Chretien pushing for Rae as interim Liberal leader: reports

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ghoris
Chretien pushing for Rae as interim Liberal leader: reports

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ghoris

For the Toronto Star: "Chretien promoting Rae as interim Liberal leader"

Quote:

OTTAWA - Jean Chrétien is urging Liberals to support Toronto MP Bob Rae as interim leader of the decimated federal party.

Sources say the former prime minister has been phoning both defeated and re-elected MPs since the Liberal party's historic defeat in Monday's election.

The once-mighty party was reduced to third place with only 34 MPs - even Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his seat.

Chrétien has been promoting the idea that Rae should be interim leader for two years, giving the party time to pick itself up off the mat before going into a contest to choose a permanent successor to Ignatieff.

 

Well, this should certainly set the cat among the pigeons.

Policywonk

The consensus on Power and Politics was that it would be a bad idea, partly because Rae is open to a merger and we're not interested. Aside from Rae's baggage, one of the questions asked was whether there is a need for the Liberals to exist, and if so what do they stand for. Leadership is a problem for them, but not the only one.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Of course, Chretien's move here could be seen as a passive-aggressive anti-Rae stratagem, since interim party leaders are generally expected to take themselves out of the running for the formal party leadership.

 

Le T Le T's picture

When i first saw the headline in the Star I thought "how the hell does chretien get to promote people to party leader?!?!" then i understood.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Good.  Rae would have been a better leader than Ignatieff in the first place.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Not sure about that.  I think you'd have had a lot more Ontarians voting NDP just to punish Rae for the past...it's paradoxical, but no more so than trying to punish Rae by voting for the party Rae joined.

Uncle John

Getting rid of the Liberal Party will guarantee one Party Conservative rule indefinitely. Stephen Harper has to be writing the script for this.

It is almost as if Chretien wants to be the last successful leader the Liberals had so they can close the book on the Party with him as the last chapter. Maybe he is next up for US Ambassador. And who better to close the book on the Liberals than the man who was perceived to have closed the book on the NDP in Ontario...  And much that I like and respect Bob Rae who handled himself with a lot of dignity and skill as Ontario Premier and was mainly the victim of the Tory-GOP Free Trade Agreement, he is too juicy for any kind of Tory spin machine to resist. They would pound him into the dust. And in Ontario, Canada's largest province by population. Where there are the most seats.

Before this election I believed in 'the centre left'. But this election shows that does not exist outside the NDP. Shame on me for believing in something. On paper, Unite the Left sounded good. I even thought it would be a good idea myself and wrote about having party primaries for nomination contests open to all comers. But it would be like chalk and cheese.

If it is a choice between Conservatives and NDP, enough Liberals will vote Conservative to stop the NDP. Many more than Liberals who would vote NDP to stop the Conservatives. And many less than NDPs who would vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives. Liberals are NOT leftists!

It should be admitted they are a centre RIGHT Party. Or maybe just a plain Centre party. An alternative government to the Conservatives which the NDP can never be. All they have to do is rebuild as they did from 1984 to 1993. It will take years. But they will be back. Unless they want to make Chretien the last chapter in the book.

Life, the unive...

Amazing a few days after this election and already you know the outcome of the next. 

The Reform-Alliance-Conservatives moved the centre to themselves on the right.  The NDP now has the opportunity, for the first time in several generations to move the centre to the left.   THat will be the key to success.

Policywonk

Essentially that's what Reform did as opposition in the '90s. They weren't official opposition from '93 to '97, but they were more of an alternative national government than the Bloc (which isn't saying much). With the NDP being the fourth party from '93 till now and without party status from '93 to '97, we didn't have much of a voice in parliament. Now we do.

Uncle John

After you have overcome Ford Nation, which has only just started...

melovesproles

Chretien isn't stupid, he knows the Liberals only chance is to merge with the NDP.  The party is done, you don't win elections based on appeals to ancient history.  The Conservatives will alienate Canadians, its only a matter of time.  Probably on foreign policy and the austerity measures they'll need to pass in order to finance their spending on prisons and wars.  The NDP has been in a better position ideologically than the Liberals to oppose this agenda for a long time.  Now they are in a better position electorally too.  It's theirs to screw up.

