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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis says coalition is finished, Dion should resign

Karygiannis And then there were two.

After emerging from a closed-door meeting with the Liberal caucus, the MP for Scarborough-Agincourt Jim Karygiannis shared some critical words for the leadership and communication skills of Liberal leader Stephane Dion with the press:

"The coalition -- the way that we're going right now -- it won't survive. I can't see it surviving. We have somebody who can't communicate and someone who can communicate, its hard, its very hard...

"My French is limited. But I can tell you one thing: if I can communicate in English, I can communicate in English. If you can't communicate to the other 60 percent of the people when they listen to you -- and its a terrible speech and we bombed in the election. Well it says it right there, we bombed. We went from 96 seats to 76 seats...

"I know the NDP are vicious, and vicious when it comes to electing people of Parliament... It's not that I have mistrust of the NDP, I just think we need a better communications person. Our communication sucks, it was shown last night. What else is there to say?

"If you don't win the air war you don't don't get nowhere. If you don't have air support you can't win the ground war. We don't have ground support... and right now the air war, and the ads the Conservatives are going to throw at us, are going to be vicious."

Asked about seeking a replacement for Dion he said "the day that's set for me, May 2nd, we have to respect that" advising the press to "seek out" people in the caucus who feel similarly to himself, adding "I speak for myself, I speak for my constituents."

Karygiannis said that he would have to wait to see the budget proposed by Stephen Harper in January and to consult with his constituent before deciding which way he would vote, but he tried to make himself clear "I have not been courted to cross the floor and I will not be crossing the floor."

Can you hear that? I think that might be the sound of the ice starting to crack under the weight of the unwieldy coalition.

UPDATE: Liberal leadership candidate and MP Michael Ignatieff had this to say in response:

Mr. Karygiannis has engaged in action that it seems to me is -- I hesitate to- I choose my words carefully -- extremely disappointing. And his characterization of what happened in caucus is entirely wrong, entirely wrong.

Let me make that entirely clear. This caucus is 76 men and women striving to be worthy of the hour. There isn't a person back there who isn't aware that we are facing the most serious political crisis, constitutional crisis, and economic crisis this country has faced since the 1930s.

Every single one of us is aware of the seriousness of this. Every single one of us is trying to rise to the expectations which Canadians have of us. Mr Karygiannis' characterization of these discussions today is unworthy of the caucus to which he belongs. [...]

We have a leader and his name is Stephane Dion.


CTV's Robert Fife shares what he's been hearing from about the Liberal Caucus meeting this today, it doesn't sound pleasant. The Caucus seems to be deeply divided and the knives are out for Dion.

Apparently there was shouting directed at both Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff when they suggested that they should look at the Conservative budget before deciding whether to vote against it.

One of the Caucus members said that the Taliban were able to put out better videos than Dion's staff.

Fife's sources tell him that Karygiannis was not alone in calling for Dion's resignation before May.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on December 4, 2008 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Open civil war begins within the Liberal Party.

I just gets better and better.

Posted by: Dennis | 2008-12-04 2:31:12 PM

Hear, hear Dennis. I'm luvin' it. Yo, Iggy, glubb glubb glubb...that's the sound of your Lieberal ship sinking.

Posted by: Sheila T | 2008-12-04 2:40:02 PM

Makes you wonder exactly why a prorogation was needed, doesn't it? Now the uncertainty will simply be dragged out for an extra month or two, and then we will be in an election. I do not think Harper should still be leader then, he has clearly taken us as far as he can.

Posted by: Kevin in Sk | 2008-12-04 2:47:12 PM

I guess his English is very limited as well....
does he has to repeat everything twice because of a limit vocabulary?

"We have somebody who can't communicate and someone who can't communicate, its hard, its very hard...
My French is limited. But I can tell you one thing: if I can communicate in English, I can communicate in English."

Posted by: S Ramirez | 2008-12-04 2:47:57 PM

Stephane Dion does in indeed have a serious communication problem when speaking in English. Half the time I don't understand what Mr. Dion in saying and I don't doubt that is the case for a lot of English Canada. Election tip for the liberals: only select a leader that that can speak extremely well in both French and English. I don't doubt for a minute that Mr. Dion is a lot smarter than than many Canadians give him credit for but poor communication skills in English is killing him and his party nationally.

As far as the coalition goes, I am for giving it a try but I doubt seriously that Mr. Dion with his poor English communications skills will be able to sell the idea to most of English Canada in the coming public relations war about the coalition.

Posted by: Ernie in Thunder Bay | 2008-12-04 2:48:25 PM

S Ramirez,

He does have a very colloquial way of speaking, but its not different from most native English speakers.

Also, your comment pointed out to me that I had made a trancription error. It should be "We have somebody who can't communicate and someone who *can* communicate."


Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-12-04 3:01:39 PM

Ernie says,I don't doubt for a minute that Mr. Dion is a lot smarter than than many Canadians give him credit for ".

Define 'smart'. I see no indication, other than his professorial academic 'smarts' a bright man.

He has no sense of people, no understanding of human nature and certainly not of his personal shortcomings.

Smart? Maybe. Maybe not.

