01.30.2014 01:15 PM

Byline: Warren’s excommunication from LPC will happen in five, four, three, two…

And wait’ll they see my column in the Sun papers on Sunday! Hoo boy!

I’m about five minutes in. Yes, I think it’s dumb. No one agrees with me, as usual.


  1. James Calder says:

    You can still caucus with the bloggers.

  2. Patrick says:

    It’s totally dumb, of course. But it has to be evaluated in the context of the veritable tsunami of spending abuse revelations which surely lie just over the horizon.

    Finally, can we not as a society – in friggin’ 2014 – get behind the basic democratic first principle that legislators should have a mandate from the electorate? Christ, it is tiresome watching people and parties contort themselves into pretzels to avoid this one, simple, profound point.

    Elect the damn thing or abolish it.

    • Lance says:

      “It’s totally dumb, of course. But it has to be evaluated in the context of the veritable tsunami of spending abuse revelations which surely lie just over the horizon.”

      So this is nothing but a stunt, an utterly politically expedient stunt that on the face of it, actually accomplishes, well, nothing really.


  3. Lance says:

    Cue the email barrage about you being a SNN token, as if what you are saying isn’t absolutely bang on – it is.

    People with 40 years in politics giving their weekends and holidays, who were doing this when Trudeau was a mere parental forethought, were left scratching their heads yesterday saying, “WTFFFFFF????” And the very few that weren’t out of the loop can’t even get the talking points right, not even the Liberal leader of the Senate. Even though we are not Liberal Senators, we are the Senate Liberals. Seriously?!

    Reminds me of Paul Martin waving his arms as he dropped his Notwithstanding Clause turd. What a clusterfuck.

    • Kelly says:

      Most Canadians coils care less about the Liberal Parry of Canada (I know it will surprise a lot of people in circles but it’s true.)

      I run with a very diverse drew with friends on the left and the right. General consensus seemed to be politicians getting kicked out of anything is good with them.

      I think approach is sound and I think no senate is best nut if we need one it should NOT be elected and it should be independent and made up of selections from the order of Canada but with limited powers. I don’t care if that would require opening up the constitution. What are people so afraid of?

      • Ridiculosity says:

        Ha! Freudian typo with Liberal Parry of Canada? A “parry “is a fencing bladework manoeuvre intended to deflect or block an incoming attack.

  4. Mark says:

    To respond your point, Warren, about which you ask “how will he get legislation through the Senate if he ever becomes PM?”, I personally like the prospect of a government having to make legislation as robust, apolitical, and acceptable to as many Canadians and their parliamentarians as possible. If JT does become PM and if things in the Senate stay as they are today (the latter a tall order), we can be almost certain that any legislation passed by Parliament will be good legislation. Perhaps a more salient question would be how would Trudeau get legislation past a majority of Senators who are Conservative?

    • Mulletaur says:

      If Trudeau becomes Prime Minister, how exactly will he be able to appoint enough Senators to gain back a majority in the upper house within the period of his first mandate ? If he can’t do this, the point about getting legislation through is moot.

      • smelter rat says:

        I believe he’s suggesting a different way of determining who should be appointed, not just the personal preference of whatever PM is in power.

    • Matt says:

      Same way Harper did his first few years when there was a Liberal majority in the Senate.

    • Kelly says:

      Exactly. A conservative senate will block Liberal legislation, guaranteed. And they will like their unelected senate just fine.

    • pc says:

      Well said, Mark.

  5. Sean says:

    Leaks of how the super smart strategy staff plotted this move = big mistake.

    It was a headline grabber for about 20 minutes and that’s about it. A tasty snack for beltway poly sci sci junkies and that’s about it.

    Joe and Jane coffee shop couldn’t give a sweet damn what meeting room David Smith goes to on Weds. mornings.

  6. Matt says:

    If they haven’t kicked Ray Heard out for his Trudeau comments the past year, you’re fine. 🙂

  7. MississaugaPeter says:

    The under 45 (now that some are over 40) Trudeau brain trust that thinks they are smarter than everyone else combined.

    The brain trust that couldn’t get Dion to deliver a video to the media on time.

    The Dauphin clearly signalling that your past contributions and loyalty are irrelevant.

    Reveals a Trudeau government will not consult and mind-blowing decisions will be made in a very centralized PMO. There is a Conservative attack ad here: Consider how Trudeau creates policy on the sly. It is pretty scary.

    • david ray says:

      saw this on the tube
      read it on the page
      we’re being used
      we’re being played

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      Consider how Trudeau creates policy on the sly. It is pretty scary.

      Geez why don’t you overlook Dear Leader’s micromanagement and omnibus bills.

  8. Ridiculosity says:

    It doesn’t matter what you think. Or what I think. Of what Brent From Banff thinks.

    Voters think Trudeau is right.

    At the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      From where I’m sitting, Justin is either his father or Ignatieff. Look at the Conservative polling dip and when it started. That does not suggest a sudden Liberal polling crash is in the offing.

      • Ridiculosity says:

        Liberal polling crash? Are you off your meds?

