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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

No one wants to be Liberal leader

First John Manley announces he won't seek the Liberal leadership, then Frank McKenna follows. CBC just reported that Brian Tobin has said he won't seek the Liberal leadership, either. What's happening? Today, both a Globe and Mail editorial and its columnist Jeffrey Simpson said that the stars of the Liberal Party avoiding its leadership is a sign of the high demands of public life. The paper called their decision "regrettable" while wondering if the opportunity to lead a major "political party, and quite possibly the country" should entice ambitious (in both the good and the bad sense of the term) people but that the political process is "so debased now that even the most dedicated people shy away from it." There might be something to that analysis. But it might not be public life they are avoiding as much as the leadership of a party with little prospect of regaining power. (I touched upon this morning at Sobering Thoughts this morning.) Or perhaps the party the like of Manley, McKenna and Tobin once were interested in leading is what is so debased. The Liberal leadership is not worth having.

Simpson called Manley and McKenna "gold standard candidates" and lumped Tobin in with the B team. It says a lot about the Liberal Party that the most prominent member of that B team has already dropped out. I hear that Liberal operatives and strategists are quickly coming to the conclusion that Belinda Stronach is the only person in the party that might generate the kind of excitement and fresh look at the Liberals to help them regain a majority. It also says a lot about a party that a person who 1) less than 24 months ago was seeking the Conservative Party leadership, 2) less than 12 months ago was a member of the opposition Tories and 3) just eight months jumped from the opposition to the ruling Liberals in exchange for a cabinet post, is now seen as the front-runner for its leadership.

Perhaps a Western Standard reader might want to throw their hat into the Liberal leadership ring.

Posted by Paul Tuns on January 31, 2006 | Permalink


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I just announced on Andrew Coyne's site that I do intend to run for the Liberal leadership - a unilingual Albertan who works for a right-wing newspaper is just what the Liberals need to re-invent themselves.

I hope I can count on the support of everyone at the Western Standard.

Posted by: Mike Jenkinson | 2006-01-31 3:50:08 PM

I just announced on Andrew Coyne's site that I do intend to run for the Liberal leadership - a unilingual Albertan who works for a right-wing newspaper is just what the Liberals need to re-invent themselves.

I hope I can count on the support of everyone at the Western Standard.

Posted by: Mike Jenkinson | 2006-01-31 3:50:42 PM

Well I'll have to find a tailor to make me pants with bigger pockets first, but maybe...

Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-31 4:03:04 PM

I nominate the Canadian Tire guy.

Posted by: Norman Lorrain | 2006-01-31 4:12:28 PM

So a posable Liberal Out west candidate wants in : Well the west should always remember why we was allowed into Canadas confederation ,Do
you realise that the East understood that they would not be getting any financial help from the west untill the west was incorperated into confederation , I say today is the time to stop the flow of capital that feeds the East: Every person in the west should Join the party that invisions the WEST WANTS OUT And make it happen :
Who wants in to help creat a westen country ??

Posted by: RonSk. | 2006-01-31 4:22:01 PM

And what else is there about Belinda Stronach? It isn't merely her political inexperience; it's her complete and total inexperience - at anything.

Head of Magna? Hah. She was dumped in there by her father, who is the had of Magna.

So- here we have a young woman, a drop out from university, with no experience, no credentials, no knowledge of -anything - who is dribbled like a basketball, by her father, into various positions - CEO of his company; candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party (despite having NO knowledge of or experience in political science, economics, politics).

Why, why, why? Because her father is part of the Chretien gang; and figured that when Martin lost, Belinda would take over political rule, via the CP. (The Desmarais, Magna group doesn't care which party is in political power; as long as they control that party).

She doesn't get the leadership and so, she's dropped into place as a local MP...Then, she (as told to by her father, I'm sure) 'crosses the floor' to enable his buddies, the Liberals, to stay in power.

Now- they'll want her to take over the Liberal party. What does she bring them? Intelligence? Experience? Knowledge? Nothing.

But - the Liberals/the Gang run, not by policy, but by emotions. They'll put her in - and appeal to the voters - Hey! Get Modern! Vote A Woman Into Power!!! That's what the election will be about. No policies. Just emotion.

Why are these others refusing to head the Liberal Party? Is it because of the huge debt? Is it because of the further scandals to be made public about more money laundering and abuse of the taxapayer? Or - is it simply the - 'Don't get involved; we are setting up Belinda'.

Unreal. What's going on?

