Canadian General Election 2008 – the (Liberal) aftermath II

Written by  //  November 22, 2009  //  Canada, Politics, Québec  //  No comments

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Our Democracy is Broken: How do we fix it?
CPAC’s Peter Van Dusen moderates a head-to-head debate between Maclean’s Andrew Coyne and Paul Wells on the state of Canada’s democracy. – A must-watch, digest and discuss debate.
Big thinker or oddly irritating?
(Globe & Mail) Michael Ignatieff. The Liberal Leader is No. 64 out of 100 Top Global Thinkers in the current issue of Foreign Policy magazine. You can find him between, Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and Francis Fukuyama, a political philosopher at Washington’s Johns Hopkins University.
22 November
Les indiscrétions de Mme Dion
(La Presse) Dans un message placé sur sa page Facebook, la femme de Stéphane Dion, Janine Krieber, règle ses comptes avec le Parti libéral du Canada et le successeur de son mari, Michael Ignatieff.
9 November
MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY BLANKED IN BYELECTIONS
(RCI) Four federal byelections were held across Canada on Monday. The governing Conservative Party won two seats, one in the province of Nova Scotia and the other in Quebec. The opposition Bloc Québécois party also won a seat in Quebec while the New Democratic Party were winners in the province of British Columbia.
30 October
Jamie Carroll: From one chief of staff to another
(NP) As one of the nine people to have occupied the job of chief of staff to the leader of the Official Opposition since January 2006 (that’s right: nine), I thought I would share some advice with the office’s newest occupant, Peter Donolo. Simply put, Liberals are tired of missed opportunities and, if we’re going to turn the boat around, it’s time to get serious about what matters and what doesn’t.
27 October
Now if only Mr. Ignatieff would heed his advice.
Ignatieff drops chief of staff, hires Peter Donolo
(CTV.ca) Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has dropped his chief of staff, Ian Davey, and replaced him with veteran political strategist Peter Donolo. Ignatieff confirmed the move in a statement late Tuesday. Donolo was a communication director under former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien and was a partner at the Strategic Counsel, an Ontario polling firm.
20 October
(CTV news) Ignatieff no longer in rush to force election
9 October
Richard Cléroux : Les rumeurs courent les rues d’Ottawa.
Cette semaine, par exemple, il y avait une fausse rumeur qui voulait que trois députés libéraux de circonscriptions ethniques de Toronto se préparent à passer au Parti conservateur. Le grand quotidien Toronto Star, qui avait transmis la rumeur, a dû faire des excuses dans son numéro de mercredi. Le quotidien a également fait quelque chose d’exceptionnel. Il a nommé Alykhan Velshi, directeur des communications du ministre de l’Immigration, Jason Kenney, comme sa source anonyme.
7 October
Marc Garneau named Quebec lieutenant
Garneau — who in 1996 became the first Canadian in space — will officially be known as the leader’s “representative” in the province, not as the Quebec lieutenant, a Liberal official said.
5 October
Liberals to name a new Quebec lieutenant after all
The Liberal Party requires a “leader’s representative” in Quebec, Mr. Ignatieff said, a detail he must have overlooked last week when he said he would not rush to replace his former lieutenant, Denis Coderre.
Meanwhile, Stephen Harper was playing piano at an NAC gala that he had previously dismissed with derision.
30 September
Adam Daifallah: The Liberals’ slow, painful recovery
Exuding a sense of competence starts with strong leadership and a unified party. What the Coderre-Cauchon affair demonstrates is that the Liberals still have a long way to go on both fronts –indeed, they are barely beginning the process of recovery.
(NP Full Pundit) Liberal food fight! “Such is the state of Ignatieff’s party in Quebec that [Denis] Coderre’s muscle crew was as good as the Liberals could hope for,” Chantal Hébert writes, rather scathingly, in the Toronto Star. Now, she observes, Mr. Ignatieff finds himself “surrounded by bright, well-meaning advisers who — like their leader — don’t even know what they don’t know.”
