Another Liberal Failure, Part 2

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Another Liberal Failure, Part 2



In spite of having most of Canada's mainstream press behind them, it's mindboggleing to see the Liberals operate with such a total lack of political savvy.

How Harper won the recession

But the politics of this recession have been turned upside down.

A year ago, as Canada lurched its way into the biggest economic downturn since the 1930s, it seemed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government was surely doomed.

On the economic front, entire industries were collapsing. General Motors and Chrysler were flirting with bankruptcy. Unemployment was soaring, particularly in Ontario and Quebec.

Caught flat-footed, the Harper government appeared, at best, confused - first denying the recession, then insisting on the biggest deficit in Canadian history in order to fight it.

Conventional wisdom held that this government, like most, would pay a heavy political price for being in power during hard times.

The opposition Liberals, it was said, merely had to sit, wait and do nothing until voters got angry enough to throw Harper out.

Which is exactly what the Liberals chose to do.

Fourteen months later, all of that seems long, long ago.

Today, with the economy on the mend, the government is gloating.

"We were prepared, and we protected ourselves," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told the Commons Thursday. "Our compass has not failed us ... we can see our destination on the horizon."

His comments came just three days after Statistics Canada confirmed what most had long known: In Canada, at least, the crisis has abated.


Just think, had it done been for Ignatieff's idiocy a year ago - the coalition would have taken power, brought in an even bigger and better stimulus program and reaped all the credit for taking action while the Tories were still in denial that there was a recession at all.


Exactly Stock. It's quite scary actually how politically braindead the Liberal party has become.


A bit, or maybe quite lost in the 21st century.


Identity Crisis Laughing


Liberal leadership woes persist and just won't go away.

Tory budget confirms seismic political shift




This political turf invasion comes at a time when the Liberals are still dealing with a persistent lack of leadership and a policy vacuum.

However, the metamorphosis of the Conservatives is more elaborate than just adopting part of the former Liberal agenda. As we saw in the budget, Harper has adopted a soft economic approach to appeal to the so-called "radical centre," while retaining some law-and-order initiatives to appease the increasingly nervous traditional Conservative electoral base.

So where does the budget leave us?

First, we are not going to have a spring election. Just like Stéphane Dion, Ignatieff has had to swallow his pride, telling voters that the budget is awful but the Liberals will not defeat it because "Canadians are not ready" for an election.

The fact of the matter is that he is not ready, and people are already asking themselves why this is the case after he has had more than a year as leader - and at a time when Canadians are reeling from a devastating recession and double-digit unemployment.

The electoral ball will return to Harper's court in the fall. The economy will grow stronger during the summer and by September the Prime Minister should be in a good position to go to the polls with a reasonable hope of achieving that elusive parliamentary majority. This was his government's last good news budget. Next spring, he will want to implement the first significant cuts, which would be very dangerous for a minority government. This means that the best time for the Liberals to face the electorate would be next spring.

However, according to sources close to the Conservative leadership, the Tories believe that with Ignatieff as leader the Liberals will never be ready. And considering the results to date of his four years in politics, who can blame them for thinking that way?


As much as I don't like what Martin is saying he is right on the money here.
Tory triumph: They know where they're going


Whether or not the public likes it, right-side values are taking hold. The visionless party, philosophically at loose ends, is the Liberal one. The governing side knows where it's going and how to get there.


Written by a Liberal, and is representative of what many Canadians think, both inside and outside the LPC.


Iggy still not convincing
Michael Ignatieff isn't the leader Canadians need, he's a political letdown




But as someone who identified strongly with the Liberals, I remain unconvinced.

First of all, Ignatieff has never been able to come off as sincere-unless you count Question Period.

That's where he looks like someone sincerely peed in his Cheerios.

Other than that, though, I just don't get the feeling he means what he says.

That's one of the few things I admired Dion for-his readily apparent concern for Canadians.

I can distinctly remember watching the English language debate in the 2008 election when Dion looked into the camera.

When he looked at you and spoke, you saw and heard a man of compassion, intelligence and sincerity.

Fast forward to the infamous "Narnia" ads the Liberals ran around the middle of 2009.

When Ignatieff looked into the camera and spoke I perceived something rather different.

He was patronizing, aloof and arrogant. I didn't perceive the powerful intellect of a highly intelligent man.

Instead, Ignatieff was more of a daddy trying to explain to his four year-old why Stephen Harper is a bad man.

In addition to failing at sincerity, I still don't know what kind of vision he has for the country.

Oh sure, I could tell you some of the stuff he wrote while he was at Harvard, like how torture can be justified, but I still don't know what he wants for Canada.

I don't know if I would vote for him because I don't know what would happen if he were elected.

Maybe he would give everyone free iPhones. Maybe he would ban cheesy teen soap operas like Beverley Hills 90210 from being broadcast over Canadian airwaves.

He's in the gray. Michael Ignatieff doesn't raise the bar.

This is a problem I have with all the federal party leaders.

Instead of giving a clear-cut choice between two good leaders who differ on principles, or between someone who would be a good Prime Minister and who would be a bad Prime Minister, the 2008 election gave Canadians something much different.

We got four leaders we could look at and say, "meh."

Elections in a democracy shouldn't be a choice between the lesser of four evils.

There should be a plurality of good candidates or a leader who stands out above the rest.

The acclamation of Michael Ignatieff as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada was supposed to give Canadians that democracy.

Instead, we're still looking at the Conservatives, the NDP, the Bloc Québécois and the Liberals, shrugging their shoulders and saying to each other, "So, did you go to see Avatar yet?"

