06.13.2012 10:08 AM

Bob Rae

It’s the right decision, and was apparently only made in past 48 hours or so. Good for him.

It now creates pressure on Justin Trudeau it will be impossible for the Montreal Liberal MP to ignore. If he doesn’t run, the party’s over, in more ways than one.


  1. sj says:

    Good for Mr. Rae. It is the honourable thing to do — not that is a lot of honour in federal politics these days.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      Rae saw the writing on the wall. Nothing more.

      If The Dauphin decides to run, or decides to endorse someone (because of: 1) family reasons; 2) feels not ready (a show of maturity if I ever saw it); or 3) to distance himself from some true or falsely perceived rumour (I am hearing innuendos but it is hard to get the true facts here in Guangzhou), Rae has absolutely NO chance of beating the charismatic JT (even the initials of another charismatic performer).

      As I stated many years ago when I referred to him as The Dauphin here, the guy makes even middle-aged men love him (not just like, but I mean, some serious man crushes; see other posts on this fine blog). The NDP loves him (ever read the NDP’s mouthpiece “The Rabble”). Muclair is toast in Quebec and elsewhere up against him. The Liberal hemorrhage to the NDP is over with Justin at the helm. The hemorrhage to the Conservative will begin, but will it be more than what is gained from the NDP.

      WK; If there are no serious, recent skeletons in JT closet, he will unite the NDP and the Liberals on his own.

      If there is some true rumour (and it pisses me off that no one will tell me what it may or not may be), Justin will endorse someone and they will win the Liberal leadership easily. It will provide JT some further distance from the truth (if there is some negative one) while continuing to play a major role until next time.

      You friggin’ negative JT naysayers read this. My family in Alberta left the Liberals in the 70’s and 80’s during The King’s (PET) reign. When he left, we were back. That all being said, I have anti-Trudeau blood. But the guy has friggin’ impressed me. He ran in a riding that he was supposed to lose in. He did extremely well again when Liberal MPs were dropping like flies. The guy is educated. The youth love him (and so does Mr. Curran). And the guy has friggin’ balls to fight that Conservative senator. HE HAS EARNED MY RESPECT. It is Quebec’s turn (see Liberal forever history: francophone leader, anglophone leader, francophone leader… (elected leaders, not interim leaders).

      Easy prediction: JT or whoever he taps is leader in less than a year.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        scot…I actually agree with most of what Missisauga pete just wrote. JT didn’t earn my respect for any of his ideas, because frankly he doesn’t have any yet. He hasn’t been told what they are. He impressed me because he went into this boxing match and actually put on a good show. All he had to do was dance around the ring for a few minutes and let the Senator tire himself out, and he didn’t do that. Justin came out swinging, and going toe-to-toe, taking some big shots. He didn’t back away. He impressed me as a man fighting another man.

        The ability to be popular, doesn’t impress me. I’ll wait until I see what comes out of his mouth before I let anything else impress me.

  2. bigcitylib says:

    Did WK say an almost nice thing about Bob Rae? I might need to sit down.

  3. Bill From Willowdale says:

    I guess this is one solemn promise he did keep. It’s good for the Liberals but I am not convinced Justin Trudeau is the Saviour of the party.

  4. Greg from Calgary says:

    I would hate to think that the Liberal parties fortunes have fallen so low that they depend on one man and whether or not he runs for the leadership.

  5. Byron says:

    Looks like it’s Justin time!

  6. Kevin Powell says:

    I’m a big Justin fan, but I’m not convinced he’s ready. But his candidacy will bring some energy back to the party.

  7. Jordan says:

    I hope some of the candidates from outside caucus, those without much name recognition, are able to put strong campaigns together.

  8. JamesHalifax says:

    I think Bob just saw the writing on the wall.

    It said, “Give it up….you haven’t got a hope in hell now’

  9. Tom says:

    Made in the last 48 hours? I kind of doubt it. He might well have known from the start of his tenure as interim leader that he wouldn’t seek the prize, but if he had told anyone he would have been a permanent lame duck. By keeping the decision a secret as long as he could, the member of the caucus had to treat him as a potential party leader.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Tom, you can be sure that when Rae accepted the mantel of “interim” leader….he fully intended to seek the full leadership.

