04.07.2012 08:14 AM

One of these things

…is the cause of the other.

Me? My view’s unchanged: he has too much baggage, and he couldn’t lift the party out of third place when our competition was Ms. Turmel. We need new faces, new blood.

26 Comments

  1. WesternGrit says:

    Agreed.

    A young face… who can grow with the party. Someone who will appear “different” than the two choices offered. Good looks, good smarts, good speaking ability (not in the oratory sense, but as someone having a “populist” appeal, able to “speak the common tongue”). I have a few thoughts. You (and others) may feel some are not “ready” yet – however, in this political climate, being “ready” may mean learning in the school of “hard knocks”.

    I will be supporting the new face of the party. I saw that youthful face at the recent convention in Ottawa – a face which reflected the mood for change on the convention floor.

    I see recent polling as an opportunity. The recent Liberal Convention in Ottawa showed anyone interested that the party apparatus is still there – run down as it is – and is newly invigorated, with a fresh outlook. It was the best-attended convention of any party in years. That shows that the grassroots organizers and members are there – looking for a good choice to lead – and a new focus.

    People are considering a run. People I’ve spoken to. At least a couple will end up running. It may take a couple of elections, but the end result will be good. Let the NDP/Con war scare the public about the two extremes.

  2. The Dude says:

    To me this is another reason to merge. There is obviously movement between the liberal and NDP supporters. The few socialists left in the NDP are already unhappy with Mulcair’s more centrist approach. And right leaning liberals helped Harper get his fake majority when an NDP gov’t was possible. But of course people will just talk about how “diiferent” the 2 parties are. Of course people would not want to give up their new or old positions within each party while the rest of us have to suffer the worst government this country has ever seen.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Initially open to the idea, now I would rather drink ink……at any rate, Mulcair has declared war on us, so the point is moot……..

    • Dan says:

      It’s easy to say there’s no difference between the Liberals and other parties because they’ve taken every possible position in the past 25 years. They’ve been both against and for free trade. Both against and for cutting public spending. Corporate tax cutters while in power, corporate tax raisers outside power.

      The Harper government might have given Liberals a raison-d’etre under any other circumstance. In the absence of any Liberal vision for reforming the country, opposing Conservative reforms is sometimes good enough. But with Liberals in third-place, they’re not a viable alternative to Harper anymore.

      A merge would make a ton of sense. But Liberals have an uncanny ability to veer right to avoid “losing”.

  3. John says:

    Just a thought,

    Woukdn’t it make sense to allow the conservatives to run their slew of attack ads on RAE and keep the new liberal leader hush hush until its necessary to get him/her much needed public exposure? Just seems like the conservative party has unlimited funds when it comes to attacking other parties, so my thoughts would be let them attack Rae and when the time comes Rae can fade away to the background which as Carson showed us seems to have no real impact on popularity of the exsisting party leader. Give him time to take the hits for the team, then fade to a advisory role thus reducing the smears impact?

  4. Chris P says:

    Warren is right – I think Bob has done an amazing job as interim leader but will not be able to ignite the masses beyond the current base for many reasons he states. Ms. Turmel though decent and likeable was not an effective opposition leader and yet we still couldn’t surpass them. Maybe this indicates that its not only the leader that will dictate success – our party must be more than one leader ‘saving us’! Only problem is the individuals I believe could lead the party successfully don’t seem to be interested in running and of those rumored to be considering running (i.e. Gerrard Kennedy, Martha Hall Findley) whom I very much respect and like are too raw and inexperienced and unknown to make any serious progress in the short/mid term either. I’m torn.

    • Neil says:

      In what way has Bob doen an amazing job. Are the poll numbers up? Has he raised huge money? Reinvigorated policy? Recruited star candidates? Rebuilt the organization?
      No, he has made himself look good, that is all, that is why he is a bad choice for leader.

  5. Dan says:

    But the Liberal party doesn’t have a leadership problem. It doesn’t have a problem with its face. It has a problem with its heart.