Brains, not brawn, needed to win Quebec
— When all is said and done, it is not Coderre’s bare-knuckles approach to politics that has been keeping Liberals activists at home and Quebecers at bay, but rather the absence of a solid narrative to draw them back to the party. On Ignatieff’s end-of-summer Quebec swing last month, Liberal loyalists were already openly complaining about the lack of policy edge of their new leader.
At a time when the Liberals have their best opportunity in decades to recast the federalist message to their advantage in Quebec, Ignatieff is surrounded by advisers who frankly do not seem to know where to start or, apparently, whom to tap for advice and ideas.
L. Ian MacDonald:  War of egos in Quebec blows up in Ignatieff’s face
For Michael Ignatieff, September has been the cruellest month, and can’t end soon enough. But the potentially fatal political wounds he has suffered this month are entirely self-inflicted.
Quebec Liberal MPs downplay Coderre controversy
(CTV) Marc Garneau and others chastised Coderre for stomping out of his job Monday as the federal leader’s Quebec lieutenant.
Ignatieff tries to fight back after Coderre resignation
(National Post) Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff focused his time in the House of Commons Tuesday exclusively on Quebec, a move that one adviser said was a way of showing that “Denis Coderre does not equal Quebec.”
28 September
Liberals scramble to quash talk of anti-Ignatieff party rumblings
(The Gazette) The federal Liberals tried to quell suggestions Monday that their leader, Michael Ignatieff, is facing a crisis of party unity in the wake of the decision by Liberal MP Denis Coderre to quit as Ignatieff’s chief Quebec organizer.
Coderre quitte son poste de lieutenant politique
(La Presse) En annonçant ce matin sa démission du poste de lieutenant politique de Michael Ignatieff au Québec, Denis Coderre s’en est directement pris à la garde rapprochée torontoise de son chef.
(CBC) Coderre said he no longer has the “moral authority” to act as leader Michael Ignatieff’s right-hand man in Quebec, after being overruled in choosing the Liberal candidate for the Montreal riding of Outremont.
26 September
Rex Murphy: Why Ignatieff muddles and befuddles us
Where is the touch of style and manner, the evidence of real passion infusing new ideas, that connects him to, or makes him a vessel for, the shared aspirations of an entire people? Where’s the leader quality? Mr. Ignatieff has been in Canadian politics for nearly three years, and in a very important way he’s no closer to demonstrating what he has to add, as leader, potential prime minister, to our common Canadian experience than the first day some very smart people asked him to come home.
Ignatieff reverses decision
Cauchon can seek Outremont seat; Nathalie Le Prohon ready to run in Jeanne-Le Ber
25 September
Martin Cauchon: ce sera Outremont ou rien
Le chef du Parti libéral, Michael Ignatieff, a tenté de rétablir l’unité au sein de son parti hier en offrant à l’ancien ministre de la Justice, Martin Cauchon, de porter la bannière libérale dans la circonscription de Jeanne-Le Ber aux prochaines élections.
24 September
Rick Salutin: Narcissieff in the mirror of politics
My own sense is that he’ll make a seriously bad candidate, due to what I’d call his narcissism. This isn’t so much about adoring yourself, as being so self-absorbed that your sense of how others react to you goes missing. This won’t be useful when you’re asking for people’s votes, against other candidates.
18 September
The Liberals wanted him, the Tories won him over
Michael Ignatieff attempted to recruit diplomatic celebrity Chris Alexander to be a candidate for the Liberals, but disagreements over party policy on Afghanistan prompted him to reject the offer and join the Conservatives instead.
10 September
Adam Gopnik, Letter from Canada, “The Return of the Native”
(The New Yorker, September 7) ABSTRACT: about Michael Ignatieff. … a journalist, a political philosopher, a novelist, the authorized biographer of Isaiah Berlin, and now the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and surprisingly likely to be Canada’s next Prime Minister. What has led a man who has been called the perfect non-Jewish Jewish intellectual to the brink of power in a model liberal country?
