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Thoughts on our new Liberal leader.

So, Michael Ignatieff will be picked as the new Liberal leader by virtue of Bob Rae dropping out this afternoon. As I said in my last blogpost, while I’m a bit uncomfortable with what the Liberal Executive decided on last night, which more or less sealed Rae’s fate, I do congratulate Mr. Ignatieff as the new Liberal leader, and I sincerely hope he is able to remove Harper and the Conservatives from office.

I’ve already seen posts from some pro-Ignatieff bloggers – past or present – calling on Bob Rae to be gracious in his withdrawal speech. I said at one such blogpost in comments that I dont expect Rae to be anything but a gentleman in this speech. However, he’s not the one the party needs to worry about – its his upset supporters (and there will be more then a few) who felt they were cheated out of a fair race, as well as grassroots Liberals not pleased they were cut out of the process. Whether you agree with their views on this or not, that should be the concern.

It is now of paramount importance to Mr Ignatieff to reach out to those Rae supporters and other Liberals a bit uneasy at how this whole thing went down and make them feel at ease. I quite frankly would be shocked if Ignatieff didn’t: one of his more well-known supporters is very aware of the destructiveness a “sore winner” can have on a party, if they don’t reach out to their rivals. Quite honestly, I expect Ignatieff will do that – I think he will reach out to those folks (and the sooner the better).

Also, those of us who believe in the Liberal grassroots having a greater say in the Liberal Party, and those of us who believe the LPC needs a 308 riding strategy or a “10 (province) + 3 (territories)” strategy – whatever you wish to call it – such as those of us who are Liberal 308 members need to impress upon the new leader that reforms to the LPC must take place. He has said that he supports more grassroots involvement in the party mechanisms as well as a 308 riding strategy. So, it is imperative to keep reminding him of that promise.


11 comments to Thoughts on our new Liberal leader.

  • Moebius

    Well, it was backroom deals at the last convention – so get over it.

    Besides, Ignatieff was way ahead anyway.

    Yeah, smarten up, Liberals!

    Hilary is so far ahead, that Obama guy doesn’t have a chance!

  • slg

    Well, it was backroom deals at the last convention – so get over it.

    Besides, Ignatieff was way ahead anyway.

    Unfortunately, Rae was trying to deal with old NDP friends behind the scenes making promises to them.

    Liberals never were that far left – they were most successful in the centre and they have to get that back.

  • Roll Tide

    Danger of one party state….
    Illinois Democrat Governor is in jail for trying to sell Obamas senate seat.

    Questions arise over Obama’s connections.

  • Scott, I could say, “gee, if this is Liberal ‘democracy’, why can’t it be applied to the wishes of the people expressed in 2008’s election”? But I won’t because I’m a nice guy (grin).

    But here’s two things for you to chew on. First up, a “fable” about how close the LPC came to oblivion:

    And, second, an easy questionairre on how many objectives has the coalition achieved:

    FWIW, my suggestion would be for you and other ardent LPC supporters to FORCE the party to renew itself, before any more disasters befall it. My selfish reason? Choice is good, when it comes to politics.

  • Mythos

    I’m appalled that the Liberals are moving to the right. I have supported them for about 15 years but that ends today. Ignatief is a self-described centrist and I would find that unacceptable enough but he is clearly right of center and shouldn’t even be in the Liberal Party let alone leading it.

    I feel lost in that there is not a viable choice for fiscally responsible left wing government. The Green Party may well be a fine choice but unless there is huge spike in their support, they are hardly a threat to the right wing bastion the Conservatives and Liberals are forming.

  • Iggy will be a good choice for Liberals only if he puts the coalition off (assuming Harper doesn’t do anything stupid on the budget). I like the idea of a 308 riding strategy and I think that Liberals have a long way to get there. Now is the time to take a few years and rebuild. Financing, local riding associations, new faces in critic roles, engage the grassroots in policy and return the Liberal Party back to the pride that it once had not too long ago. As a Conservative, I am encouraged by Iggy’s remarks that he will at least consider the budget. A change in leader might be what is required for the House to return to a more cooperative environment.

  • sb

    Jesus Christ — why does everyone keep repeating this nonsense about Iggy’s grand intelligence.

    Hello — he was dead wrong on the most important policy decision of our generation — the invasion of Iraq.

    Not only was he wrong, but he was actively shilling for that illegal war. He sold this war to dumb-witted liberals around the world who were charmed by his so-called “intelligence”.

    For a sample of his shoddy scholarship, read Empire Lite — an atrocious piece of writing which papers over the murder of millions in Vietnam by the US army, as well as other war crimes committed by the US government in dozens of countries.

    Iggy is not held in high regard by anyone on the left or in progressive circles in the academic community. We actually have a deep loathing for his arrogance and willingness to collaborate with those in power committing crimes around the world.

    He is an apologist for empire and shouldn’t be given a second of support by anyone on the so-called ‘progressive’ side of things.

    And next time he fends of criticism of his postures on Iraq with some nonsensical reference to the “Kurds” and the “Shia”, ask him about the occupation of Palestine, or about the hatred of the Shia in Iraq for the occupation, or about US transfers of weapons to Turkey in the 1990s which lead to the death of some 30,000 Kurds.

    The guy is a walking talking bullshitter who specializes in pulling the wool over the eyes of less-informed followers.

    A true megalomaniac and demagogue.

  • sb

    The handpicking of Ignatieff is emblematic of the elitism in the LPC that has turned off so many Canadians.

    The choice of Ignatieff himself is a dire prospect for the progressive movement in the country, given that Iggy has been one of the worst, unintelligent shills for US militarism over the past decade.

    Furthermore, the choice of Iggy portends the rapid break-up of the coalition and of the urgent need to dispose of the Conservatives.

    It is patently obvious that Ignatieff does not support the coalition and that he is hoping to “win” concessions in the budget in order to “justify” dumping the coalition as well as granting confidence to the government — all in order to forestall an election (which he presumes to win by himself) until the LPC finances are in order. You heard it here first, but that is what Iggy is scheming.

    Lastly, the LPC is living in a dream world if it tries to build a 308 riding strategy in the next few months or even years. Based on first hand experience, the LPC is completely disorganized in many regions of the country and won’t be winning a majority government any time soon.

    Anyone on the left side of the LPC needs to be pushing to keep the coalition and to defeat the Conservatives on the 27th.

    If not, you will be retroactively justifying all the bullshit that Harper unloaded last week.

    Does the LPC have principles or not?

  • Scott

    as far as I know, there will still be a policy convention in Vancouver.

    The Liberals who support OMOV should talk to their riding delegates or perhaps even run for a position as a delegate.

    If the Liberals want a 308 riding strategy, they can propose one and can vote on it at a convention.

    I’m happy today for obvious reasons. But you;re right, I do hope Ignatieff borrows from that dude from Chicago 😉 when it comes to having a team of rivals. The Liberals have great talent in their own caucus, enough to form a government all on its own.

  • wilson

    Bully with brains, PMSH & Iggy are well matched.

  • roll tide

    My brother is an Economist living in The Netherlands. He holds Ignatieff in extreme high regard, having read his work for many years.
    Stephan Harper has met a true intellectual match and will have his hands full.

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