The Shotgun Blog
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Andrew Coyne in the National Post asks, Who is Bob Rae? I know who Bob Rae is. Bob Rae is the Power Corp Proxy and he is going to win the Liberal leadership because the Power Corp Proxy always wins.
The leadership race will be great theatre. It has to be. Nobody wants a frickin' boring coronation like the previous Liberal leadership race. However, like all theatre, the end of the script is known.
Putting that aside for a moment, let’s have some fun with the opening Greek chorus, the Deanster. Howard Dean will be funny. As he steps up to the microphone, the screaming young folk at the front will cajole him into doing "the scream" and that will be self-deprecating and hilarious and he’s really a great guy "but seriously folks Stephen Harper equals George Bush blah blah and Canada needs its Bill Clinton like Trudeau was your Kennedy blah blah"
And then the vote. In a dramatic come from behind second ballot victory, the party choses--omigod!--Bob Rae! "This is a dramatic turn of events," Peter Mansbridge will say to the camera like he believes it. And then Peter will turn to Jim Travers of the Toronto Star and ask him, "Is that how you see it, Jim?" And Jim, red-faced because he knows the Canadian political landscape but can only speak about a tenth of what he knows if he knows what good for him, will say "Well Peter, I think the signs were there..."
The Raester will be hoisted on shoulders and carried up to the stage where he will make a spontaneous speech out of string of meaningless platitudes and clichés starting with "Now is the time to come together." And come together they will, pretending it is a new day for the Liberal Party, it's 1968 all over again, Trudeaumania. Those were the days my friend we'd thought they'd never end.
Following the convention, calling it Rae's honeymoon period, the media will gush as if Bob has just dropped in from Mars and nobody had ever heard of him before. Bob, your father was a distinguished diplomat. What was it like growing up in that atmosphere? Bob, the Globe and Mail's Jeffrey Simpson once called you "the first Jewish premier of Ontario" though your wife calls you Chai Anglican ho ho ho. Does that mean you could become Canada's first Jewish Prime Minister? Bob, you were also quite the scholar as a young man, and you seem to have developed a real social conscience early on. Was that a heavy burden? Bob, you led Ontario through a difficult recession. How did you and your family handle all the personal criticism?
And male journos like Don Martin and Thomas Walkom will be impressed with the remarkably frank and open Bob Rae, saying he has real gravitas, and female journos like Susan Delacourt and Jane Taber will put on the blush-and-swoon like aged groupies at a Vegas fat Elvis concert in the '70s.
Here's a Cassandra side note. Cloak of Green Party leader Elizabeth May will try to consolidate as much of the uninformed environmental vote as possible targeting urban Starbucks latte slurpers and earnest young college students frightfully worried that the world is about to end because the older generation "screwed up." In the next federal election, using the old Liberal playbook--repeating the line “There’s nothing scarier than a Stephen Harper majority”--in key ridings she will lead that vote over to the Liberals. I believe she is there to siphon off the Green vote from the NDP and lead it back to the natural governing party.
Of course I could be wrong about all of the above. After all, the real prize is foreign affairs, control of the China file and CIDA. From the November 6, 2006 Hill Times:
Increasingly, it seems clear that while Dion would serve happily in a Rae government, and Rae would be a comfortable foreign affairs minister to Prime Minister Dion...
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"[Micheal Ignatieff] told people 15 years ago that he thought about coming back to become prime minister."
OMG, right, Iggy.
Just pop back to Canada to become PM. No stops on Connecticut Ave., or St. James Place, or Indiana Ave., or Ventnor Ave., or North Carolina Ave., or even Park Place. Just get parachuted into Lakeshore-Etobicoke and PASS GO, just like that.
The $200 might not do you any good, though. Bob Rae may have passed Go a few more times than you, though he hasn't done time in the 'hood, either. But in your Party, it doesn't seem to matter. New guys, old guys, what's the diff? You're all Librano$ and whoever gets in is going to be bad for Canada.
Posted by: 'been around the block | 2006-11-19 9:41:46 PM
The killer question will be: will Ontarians give Bob Rae a second chance but this time to govern Canada after apprenticing on Ontario?? It would seem strange for a failed socialist premier of Ontario to be given the opportunity to govern Canada .. but this time as a Liberal. Oh well .... stranger things have happened .. but I can't seem to recall it.
Regardless who wins the Liberal leadership I think we can all agree it will still be a win-win situation for Power Corp and eminence grise of the Liberal party .. Desmarais .. who is reputed to be an ardent federalist .. but considering what Power Corp controls in Canada it is no wonder.
If the Liberals win the next election as a minority government, be assured that the NDP will help bolster that government for the next 3 - 4 years to stop the Conservatives from governing. Also look to an eventual merger of the Liberals and NDP ... and blessed by sucky Canadians.
Posted by: Observer | 2006-11-19 11:05:00 PM
"Sucky" and Canadian certainly go together.
And I'll add wimpy, as well, and duped.
And how about useful-idiots, uninformed, and zombie-like?
Posted by: 'been around the block | 2006-11-20 5:34:58 AM
you've just predicted the future and it looks a lot like the past.
When it comes to the Canadian electorate the term
"Sheeple" and the phrase "Culture of entitlement"
pretty much sums it up for me.
Posted by: Stevie | 2006-11-20 5:55:44 AM
Here's a further "Casandra" for you Kevin: seeing how Powercor has stacked the odds by having 2 horses in the LPC leadr's race, the one deemed more media salable will get the crown....this seems to be the way things are playing out in this public theater.
Who's the other Powercor horse?...well Professor Iggy of course, Bob rea's old academic pal who he introduced around the Canadian halls of power when he was a young and ambitious scolar...Iggy met "uncle Moe" and "Poppa Paul" long before a place in NDP leadership was purchased for Bob...Igg just didn't think the political pickings were lukerative enough in Tm Horton land and bolted to the US to work his connections there. Now he has been coaxed back into the federal game here by Bob and he had a seat paid for by big donations from brother John's Powercor political patronage fund...now he's playing second horese to Bob in the leadership illusion.
Casandra sez, that now it has been established that Powercor Bob is the more salable of the pwercors hoses, he will get a plumb cabinate job....say foreign affairs...where if elected he will give the powercor cartel open access to the CIDA monies.
Posted by: Wlyonmackenzie | 2006-11-20 10:54:32 AM
The Cat has a lovely tin foil hat for you, if you would only send the right measurements?
Posted by: CuriosityCat | 2006-11-20 11:07:45 AM
I hope the Bob Rae Division of Power Corp is given the golden sceptor . Kyoto and increased payments into equalization will give Alberta the incentive to leave this socialist, one world government piece of flop the Liberals have made this country.
Posted by: Brian Elson | 2006-11-21 9:10:47 AM
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