Aristotleded24

Uncle John wrote:
After you have overcome Ford Nation, which has only just started...

You mean the 416 area code, which not only elected more NDP MPs than the other parties, but also won parts of Ford Nation in Davenport, York South, and Scarborough?

Uncle John

I guess the people who are talking about a merger between the Liberals and the NDP have never bought an NDP membership before. When you get one, it is from both the Federal NDP and the NDP of your Province. You cannot buy an NDP membership any other way. If Bob Rae buys an NDP membership, he also has to buy an ONDP membership as well, kind of bringing him back to square 1.

Does this mean the ONDP has to merge with the Ontario Liberal Party? Does McGuinty now take orders from Horwath?

Does this mean the BCNDP has to merge with the BC Liberal Party? That is quite funny. Hello Again Bill Van Der Zalm!

The only way this can work is if the NDP disconnects the federal Party from the provincial Parties. And why should they change anything? They just became Official Opposition just the way they are.

The more I think about this merger from any point of view the more ridiculous it becomes. The Liberal Party will live on its own, or it will die on its own. Currently it does not have to be in any kind of a hurry to do either.

vermonster

Uncle John wrote:
I guess the people who are talking about a merger between the Liberals and the NDP have never bought an NDP membership before. When you get one, it is from both the Federal NDP and the NDP of your Province.

I guess you've never bought a NDP membership in Quebec ... at least not since 1989.

 

 

 

adma

I think Carolyn Bennett would make a better interin Grit leader than Rae.  (Which is a little like saying the best leader the Liberals have had over the past decade is Bill Graham.  And hey, there may be a point there.)

Doug

They may as well make Dr. Kevorkian the interim leader.

Policywonk

Doug wrote:

They may as well make Dr. Kevorkian the interim leader.

Good one.

Policywonk

vermonster wrote:

Uncle John wrote:
I guess the people who are talking about a merger between the Liberals and the NDP have never bought an NDP membership before. When you get one, it is from both the Federal NDP and the NDP of your Province.

I guess you've never bought a NDP membership in Quebec ... at least not since 1989.

That's because there isn't a provincial NDP. The same would apply in NWT and Nunavut, since there are no territorial parties, exxcept in the Yukon.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OH, and Uncle John, it used to be common that the Liberal and Tory parties required a person to join both the provincial AND federal parties.

 

The only reason they abolished that requirement was to enable the British Columbia federal "Liberals" who wanted to join the provincial Socreds...it never had anything to do with political open-mindedness, it was just cynical manipulation and a way to allow those "Liberals" to pretend they weren't backing what was for all practical purposes a provincial Tory government.

Uncle John

I think the only requirement for an interim leader would be that they have a good command of both official languages.

This may sound like more cynicism, but the Liberals do have a leader that the Party elected in a brokered convention.

He still has his seat, he is perfectly bilingual, and he has always stood up for Canada. He represents the hard federalist alternative.

He has already been demonized and would not run in a leadership campaign.

His name is Stephane Dion.

Tommy_Paine

Doug wrote:

They may as well make Dr. Kevorkian the interim leader.

Love it, Doug.

It's probably proper to put the Liberals as a center right party.  Although, when you look at how the Liberal Party handles national events/crisis, I think one could make a good case, and I certainly make this case, that the Liberals are flat out right wing when push comes to shove.

But a better way of looking at it is that the Conservatives and Liberals are just two faces of the established powers, and both parties will do for those interests before any others.   It's perhaps archaic, but it helps to think of both of them as "Tories" in the way Thomas Paine understood Tory.

The challenge for rank and file NDP'ers is to do what we can to ensure that the NDP is about being anti-Tory, that they are for increased democratization of Canada, and that the sharing of power is part of that-- meaning the establishment has to reliquish a good deal of thier share.  Which they won't do very easily, to say the least.

And they have to do this at the same time presenting themselves as electable in the game of politics the way it is being played, and not necessarily how we'd like to see it played.

 

Sticky wicket, but people have been up against worse.

