08.27.2012 08:05 AM

Dear Ms. Coyne

You couldn’t win when you did run in a former Liberal stronghold. And you ran, and then quit, two times after that. Strikes one, two, three.

Stick to being a constitutional expert, or whatever it is you do. Until you actually win something, nobody really gives a rat’s ass what you think about politics (in general) or the Liberal Party (in particular).




  1. Joe says:

    I don’t know Warren, I kinda agree with her.

  2. Jordan says:

    She’s perfectly honest. Good for her.

    • Warren says:

      Oh, look. The Cons all agree with her.

      Point, proven.

      • Michael says:

        Sorry Warren, I am a Liberal and I think what she says is true.

        • Warren says:

          I’m not interested in hearing about winning strategy from chronic losers. But go right ahead, make her your muse.

          • Jordan says:

            I don’t support any party federally. I do agree that the Liberals have few policy positions. They adopted marijuana legalization but what are the chances it will make it to a platform? The party supported a carbon tax and tax reductions in one election and supported cap and trade and higher corporate taxes in the next election.

            Honestly Warren give us a list of policies that the Liberals advocate for. I consider myself a small l liberal, I’m probably a little on the right side of the spectrum on many issues but I would love to support the Liberal Party because I can’t stand the other two. At this point in time I find it hard t support a party that I don’t know what they stand for.

          • Warren says:

            I don’t work for you or them. Do your own research.

          • Jordan says:

            I’ve tried they got none.

  3. Ty says:

    She’s right about the spectrum part. Stupid, simplistic way to view the electorate and the world.

    On everything else she’s wrong, and really, “I’m going to insult you until you put me in charge” doesn’t work as well in these forums as in others.

  4. Jeremy says:

    I agree with her. I think the idea that you have to win something to be qualified to speak is symptomatic of the problem she describes.

    • smelter rat says:

      Be serious. Selecting a leader who has never won antything is not the way to reclaim government.

      • Warren says:

        Exactly. If it was a longtime caucus member saying it, it would merit a hearing. But even from someone who isn’t a chronic loser/quitter, it’s an idiotic strategy: crap on the party you arrogantly seek to lead.

        • Chris P says:

          Exactly Warren – This is what drives me nuts. Could you imagine a potential or current CEO saying thier comapny sucks? Hey don’t do business with us we really suck. You elevate and talk up your party not slam it and take it for granted. Speaking from a Moral/Intellectual superiority perspective is not going to do her or the party any wonders going forward.

          Why do I like Frank McKenna so much – Because he’s a winner, like Chretien, like Trudeau, like Dalton. Winners surrond themselves with other winners and elevate everyone.

        • Jordan says:

          Jack Layton was just a city councillor who had failed to become an MP twice and was defeated in his bid for Mayor of Toronto.

          • smelter rat says:


          • Reality.Bites says:

            Thank goodness he convinced Deborah Coyne to run against him or he may never have made it into parliament!

            Jack Layton, when he ran for NDP leader, wasn’t running for the leadership of a party that anyone considered a contender for government, or even official opposition. And while he hadn’t been elected mayor or MP, there was no denying his widespread recognition in Toronto and his electability as a councillor.

            Deborah Coyne has never been elected to anything. She’s certainly not going to be elected LIberal Party leader, nor is she going to play kingmaker or do anything to earn a spot in a future Liberal cabinet or shadow cabinet.

          • Jordan says:

            I’m glad there’s someone in the race talking about bold policies. Though I don’t think it’s up to the leader to decide policy, which is the Liberal way and the reason they have no policies of their own.

        • Rob Howse says:

          This was exactly the sort of thing that was said about Winston Churchill by the establishment-but then he came to power through a combination of circumstances, and led successfully the effort to save the free world.

          • The Doctor says:

            Ok, that takes the prize for the most ridiculously overreaching comparison.

            Comparing Deb Coyne’s political career to Churchill’s? Give me a f*cking break. Churchill had a political career stretching some 50+ years. He was first elected as an MP in 1900 at 26 years of age. Before the First World War (that’s right folks, the FIRST World War), he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of the Asquith Liberal government. He later switched parties (Liberal to Conservative), which made him somewhat controversial. Then, quite late in his career (but what actually turned out to be the first phase of his political career), he was on the outs, and it was thought that he was finished, yesterday’s man and all that. His so-called Years in the Wilderness. That’s when people said he’d never be relevant again. And then came WWII and all that. That’s one of the things about Churchill, it’s like he had two political careers — and that’s why he was pretty damn old when he became PM — 66 yrs old.

