, 02.09.2023 07:22 AM

My latest: it’s not your party, you can’t recruit who you want to

What happens when a political party loses its mind?

It can happen. It has happened. Often.

The Conservative Party produces ads mocking the facial deformity of Jean Chretien, and gets reduced to two seats. The Liberal Party selects a leader who hasn’t lived in Canada in decades, and gets reduced to third place, for the first time in its history.

The leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party sides with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, and is pilloried internationally. The B.C. New Democrats run fake charities to funnel money to themselves, and end up on the receiving end of criminal prosecution.

And now, the once-mighty Ontario Liberal Party wants to recruit a new leader.

From another political party.

Unless you’re a political junkie with a lot of spare time on your hands, it’s possible you haven’t heard about this profoundly, deeply stupid stunt. Nobody really pays attention anymore to the once-mighty Ontario Liberal Party, after all. Not even in Ontario.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is part of the reason. He’s won two majorities in a row because he’s shrewdly captured a sizable chunk of the Liberal voter base — both federal and provincial.

But another part of the reason why you, we, don’t care about the Ontario Liberals — why they lost party status under Kathleen Wynne, and repeated that pathetic result with Steven Del Duca — is easy to ascertain.

They did it to themselves.

Their open letter to Mike Schreiner, the current leader of the Ontario Green Party, is a prime example of the idiocy that now grips the party of former leaders.

David Peterson and Dalton McGuinty: neither of those two men, who were proven winners, would ever countenance what various party big names have done – praise another party, and diminish their own.

The letter was sent even after Schreiner had said no. It was signed by myriad Wynne-era luminaries like Deb Matthews, Greg Sorbara and Peter Donolo. Wrote these political geniuses: “We are taking this unprecedented step — to reach outside our ranks to urge you, the leader of another party — to join the Ontario Liberals and run for our party’s leadership.”

Their arrogance, their conceit, is revealed in that single word: “our.”

Speaking only for myself — not as the chairman of the Ontario Liberal War Room in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even though I was — I say: How dare you! How dare you say, implicitly or explicitly, that the Ontario Liberal Party is “yours.” Because it isn’t.

Forget about the fact that you have now dramatically improved the fortunes of the provincial Greens, and seriously damaged the provincial Liberals. Forget about the fact that floor-crossings almost never work, because voters rightly regard them as the product of dirty backroom deals.

Forget about the fact that you have diminished the many contributions of the real Ontario Liberals seeking the party’s leadership, a couple of whom are actual elected members of the provincial Legislature.

Forget about the fact that Schreiner is now delaying any kind of a response, likely to maximize his party’s fortunes, and maximize the Ontario Liberals’ pain. Forget about all of that.

No, what is really offensive is your arrogance. That you somehow know better than the thousands of card-carrying Ontario Liberals who work hard, who volunteer, and who have never received a cabinet post or a fat contract. That it is “your” party.

Will Mike Schreiner take you up on your offer? He’d be insane to do so. But either way, one result is inevitable.

A third majority term for Doug Ford.

— Kinsella has been the leader of winning war rooms for Jean Chretien and Dalton McGuinty.


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    EsterHazyWasALoser says:

    If I was Schreiner (which of course I’m not), I would suggest that the current Liberals in the Legislature become Green Party members and he would be their new boss.

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      Sean says:

      I don’t follow why the Green Party is putting up with this… In any other party Schreiner would be ejected from the Leadership by the end of the week. “I’ll think about leading another party”?! Seriously?! I mean WTF does that say to all the Green Party volunteers / donors / voters?! The Green Party’s stupendous unprofessionalism is also on full display here.

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    Sean says:

    What the hell is wrong with Yasir Naqvi, Mitzie Hunter, Ted Hsu, Nathaniel Erskine Smith and Bonnie Crombie?!?! That is actually a very strong field…. Indeed much stronger than would be found with the NDP or Greens and possibly even the Tories. MPs, MPPs and a Mayor of a large city. They all held fast when things looked grim. They all have Liberal volunteers, Liberal donors… their signs are bright Liberal Red.

    Oh… one other little detail worth considering…. they all consistently annihilated the Green Party in their ridings… every…. single…. election.

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    Peter Williams says:

    What’s really offensive is Liberal arrogance? I almost snorted my coffee.

    Arrogance is the hallmark of the Liberal Party.

    For example
    – Justin Trudeau lectures on climate change and campaigns using two jets.
    – Justin gets paid over $300,000 a year, yet charges tax payers for eight boats for Harrington Lake.
    – Justin flies a lot on vacation, yet tells us not to fly.

    And Liberal MP Lamoureux complains Conservatives are too fixated on corruption.

    And has the guy who lectures about people not paying taxes (Stephen Guilbeault) paid HIS back taxes? Last we heard he was five figures in arrears.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Somewhere, DS has a big smile on his face. LOL.

