10.19.2012 06:06 AM

Strategy questions (updated twice)

Is it ever a good idea to attack the guy without whom you wouldn’t have been elected in the first place? The guy you left high and dry to go to Ottawa? To attack him, a potential leadership candidate, on behalf of a declared leadership candidate?* To give high-sounding civics lessons, when you couldn’t even get re-elected in your own seat?

Or is it better strategy to understand that there has always been something else going on here?

Questions, questions.

UPDATE: And here’s a gem from the archives. There’s a lot more.

The Globe And Mail
Mon Oct 16 2006
Page: A1

…The heated exchanges involved three of the four major contenders, leaving out Gerard Kennedy, who warned later that the internal attacks threaten the unity and renewal of the Liberal Party.

“Unity isn’t just language, it’s what you actually do. I’m in this race because I believe we need someone new that can draw this party together. There’s still some old battles being fought on this stage,” he said.

*UPDATED TWICE*: I have been told, and I accept, that what Kennedy did was not done to boost anyone else.  So that speculation on my part was wrong.  My criticism of him biting the hand that long fed him, however, remains.  Kennedy should read John McKay’s very perceptive comments, at the bottom of this story.


  1. Michael says:

    This is what happens when you put politics ahead of principles.

    Looks like an obvious attempt by Kennedy to position himself as the “anti-Dalton” in the leadership race and subsequent election.

    • Warren says:

      And he wouldn’t have money for the bus if it hadn’t been for the guy he’s shitting on this morning.

      • blueblood says:

        Now Now- I’m sure Dalton had to step on a few throats to get to where he is. Politics is a blood sport. Change is coming to Ontario, and we should not criticize those who want to bring it. WK might indeed be a front runner in the campaign to replace DM.

        I can understand why WK is trying to protect his former boss though, it just looks bad though. His partisanship is shining through. Many people like and respect Dalton’s accomplishments since 2003, and he was definitely better than Harris. BUT….. Since 2011 he has stumbled and has overstayed his welcome. He has had many missteps and his popularity has plummetted to 20% core support only, and that even has potential to bleed.

        Gerrard Kennedy, is an outsider with progressive appeal. He can help shore up NDP supporters as well.

        The way I see it. Gerrard Kennedy if outsiders have their way, and Sandra Pupatello if insiders have their way. Both represnt opportunities but both also have their drawbacks. Who ever wins though will not have the luxury of time to change the course of the SHIP. Whoever wins will be faced with a spring election.

        Anybody else.. Dwight, Kathleen, Matthews, or any other caucus member.. spells disaster and the liberals will be held to 3rd party status in the spring’s election.

        Just my 3 cents

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      Sorry Michael, you are wrong. Gerard is not nor would he run an anti-Dalton campaign.

      Gerard is just being consistent. He was strongly against it in Ottawa and he is strongly against it in Toronto.

      Many folks agree with him. How much I admire Dalton. Yes, he has done phenomenal things to better Ontario since 2003, I can disagree with his decision to prorogue Queen’s Park. I understand it may have been done to avoid a Confidence Vote, which would have been disastrous for the Liberals without a leader, but Gerard is just being consistent in that what Harper did, he does not like that the provincial Liberals do.

      WK, he would have been branded a hypocrite if he said anything else. In a general election, he would be severely criticized. The Conservative ad machine would have had a hay day with it!

      I will report more in the future, but just got off the plane in Hong Kong.

    • Dan says:


      Which would be putting politics ahead of principles?

      (a) Saying that prorogation is an extreme measure that shouldn’t be used to thwart democracy


      (b) Criticizing the Conservatives, then defending the Liberals for doing the same thing

      This is the problem with the Liberal party. They’re eager to campaign against Conservatives, but not eager to do any soul-searching when they start governing like Conservatives.

      • Tim Sullivan says:

        It is not the same thing. Harper was a few weeks into a sitting and FACING A CONFIDENCE VOTE, which was just a few weeks after the election.

        In Ontario, nothing was getting done and no defeat was imminent (because the opposition leaders are afraid of defeat and Hudak is not liked in his own party (they’ve not had it so good and never will)). This prorogation does not stop anything from happening that cannot resume when the house is called back, except the prospect of an election. Now, how would that play out, with the government leaderless?

        Shurrrly, the PCs and NDPs would not defeat the government after the announced his resignation. Now, that would be undemocratic and cynical.

