Monday, December 08, 2008

Dion out; Ignatieff in?

So, it looks like Stephane Dion will resign as Liberal leader today and that he's expected to be replaced by Ignatieff in a caucus vote on Wednesday. Dominic Leblanc will reportedly withdraw from the race this afternoon to support Ignatieff. That leaves Bob Rae flapping in the wind.

I was struck by the lack of analysis on right-wing radio this morning about a new poll suggesting that the idea of a coalition led by Ignatieff isn't much more "palatable" than one led by Dion. The conclusion drawn that it doesn't matter who leads the coalition.

It does to me.

I supported the coalition with Dion at the helm. I would not support it with Ignatieff, so those poll numbers may be somewhat inaccurate. I have absolutely no use for Ignatieff and I believe that choosing him as party leader will be a huge mistake for a number of reasons - not the least of which is his lack of leadership experience. (And don't even try to spring the Obama argument on me. At least he served in his state senate for a number of years.)

And Ignatieff's neocon-like, interventionist military beliefs which some claim he has since changed his stripes about (not buying that, sorry) show that he is not a man to be trusted. He plays intellectual gymnastics on the issue of torture - so much so that he contradicts himself as he attempts to contort what he really believes.

In the end, I'm not a Liberal party supporter anymore so I wouldn't give a flying fig who they chose as their leader except for the fact that we now have an empowered dictatorial bully in charge of our country and the only salvation for those of us who are tired of his antics is to ignite growing popularity for the coalition or to remake the Liberal party into something that is more palatable. I don't see the latter happening with Ignatieff in charge. He was rejected the last time around and for good reason.

I have to laugh looking back now while hearing John Manley called for the rapid ouster of Dion on the weekend, considering what he said during the last Liberal leadership convention while everybody was waiting for the results i.e. that it was "inhumane" and "cruel" to make poor Iggy wait. History repeats itself. I wonder what kind of government job Ignatieff has in mind for Manley. I guess we'll find out.


I see that while I was writing this post, Dion has made it official and will step down 'effective as soon as successor is duly chosen';.

On Sunday, Mr. Ignatieff launched a bulldozer charge at the leadership, campaigning for the party's parliamentary caucus to elect him immediately as an interim replacement for Mr. Dion.

Mr. Ignatieff's organizers said they had the support of at least 55 of the party's 77 MPs, including Mr. Dion's most vocal supporter, suburban Toronto MP Bryon Wilfert, and MP Maurizio Bevilacqua, who chaired the 2006 leadership campaign of Mr. Ignatieff's major opponent, Bob Rae.

In addition, Mr. LeBlanc flew to Toronto Sunday night to meet with Mr. Ignatieff.

The plan calls for Mr. Dion's resignation followed by a vote that would likely install Mr. Ignatieff at the helm as interim leader. At a second-stage process — almost certainly the leadership convention currently scheduled for May — the party either would confirm him as leader or turn to his only other declared opponent, Mr. Rae.

The party's caucus executive met Sunday night and agreed to recommend the two-stage selection process to the national party executive, which is to decide the issue on Tuesday.

Should the Ignatieff plan prevail, the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition could well be scuttled. Mr. Ignatieff was never an avid supporter of the coalition and had turned against it by Saturday, according to party insiders.

There's what our future now looks like - stuck in the opposition for the duration while Harper cooks up new and even more insulting policy changes for the new year. What fun.

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