idea to let her get some seasoning in a real campaign. It would also be cool if the Party saw fit to stand behind the new leader for more than one election, especially if that leader were to be chosen in a truly open forum.

    The Liberal party is far from finished in this country and I sincerely hope that Mr. Rae doesn’t delay its regeneration at the national level by engaging in more of the same old same old that has recently become the custom of far too many federal Liberals.

  28. WDM says:

    I’m a big fan of Bob Rae. I think the Liberals would be in better shape, not in government necessarily, but in better shape, had he become leader in 2006. All that being said, I don’t think there’s any scenario where he should become permanent leader, even if were to resign the interim gig today. While I’m not a party member, and thus perhaps making an incorrect observation, I’d be very concerned Rae as the permanent leader, after promising not to run, would split the party again, even if Rae won the top job. It would alienate people, something the Liberals simply cannot afford to do anymore. I’ll also add that the next leader will need to commit to leading the party in multiple elections, much like Jack Layton did with the NDP. The breakthrough may not come in 2015, and the Liberals have to be okay with that and understand the rebuild may take multiple elections, hopefully with the same leader so he or she can build up credibility with the electorate over time.

  29. aboucher says:

    Have we found the exception to the Liberal Rule of Thumb? “If Alf Apps wants to do something, do the exact opposite. You can’t go wrong. “

  30. Cromwell, The Liberals are not dead! We will never abandon our beloved party! And for the rest of the crazies on this page Rae will stand by his word and not run!!!!We are lucky to have such a strong interm leader that can stand up to Harper cuz when I watch QP he’s the only one right now saying anything against this government(NDP Are a bunch of douchs right now with they’re interm leader)SO LEAVE BOB ALONE AND STOP GIVING THE CONS SOMETHING TO THROW BACK IN OUR FACES!!!!!!

  31. Kre8tv says:

    I’m no fan of him staying on beyond interim status. Don’t care much about whether he promised to or not, because frankly keeping one’s word and public office don’t have a very good track record together. Better people will come forward to lead if a) the opportunity to win is there and b) the LPC gets its shit together and starts running itself again as a place with ideas and a hunger to win.

    If, on the other hand, the party is doomed to extinction, who better than Rae to be its undertaker. I don’t think we’re there yet.

  32. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    Mr. Kinsella, as a self confessed “Raelian”……my view has always been, near the end of Mr. Raes tenure, by virtue of his performance as interim leader, if, if and only if, the party by vote of the full membership decided that Mr. Rae be allowed a kick at the can, he be allowed to do so.
    As someone who is relatively new to the party, who is an ordinary member, a grunt in the trenches if you will, I had no idea how divisive this issue is within the party….all I know is that where I saw a corpse, I now see signs of life in the LPOC, and that is not based on one poll, but the day to day operations of the party, and at least in my own riding assn, a sense that we are moving forward.
    My two cents…..

  33. Ted H says:

    The house that is divided against itself will not stand.

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