Uncle John

I may not agree with Tommy Paine about politics in general, however I agree that the Liberals are centre-right. The Liberal strategy HAS to be be to present as an alternative to the Tories and go after centre-right voters who comprise the bulk of the Canadian electorate. Being successful enough there they can appeal to centre left voters with infrastructure programs and defence of civil rights and the tradtional appeal of vote for us to stop the Tories.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I have said it over and over, and I I say it again, Liberals are simply Tories in less of a hurry and slightly nicer; they smile at you while pushing the knife in.

Doug and Tommy-paine have hit the nail on the head and that is where the NDP needs to focus its message. We probaly really should only have two parties. The Libs have been able to deceptively straddle the middle for over a century. This needs to be framed as what kind of a Canada do you want, and who really speaks for ordinary Canadians, and that includes really goind hard after the Libs now. We have to go for the kill here.

I still say, what a great victory. I have never been happier to be a New Dem!

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

In general, I agree with MSpector.  It is far too soon to pronounce the Liberal beast as dead.

We've seen apparently tranformational elections before, where a new party or a previous also-ran party bursts on the scene and displaced one of the two alternating parties of government.  Usually, one of two things happen.

1) The advancing party consolidates its position as one of the alternating parties of government.  Examples of this would include the rise of the CCF in Saskatchewan beginning in 1934, as well as Manitoba, British Columbia and Nova Scotia in their respective eras.  Likewise the BC Liberals beginning in the 1990s or the Parti Quebecois in the 1970s.

2) The advancing party is unable to consolidate its position and either reverts to a third party or to electoral oblivion.  Examples of this would include the ONDP through the 80s and 90s; the Manitoba Liberals in the late 80s; the Saskatchewan Liberals in the 1990s; the ADQ in Quebec in the last decade.

Clearly consolidation requires, at the very least, retaining place as either government or opposition for an additional election following the seemingly transformative election.  The Manitoba Liberals and the ADQ simply lacked the bench strength to be effective, allowing the NDP and the PQ respectively to regain their place.  The Saskatchewan Liberals chose an act of ritual suicide rather than face the prospect of electoral success.  The ONDP case is a little more complex since narrowly winning official opposition in 1990 could scarcely be described as a transformational election.  The transformational election was the 1990 election of the Rae government.  External pressures and internal incompetence, taken together, rendered that transformation unsustainable.

While another election consolidating the New Democrats as either the government or the government in waiting would probably be sufficient to pronounce the Liberals, if not dead, at least relegated to third party status for some significant time.

Of course, it is too soon to read the electoral fortunes of 2015, but by then the NDP will either have persuaded the electorate that we can be at least the alternative government or that we simply don't have the capacity to function at that level.

Of course, the NDP isn't the only player in this.  The Liberals also have no small influence in the outcome of the contest.  It was some effective Liberal tactical decisions, for example, that helped to prevent 1988 from becoming a tranformational federal election.

So far, I mostly see a Liberal Party embittered over the loss of its entitlements.  If that's where they stay, they are doomed.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

It would be a big mistake to assume that the Liberal Party is not going to re-emerge as a contender for power.

In the first place, it's not hard to be an opposition party when the Harperites have a majority government. The government will be so awful that the opposition talking points practically write themselves.

Second, the voting public is predisposed to consider supporting any opponent of a government that 60% of them voted against - particularly if they like the looks and personality of the party's leader.

Third, NDP support is a mile wide and an inch deep. If the Liberals could pick up 5% of the electorate from among those who voted NDP they'd be back into Official Opposition in this FPTP system.  The NDP is not a sovereigntist party. It doesn't have deep roots in social movements, and the labour movement is quiescent. This is not the British Labour Party of Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920's.

Finally, and most important, the Liberal-Conservative duopoly is a cornerstone of Canadian bourgeois liberal democracy. The capitalist oligarchy that actually runs Canada will not tolerate for very long a situation in which they have only one party representing their agenda in Parliament. The whole Parliamentary dog-and-pony show, after all, requires both a dog and a pony in order to function. It's one thing to promote the illusion of being able to bring about substantive political change through the ballot box, but that illusion becomes somewhat less illusory when the capitalist class doesn't have at least two horses in the race. 

