Are the Liberals dying a slow death with Ignatieff?

33 posts / 0 new
Last post
NorthReport
Are the Liberals dying a slow death with Ignatieff?

._.

NorthReport
NorthReport

Different leader, same scenario for demise 

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/697510

NorthReport
SCB4

Dying a slow death? Well, you could make a good case for that. But I recall the punditry discussing the slow death of Liberal leader Jean Chretien in the early 1990s -- too old, out of touch, old fashioned interventionist Liberal (little did they know!) fractured English, didn't 'look' like a leader, and...

Ignatieff has performed badly to date. But the vast majority of the public won't be paying attention until there's a real election, a real one, not the phony war we've been enduring for the last month. Iggy's performance in that event will either hasten his death or give his leadership a new lease on life.

Canapathy Canapathy's picture

Yeah I don't think Iggy is dying yet.  He really hasn't been tested.  After his first failed attempt to swallow the PC party the same was said about Harper.

Mulroney's debt problems and the addition of the GST to combat them ultimately gave Chretien his shot.  Harper is in a similar position now.  The debt, cut backs and tax issues that follow massive overspending will like turn whoever the Liberal leader is into the next PM. 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Ignatieff's problem is that he has no real qualms with Harper's policies and failed ideology so what does he criticize? How does he draw a clear distinction on national issues? He can't. So he comes across like a back seat driver yelling "slow down, look our for that, keep your eyes on the road," rather than as a leader with a vision and direction of his own. Lots of intellect but no intelligence.

janfromthebruce

And for what he gained, what did Ignatieff give up? Quite simply, the balance of power. He gave Jack Layton the keys to the car, and the NDP leader has decided to take it out for a spin. Layton likes being visible, and he likes being relevant, and thanks to Iggy he is now both.

exactly

Having taken the balance of power out for a test drive, Layton has now opted for a short-term lease. Vroomvroom.

janfromthebruce

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Ignatieff's problem is that he has no real qualms with Harper's policies and failed ideology so what does he criticize? How does he draw a clear distinction on national issues? He can't. So he comes across like a back seat driver yelling "slow down, look our for that, keep your eyes on the road," rather than as a leader with a vision and direction of his own. Lots of intellect but no intelligence.

exactly FM, and trying to go progressive becomes a joke - we know what you did and what you will do. No election for you.

SCB4

Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking the Liberals are inept as they appear to be. They may yet surprise us by offering up a comprehensive policy platform for the next election. The infamous 1993 'red book' had enough mildy progressive populist proposals to sway a lot of votes (and did a nice job of mowing the NDP's lawn in the process).

janfromthebruce

yes, you are right SCB4. But I see Iggy's natural tendency is to move right and he just isn't good at faking being progressive. And "I'm not losing any sleep over that". Surprised

SCB4

janfromthebruce wrote:

yes, you are right SCB4. But I see Iggy's natural tendency is to move right and he just isn't good at faking being progressive. And "I'm not losing any sleep over that". Surprised

I don't get a sense that Iggy's really into domestic policy at all. His passions seem to lie in foreign affairs, and he harbours ambitions of being a 21st century Lester Pearson, restoring Canada's rightful position in the world as a peacemaker, honest broker and all that. On economic matters, he will likely parrot whatever boilerplate his advisors hand him. But as you note he may not do a very convincing job of doing that.

janfromthebruce

As for peacekeeper - I don't think so - I think he likes to ape "the gun-ho American" and colonal master - boots on the ground - conquest.

He's a warmonger

SCB4

janfromthebruce wrote:

As for peacekeeper - I don't think so - I think he likes to ape "the gun-ho American" and colonal master - boots on the ground - conquest.

He's a warmonger

At first I was disinclined to believe you 'cause he does pepper his speeches with references to Canada's traditional peacekeeping role, good old Lester P. and his diplomat father, George Ignatieff.

But then I went online and read what he actually said about Canada's peacekeeping. My god, that's some reactionary sh--. This guy has to go.

 

janfromthebruce

yes, one needs to hear and read what he really thinks and would do. When a party wants to recruit a "star candidate" who is about "more war" it gives you an optics to what he says and writes.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

SCB4 wrote:

Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking the Liberals are inept as they appear to be. They may yet surprise us by offering up a comprehensive policy platform for the next election. The infamous 1993 'red book' had enough mildy progressive populist proposals to sway a lot of votes (and did a nice job of mowing the NDP's lawn in the process).

