09.17.2012 01:26 PM

Lose? You can’t win

LeBlanc is of course right.  I’ve been of the same view for a long time.

If you couldn’t win your own seat, then you should not – not – be running for leader.  It’s a waste of your time, and the party’s too.

Do folks have a right to run, if they can pony up the relevant fees?  Of course.  But that doesn’t mean they should.


  1. MoeL says:

    What about Jean Charest?

    • Michael says:

      He couldn’t win his own seat. Ergo he is not qualified. 😉

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Dont mention the “C” word….itll get you into trouble……

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        Don’t be grumpy – he a happy Liberal. The C word of whom you are bashful has not lost a federal election of which I am aware, and in 1993, he was the only PCer to have been re-elected. He has some electability, to be sure.

        It is just that, well, he’s kinda not a LPC Liberal, in the “I’m a Liberal” sence, like, you know, having been a Liberal, having been elected as an LPC Liberal, and having paid any kind of LPC membership fee, paying any kind of LPC dues, or helping just one LPC Liberal get elected.

        • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

          The response was tongue in cheek……as I have mentioned on this fine forum before, even PET supported the CCF, the precursor to the NDP, and was a card carrying member of that organization, going so far as to campaign for the CCF in Quebec…..but then of course, had no problem switching parties……did anyone have any problems with PET?….no….so why would anyone have problems with a red Tory, who proved himself an able and successful politician, switching parties?……
          But again, enjoy the coronation…..

  2. james curran says:

    You know. I gave up trying to be nice about this issue.


    She is enititled to her entitlements though. It’s not every Liberal that could lose Willowdale after all.

  3. Ty says:

    I’d say just the opposite.

    The Liberals have been destroyed in rural Canada, and a leader with a different set of priorities would be a godsend.

  4. Dan says:

    Notice that there is no policy or principle litmus test for deciding who is a good candidate.

    The only litmus test being proposed is winning. (And it should be no surprise that people who kept their seat LOVE this litmus test.)

    Short-term wins have killed the Liberal brand. Professional Liberals who grew up in the era of one-party government, and assumed they’d keep winning if they lurched left and right, and demonized the other parties.

    I’m far from a fan of Brian Mulroney. But he shows that outsiders CAN win. In fact, outsiders are more likely to win when parties have been destroyed from the inside.

    An outsider candidate who has devoted their life to SOME set of principles would do more to rejuvenate the Liberal brand than an old-guard MP who has survived in a safe riding.

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      MBM lost a leaderhip election but not an election to the House of Commons.

      He was hardly an outsider. He had a direct line to the Chief. He used to amuse his St FX friends by calling Dief on the phone.

  5. Christian says:

    Warren. Just last week (or so) you were flogging the idea of Jean Charest for leader – yet he lost his seat. Yes he had wins in the past but based on this Did-You-Win-Your-Seat (DYWYS) litmus test/criteria it seems to me that the only thing that matters was the last race you ran; did you win or lose. Charest lost so by your own standards he cannot and should not run for leader and we’d be idiots for supporting a proven “loser”, right?

  6. Meerschaum says:

    Hmmm. Harper didn’t have a seat when he became leader. Mulroney didn’t have a seat when he became leader

    But Martin, Dion and Iggy all did.

    Yeah, I could see why Liberals would want to limit their leadership contenders to insiders.

    It’s called a death wish.

  7. Tim Sullivan says:

    I say bring on all-comers. We need the money, a good race is good for all, and we may find that one gem we need to run the party and form a good government, one sadly lacking at the moment.

    The issue is not “are you elected”, but are you ELECTABLE? Loosing a seat is not a good sign of electability, especially when another party plays dirty tricks like the robo-calls and ballot-stuffing.

    What the measure of a good leaderhip contender is: can you raise the money? Do you have the broad base of support? Can you get elected? Can you get other Liberals elected?

    The thing is, about the likes of Coyne and Hall Findlay is, they are not particularly sucessful or accomplished. Hall Findlay has lost a leadership contest, her own seat, and has a big bill to yet pay. I have little knowledge of Coyne except the more tawdry stuff, but I think she’s run and lost. I’m sure she can defend her bone fides.

    We went with Iggie (we didn’t really go with him, he was more or less appointed) on the second go-around. That he could not beat Dion should have been a sign he was closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top.

    Perhaps electoral success should not be the measure of success. Perhaps we should look to whom one has lost. Being beaten by a good, trusted, well-rounded candidate, one voted into office on the strenght of character and with a well-run, fairly fought campaign, should not decide on the losing candiate’s future in the Liberal Party forever. Churchill was not particularly sucessful. No, if you lose to a loser, a bad apple, someone who is a miscreant and maybe a bit crazy, well, we should consider electability under the circumstances.

    But I like now how the press has started its paper-selling strategy so soon. “Infighting” is not well defined, but to apply it to that article, well, the National Post sucks in any event.

  8. Bluegreenblogger says:

    Plenty of Bozo’s get elected to the Commons. It is hardly a decisive criteria for disqualifying leadership contenders. Let the fray commence, and yes, I am glad that we are not limited to the current caucus. Leadership contests do in fact draw in self promoters who have not (yet) built a public profile. Some of those self promoters will be viable candidates too I bet. Some of them will have good ideas, and will possibly come to be a credit to the Liberal party.
    If you don’t want a leader that is not in caucus then say so, and persuade others to your opinion. It is more than a little heavy handed to call for excluding candidates from consideration based on this not very useful criteria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *