Monday, December 8, 2008

Dion's Gone...Now What?


Now that Stéphane Dion has officially offered his resignation, a few thoughts on the current state of the Liberal nation.
  • Despite the rather ignominious manner of his departure, Dion should always be remembered as a man of intellect, honesty and integrity.
  • Don't rush. Although the weight of support seems to be behind Ignatieff (Dominic LeBlanc has just given a press conference in support of Iggy), the Liberals need to avoid "installing" him as leader via a backroom deal.
  • Open up the leadership process to the membership. A One Member One Vote system would serve the dual purpose of offering an inclusive and transparent process, and re-connecting with grassroots supporters.
  • Fire every single person working on the Liberal marketing team. Now. The Liberals have to understand that good ideas don't just sell themselves, especially not in the face of a vicious and ruthlessly well oiled CPC attack machine. While they search for a new leader and a new message, they need to hire PR types that are as shrewd as their Conservative counterparts to sell their vision to Canadians.
  • Keep up the pressure on Stephen Harper. Make no mistake, King Steve isn't spending even one minute navel gazing about what he could have done differently. He is sitting somewhere, seething at the the way in which he was betrayed by the opposition parties, and he is already plotting his next move. Be prepared.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dion hardly has integrity when he joins in a backroom coup with the NDP and the separatists. Give us a break!

Anonymous said...

The Liberals should thank their lucky stars for the few months they had Dion as a leader. In that time, they became the first Canadian party to run on an environmental policy and the first Canadian party to endorse a coalition to defeat Harper. This was all thanks to Dion's courage and vision. A great legacy befitting a great politician!

Red Canuck said...

Anon @ 12:53 - Try having an original thought once in a while you witless fucktard. If I want CPC talking points verbatim, I can just visit their website.

Red Canuck said...

Anon @ 1:24: I think you're quite right about Dion's environmental vision. By necessity, our politics will drift in that direction over time, and Dion's goal of getting the environment on the political agenda in a serious way will one day be realized.

Red Tory said...

Unfortunately, Dion was the wrong man at the wrong time.

Bowler said...

Heh. Anonymous comments from both extremes. You either attract a diversity of readers or a schizophrenic sock puppet.

Personally, all things being equal I would prefer Bob Rae. Iggy's intellectual support of some of the worst policies of the Bush administration is troubling.

Nonetheless, all things are not equal. It would be silly for Liberals to ignore the polls which show Iggy (a UCC old boy by the by, another reason not to like him :)) would actually be running neck and neck with Harper now. Choosing Iggy might be a way to change public opinion and recapture momentum for the coalition. I'm not sure there is time to do a proper leadership selection process and still match Harper wit for wit. One of Rae or Ignatieff is going to have to "take one for the team."

RuralSandi said...

Hmmm....backroom deals is what brought the Liberals Dion as leader - now it has to change midstream? How democractic was that? They could have done it democratically and honestly by voting rounds - talk about grassroots being cheated.

They voted down the OMOV system at the last convenstion and now they want (Rae) to make their own rules midstream.

For those Conservative trolls that believe everything Harper tells them - it was NOT a coup.

A coup is a violent or illegal act to take over power (Oxford dictionary) - this was neither violent nor illegal and, therefore, was not officially, legally or any other way a coup.

Do you folks not realize that we are fashioned after the British Westminster parliamentary system and not the US system? Dumb or what.

MD said...

I disagree with the media consensus on this...forcing the early resignation was a mistake. The circular firing squad mentality has been destroying the Liberal Party since the Martin-Chretien wars. If the party just had the guts to stand behind their elected leader until they had a proper leadership race and convention, they would be stronger in the long run.

As for Rae and Iggy, both have profound problems. It never fails to amaze me how deeply Rae Days bothered people here in Ontario...I heard a couple of nurses complaining about the Social Contract last week, 15 years after the fact! Iggy has no experience or record to speak of, but I have concerns about his broader philosophy. In many ways, I am a liberal in the classical sense (secular, scientific, anti-imperialist). Iggy's judgement on issues relating to two major problems - nationalism and imperialism, has been troubling to say the least.

Christoph said...

Stephane Dion is not a man of integrity.

3 weeks before the election, Dion promised he would not enter a coalition with the NDP and, on that basis, was elected.