            There’s no comparison to Deborah Coyne — she’s now 57 years old, and has never held any elected office whatsoever.

            If anything, Chretien’s career at least had the parallel of the guy being written off as “yesterday’s man” and then coming back to become PM.

  5. sj says:

    I remember Deb when was trolling around the LPC HQ at 102 Bank (just to give a sense of timing). She was asked to help with a prov by-election and her response was that she could manage to write a position paper. When asked to door knock, she declined, not a role she was interested in. She is a leadership hopeful in the Dion vein – who was the worst retail pol of the last half century to lead a major party.

  6. Tiger says:

    There’s precisely one place where the Liberals can differentiate from the NDP in a way that actually can move votes — on Quebec/on the constitution.

    Everyone knows it. We’ll see whether the Liberals have the wit to choose a leader who can push there, and work on the contradictions between the NDP’s alliance with Quebec nationalists and its voters in English Canada.

  7. Chris S says:

    While I agree her tactic is questionable, the points made are very relevant – so relevant in fact, the Liberal Party began rebuilding after its historic loss. Dismissing her for the sole reason she hasn’t won anything is akin to dismissing the membership who have never won anything. Do we dismiss our members as not having credibility because they never sought election let alone won? No.

    There’s a time and a place for discussion of the future of the Liberal Party – and that time and place is during the leadership contest. To dismiss an honest critique only reaffirms the beliefs Canadians have (some rightly, and some wrongly) of the Liberal Party. Now, should she have done this in the media – no. There’s a way to be positive about the negative. On that note, she demonstrated she is not leadership material; but at the same time, her points should not be dismissed.

    And yes, I’m a Liberal Party member since 2007.

    • Aaron says:

      I think the point is, there is no brand to piss on. We have to stop hanging our hopes on things that may have worked in the past. The last number of elections have proven that the old track record really doesn’t impress Canadians any more. We can argue the public/private discussion angle if we want, but unless we start to put some meat on the old party bones, I’m afraid there won’t be much of a party left after the next election.

    • Hmmm, a ‘Brand’ is kind of like mental ‘short cut’. In practical terms it by-passes the reasoning process and evokes a response. It represents somthing larger and more complex than what can normally be said in a single word or image. I think that her critique is fair in this respect, that the Liberal brand does not really exist. I cannot really think of any underlying principles that the Liberal ‘brand’ can be said to represent to all people. I can describe many things that many people associate ‘Liberal’ with, but that is the point. It means different things to different people. and is just too amorphous. Sure, she is going no-where with her leadership aspirations (if she actually harbours any), but I think that it is not a bad thing to have candidates saying out loud that the brand is not a brand anymore.
      You don’t need me to tell you about brands though, it is what you do for a living. But I think she is correct that the Liberal Party needs to work on it, and probably for years to come. I know what I have liked about the Liberal Party for many years, but I have to wonder if the Liberal Party agrees with me about what exactly they are all about. It would be a lot easier to dive in and roll up sleeves if I knew exactly what I was working for.

  8. Jim Hanna says:

    Pissing on the brand is a winning strategy; Paul Martin started it with his reaction to the AG’s report, back when he thought the public would give a rat’s ass between Martin Liberals and Chretien Liberals, and he decided to run against Chretien Liberals instead of the Tories.

    Its just not a winning strategy for Liberals.

  9. Tom says:

    “I think the Liberal Party needs to earn every vote, and that includes talking about policy. For the last number of years, I think the party has been resting on its laurels, on the assumption people would just vote for the Liberal Party because it was sort of the natural governing party, and that’s no longer the case,” Mr. Mousley said.

    Truer words are rarely spoken in Lib circles.

    • james curran says:

      In the meantime I think I missed Ms. Coyne’s presence at all of the Policy workshops between 2002 and 2012. Maybe she was sitting in the back row or something. Or maybe she spoke on policy somewhere and I just was unable to attend or something.

  10. Bruce A says:

    Sadly she is right. I’m just any ordinary, liberal minded citizen that has supported this party all my life. I am not a mover and shaker. I am not a member but I vote and voted Liberal. I am not a big shot, as many of the people here on this site appear to be. I have never agreed with anything the Reformers have done, other than creating the PBO under Kevin Page. But the Liberals take citizens and past supporters for granted. I know of an elderly couple who have been lifelong Liberals. They donate money every month. No acknowledgement, no thanks. They have asked at the local level how they can help. Nothing. They take their money and that’s it. The people in involved can’t even remember their names.

    I considered joining until I heard this.