Posted by: ET | 2006-01-31 4:34:58 PM

I think it would be a great job, but for a few things which would probably disqualify me....
1.) I don't take bribes...
2.) I know no one in any Quebec communications companies that can launder public funds and redirect to a bankrupt party (both monetarily and ethically)
3.) From listening to the father of CANADIAN VALUES, Mr. Martin... those values are not mine so according to him I am not worthy of public office; especially the leadership of the Libranos...


Posted by: Northern Light | 2006-01-31 4:41:03 PM

Good terse appraisal, ET. It's a head-scratcher to be sure, and like someone else's bad dream. But I think it would be good for non/anti-Liberals if Stronach were to win the nomination. For one thing it would make crystal clear to Canadians a truth that they were just waking up to in the month before the election: that those who are drawn to the Liberals, as a group, are people who are not so much attracted to its party principals but to the heady rum of power and personal prestige.

When you consider the sorts of behaviours and cultures that define the Liberal clan, it makes perfect sense that having been drummed out of power they would reflexively turn to a candidate whose power doesn't require the involvement of politics, or elections. BS would represent the continuation of what they were building as a party. Strong-Martinism, you could call it.

Posted by: EBD | 2006-01-31 5:29:19 PM

Ron SK, Harper is just the latest on the merry go round. The numbers dictate the West will always be odd man out and one must also remember a merry go round always winds up where it started. Look at the polls, Ont. so stupid they vote for thieves, Que. who knows who cares but socialist to the core and the Maritimes scared to leave Mommy and the welfare womb. The West Needs Out.

Posted by: Western Canadian | 2006-01-31 5:32:04 PM

>The West Needs Out.

prescient. hilarious.

Posted by: asdf | 2006-01-31 5:37:49 PM

No, guys, we need a star candidate!

Around the Western Standard circle there is none better than the esteemed Mark Steyn. The fact that he lives in Quebec (and in NH, a blue state in the most recent election) should be enough for him to win.

Posted by: Dishwasher | 2006-01-31 5:50:01 PM

The only candidate better suited to head the Liberals than Belinda would be Hedy Fry. She gets my vote.

I would love to see the two of them trying to debate the issues.

Could the Conservatives get that lucky?

Posted by: John Chittick | 2006-01-31 6:28:27 PM

I'm retired, a former educator, not bad looking for a "wrinkly", love Canada (there, I said it) and have a caustic wit that serves me well, but despite these formidable attributes, I don't know anyone who would or could give me $3-5 million necessary to run a campaign. Bah humbug.

Posted by: johny_maple | 2006-01-31 6:28:47 PM

The Liberals are at their Waterloo.


The tip of the iceberg is showing, and Manley, McKenna and Tobin are smart enough to realise they can't survive in the ice cold water.


Posted by: TIZReporter | 2006-01-31 6:59:51 PM

I'm humungously disappointed in Frank Mckenna quitting so soon. I wanted him to run so we could reread all the fights he had against Morganthaler trying to get the right to abortions for women in NB. That would have been juicy considering the vile demonizing the Liberals tried to hang on Stephen Harper over the abortion issue in this last election. Liberals, thy name is hypocrisy.

Posted by: rockyt | 2006-01-31 8:32:33 PM

I nominate Art Hanger. He'd turn the goddam party around... in more ways than one!


Posted by: John | 2006-01-31 8:39:01 PM

below is what I posted on the Mckenna thread early this afternoon: My last line was going to be, until I decided against it: "This may sound like some crackpot conspiracy theory. It probably is, unless we see a bunch of other top-ranked Libs jumping ship too, than we may be on to something." anyone lese think we're on the verge of something?

....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 9:13:31 PM

Harper also said he would pass legislation opening Crown Corp accounts to the Auditor General. Lots of possibilities.
I assume this means the secret Foundations will also be audited and opened up. 10 or 12 billion dollars in secret accounts? who knows what is there.
Whistle blower protection, if it is solid enough, could bring a small blizzard of information about wrong doing.
Liberal debt reported to be 20 or 30 million. Who knows, but Elections Canada says 30 million plus.
No wonder the first string is turning the leadership down. Too many skeletons perhaps and they should know.
My vote goes to Belinda. My impression is that she has to be scripted and can't think on her feet. Pefect.
Can the Liberal party survive?
Maybe a new left wing Liberal NDP party and a return to the two party system? Wishful thinking I suppose.
But barring some disaster I don't think the Liberals will be back for 10 years maybe longer.

Posted by: gordonm | 2006-01-31 10:11:42 PM

yup, there just has to be a reason why prominent Libs are treating the leadership of the natural governing party like cancer. They all know something, and soon hopefully so will we.

Now, again to repeat a musing from another thread: can you imagine belinda vs Hillary? who cares what'd it do to N america, I would pay a fortune for a ringside seat to see Dinner at the White House. Hillary and bill; belinda and ...er, dad. How awkward would that be??