        • Dan says:

          The narcissism of small differences.

          It’s very different when Liberals cut social services.
          It’s very different when Liberals crap on unions.
          It’s very different when Liberals raise tuition fees.
          It’s very different when Liberals dole out appointments and government contracts to their power circle.
          It’s very different when Liberals waffle on abortion and gay marriage.
          And now it’s very different when Liberals prorogue the government.

          • Heh heh heh……ain`t Karma grand?

          • Tim Sullivan says:

            Never mind the facts, Dan. “Prorogation bad.” Prorogation is a useful tool to manage the process of legislating. This government’s use of it is different because the facts are different. I don’t expect any critical analysis from a conservative. But let’s not re-do the facts we have. I have not said it is good because the Liberals did it. It is not a problem because the facts are, nothing was getting done.

            Liberals don’t prorogue to save their government from a confidence vote. Conservatives do. Liberals increase taxes and reduced expenses to reduce the deficit. Cons do it because they are mean spirited and prefer to redistribute to their friends. Look at Harris’ hiring of Arthur Anderson, to reduce welfare. The savings? The same amount Arthur Anderson (now Accenture) charged taxpayers.

  2. Ted B says:

    I think your rule about “if you can’t win your own bloody seat, you bloody well shouldn’t be running for leader” should apply.

  3. Michael Behiels says:

    Ah yes, loyalty is an effemeral thing.

    Gerard Kennedy is a Pygmy politician. The Peter principle in action.

    Strong candidates should declare and drive him into the weeds.

  4. Ted says:

    If you go by the “if you can’t win your own seat rule” than your only choices come from a pool of people tainted by Dalton’s legacy. I agree its much tougher without a seat but unless the OLP can at least appear to be getting fresh blood and clean hands on the controls they will be decimated next election. Kennedy is probably not the one but I do think in this case that an outsider is necessary.

    • Ted B says:

      Not sure why the only way to get fresh blood is to pick up failed politicians. Lots of leaders out there in the real world who are not currently in McGuinty’s cabinet and also not a failed politician.

      We have to avoid the John Tory syndrome.

      • Michael says:

        Which is why I laughed when some suggested John Tory run for the OLP leadership.

        The problem with picking someone from “the real world” is that very few have success politically.

        The only Canadian political leader that has had any success coming from the outside has been Mulroney. Others like Turner and Tory, not so much.

      • MississaugaPeter says:

        Gerard Kennedy a failed politician? I have him at 4-1 when facing the voters.

        Won 3X at the provincial level (1996, 1999, 2003) and 1X at the federal level (2008).

        Even the fine dude running this website lost an election (1997). Should his views be thrown in the wash? Definitely not.

        Please stop the failing part. Then you can say Dalton failed as well since he lost in 2003! And Dalton is not a failure!

        • reformatory says:

          I agree. GK is not a failed politician. Losing in 2011 an election stolen through manipulation, and the fact that the bottom broke out on the Liberal vote does not make him a loser for not retaining his seat. Many Liberals who lost their seat in that election will be back.

          As far as the fact that he is criticizing DM- who’s not criticizing DM – there was a pool out today that most Ontarians agree… it was time for this chump to beat it. Anybody who is protecting or preserving a legacy for him is drinking Kool aid. They should have been advising him over the last 2 years so all the f-ups would not have happened.

          2010 was when he should have left. Then perhaps the mess ups would not have occurred and only then would people view him more favourably.

  5. Glen says:

    “Is it ever a good idea to attack the guy without whom you wouldn’t have been elected in the first place? The guy you left high and dry to go to Ottawa? To attack him, a potential leadership candidate, on behalf of a declared leadership candidate? To give high-sounding civics lessons, when you couldn’t even get re-elected in your own seat?”

    Good questions, but you’re deflecting. The prorogation was McGuinty’s choice to make, but the terms were suspect.

    I’m not saying McGuinty is the only guilty party. I’m more concerned that prorogation has become our politicians’ mode of choice for dodging and solving sticky issues.

  6. blueblood says:


    It does not have to unfoled that way. If they choose a Gerrard Kennedy, he can make quick overtures to cooperate with the NDP and together the NDP and the Liberals can go on to finish off this mandate. Anybody who wants cooperation between the NDP and the Liberals should be jumping on Gerrard Kennedy’s bandwagon right now

  7. Larry says:

    I tentatively like Kathleen Wynne for the job.

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