06.01.2012 08:55 AM

Liberal leadership rumour mill

Right here on wk.com!

Lotsa stories pinging around the MSM and blogosweird, in the past few weeks, here and here and here and here and here.

Anyone got baseless speculation and scurrilous innuendo they want to pass along?  It’s Friday, it’s rainy, and it’s fun!

Who’s in, who’s out, and who cares? Comment away!  Anonymity guaranteed!



  1. Jordan says:

    I heard Liberal outsider Warren Kinsella is putting together a strong organization of Martinites to run.

    • Warren says:

      The Bad Boy Strategist? I hate that jerk.

      • Jordan says:

        He’s a bit of an ass at times but I’m a fan.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        “Bad Boy” strategist?

        Hmmm…Warren, given the ravages of age, should you not ask for a revision to more accurately reflect reality.

        How about………..”Mean Middle-ager” Strategist?…….”Senior sucker-punching” strategist……etc..etc…

        Bad Boy may have been more apprapo during your Punk Days……but you are getting “up there” in years my man.

  2. DanO says:

    Rocco Rossi for the win.
    “Change with Rocco- because I do it every election!”

  3. Greg says:

    If you want a real outside shot, look at Gary Doer. Unlike Bob Rae, he was actually regarded as a semi-competent premier, has no unpaid holidays named after him (although ‘Doer Days’ does have a certain ring to it), and has some experience in foreign affairs.

    Granted, the chances of him moving to the Liberal Party, given the current state of affairs, are very low… it’s not impossible. He probably would fit in more naturally with the federal Liberals than he would the federal NDP.

    • Jordan says:

      Yes because what the party has learnt over the last decade is that moving further to the left is a great idea.

      • smelter rat says:

        Doer was far more to the center right than most people realize. as a result, the Liberals and Conservatives in Manitoba have been decimated.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Actually, smelter rat…..if you look at the state of Manitoba’s books……I’d say it was the electorate that is being decimated.

          There is only one reason Manitoba isn’t a net contributor to the Canadian economy….and that is the people they elected to govern them.

  4. Jordyn says:

    Why not Kirsty Duncan?

    • Jordan says:

      Because she’s super annoying.

      • Self-confessed Raelian says:

        If Kirsty is half the MP that she appears to be on the Liberal.ca forum,(she’s one of the few MP’s that posts there with any regularity….and yes that includes you Bob) then I think she would make an excellent leader……
        She’s well educated, intelligent, articulate, attractive, and cares deeply about the environment…..she is always more than willing to travel to talk to Liberals and community groups about environmental issues…..the environment has a great friend in Kirsty Duncan…….
        I hope she runs, if so, Bob just lost a vote…..

        • Warren says:

          I like her a lot. She’s a star.

          • Jordan says:

            I agree with all the points but I don’t think she’s leadership material. The two woman I think could have made strong leaders were both defeated; Siobhan Coady and Martha Hall Findlay.

            Another potential female candidate would be Sandra Pupatello.

          • Warren says:

            All three are dynamite people.

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            Siobhan Coady!!! Yeah! The only strike against her is no one will be able to spell her name.

            Shivon Coaty!!! Yeah!

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Kirsty Duncan is a self-aggrandizing fool. Look up her past with regards to heading off and looking for strains of the flu that killed so many in the early part of the 1900’s. The “team” she took with her couldn’t stand her. She was always looking for ways to make herself look better, but instead came across as an ill-tempered whiner. She spent two years, and tons of $…and came up empty. Another guy headed out to do the same thing…and managed to accomplish what Kirsty failed to do…in a couple of weeks.

          come to think of it….maybe she would be the best choice.

          Sorry Warren, but your “star” is more empty-space that substance.

          • Warren says:

            Um, sorry, but she’s the only Nobel Prize recipient in the House, and a good person. That’s why you attack her so vehemently.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            No Warren, I attack her because she is what I wrote she is. As for her “nobel prize”…sorry, not impressed. She received that jointly with a few hundred others (IPCC)…she didn’t receive it for anything she did personally. In fact…given what we know of that faulty report, it is clear that the award should never have been given out in the first place.

            besides…the Nobel Prize has lost much of its meaning. The truth in this is obvious when you look at some of those who have received it.

            -Yassar Arafat
            -Barack Obama…

            I’m afraid it is just another award that has been politicized. They should be saved for actual accomplishments by INDIVIDUALS….not the politically correct groups who have hijacked the process.

            I’m sure she’s a good geologist…..but a Nobel Winner. Sorry…..giving that award to her (and others) just diminishes the meaning of the prize.

  5. Dan says:

    So how long was the Liberal party able to stop focusing on the leadership race? Was there even a day where they talked about some other kind of reform or rebuilding?