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-01-31 10:31:39 PM

Belinda is the perfect Liberal leader/opportunist.

Or how about Carolyn Parrish?

Posted by: wharold | 2006-02-01 1:12:21 AM

How about Mayor David "Frank" Miller of Sin City (aka Toronto). If the people of Toronto have even the slightest intelligence, then he'll be defeated in the upcoming election. However, Tronna people have repeatedly proven themselves to be the dullest, laziest, richest and stupidest people on the planet, so it looks like Miller will be re-elected.

Hopefully Tronna's non-white population will not be fooled by the white man's tricks and rally against Miller. After all the corpses of their children are piling up in the city morgue, while their wounded choke the hospitals (this is why wait times are so long and why less urgent patients are kept in hallways - gunshot and knife wounds need more attention). All of this is because Miller's incompetence and stupidity prevents him from seeking an effective solution to Tronna's problems.

If he is re-elected, I think PM Harper should send the troops in Toronto and forcibly remove Miller and City Council. I fear that many soldiers will lose life and limb in the attempt, as Toronto is a much better defended target than Baghdad.

Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-01 8:08:51 AM

Who wants to be the captain of a sinking ship? I don't think anyone in their right minds would want to lead this lost Magellan ship. Especially after we find out just how many scandals they have been involved in or created.

Posted by: Dave | 2006-02-01 8:14:13 AM

I nominate the Ground Hog
This creature only shows when things go its way

Posted by: Free The West | 2006-02-01 8:31:21 AM

I nominate the Ground Hog
This creature only shows up when things go its way
It has a great hidden agenda
to impose upon Canada yearly

Posted by: Free The West | 2006-02-01 8:38:22 AM

One of the Sad Things about leadership in Canada

The first requirement is that one be fluently bilingual. This cuts down the possible pool of people to about 30% of the people in Canada - most of whom live/work in the TO/Ottawa/Montreal corridor. One of the reasons Harper "made" it in this election is that he has taken the time/effort to become bilingual. It will be interesting to see who from AB/BC make it into high profile positions and note if they are also fluently bilingual.

This agenda has been foisted on us by the Liberals by law, it has been entrenched by the Liberals (i.e. civil service-senate), it has been perpetuated by the Mulroney conservatives, and now will probably at least acquiessed to by the Harper Conservatives (if not perpetuated).

Who among the more likely Liberal candidates are fluent in French.
Not Frank M., not Belinda S, not Brian T., not Carolyn P. not....... and the list goes on. They will have to start with someone who will not get hammered in either language - and this may bode well for the relative longivity of the Harper gov't.

Carolyn P was one of a panel of women at a girls school during the campaign (on CPAC). One of the girls asked her if the opportunity came up, would she run for the leadership of her party. Her first comment was a sort of flustered .... nooo, I'm know some French but am no where near fluent enough, so no - I wouldn't seek the leadership. Rather a sad state of affairs that this is the first rung on the ladder into anything but the lower levels of government in Canada.

Apparently we have 4 ground hogs in Canada. The one to make it will, of course, be bilingual :)

Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-02-01 11:30:46 AM

Calgary Clipper, that’s a very key point you make. But it’s even worse, if defined by being able to carry on a debate under the lights and cameras in French and English.

I think it’s closer to 15% bilingual than 30%. It’s less than half of Quebecers and 10% in the ROC. Moreover, in the ROC even the 10% is rusty because there is almost no need to practice French commercially in North America where we trade.

That’s why the Globe and Mail and CTV have been on such a rant for the past year to call Harper: scary, homophobic, against woman’s rights, a religious fundamentalist, dull, un-charismatic, angry followed by no passion. They knew that if they could sink Harper the CPC would be very redistricted coming up with another bi-lingual leader. And if we did, the vilification process would start over again until we ran out of bi-lingual leaders.

Isn’t it fascinating that a couple of great ironies have happened to the Liberals?
They are running out of bi-lingual contenders.
They are running out of money because their sources were a cabal of big business who they have now restricted from giving – legally. It’s the CPC that is the party of the little guy and we have a lot more people giving smaller amounts and that’s healthy.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-01 11:56:29 AM

Gomery Phase 2 Report

Table of Contents

* Preface

Part One: Background

* 1. Introduction
* 2. What Has Been Done
* 3. What Canadians Said

Part Two: Accountability

* 4. Parliament and Government
* 5. The Responsibilities and Accountabilities of Deputy Ministers
* 6. Strengthening the Chain of Accountability
* 7. The Prime Minister, Ministers and their Exempt Staff
* 8. The Privy Council Office and the Clerk

Part Three: Transparency

* 9. Advertising, Sponsorship Initiatives and Lobbying
* 10. Transparency and Better Management

Part Four: Conclusions and Recommendations

* 11. Rebalancing the Relationship Between Parliament and Government


* A: Terms of Reference
* B: Advisory Committee Members
* C: Research Program Participants and Studies
* D: Written Submissions
* E: Roundtable Participants
* F: Consultation Questions
* G: Staff of the Commission >

Posted by: maz2 | 2006-02-01 12:25:03 PM

What about too - hottie Scotty ; I`m sure he is very fluent in French.