Sorry for mixing my metaphors.

------------------

ETA: Great minds think alike!

Quote:
With the crushing defeat of the Liberals, Harper has now established the Conservatives as the hegemonic party of capital. But this hegemony comes at a price. Capital in Canada has traditionally ruled through a system of alternance between Liberals and Conservatives, each ready to replace the other if defeated in Parliament or by the electorate. However, with the crushing defeat of the Liberals, and the victory of the NDP, the scenario has radically changed. Although the Tory government’s parliamentary majority is secured for four or five years, the alternance is now up for grabs. For Canada’s ruling circles, this poses a dilemma. Should they bank on rebuilding the Liberals? Or should they start thinking of the NDP as an acceptable option at the federal level, as they already do in some provinces where the NDP has governed for many years? - [url=http://lifeonleft.blogspot.com/2011/05/federal-ndps-electoral-breakthrou... Fidler[/url]

 

melovesproles

I still think it's the NDPs to lose.  They need to consolidate Quebec.  If they do that without completely alienating the rest of Canada, they're homefree. 

I can understand why some people think the NDP are going to screw this up but the nice thing is that a lot of the issues that will gain the NDP credibility are the same one's people on the left of the party have been supporting for a while.  A bigger emphasis on an anti-imperialist foreign policy will be necessary.  Moving Dewar out is would be a good step.  Get someone from Quebec that can articulate a leftwing foreign policy in both languages and the NDP will be well positioned as opposition to a Harper majority and the inevitable wars.

Quebec is a stronger base than the Reform party had, the NDP needs to do everything it can to consolidate it.  Harper is a perfect foil, the NDP just needs to find the right wedge issues and stick with them.  Find out what Quebec's key differences with Harper are and support them.  Those issues aren't so out of line with a significant portion of the left throughout Canada.  It's not a bad position to be in.

 

KenS

I'm surprised there have been no articles yet about the wholesale demolition of the LPC administrative structure, the plans for which I am sure are being finalised as we speak.

This is going to be another really big deal. Not as big a deal as the election wipeout, and the wholesale loss of OLO and Caucus staffing.... but, just behind them in importance and lasting effect.

The public financing subsidy will not reflect the vote drop for several months. And ironically, their fundraising would easily support the existing edifice for quite a while. But that edifice already had to go even if the LPC stayed powerful. Now, there will be no more internal debate- the brain trust wanted to severely trim it anyway.

Now they have to just plain demolish it and start over. And I would think the brain trust will use this period of the soone to end healthy revenue stream, to get the transition done and on a good footing for the reduced revenues.

First on the list: closing all the independent provincial organizations that jealously guarded their turf and petty patronage regimes. I'm sure the Executive does not have the power to formally close them. But the employees are formally the employess of the LPC, not the PTA's that have hetetofore been in de facto control. So the LPC can lay them all off in a stroke of the pen, and negotiate the closing of the leases for their offices. I think its only a question of how fast they do it and the amount of severance pay for the vast majority who will not have jobs in the new and centralized LPC administrative structure.

I guess you heard it here first.

I think this new LPC administrative structure will actually be better. But settling down into that is going to take a long time- especially when no one knows what the LPC itself is going to look like. So working out this new structure is going to be yet another anchor dragging on the revival of the LPC.

JeffWells

Thanks Ken; compelling observations.

If there wasn't this much daylight between the Liberal and NDP seat counts, we could have expected merger buzz in earnest from elements in both camps. Now, barring catastrophe (like, a total meltdown of the Quebec caucus during a sovereignty campaign), that's off for at least another election cycle.

Rae's ambition will likely mean he turns down a caretaker role. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes him right out of politics and back to Bay Street. That is, if he can see clearly enough that his helming a Liberal-led merger with the NDP is now even far less likely than it was two weeks ago.

 

Uncle John

I agree with KenS. The LPC(O) and LPC(Every other Province) must go. Bureaucracy for its own sake is bad by nature, and the Liberals have too much of it.