      He didn’t change his mind. Justin Trudeau’s potential candidacy changed it for him.

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        Sure, because you say so? Sure because Harper suggested Rae lied (and he was wrong on THAT, too).

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Tim…I’m not the only one.

          Maybe you should read some newspapers.

          Though….I did say it first. Maybe some in the news, are reading Waren’s blog.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            So he lied because some newspapers said so?

            What lie did he tell? Anything like Harper’s being an “elected” government?

          • JamesHalifax says:

            As usual, Tim….

            You fail to grasp the point of…well,….anything really.

  10. Paul O says:

    I’m surprised Mr. Kinsella appears to show such little regard for such potential candidates as a McGuinty, Goodale, Tobin, or Hall-Findlay. (Implying as he does that only Trudeau can keep the LPC alive.) It’s not my Party, but I don’t think it’s Justin’s time.

  11. tfalcone86 says:

    Nonetheless only by not running could Bob Rae prove he is selfless and has the Party’s best interest at heart. In reverse fashion for Justin Trudeau, only by running for the Liberal Leadership jnow can he prove that he is selfless and willing to put the Party’s needs first.

  12. Greg from Calgary says:

    Good move. I think it opens the field to other younger players who can move the LPOC forward who may not have entered the race concerned that they didn’t stand a chance against Rae.

  13. kre8tv says:

    I’m no fan of Rae, and I have to say I’m surprised by this. I wonder what his thinking was here. Because like him or not, being interim leader is a pretty good pole position for a leadership race.

    Is just that he did a tally and felt he didn’t have the votes to win? Or that maybe he just didn’t want the job all that badly. I’m not meaning to sound trite here. It’s a crappy job at the best of times. Maybe he just asked himself if he really wanted to spend the next 5-10 years working to win back 24 Sussex, by which time he’ll be over 70. That’s like Rolling Stones old.

    Maybe the universe really is unfolding here as it should.

    • Neil N says:

      “Maybe he just asked himself if he really wanted to spend the next 5-10 years working to win back 24 Sussex…”

      More like he asked himself whether he wanted to spend 5-10 years battling poisonous internal Liberal politics.

      The party is no longer capable of uniting around a (single) leader.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Neil N…

        I’m assuming Rae’s resume is sitting on his brother’s desk. Not to be opened until absolutely necessary.

        Better yet….maybe he can look up Iggy and they can be roomies again.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          My guess is his brother John knows enough about Bob that he does not need a C.V.

          Rae does not need a resume. He has been a sucessful mediator and lawyer in the private sector and has a strong record in the public service, including a sting overseeing the spooks at CCIS.

          There is nothing to say he needs a job.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Good…because apparently the Job he’s coveted for so long…is now unavailable.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            How can a job he’s “coveted” (I presume you mean Liberal leader) which is NOT decided be unavailable to him? He has it now. As for a permanent leader, it is quite available, to any Liberal Party member who gets enough votes in April next year from members and supporters?

            Do you make things up or just not know how to understand or use words?

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Oh Tim….may!! You make it too easy.

            The village called. They want you back.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            An ad hominem rather than a reasoned, articulate response backed up with verifiable facts. And you say you are a conservative?

  14. Self-confessed Raelian says:

    Somewhat sad, but at the same time, relieved…….
    Now watch our popularity climb…..
    I hope Mr. Rae’s successor will do the thorough house-cleaning the party so desperately needs…..

  15. patchouli says:

    Good for Bob Rae, and thanks for all the work he’s done and will continue to do.

    I really hope Justin Trudeau steps up to run, and that there is an actual campaign from a roster of candidates. Just as the NDP race shone light on that party, a race with JT in it will gain a lot of attention, and since Canadians do not have to join the party, I think local campaigns will have to get engaged too.

    Okay, someone young, smart, eloquent and ambitions: please step up. Our country needs you to slay the paunchy grey-haired dragons.

    Oh and one more thing: how’s about Liberal writers with national platforms stop shitting on their own party? Just for a year; is that too much to ask? You play right into harp’s pudgy little hands when you divide yourselves up like that and it does nothing to inspire confidence in the Liberals.