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      Martin Dixon says:


      Hilarious. I did not know this and I pay attention. Not CBC newsworthy I guess. Need to get from “alternative media”. Can’t they just garnishee his wages?

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        Peter Williams says:


        If it was you or me, and we had Guilbeault’s income, we’d have our wages garnished.

        Will the CRA garnishee a Liberal Cabinet Minister’s wages?
        In my opinion not going to happen.

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      Sean says:

      Justin is not a normal Liberal. He represents the bat shit crazy, bonkers, looney tune, racist, corrupt, scandal ridden wing of the party which is only a tiny group of desperate hangers on, limited mostly to his personal staff.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    This is the “greatest” political long shot in history. It hasn’t got a hope in hell.

    But for fun: it did work ONCE with Duplessis, the then Quebec Conservative Party leader.

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    Robert White says:

    When it comes to playing the game of politics it’s fair game to appropriate political players from opposition teams. The Ontario Liberal Party has not a snowball’s chance in heck of ever attaining seats let alone legislative power. Now is the time to pull out all the stops and make a tactical play for whomever is popular enough to stur the shit storm politically. This is the only move Liberals have aside from finding someone with a simialr skillset to that of Shreiner.

    Tactically, I think the Ontario Liberal Party War Room thinkers are actually thinking progressively in so far as Schreiner shares the Federal Liberal ethos.

    Nobody is going to vote for the goddamned Ontario Liberals if they don’t find a reasoned challenger to Premier Ford.

    Sooner or later even Ford will realize that the Federal Conservative Party is never going to win Toronto ridings with Poilievre at the helm. The party backers will sooner or later realize that Ford is their only chance at helm federally. Why? Because he’s popular not unlike Mike Schreiner.


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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      But Pierre has the French. Not Ford.

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        Robert White says:

        It’s all about seats in the GTA. Without a majority in the GTA the Conservative Party will go nowhere. Poilievre can’t win a majority of GTA seats, but Ford could easily.

        Montreal & Quebec City would accept Ford if he got some French language lessons and at least tried to speak French. He’s young enough to learn IMHO.


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          Ronald O'Dowd says:


          I get that but Ford is the next Charest. In the next leadership race, whenever that comes, the membership will block Ford. There’s no way that the West will vote in a central Canadian premier as leader. Not in a month of Sundays.

          Now if Kenney returns to the fold, the West would likely vote him in, assuming that he was interested and actually had the ambition to return to federal politics. But that possibility is way, way, down the road IMHO.

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          western view says:

          Many people marvelled at the “efficiency” of the Liberal vote in the 2021 election, allowing them to eke out a minority government win by clustering the votes in the large urban ridings. Good for them, that’s the spoils of the game.
          BUT: The Liberal popular vote took a nosedive, and the CPC captured the most votes for the second election in a row. Lost in the dynamics of these little things is what a small shift in the popular vote toward the Tories in those GTA ridings would do to the seat count.
          The Conservatives don’t need to sweep the GTA, and probably can’t/won’t. But there is a pile of pissed off people who are ready to see the end of the Trudeau Government, and the Liberals are trying harder and harder to do stupid things to shift the votes toward other party’s. We are learning of another unforced error…our vaunted Rapid Response Team hasn’t been deployed to Syria or Turkey. Things are “under discussion”, aka the team isn’t deployable.
          Bring on the election…I’m not scared of the GTA voters.

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      Martin Dixon says:

      The glitterati currently has Ford in the barrel over the stag and doe. He must be getting a bit too uppity for the Laurentian Elite. Two things that makes this different than JT’s various and sundry problems. He was cleared. And he is reacting to the “scandal” like a normal person would. Pretty well telling the press to go eff themselves(see all my comments on that tactic elsewhere). JT would segue into how this sort of thing will not distract him instead of addressing the issue head on because he never can. Thinking this will not hurt Ford.

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    Peter Williams says:

    And the arrogance continues. Minister Ng didn’t know it was unethical for a Minister to give contracts to close personal friends.

    Do Liberals not attend ethics and conflict of interest training for their jobs? NDP MP Matthew Green “… I recall my orientation, they were pretty clear about this stuff”


    In the company I worked for, all employees had to take conflict of interest training, and pass a test. And renew it every two years. If I did what Ms Ng did, it was made very clear I’d be fired. Liberal Parliamentarians? Seems like ethics consists of whatever they can get away with.

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      Martin Dixon says:

      And she apologized but ended that apology with a “but” and I am sure Amanda Alvaro will land on her feet at the CBC.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      They just don’t give a SHIT, period. After all, HimselfTM is the only Canadian Prime Minister ever sanctioned for ethics violations. No kidding!

      These fuckers need to be defeated ASAP.

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