KenS

I've never quite been able to figure out what Chretien, Rae and Kinsella are up to with the merger thing- from their perspective. Could not and cannot figure it out either before or after this election.

Kinsella is the only of them that speaks at least more or less directly on the subject. Chretien just drops the vaguest of hints. And I dont think the consistency with what Kinsella says means that they are necessarily coordinating. Though even if they arent coordinating, that they speak easily from the same page is sufficient.

You get more out of Kinsella, but even there it is very short of details. So you are left with no idea what they rhink this merged animal would look like, and how the LPC is supposed to come out on top.

Here is my surmise, based on the little we can see:

Before the election Chretien and Kinsella would have assumed that the Liberals would dominate the merged party. They know that is off now. In fact, in his first blog post mortem, Kinsella essentially said that we are now so weak that there is no reason for the NDP to want us, and maybe its time for me personally to step out of the backroom role and play a public role in rebuilding from the ashes. In other words: that is the only practical approach left, whatever it's limited odds of success might be.

But I dont think that is to be taken too literally. I'm sure Kinsella meant it. But a lot of that is day after stuff, and he would be open to persuasion from Chretien anyway.

Here is my approximation of Chreitien's thinking: one possibility is that there is just not enough left in the ashes, and that the best course of action is that even in such a weak position the LPC sue for peace with the NDP. The results of that being the death of the grand old LPC, in return for keeping alive the hopes for a strong centrist party.

Promoting Bob Rae as Leader makes sense for keeping two strategies open, and Chretien keeping his hand in the choice and the unfolding.

Bob Rae as Leader keeps the door to merger as open as possible. I'm sure the proponents in the LPC are realistic enough to know that whether that door is open is up to the internal dynamics of the NDP. So keeping the door open only means making sure that their side is open.

Bob Rae also makes sense as de facto Interim Leader. The change to the LPC consititution does not allow waitng 2 years for a leadership race. But if that is the consensus choice, they'll find a way. and one way would be another coronation, with the clear understanding and even statement from Rae that there will be another race opened when the time seems best. Among other things, this would allow Trudeau to go on doing what he will, etc.

Even if the weight of opinion among the survivors was in favour of merger- and I dont see that it is yet- the LPC cannot afford to wait on the NDP and its process. Even those who favour merger have to plan for going on as if there will not be one.

Bob Rae makes sense as the "Leader for this difficult period"... with the explicit understanding that he will not be Leader at the end of where the process gores' You could say, a special kind of Interim Leader, not the traditional 'keeing the seat warm' referee role.

KenS

I was kind of surprised that the brain trust was unable to even trim those PTAs. Threy tried very hard. But I guess internal constituencies of the PTAs banded together and stopped the National Executive from doing anything at all. Just on his own, I'm sure Coderre was a formidable obstacle, let alone being able to tap all the other PTAs and their buddies on the Executive. I'm sure Coderre relished the additional pleasure of using this to get back at Iggy and the 'Toronto crowd'.

But there is no question it is all over now. And the national office and Executive have been drafting plans for how to do without the PTAs for years. Now they dont even have to bother with appeasing people by keeping the PTAs open and figuring out how to work with the smaller and restrained organizations.

Stockholm

I'm very amused by how many people trot out Bob Rae as a potential Liberal leader who could take the lead sin some sort of reconciliation/alliance/merger with the NDP. What planet are these people on? Do they not realize how TOXIC Bob Rae is in NDP circles? There is probably no one in Canada who is as universally LOATHED personally by every living breathing New Democrat as Bob Rae. The quickest way for the Liberals to have the NDP slam the door in their faces is to have Bob Rae be the one knocking on the door. For get get it - we hate him and he hates us - its as simple as that.

I really don't get what the Liberals would be thinking if they did put Rae in as interim let alone as permanent leader. The Liberals just lost three-quarters of their Ontario caucus - apperently because large swaths of people who voted Liberal in the past thought it was better to vote Conservative than to risk an NDP government that might be a reprise of the...drum roll please...BOB RAE Ontario provincial government!