        I said voters like Trudeau’s announcement. If anything, that should dramatically increase support for the LPC – not the other way around.

  9. Iris Mclean says:

    Sorry for my last post. It was supposed to be the cartoon featuring pigs at the Senate trough.

  10. Robin says:

    “When Trudeau informed Conservative Senators that Liberals would stick out their neck to bring on reforms whatever they did, the Conservative advisers told their Prime Minister and his Caucus, ‘Trudeau will have his neck wrung like a chicken.’ Some chicken! Some neck!” – paraphrasing Winston Churchill, Ottawa, December 30, 1941

    I will take Trudeau’s Churchillian approach over Harper’s Chamberlain approach of appeasing the status quo.

    Harper, he’s not a leader; is in it over his head. Eight years and 51 Harper Senate appointments later….

  11. ottlib says:

    I do not believe you have to be worried about excommunication.

    Unlike the Harper Conservatives, Liberals do not expect blind obedience and the uncritical towing of the party line. Liberals actually expect the opposite in fact.

    Then again I would not be waiting, with baited breath, by the phone expecting a call inviting you to come work for the Liberal war room any time soon.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      You are right, Liberals don’t do that.

      But Trudeau and his BrainTrust … on the otherhand … will just kick you out and disown you, even if you had worked with his father or been a loyal foot soldier and standard bearer for longer than The Dauphin and his BrainTrust have been alive.

      • ottlib says:

        The last time I looked the Senators in question were still members of the Liberal Party and they still consider themselves Liberals.

        As well, I do believe that they are all still Senators, with all of their perks, pay and benefits intact.

        All things considered I do not believe that they are that hard done by as a result of this decision.

        • Lance says:

          So in other words, nothing has changed, which makes the whole exercise rather pointless.

          Well, that was fun for 24 hours.

  12. Ann says:

    “I was appointed by Mr. Chretien as a Liberal senator. I will remain an Independent Liberal senator. You can do that,” he said.

    Trudeau broke the news to senators at a meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. He announced it publicly just half an hour later.
    I found Senator Munson’s openness about what he saw being expressed after Trudeau told the Senators that they were dismissed, and that there was now an embargo on Senators fund raising, party organizing and activism interesting:

    Munson said some people in the room were shocked.

    “Of course there were strong feelings, there were people feeling sad, there were people who were surprised. There were people who felt good about it,” he said.

    Nova Scotia Sen. Terry Mercer, a Chretien appointment and former national director of the Liberal Party of Canada, said he will continue to be active in the party and work to elect Trudeau in the 2015 election.


    However, Senator Mercer and it would appear according to videos Senator Cowan will not be respecting any embargo imposed by Trudeau on their Liberal party activities.

  13. barleyboy says:

    The ascension of Trudeau the Second to the leadership of The Liberal Party of Canada is due in no small measure to his membership in The Lucky Sperm Club. Now, He and three or four (unelected) advisers have the temerity to boot the likes of David Smith and Terry Mercer from our caucus without discussion. I fear that a Trudeau the Second PMO will be no less secretive nor any more democratic than the current one.

  14. Lance says:

    ………and end there.

  15. Lance says:

    Why would independent senators need a whip if they won’t necessarily be toeing a given party’s lines on votes in Parliament?

    Liberal Senate Leader Cowan – “we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that he (Trudeau) becomes the PM”.

    Oh………..right………..the “non-partisan” “independent” thing Trudeau mentioned.

    What a farce.

    • Lance says:

      “I no longer want to have a relationship as a leader to these people, and they are no longer part of my party,” Justin Trudeau

      Uh oh, LOL

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Also, not only do they no longer belong to the Liberal Party of Canada caucus, but as independents they can no longer engage in fundraising, partisan activities, stragegizing, or the most contentious of all, can no longer sit on Committees.

        I cannot for the life of me figure how the ex-Liberal Senators are going to deal with this, let alone approve.

  16. Christian says:

    Agree all round Warren. Its a stunt, its a mistake and yes the senate should be abolished and someone needs to finally have the guts to do it instead of whining about how hard it is.

  17. Kaiser Helmets 'n Motorbikes says:

    I lowed señor Trudeau with a deep and unending passion. I wanted him to get in his gullwing and head down the 417 as much as he wanted to get the hell out of dodge. But there was one thing about the old commie I had to respect. He was a leader, plain and simple. Not my leader. Nonetheless, he was not evil, maybe misguided, but he had the necessary leadership skills to lead a country.

    What I saw in little Justin this week was a flash of the old man. For the first time he looked like he might, just might, have the ruthless streak that served his father so well all those decades ago. In a crisis there is only one rule of leadership, do something, anything, but don’t stand around. At least the drama teacher stood up, sans script, and did something…

  18. Jerry says:

    I’m a douchebag and I won’t be allowed back on this web site.

  19. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    It’s a misfire for any number of reasons: Senate is not a pressing or burning issue with them that vote; the pendulum has swung from reform, past election to abolition for those who actually cast ballots and prioritize it as an election issue; using it as a dumping ground for so-called independents is a disingenuous non-starter for more of the same under the tidy and fresh label. It comes off as phony and opportunistic.