    The contradictions are too powerful.

    Criticizing the Conservatives warmongering and picking Mr. Empire-lite to support them on Afghanistan. Slamming the Conservative cuts while pinning your legacy on much bigger cuts in the 1990s. Building a party on middle class voters, and then shifting to policies that dismantle the middle class.

    The only principle you still try to hang onto is “centrism”. But centrism hasn’t been employed by the Liberals as a principle. It’s been employed as a tactic: “what do the Conservatives believe? What does the NDP believe? Okay, let’s triangulate and try to get a few more points than the Conservatives.” 25 years of that will absolutely bankrupt you of ideas, and destroy your reputation.

    If you were to realize that your party’s reputation is a bunch of people from Rosedale/Bay Street fighting over who gets to wear the captain’s hat, you’d realize that all your focus on rebuilding the party from the top down is not just a waste of time, it also reinforces the bad reputation that’s killed you.

    You have to rebuild the party bottom up. And at 19% public support, you have to do so radically.

    You had a shot when you guys were talking about an open primary. It’s a win-win-win. Get more people involved in the party. Get them to passionately decide what the Liberals stand for. And the process would let your insiders make its typical big plays to journalists and financers. But your insiders were so paranoid of letting any power slip outside, they strangled the idea in its crib. You killed your only real hope of rebuilding the party.

    …so far. Your only hope *so far*. Of course there are other ways to rebuild the party. But that conversation can only start to happen when you guys stop fighting about who’s the leader.

    Appointing Bob Rae in the interim was supposed to give you a chance to stop focusing on the leader for 5 minutes. Did you even last that long?

    • MoeL says:

      Lib support at 29.5% in this recent Nanos poll, and they usually get it right!

      http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/2012-02-BallotE.pdf

      • Dan says:

        You remind me of a story I once heard. It was about a Japanese WW2 soldier they found in a jungle who still honest-to-god believed the war was still on.

      • Jeff Landry says:

        Did you just quote a poll taken in February? Time to jump back in the time machine and re-enter the present.

        Forum has two polls and Harris-Decima and Leger each has one poll this month, all showing pretty much the same thing, including LPC at 19% nationally.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      Very well said Dan. I was Liberal for most of my life, but left the fold when I met Jim Harris, and decided the Green Party was my cup of tea. Well, the green tea has soured, but when I cast my gaze back at the Liberal Party, it is still stuck in the same rut; bitter internecine warfare, and no real idea’s. They just do not stand for anything. The Liberal Party needs to get it’s sh*t together. They need to start outreach in a systematic manner. If they wait for the traditional Leadership contest membership drive, they will discover all over again, that 100,000 rent-a-members will do them no good whatsoever when they melt away when it comes to actually working on campaigns. 50,000 will leave in a huff, and the other 50,000 will buy a bag of popcorn and sit on their butts watching the next election. It seems every damned Liberal I know has a thousand ideas about talking points, and communications, but they have no thoughts whatsoever on what tools are needed, what kind of policies will truly motivate, and what kind of organisation it will take to actually build a party capable of waging and winning an election. When I see prominent Liberals reaching out to different communities, and see communications narrowcasting Liberal ideals to new constituencies. When I see people joining the Liberal Party because it is aligned with the issues that burn in their hearts, and that they dream about on their long commute, or whilst waiting in the dentists office, then I shall know that it is time to rejoin the Liberals, and put whatever feeble talents I may possess at their disposal. I WANT the Liberals to be centrists, but I also WANT them to stand up for the important values that inform and create the ‘centre’ in the Canadian political spectrum.

      • Dan says:

        In the Liberal party’s defence… if there’s one principle they’re still strongly identified with, it’s Federalism. It’s just unfortunate that it’s a losing proposition in both the West and in Quebec.

        I don’t think the Liberal party is dead. But the more that Liberals fall into old patterns of thinking (“OMG the leader has to be / cannot possibly be X”, “our reason for existence is to oppose the Conservatives”, “b-b-b-but the NDP are socialists!”), the more they seem completely happy to go the way of the dinosaur.