Then he signed 2 deals, one with the NDP and the other with both the NDP and Bloc to seize -- yes, seize! -- power for himself after leading to the biggest popular vote loss in Liberal history.

We should remember Stephane Dion as a liar, and incompetent, and one who betrayed his own principles and his voters in the pursuit of power.

Further, Red Canuck, you show yourself to be an emotionally immature man in your 1:45 PM comment. Those weren't CPC "talking points". Those are the facts.

If they became talking points, it's only because of the truth and obviousness of them, which the Canadian people saw and roundly rejected. They rejected Dion as much for his dishonesty and power-grasping as anything: His lack of ethics.

Patrick Ross said...

"Despite the rather ignominious manner of his departure, Dion should always be remembered as a man of intellect, honesty and integrity."

Yes, a man of "honesty" and "integrity".

A once-proud separatist fighter who tried to forge a Coalition government with Separatists, engaged himself in protracted dishonesty on that topic, denounced anyone who dared call him on the folly of forging his coalition with the separatists, and chose to ignore the grievous consequences this would have had for the country.

I'm afraid that's an awfully bizarre definition of "honesty" and "integrity".

Canadian history won't remember him as such. Canadian history is going to remember Stephane Dion as an individual who not only betrayed the federalist cause, but also betrayed himself and his own legacy.

That's one hell of a way to be remembered.

Red Canuck said...

Christoph and Patrick - I'll address your allegations in the same reply since you both seem to be singing the same tune. This will also be the last time I'll be spending valuable minutes of my life debunking the CPC myths you so readily accept as fact. And yes Christoph, they are CPC talking points. Go to their website....they tell you what to say, which media outlets to contact, and if you ask extra nice, they'll even hold your dick for you while you pee. I may be immature, but unlike you I'm not stupid enough to believe everything that comes out of the CPC spin room.

Dion did not attempt a "coup" or try to "seize" power. Here's a novel thought - understand the constitution before you open your mouth to speak about it.

If they became talking points, it's only because of the truth and obviousness of them

BWAHHAHAHAHA!!! Is that so, professor?? LOL...get a clue.

A once-proud separatist fighter who tried to forge a Coalition government with Separatists

Come on Patrick...you know better than this. The coalition was with the NDP. The Bloc only agreed to vote with the coalition for a specified length of time...period. So please can the hyperbole. And funny how working with separatists didn't seem so abhorrent to King Steve in 2005 or to Stockboy Day in 2000.

And if you've made it this far, you might as well go here, for a full take-down of Harper's lies vis-a-vis the coalition.

Red Canuck said...

RT - Quite right. He's a decent man, but was clearly the wrong guy for the job.

Red Canuck said...

Sandi - I've said it before: educating the BT's is like trying to illuminate a giant cave with a Bic lighter. While most of them will happily rant about Dion trying to "overthrow" the government, likely few will have anything negative to say about Gerry Chipeur's assertion that Harper could merely ignore the GG should she grant the coalition a chance to govern, effectively turning himself into a dictator.

Red Canuck said...

MD and Bowler - Knowing me as you do, you are probably aware of my personal support for Bob Rae over Iggy. In fact, I was a supporter of Bob's run the first time around. But I basically agree with everything Bowler has to say. If Rae chooses to drop out, so be it. However if he wishes to remain in the race, it is imperative that the entire membership of the LPC be engaged in the selection process, perhaps by online or telephone balloting.

And MD, the only reason that the Libs asked Dion to leave now was because of the partisan maneuvering that Harper undertook last week and will no doubt try again in late January. From a strategic standpoint, they cannot purport to offer strong opposition with Dion as leader, since everyone knows they couldn't run the risk of toppling Harper in the new year with Dion still as the nominal leader. Circumstances have dictated that the LPC need leadership stability heading into the next session. If that's Iggy, so be it. Frankly, I'm surprised he wants the job.

Patrick Ross said...

"you know better than this. The coalition was with the NDP. The Bloc only agreed to vote with the coalition for a specified length of time...period."

Except that the Bloc formally pledged their support for the Coalition in the same agreement in which the Coalition was established.

Thus, they very much are party to that coalition.