    • Terry Quinn says:

      Wrong. JT shows he is willing to make decisions that get attention and have substance and you can’t suggest this doesn’t have that. Harper has frozen the senate agenda in the hopes some other scandal or the SCC will overtake that issue. Longer term as PM the JT and the Libs will reorganize the senate in a manner that fits the constitution, something Harper is afraid to do. His base simply wants it abolished or elected neither of which can happen in current scenarios.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Yes, it’s substantive but it is likely to remain frozen politically. Can anyone see the SCC giving Harper their blessing without Quebec-specific regional consent? I don’t think so. That’s why reform also becomes Justin’s problem if we form government — which is more likely than not.

  20. Corey says:

    Warren I don’t know why you think Justin as PM would have difficulty passing bills through the Senate. That could happen now… Party leaders can’t do anything about a senator who won’t vote with them. The only difference now will be that all the senators would be independents and non-politicos.

    I’d call that an improvement.

  21. Lance says:

    Okay, I get that the Tories and their supporters can’t stand the CBC for the most part, but still, Harper would never just walk away and utterly ignore a CBC reporter without some kind of response at least.

    Then……….there is this –


    What the hell is wrong with him?

    • Ridiculosity says:

      “Harper would never just walk away and utterly ignore a CBC reporter without some kind of response at least.”

      Where have you been for the past 8 years? Harper doesn’t talk to reporters. Period. Unless it’s scripted.

      • Lance says:

        I’ve been here the last 8 years watching one of the most scripted PMs EVER.

        But to be seen actually fleeing from a journalist? Nope.

  22. My take is Trudeau’s decision, arbitrary and concealed from Senators as it was, is actually a good one. Trudeau’s actions parallel what a CEO does to bring a company back on course after years of drift. If you’ve been part of something like that you know that protestations come from those grown accustomed to the status quo and who now fear justifying their performance. Working Canadians know they must contribute on a daily basis to keep their job so I say, Welcome to the real world, former Liberal Senators.

    The fact is this is a small, first step towards making the Senate more relevant to Canadians but has the benefit of doing so immediately. If this move was made by PM Harper rather than the leader of the 3rd Place Party it would have been viewed positively and re-affirmed the Conservative commitment to reform the Senate. If PM Harper would have made this decision, he would have been portrayed as the decisive leader in the House. Instead of commendations for PM Harper we see talking points from Mr. Polliviere and this only highlights how reactive the Conservatives have become on this issue. Yes, they’ve been focused on Keystone and responding to Wright-Duffy, amongst other things, but they were outmaneuvered here. What must be galling to their base is they’re now forced into a position of defending the Senate status quo and with the added task of explaining how constitutional talks are not an agonizingly slow and disruptive alternative.

    I don’t think many Senators will protest the decision because aligning against a move to increase government effectiveness is like telling the taxpayer that they, an appointed official, really does not know how to do their job. These Senators know full well the economy is not great everywhere and Canadians are working harder, likely without a raise for sometime but are fully capable of recognizing a problem when they see it. Should a Senator carry a grudge and obstruct any Liberal legislation as ‘payback’ would prove to Canadians that there really wasn’t much sober second thought in the Senate in the first place. No, this is a wake-up call for the institution and Senators should get over it and recognize independence has its advantages.

    As for any parallel to the obstructionism in the US that President Obama faces daily, that approach, brought to you by the ‘Suicide Caucus’ in the House of Representatives has been an unmitigated disaster. It’s main architects, Cantor-McConnell-Boehner, and have been responsible for bringing Congress’ approval ratings into single digits and losing the general election.

    And as for the contrived hoopla about names, Liberal Senators or Senate Liberals, I prefer we call them just ‘Senator’. That would actually be a nice change.

  23. J. Johnston says:

    So who is providing Trudeau with these ideas on the Senate, because I doubt he initiated this move to castrate all the Liberal-appointed Senators and also half of the Liberal caucus?

    What this does is neuter all the Liberal senators and jettison them from the upper echelons of the Liberal party. Is this manoever coming from Liberal backroom strategists Butts and Telford, and convincing Justin this is a good political move? Justin surely could not have come up with this himself because it’s a complicated strategic move requiring political brains.

    Perhaps many of the old Liberal senators are in deep doodoo and will be exposed in the AG report forcing Trudeau to cut the ties and casting them adrift, after all, they are the oldest bunch of Senators and set the standard for all Senators.

    Could this snafu just be another manifestation of the Martinites trying to completely decimate the Chretienites, and Justin has stuck his foot into it?

    What is it with the Liberal Senators that Justin’s team rejects? Is it Justin’s “generational change” declaration coming to fruition? Who is next out of Justin’s Liberal caucus. Dion? Garneau? And all the veteran MPs with the title “Honourable” prefixing their name, some 16 of them appointed by Chretien and Martin– and even Papa Trudeau?

    Questions, questions. Only time will tell.

    Or is this the final chapter of the Martinites decimating the Chretienites?

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