Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ignatieff, Fork, Done

One has to admire the unique ability of the modern Liberal Party to lose ground as the Harper government courts scandal and failure while enjoying spiralling deficit. Some folks, it seems, were not born to lead but to snipe from the side. Ignatieff and his team did a bang up job undermining former leader Stephane Dion but the aspiring great man's own leadership has been a wash. This is another example of the new Liberal policy of back stabbing and the inelegant floundering for power that has proven so inspirational to this weary nation. Ian Davey has been let go as Chief Aide to the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition and replaced by Peter Donolo. This shift has been achieved with the hamfisted grace we've come to admire from the Liberal's ongoing failure of leadership.

As Ignatieff and team squabble amongst themselves and leap from hapless bravado to mewling retreat there isn't much hope that they will unseat the waxen idiot Harper and his crew of Mike Harris leftovers. It is little wonder that the Ignatieff coronation has yet to be consummated when he can't rein in his own caucus, few though they are.

Mr. Ignatieff, under fire after conflicts within his party and a steep fall in the polls, is changing his top aide amid criticism from some Liberals that the team that helped him get into politics didn't have the experience to guide the party to an election victory.

Little wonder that the internal dissent has continued to grow. Like it or not, there is a strong perception in the public that Ignatieff came back to Canada with one purpose in mind. That purpose was not to serve the constituents of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, a riding and community that is not in any real way his home. He did not return to Canada out of some sense of civic duty. Ignatieff is here to garner power and prestige for himself, he returned to Canada to become Prime Minister and nothing less. There's nothing unusual about politicians entering the field for their own gain but few have done so as nakedly as Ignatieff and his court.

This is not the first of Mr Ignatieff's poorly handled dealings within the party power structure.

And his advisers took the brunt of the blasts when he overruled his Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre, to allow former justice minister Martin Cauchon to run in the Outremont riding, which had been promised to another candidate. Mr. Coderre quit the post, saying the Leader's Toronto advisers were giving poor advice on Quebec.

Partisan defenders rallied behind Igantieff with a rousing chorus of, 'Yeah, well, we never liked Coderre anyway so nyah'. And hey, it isn't like old Denis was a spectacular intellect or ethical giant but in politics perception and publicity are key. In la Belle Province, one does not profit by yanking strings from the heights of imperial Toronto. One has to question the wisdom of the leader as well as his lieutenants but as has become a pattern not unlike that established by the Conservatives, Iggy let someone else take the heat. Thus Mr Davey + sword + falling on it... except he was pushed, to make sure.

And even there, the Ignatieff team bungles and manages to alienate more of the upper echelons of the party.

Two others close to Mr. Davey, deputy chief of staff Dan Brock, and communications director Jill Fairbrother, who is Mr. Davey's partner, were not fired, but many Liberals believed they might leave.

The staff change came in a messy internal scene, according to Liberal insiders. Mr. Davey and Ms. Fairbrother saw reports on TV, and Ms. Fairbrother denied to reporters that anything was happening – but Mr. Ignatieff confirmed it to them later last night.

That's leadership bitches. If I found out from the TV that the boss was going to cut me and mine loose I'd be a tad miffed. Actually I think my vengeful streak would kick in and I'd be inclined to see him undone.

Liberal sources said that about 10 days ago, it became clear that Mr. Ignatieff was taking advice to reach out for help to party veterans, and started asking not just Chrétien veterans like Mr. Donolo to join his team, but former advisers to Paul Martin like Tim Murphy and Elli Alboim to play a more important advisory role.

So while the Ignatieff leadership has failed to distinguish itself from the the ugly Conservatives in terms of policy, edging rightward and taking on an even grubbier patina of corporatism, they are now fully echoing the Cons administrative style. The equation goes... screw something up, flounder and prevaricate, blame someone down the power slope, congratulations to the leader. This country has little love for the leadership of Stephen Harper and that is proven out by his continued position fronting a minority government but Ignatieff and the Liberals are failing to present an attractive or viable alternative. Welcome, devils we know.

A fall in the polls – the latest Ipsos-Reid survey showed the Liberals with 25 per cent support, compared to 40 per cent for the Conservatives – made the clamour for change louder.

Iggy was supposed to be the brilliant mind, the renowned thinker and strong voice to lead the Liberals back to prominence. It now appears that Ignatieff might well become the Kim Campbell to Dion's Mulroney and really, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Should his bluffing and bluster actually lead to an election, the Liberals are now sitting on a potential popular vote (should Ipsos-Reid be accurate) that is only 9% greater than Ms Campbell achieved in 1993. Given the party's blundering in Quebec and dismal showing in the west, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Liberals will lose a considerable number of seats in the next vote. Prepare for some months of the Liberals being the parliamentary whelps, they'll find a way to either support or abstain from votes and maintain the Conservative minority. From here it would appear the best case scenario, pending an election, is to pray that Harper is held to another minority. After that Iggy can return to academia and the Liberals had best groom a leader that is more attractive and willing to draft policy that appeals to what remains a moderately progressive electorate.

So long great man, you really won't be missed.

62 comments:

thwap said...

Good post PSA.

I think Ignatieff's inept performance speaks volumes about the mental vacuum that's at the centre of 21st-Century liberalism.