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      Well, we have no leader at the moment. To stop focusing on leadership, maybe we should have a leader. Maybe I’m crazy, but …

      • Dan says:

        You replaced your leader after he lost, with an interim leader. I thought the motivation was to do some actual soul searching instead of treating it as a leadership problem. But it seems like you guys never stopped talking about leadership, and rarely discuss much else.

  6. Jordan says:

    In all seriousness do you have any names of likely candidates Warren? Will either of the McGuinty brothers run?

  7. Bravo Warren, good idea! I will visit regularly. I am watching and imagining right now but I will be back.
    Pierre Béchard
    Chelsea, Qc

  8. Jason says:

    So frustrating to see the same names being floated around. Can we not find anyone better!?! Martha and Gerrard lost their seats but they want to run for leader!?! Rae told us he’s out but now he might be in.

    Where is Canada’s junior senator from Illinois?

  9. VC says:

    I’ve heard that JC has been eyeing Gladstone’s record. If elected with a majority or stable minority in 2015, he’d have it.

  10. Only 4 people could possibly make an intelligent guess, and only these 4 will ultimately package and shill the selection and the fate of the next leader: Sobara, Kinsella, Apps & Smith. Nobody else can or does matter….

    As for who these elders pick to walk the plank, let’s just hope they are smarter this time around and reach well outside the party comfort zone and think of Canadians, not Liberals. Good luck gents!

  11. crf says:

    Gregor Robertson. There is no rumour. I just want it to happen.

    What’s your opinion Warren? Have you ever spoken to him?

  12. Peter Kenton says:

    What about Dwight Duncan?

  13. Mom says:

    Time for a woman – Martha Hall Findlay!

    • David says:

      That would be my choice!

    • Pat says:

      Time to make a decision on merit rather than gender.

      • tf says:

        This would be the first time then Pat. Since when has a woman ever been considered on merit? A woman is always considered only because she’s a woman. That’s how we got CClark in BC. She’s there because she’s a woman, not due to any merit on her part.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Obviously, you have never heard of Margaret Thatcher.

          I agree to a certain point you indicated about choosing women due to gender, however, those selections usually mean you get what you paid for. Just look at how useless Alexa McDonough was/is.

          The only criteria should be merit…regardless of gender.

          You need a hard-assed politician who can win arguments based on their merit….not based upon chromosomes.

  14. David_M says:

    I thought I had heard rumblings about Premier Ghiz as a possible candidate.

  15. Jordan says:

    I like Ted Hsu. Great background in finance and sustainable development. He’d be a fresh face and I think a big contrast from Mulcair and Harper.

    As well Jean-Marc Fournier, he may help the party a lot in Quebec. I also think choosing someone from outside caucus who could build the party and meet Canadians may be smart, though winning a seat before the next election would still be wise.

  16. jack says:

    ABR – Anyone but Rae

  17. jack says:

    Naheed Nenshi would be great. Maybe a little too soon but the guy has brains and can motivate people. Doing a fantastic job in calgary.

  18. Chris P says:

    Well it’s not officially a rumour poll unless Frank McKenna is running for the leadership for the 5th time!

    The more candidates the better – more ideas, more visibility in the media, increased memberships, increased excitement, increased relevancy etc.

    • Jordan says:

      Could make it much harder to raise money due to the $1200 limit.

      • Chris P says:

        Good point – only so much money to go around. However, maybe this is the catalyst that will force candidates to connect with NEW contributors.

  19. Chris P says:

    Frank Mckeana? John Manley? Mark Carney? Dalton? Naheed Nenshi? Mark Holland? Belinda! Respected Western Candidates?

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Mark Holland? You have GOT to be kidding.

      Belinda Stronach? Now I KNOW you are kidding.

      Out of your list, I’d go for Manley. He may convince me to return to my Liberal roots….but you’d have to dump folks like Denis codderre, and NEVER let someone like Holland run again. That guy’s an air-head. A loud air-head….but still an air-head.

  20. Kelly says:

    Glen Murray. Former Mayor of Winnipeg and now in McGuinty’s cabinet. The party needs somebody with some Western profile. Gerard Kennedy might be good too. He knows how to talk like a Westerner. Unfortunately Ignatieff lost Kennedy’s seat for him.

    • Warren says:

      Glen has a job.

