06.08.2012 06:15 AM

Business as usual

So, he’s broken his promise about not running, and they’ve broken their own rules about him running.

Business as usual, in other words.

And they wonder why they’re in the second year of being stuck in third place. Wonder no more, etc.


  1. OdysseusCA says:

    If he resigns the interim leadership significantly before the race begins has he broken his promise? If it was a contract could he be sued for breach?

    • Pat says:

      It doesn’t matter now. He promised not to run, and now he wants to. He has built a large group of supporters, and if he doesn’t run/loses they will feel jaded and not support the party. Happened after the Chretien-Martin issue, and after Dion beat Iggy in 2008. The LPC will be split again after this next leadership exercise. Only solution would have been Rae bowing out quietly yesterday. Now it is too late.

  2. Jordan says:

    It’s absolutely ridiculous. Liberals should be embarrassed of their party.

  3. JamesHalifax says:

    Warren, I think everyone knew Rae was lying when he took the job as interim leader. Of course he knew the rules would be changed to allow him to run.

    I sure hope Justin throws his hat into the ring soon….though I suspect he may settle for the “interim” position himself to get some air time. That would fit with his plans of running for leader at a later date. It would also allow him the opportunity to get his feet wet one on one with Harper.

    Interesting times indeed.

    • Mulletaur says:

      Of course, we all knew he was lying. There is only one thing that matters to Bob Rae, and that’s Bob Rae – just ask anybody who knew him from his Dipper days. He was always going to run anyway. But now he gets to wear the fact that he lied – and believe me, he will wear it.

    • james curran says:

      You really don’t have a clue. None.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        What missing clue are you referring to?

        Rae Lied…..yep..that’s true.

        Rae was a crap Premier who ruined Ontarios’ economy…yep..that’s true.

        Justin may want to be interim leader as practice? Ok…that has yet to be proven, but we’ll see.

  4. kre8tv says:

    At least this way all energy gets spent choosing a new leader rather than dealing with an ugly spectacle of an interim leader whose party is actively denying him the ability to seek the job on a more permanent basis. Just trying to find the silver lining here.

    • james curran says:

      Actually he signed a deal himself that he wouldnt run. It’s more like the party, i.e the membership is trying to get the guy to stick to his own agreement.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        If he signed a deal saying he wouldn’t run……..then he shouldn’t run.

        If he does, then he’s proven himself a liar. Simply saying the rules have changed doesn’t negate that fact.

        but don’t sweat it…it will take more than Bob Rae to fix the LIberals.

  5. Michael says:

    As much as I share your concern Warren, keep in mind even if he runs he still has to win.

    Around here I get the sense that party members think highly of Bob, but not as leader.

  6. fred says:

    “So, if your party wants a majority it would be a suicidal mistake to “elect” (appoint) the worst premier in the history of Ontario as leader of your party.

    No, dumbass, Mike Harris was the worst premier in the history of Ontario.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      fred, you are aware that Mike Harris had to clean up the mess Bob Rae made of Ontario’s finances correct?

      Anyone who came in after Rae would have had to make equally tough measures…..and would wear the brunt of it.

      for those of you who hate Mike Harris……blame Rae.

      • VH says:


        What Mike Harris did and what decisions he made have absolutely nothing to do with Bob Rae.

        Whenever and wherever a “true conservative” gets into power “tough choices” always have to be made, taxes always have to be cut, some public union somewhere always needs to be taken down a notch and public services always need to be reviewed and reduced.

        Doesn’t matter what country, province, state, county, era, economy or language.

        And always with the adjective “tough”. Tough measures, touch choices, touch decisions. Bunch of tough guys you are.

        I trust you are familiar with the phrase “excuse du jour”.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          VH, you make the right assumptions, but for the wrong reason.

          Conservatives are usually elected after the Government of the day has made huge blunders, or pissed away money needlessly. (say good bye to Dalton Libs after the next election…assuming they get rid of Hudak)

          Everything Mike Harris did was to correct the mis-spending of an NDP Premier. Harris got in and made the tough choices, and removed half-a-million people from the welfare roles with his new policy. Did it hurt….of course it did. But if the changes were not made, and the unions not brought to heel….we’d have the same economy today as Quebec.

          • Kelly says:

            JamesHalifax says:
            June 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm
            VH, you make the right assumptions, but for the wrong reason.