Posted by: dave | 2006-02-01 12:40:55 PM

....and an even greater irony

that all of the official bilingualism cost/effort/etc. has been made because of the province of P.Q. while penalizing the ROC. All of this may well end up in P.Q. having a whole lot less in the years ahead rather than more.

Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-02-01 12:41:15 PM

He is probably not a WS reader, but he is an experienced politician. He probably is not troubled by the Liberals' financial situation since it has been proven that he can not count. He seems to dislike Stephen Harper even more than Belinda does. And he has experience in a minority government.
I nominate Joe Clark!

Posted by: Another Sean | 2006-02-01 12:48:51 PM

Does Michael Ignatieff speak acceptable French?

Posted by: Mad Mike | 2006-02-01 1:20:29 PM

I hear that Iggy is learning Ukranian.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-02-01 1:47:22 PM

I bet the Ukranians would like to school him...

Posted by: Stopthetrain | 2006-02-01 2:36:34 PM

scratch Bill Graham - fluently bilingual but by accepting the Interim Leadership, he apparently is not in the running for #1.

We just might luck in and see the gun man, Alan Rock, appear from the fog that is obscuring the bottom of their barrel. Talk about justice!!!

Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-02-01 3:06:28 PM

No one wants to lead the Liberals at this point, because they know what bigger scandals are about to be exposed.

Once the Auditor General gains access to the books from Crown Corps, the trust funds etc, Liberal will become a 4 letter word.

Belinda. Only the Liberals would consider making a woman, who slept with the former president of the United States (Clinton), who's wife Hillary) may become president of the USAabout the same time Belinda would be running for PM.

How to you think relations with USA would be then if our PM, humped the presidents spouse?

Posted by: Chris | 2006-02-01 3:36:39 PM

Quite the rhetoric, Scott, about Mayor Useless, aka David Miller, as he is affectionately called in TO. David Miller is a walking disaster, and plainly the dumbest of a dumb lot here. He is a perfect reflection of my home town [just look at the Tory wipe-out] and is like a universal reflection of the Liberal Party. The man simply has no shame, as does this sleaze-bag party.

Posted by: Dave | 2006-02-01 5:08:03 PM

Apparently Ignatieff speaks French...

Q: What is your party’s top priority for the country?
A: National unity is our top priority.

Q: How do you plan to make that happen?
A: Well, I speak French. We need to reconquer Quebec for the Liberal party so that they’ve got a real federal option that represents their interests.


How do you plan to make national unity happen? Ignatieff: Well, I speak French. ...:D

Posted by: Andi | 2006-02-01 7:24:32 PM

voila - not only bilingual but multi-lingual

The Liberal barrel is pretty much emptied of bilingual candidates that have any kind of a profile/experience/ability (to unite factions because of being so much involved in party dissention).

This guy was parachuted in for a purpose - won his riding over a lot of apparent discontent (that didn't really count for much in the final analysis) - and probably has a lot of backing of the economic/academic elite in the "Red Zone". He didn't give up his Harvard position to languish as a backbencher (or probably even a front bencher for very long) in the house of commons.

It could well be an anointment. The Liberal party wouldn't have to have any money in the bank to pull this one off. Suddenly - no infighting. Either you are on board or you are history.

Hmmmmmmm...this is something soooooooo like the Liberals would do.

Posted by: calgary clipper | 2006-02-01 8:04:07 PM

Dave: I thought the TV salesman who called in the Army to shovel snow was an embarrassingly bad mayor, but Miller makes him look great. Miller's handling of the 'gun crisis' has been ridiculous and totally ineffective. I think he's trying to appeal to the voters by being soft, but hopefully you people will make him eat those words. Like I said, hopefully.

If he is re-elected, and it is by no means impossible, then he should be forcibly removed before he causes anymore harm. People are dying because of is incompetence, and since he is accountable to the people, the responsibility is theirs. Enough whining and complaining about how you're treated by others, or about your precious image (now in tatters). DO SOMETHING!

Posted by: Scott | 2006-02-01 8:37:30 PM

I nominate the ubiquitous blog troll and moonbat.......Justin!

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