To seriously believe, in this day and age, after all the historical evidence has been lovingly piled-up by leftist historians to debunk the notion, that the USA, Europe, and capitalism in general are positive forces in the world who can be trusted to "protect" other countries, to "protect" the populations of poor countries from their governments through armed intervention, ... it's just so mind-blowingly stupid.

Ignatieff believes in the same neoliberal/neocon snakeoil that harper does. The same foul philosophies that have brought disaster to Iraq and Afghanistan and which have brought the world's economy to its knees.

Once you buy into all that bullshit, you've really only got to hope that you look good in staged photo-ops with a fluffy sweater.

pogge said...

As I just noted at my house (courtesy of Susan Delacourt), the man at the centre of the confusion is John Manley, incoming president of the CCCE. It seems that when Ignatieff decided to bring Donolo in full time to replace Davey, he told Manley before he told his own staff. And Manley dutifully spread the word to the people who really run the country.

Dr.Dawg said...

Excellent post.

I've been saying similar things about Ignatieff and his tanking support for some time, to howls from some of the party faithful (who are quiet now), but the truth is, there was a part of me that hoped I was wrong. Not that I had any time for anti-pay-equity, pro-mandatory-minimum-sentences, support-the-Columbian-death-squads Michael Ignatieff, but because I can't abide the thought of a Harper majority.

Wishful thinking. Ignatieff was every ounce as bad as I'd figured. Once again, the Libs are reduced to being Tory backbenchers. Too bad the NDP can't break out of its prison.

Stimpson said...

The fact that a former Liberal leadership candidate is the new president of the nation's corporate fat cats club tells me all I need to know about the Liberal party. It's a party of the business class, just like the Cons. Some people need to stop kidding themselves into believing otherwise.

wv=conened, almost conned!

Cherniak_WTF said...

It's a party of the business class, just like the Cons.
Exactly.

Too bad most liberal sycophants can't see beyond the "Harper is bad" mantra...

liberal supporter said...

the "Harper is bad" mantra...
It seems we are seeing the "business is bad" mantra here today.

The main difference with the Liberals is supposed to be that they are not ideologues like Harper and even Layton are. Having an ideologue for a leader brings out a lot of zeal in the followers, but the smart people you need to run a party or a government well tend to avoid dealing with ideologues, since rational argument does not prevail, only closeness to the ideology.

The Bloq appears to be non-ideological in every way except on separatism, and they are showing themselves as the better non-ideological party at the moment.

Stimpson said...

"Non-ideological." Meh.

What is that supposed to mean? Not recognizing that there's a conflict between workers and employers? Not acknowledging that the gains of one side are made at the expense of the other?

In that case, I'm proudly ideological.

Really, having a worldview or a framework for analysis isn't a bad thing.

Ti-Guy said...

Typical long-winded diatribe from the rage-aholic PSA, which solicits nothing but "great post" from the usual crowd of Liberal haters who don't feel the need to examine it carefully (although doubtless they read the entire post). Stopped reading here:

"This shift has been achieved with the hamfisted grace we've come to admire from the Liberal's ongoing failure of leadership."

What was so ham-fisted about it?

Don't get me wrong. Events could be very well unfolding as all the "anonymous insiders" claim they are, but I have my doubts.

Too bad most liberal sycophants can't see beyond the "Harper is bad" mantra...

Well, if we try anything else, we usually get screamed at..by other progressives, of whom we are normally supportive.

Dippers and Bloquistes can either win an election or go to Hell. I really couldn't care less anymore.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Well Ti-Guy "angry a lot" today?

During the coalition time, there was a possibility of change, of looking beyond basic political needs.

Instead Iggy staged a coup, reinstated the worse of the back room boys (hello WK) and continued a shift to the right.

I've stated that there is very little difference between the policies/opinions of Harper/Iggy. Iggy has done nothing but try to play cheap politics (how's that probation thing going?) that only showed he was impotent.
The normal coterie of blogger/journalists/fluffers drank (and continue to drink) the Liberal koolaid.

Sure politics involve a certain amount of delusion when you support a party but Iggy brought out the cynicism in a lot of Liberals.

As much as people take Harper to task for his batshit crazy actions, the Liberals under Iggy have shown themselves to be equally illogical.

WK and the brain trust really believed they could win over the soft right vote, so far it has not worked out has it?
Harper has betrayed most of what he believed for power and Canadians seem ready to reward him with a majority.


Lindsay is right in pointing out that the bluster and bluffing has turned off a many Liberals as well has voters....


As for Dippers and BQ, they will never win but they can and will make a difference in the size of the Harper majority.

thwap said...

Ahem, "liberal supporter"

"the smart people you need to run a party or a government well tend to avoid dealing with ideologues, since rational argument does not prevail, only closeness to the ideology."

So, your convention/coronation that avoided policies, your EI reform "come hell or high water" that evaporated, and your new ad campaign asking us to "trust" Ignatieff are all eminently rational?

High-ranking former Liberal John Manley is now the President of the CCCE for fuck's sake!

Why don't you or Ti-guy:

1) Remind us all who the CCCE/BCNI are and what they've advocated

and then

2) Tell us what people are to think of Manley taking over its top-spot?

you are of course free to

3) Tell me to fuck-off and blah, blah, blah, ...

but that'll speak volumes too.