    • que sera sera says:

      Here! Here!!

    • Cynical says:

      Unlike the Conservatives, the Liberal party has a good selection of competent, articulate and appealing people from which to choose. It is almost an embarrassment of choice. Mr. Trudeau would be one, but the the others mentioned above should not be counted out. I agree, a real race highlighting the best qualities of these candidates, WITHOUT destructive fratricide, would be a great thing to see.
      Even the front bench of the CPoC is a bunch of wankers. Harper should be respected if only for his ability to keep this bunch of turkeys under control, even it takes threats of a visit to the basement of the Lubyanka to do so.

    • Patricia Morfee says:

      I agree with you on ” how’s about Liberal writers with national platforms stop shitting on their own party? Just for a year; is that too much to ask? You play right into harp’s pudgy little hands when you divide yourselves up like that and it does nothing to inspire confidence in the Liberals.” I am also appalled at the vitriol aimed at some people who don’t deserve it.

    • MCBellecourt says:


  16. Michael Behiels says:

    WOW! Good news.

    Bob Rae came to his senses and made the stateman-like decision to live up to his promise and not run as full time leader of the LPC.

    I wish him well in any and all endeavours that he undertakes. He kept the Liberal Party afloat during a crucial moment in its long and at times very difficult history.

    This will allow for an open Leadership race, something the LPC has not had since Chrétien beat Paul Martin in 1990 in a very nasty fight.

    It is now up to the rank and file Liberals across Canada to step up to the plate and select the best leader to take the LPC forward into the 21 st Century.

    This process may, at some point, required a merger of all progressive forces in Canada to ensure that Harper can be defeated before he completely destroys the Canada that progressive all know well and love.

    Let the leadership race begin and may the best person for the job be selected by rank and file liberals.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      The race when Dion won was pretty open. The winner came from behind after several ballots. Chretien won handedly when he ran against Martin, on the first ballot.

  17. Dan says:

    Liberals wasted a lot of energy on the “interim or not” drama. They should have been discussing what Canada actually needs and what principles the Liberal party brings to the table in 2012 and beyond.

    Again, I don’t think Rae would have been a bad choice. With Iggy, the party already hit a floor. Rae is a known quantity, and couldn’t have made things any worse. If the Liberals truly had a renaissance of democracy and principle, any issues with the leader would have resolved themselves.

    Instead, you wasted this rebuilding period on arguing about leadership.

    Now that Rae is out, is anything going to change?

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      The media wasted that time, not the Libs. The Libs have a schedule. So far, they are sticking to it.

      And so far, the Interim leader is sticking to his promises.

  18. Star Sailor says:

    You have not been listening. Try cleaning your ears with wire wool. Justin Trudeau has said he is not interrested; get over it Most likely he is waiting for Harper to fail, or to wait for the people of Canada to see the mistake of electing Harper. But remember it is not the conservatives who are fault but the people of Canda for electing the local conservative representative. It is the stupid people of Peterborought for electing the Dean Del Mastro, and not Del Mastro

  19. Katy Came says:

    I am all for Justin taking over, I just don’t think he’s seasoned enough yet. He needs another 4-5 years. Just hope the Liberals can find someone who is strong enough to keep them going, but willing to groom Juston properly.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      If Justin wants to run, he’s been groomed all his life.

      If you don’t want him to run because you are afraid he would win, just say so. Don’t go making things up.

      He frickin’ grew up at 24 Sussex. Groomed enough. Good one.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Tim, just because someone writes something you cannot comprehend does not mean the writer is making something up.

        In fact, it’s been pretty clear on this site that you consider anything you personally have no knowledge of…must be made up.

        come to think of it…..that explains quite a lot about your comments.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          Your inability to prove your facts kinda lends me to the conclusion you are making things up. It is not my lack of comprehension, it is your lack of proof.

          You are not the deepest thinker here, I’m afraid. I’m not sure I’d get the tops of my feet wet walking though your thoughts.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Tim, I have provided plenty of facts. YOu choose to ignore them. That’s your perogative.

