Sunday, December 07, 2008

Suddenly, the people need to be heard?

"The people have to be heard," he said. "At a time of party renewal, it's inconceivable to me that people would be even contemplating the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of Liberals." Bob Rae, would be leader of the Liberal party outlining his opposition to the proposed caucus vote to move Michael Ignatieff to the leadership.

So, let's try to make some sense of these contradictions of the latest from the Liberals in Ottawa, all but rather humourous to follow as they are.
It’s ok we guess, for the three coalition members to cobble together their plan to take power in Ottawa through back room wheeling and dealing, but if the Liberals apparently do the same with their leadership plans then Whoa, Nelly where’s the democracy!

In the Liberal camp this weekend there is apparently no shortage of hubris over the idea that it might have been just fine for the Liberals to claim the Government side of Parliament without a true endorsement of the Canadian people, and now it seems the same principle is in effect in house when it comes to picking a leader.
Why consult with the outlying riding associations? After all caucus, having discussed it all behind closed doors, knows best, don't they!

Bob Rae has been end rounded this weekend. The Liberals apparently in some kind of crisis management clinic, have decided that poor Mr. Magoo aka Stephane Dion (fresh from his power to the revolution appearance with Jack Layton in Toronto) must go much sooner than later (perhaps by Monday morning) and with his departure must arise a new leader to tend to the Liberal flock, the proposed favoured son, Mr. Rae’s opponent in the Liberal race, Michael Ignatieff.

In order to take care of that little bit of housekeeping, it would seem that the Ottawa Liberal elites have decided that the need for a full convention allowing all rank and file members a say in their leadership may not be practical, and instead the party caucus the 77 who managed to get elected in October shall apparently make the choice for all. Providing Mr. Ignatieff with interim status and then many suspect given the job on a more permanent basis.

This has mortified Mr. Rae, who now sees his leadership ambitions quickly fading; such is his lack of cache in caucus, his strength further down the Liberal food chain with the local riding associations and such.

Mr. Rae points out that if the caucus alone selects the next leader, then in effect Liberals across the nation who did not see their candidate elected in their riding will be effectively ignored by the national party.

He outlines his thoughts on the process of selecting a leader in an interview with CBC news found here:

(you have to move ahead to the 6:30 point for the Liberal stuff, he's still busy selling his coalition in the previous six or so minutes)

This one will be a mess of their own creation, their ill fated liaison with the NDP and the Bloc has the riding associations up in arms as Liberals vent their concern over the direction of their party, now they plan on picking a leader without asking those Liberals that work in the ridings day to day, get out the vote (wherever they can) and of course raise funds.

One has to imagine that it’s such bizarre and undeserved fortune that follows Stephen Harper around these days; he manages to save his government for a month (and maybe beyond) by hiding behind a Governor General, his last recourse over his political mis-steps and a move that finds favour with most Canadians despite the optics of it all.

Yet in the fall out it’s his main opposition party that ends up chewing itself apart.

We’ve long since seen more and more evidence that Mr. Harper isn’t much of a political tactitian, such have been his ego driven errors over the last number of months, but he’s clearly got horse shoes in the appropriate places, as his opposition suddenly looks less and less competent as the drama plays out.
As for the Liberals, once again they need to consider what they are and what they want to be known as.

They were more than prepared to take power with a leader that had been rejected by a healthy number of the electorate in the last election, now they may prepare to put a new one in place who while popular with insiders club on Parliament Hill may not be the universal choice of the greater Liberal party.

From the temptations of power of last week, the Liberals now face a potential revolt in their own ranks; perhaps what they need in their own party first is a coalition of their own, best to take care of the internal fissures before they worry about ruling the country.

Globe and Mail-- Ignatieff makes his move
Globe and Mail-- The first Liberal step: Replace Dion
Globe and Mail-- Something the Liberal Party is missing
National Post-- Dion expected to resign this week
National Post-- Rae and Ignatieff call for Dion to step aside
National Post-- Mr. Dion, it's time to resign
National Post-- Dark days get darker for unloved Dion
Toronto Sun-- Dion is done
Toronto Star-- Ignatieff, Rae want early Dion exit
Toronto Star-- Time for Dion to step down
Toronto Star-- Rae steers coalition against Ignatieff

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