Mere days after Dion's resignation, the Liberal caucus has endorsed Michael "Iggy" Ignatieff as interim leader. As readers of this blog will know, I was a supporter of Bob Rae's leadership bid. Like Bob, I wish that the LPC had decided to engage the entire membership in the leadership process, but time and circumstances appear to have dictated otherwise. No matter. The Liberal Party has a number of difficult problems on its plate, and continued political infighting about the leadership need not be one of them. Bob Rae himself has been tremendously gracious about his withdrawal, and has unequivocally given his support to Iggy. From Bob's blog:
I offer my full and unqualified support to Michael, a friend and colleague of more than forty years standing. I call on my friends and supporters to do the same. I know Michael to be a person of wisdom and generosity. He will make a great Prime Minister.Though I'm disappointed that Rae is out, I think it's time to move on. I still believe the OMOV system will be an important mechanism for the LPC to generate funds and interest, and to connect with grassroots supporters. But this debate is better saved for the convention. For now, it's time for Liberals to focus on the new leader. Iggy's greatest task in the coming days will be to bring the party together and devise a strategy to deal with the inevitable CPC attacks prior to and during the upcoming parliamentary session. If he is to succeed, he will require the party's full support, and he should have it.