    They’re 80 years old and this is how lifelong supporters are treated? The Liberals don’t engage citizens such as myself and the couple in question. They don’t ask what’s of concern to them or myself. It’s sad because I am a liberal and want to vote for this party but it’s impossible, given the attitudes involved on the part of some.

  11. Patrick says:

    I love the Liberal Party “could get squeezed out” part… it’s kinda like “where you been for the last 10 years…” It’s like being in one of those wacky airtight compartments on the Titanic and, once the crippled ship strikes the ocean floor with a horrifying thud going: “man, I think this ship might be in danger, Captain!”

    The truth about the “political spectrum” is that it’s more defined by the issues/trends of the day than by the elective choices of any leader or party. The elevated left/right tension in Canada today isn’t a creation of the media, or of Mulcair or even Harper… it’s a reflection of a more polarized economy and society where a greater share of the opportunity is increasingly accruing to an ever-smaller group of people, with an embattled middle class facing the realistic prospect of handing their kids less opportunity than they had for the first time in this country’s history.

    The old expression “the rich are getting richer” isn’t even accurate anymore, according to all the leading studies. The best research indicates that today only the ultra-rich are getting ultra-richer and everyone else is falling behind. The tired, calm-down-and-take-the-middle path rhetoric which sustained the Federal Liberal Party for generations is declining. Notably, fun as it is to beat up on the floundering Federal LPC here at home, this is a trend observable in nearly all advanced economies, and accounts for increased polarization in most modern democracies. Obama over Clinton. Layton over Dion/Iggy. Mulcair over Coyne/Bertschi/etc… More radical over less radical Milliband in UK. Labour revolt in Australia. Hollande over more moderate candidates in France. The PT over more moderate social democrats in Brazil much of Latin America. A new militant generation of ANC leadership in South Africa.

    In most divided democracies today, progressive voters don’t want a lecture on civility: they want to FIGHT BACK!!!! Any candidate who claims the path back to power is quiet diplomacy and polite dialogue with corrupt conservatives is DOA, in my opinion. This accounts for much of the Liberal Party’s problems in the last decade: not just the absence of belief but of intensity.

    Personally, as a New Democrat I’d rather work with many Liberals tomorrow (not the wacky right wing ones who believe the solution to our economic problems is another tax cut for Royal Bank/Rogers, but certainly the sensible majority), but this “let’s all get along” and not engage in any real fights BS is intolerable, with great respect.

  12. Mulletaur says:

    “I think the Liberal Party needs to earn every vote, and that includes talking about policy.”

    How charmingly naive. As if policy wins elections.

    All of these clueless amateurs should just spare everybody the embarrassment and stay out of the race. But the idiotic rule change means that ‘supporters’, many of whom were signed up using the equivalent of a negative billing option, will have just as much say as party members. That will invite all sorts of no hopers, crazies and losers into the race.

    Why don’t we have any hardened political professionals to choose from as leaders in the Liberal Party of Canada anymore ? Is it the myth of Pierre Trudeau that keeps federal Liberals looking for some outsider to take the party and the country by storm ? And if you can’t find a mature leader fully formed from birth, you have to choose one worth developing and invest in that person. One election loss is not enough time. But the leader actually has to be elected from the membership, not just take over the job as Ignatieff did.

    • “How charmingly naive. As if policy wins elections.”

      And how not-so-charmingly cynical of you! And why the hell would any rational person want to invest effort money and talent in the electoral trenches on behalf of the Party unless there were policies they really wanted to happen? I do understand from about a million hours spent canvassing, working the phones, etc that Policy is meaningless to maybe half the voting electorate. That doesn’t mean you can simply do without the other half, which is incidentally the half with money, brains, talent,… you get the picture. To me, every voter who is actually interested and motivated by policies is a prospective volunteer, and the pitch moves into high gear…

  13. Morden says:

    “Long time caucus members” and other party insiders are not the only people with credibility here. In fact, considering the shape they’ve left this brand you keep talking about, they may have the least credibility of all. There are plenty of us Liberals who have never tasted power or been smiled upon by the machine, and who have grown tired of deferring to the fabled old guard. This is fair, considering that the old guard never did anything particularly well, but rode favourable structural change in the party system in the ’90s to a few undistinguished majority mandates. And since then, they – Chretienites and Martinites both – have driven the greatest party in the western world to near oblivion.

    As long as they’re the only people that matter, as long as anyone who wants to be a part of the new party has to kiss their feet, the death march continues at pace.

