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Major shakeup in Liberal Party expected, needed.

So we’ve had speculation all day that Jamie Carroll would be offering his resignation. Then, we’ve heard he isn’t resigning. Then, a letter of his to a management committee gets leaked (a confidential letter, I might add – another leak to the press which I find disturbing regardless of what I think of Mr. Carroll), where he threatens to sue the LPC for an alleged loss of reputation over the furore caused by his alleged remarks last week, unless he gets 12-18 months of compensation pay.

I think a few people out there would call this a “gong show”, what’s gone on today. Now, in a story tonight, it appears there will be a major shakeup in Liberal ranks:

Dion is also expected to tap two of the top strategists who were instrumental in securing three consecutive election victories for the Liberals under Jean Chrétien. He will name veteran party warhorse Senator David Smith as one of three national campaign co-chairs for the coming election. And he has asked Power Corp. executive John Rae to be special adviser to the campaign committee on election readiness.

In otherwards, he’s bringing in people who know how to run and win election campaigns. These aren’t the only Chretien-era staff he is reportedly bringing in either:

Dion will announce Wednesday that he is bringing in Johanne Senecal as his new principal secretary. Senecal, a Quebecer who worked in Chrétien’s office and for Dion when he was Chrétien’s unity minister.

As for Carroll, his supposed replacement is Marc Lavigne, a deputy of Carroll’s who quit last month. According to others, he is well respected in Quebec Liberal circles by all sides – which is something I think would be beneficial for someone who is in this particular position to have at this particular time, because its apparent there’s been an ongoing problem there, regardless of who was right and who was wrong and whatever was said last week. At the same time, it appears some of the MP’s who came out and publicly called for Carroll’s head will probably be disciplined for not keeping this an internal matter, and airing the “dirty laundry” in public.

The results in Outrement and the fallout that has occurred because of it demanded that an overhaul take place in the OLO, and I’m pleased to see that this is happening (er. supposedly happening), and that people who are experienced at winning are being brought in. Hopefully some measure of sanity and calm will return with these moves, and the Liberals can stop fighting each other and start concentrating on who the real adversary is – which is Stephen Harper.


14 comments to Major shakeup in Liberal Party expected, needed.

  • ALW

    I called Dion for the leadership, actually…

    If you say so, Scott. I know you won’t say so publicly but its about more than just a tie in the polls.  It’s how that vote is distributed.  And there’s no shame in admitting, as Cherniak does, that the Liberals are not anywhere near ready for an election.  We certainly weren’t in 2004.  Neither was the Canadian Alliance in 2000.  Today, the federal Grits have no money, organizational chaos, quitting candidates, and a leader whose public standing drops the more scrutiny he is put under.  Even friggin’ Sheila Copps is saying he’s sunk.  I mean, really. 

    Where, pray tell, would the Liberals pick up seats?  Western Canada? Quebec?  They already have most of them in Atlantic Canada.  Perhaps Ontario, where they already have more than half? 

  • That’s right about the polls. And there’s something else. Do you know anyone who thought Dion would win the leadership?  Now, do you know anyone who thinks he will win the next election?  Right.

  • Not so slim.. despite all of this, the Conservatives and Liberals are still neck and neck in opinion polls.

  • ALW

    If I were a Liberal, I’d be more concerned about triggering an election while the party is a mess.  Of course, some Liberals think that giving Harper another minority is a small price to pay to get rid of Dion, so who knows?  Priorities, priorities…

    I respect those Liberals who say they should defeat the government as a matter of principle, but surely even they would have to admit that the prospect of Harper being defeated by Dion in an election this fall is pretty slim indeed.

  • This whole Carroll thing could have been so easily avoided.  All Carroll had to do after his ill-advised comments got out into the media was immediately and publicly apologize.  That would have defused the crisis before it began.  These people lack political smarts.  So it’s good news that Dion is now bringing some seasoned Chretien operatives onto his team.  Hope it’s not too late.

  • Garhane: with all due respect.. I think you’re getting into a bit too deep of a conspiracy theory there.

  • garhane

    There are some odd features to all this. Prior to the by election there was a lot of criticism of the candidate from a very specific area. Bnai Brith was out operating in its usual ham handed way, urging that the Liberals withdraw the candidate due to  lack of commitment to the support of Israel. After the by election there was immediate attack on the Liberal campaign, and again the one specific item was up front. I saw a post by Cherniak who was apparently supporting Dion but mentioned first of all in the faults of the campaign that the candidate chosen was not favorable to Israel.  In Quebec blogs this note does not sound much, and a variety of other faults seems more stressed.
    I found all this a bit strange since Outrement is not like in the old days. There are about 90 thousand people there, 67 thou are the electors and less than 10 thou are Jewish people.  Normally there should be a spread so that such a total possible should not be determinative, and there were a number of other reasons, strong ones, for the difficulties the campaign encountered. So why the instant reflex. Is there perhaps a targeting. Is it possible that the new Israeli front group, CJ-PAC is aiming to help  Harper get that majority he cannot get on his own.  Has  a group  with a  boat load of money and all the connections you might wish decided to dump the Liberals.  Incredible as it seems it may be that a registered lobby group, which declared its behind -the scenes- intentions when it started  up a short time ago and immediately had the support of the big money among Jewish business people, may be working for a foreign power in this election.
    But there is nothing illegal about registered lobby groups lobbying, is there. I guess not, but if it is Canadian social welfare vs Israeli policies and conduct,  as political alternatives, then we better see that what is advocated is clearly identified as to source and motive.

    Such a development should send the hairs up on the back of the neck if you care about health care or any of the social safety net that is Harper’s attack and destroy mission

  • great post, Scott

    got to love to see the Chretien-ites come in…:)

  • [quote] Scott, in one sense I like the idea of a proven team, on the other hand it does nothing to help the image of a new party.  Having said that, the situation is so desperate, as a matter of survival, probably wise to get people with experience.[/quote]

    I believe it was Paul Wells who said (and I call this a criticism that Paul did here)  that Dion looked at how Chretien operated for 10 years, and how Martin operated for 2 years, and chose the Martin method.  I think you know what he is implying.

  • How this letter came out is one thing, but as to the substance, I find it childish that Carroll basically threatens on monetary lines.  Carroll infers that the party is in dire financial straits, so you don’t want me sucking more from the coffers.  Nice.

    Scott, in one sense I like the idea of a proven team, on the other hand it does nothing to help the image of a new party.  Having said that, the situation is so desperate, as a matter of survival, probably wise to get people with experience.

  • Cliff

    Annndddd, now Scott Brison has claimed that Mother who stay home are more likely to have children involved in crime……where does it end…..just wait until the MSM gets hold of this…..

  • Not Jason Cherniak

    Sorry.. I need a valid email address for you to be posting comments here. Your handle I don’t care about.. but I dont accept commenters who provide fake email addresses. – Scott

  • […] I am also pleased to see the reaction to recent events in the Liberal party in he Liberal blogosphere.  They’re not pleased: Hopefully some measure of sanity and calm will return with these moves, and the Liberals can stop fighting each other and start concentrating on who the real adversary is – which is Stephen Harper. [source] […]

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