Posted by: No Guff | 2008-12-04 3:24:14 PM

Off to the Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London -- extradite Dion now!

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2008-12-04 3:30:22 PM

Ignatieff: "We have a leader and his name is Stephane Dion."

This wouldn't be the same Stephane Dion that Iggy has been plotting to take over from, would it?

The biggest crisis here was how the coalition would keep a straight face while swilling at the trough.

Posted by: Heavy | 2008-12-04 3:49:47 PM

"Dion is very smart, a lot smarter than Canadians give him credit for" I must disagree with that Dion has been to long a professor, if you disagree with him, you fail, he can not communicate with 80% of his audience. He is not a leader, P M Stephen Harper must be tired of "kicking him to the curb" this latest adventure with the Bloc and Jack Layton are the last acts of a truely delusional individual. I hope he stays on as Liberal leader but I think the voters will take care of that. He has been crippled by an elitest education.
cheers Bubba

Posted by: Bubba Brown | 2008-12-04 4:08:54 PM

Tried to post an article to the editor at the NP couldn't get through so will sum up in a few words here. All elected Representatives in the House are part of the government. If the Prime Minister looses the confidence of the House according to the Statute of Westminster the GG can call the Leader of the next largest party and inquire whether he can consult with the members of the opposition in the House to form an altenate government. If I remember high school civics correctly he can only consult with other members of the House after he has been given permission, for to do so without permission as a sworn member of the House is to conspire against the sitting government and also the Crown. Lets see where this goes if I'm correct.

Posted by: Antenor | 2008-12-04 4:40:50 PM

The Liberals are already starting to turn on each other after day 1 of not getting what they want. Shouldn't be long until these three parties eat themselves alive.

Posted by: glen | 2008-12-04 6:29:46 PM

The moral of this story is that Canadians have not yet finished punishing the Liberal Party for their so many past misdeeds. It's not that we support the Conservatives -- we don't vote parties in, we vote parties out! We voted you out, Liberal Party, and this attempt to launch yourselves back into power angers ordinary Canadians and will only serve to lengthen your time in the political wilderness. Canadians have not forgotten nor forgiven the sponsorship scandal, shawinigate, galiano, the gun registry and the public works debacle, to name just a few. When we get thoroughly disgusted with the Conservatives (as we will) we'll let you know.

Posted by: Northern Gal | 2008-12-04 8:01:51 PM

Stephane Dion is an INTELLIGENT man.

He is not a SMART man.

Understand the difference?

Posted by: set you free | 2008-12-04 8:13:42 PM

Dion is said be unable to communicate,Canadians have said he is not a leader time and time again.And in this coalition he was to be Canada's Prime Minister? Canadians know better.
If he can't communicate with Canadians how is he supposed to communicate with the leaders in the rest of the world?
Liberals would be wise to get rid of him sooner than later.
Iggy as a possible leader, is not doing himself any favours by defending Dion's coalition.This is one event that will not be forgotten by the Canadian public in the next election.
Their trust in him will be lost, fearing that he too would choice the coalition route.
Bad move for someone who wants to run the Liberal party.
He should have kept a low profile and kept his mouth shut like Rae and LeBlanc and just said nothing.
This will all be ammunition for the Conservatives when they campaign in the next election.....when the Conservatives finally get a majority thanks to the blunder coalition.

Posted by: geo | 2008-12-04 9:06:42 PM

I must have entered a parallel Universe. Did I just hear ROBERT FIFE exhibit bias againt the leader of the LIBERAL party?

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-12-04 10:22:42 PM

If I didn't have good control of my bladder, I would be filling my pants with warm, uncontrollable laughter right about now.

First this: "CTV's Robert Fife shares what he's been hearing from about the Liberal Caucus meeting this today, it doesn't sound pleasant..."

This wouldn't be the same Robert (A.K.A.-Barney) Fife that accused the Conservatives as "knuckle-draggers" during the last election campaign would it? Tell us Barney, what's your personal view on these `Honourable Parliamentarians' that wish to nullify our chosen representatives that we, as Canadians, recently anointed by this democractic process known as an election? Has the budget been tabled in the house yet? Has any `Honourable Member of Parliament' voted on it? Nope, not `Honourable Members' anyway; but there have been many other `Not-So-Honourable Members' in our society who wish to form a coalition before it's even been tabled. The term "usurp" comes to mind when I think about these dishonourable clowns in our state capital. Aunt Bea would be chasing you guys out of town with her broom.

Second: "One of the Caucus members said that the Taliban were able to put out better videos than Dion's staff."

Well, well. Now's the time to `knockup' one of your coalition partners for some assistance. I'm quite positive that someone in Layton's crew could've helped you guys out with this subpar-Taliban styled piece of videography and rendered it a blowout masterpiece.

Posted by: Gary K. | 2008-12-05 4:39:04 AM

It feels to me that this prorogue, when we look back on it, will become a therapy session for the Liberal party - once all their immaturity and ridiculousness is flushed out, Parliament can start again at the end of January exactly where it was in October and the MPs can get on with doing their job.

Posted by: Alex T | 2008-12-05 12:06:35 PM

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