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Monday, January 30, 2006

McKenna's not running

He made the announcement today. I agree with Andrew Coyne -- something must have changed his mind very recently, or else he likely would not have quit as ambassador to the U.S.

Posted by Ezra Levant on January 30, 2006 | Permalink


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Successful managers contend that you wait until the "mess" is on the mend , then you jump in and everyone remembers you as the "saviour" , but if you jump in too early , even thogh you clean up the "mess" , you are always remembered as the guy with the problem.

My guess is that the Liberal finances and/or the necessary purging within the party are in a much bigger mess than anyone is willing to admit , and that the Liberals will need a hatchet/cleanup man to do the dirty work who will then step aside after cleaning house. That rules out all the guys who really want to be PM.

Posted by: Willy | 2006-01-30 1:45:04 PM


McKenna must have realized, days ago, that the Liberal Party is almost, financially, bankrupt and that it will take time and a great deal of effort to move it out of this financial hole. But, he still didn't reject the option to lead the Liberals. So- what changed his mind? Did he get some phone calls?

I'm speculating and of course it's pure speculation - that it's the Desmarais, PowerCorp, Magna Gang behind his change.

They want Belinda in - an astonishing 'choice' - an utter dimwit who has no education, no experience in anything, no credentials..who has just been dumped into her various roles (head of Magna Corp; candidate for CP leadership; MP candidate) by and only by, her father. Never by her own merit.

It's her father who has the ambitions and, along with his pals in the Gang, they have an agenda of control of a political party. Obviously, Mr. Stronach couldn't make use of his son, who has only one interest - horse-racing. So, he fell back on his daughter, and dumped her into those various positions.

What is puzzling is the role of Ignatieff. Who brought him up to be the 'charistmatic king'? If it wasn't the Desmarais/Magna gang (who seem to want Belinda) - then - who was it? Chretien? No - After all, Chretien is part of the Gang. So- how does Ignatieff fit in? Was it the Martinites?

Posted by: ET | 2006-01-30 1:51:53 PM

ET, i agree Ignatieff is puzzling. I think it was the Martinites, under the assumption they would take the throne as the 'natural governing party' once again (why not?) and then hand Ignatieff a high-profile portfolio en route to Sussex. But what does he do now? play foreign policy critic on an opposition governmnet? doesn't seem like his bag.

Even if one subscribes to the theory that the Libs will be back in next election, once BC, Man. and Que feel the natural governing party has been punished enough, it doesn't guarantee Ignatieff will be in the good graces of whoever has the reigns of the party at that time. I'm guessing he bails sooner rather than later. I'm thinking things didn't go according to plan for mikey

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-30 2:40:50 PM

Thats the horrid beauty of Ignatieff.
No one brought him in. (Unless it was suggested to him by US politicos?)
He's not tied in with the Canadian cartel or their subservient Liberal backroom boys.
I think he's both smart enough and breathtakingly arrogant enough to do it all on his own. Have you read his books? Did you see his speech at the liebral convention? I don't like his affinity for the liberals, but he could eat them all for lunch, no exceptions. (McKenna's figured it out)
He will appear from nowhere, and be leader of the Liberal party in short order. Much to the surprise of the "boys". He'll make his own deals, massage the liberal party into a shape of his liking, and take them into the next election.
Possibly followed, shortly thereafter, by the Alberta firewall and a REconstituion of this dysfunctional country.
Ignatieff is really the only one Stephen will have to deal with.
Oops, sorry about the rant...

Oh, and by the way, while I'm prophesying - Saskatchewan will finally become Nuclear friendly! Peter Prebble quit!

Posted by: Mad Mike | 2006-01-30 2:48:22 PM

Hmm - Interesting, MadMike. I tend to agree with Stopthetrain - Ignatieff was brought in to replace Martin (who is 67, after all), under the assumption that the Liberals would get in, with yet another minority. He would be primed to take a majority in the next election. But now??

I agree (??) that he's not tied in with the Cartel - they want Belinda The Dimwit in - because they can continue their rule in that manner.

I've read his books; I happen to agree with him about Iraq (I'm in favour of the war, and of Bush); and I agree with the sad task that the US has, of propping up and defending democracy everywhere. Certainly, the UN is useless in that role..

But, I think he'll leave rather than wait; the U of T (and Toronto) is no match for Harvard and Boston.

And I think the CP will win the next election, with a majority.

So much for speculation.

Posted by: ET | 2006-01-30 2:59:25 PM

Karl Rove sent Ignatieff in … :>)

More seriously, I saw Ignatieff speak on his book “The lesser of Evils” in Toronto at the University Club. I don’t know which I enjoyed more, the eloquence of Ignatieff or all the squirming by the BA’s in Gender Studies when Ignatieff made his lesser of evil case for dealing with Islamofascists.