I realize that you coalitionists want people to believe that you have all the answers: they're only supporting us on confidence motions! They've promised to take Quebec sovereignty off the table for 18 months!

Except you forgot two details: first off, these are people who lied to their own people during the 1995 sovereignty referendum. Secondly, Parliament has no formal mechanisms for enforcing any such agreement.

If they change their mind on either topic -- and they most certainly would -- there is nothing your vaunted coalition could do about it.

Not to mention the fact that a majority of Canadians oppose this coalition, and for obvious reasons: while you want to try to ignore the absolute betrayal of national unity that this represents, most Canadians are smart enough to understand where a coalition government with the Bloc leads.

You can't honestly tell anyone that leveraging his support of the Coalition in exchange for a legislative repeal of the Clarity Act isn't an idea that's floating around in Gilles Duceppe's little head.

If you honestly believe that, you're either obtuse, naive, or a combination of both.

Red Canuck said...

Patrick - I know that you doubt the motives of the Bloc, and I certainly share some of those reservations. However, a politician's greatest motivation is self interest. In this case, I have to believe the BQ would have maintained 18 months of support for the coalition without trying to force the separatism issue, only because to do otherwise would result in the defeat of the coalition and another general election. Neither the LPC, the NDP or the BQ want an election right now, so sheer self preservation would, I believe, have kept Duceppe in line for 18 months. Besides, as you mentioned, Dion cut his teeth as a defender of national unity. It's ludicrous to think that he would have given an inch to the separatists on matters of unity.

Bowler said...

Well, it looks like the LPC has opted for a compromise between speed and consultation in selecting a new leader. I can live with it.

Bowler said...

Shit, now its just Iggy!!

Patrick Ross said...

"I know that you doubt the motives of the Bloc, and I certainly share some of those reservations. However, a politician's greatest motivation is self interest. In this case, I have to believe the BQ would have maintained 18 months of support for the coalition without trying to force the separatism issue, only because to do otherwise would result in the defeat of the coalition and another general election. Neither the LPC, the NDP or the BQ want an election right now, so sheer self preservation would, I believe, have kept Duceppe in line for 18 months. Besides, as you mentioned, Dion cut his teeth as a defender of national unity. It's ludicrous to think that he would have given an inch to the separatists on matters of unity."

Nonsense.

Duceppe's self-interest is very much in promoting national sovereignty. Furthermore, he knows that he can continue to count on his base in Quebec, even if an election isn't his first choice.

Furthermore, he knows that the move to form this Coalition has sewed significant doubt throughout Liberal and NDP circles. While he may not necessarily want an election, he knows that the Liberals and NDP want one much, much less.

To suggest it's ludicrous to accuse Dion of being prepared to surrender anything to the Separatists is fairly naive considering that the survival of the proposed coalition government could very much depend on it.

Self-preservation, right?

Red Canuck said...

Patrick - What do you think is more likely:

That in 18 months Canada would have been torn asunder by the coalition?

or

That Harper and the CPC spin machine were busy pumping up the fear-o-meter so that people such as yourself would wrap yourself in the flag, rally behind Dear Leader and donate some money to the CPC "emergency save the nation fund"?

Pehaps this question is going to fall on deaf ears...

Red Canuck said...

Bowler - Shit, now its just Iggy!!

Yes. I'll have more to say on this matter in the coming days.

Patrick Ross said...

Again, nonsense.

It isn't hard to guage the consequences of an act such as this.

I think it's much more likely that this coalition will be made to choose between its survival and its ability to act on national unity.

You can try and dismiss all this as "fear mongering" if you like. I hardly see how it's anything less than wise to be afraid if the threat is genuine.

If you don't understand that, then I would hate to trudge the depths of your naivete.

Red Canuck said...

Patrick - I hardly see how it's anything less than wise to be afraid if the threat is genuine.

What precisely is this "threat", and more importantly why is it "genuine"? Because you say so? Because Harper does? And by extension does that make every single Liberal and NDP MP a traitorous closet separatist? Good grief.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I will say that I pity the truly horrible world you Conservatives live in. Under constant threat of attack from the separatists, the gays, the Muslims, the environmentalists, the feminists, the mainstream media, Elections Canada and the vast left-wing conspiracy, it's a wonder you folks have the courage to step out of your houses every day.

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