  14. Kaplan says:

    Let’s not forget about one of the more successful politicians of the 1980s, Brian Mulroney. He was elected leader of the PCs and later Prime Minister having never held power before, either. Back to back majorities, if I recall. And while he sought the leadership of the PCs, I also recall Mulroney having an awful lot to say about the party – and not all of it was about rainbows and sunshine, either.

    So I’m not sure Coyne should be dismissed because she’s never been elected.

  15. the salamander says:

    Uh .. take a walk out to the ‘liberal’ stables folks.. go ahead and close the gate if its still there.. but your trusty horses are long gone.
    Once that astounding concept percolates or resonates.. (if ever) you may notice the barn is teetering.. ready to collapse
    and what’s that.. the fields are scorched and black ? Hey.. someone has stolen all the fence rails !
    Look ! Somebody scraped all the topsoil off.. its gone !

    The echo of laughter you hear is Stephen Harper and his entire loutpack when they rode off with Canada in a bag ..
    Whatever ‘Canadian Electoral Currency’ the Liberal Party didn’t completely fumble.. or take for granted
    the Conservatives and The Harper Government are dumping in the tar sands tailing ponds
    You’ll need more than snorkels and wetsuits to find the oily remains or residue of The Liberal Party
    all submerged way down there with any sign of demockracy .. or a clean Canadian vote

    Probably your best best.. is to be the heroic entity that figures out and proves
    who Pierre Poutine is (or was), and who planned and orchestrated the election fraud of 2011
    that never happened, and is just a baseless smear … according to witty Harper secretaries and spokeslouts
    and while you’re doing that simple task.. I humbly suggest you identify the strategy and plans underway
    and the felons and datarats, robo & live call wonks, cut-outs and firewalls and deniables or under the bus-ables
    that are already involved, full steam ahead in the upcoming 2015 vote suppressed and rigged fraud yet to come.

    Oh yes.. do you really imagine things get better all by themselves? Are y’all NEW ?? Things just get worse !
    Sure hope the NDP and the Green gang have awakened and smelled the coffee .. or the burning fields.. or their burning arses
    cuz these sure aint your father’s or your grandfather’s elections.. or your mommy’s.
    These are quasi-elections .. virtual n virtuous electoral digital fabrications Calgary style !! Yippee yi yay kiyay ..
    and welcome to Ottawalberta, stranger.. where Preston Manning, Stockwell Day.. and dinosaurs still roam..
    and the sleepy Anders will lie down with the sheep near the pipeline.. and the frackers will pump there all day.

    Robo cowpoke country, Giddy-Up n brand them little doggies sez ‘westerner’ Stephen and the petroleum city posse ..
    yee hah.. jist round all them stunned voters up… turn em in a circle till they’re dizzy !! Lay that pipeline down !
    Don’t worry about them elderly voters, they won’t ever figure out where the voting stations are !
    Hey ! Aint that Ethical Ezra riding drag behind the herd.. ? Nope that be Dean the bad Dream Del Mastro..
    gots a new job on a big honkin horsey .. after spending some time with his family ..
    Hey.. there’s Mean Joe Oliver chasin down runaway radicals ! And lookin over his portfolio !!
    Looky there ! Its ol Keith Ashfield trying to round up or protect some salmon habitat over there on the prairie .. ! (What ?)
    And up there a flying high in an F35, well that jist must be Peter ‘pure poison’ Kent ..
    bombin the Alberta wolves with strychnine to save the caribou or the tar sands.. and stand tall for th Enviro-Mint
    and lettin us all know bout them despicable money launderin tree huggin whale watchin enviro whackos..
    Lucky we got ol Vic Toews to make sure the Canographers get their just deserts in prison.. string em up he sez.. all a twitter

    As the cops always say, when investigating a crime.. or searching for motive and the perps etc..
    ‘follow the money’ .. but in this case I suggest any cop or investigator worth his or her salt
    would say ‘follow the votes’ .. capiche ? Who stands to gain.. or has gained..?
    See if there are any dangerous gangs on the loose… or individuals that suddenly gained power and influence for no damn reason.

    Hey.. if The Liberal Party is still a national presence.. you can look into those 200 or so ridings across Canada that got rodeo’d n roped !
    Do something worthwhile, so all of Canada pays attention and sees that you’re useful, capable, caring etc..
    or as grandma woulda said .. ‘show you got some gumption’

    I must say that Mr Valeriote in Guelph was a stand up guy.. took his lumps, no excuses.. so that’s something to build from.
    The jackass Conservatives that spouted and sneered at him certainly lived up to their recent Jurassic era reputation
    that would be the poisonous Mr. ‘tar baby’ Poilievre, the wannabe PM (Oh come on !!! that’s post-Harper of course !)
    and festering Fred puss-mouth DeLorey.. the grand wizard spokeswart (are Canadian’s paying him ? Say it aint so..!)