This is a political party for corporate, neoliberal assholes and it's enabled by self-deluded "progressives" and some "red tories" who can't adequately explain what they're doing with this garbage.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"Well, if we try anything else, we usually get screamed at..by other progressives, of whom we are normally supportive.

Dippers and Bloquistes can either win an election or go to Hell. I really couldn't care less anymore."

Other progressives? That means you would include the current Liberal coterie in the progressive camp, whatever the hell progressive means? And why shouldn't people yell at the lick spittle Liberal base, it isn't as though the inept, right of centre version of the party is about to win an election. Really Ti, you're little better than a blogging tory sometimes with your knee spasmodically jerking at anything critical of your pets. I think we've established that you don't care for my positions on issues or my writing. There's a cure for the discomfort I seem to cause you. I invite you to exercise the option or go buy yourself a blue cardigan and be done with it.

You sit on your little throne and yawp endlessly and bitterly at all around you as though you have a patent on disgruntlement. And you flick your snot at the post after claiming that you stopped reading after one paragraph. But you still you want to know what's ham-fisted, well maybe if you read first and reacted after you'd know. But that ain't your way, so I'll return you to your petit fascist fantasies of re-education camps. Kisses.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Fuck, I actually liked those re-education camps...

liberal supporter said...

"Non-ideological." Meh.

What is that supposed to mean? Not recognizing that there's a conflict between workers and employers? Not acknowledging that the gains of one side are made at the expense of the other?

In that case, I'm proudly ideological.

Really, having a worldview or a framework for analysis isn't a bad thing
.
Non-ideological means you don't make policy solely based on the theories in some book.

When you pursue free trade, for example, and others put up barriers while you do not, and you continue not changing because the ideology says "free trade good", that is being ideological.

When you presume that any time a union complains about anything, they are, by definition, correct, and the company, by definition, is in the wrong, that is being ideological.

Being ideological includes believing "that the gains of one side are made at the expense of the other", if you see it as an article of faith, rather than something that happens too often. What if working together, your company and employees develop a better product and gain a bigger piece of the market? You then pay everyone more.

Being non-ideological should result in more win-win situations. It should result in more creative thinking, since it is not trammeled by the requirement of conforming to an ideology.

thwap said...

liberal supporter,

and what the hell does that have to do with anything?

Are you going to suggest that the Liberal Party are not ideological and that the NDP is?

liberal supporter said...

"the smart people you need to run a party or a government well tend to avoid dealing with ideologues, since rational argument does not prevail, only closeness to the ideology."

So, your convention/coronation that avoided policies, your EI reform "come hell or high water" that evaporated, and your new ad campaign asking us to "trust" Ignatieff are all eminently rational
?

I think he should have gone for the election by now. Polls change over a campaign. My point was that the CPC is following its ideology. The Liberals' actions are due to mistakes, not the slavish adherence to an ideology.

High-ranking former Liberal John Manley is now the President of the CCCE for fuck's sake!
He wasn't leader was he? Looks like he's given up on politics. He'll be in CCCE for years, if its current leader's tenure is any example.

Why don't you or Ti-guy:

1) Remind us all who the CCCE/BCNI are and what they've advocated

Perhaps you should enlighten us, since you obviously have a point you'd like to make. Why not make your point without trying to set up "gotchas" to sneer at others?

and then

2) Tell us what people are to think of Manley taking over its top-spot
?

People will think he gave up on politics, since his views are seen as too right wing to win a Liberal leadership. He won't join the CPC ideologues, because he's too smart, but he realizes he won't pull the Liberals to where he'd like.

you are of course free to

3) Tell me to fuck-off and blah, blah, blah, ...

but that'll speak volumes too
.

Another setup for a gotcha. You've given yourself the right to sneer at me, since my words will be greeted as "blah, blah, blah". Why is this point "3)" ? It isn't one of three choices. You asked two questions, and there could be a choice to answer those two or go with what you call "3)".

This is a political party for corporate, neoliberal assholes and it's enabled by self-deluded "progressives" and some "red tories" who can't adequately explain what they're doing with this garbage.

All parties have assholes in them. I suppose I am no true Scotsman, since I consider myself somewhere between progressive and red tory, but I doubt you would call me that. For example I don't believe in having a welfare state solely due to some feeling it is the right thing to do, I just think it is far cheaper than having to live in a police state. But I find repugnant, the right wing view that it's your own fault if you are not rich or not in perfect health. Helping others, especially the less fortunate is the best way to ensure more safety and opportunity for all.

If you'll grant me your permission to call myself progressive or red tory, then I can tell you why the Liberals are enabled by "progressives" and some "red tories". I do not believe I am deluded, and I believe I have explained why I support them. Whether that explanation is adequate to you is something out of my control. The point remains, that the Liberals still have the possibility of forming government, and they will provide less ideologically driven policy.

liberal supporter said...

liberal supporter,

and what the hell does that have to do with anything
?
I was expanding on my view that the Liberals are less ideological than the CPC. The theme of the original post was "liberal tory same old story". I was not agreeing or disagreeing on the policy side, simply pointing out that I believe being ideological or not is the more important distinction.