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

I concur with Stockholm.  I can't think of a worse Liberal to lead an approach for a merger or other rapprochement with the NDP.  These guys are right up there with Hazen Argue and Ross Thatcher in the antipantheon of exNDP villians.

KenS

How toxic Bob Rae is to some in the NDP is secondary. This is about a possible internal Liberal process and discussion- and Bob Rae is the obvious choice to lead that discussion.

The question is whether he would be willing to do this in the 'elder staesman' / caretaker leader role.... that whatever change he leads. it is understood that he isnt going to be the Leader when the shift happens... because he wouldnt be the right one for the Liberals, let alone the assumption the NDP would not want him playing a leading role in a merged entity, that is not on the tables at the moment, but many Liberals, including apparently Chretien, would like to remain a viable option.

Caissa

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien was working the phones last week urging fellow Liberals to choose Bob Rae as interim leader of the party, but on Monday he held back from openly endorsing him or any other possible contender for the job.

Rae hasn't said yet whether he wants to run for the leadership job, either on an interim or a permanent basis. Michael Ignatieff resigned as Liberal leader last Tuesday, the morning after the party was reduced to just 34 MPs and lost its Official Opposition status to the NDP in the federal election.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/05/09/pol-liberals.html

ottawaobserver

Uncle John wrote:

Getting rid of the Liberal Party will guarantee one Party Conservative rule indefinitely. Stephen Harper has to be writing the script for this....

  • If it is a choice between Conservatives and NDP, enough Liberals will vote Conservative to stop the NDP.
  • Many more than Liberals who would vote NDP to stop the Conservatives.
  • And many less than NDPs who would vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives. Liberals are NOT leftists!

It should be admitted they are a centre RIGHT Party. Or maybe just a plain Centre party. An alternative government to the Conservatives which the NDP can never be. All they have to do is rebuild as they did from 1984 to 1993. It will take years. But they will be back. Unless they want to make Chretien the last chapter in the book.

There is a lot of truth to what Uncle John has written here. But it's not the whole story (or at least I hope it's not; it better not be).

Still it's the essence of what the NDP has to think about for the next few years, strategically.

Now arguably the NDP is better positioned than the Liberals were to gain votes from the Bloc, from the Greens, from left-Liberals and eventually from the Ford Nation kinds of working class populists NDP-or-Non-Voting-Conservative switchers.

But this is the game we'll have to play now if we want to win government. We have to win over some of the people who have decided to vote Conservative this time for varying reasons (economic security, political stability, a sense of patriotism, or of fear, or a desire for liberty).

Brian Topp had been doing some poking around American right-wing institutes and their websites, and came across research they conducted on how to get the working class to vote against their interests. A lot of what I liked about this NDP campaign was how it tried to use hope and humour to get working folks to vote in sync with their interests, but clearly there's still more support to get along those lines.

But certainly those are the Conservative-NDP switchers we have to get this time. At the same time we hold everything else, and drive a stake through the Liberal Party once and for all.

The age demographics of our support are also a long-term positive, and the Conservatives' age demographics are terrible over the long haul. So that's another opening.

JeffWells

Looks like an anti-Rae pushback from the Liberal Party exec:

Quote:
New rules set out by the Liberal Party say an interim party leader won't be allowed to run for the party's long-term leadership and won't be able to talk about a merger with the NDP, according to an internal party document obtained by CBC News.

The party's executive is expected to pass the rules at its meeting Monday night.

The document says any candidate for interim leader will be expected to agree in writing that "he/she will not seek the permanent leadership of the Party as part of the next leadership selection process," or "engage in any discussions or negotiations that would require any fundamental or material change to the nature or structure of the party," without prior approval done by a vote at a party convention.

The new rules also say the election of an interim leader will require the votes of a majority of MPs, and not only a majority of caucus, which includes more senators than sitting members of the House of Commons.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/05/09/pol-liberals.html

JeffWells

Since the Liberal Party appears to have collectively lost its political mind, I expect some very bad choices forthcoming. McCallum interim, and then Rae. That'll be Gritterdammerung.

ghoris

This is the most interesting part, for my money:

Quote:
The new rules also say the election of an interim leader will require the votes of a majority of MPs, and not only a majority of caucus, which includes more senators than sitting members of the House of Commons.

