Fuck the (Canadian) Liberals

Gerard Kennedy perhaps?

Yeah, Kennedy is a front runner.

If Dion didn’t get that 2% lead (in the second round of ballots at the party convention) he would have dropped and supported Kennedy instead of the other way around. Kennedy probably would have taken the whole thing like Dion did.

Forget it. He lost me with the War Resisters Bill. More NDP than anything in the fine tradition of Liberal centrist policies.

Yeah, but I thought the same way about Harper when he was opposition. Time in power seems to soften the public.

I’ll concede that that Bill was kinda ill-advised.

But, for me it’s a minor point. The guy seems to be one of those with both feet on the ground, not overly grandiose, decent, well spoken and practical.

Minor note - while back he defeated current mayor of Toronto David Miller, which means he’s got “NDP disassociation” credentials.

Anyways, besides him, I really dont see anyone for Liberals.

But that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happening. He’s NOT gaining in the polls, his personal numbers are not going up, and through these daily trials he’s looking less and less like a respectable alternative and more like a doofus. Ignatieff’s time to strike was a long time ago, and he’s blown it. “Your time is up” indeed. He’s just not connecting with Canadians. Who does he appeal to?

Barring some really bad Conservative scandal - and the Guergis-Jaffer thing is silly - Michael Ignatieff will never be Prime Minister. He’s a dead man walking.

The Liberals now remind me of the Reform Party in the mid to late 90s. The Reformers always seemed unable to grasp the fact that the country did not want them in power. When they lost elections, they seemed to believe it was some sort of error. The sense one got from them is that Canadians had made the wrong choice of elected representatives, that if only they could yell louder or something we’d hear and come to our senses. The Liberals have a different voice but they’re singing the same song, and it amounts to “We should be the government because, uh, well, because we should.”

That, when you get right down to it, is why they let Michael Ignatieff become leader in the first place. The guy is a disaster as leader; there are hard core lifelong Liberals out there saying “I’m not voting for this guy, he’s an elitist jerk, and what’s more, he’s not really Canadian.” He was allowed to take over as leader because the party couldn’t accept having lost an election and so figured if they put a different guy on top then of course Canadians would come to their senses. I’m not saying Dion was a good choice - he was a bad choice - but the Liberal Party needed to take a few years to shut their yaps, rebuild their leadership, and re-establish their brand.

I really don’t know what the Grits can do right now except get worse. Ignatieff is a despicable jerk who isnt going to be PM, but replacing him with Bob Rae would (a) make the party look like a joke for changing leaders like shirts, and (b) cause them to become less popular in Ontario than swine flu. A merger with the NDP is a stupid idea, would be opposed by half the party, and would realign politics in Canada in such a way as to make the Conservatives absorb bluer Liberals, become more centrist, and win the next election anyway. But keeping Ignatieff on and eternally avoiding the election they obviously cannot win ain’t much of a strategy, either.

I think the Liberals are just going to have to accept that the next election will be a disaster, get it over with, and let a REALLY new leader start rebuilding. Not Bob Rae, for Christ’s sake.

The whole thing started out as politically tone-deaf. I’m in Etobicoke—Lakeshore, and I well remember the annoyance at having this stranger “parachuted” into the riding, which pissed off the local Liberals no end. It didn’t help that the riding is heavily Ukranian and that many Ukranians believe that he’s no friend of theirs (however wrongly, I dunno).

The impression conveyed was that the Party didn’t care what the locals wanted - they thought that Ignatieff was leadership gold and were going to make it happen, and letting the grassroots wither was a small price to pay. My riding was and remains a “safe” Liberal riding, so I suppose in that sense they were right.

However, the contempt displayed for the opinions of the locals fitted the Conservative political narrative to a “T”.

It certainly did, but you have to admit that the Conservatives didn’t write this narrative. They’re just repeating what the Liberals wrote for them. Like it or not, the Conservative spin on Ignatieff - that he’s an elitist rich boy who has little in common with ordinary Canadians and couldn’t be bothered to live here until there was something in it for him - is, in fact, essentially true.

Another aspect of this disaster is simply that the Liberals have named as their leaders someone who had next to no political experience. If Ignatieff were to become Prime Minister tomorrow he’d be one of the least qualified Prime Ministers in the history of the country, so far as I can recall - Brian Mulroney had been in Parliament for just a year but at least Lyin’ Brian had lived in Canada for a long time. Ignatieff’s total experience amounts to four years as an MP, a year and a half of it as leader. We like to think about outsiders riding in to save the day in politics, but understanding how Ottawa and government works DOES matter, and Ignatieff didn’t bother to spend some time gaining that experience.

Honestly, I’m not sure why it’s so relevant that Ignatieff hadn’t lived in Canada for a long time when he came back to start his political career. I’m also not sure why it was relevant that Stéphane Dion and Michaëlle Jean had dual citizenship. You may say that makes them “out of touch with real Canadians”, but there’s a wide variety of “Canadian” experiences that I don’t think it makes a difference. If you’ve lived in, say, Toronto, for the last 20 years, you may very well be out of touch with many, perhaps most, Canadians. And as far as I know Ignatieff kept aware of Canadian affairs while he was outside of the country.

Well Iggy hasn’t been leader for long now has he? Harper spent four years as opposition before barely wrestling power away from a scandal ridden and fractioning Liberal party. Iggy isn’t connecting with voters but I wouldn’t say that he can’t.

I wouldn’t write the guy off. Iggy has only one chance-election to make or break him. If he can raise the Libs voter share (or even win some good seats in the west) he will be able to defend himself from the wolves.