3 September
Lawrence Martin: Will Ignatieff’s bid to stake out higher ground work?
If fleshed out properly, the message of a ‘big Canada’ may strike a chord with voters
(Globe & Mail) There are reasons why the visionless Harper government has never been able to stir much enthusiasm among Canadians. Among them is its abiding small-mindedness. It’s always been a gang more interested in maiming political opponents than pursuing high ideals.
Chances of fall federal election appear to increase
(Gazette) As a tumultuous political week comes to a close, all four federal parties appear to be in stasis, with each saying that someone else will have to bend to make Parliament work. Notably though, neither Layton nor Duceppe appeared to accuse Ignatieff of precipitating what could be the country’s second election campaign in less than a year. Instead, they put the onus on Harper to make nice with his political opponents.
1 September
Ignatieff vows to erase deficit with no new taxes (We hope he did not add “read my lips”)
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff pledged Wednesday to erase the projected $50-billion federal deficit if elected into government — and to do so without raising taxes.
(CTV.ca) Ignatieff held a news conference in Sudbury, Ont., offering more details about why he has decided to no longer support the Conservative government and outlining the tack he will take if an election is triggered.
31 August
Liberals will move to topple Harper government
(CTV) Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says he will no longer support Stephen Harper’s minority government.
Sources have told CTV News that the Liberals will put forward a non-confidence motion to force an election this fall — although they need the support of the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois for that to happen.
28 August
Janice Kennedy: Getting mean and distinctly ugly
(Ottawa Citizen) … It’s a state of mind, a summation of everything that is small and cribbed and contemptible — not unlike the sour (and embarrassing) one-line statement of perfunctory condolence on Wednesday from our own prime minister. [These] people possess a meanness of spirit that goes beyond simple politics. They’re responsible for a creeping diminution of vision and values. In Canada, which used to appreciate largeness of soul, they even have a government platform, thanks to Stephen Harper and company.
10 July
For the record: Harper’s misguided attack on Ignatieff
Immediately after those remarks were made, Dimitri Soudas, the prime minister’s press secretary, told reporters that Harper’s remarks on Ignatieff were incorrect and that he had misinformed the Prime Minister about them. The prime minister’s staff said the remarks they misattributed to Ignatieff may have been made by an academic during a television interview.
For the record, Ignatieff, in London, England, earlier this week, said something about Canada’s presidency of the G8 that was remarkably similar to what the prime minister said. Here’s Ignatieff:”Huntsville should be a plce where we will make substantial progress redefining and refocusing the G8 itself.”
2 June
The Obama Effect — Political Attack Ads Backfiring for Canada’s Prime Minister
(HuffPost) The warm glow of Obama positivism is even being felt up in Canada. The current Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unleashed venomous attack ads challenging the patriotism of his opponent, Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian who was a professor for many years at Harvard University. But a new poll shows that while the ads have caused some voters to think less of Ignatieff, an even greater number of voters think less of Harper for running the critical commercials.
31 January
John Moore: The Liberals made us do it
There’s a hilarious right-wing talking point making the rounds on talk radio to explain why the Conservatives brought in a great lumbering leviathan of a left-wing budget this week: The Liberals made them do it.
You can’t blame the true believers for trying. After all, Jan. 27 marked the death of the Harper agenda and the end of a 21-year quest to bring genuine conservative policy to bear on this country.
In accepting the need for stimulus spending and putting Canada on a course to five consecutive years of red ink, the Tories didn’t put water in their wine: They just drank the water. The budget is so outrageous: It not only pays unprofitable companies to make cars, it provides consumers credit to buy them.

February 2007
Once Upon a Country
(The Walrus) In Stéphane Dion the Liberals have a new narrator and perhaps a hero. All now depends on the story he tells and how the Canadian everyman reacts.

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