Are you going to suggest that the Liberal Party are not ideological and that the NDP is?
It is the hallmark of the ideologue to deal in either-or absolutes, such as "Liberals are not ideological and NDP is". The Liberals are less ideological than the CPC by far in my view. I've generally considered the NDP to be more ideological, though I don't pay a lot of attention to them. I did vote for Bob Rae in Ontario, because he seemed more pragmatic. He did have a lot of problems with the ideologues in his own party.

thwap said...

So it's the CPC that's ideological and not the Liberals?

What does that have to do with the criticisms of the Liberals from the left?

It's long been acknowledged that the Liberals are "pragmatic" or "opportunist" (take your pick), but I would suggest that their room for maneuver is running out.

You were right to worry about falling into a trap by talking about the CCCE/BCNI. Except that it wasn't meant to be a trap, but a rhetorical question.

The CCCE/BCNI advocated the ruinous anti-inflation policies of the central bank, the free trade deals that have destroyed Ontario manufacturing, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the destruction of the social safety net.

That a member of the Liberal front bench feels at all comfortable joining such an organization speaks volumes about the nature of the Liberal Party of recent history.

I hold Paul Martin's policies of austerity and pro-wealthy tax cuts responsible for the disaster to Canada's social fabric.

Average Canadians are worse off thanks to the LIBERALS slashing of the safety net and their embrace of pro-corporate globalization.

You can choose to call that ideological but I prefer to call that an inarguable fact. Ti-Guy, for all his loathing of harper's USA fetish appears to ignore the slavish devotion to continental integration of people like Mssr's Manley, Martin and now Ignatieff.

Anna said...

That's an interesting comment, Lib Supporter, "The point remains... [the Liberals] will provide less ideologically driven policy."

So far they've offered not a whole hell of a lot of policy, ideologically driven or not - as someone mentioned earlier they've blustered on a few topics, only to back off shortly after. At least with ideology, people stand for something. It seems liberals will say whatever is popular at the moment to garner public favour and that hasn't even been working for them. Maybe ideology isn't so bad...

Ti-Guy said...

Really Ti, you're little better than a blogging tory sometimes with your knee spasmodically jerking at anything critical of your pets. I think we've established that you don't care for my positions on issues or my writing. There's a cure for the discomfort I seem to cause you. I invite you to exercise the option or go buy yourself a blue cardigan and be done with it.

You sit on your little throne and yawp endlessly and bitterly at all around you as though you have a patent on disgruntlement. And you flick your snot at the post after claiming that you stopped reading after one paragraph. But you still you want to know what's ham-fisted, well maybe if you read first and reacted after you'd know. But that ain't your way, so I'll return you to your petit fascist fantasies of re-education camps. Kisses.


FUUUUUUUUCK YOOOOOU!

It never ceases to amaze me that on the basis of political affiliation and nothing much else, I can turn into the worst, vilest, most disgusting most monster that's ever existed.

What kind of maniac behaves like that?

Dr.Dawg said...

What kind of maniac behaves like that?

One with a drinking problem?

thwap said...

People who think your "defences" of the Liberal Party r incoherent n' asinine.

sooey said...

Politicians are made or broken on the campaign trail. Polls in peacetime don't matter - except in how parties respond to them. And Ignatieff will probably end up doing well against Harper, because he keeps his cool and Harper doesn't.

Ti-Guy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lindsay Stewart said...

Ti, it isn't your political affiliation, its just you dear, being snotty and self righteous. You're the reactionary little thing that condemns the writer with a peppy little ad hominem, dismisses the post, then declares that you didn't read it and follows that up with a slam at those that did read the thing. That's a classic blogging tory style maneuver there, bub.

But you're amazed that you'd get called on you're behaviour and those that would dare look askance must be maniacs. You aren't the "worst, vilest, most disgusting most monster that's ever existed". You're just a garden variety jackass imagining that you're a pony. Either way, you're full of horse shit.

So here we are again Ti, you lipping off and me reminding you of the above linked post, say what you want elsewhere but if you start your nonsense on my posts I'll delete you. If you're going to whine and cry about what a big meanie I am, I might as well justify all the snot and tears for you. You've been warned and now you've been told.

Ti-Guy said...

Delete *this*.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Politicians are made or broken on the campaign trail.
Is that the latest Liberal meme?

Look when Iggy came out with putting the government on "probation" is was laughable yet the usual coterie thought it brilliant.

What has Iggy done that is brilliant? Nothing...

Dr.Dawg said...

Tiggy for Liberal leader, I say.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Tiggy for Liberal leader, I say.
I'd vote for that.

Re-education camps and no bullshit. About time.

thwap said...

Cherniak_WTF,

You mean: "Re-education camps and bullshit."

Ti-Guy loses all his wit and critical reasoning when his precious Liberals get a deserved thrashing.

He's said nothing sane or coherent in this thread. I don't understand such behaviour.

Trash the NDP when they deserve it and I go along. Trash the Libs for being what they are, and Ti-Guy's world falls apart.

Lindsay Stewart said...

WATB said: "Delete *this*."

Don't tell lies and I won't delete you.

CK said...

Sooey: Politicians are made or broken on the campaign trail. Polls in peacetime don't matter - except in how parties respond to them. And Ignatieff will probably end up doing well against Harper, because he keeps his cool and Harper doesn't.

Sorry, Sooey, I agree with Lindsay, Iggy has got to go & the sooner, the better. His numbers are worse than Dion's numbers ever were.