            You wrote on an earlier post that Jews didn’t die during the Holocaust. I don’t think I need to provide a citation to prove that to you, as even if I did….you would deny it.

            I don’t waste time providing proof, to people who refuse to acknowledge what is usually considered a given. Do your own reasearch.

            (Hint: a lot of Jews died during the Holocaust….you can even find it on Wiki)

  20. Ted H says:

    Very wise decision by Mr. Rae but I still think he is getting a bum rap for his time as Ontario Premier.
    Global economic winds were buffeting Ontario and he did the best he could. Rae days were unpopular among the NDP’s unionized supporters but sacrificing a day’s pay now and then is way, way better than being laid off. Bob was being humane, a word most politicians don’t know is in the dictionary.
    Unfortunately, because there was a reactive pendulum shift to the right in the next election, I guess you could say part of Bob’s legacy was the Harris government. Just as part of Jack Layton’s legacy is the Conservative majority government.

    • Patricia Morfee says:

      I agree with you on bum rap for Rae as Premier. And as for unionized supporters not liking it, my husband is a long time union member of Ford ( 30 years) and retired who supported Rae along with me and we still do. You are correct with saying no one lost their job over Rae days. I worked for Doctors whose employees got a half day off and to this day still take them because they enjoyed the extra time off. I do wish Liberals would quit attacking their own party and come up with some concrete criticism as to how to get back to being regarded as an alternative. I will never support the NDP as they stand today as an arrogant attack machine against Lib , co-operative with Cons party.

      • Kevin_B says:

        “I will never support the NDP as they stand today as an arrogant attack machine against Lib , co-operative with Cons party.”

        Uh, lets not forget that in December 2008 a majority of MPs were prepared to back a Liberal-NDP Minority government, when Ignatief was muscled in as liberal leader and promptly backed out and supported Steven Harper as PM.

        All parties are vitriolic against each other, so you can’t hold NDP alone to account for that. An NDP could say the same thing as you, that the liberals are arrogant and attack them unfairly.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          Layton voted against the Liberals in 2005 on some trumped-up BS stance for health something or other, and we got the Cons. The NDP didn’t make it to any health something or other, and now they bellyache that Harper is destroying Canada.

          Then the Cons overspend to get elected, and run the country, and overspend.

          We have the NDP to thank for that.

  21. Tim says:

    I really hope Trudeau doesn’t win. I don’t care about a strong liberal party or a strong NDP, just a strong left of centre choice. If Trudeau gets the nod, the progressive vote is going be very divided, once again to the Conservative’s advantage.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      That’s what I’m counting on.


    • Ted H says:

      We need a strong counter to the Conservatives, simply for the good of the country.

      “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

      ~John Kenneth Galbraith

  22. Gavin Sullivan says:

    The Liberals are done. I think people are just sick & tired of their hubris & their empty promises.
    I doubt Trudeau will be the game-changer people are suggesting.
    I love your column. It’s so informative, exciting & stimulating.
    No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m dead serious.
    The name of that 90’s band “Better than Ezra” takes on a whole new meaning.
    And from what I’ve heard, Levant is in a lotta hot water right now.
    Cheers, mate.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      Empty promises. Yeah, those prick LIEberals. Like the promise to balance the budget, come hell or high water. Yeah, that was a doozy!

      Did you like the one about being accountable and firing the accountants and being held in contempt? How about the one about not running a deficit then running it to over $55 billion? Those whoopers sure reflect badly on the Liberals.

      No, wait. What?

  23. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    What about Marc Garneau or Scott Brison?

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Dont know about Garneau, but with Scott Brisons two failed attempts for leader of a political party, once as a PC and once as a Liberal, I doubt that he has the stomach for a third try…..the fact of the matter is, despite Mr. Brison’s talents,(and they are many) the country is not yet ready for a gay leader….
      I thought he would have been a good choice for interim leader if Mr. Rae had decided to run, however…..

  24. Nathan says:

    Isn’t the issue with Justin that the Cons will “visit the sins of the father…” on the guy. Specifically in the west where there is a ridiculous vehement hatred toward the guy over the national energy program?