  6. William says:

    I think Rae is the wrong guy going forward.

    If he wants to run, he should announce now.

    All I can do is withhold funds from the party until they decide what they’re doing.

  7. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Mr Rae has done wonderful work in the re-organization of this party, much of which will in time bear fruit…..and until someone better waiting in the wings comes along, I will stick by him……
    It was my understanding that the over $200,000 raised was over the course of a weekend……obviously there are enough in the party who feel Mr. Rae is a leader worth defending…..I am proud to be one of them…..

  8. Philippe says:

    Wow. Unbelievable to imagine the NDP may actually have a shot of forming government.

  9. MoeL says:

    Nanos gave the Libs a 4.5% lead over the NPD one month ago.

    http://www.nanosresearch.com/library/polls/2012-02-BallotE.pdf

    Why didn’t you ever quote that “fact”?

    • William says:

      Things seem to have changed since then, no?

      • MoeL says:

        Of course things have changed, but we’ll see how long Mulcair’s honeymoon lasts. I seem to remember Ignatieff polling around 37% when he first became leader.

        I was principally reacting to Warrens point that “he couldn’t lift the party out of third place when our competition was Ms. Turmel”. The Nanos poll, if it is to be believed (and he usually gets it right) makes the opposite point. The poll shows a steady increase in the LPC numbers since rae took office, culminating with a 29.5% Lib to 25% NDP spread in late Feb. I don’t necessarily disagree with Warren on this issue, but to be fair, I think he shouldn’t just publicise those polls that support his opinion.

        I too think that we need new blood, but unfortunately the only one that would interest me right now would be Dominique Leblanc. Trudeau??? IMHO, Rae has done a great job as interim leader and has probably saved the party for now. I would like him to run for the leadership, but only if he gives up his interim leadership before the summer. Who would you like to see run?

  10. deb says:

    justin trudeau, get him ready, the libs need it.
    I still wish Nathan Cullen had won, perhaps he would have convinced Trudeau to work with him.

  11. Tim says:

    Bob Rae is perceived as an NDPer everywhere except in certain corners of the Liberal party. NDP supporters won’t switch votes for a man they consider a traitor, and he’ll bleed Liberal votes to the left and right if he stays to fight an election. All of this dithering is not helping. He needs to make himself clear. And if his decision is to stay on, the Liberals have lost my vote and the vote just about anyone else I talk to.

  12. SF Thomas, Ottawa says:

    I’ve been over this before, but seriously can people stop with the endless dumping on Rae? Rae is not my preferred choice for permanent leader either, but he is still only leader on an interim basis. Even if he does run for the permanent job it is up to the party members and supporters at the convention around a year from now which will decide the permanent leader and Rae would still have to win that race. This isn’t a repeat of 09 when everyone dropped out to let Igantieff become leader by default out of the risk of a constant election. We most likely have 3 more years until the next election and there is a lot which can happen within that time. If Rae wins the race he is the legitimate leader, if he loses someone else gets the job. As simple as that.

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, I’d say it’s a sorry state of affairs when the Liberal party is so afraid of Bob Rae being leader that his own party wants to lawyer him to death.

      It speaks volumes about who runs the Liberal party and how: either they believe the party is so broken that they’re incapable of avoiding such a tragic mistake, or they actually want a party where the insiders pick the leader.

  13. Cam says:

    Ontario elected a Provincial NDP Government and it didn’t kill the Provincial Liberals; it promoted the Provincial Conservatives for awhile and sent the Provincial NDP into the wilderness. Interestingly the Provincial NDP Leader was Bob Rae. Just saying.

  14. Justin says:

    A lot can happen in three years. What, are we going to become like the Americans where we finish one election and then we focus on the next one in four? The federal liberals need to take heed from you warren. Campaign like you’re in last place for the next three years even if the poll numbers change in the lib favor, campaign hard till 2015.

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