The fact that his numbers are so bad and Stevie's numbers remain high enough to be within grasp of a majority inspite of the whole checque and logogate scandal, something that should have sent Stevie's numbers plummeting, but did not. Something is obviously wrong.

I like the NDP, but realistically, they will never ever lead. If Ed Broadbent from the old days couldn't pull it off, Jack certainly can't.

As much as I hate to say it, I've observed that much of Canadian society today is further to the right.

Lindsay Stewart said...

Actually CK i think that Canadian society is pretty much where its always been. I'd point out the failure of Harper to climb past the base and the begrudging to form a majority. Also, the Liberal's having crept to the right have failed to improve their standing in the polls. That tells me that while we are generally fiscally conservative we are also socially rather liberal, in favour of strong social programs and a social safety net.

Námo Mandos said...

Canadian trends echo US trends by 5-15 years. We are going through our Bheney period. Iggy is, at best, John Kerry, minus the being an actual war hero and/or trophy husband part.

CK said...

Namo, Stevie is striving to have Georgie and Dickie's America here in Canada, including their health care system. Buckdog wrote about that a few years back, displaying how Stevie is a GOP wannabe.

http://buckdogpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/01/stephen-harper-hates-canada-at-least.html

sooey said...

So how is Ignatieff leaving going to accomplish anything? It seems to me the problem isn't political representation in the center and on the left as it is that the Canadian voting public has become incredibly stupid - if what you are saying is any truer than what Ti-Guy has been saying, which is that the Liberals are being unfairly blamed for not seeming to be electable according to the latest polls.

liberal supporter said...

Ignatieff's main success so far has been to restore the historic reality of the two main parties being the government and opposition. He is being portrayed as making "rookie" mistakes because he emphatically said he will no longer support the government but now will consider support on a bill by bill basis. However, he did force the NDP to support the government, and they may be forced to do so again. So he successfully manoeuvered back to the proper role of opposition. The CPC must therefore seek support from the smaller parties, or provide legislation that would enjoy universal support.

Restoring a more normal situation has pretty much stole the upper hand from Harper. Recall Steve's "every vote is now a confidence vote", which caused the Liberals to be the ones to make minority government work. Steve could wave that with impunity and the Liberals would look like the ones not playing well with others if they stopped letting his bills skate by.

With the Liberals refusing to automatically support the government any longer, Steve would find "every vote is now a confidence vote" would backfire since he would be clearly engineering his own defeat.

CK said...

Never said the Liberals were being unfairly blamed. I said there's definitely a serious problem when Stevie's numbers still remain within grasp of a majority in spite of the latest harpercon scandals like Checquegate.
This clearly illustrates that something is horribly wrong with the Liberals.
Try as we might with Iggy, but it's been long enough. Iggy is just not working. His ads in the woods didn't work. Nothing he tried worked.
Time for a new leader; this time, they'd better do their research; Bob Rae won't cut it neither.
I will probably get lambasted for this, but if one looks back in Canadian history, the most successful PMs were French speaking from Quebec (Except of course, Dion) Even Pearson never had a majority.

sooey said...

I didn't say you did, either. Read my post, please. And the leader isn't the problem. Jumping from one leader to another might be, though.

Finally, the country has changed. Looking back is not the answer.

And although nobody likes the Liberals, I think it's the Canadian public what's stupid.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"So how is Ignatieff leaving going to accomplish anything? It seems to me the problem isn't political representation in the center and on the left as it is that the Canadian voting public has become incredibly stupid - if what you are saying is any truer than what Ti-Guy has been saying, which is that the Liberals are being unfairly blamed for not seeming to be electable according to the latest polls."

1. Ignatieff has not won the confidence of the electorate. What I and I'm guessing a lot of other folks want is a clear and distinct alternative to Stephen Harper and Ignatieff doesn't offer that. The ascension of Ignatieff to party leader hasn't brought former Liberals back to the fold, there's been no popular resurgence in a party which is perceived as spinning its wheels and flip-flopping on its own pronouncements. The leader in the woods came off as a shallow attempt to rebrand the guy and it flopped. They simply aren't connecting.

What is accomplished by having Ignatieff gone is the Liberals are forced to rebuild and present an honest alternative to Harper. Short of the PM going on TV and throttling a kitten I don't believe Ignatieff can defeat Harper. That means we have a continuance of the Harper rule and the longer he remains in power, the more likely he is to finagle a majority. And I don't think any of us want to see that.

2. Are Canadians more stupid? Perhaps. I hope not. The cultural climate has certainly shifted in terms of media and we are now suffering from the sort of personality politics that have saddled the Americans with dismal government over the last decade or so. Maybe stupid isn't quite the correct term but certainly more subject to manipulation. The Cons for all of their ugliness are expert manipulators.

3. I'm not sure what Ti-Guy is saying other than yelling at me and calling me names. But there's nothing unfair about noting that the Liberals either are or seem to be unelectable. And it isn't just based on this one poll, they've continued to flounder in polling since before Dion was given the knife. Beyond the die-hard partisans the current iteration of the Liberals have garnered no better than a luke warm response at best and the leader has utterly failed to shine, to seize the national agenda or present anything that remotely resembles charisma.