I wouldn't worry about that. The Redbook, today, is an embarassment to the Liberals as it demonstrates to a degree no amount of rhetoric ever could the sheer valuelessness of a Liberal campaign promise.

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

We'd better be careful here. If Igg teeters too close to the precipice he "might even have to engage in certain forms of targeted assassination". Careful Jack.

remind remind's picture

Someone got a link for Iggy's comments on Canadian peace keeping that SCB4 comments upon?

SCB4
Mr.Canada_ts

I think that Ignatieffs stock will continue to fall s I've contended since he was first elected to the Lakeshore riding.  No one would believe me at first and kept on about how he was pretty much the messiah and savior of the Liberal party.

Laytons stock will continue to rise as a result as the soft left wing swing votes will flock back to or stay with Jack Layton.  With a strong Liberal leader and revampd party I think Layton would have more of a challenge to hang onot those soft left votes. 

As it stands he is in a very safe place.  Plus many people, including myself like ol' Smilin' Jack Layton even if I find his same song tiring at times he certainly is entertaining and is never at a loss for words.

remind remind's picture

Thanks SCB4

Quote:
Yet Michael Ignatieff, Harvard professor and public intellectual, was once slightly more harsh toward his native land. Following a 2005 lecture at the University of Dublin’s Trinity College, Ignatieff excoriated Canadians for trading on Canada’s “entirely bogus reputation as peacekeepers” for 40 years and for favouring “hospitals and schools and roads” over international citizenship. “If you are a human rights defender and you want something done to stop [a] massacre, you have to go to the Pentagon, because no one else is serious,” Ignatieff said.

“It’s disgusting in my own country, and I love my country, Canada, but they would rather bitch about their rich neighbour to the south than actually pay the note,” he said, in response to a question about peacekeeping. “To pay the bill to be an international citizen is not something that they want to do.”

So it seems he is into gratuitous attacks against Canadians considering:

Quote:
However, Canada remains one of the UN’s largest contributors of international, professional and general service staff, and is the eighth largest contributor to the UN’s total peacekeeping budget, according to UN figures.)

And moreover, wth is wrong with our wanting hospitals and schools?

janfromthebruce

yes remind, we need to sacrifice so that we can build hospitals and schools in Afghanistan for their corrupt govt, don't yah know [and it keeps the military industrial complex beeping along] thus keeping them gainfully employed over there and at home [home sweet home] where the buffaloos use to roam.

NorthReport

Exactly.
At least extract something, anything in return for supporting Harper.
Nobody's watching and nobody cares

 

What did the orange team learn?

They learned that when Canadians aren't looking for an election, that means they aren't looking for opposition parties to vote to cause an election. And so, fun as it was to torture the Liberals with their numerous votes and abstentions (especially in all-candidates meetings last election), it turned out that nobody outside of Ottawa was watching, and nobody cared.

In hindsight, a far more telling criticism of the Liberal opposition is they voted to keep Mr. Harper in office 79 times in return for nothing -- no negotiated gains for Canadians on any front.

So the big excitement in Ottawa yesterday was that this fall's employment insurance bill might be speeded up and -- ha HA! Mouhahaha! -- that means (if adopted promptly) that opposition parties will have to make up their minds about a coming Liberal confidence motion on its merits at the time. Without reference to whatever is happening to the EI bill.

Oh those clever Liberals, gearing up to attack the orange team for, possibly, doing what they themselves did 79 times. But if failing to vote to trigger an election is a really bad thing, are the Liberals 79 times worse, having done so 79 times themselves?

Perhaps that gives the New Democrats license to fail to vote for a federal election, say, 39 and a half times. Then the New Democrats will only be half as bad as Mr. Ignatieff and his band of happy warriors.

The truth of the matter is that nobody is watching any of this. Nobody cares. If they did, the Liberal and NDP votes and seat count would be reversed.