    • Glen is a wee bit of a klutz. When he was considering a run for Toronto Mayor, he met with a room packed with Green Party supporters ready to volunteer for his campaign. Granted he decided a week later not to run, (for obvious reasons, like Smitherman handing over TC on a platter!), but he never even collected volunteers names or anything! I collected about 60 volunteers in 10 minutes, and gave the list over to Glen, but nobody ever contacted back any of them. He would be a good candidate, but he surely needs to have some experienced organisers in tow! Plus, as Warren mentioned, he already has a job…

  21. AP says:

    If she were 10 years younger I would suggest Louise Arbour. Smart, funny and tough. Heck I’d support her if she ran now.

  22. Neil N says:

    Poor Dominic Leblanc. Never gets mentioned in these round-ups even though he’s (a) still in the House (b) relatively young (c) actually a Liberal and (d) ran last time. Is he stale goods already?

  23. Neil says:

    How about Jim Prentice?

  24. Warren says:

    And has a job.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Therein lies the rub.

      Only the unemployed/unemployable, seem to want Rae’s Job.

      It would take someone who actually cares enough about the Liberal Party to quit a high-paying job to take a shot at the leadership. That would prove someone’s motive I suspect.

      It’s easy to find someone with nothing better to hope for to run for leader. The Liberals need to see someone who will actually sacrifice something for the job.

  25. Hmm, leadership races are exciting to watch and kibbitz about, but I still think that defining the Liberals and effective organising are more important in the long run. The next leaders job will be to keep the Party alive whilst it builds and organises. Irrespective of the ins and outs, the parry and thrust of leadership contests, more of what this article is discussing;


    will determine the ultimate fate of the Liberal Party. Start nailing down and taking possession of these quintessentially Liberal Canadian issues, and then we can consign the CPC to the dustbin of history, and banish the dippers to third party status where they belong!

  26. CanadaDave says:

    Someone mentioned Sandra Pupatello. That’d get me pretty interested pretty fast.

  27. Skinny Dipper says:

    Warren Kinsella for Liberal leader!

  28. Nic Coivert says:

    What happened to the Andrew Coyne buzz a while back?

    • Warren says:


    • Chris P says:

      It died – quickly. Thankfully. He only choose the Liberals in the last election as a protest to the Conservatives. He also said that he believed the ‘cons instincts on the economy were more sound than the Liberals’..Lets go with wrong on that one.

  29. student501 says:

    You asked –

    Marc Garneau

      • HumourlessDipper says:

        Haha, as an NDPer I got to say, oh man, PLEASE pick Garneau.

      • Jordan says:

        I wish I knew more about him. I always enjoy him on twitter.

      • Chris P says:

        I like and respect Marc Garneau a lot but does he have the: charisma, network, ideas etc. to be effective? I get the sense he’s passive and quiet in personality. He comes across as not a politician (which is an ideal thing) but how well did the previous two non politicians do for us? Sadly, running for leadership/pm is totally a different animal. This might comical (and a sad commentary on world) but Garneau, like, Dion and Ignatieff is too academicly intellectual to succeed politically, unlike Chretien who was politically and street intellectual.

    • CanadaDave says:

      Garneau is someone else I could definitely get behind.

  30. Tim Sullivan says:

    I like Andrew Leslie and Mark Carney. What about Walt Natynczyk?

  31. Matt says:

    I think Hsu would be a great choice, as mentioned above. Has a PhD in Physics, has worked in the financial sector, is tri-lingual (English, French, Mandarin), has spent time as a stay at home dad (understands the needs of families in today’s world). Also, he’s young enough that he could be leader of the Liberals for 10+ years.

    Garneau is also great. Who doesn’t want to vote for an astronaut?

  32. Michael Behiels says:

    Great fun! Lots of possibilities

    Only if Rae would get out of the way and let the chips fall where they may!

    Something tells me though that some Liberals have a death wish!

    Hard to gain any traction from deep in the cellar! Will take any candidate 8 to 10 yrs unless Harper falls on his sword.

    Enjoy the wet & cold weekend!

  33. josh_co_85 says:

    Call me crazy, but I think Dion is still viable for this reason: he didn’t tank the liberals, Iggy did. Sure his green shift wasn’t conveyed very well, but I think his focus on the environment may have been what saved the libs from 3rd party status in election 2008 — just my conjecture. Now that Mulcair has moved the ndp away from criticizing the Alberta energy industry on the environment and into the economic domain, a flank has emerged that the liberals may be able to take advantage of. Young Canadians are now more pessimistic than ever about the future, they need a voice to make them believe in the future again, and not in the end of the world.

  34. james curran says:

    You asked. Dion is thinking about it again. Martha can’t help herself. She’s entitled to her entitlements…even though she hasn’t paid her previous leadership debt off (not a big draw that lady). French doesn’t exactly run fluent off her tongue. Gerard just paid off his debt, so he’s ready to run again. French never runs off his tongue. I suspect if Gerard is running, Justin is not. David McGuinty is always running…until he’s not. Garneau is preferring a younger version of him would run and he’d support that. Ghiz would have been a fresh, new, young face and has a winning record, but I guess he’s thinking better of it.