There's no mystery in that I'm not a fan of Ignatieff. I didn't like him before he took the leadership and he's done nothing to alter my opinion. I don't trust him and I don't like the direction he's pulling the party. I want a party and a leader I can vote for, not two parties both with leaders I feel compelled to vote against.

CK said...

Canadian public more stupid? Not sure if it's more stupid or more to the right.
I could tell you one thing the Liberals could do to distinguish themselves from Steve. Hammer him on health care. This is something Canadians seem to either forget, don't want to remember or they actually changed their minds (I hope not the latter). Yah, I know, the Liberals started this fiasco when they cut transfers to the provinces in the 90s, but doesn't mean a new leader has to continue on that trend.
Read the link to Buckdog's post I posted in a previous comment to remind you just how much Steve not only hates our single payer health care system but is just ga ga over the American nightmare of a system.
Anyway, in my opinion, this would be the best way to distinguish themselves from harpercons.

sooey said...

To say Ignatieff doesn't have the confidence of the electorate is just to spread a rumour. There hasn't been a campaign.

Canadians vote for politicians who promise tax cuts and smaller government. Politicians, ferchrissakes. I don't know if it gets much more stupid than that.

Lindsay Stewart said...

Fair enough Sooey, other than those within his riding, neither Canadians nor Liberals have had the opportunity to vote for Ignatieff. So I am reading tea leaves and drawing on anecdotal evidence and extrapolating.

I don't think he's inspired confidence in the electorate. I don't believe he can defeat Harper. I sincerely hope that if what I suspect is true, the Cons are held to their third minority. That will allow the Liberals to seek more appealing and capable leadership. I would also hope that the NDP might choose to replace their leader with someone more likely to generate trust among the electorate and better able to hold the Cons feet to the fire.

Ti-Guy said...

What inspires confidence in the electorate is to be able to go on stage and sing a Beatles tune. To lie shamelessly. To never admit you were wrong or that you've changed your mind. To tell people you're giving them smaller government despite the fact that you've made it bigger and to offer them tax cuts when nothing has changed and the country is mired in a deficit.

It's a New Canada out there and a lot of us are just not part of it.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"It's a New Canada out there and a lot of us are just not part of it."

So how would electing Ignatieff and the Liberals change any of that, apart from the Beatles and singing part? He's playing to the same right of centre audience that Harper is, where's the difference? The guy is sowing disharmony within his own party ranks, does that bode well for the far greater responsibility of uniting and leading a fractious nation? His senior advisers find out they're getting shit canned from the TV, his lieutenants are assured of one thing and he spins on his heel and does another. The simple fact that top party players are not only walking away but going public with their issues doesn't point to a capable leader IMHO.

Iggy had an opportunity to be part of a government that a lot more people might have been "part of" but his ego and avarice saw him torpedo his leader and any chance of a coalition. Sure the coalition might have been a very temporary fix but it would also have cut the legs out from under Harper. Iggy's desire and decision to play for the big prize is partly responsible for keeping Harper in power. A Liberal led coalition would have given Dion a graceful exit, screwed Harper with the backstabbers and wolves within his own ranks and allowed the Liberal party the time to forge renewed bonds with the voting public. Would they have pulled it off, we'll never know. We got more of big Steve and the Cons instead.

I don't think Ignatieff and the current Liberals present a viable alternative for forming a non-Harper government. So rather than calling me names and pissing on my shoes, how about you present a positive case for your guy. We all know that Harper's a dick but there's a lot of us that think Ignatieff is just as much a dick. Prove us wrong or shut your whining beer hole. We need better than a hold your nose and vote party and candidate.

Ti-Guy said...

Sorry the Liberals are not living up to your expectations. They really have betrayed your support.

Lindsay Stewart said...

What a thoughtful a response Ti. You've really made your case. How could I help but vote for the not much lesser of evils after the convincing case you've laid out.

Anna said...

The liberals should ask Gilles D. to be their leader, he's a guy I'd LOVE to vote for and his is the only party who I think is headed in a positive direction.

AND he could call Harper a dick and look charming.

Lindsay Stewart said...

What Anna said!

Ti-Guy said...

I agree with sooey. Canadians are just a lot stupider than I'm willing to believe.

Lindsay Stewart said...

You're not doing anything to prove sooey wrong.

thwap said...

"Restoring a more normal situation has pretty much stole the upper hand from Harper. Recall Steve's "every vote is now a confidence vote", which caused the Liberals to be the ones to make minority government work. Steve could wave that with impunity and the Liberals would look like the ones not playing well with others if they stopped letting his bills skate by.

With the Liberals refusing to automatically support the government any longer, Steve would find "every vote is now a confidence vote" would backfire since he would be clearly engineering his own defeat.
"

We're doomed.

If this is the sort of thinking that keeps people backing the Liberals, "Ignatieff's out-of-nowhere election threat, that fizzled and died and has plunged his party to 25% in the polls has harper on the ropes."

Yes, if Ignatieff decides to take harper at his word about "every vote being a confidence vote" then he might force an election unless he does what the NDP did ONCE and hold-out for some concessions, or does what the Dion Liberals did SEVENTY-NINE times, and hide from those votes.

liberal supporter said...