So sure, speed up the EI bill (provided it really includes what the government claims it does). And speed up the confidence vote. Let's get this over with, and then (assuming unforseen events don't intervene -- like a helpful game-changing blunder by Mr. Harper) perhaps our Parliament could turn its mind to something Canadians care about.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/brian-topp/nobody-watches-or-cares/...

madmax

SCB4 wrote:
Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking the Liberals are inept as they appear to be. They may yet surprise us by offering up a comprehensive policy platform for the next election. The infamous 1993 'red book' had enough mildy progressive populist proposals to sway a lot of votes (and did a nice job of mowing the NDP's lawn in the process).
  I fully expect the LPC come out with another version of the Red Book. A platform to campaign on that attracts the Left. THere is a good reason why the Liberals have chosen a fight with the NDP over Harper. They want to be rid of the NDP as a political force, so that they can campaign centre left and govern from the right.  It worked before, its tried and true and nothing new.

madmax

Mr.Canada_ts wrote:
Plus many people, including myself like ol' Smilin' Jack Layton even if I find his same song tiring at times he certainly is entertaining and is never at a loss for words.
  I have to introduce you to Mr. Canada on the Maple Leaf Web forum. It would be a most lively conversation ....Cool

Sean in Ottawa

Re thread title: far too slowly -- now speed it up already!

remind remind's picture

"It worked before, its tried and true and nothing new."

It seems only those in the east buy into this eating their own Liberal vomit, in majority, which is too bad.

janfromthebruce

I agree remind, but I don't think it will work again. The jig was up the last election - last year. It went over like a turd.

adma

Iggy's trouble is that Harper keeps saying "Abracadabra" at the most inopportune moments

Debater

The consensus of political commentators at the end of this week was that the NDP lost the most credibility this week by supporting Harper and that the Liberals have ended up coming out in the best position by putting the heat on the NDP for a change.  This was also the consensus among the At Issue panel on CBC on Thursday night.

West Coast Lefty

The At Issue panel was actually more subtle than that, Debater.  They did agree that Layton lost credibility in the short term - but that the scenario "has not played out yet" and that Iggy has much more to lose over the medium-term than Layton does.  Chantal's column earlier in the thread speaks to this issue - Harper has surged to close-to-majority status from a dead-heat position in the polls in the last 3 weeks, due almost entirely to Iggy's abysmal strategic moves and poor performance in QP, lack of engagement on the major issues like the economy, mushy TV ads with no focus, etc. 

On Layton, the reality is the NDP now has the balance of power, we stopped an election that nobody wanted, and (depending on how much pressure Layton and the caucus bring to bear) we will hopefully be able to point to real progress on key issues like EI and pensions and climate change when the election does come, likely in spring 2010.  Yes, Jack will take a big media hit this week for supporting Harper after blasting the Libs for so long over the "79 votes in a row"...but that's all inside Ottawa navel-gazing.  Nobody but rabidly partisan political junkies and babblers follows that kind of inter-party trash talk anymore.

On the Libs, they are ramping up for an election that isn't happening, Iggy is rambling on about the G20 Secretariat and other non-priority matters, they voted against the most popular tax break in decades with the home reno tax credit, they have no message and no clear rationale for bringing down the government.  They have zero influence over the government now and will get less and less profile as the NDP and BQ positioning becomes critical to the government' survival.

I would never say the Libs are "dying" slowly or otherwise.  As long as they have a lock on the GTA, Anglo Montreal and most of Atlantic Canada, they will beat the NDP every time no matter how low they sink.  I do think there will be a major internal upheaval within the LPC if Harper gets a strong minority or a majority next election, which I think is the most likely outcome (strong minority, that is).  They will have lost 3 elections in a row with 3 different leaders and there is no obvious successor to Iggy in the wings.

Bottom line: beyond the short term pundit feeding frenzy this week, I'd much rather be Layton than Iggy in the current climate, for the reasons outlined above.

Frmrsldr

janfromthebruce wrote:

As for peacekeeper - I don't think so - I think he likes to ape "the gun-ho American" and colonal master - boots on the ground - conquest.

He's a warmonger

That's what "peacemaking" is. It's what NATO does. It's a euphamism for "warmaking". What was probably meant was "peacekeeping" which is what the U.N. does. It's an honest mistake that's often made. It doesn't apply to Iggy with his support of the Iraq and Afghan wars and of torture, however.

janfromthebruce

Frmrsldr wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:

As for peacekeeper - I don't think so - I think he likes to ape "the gun-ho American" and colonal master - boots on the ground - conquest.

He's a warmonger

That's what "peacemaking" is. It's what NATO does. It's a euphamism for "warmaking". What was probably meant was "peacekeeping" which is what the U.N. does. It's an honest mistake that's often made. It doesn't apply to Iggy with his support of the Iraq and Afghan wars and of torture, however.

thank you