On Foreign Policy he’d make a good Conservative. But I have no idea where he’d stand on the free-markets. My worry would be that there's a lot of central planning going on in that guy’s head, which is why he chose the Liberals.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-01-30 3:18:47 PM

We seem to be speculating down the same road.
And I agree with you that he would have replaced Martin - he still will.
As you point out, time is the factor. If he becomes leader quickly, and feels he can get the population centers of Central Canada to run back the brand immediately, he'll hang around. If he thinks the Conservatives will come back to power, he'll bail out.
Ignatieff will be watching and analyzing Stephens performance very closely, and making his decisions in the next few weeks. No way a guy like that will choose to ride a lame horse, or race against a horse he's not sure to beat. Harvard and the US is still there.
It's going to be an interesting spring season, eh?

Posted by: Mad Mike | 2006-01-30 3:19:46 PM

With Harper at the helm, Paulie gone, no FM to worry about, why are you guys still whining?

Fall 2008: I predict 170-230 seats

Who's gonna stop us from launching the Conservative revolution now?

Iggy the Terrible?
Sodomite Brison?
The charismatic Stephane Dion?

:) :) :)

Posted by: Ace | 2006-01-30 4:08:21 PM

Personally I don't think him quitting as Ambassador had anything to do with the leadership issue.

How could a Liberal leadership contender act as the speaker for a Conservative Canadian government in Washington? Didnt make sense... so of course he would resign.

I would expect he'd be appointed to another post eventually once the new government takes control.

Posted by: Chris Alemany | 2006-01-30 4:41:11 PM

Maybe Harper will appoint Iggy ambassador to Prince Edward Island. And McKenna could become ambassador to Lower Sloboda.

Posted by: jacob honig | 2006-01-30 5:06:08 PM

Whether or not McKenna harbours leadership ambitions, the reason for his resignation is obvious - it's better to quit then get fired because it looks better on your resume.

Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2006-01-30 6:51:27 PM

Chris A. and Michael D. are right on the money: McKenna's resignation was inevitable after a Lib loss, regardless of the leadership situation. After all, he's a political hack rather than a career diplomat. Conflating the two issues is a rather disappointing bit of analysis from Andrew Coyne.

But I'm glad to see that the Tinfoil Hat Brigade has resurrected the evil spectre of the Desmarais-Stronach Cartel to scare little children into behaving!

Posted by: Jim in Toronto | 2006-01-30 7:28:42 PM

Mark Steyn’s recent take on Ignatieff more or less sums up my feelings as well. A brilliant mind, but there’s concern how such a dominant, charismatic figure was reduced to shallow liberal talking points. Never underestimate the power of Trudeaupia!!

ET, like a lot of Liberal hawks, Ignatieff toned it down considerably once the MSM stepped-up pimping dead US soldiers 24-7. Still, I have to admit he’s given more support to the war on terror and Bush even while hiding under his desk, than the CPC leadership has, and that’s OK in my books.
I some way, I relate to him the way I do Chistopher Hitchens. (I’m not comparing). I find the latter repugnant on many issues (especially religion), but you can’t say he isn’t brilliant – or at least I can’t. And, on the war on islamofascism, at least, he’s on the right side of history.

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-30 9:42:39 PM

Again, my view is that the backroom of the Liberal Party has no intention of doing what so much of the press is speculating that they are doing - rebuilding their platform, to present their party as an ideological choice of policies.

The Liberals over the past decade and more, have become a party-without-a-platform. They have no platform; they have no policies. They operate only within the tactics of power. Their tactics are not ideological, i.e., policies. They are pure propaganda. That's all. Their only tactic is to manipulate the people into voting them into power. Then, they tax the people, and use the money as bribes to keep that population voting for them.

Someone else coined the phrase 'fear, fraud and falsity' - and that's the operating strategy of the Liberals. From their first rush into power with their promise to 'reject the GST' to now - it has been nothing but manipulation, fear and fraud.

Consider this current campaign: it was based on a pre-election tactic of massive bribery - with taxpayer money, with millions flung at various vote-sectors in Canada. The SSM had one agenda only - the votes in the Big Three: Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Just as the Gun Registry had one agenda only - women's votes. Another frequent tactic is, of course, anti-Americanism, which is used to move people into a shouting, high energy emotive bond, much like that in a hockey or football game.

There is absolutely no policy in any of their governance actions; it is all - to stay in power. The current election saw it begin with those massive bribes, and with the emotive question of Do You Love Canada? And then, it moved into fear - with those attack ads, which were geared to move the population into an emotive rather than rational state. The tactics of the Liberal party are pure propaganda - manipulate the people by enotions; of fear and falsity, to function only emotionally, to keep the people from thinking..and..to vote Liberal.