    Surely even a completely gone from the barn political party should be able to toss Harper’s primitive and dim minions
    from their bizarre perch.. where they flap leathery wings and crap disgusting legislation upon the land.
    C’mon you Liberals.. pick yer sorry asses out of the dust, chase down your horses and get after the thieves !
    Bad enuff they trashed you (with a lot of help from yourselves !)
    but they be stealin and trashin the entire country now.. or sellin it to the Chinese or the Damn Repubnickans

    The only damn thing that’s relevant as far as ‘Right’ or Left’ is which leather gloved hand
    is smackin y’all right in the kisser … again and again.. and again… here comes the jab, there’s the hook
    My suggestion is also watch out for head-butting, biting, and hidden knives.. and baseless smearing..
    If you think the people stealing Canada have any idea what The Queensbury Rules of Boxing are
    you’re right.. they do.. and they are counting on you to think there are still some sort of archaic rules in play..
    while they keep using you as a punching bag.. mainly for their amusement

    just sayin …

  16. Skeeter says:

    Speaking of winning Liberals, congrats on your wins in 1993, 2000 and the three with Dalton!

  17. GPAlta says:

    I believe that clear, straightforward policy is the right approach, but it should not be policy about centralizing or decentralizing government or providing financing for projects or creating equity between regions or even about national unity– that is all inside baseball that the general public doesn’t care about, especially when the pillars of our society are being torn down by the current “government”.

    The Liberal party’s policies have to offer a clear choice on issues that matter: protection of the rights of women, veterans, seniors, immigrants, refugees, homosexuals, prisoners, the middle class, and the poor (all of which have been threatened by the Harper “Government”); protection of the environment; support for scientific research as well learning, education, and research in general; and most importantly healing and advancement for aboriginal Canadians, both on and off reserve. It is indecent to ignore human rights issues, especially when the conservatives are actively working against full equality for all, and instead to focus on electability. Liberals should not be afraid to lose the votes of racists and misogynists because Liberals should believe in a clear mandate for a clear platform, and Liberals should want to be on the right side of history. Think about who spoke up about human rights in the USA in the 1960s, who kept silent, and who worked against the Civil Rights Movement. Think about the deplorable conditions that Aboriginals endure across this country, while our government works against the UN right to water resolution. The Liberal party should be the party of human rights and Aboriginal healing, and if they can’t win with that focus, at least they will lose while positioning themselves clearly and unambiguously on the side of what is right.

  18. the salamander says:

    Well.. hell .. if that was an aggro’d & wordy rorschach test, perpetrated by moi
    my very own free wheelin opinion and perhaps a dull and witless perspective
    mis-aimed in your general direction.. I do pologize for the pontification

    It may have caused Warren to flash directly to my purple haze period .. or even his ..
    James made the jump to my inner White light ingestion and trips.. praps his too
    bluegreen felt my pane.. shared it maybe .. though I had blotted it out I thought
    by floating myself to higher contemplative levels a la Carlos Casteneda
    and reading Ayn Rand and Karl Rove and Preston Manning.. & the Toronto Sun… again, and again.. and ..

    I’ll go back to my hydroponic and organic word lab .. consider the error of my ways
    I wuz mistaken.. it was just a bad trip .. bad phrasing
    Nobody got fracked in 2011.. Harper is the kindest most loving ….
    I too can be saved.. learn to admire Joe Oliver .. mebbe write a book about his successes

    Touche re the 3 lysergic modalities.. so I know you may appreciate the clumsy blotter ref
    I worked with drug addicted juves, maximum security juveniles
    the emotionally disturbed, and persons with debilitating or mild mood disorders
    It never occurred to me that politics and corporations might become the perfect environment or habitat
    for people who define the DSM 1V criteria re sociopathic or psychopathic behavior
    where narcism and omnipotent behavior is de rigeur.. the lying comes easy plus benefits and great pension
    and being sanctimonious and smarmy and shrill is to be expected.. oui oui ?

    Geez.. for a scary moment, I thought Canada was in dire straits.. under siege .. caught in a bad acid tar sands trip
    You guys calmed me down.. got me laughing at myself.. my momentary paranoia
    I ate a pound of steamed Ontario broccoli, and some BBQ’d infected BC wild salmon with Chinese rice
    popped 4 Darvon and now I feel good about myself and Canada again …
    Some dude on talk radio was pimping krill oil .. so I done a quart of that too

    Its all good..

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