All he needs to do is secure a back-hand agreement with the NDP to work strategically against the Tories in the next election. I am not sure if Jack Layton would agree (he would love to kill the Libs), but this is one way for Iggy to gain seats. IMO, as the last election has shown, if the NDP attack the Libs “balls out” they might gain a few seats, but the Conservatives would be the ones who would win big.

To be honest the Canadian public haven’t really kicked them to the curb yet. We took their majority down to a minority, then gave two minority to the Tories. If we didn’t want them to govern, we had plenty of chances to give the Tories a majority by now. Canadians just want to keep the Status Quo for awhile.

That takes too long, and frankly if they did that I think the public would have assumed that they gave up on fighting Harper. That would be a bad signal of defeat.

:smiley: Ouch. Oh wow, he REALLY DOES have a public image problem.

Exactly. It will never be done.

This will not happen; Liberals don’t accept defeat. They are much too entitled for that.

For one thing, gaining seats probably isn’t enough. A loss next time out ends Ignatieff, even if he doesn’t quit on his own. Ignatieff’s not a young man - he’s 63, and twelve years older than Harper - and I don’t think he wants to be gearing up for his third election campaign and his 70th birthday party at the same time.

For another, a secret agreement - well, to be honest, (a) I don’t know how such a thing would possibly work while remaining a secret, and (b) if it failed to remain a secret, which is likely, it would be a PR disaster of fusion bomb proportions. It’s all risk and little reward.

The “let’s fuse our parties together” idea is not the fantastic idea people seem to think it is.

Umm… they’ve already given us that signal. That’s what the OP is angry about. They’re mocked for it on Canadian comedy sketch shows. Michael Ignatieff’s “Your time is up” quote is an open joke.

We need an effective opposition. You always do, whether you support the government or don’t support it or are kind of in between, because a good opposition either makes the government govern better, or kills it off. Iggy isn’t up to the task.

I don’t think Dion’s or Jean’s citizenship are relevant to anything, either. I’m not sure what they have to do with it.

Ignatieff’s choosing not to live in Canada until he was offered the chance to be the Prime Minister is something that I admit bothers me a little; I admit I’m prefer my Prime Minister be someone who lives in Canada because she or he likes to live here, not just because they got a chance to be boss. (However, a discussion of that would probably hijack the thread.) The comparison to Jean and Dion is just flatly, totally irrelevant. Dion is a citizen of France solely because his mother is. Jean immigrated to Canada when she was a child.

What does matter in the context of this thread is that the issue does cost Ignatieff political points with the public at large, though arguably no more than Stephen Harper’s prickly unlikeableness.

What exactly do you want to Liberals to do here? No matter what they choose, they lose. If they vote down the bill and force an election, the voters will destroy them at the polls. If they vote down the bill and try to form a coalition, the voters will destroy them in the next election. If they don’t vote down the bill, people will complain that they aren’t being an effective opposition.

It’s an unfortunate fact that the Conversatives have gamed our political system to the point that even in a minority situation, there cannot be an effective opposition. The system is broken and has to be fixed.

The system is not broken at all. Just what would your “effective opposition” have accomplished that it hasn’t already ?

Certainly, the Conservatives are skillfully maintaining their hold on the government, but you can bet your ass we aren’t seeing anything like what we’d see if they had a majority.

The people have spoken, they don’t see a need yet to change governments and one of the reasons is that they don’t see a significantly better alternative for the moment.

The system is working just fine.

So what you’re saying is you’re bitter because the Conservatives are playing the game better than the Liberals at this point. Or are you under some misguided impression that Harper’s Conservatives invented the system they’re been using in the last four years?

You mean besides defeating policies that opposition disagrees with?

Under our system, the opposition could have defeated those policies, but they chose not to because the people don’t want them to. Do you want a system that thwarts the will of the people ? Is that what you mean by “effective”?

Any loss and he’s out like Dion, but I am sure if he gained seats that he could keep from being usurped. As long as the conservatives are being weakened Ignatieff can point to that and say: “See/smell the blood. Let’s not fuck this up by replacing me”

As for his age? I don’t think that is a problem as long as the Conservatives don’t get a majority.

I don’t think it needs to be a secret agreement just an informal one: “Hey Jack, I don’t think we should act as each other’s “spoilers” in the next campaign. Sound good?”

Yep, that idea is just plain stupid for everyone involved. I don’t know of anyone who is seriously floating it.

Not defeating the government, but still “playing ball” is a signal of defeat, but pushing ahead with an ill-timed election (just to “get it over with”) is giving up.

He just doesn’t want to play a crappy hand, and frankly I don’t see any strategic reason on why he should.

The Conservatives haven’t “gamed” anything. The system is exactly the same as it always was. The Liberal Party has allowed its brand to wither through feckless and shallow leadership, a lack of direction and ideas, and a pointless Martin-Chretien civil war.

The reason the Conservatives won the last election, the one before, and will probably win the next, is that they have a better leader and ran better campaigns. They won because they deserved to win, and they’re running the government because they deserve to. It doesn’t matter what you think of their policies; they earned the spot and the Liberals earned their current position.

This isn’t any different from when the Liberals were riding high in the late 90s and the Reform or Alliance party or whatever was putting up - for the love of God - Stockwell Day, and pretending he was PM material.

Isn’t it up to Ignatieff to improve the standings of the Liberals so they have a shot at winning an election? If it’s not his responsibility as the leader of the Liberal party, I don’t know whose it is.

The people don’t want an election. That’s an entirely different thing.

It’s completely different because the Liberals had a majority…