The people behind this tactic, are the PowerCorp, Desmarais, Magna Cartel - behind Chretien, Martin...and..even now.

The problem with such a governance and its agenda, is that it disempowers the electorate, who are merely manipulated into the vote. It has corrupted the Westminster system by locating all power within the office of the PM- and his ability to control the gov't by over 3,000 appointments - all unelected and all unaccountable...and all loyalists.

And, it has set up Canada as a dependent economy, with its citizens taxed to the extent that they are all low-middle class, unable to amass a surplus to invest in Canadian infrastructures. Our businesses, our services, our infrastructures - are all more and more, foreign-owned and foreign-governed, with Canadians acting only as managers. That is due to the Liberals. It is unbelievable that less than 1% of Canadians have the capacity to invest in long term infrastructures; the percentage ought to be at least 20%. Therefore, investment is foreign-owned, and Canadians are employees. That's also why Canadians are primarily interested in their wages, benefits and pensions, and not in investments; they have been deprived of developing any investment capacity.

With its equalization tactic, the Liberals have set up all regions of Canada as dependent on Ottawa, without any ability to self-govern or develop their own economies.

I think that McKenna realized that the Liberals have no intention of establishing policy but intend to continue their old tactic of power-by-propaganda. They want someone in as leader who will follow this agenda and will not attempt to develop policy.

Therefore, what I think will happen, is that the backroom will focus on Belinda Stronach - who, brainless, has no intention of developing policy, but who will be very useful within the tactics of propaganda. The tactic will be focused around The Power of Women - and will be very useful in the big cities.

IF Martin had won with a minority, I think they would have retired him in 6 months, and moved in Ignatieff - as an emotive charismatic leader. Without that win, I predict - they'll use Stronach.

Posted by: ET | 2006-01-31 7:52:43 AM

ET, obviously we aren't on the same page on teh ME, but when it comes to our own backyard, you are exactly on the money. bravo to your post!

Condi vs Belinda? Cool.
Or even better, Belinda vs Hillary? LOL. oh man, I just thought of that. Can you imagine what those NAFTA summits would be like? -- like a Jerry springer episode. You F'ed my husband Biatch! Get your own man! You think we have bad trade relations now? you haven't seen nothing yet!

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-31 8:45:05 AM

A couple of comments:

a) Is it possible that McKinna has decided not to run for party leader be cause he sees the possibility of a party split? And possibly plans to lead the New Liberal Party?

b) Also looking at Michael Ignatieff's background (son of a diplomat, grandson of a count (on both sides)) could it be he has no intension of seeking Liberal leadership? Could he be playing the kingmaker roll? Or even possibly intending to cross the floor in a bid to become heir-apparent at the next Conservative leadership convention? His writings (that I've read, and by no means all of them) indicate a conservative (ie right-wing) view, and his background is classic aristocrat….crossing the floor would put another hole in the already sinking ship that is the Liberals…

Posted by: Daniel | 2006-01-31 11:45:47 AM

Daniel, i agree, his decision to join the Liberals perplexed me.
From an ideological point of view, I wouldn't call him exactly a classic conservative, but surely it wouldn't be an outrageous to think that philosophically he's in line, and in some ways, a bit to the right of the cautious conservative leadership we have now -- making his decision to join the libs odd. But there are two reasonable explanations for this.

1. He thought the Libs would win as they're destined to, and he would get to fly the world as a distinguished statesman. Secondly, he's blue blood elite, and the aristocratic leanings of the 'Desmarais Party' may have been more his bag than having to hang out with some of the rural, western reform segments of the Tory caucus.

I'll speculate on another possible theory on Mckenna's announcement. And this may have been already stated. But what if he caught wind of Harper's plans (if there even are any) to widen the RCMP probe into Liberal improprieties to such files as the gun registry, Human resources, Martin's finance office's own public contract conflicts of interest etc.
We, as in WS readers, don't need any more evidence that this government ran its rackets in somewhat the same manner as john Gotti did, but imagine would happen if it came out that these practices weren't a Quebec anomaly, but a culture of deceit and crime across a number of depts. Do you want to be sitting as Leader of that party when that kind of shit hits the fan?

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-31 12:42:56 PM

Perhaps, Mr. McKenna, as a Liberal, didn't relish the idea of doing the infamous Conservative Watoosy (ie. performing fellatio on any American who happened to pass by the Embassy front doors)?

Ok, maybe he'd just have to learn the lyrics for When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, but still...

Posted by: The Big M | 2006-01-31 2:06:44 PM

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