            Conservatives are usually elected after the Government of the day has made huge blunders, or pissed away money needlessly.—————————————————————Well, if you call Grant Devine inheriting a strong NDP Saskatchewan economy and running the province into bankruptcy in 6 years cleaning up a mess….or George W. Bush turning Clinton’s surplus and booming economy into the biggest market failure in 8 years cleaning up a mess….or Alberta mismanaging their royalty scheme and budget so the relatively richest province in Canada runs huge deficits after an oil price plunge, while Norway save up more money than Canada’s entire national debt cleaning up a mess, or Republican governor after Republican governor in the USA running their states into the ditch with reckless tax cuts cleaning up a mess…or the Ontario Conservatives hiding a deficit they managed to create while the economy was growing cleaning up a mess … or Harper running us into deficit even before we went into recession cleaning up a mess … etc.

          • VH says:

            James, you ought to just give it up.

            First, what Kelly says above.

            Second, what I wrote weren’t “assumptions”. Just summarizing the historical record.

            Third, Mike Harris didn’t make any “tough choices” as you write. Harris, like most professional Conservatives, made choices that his base heartily cheered on in and that specifically made life worse for classes of people who didn’t vote for him. That’s not a “tough choice”. That’s an easy choice (albeit a heartless one).

            Maybe one day if the tough guys in the Conservative party make tough choices that cause some large chunk of their tough decision making base to feel some real pain then maybe, just maybe, you tough guys will earn some of that moniker.

            For now, just suck it up, tough guy, and try talking some sense for a change.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            Mike Harris is responsible for: deaths in Walkerton, Dudley George and that poor woman in Sudbury. It hard to know why he had to kill all those people to make up for something Bob Rae did.

            I especially like how he had to pay Arthur Anderson the exact same amount AA advised the government what to cut and how to cut from welfare.

          • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

            Game, set, and match to Kelly….

          • JamesHalifax says:


            Grant Devine and his crew were crooks, the fact they were Progressive Conservatives is beside the point. They messed up the books because they were “cooking them”

            If you want to look at the Conservative Party that actually helped saskatchewan, look to Brad Wall and his folks. They have fixed the mess they have inherited, and they are an actual Conservative bunch. Look next door to the basket case that is Manitoba…and their NDP overlords. That province should be rather well off….but the NDP’s won’t allow development.

            As for Alberta and their Government….they haven’t been a real Conservative Party for ages…before Ralph Klein’s time in fact. Conservative in name only.

            As for George W….he ran up deficits for a very simply reason. War’s are expensive…and when you spend your entire mandate declaring or fighting them…the numbers add up.

            Kelly, I’m the first one to admit there are things I disagree with in all parties. In fact, I’m actually a recent convert to the Conservative Party, but if the Liberals could get rid of a lot of their less desireable MP’s and come up with some actual policy….I could be convinced to switch. but that isn’t going to happen if Rae or Trudeau is ever elected as leader.

            Now…go back and re-read what I wrote. I have never said that every Conservative Party actually achieves what it says it will do…what party actually does? I should have been more detailed. The fact is that people, whether justified or not, assume the Conservatives will do a better job with the economy, as that is their reputation.
            Mike Harris did exactly what he said he would do, and in his case he managed to save the Ontario economy from Bob Rae. Whether one agrees with what he did or not…is not the point.

            It’s all about perception. Frankly, the LIberals and the Conservatives are both capable of running the country, but the difference is that now we have a genuinely fiscally conservative Prime Minister. The Liberals….apparently, will have Bob Rae.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            VH…when you write:
            “and that specifically made life worse for classes of people who didn’t vote for him. That’s not a “tough choice”. That’s an easy choice (albeit a heartless one). ”

            You no doubt refer to the folks on welfare, who didn’t actually have to be there, as well as refering to the over-priced union folks who would prefer more Government Largesse. That’s not being heartless, that’s just common sense. No doubt, this is why it escapes you.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Tim wrote:
            “Mike Harris is responsible for: deaths in Walkerton, Dudley George and that poor woman in Sudbury. It hard to know why he had to kill all those people to make up for something Bob Rae did.”

