About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dion Done; Rae Railed; Ignatieff is the Man! Uh?

So, last week was what a week for the Liberal Party of Canada. Stéphane Dion resigned last Monday after the final straw in his leadership was the lack of production value on his rebuttal video to Prime Minister Harper's speech. With Dion back to the back benches, the Liberals acted swiftly to coronate Michael Ignatieff as the new leader, but only one thing stood in their way: The Man Named Rae. But even Bob Rae heard the call, "Get Out Da' Way," and "got out the way" he did. So Iggy ascended to the top of the bottom, and now he's got a whole month to plot the next move.

Dion - I feel sorry for Dion. Having met him a couple of times, I have to say I liked him. I also liked the boldness of the Green Shift Plan. Say what you want about it, but it thought in big terms. The problem was communication, and when it comes to getting the message out, it starts at the top. And since English is far from Dion's first language the substance of the Green Shift was lost in translation, and infighting in the Liberal ranks about its validity didn't help either. Much like John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, I think Dion became a victim of the times. In the New Media Age, the full substance of his policies, as well as his person, didn't fit compact in to sound bites. In the town hall format though, I think he shined. I guess its too bad he couldn't have pulled an Obama and do an half-hour infomercial.

Rae - Come on, Dude! Really? Victory was that close?? Anyway, it was nice of Bob Rae to take the day and act tough as if there was going to be a serious groundswell of support demanding a proper vote because he was a serious leadership contender. Maybe he was, I don't know. It's weird, but given the givens, I was sure Rae didn't have a lot of support considering he's the former NDP Premier of Ontario, and not a fondly thought of one at that. But Ontario is strangely forgiving politically. After the drastic ouster of the Mike Harris Tories, I never would have thought that Ontario would though support behind a Federal Conservative caucus filled with many former Harris Ministers. Rae's a name, you can't deny it. But to me, he's never going to get the top chair after a history of playing political party ping pong.

Ignatieff - So I've never been a huge Michael Ignatieff fan. It's just always seemed to me that the only reason he came back to Canada and ran for government was so that he could quickly ascend to the Prime Minister's Office. Maybe he has altruistic motives, I have no reason to suspect ulterior ones, but if you know the story it just sometimes seems like he had to be dragged back to Canada with the promise of potential power. As for his policies, well, he's already in trouble because he's one of the guys not for the coalition. So maybe, I guess, it's not about power after all. But the thing of it is, the recent Liberal Party hasn't had a lot of success when it comes to Leaders coronated, but then again, things haven't gone as well through the convention route either. And if Dion looked too professorial, then here comes Ignatieff who somehow makes John Kerry look like Jim Carrey. I'll reserve final judgment until I see Iggy in action, but the first he's got to do on the quick is lay out exactly where he is on the subject of coalitions and make it clear in no uncertain terms, especially when Jack Layton is double-dog daring Stephen Harper.

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