01.13.2012 05:47 PM

Liberal Convention Bits and Pieces

Drove up from my sons’ retreat in the woods along Highway 7. Weather was wild! Almost wiped out a couple times, but my determination to deny conservatives the satisfaction of my early demise kept me on the road and heading East. Quick takes on what I’ve seen and heard so far:

  • There are going to be more than 3,000 Grits at this convention.  That’s a convention in the middle of January in Ottawa, folks.  Congrats to Curtis O’Nyon and his team.  That’s a pretty amazing turnout for a policy convention – way more than the Cons and Dippers got at theirs, a Sun colleague told me.
  • The mood is pretty upbeat.  There’s some predictable tension along the Sheila Copps-Mike Crawley fault-line, of course – Crawley made a point in barraging me in French as soon as I arrived, apparently irritated that I’d pointed out in a column that he was unilingual, while his main opponent wasn’t – but everyone else seems quite optimistic.  It was contagious.
  • I heard that a number of pointy-headed intellectuals were approached to speak, in a non-partisan way, at the convention.  They declined.  In hushed tones, they said they were afraid of “retribution” from the Harper regime.  Apparently quite a few of them said this.  “When did we become Stalinist Russia?” I asked.  No one thought I was joking.
  • Media turnout was weird.  The Sun was there, as were CTV, CPAC, Star (Susan Delacourt was kissed by Michael Ignatieff, something I’ve never seen a journalist submit to, before), Globe and Post Media, but not so much CBC.  Maybe they’re nervous about the Harper harpies, too.  Whatever the reason, it was weird.  We Liberals like you, CBC! What gives?
  • I didn’t sense any love for Bob Rae from anyone I spoke to, but it may be because they were speaking to me.  Rae took a swipe at unnamed “bloggers and pundits” in his speech earlier in the day, which some folks suggested might include Yours Truly.  Rae apparently said he wouldn’t let the Vast Blogger and Pundit Conspiracy “define” the Liberal Party.  I reciprocate, and say we won’t let his leadership, interim or otherwise, “define” the Liberal Party, either.
  • Best part: lots and lots of young people, many of whom I spoke with.  If this party is to survive, it needs to get rid of the old farts like me, and become the party of Canada’s next generation.


  1. SandraTheLoonieLefty says:

    You are not an old fart.
    Age shouldn’t matter when it comes to new ideas! That comes in all forms. The Liberal Party had become a high clique not letting anyone in. That has to change.

  2. que sera sera says:

    Thanks for the bits & bobs, Warren!

    And why on earth are autonomous adults allowing a narcissistic neanderthal like Harper to cast such a toxic shadow over the LPC revival? Surely we can all chip in and send a box of flies to Harper so he can amuse himself in his window on the world, quietly pulling off their wings.

    • The Doctor says:

      If you don’t want Harper to cast a toxic shadow over the revival, then quit obsessing over him, and focus instead on coming up with a credible alternative plan for governing Canada.

      Just a thought.

  3. Steven says:

    It’s not complicated, folks.

    A majority of Canadians espouse, if asked meaningfully, the core values of the Liberal Party.

    In the bizarre constellations of the elections of 2006, 2008 and 2011, the Layton NDP and the HarperCons managed to co-opt the same, especially in the vote-rich regions of urban Quebec, Ontario and B.C..

    Time to reclaim it, Liberals!

  4. Riaz Khan says:

    What an amazing speech by Ignatieff… a class act….

    • VH says:

      You could say that. Or you can say it was a missed opportunity by the “new” Liberal party to showcase itself.

      Ignatieff aired in primetime TV on Friday night. With hockey and the NFL playoffs this weekend, Friday was the best night for non-liberals to take a look. And what they got to see was the guy they had just voted out in droves.

      I’m sure in someone’s mind there’s some logic in doing this but it’s bad logic.
      But then again so is wanting to win a federal election with the guy who, as premier, took his party down to 6% in the largest province in the country.

      Que sera sera.

  5. que sera sera says:

    I hope these delegates are convinced the devil you don’t know is better than the one you do!!

  6. que sera sera says:

    You actually have to have a brain, Gord, and be capable of independent thought. It’s quite a high bar, I know. That’s why it is much easier to cough up $600 instead.

    • Philip says:

      Busted, by our favourite super-sleuth, Mr. Tulk. Obviously there is no charge for attending a LPC convention. In fact we had to bus in the down and out from as far away as Arnprior, just to fill the hall. Truth be told it smells like an old gym locker in there.