            Actually, Tim it was a couple of lazy incompetent brothers who were reponsible for Walkerton. They had the resources they needed to do the job, they just choose not to. As for Dudley George…Mike Harris didn’t kill anyone, it was the police who shot him. And remember, this was a time when native folks were staging barricades and openly carrying firearms (again). If you don’t want to get shot by the police…tell the folks you hang with, to stop blocking roads, starting fires, or carrying AK-47’s. That’s the kind of atmosphere that leads to tragedy.

            Blaming MIke Harris….is just a cop-out.

  7. tdotlib says:

    An interesting point raised on Twitter yesterday that I agree with (but can’t remember the source right now) said that those that oppose Rae’s running should fund, organize and support their best choice. Doesn’t it play that a strong field in the leadership race could be just what the party needs to renew itself? All the new memberships, supporters and sundry media that can be generated from a race can be a boon to the party’s fortunes.

    I think Rae running might actually stir up enough ardor in the rest of the party to make it interesting. Being the ‘incumbent’ isn’t really an issue right now – the leadership is still ripe for the picking for a charismatic (and pragmatic) upstart to make a run – lots of Libs looking for a new face to get behind.

    Sometimes we need to step back and look at the bigger picture – you’re telling me the end run of the NDP convention didn’t help with their numbers even though the race had really been a sleeper?

    • Pat says:

      Except that those who support Rae will leave jaded if he loses because others teamed up to beat him. It happened when Iggy lost to Dion, and when Martin stole it from Chretien.

      If he runs, the LPC splits/cripples itself again.

      • Self-confessed Raelian says:

        Speak fer yerself……I will get behind and support fully anyone who wins the leadership…….more Liberals should try it…….

    • james curran says:

      Except that everyone that opposes Rae will keep pointing out the unfair advantage Rae had campaigning as he has been at the expense of the party and emptying its coffers as he’s been travelling from coast to coast recruiting his team.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        You don’t have to oppose Bob Rae, to point out the obvious.

        Rae did all of those things, and he knew full well he would eventually run for permanent leader. The fact that he was perfectly willing to realize a personal advantage over other candidates using Liberal Party resources…show he has really and truly become a Liberal. Now….if only he had basic training in economics.

  8. Bruce says:

    This party is going nowhere with this sort of infighting. Isn’t this what Conservatives used to be good at? As it stands I see no reason to even consider them for the time being.

  9. sj says:

    Mr. Rae, is this really how you want to start this, by breaking a pledge, going back on your word?

    Perhaps he believes that ultimately Peter MacKay paid no price for his promise breaking and that people will view it as inside baseball.

  10. Kristin says:

    I’m a card carrying Liberal and donate every year – much to the chagrin of my DH – tho he does vote federally for the Libs. However, he said he’d never vote Liberal if Bob Rae became leader. I think he’d abstain from voting, which is truly sad. He voted NDP in our last prov. election, but would never vote for them again and most assuredly never for the fed CRAP party.

    BTW, he’s a dual French/Canadian citizen, but this time he bowed out voting in the French Election as he now believes that after 35 yrs of living in Canada he should not have a say. He would have voted for the centrist candidate, as my MIL did. However, he was pleased to see Hollande, immediately after he was elected, reduced all Ministers’ salaries by 30%. Gee, Harper calls for austerity, but not for his over blown govt. and his 1500 communications’ staff.

    I rarely comment on MSM outlets or on Lib sites, but I spend many hours daily following Canadian politics (I’m retired) & am disgusted by how the majority of the MSM have reacted to this government’s total butchering of our parliamentary system.

  11. Jordan says:

    The fact that Rae was not honest about his intentions should be the least of people’s worries regarding his interim leadership.

    We really don’t know how Rae used his position as interim leader to boost his profile and his bid for the permanent job. He had a lot of power over the last year, he had millions of dollars in party money at his disposal and used some to tour the country meeting Canadians, he chose critic portfolios for other MPs and potential candidates from within caucus, he led off the Liberals in Question period and was able to decide who spoke and where they sat in the House.

    My big issue with him running, and this hasn’t been discussed much, is how he may have used, or not used, certain MPs to help his bid.

    Justin Trudeau did not announce right away that he didn’t intend to seek the leadership, when Rae chose critic portfolios he made Trudeau the critic for Post Secondary Education, Youth and Amateur Sport. Trudeau doesn’t even have a real minister to critique, and this was a big demotion from being the critic for Immigration. Was this done on purpose so that Trudeau had a lesser role in parliament, or did he think it would be better for Trudeau to focus on speaking to the grassroots throughout the country?

