04.27.2012 08:48 AM

The Nanos thing

What’s it mean?

Well, after the polling industry’s Alberta debacle, I don’t put much stock in polling, these days.  You shouldn’t either.

But if it’s true, it means that Bob “Not Interim” Rae – after running for the full-time post for a year, having solemnly promised he wouldn’t do so – will finally actually not run for the full-time post.  (Confusing, I know, but so’s the LPC these days.) He will then sail off in search of some comfy diplomatic sinecure, and assorted Raelians will wonder what they will now be doing with all their spare time.

The Liberal Party, meanwhile, will be hooped, because Rae devoted all of the party’s limited resources/time to promoting him, and not so much lifting the party out of its Official Rump Status in the House of Commons.

Anyway.  I know that’s all pretty convoluted, but trust me: Bob Rae is a tourist in the Liberal Party.  Don’t be surprised if he goes looking for sunnier destinations.


  1. Ted B says:

    “will finally actually not run for the full-time post”

    That was exactly my first and immediate thought when I saw those poll numbers.

    Sure, there is a honeymoon phase. And sure, Canadians are just getting to know Mulcair. But they know what they are doing and they are doing it well so far. They want to be the government so they are relentlessly focused on the government and blocking out all of the sunlight from the Libs. Rae has been particularly ineffective in getting on the agenda or the news since Mulcair took over.

    But their party gain was at the expense of the Liberals and, worse, Rae’s personal numbers – leadership, trustworthiness, etc. – are all way below both Mulcair and Harper despite the many scandals, arrogance, corruption, etc.

    He is a good politician. But he has been floating seemingly high because there hasn’t been any credible alternative in opposition, just like Harper has gotten by because there hasn’t been any credible alternative for PM/government.

  2. Dan says:

    Shorter version: Rae joined the Liberal party to win. He’d sooner quit than ride the party’s legacy into the ground. (Or maybe Warren is saying it’s Rae’s legacy?)

    • Warren says:

      Or: “Iggy and his crew of incompetents drove the party into the ditch. Rae kept it there.”

      • Kevin T. says:

        Why oh why did they not heed those Merge signs?!

      • Ted B says:

        Or: “Chretien broke all the party’s bones. Martin thought the best thing to do was to remove them rather than let the bones heal. And as the last few beats of the party’s heart slowed, it was too late for us to realize that Dion and Ignatieff didn’t even know CPR, let alone the fact they hadn’t even gone to medical school. And then Rae walked in, shrugged, and walked out.”

  3. JamesHalifax says:

    I wouldn’t put much faith in the polls just yet. We have a LONG time before the next election, and someone like Mulcair is bound to put his foot in it…….but not before some of his unseasoned NDP MP’s do, I’m sure.
    Mulcair will do well in Quebec, as he will be seen in that province as “Quebec’s Man”…..but he may have some trouble when the NDP’ers in the ROC see the same.

    As for Bob Rae……..he’s not the type to settle for second best. I agree with Warren….he won’t want to stick around long if he doesn’t think he’ll get to sit in the BIG CHAIR with the nice office. At heart, he’s still a champagne socialist. The only thing seperating him from the NDP of today, is that he lacks the anti-semitism so prominent in the Libby Davies section of the NDP.

  4. CQ says:

    Ryerson has Smitherman. The University of Toronto has Ignatieff. “Hooray” for York University next September!

  5. bigcitylib says:

    Well, these polls should certainly give Rae pause. But personally, if he walked away after getting the rebuilding process started then it seems to me he will have done his job like a good soldier. Its not the interim leader’s job to win the next election; its the leader’s. So I don’t quite get the angry tone.

    • Warren says:

      Angry? Pas moi. I could not give less of a damn. I have wasted too much psychic energy on this file over the past 10 years. Someone else’s turn, now.

      • Chris P says:

        Dude are you giving up that easy? This is typical current Liberal Defeatism…where behind 10 points and it’s over! We need to remember that we just didn’t hold the peace we too fought the war. I agree that Mr. Rae must not continue as the permanent leader going forward. While I respect those speculated to run for the leadership they won’t galvanize anyone outside of the Liberal party currently. We don’t one single ‘A’ Lister to run we need 3, 4 or 5 of them simultaneously!