    • Jon Adams says:

      I think we can turn the page on NEP meme, since the energy sector is *so* scarred by it. There is also a massive portion of the electorate that was under pre-school age when it was introduced.

      If flogging that decades-old equine corpse worked in 2012, Alberta would be represented by Premier Smith.

  25. G. Mcrae says:

    What does Justin stand for anyways? He seems like a policy lightweight without any real world experience. Good or bad, you knew where Rae stands on issues.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      We’re going for good, electable and able to stand a few rounds.

      Had not seen any posts from you supporting Rae before today, unless I’m mistaken.

      Thanks for the input.

      • Philip says:

        I love this whole “policy lightweight” meme the Conservatives love to trot out. You want policy lightweights? Two words: Gary Goodyear.

  26. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Is it still in July? Or is that also about to come up against unexpected variables?

  27. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    I hope that the PM feels like a piece shit [not that he has that emotional capacity] for his exchange with Bob Rae yesterday.

    It leaves one member of parliament as corrupted by power in the exchange:


    The Budget

    Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has stated over the years, and certainly back in 1994 as a member of the Reform Party, that omnibus legislation was in itself bad. He stated very clearly that this kind of legislation could not be carried out without abusing Parliament. He stated very clearly that this kind of an effort could not be made without causing a serious attack on the privileges and rights of members of Parliament.

    Has the Prime Minister simply been corrupted by power?

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):
    Mr. Speaker, our focus, as we said back in March when we first tabled the budget, is on ensuring that we have jobs and growth for Canadians.

    Canada’s economic performance in what has been a very difficult time for the world remains superior to most other developed nations but we are in a very difficult international financial situation. That is why we need to take all the steps that are necessary, not just now but into the future. The government has been very clear in its plans before Parliament and those plans have been before Parliament for more than three months.

    I know that the leader of the Liberal Party rejected all of this in the first minutes but we have been working hard and we are prepared to get this done.

    Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, I suppose that since the Prime Minister did not respond to a direct question, it means that he agrees that since he took power, his approach has become more and more like a dictatorship.

    Since he is looking at the notes he just received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, once again giving him the substance for his response, I would like to ask the question again.

    Can the Prime Minister deny that he has been corrupted by power?

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):
    Mr. Speaker, our objective as a government is economic growth and job creation for Canadians.

    Our performance remains superior to most other developed nations, but we are in a very difficult international financial situation and there is much to be done. In March, we submitted our proposals to Parliament, and three months later, the Conservative members are working very hard to get these measures passed.

    I encourage the opposition members to also do their job and to work towards making these reforms actions a reality for the Canadian economy.

    Hon. Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Lib.):
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister speaks complacently to his record.

    Let us look at the record. The government has increased its net debt by $117 billion, unemployment since 2006 is up from 6.4% to 7.3% and 300,000 manufacturing jobs down the table. Bill C-38 is an unprecedented assault on Parliament, a dumping on the provinces, a dumping on people and without precedent in the history of our Parliament in terms of its abuse and the way he has acceded power to himself.

    That is some record. The Prime Minister has no right to boast to other countries about the Canadian record.

    Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):
    Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we have 750,000 net new jobs that have been created. On this side of the House, we have the lowest debt ratio in the G7, and by a country mile.

    In terms of power and corruption, I notice that the man who said that he would never run for the permanent leadership of his party is now, apparently, prepared to accept it, which I guess proves, down in that corner of the House, lack of power can corrupt.

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

    The Speaker:
    Order, please.

    Jonathan Kay on Bob Rae: A man with principle, a man with class


  28. Tim Sullivan says:

    Hey Mr. Prime Minister, now do Peter McKay!

  29. Welby says:

    I am very sad about Bob Rae stepping down. He was a good person – he was very articualte. I saw him speak in public for the first time in Huntsville (I had been an Ignatieff supporter) and I was so impressed with how he spoke. This is a sad day.

  30. kenn2 says:

    Hey, he hasn’t died. Rae is not gone, and he’s sticking around for what, although not the brass ring, may be ultimately the more important job – that of holding the Liberal standard in the House, and shepherding the party to a genuine rebirth. Is there a more noble or selfless role for a senior statesman?

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