      Obviously no convention could ever compare to your Conservative convention. No doubt you all sat around curing cancer while Mr. Baird preformed feats of strength and took on all comers in bouts of Greco-Roman wrestling. I was told that Mr. Clement was brought in on the shoulders of some burly constituents, as he showered the crowd with new $100 bills. At the stroke of noon, Mr. Harper would walk naked on the surface of the Rideau Canal, blasting Liberals with his laser beam eyes.

      So, congratulations Mr. Tulk, the Conservative convention was better than ours.

  7. smelter rat says:

    The blood of a first born child. What else?

  8. Windsurfer says:

    The only gaseous anomaly in the room is the Ghost of Harper Past.

    ‘Captain, there’s a gaseous anomaly straight ahead – suggest we divert through the Borg Nebula.’

  9. frmr disgruntled Con now happy Lib says:

    12. What are the registration fees?
    The registration fee for delegates who are Victory Fund donors is $400 and $675 for non Victory Fund donors. The delegate fee for Youth and Aboriginals is $200.

    Laurier Club donors who want to participate as delegates or observers will pay a registration fee of $200 which will cover cost only. All other observers will pay a registration fee of $1,100.

  10. Rick Thomson says:

    The low profile of the CBC at the convention is that they know the cuts are coming and if they behave themselves the cuts may not be that bad.

  11. W.B. says:

    Warren, I thought TV lighting, colour, overall picture and sound were terrible.

  12. George says:

    “I didn’t sense any love for Bob Rae from anyone I spoke to, but it may be because they were speaking to me. Rae took a swipe at unnamed “bloggers and pundits” in his speech earlier in the day, which some folks suggested might include Yours Truly. Rae apparently said he wouldn’t let the Vast Blogger and Pundit Conspiracy “define” the Liberal Party. I reciprocate, and say we won’t let his leadership, interim or otherwise, “define” the Liberal Party, either.”

    What a stupid thing for Rae to say! Hey, but let him continue to dig his own hole because it’ll make things VERY easy on the Conservative war room bunch.

    If politicians and party strategists are taking the power of social media and on-line news seriously, it’s their funeral.

  13. George says:

    Rae’s interview on CPAC last night was pathetic. Bob looked more like a Boob…..and if he lied about wanting or not wanting the leadership to his own party faithful what else would he lie about.

  14. Tiger says:

    Media pass, not a delegate’s pass?

    Slightly surprised by that.

  15. JH says:

    I think Warren after reading about his twitter comments from the convention floor while Rae was speaking, Rob Silver might also have been one of his targets.

  16. Michael Radan says:

    It is just north of $600 to attend the Liberal convention.

  17. Neil says:

    For those of us who live in Alberta the idea of people being scared of government retribution is nothing new, in fact the govt does not even have to do it, people just self censor, it must be like living under one aspect of a dictatorship.
    Liberals need to realize that the CBC hates us. Look at their key spokepeople, Don Cherry, Kevin O’leary and Rex Murphy, they all hate Liberals and that is the new face of the CBC. Most of the workers, techs, producers, reporters are pretty hard core dippers. The CBC has probably been the most anti Liberal media outlet in the country for 10 years (after the Sun group, who really dont count as they are honest about their bias). I think the CBC has done more damage to Liberals in Canada then any other network. Harper loaths them but must love how they continue to try to cultivate him, trying to prove they are not all Liberal flacks. I was a dedicated CBCer for a long time but I just can’t stomach them anymore. Liberals have to realize they are not our friends.

    • Rick Thomson says:

      Neil do you ever watch the CBC Power and Politics.? The panel usually consists on two Liberals one NDP (Capstick) and one Conservative. That would make three on the Left and one on the Right. Of course we know the Moderator Evan Solomon is neutual .

    • Neil says:

      What personalities on the CBC get promoted the most. Those three by far (with the possible exception of George S (who is a clear dipper)). Money Talks. Sure Cherry is a Hockey commentator, so I guess we have no idea of his politics? He never takes partisan positions? The OP ED person gets more money spent promoting his opinions then any 19 CBC reporters. They are not token, they are the reality. CBC is the most anti Liberal network there is (that professes to be neutral). There is an amazing right wing media bias in this country, I suppose someone who thinks Rutherford is a centrist would disagree but CBC has done more to cripple the LPC in the last 15 years then anyone else.

  18. Drive more carefully, Warren. We need LIVE grits to bang on about; no fun slammin’ dead ones. Have a great meeting, without you guys we’d really have the red menace breathing down our necks. [grin]

  19. Hammer Dom says:

    Really thought you were not going. I’m glad you did.

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