Monday, December 08, 2008

Rob Silver asks the tough question

I've been glued to one of the best new political blogs, "Silver-Powers", a dual (duel?) blog on by two very bright party strategists, Liberal Rob Silver and Conservative Tim Powers.

One of Rob's latest postings asks THE tough question for Liberal MPs...

So either:

(a) The Liberal caucus was UNANIMOUS in supporting both the coalition and Dion as leader until May; or

(b) There are a bunch of MPs in the Liberal caucus who are both cowardly and whose word means little (or whose opinions change with the wind).

Really, this is a binary situation - make your choice.
Rob, a very good question, and I have an answer for you regarding why Liberal MPs do these types of things...

Very few have principle, they go whichever way the wind blows at the moment (or seems to blow), and thus, they have miscalculated the overwhelming view among Canadians that the coalition government isn't what we want, and why the polls show the Liberals at their lowest point in HISTORY.

Friends, that is NOT leadership. And this party wants to form government? That's how they've always been and always will be. If they can't even decide or stand up for anything, you really want them managing the economy at this time?

What drove them ALL to sign the letter for the Governor General? As your blogmate said, "The sniff of power."

Canadians saw that too.

Now that the sniff of power appears to be with Michael Ignatieff, leadership contender, Dominic LeBlanc has ended his bid and joined with Iggy. Too bad. Too bad the Liberal party doesn't respect democracy.

While the other contender, Bob Rae, has embraced the coalition because he's going to need new members joining from the NDP to be delegates at the Liberal convention, perhaps Ignatieff set him a trap and he fell into it.

Ignatieff never publicly said he's for or against the coalition and Bob Rae even had Ignatieff and LeBlanc show their public support for Stephane Dion as leader of the coalition government. I guess that is a wash, now that it appears Dion will step down (read: pushed out) in a few days at the Liberal caucus meeting instead of the originally planned May leadership convention in Vancouver.

Ignatieff's gut instinct was correct though, that the coalition is not a way to build the Liberal party, where it's Bob Rae's way to go.

Now that Dion is gone, and the party needs to accelerate that processes in getting a new leader, and that the coalition is now the so-called the backup plan, the Liberal caucus' new "instinct" is either:

A) the Liberals will support or abstain on the Conservative budget when the House starts up again in January, and resume with its May leadership convention, with Ignatieff having recently shored up caucus support, and Bob Rae will likely retreat from the coalition, but he'll be damaged goods,


B) the Liberals will vote against the budget and with new interim/permanent leader, Michael Ignatieff, already in place they will be 'ready' for a new election, and excited that they'll do better.

Ignatieff left the door open for Harper to have a strong budget.

I didn't mention the machinations of how the Liberals are picking their new leader, because frankly, it doesn't really matter. If the Liberal caucus does it this week and names Ignatieff as interim to replace Dion and decides it's not going to have a convention and says Ignatieff is permanent leader, it's going to divide the party for a while, but eventually, Liberals will balk, because "Ignatieff was going to be leader anyway, so get behind him or go hang out with Bob Rae."

So in my opinion, this coalition idea is as good as dead. And you know who's to thank? You. It's the thousands of Canadians who went out to show support for democracy and against the coalition takeover.

So now, it's up to Michael Ignatieff to decide if he wants to fight an election in February/March or if he wants to wait until May and spend cash on a leadership bid that he'll win anyway, raise money for the Liberals and then fight an election next fall.

Because I think he knows the Conservatives would win a majority in February/March, and so he'd will be opposition leader for 4 years.

That would be the smart thing to do, to wait, as it gives voters an opportunity to see who he is as opposition leader while they grow weary of Harper, otherwise, if he fights an election this February/March, people won't know him as well, and will be hesitant, while the Conservatives go neg on his ambition for power with the coalition, exposing his actual view against it and dividing the Liberals, while economic numbers improve, showing the Conservatives as good managers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bob Rae the King of Queers is the real father of Three Stooges Rebellion

Capital Xtra
Where Queers Conspire
Bringing sexy back to the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Dale Smith gives you what you need to know about what's going on in politics.

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Where have all the gay MPs gone?
Last evening, I was invited to a Wonderful Wednesday being hosted by the fledgling Fierté Liberal Pride network (whom you'll be hearing more about in the near future). And it while a fun time was had by all, none of the gay MPs showed up.
That's not to say that there wasn't a good turnout. Early in the evening, a bunch of MPs showed up, including Carolyn Bennett, Siobhan Coady, Anita Neville, and Mike Savage. Rounding out the first wave were Senator Art Eggleton, and former MPs Don Boudria and Sheila Copps. Hedy Fry's assistant made her apologies, saying that Hedy had House Duty and was thus in the Commons and unable to attend. But where were Scott Brison, Mario Silva or Rob Oliphant? I couldn't a clear answer to those questions.
Bob Rae turned up, and while talking to me, has promised Xtra a full-frontal centrefold spread - to complement his now infamous Rick Mercer exploit. I didn't even have to ask - he volunteered! Rae talked about how much he's learned from his Toronto Centre constituents, and on a more serious note, he's looking forward to sitting down with me in the near future to talk about GLBT issues in the context of his bid for party leadership. I'm going to hold him to that promise.
When the president of Fierté Liberal Pride, Bryn Hendricks, took the microphone to thank everyone for showing up, he spoke about the importance for Liberals to reclaim the GLBT vote, pointing out that in the 2004 election, lesbians disproportionately voted NDP. When he passed the microphone to Sheila Copps (whose birthday it happens to be today, so here's a shout out to you), she spoke about how the Liberals not highlighting their accomplishments when it comes to GLBT issues, they're not doing themselves any favours. Copps was also instrumental in helping Hendricks get the organisation off its feet, and they are now looking to set up chapters in every riding across the country.
While most of the MPs took off early for other engagements (a full social calendar has been compressed into four weeks, and there is a fall economic update tomorrow that rumour has it could spell doom for the Liberal party), a few turned up later in the evening, including Martha Hall Findlay and Gerard Kennedy. But if there was one image that stuck with me as I left, it was that the characterisation of a "velvet mafia" operating on the Hill with all those gay and lesbian staffers can't be too far from the truth.
(Oh, and Suite 34, the venue for the evening's festivities - a big thumbs down for running out of red wine. Seriously? You may have had hot boys behind the bar, but your shocking lapse in judgement when it comes to stocking your bar leaves much to be desired).

Must read:
Can we trip Harper?
ANALYSIS / Tactics available to gays in the next Parliament
Marcus McCann / National / Tuesday, October 28, 2008….
Election forum shows anger, fear
ELECTION 2008 / No clear strategy emerges for stopping Harper
Krishna Rau, video report by Micheal Pihach / Toronto / Tuesday, September 30, 2008