The proposals that the interim leader agree not to run for the top job and not talk merger with the NDP without authorization from the party are really no-brainers that apply to any leadership candidate, but it is this piece that is clearly aimed at stopping Rae, since it is widely believed that Chretien will be able to deliver most of the Senators' votes to his chosen candidate.

Lots of names are being bandied about. Most of the Liberal talking heads seem to agree that the interim leader must unequivocally rule him or herself out of the race. All sorts of interesting names have been put forward.

In the 'comic relief' category, people have floated Joyce Murray and Denis Coderre as possible candidates.

Ralph Goodale has a lot to recommend him as an interim leader, but his lack of proficiency in French may disqualify him. Wayne Easter has the same problem.

Scott Brison and Bob Rae are both effective parliamentarians and communicators but both come with baggage. Rae's drawbacks have been hashed over above. Brison's baggage is his history as a former Tory - I can just imagine the Harperbots poring over every word Brison's ever written or uttered to find juicy quotes bashing the Liberal Party and gleefully doling them out to the media, one at a time. Plus he sounds like he's still not quite ruled himself out of a run for the job on a permanent basis.

Some Ontario names that get bandied about are Carolyn Bennett, John McCallum and David McGuinty. McGuinty is the Liberals' answer to John Baird and will just turn people off, plus the Liberals probably don't want to tie themselves too closely to Dalton's regime right now. John McCallum couldn't inspire an ice cube to melt in the sun. Picking Bennett would be an olive branch to the 'social Liberal' wing of the party but, again, not sure about her French.

Of the potential Francophone candidates, Trudeau and LeBlanc will want to keep their options open for the leadership. That leaves Marc Garneau. Not the most dynamic guy, but he doesn't seem to have a lot of baggage, he's bilingual and is reasonably high-profile. He could be the dark horse choice if Rae and Goodale don't make the cut. 

Uncle John

Dion is the best choice.

SRB

Uncle John wrote:

Dion is the best choice.

Yes, there was an article about this:

http://tinyurl.com/3u8dmlp

KenS

I dont think its an important point, but the new rules would not prevent discussion within the LPC of whether a merger is the right way to proceed. 

Stockholm

Why not Irwin Cotler? I'm not saying i like the guy - but he's bilingual, respected in Liberal circles etc...

Uncle John

Yeah Cotler would be good too.

genstrike

you know, I was thinking the other day about who the Liberals should pick as their next leader.  I couldn't really think of anyone who would be able to rebuild the Liberal Party from where it is now.

Then, I figured out who the ideal leader for the federal Liberals would be:  Gary Doer

ottawaobserver

I bet Doer's term comes to an end in Washington in time for the next election, and he runs in Elmwood-Transcona as part of the NDP first federal government dream team.

Please bookmark this prediction. Thank you.

janfromthebruce

I'll raise you 2 "orange crushes" on that bet! Kiss

 

ottawaobserver wrote:

I bet Doer's term comes to an end in Washington in time for the next election, and he runs in Elmwood-Transcona as part of the NDP first federal government dream team.

Please bookmark this prediction. Thank you.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Pogo Pogo's picture

Back in the 80's my friend had this theory about Social Credit.  That each of its leaders had to be stupider than the previous leader (WAC -> Bill Bennett -> Vanderzalm -> Rita Johnson). 

I think a similiar rule for the Liberals would require the leader to have less and less political skills;

Chretien -> Martin -> Dion -> Ignatieff -> ?

Uncle John

Ed the Sock?

Krago

Pogo wrote:

Back in the 80's my friend had this theory about Social Credit.  That each of its leaders had to be stupider than the previous leader (WAC -> Bill Bennett -> Vanderzalm -> Rita Johnson). 

I think a similiar rule for the Liberals would require the leader to have less and less political skills;

Chretien -> Martin -> Dion -> Ignatieff -> ?

"Where have you gone, George Smitherman?  A party turns its lonely eyes to you.  Woo woo woo."

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