If this is the sort of thinking that keeps people backing the Liberals, "Ignatieff's out-of-nowhere election threat, that fizzled and died and has plunged his party to 25% in the polls has harper on the ropes.".
Harper on the ropes? No, I simply pointed out Ignatieff has restored a more normal situation, which puts the onus back on Harper to make minority government work.

Yes, if Ignatieff decides to take harper at his word about "every vote being a confidence vote" then he might force an election unless he does what the NDP did ONCE and hold-out for some concessions, or does what the Dion Liberals did SEVENTY-NINE times, and hide from those votes.
Exactly. It will be Harper's engineering his own defeat, since he can't presume the Liberals will let his bills slide by.

And of course, if Harper wins, we can blame YOU. The Liberals can run a piece of furniture, and I will prefer that to Harper. Iggy is the "not much lesser of two evils"? Hardly. A majority Harper means Canada ceases to exist as we know it, and you know that. An Ignatieff government means at worst muddling along but with Canada surviving. Otherwise, you can join the ranks of those who moan about the paradise lost had someone only done something. Right now, you vote the Liberals, or you effectively vote for our destruction. We can argue over points of policy difference later. Unless you see no real threat, then continue as you apparently are. You could pull a Nader, who knew he would lose in 2000, and thought it no big deal if GWB got elected, but thought his moral position was more important. He figured it would teach everyone a lesson if Bush won. Is that your position? The US barely survived as a democracy.

Lindsay Stewart said...

Lib Supporter, as of this moment I don't trust either the Cons or the Libs with a majority in the house. There's nothing on the horizon that indicates that Ignatieff's absence of policy or incremental variance from Harper's policies would be much less destructive. And for all of the flaws in our government I am far more at ease with a multipartite system. Creepy and dangerous as L'il George was/is, the American democracy has been mired in dysfunction for a long time. A two party system is more susceptible to corruption and seems to tend toward the right and slightly less right of centre, which is where the lobbyist cheques get signed.

And if Harper wins the feared majority and brings down his fatwa, outlawing gays and women, closing the government and selling shares in Canada on the NYSE it will be all of our fault. And a healthy dollop of that blame will lie with YOU and the blinkered partisans that neglected the interests of a considerable voting block that aren't to the right of the mythical centre. It will be the fault of co-opted, bought and sold pols that fill the ranks of the Liberal Party as well as the Conservative Party and there will be a good deal of blame left over for those that gave up on the whole sorry mess.

I'll live with my share of blame for believing that representative democracy should represent all of the citizens. I'll swallow the blame for thinking that we should vote for the best candidates and for refusing to vote for bad candidates. You'll have to swallow the fact that if Harper wins his majority, you and your guys will have lost it by failing to provide a better option, a better candidate and a better platform. You and the Liberals won't have been the better team and that won't be anyone's fault but your own. I don't vote for furniture and if that's the standard today's Liberal Party expects to win with, enjoy losing, you'll deserve it.

Ti-Guy said...

I'll swallow the blame for thinking that we should vote for the best candidates and for refusing to vote for bad candidates.

You should see my last NDP candidate...bit player in TechWar. And the Conservative candidate was car salesman.

The Liberal candidate who won is a gay, married United Church minister. And this, in a riding with McVety's Canada Bible College and the Noor Islamic Centre.

Clearly, Liberals are evil and stupid.

thwap said...

Ti-Guy,

So, how much do you want to fellate Ignatieff?

Seriously. Because given your entire yammering shtick here, straw-man arguments, meaningless insults, refusing to even read what's in front of you, knee-jerk rejectionism, you appear to only want to discuss serious issues in an incredibly stupid manner.

PSA/LS offered a pretty detailed critique of Ignatieff as a leader and you've responded time and time again with nothing but immature garbage.

PSA criticizes Jack Layton too, and I honestly don't think he's fair on the subject, but I don't start screeching and bitching like you do.
liberal supporter is at least having a dialogue. You're just making stuff up now.
This stuff is beneath you.

KEvron said...

"liberal supporter is at least having a dialogue."

despite your best efforts?

KEvron

liberal supporter said...

I'll swallow the blame for thinking that we should vote for the best candidates and for refusing to vote for bad candidates. You'll have to swallow the fact that if Harper wins his majority, you and your guys will have lost it by failing to provide a better option, a better candidate and a better platform.
I'm not a Liberal party insider. I'm not even a party member, so it is hard to see how I can be blamed for their failures as you put it. However, I think it is reasonable to "blame" someone based on which box the put their X in on election day.

However, I reserve my contempt for those who do not vote at all. If you are voting based on your principles, I can't really find fault with that. Though for myself, I have found doing something solely on principle is far too often simply the excuse for being rigidly ideological.

CK said...

And if Harper wins the feared majority and brings down his fatwa, outlawing gays and women, closing the government and selling shares in Canada on the NYSE it will be all of our fault. And a healthy dollop of that blame will lie with YOU and the blinkered partisans that neglected the interests of a considerable voting block that aren't to the right of the mythical centre. It will be the fault of co-opted, bought and sold pols that fill the ranks of the Liberal Party as well as the Conservative Party and there will be a good deal of blame left over for those that gave up on the whole sorry mess.
Lindsay,
Don't forget that Steve would criminalize abortion and we will have the American health care system and everything else like Georgie and Dickie's America. The Canadian GOP party.Really scary. Plus he's a member of the evangelical sub culture like Georgie and Sawah.
Yes, Iggy must go. Donolo may be good at his job, but too little too late. Liberals need a new leader and fast if we want to avoid the above mentioned fate.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"The Liberal candidate who won is a gay, married United Church minister."