    Jim Karygiannis who has not had much of a profile in caucus became the critic for Multiculturalism. Again pretty much a made up position but we’ve learnt that Karygiannis, who is a Rae supporter, has been signing up supporters for Rae in ethnic communities.

    Dominic LeBlanc who was seen as a strong contender for the leadership was made the Critic for Foreign Affairs, a high profile position but we’ve heard very little from him. Rae seems to the main spokesperson when it comes to Foreign Affairs, as he is for most of the portfolios.

    There are also other critic positions that could be questioned. Did Rae give potential leadership candidates lesser roles so that they could have time to organize their bids or to make sure their profiles were not given a boost? It was mentioned this week in the news that while Tom Mulcair has been allowing other members to get exposure the Liberal caucus has allowed Rae to be front and centre.

  12. Neil says:

    I hope he does run and I hope he gets judged on his record as interim Leader.
    He lied.
    He took the party to it’s worst position in the polls ever.
    He was unsuccesful at fundraising.
    He did NO party renewal.
    He failed at making the party relevant.
    As a long time commited Lib who in the last year has basically walked away this will be my test for the party, if they pick Rae, I will be gone forever as will the rest of undecided Canada as the party will have revealed itself unRaedeemable.
    I imagine this is how you fell Warren, we need proof of Life.

  13. G. Babbitt says:

    I’m a swing Liberal/ NDP voter but the Liberals are dead if this guy wins for all the reasons listed above. My personal contact with him has been charming. I wrote and asked if he supported the final report of the Committee on Anti-Semitism. No reply. Talked to friendly staffers including one who said “That’s a reasonable question” and another who said she would check today and was interested herself. No reply. I look forward to the leadership.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      G. Babbitt…..

      If you were interested in the report on anti-semitism because you are opposed to anti-semitism, then you really should reconsider your support for the NDP. Some of their most prominent MP’s, are involved in organizing or supporting boycotts against Israel, as well as supporting “Israel anti-apartheid week” or Queers against Israel apartheid.

      Two most prominent anti-Israeli NDP MP’s in this camp are Libby Davies, and Meghan Leslie.

      If however, you support the boycott and demonization of Israel…then Rae is not your man. Growing anti-semitism within the NDP is one of the reasons he gave for leaving that party.

  14. Tim Sullivan says:

    Intentions change, circumstances change, reasons and purpose change. A week is a long time in politics. I regret that Liberals are so hard on Rae because he has been a good and loyal member since joining the party. He stepped up to the plate with the endorsement of caucus in a hard time. He’s been a steady leader, interim though it was. He’s made no gains for us, but who could, as interim leader?

    The problem with Rae has been that he has not made his intentions known which may have hindered some people’s entry into the race. So be it. If someone wants the leadership all he / she has to do is push Rae out of the way and go for it. What we have to watch out for is a percetption of “infighting”.

    I think Rae would be a good permanent leader. The party thought otherwise, twice. Rae’s problems from here are in are a) a perception that he said one thing and did another and b) he is a little long in the shadow to be around for the 2 or 3 election cycles we might need a steady leader.

    His record as premier does not worry me but it is baggage. What politician does not have baggage? Why has the lie McKay told not harmed the Cons? Why has the firewall letter, the slamming meritimers and the generally poor and dishonest governance not harmed Harper?

    PR, charisma and electoral lethergy helped Harper. Can’t the most successful democratic political party in history tap into something to a) turn Harper’s negatives against him and 2) buttress the benefits that is the Liberal party?

    • james curran says:

      Not with Rae. Why? Because it’s not democratic to use the office of the leader to launch your leadership. Which is what Rae has done.

      • Self-confessed Raelian says:

        If the membership is not happy with Mr. Rae’s and the board of directors of the LPOC’s decision……..then the membership(and now “supporters”) can give him the heave…..
        From what I have been reading on here, and Liberal.ca…..if a number of legitimate candidates come forward, that wont be difficult……
        Sounds like democracy at work to me……

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Tim Sullivan wrote with regards to Bob Rae:’
      “Intentions change, circumstances change, reasons and purpose change”

      True Tim, but the fact Bob Rae lied will not change. In fact, I’m sure it will play rather prominently during the next set of Conservative ads.

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