  6. Lance says:

    Considering how low the LPC has been cast down, all this talk about the Liberals merging with the NDP will go no where. Why would the NDP be interested in merging with the Liberals and diluting themselves if they can just replace the Liberals entirely, as they seem on the road to doing exactly that?

  7. Gyor says:

    The forum poll is even better for the NDP. NDP at 36 percent, Tories at 33 percent, a new high for the NDP. It appears that Nanos maybe the low end for the NDP. Also note that Forum was the only one to detect the last minute switch in Alberta, even if they didn’t catch the whole switched.

  8. JamesHalifax says:

    I think a better view of the Conservatives real standing is being diluted by Quebec. Try polling folks OUTSIDE of Quebec….and see what the results are.

    Quebec skews the figures both ways, as does Alberta. The difference being, the NDP won’t form Government without Quebec, while Harper has already proven that he can.

    • Kelly says:

      He only wins because of vote splitting. If I’m not Mistaken the Cons didn’t even get quite 50% of the combined vote west of Ontario. Our phony electoral system produces sham government and useless reporting which looks at seat counts and treats that like it represents voters preferences. It’s pure bunk and no newly formed democracy would pick a system like ours. We never get the government we vote for which is one reason so many people feel the government doesn’t represent them
      — because it doesn’t.

  9. JamesHalifax says:


    After much hemming and hawwing, er, I mean, after much soul-searching, BOB RAE announced today that he will give up his interim leadership position with the Liberal Party, and run for the GREENS in the next election!

    Or he’ll go work for his brother at POWER CORP.

  10. Sometimes politicians go on to achieve great things after their political life has concluded.

    In some ways I think Jimmy Carter is a more effective ex-President than he was a President and the world is better for it.

    Clinton (Bill) has the same sort of thing going on but he’s still super influential in the US political arena.

    A post-politics Bob Rae could be some combination of these two, maybe more so on the international level.

  11. A. Lehrer says:

    If Rae had been able to lift the Liberals to a consistent second place standing in the polls then the Liberal leadership would have been his but the best he could manage against the NDP under Nycole Turmel was an occasional statistical tie and now that El Barbudo is leading the NDP, the Liberals have sunk to Iggy levels of polling ignominy. Even the most desperate Grits are going to ask themselves if the best Rae can do as interim leader against Mulcair is a weak third, how can he be expected to do better as permanent leader? Of course, the Grits’ problem is there’s no one else on their bench who has anything close to Rae’s profile.

  12. Why on earth would the Conservatives want Rae gone?

  13. kenn2 says:

    Sitting up here in the nosebleeds with the rest of Canada, the federal Liberals are like the Leafs at playoff time – nowhere.

    I appreciate that our genial host and some more knowledgeable posters are much closer to the ice, and more important they know what’s going on in the dressing room. But up here, looking for some party to appeal to my moderate progressive tendencies… crickets. I don’t get to vote for someone who represents my vision of Canada, best I can do is try to block the ones I don’t like.

    I liked Ignatieff (my bad). I like Rae as a statesman, and I never believed that he would reverse himself on just being the interim leader.

    because Rae devoted all of the party’s limited resources/time to promoting him

    When they could have been promoting… who? Is Sheila Copps coming out of retirement? Sorry, it seems like the only thing the Liberals could brag about was Rae, cos there’s no-one else willing and able. The pollsters and pundits can focus on leadership (or lack thereof) but I don’t see anything worthy of being led. Where are the Liberals? Who are the Liberals?

    • Tiger says:

      Federally, I think a whole bunch of them — the old Sheila Copps wing, perhaps one might say (left-progressive) — have taken out NDP membership cards.

      Provincially, the Liberals seem quite healthy. In Ontario, I mean.

      OTOH, where is a provincial Liberal Party doing well otherwise? The BC Liberals are crashing and burning, across the Prairies they’re a minor or non-existent provincial party. the QC Liberals stagger on in government (they’ll survive!)… in Atlantic Canada, the PEI Liberals are healthy, I suppose, and the NB and NF Liberals will be the party that wins government when there’s a change…

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