Canadians don't want to be patronized or pandered to in an insincere way.

They get plenty of that from the current Prime Minister.

Neither do we want a guy who could pass a law requiring every university student in Canada read his plethora of books because he needed an ego trip.

Canadians certainly don't need more of the same boring political sludge that's been served up ever since Mulroney stepped down from office.

Canadians need a leader of principle who will explain and not patronize, lead with a clear vision and stir up political debate on important issues.

Michael Ignatieff isn't that man.

And that's why I'm not convinced.


I'm still in shock over this. Just unbelievable.


Michael Ignatieff surveys damage
in Liberal 'clown city'


Indeed, Stephen Harper had accused Mr. Ignatieff of being "too cute" with the motion. It was aimed at dividing the Tories; instead, it ended up dividing the Liberals.

"Michael went to war without checking," said one Liberal MP, noting that the Liberal Leader did not clearly canvas his caucus as to how they felt about the motion.

And so confused were the Liberals after losing their own motion that on the following vote, Chief Opposition Whip Rodger Cuzner mistakenly told some of his MPs to vote with the government. They ended up supporting the Conservatives' spending plans, which led to much glee and gloating from the government bench.

"Libs lose Mat Health vote, then accidentally vote for Budget Estimates. It's raining frogs across the aisle," Industry Minister Tony Clement gleefully tweeted.

Heritage Minister James Moore was also busy tweeting: "Liberals are showing just about the worst moment of parliamentary dysfunction I have ever seen in 10yrs."


Dan McLean resigns as Liberal candidate

Sean in Ottawa

The last is a propaganda story from the Cons.

The Liberals have serious problems but that story is not news its propaganda

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

From the Andrew Potter article NR linked to, above:

It is surprising that so many people seem to think that it is likely, or even necessary, for the Liberals and the left to merge, when all they really need to do is find some common ground from which to scope out a clear strategic vista. Instead of thinking about outright merger, the Liberals should start talking with the NDP about applying a defibrillator to the corpse of their failed coalition agreement from the fall of 2008.

Sure, it was a disaster that almost caused a constitutional crisis while transferring a great deal of popular support to the Conservatives. The thing is, though, that the mistake was not with the very idea of a governing coalition. What the public did not like was the breathtaking self-interest that sparked it (Harper had proposed eliminating the per-vote public subsidy to political parties), not to mention the formal involvement of the Bloc Québécois. There is every reason to believe that an explicit Liberal-NDP coalition, in which the general terms of power sharing were laid out for the public before the next election, might attract a great deal of popular support.

What is really surprising is that the Liberal rank-and-file has yet to come to terms with how the coalition 'failed' back in 2008. It was not the 'public' that killed the coalition - indeed, a week or so into the controversy, once the constitutional facts came to be known, polls indicated a margin of support for the idea.

And it didn't become a 'corpse' all by itself, it was intentionally murdered in a coup fronted by Michael Ignatieff. Until the party is ready to face that fact, it can never move forward.




NorthReport wrote:

Dan McLean resigns as Liberal candidate



Dan McLean is still a Liberal supporter.



The former CHCH-TV news anchor suddenly announced Monday night he was stepping down as the party’s candidate to take on Conservative MP David Sweet. The 62-year-old Lynden-area resident cited personal reasons in his statement released just before 9:30 p.m.


“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, but after close consultation with my wife, Allie, and my campaign advisers, I’ve decided to step aside as the ADFW candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada,” McLean said in his statement.

“I continue to be a strong supporter of the Liberal party and its leader, Michael Ignatieff.”


Dan McLean is planning to run for Mayor of Hamilton, according to this Liberal blogger.


Discredit the leader, discredit the party, and the Tories are doing a great job on the Liberals in that area while leaves the field wide open for the NDP to stay out of the frey, and propose some constructive, exciting, and progressive new policies for Canadians.

Harper Tories pounce on Ignatieff's leadership


I certainly understand why the Liberals were obsessing about changing the channel today:


RCMP lays out first allegations of bribery in Liberal sponsorship scandal


Once again the Liberals show their shear lack of political savvy.


Stephen Harper outflanks Liberals from the left


Last year, the New Democrats - building on proposals put forward by the Canadian Labour Congress- called for a doubling of CPP benefits to deal with this pension crisis, all to be paid for by gradual increases in the payroll taxes levied on workers and employers.

Michael Ignatieff's Liberals, fearful of angering small business owners (who hate payroll taxes) responded with their own proposals for a more modest and voluntary supplementary scheme.

Initially, the Conservatives said little. Then, last week, they leapfrogged over the Liberals to embrace a diluted version of the NDP proposal, a move that nonetheless won them lavish praise from Canadian Labour Congress chief Ken Georgetti.

The Conservatives have "felt the heartbeat of Canada on this one," he told one news agency.

Whether labour will wax as enthusiastic over what finally emerges is another question. An expanded CPP could be used as an excuse to dismantle other social programs for those over 65. It could also be partially or fully privatized.

Indeed, Harper's strategy with popular social programs is not to eliminate them outright but to transform them over time into forms that he and his political base find more ideologically amenable.

But in the short run, this is a political coup. The Conservatives have claimed ownership of a significant chunk of the Liberal legacy.

With an election almost certainly in the offing, Ignatieff has been left to champion pension reforms that, by comparison, seem singularly weak-kneed.


The Liberals are unwilling to piss off their friends (and few remaining financial contributors) on Bay Street who want to keep making money managing RRSP funds.


I wonder if the CBC will now fire Andrew Coyne as one of their political commentators because he has suggested that the Liberal Party is done like dinner. Laughing