I'm tearing up Ti, really, its like Disney on Ice or something. Look, last election my riding didn't have a candidate in a major party that I respected. So I voted for the independent candidate with no hope of winning and a platform built on child care, health care, education and all that idealistic, underfunded crap that never wins elections. The cozy Liberal riding fell to a Con that, for all of his fundie flaws, worked his butt off and got out a vote. I haven't had dealings with him but from what I understand he's been a good advocate for his constituents. Despite being a Con.

Your riding elected the best representative, right... then you should be happy. Too bad your chosen party isn't led by such a sterling character. But do carry on with the wounded and whining act. Its ever so dramatic and the false equivalencies and passive aggressive sniffing are devastating.

Lindsay Stewart said...

Lib Supporter, sorry but I assumed that your monicker was literal. I'm not keen on strategic voting though I don't think there's only one way to cast a strategic vote. Voting for the Liberals in a strong NDP riding is as likely to hand Harper an extra seat as not. That sort of crap encourages the parties to parachute candidates into ridings in defiance of the intent of our democracy. Nonsense like Liz May dashing from coast to coast in a desperate hunt for a riding that will install her in the house is unseemly.

I'm still silly enough to believe that the MP's job is to understand and represent the interests of the community that elects them to the house. That should be the first and primary priority and party should be a distant second. Modern Canadian politics has devolved into a somewhat American flavoured, cult of the leader, personality contest and that is a real shame. It leads to cynical business like the Ignatieff acclamation and the major parties endlessly jockeying for power rather than dealing with the important issues that face the nation. The state of permanent campaign.

For the foreseeable future I don't think we should give a majority to any of the parties. They don't deserve and can't be trusted with that level of autonomy. And I don't think a two party system would be a good idea at all. Maybe if something crazy happened and the Bloq and NDP were to join forces, we could have a strong third party and the petulant children we elect might have to learn to work together.

thwap said...

Kevron,

What do you mean by "despite my best efforts"? Do you honestly think my raising issues such as frontbench Liberal John Manley becoming head of the CCCE isn't a worthy part of the dialogue?

Do you think that the Chretien-Martin slashing of the safety-net, their austerity and tax-cuts for the wealthy are just unfair, irrelevant attacks?

thwap said...

liberal supporter,

"And of course, if Harper wins, we can blame YOU."

Um, ... no.

"The Liberals can run a piece of furniture, and I will prefer that to Harper."

Bully for you. But for your argument to have merit, you're going to have to say that Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, and now Michael Ignatieff, are all less popular WITH THE CANADIAN ELECTORATE than a piece of furniture. Because two of those guys lost and the other one is dropping in the polls.

"Iggy is the 'not much lesser of two evils'? Hardly. A majority Harper means Canada ceases to exist as we know it, and you know that. An Ignatieff government means at worst muddling along but with Canada surviving."

How depressing. That there is something to what you say, and that in response, a frighteningly large group of Canadian progressives say that our only choice is to vote for a neo-liberal, integrationist pack of elite pricks who screwed us over from 1993-2006 and who now have a leader who would have put us in Iraq AS WELL AS Afghanistan.

"Otherwise, you can join the ranks of those who moan about the paradise lost had someone only done something. Right now, you vote the Liberals, or you effectively vote for our destruction."

Well, I live an NDP stronghold (thank god) so my best bet is to vote NDP. And in places where the NDP finishes first or second, people should vote NDP to block the harpercons. And where the Liberal is the best choice to stop the harpercons, then vote Liberal. But this bullshit that "strategic voting" means "vote Liberal" is a non-starter.

"We can argue over points of policy difference later. Unless you see no real threat, then continue as you apparently are."

We can argue about policy differences NOW, thank you very much. If and when Ignatieff shows enough respect for Canadian voters to announce any.

"You could pull a Nader, who knew he would lose in 2000, and thought it no big deal if GWB got elected, but thought his moral position was more important. He figured it would teach everyone a lesson if Bush won. Is that your position? The US barely survived as a democracy."

Nader didn't take the election from Gore. The bush II campaign and the SCOTUS did. And don't get me started on the fucking Democrats.

Actually, your expression of disdain for Nader and your underlying support for the Democrats tells me that you'd very much like to import the entirely bankrupt US political culture here to Canada.

In the USA, needed healthcare "reform" appears to be between the Democrats writing a bill that gives the despicable health insurance industry it wants and Republican morons who say there's no crisis.

A Democratic president who expands the war in Afghanistan and closes down one legal blackhole torture-chamber and moves the prisoners to another legal blackhole torture-chamber.

A Democratic party that controls the House, the Senate, the Executive branch and still can't pass anything.

You say that Ignatieff's "worm has turned" "strategy" of now rejecting everything harper proposes is some awesome deliberate strategy, some "put up or shut-up" philosophy, but it doesn't appear to be anything of the kind. It appears to have been an abberation. An episode of braggadacio that failed and which reveals a fundamental emptiness and drift.

And to expect every progressive and left-wing Canadian to unquestioningly line-up behind this nonsense or else Canada is doomed is the height of presumption.