    Justin, whether he likes it or not, owes it to the party to run. He chose politics as his vocation. Family or not, it’s time for him to take up arms – or fists.

    I’m really not fond of that Rae guy.

    • Jordan says:

      Trudeau owes it to the party to run? That has to be one of the most idiotic comments I’ve seen in a while.

      • james curran says:

        Next to yours it’s pretty astute.

      • Chris P says:

        Why is it idiotic? Yes it’s true nobody owes anyone anything – including Justin. But there is something to be said for those Liberals (and there are many) who benefited from the Party doing something to give back to it by shouldering some of the heavy lifting that is required to rebuild. Too many prominent Liberals are sitting comfortable one the sidelines (Justin not included) because they want someone else to do the dirty work. A lot more owe it to themselves, the country, the party to get more involved. And while I’m a ABR supporter I do give Rae the respect for standing up (even for his own self motive) to shoulder some of the rebuilding during this difficult time.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          Trudeau will run when he can win. He is not ready now, he does not want it now, and he can’t win (the big win, not just the leadership) now.

        • Jordan says:

          So the man should sacrafice his wife and children because some in the Liberal Party think he could make a good leader?

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Martha Hall Findley is clearly still eager for the job. Same with Holland and Kennedy.

      Why else would these three failed candidates spend so much time yaking on the CBC. They don’t want people to forget about them. Kinda pathetic really watching Evan Soloman ask for their opinions….and them providing it.

      it’s easy to see why they lost…..they say nothing new. They even sound like failed candidates.

  35. WDM says:

    They need someone young enough to build credibility over multiple elections. Regardless of how many seats they win in the next election (beyond specific circumstances we can’t foresee), this can’t be a one and done leader. Knowing only what i know from interviews and the like, Hall-Findlay would be my choice. Tough, smart, centrist and a strong performer in the House and in media.

    If and when Rae decides to run for the permanent job, it will be interesting to see who becomes interim leader. Garneau would be an interesting choice for that job as well should he decide he’s not interested in the permanent gig (that being said, if the party has to pick a new interim leader in the next few weeks, that won’t leave much time to make a final decision).

    • Michael says:

      Just a question regarding MHF. If she still owes money from her last leadership bid, how does she start fundraising for this one? Would she not first have to pay off her old debt? Wouldn’t that be too big a handicap to overcome?

  36. Jordan says:

    Peter Fonseca?
    Michael Bryant?
    Brad Duguid?
    Eric Hoskins?

    Will McGuinty lose anyone to the race?

  37. Ottawa civil servant says:

    Mckenzie-King, St. Laurent, Pearson, Trudeau, Turner, Chretien, Martin, Dion, Iggy

    Everyone knows the rotation; That leaves 11 MPs and a few outsiders.

  38. Chris P says:

    Here’s a rumour – the next Liberal leader will actually try and stop conceding: rural, suburban, western, senior, white males, and fiscal minded individuals to the Conservatives without a dog fight.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      I don’t know Chris….doing that would mean actually recognizing that rural, suburban, Western, senior, and white males are actually a part of the Country. haven’t had a Liberal do that for quite some time. They’ve been too focused on Quebec, Toronto, malleable socialists, identity groups…etc..etc….

      The Liberals since Chretien have simply become a party of “gimmicks”…starting under Paul (everything/one is a priority) Martin.

  39. Mention ‘Liberal Leadership’, and 100 people come to comment. Like moths to a candle. It is undeniably fun, but of secondary importance. Is it possible that the Liberal Party can refrain from a bitter and divisive contest? Gee, I sure hope so.

  40. Bill Templeman says:

    i_luvto2: Your list is impressive –Justin Trudeau, Sandra Pupatello, Kristy Duncan, Marc Garneau, Belinda Stronach, Mark Carney, Denis Coderre, David McGuinty, David Bertschi, Martha Hall Findlay and Gerrard Kennedy

    Question: Which of them are into some sort of cooperation / alliance / strategic voting arrangement / merger with the NDP? If your answer is none of the above, then Harper will keep his job until senility. Could we come up with a short list from the above 11 who be into working with the NDP on some level to defeat Lord Bleak and his Darklings? Kennedy? Findlay?

  41. Randy says:

    I’ll throw his name out there again, Jean Marc Fournier would help the party a lot in Quebec.

  42. Randy says:

    I would like to ask Warren what he thinks Jean-Marc Fournier is capable of in Quebec and rebuilding and re-capturing the Quebec vote.

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