September 11, 2006

Bob Rae wants to talk about the future but remains stuck in the past.

Today was the leadership forum in Quebec city. What really surprised me is Bob Rae's position on the constitutional issue. In Quebec, Bob Rae has been repeating over and over that he is THE "friend of Quebec" (l'ami du Québec) because he has fought for the Meech Lake Accord in 1990 and Charlottetown in 1992. He says that despite the fact that he is surrounded by the same people that were advising Mr Chretien when he objected the Meech Lake Accord.

Today, he said that he would not reopen the Constitution to get Quebec to sign in and become "really" part of Canada. He said that he fought for Meech and Charlottetown and knows these fights are hard so he would not get into it anymore. Governing is about making tought choices, Bob. You are no longer supposed to be a dipper. Governing NDP-style is easy, you spend money whether or not you can afford it. It doesn't involve making any tough choices.

Michael Ignatieff has shown true leadership in saying he would tackle the fiscal imbalance issue and would find solutions while Stephane Dion and Scott Brison are still busy trying to argue that there is no fiscal imbalance. Michael Ignatieff has shown true leadership, like Bob Rae in 1990, by trying to finally get Quebec to sign the Constitution.

Bob Rae has shown that he was a man of the past; that he fought for national unity through the 90s but that he could no longer do it. Bob Rae is backed by the same old boys network that backed Chretien in 1990. Bob Rae's slogan should be the same as Chretien in 1990 : Welcome to the 1990s. Michael Ignatieff, while the same age as Mr. Rae, has the energy it takes to lead that country and fight the separatists and Harper.

Michael Ignatieff's campaign is a bunch of brilliant young people. They might not have the same experience that Bob Rae's team has but they have the energy, the passion, the conviction and the guts to win this leadership and defeat Harper in the next election. When Michael Ignatieff wins the leadership in December, he should reach out to the experienced guys from other campaigns and combine their experience with the energy of his young people.

On a funnier note. I was sitting a few seats away from Antonio at the debate. At some point, Bob Rae was on stage with the other leadership candidates when Antonio's phone rang. It was Bob Rae "personally" calling him to become a delegate. Is this like Rahim Jaffer and his impersonator ? Will the real Bob Rae please stand up ? The use of auto-dialers is really bad and annoys Liberal members, it's much better to rely on dedicated volunteers than machines that try to convince you into running as a delegate for Bob Rae.


16 Commentaires:

Blogger grit heart a dit...

As many readers of this blog know, I favour Scott Brison in the leadership race.

He did very well yesterday. He had to prove that he could debate in french. He did that.

% months ago his french was very weak. He is the most improved in that category without question.

Dryden and Kennedy proved that in the five months they have been incapable of increasing their abilities in french. It demonstartes a strength of Brison's that he is a quick learner, despite the Nova Scotian accent.

Bob Rae won yesterday's debate. He was miles ahead of Michael Ignatieff who was creamed by Brison on the fiscal imbalance which Michael apparently just doesn't grasp very well.

Alex is wrong when he says that Rae is surronded by Chretien advisors. I do not support Rae but this abusive and misleading post by Fuddle Duddle cannot go unchallenged.

Here are some of Rae's top campaign people:

John Webster - Paul Martin Campaign Manager
Charles Bird - Paul Martin Ontario Campaign Manager
Mario Cuconato - Paul Martin Director of Operatins
Jacques Saada - Paul Martin Cabinet Minister (and Chair of Rae's Quebec Campaign)
Irwin Cotler - Paul Martin Cabinet Minister (hated by Chretien camp)
Victor Drury - Paul Martin and Clifford Lincoln guy
Barney Danson - Trudeau Cabinet Minister and John Turner Supporter (over Jean Chretien)

The list goes on and on of Rae supporters who had no inclination towards jean Chretien whatsoever.

Alex you mislead people.

Michael Ignatieff has fine supporters, so does Bob Rae.

Stop maligning other candidates.

9/11/2006 8:48 a.m.  
Blogger Skip a dit...

I think Alex is just upset that Iggy lost the debate, was flat throughout, and then, when he tried to throw Rae a jab in his closing remarks, received a haymaker from Rae in return.

Or, Alex, did you miss that part?



9/11/2006 9:34 a.m.  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

Ignatieff came off arrogant and sounding like Brian Mulroney with his tilting at windmills dream of reopening the constition.

Vote Iggy and Get Brian!

9/11/2006 10:24 a.m.  
Blogger Cable a dit...

'Tough Choices'? How could you consider implementing a controversial plan like 'Rae Days' just to save jobs anything BUT a tough choice.

Bob's a courageous guy, and it's great that he's now in the proper party, back where he started, back where he belongs.

I've been called several times by Bob's campaign team over the summer (do I want to sell memberships to my family and friends?, do I want to support and be a delegate for Bob?) and those calling have always been volunteers.

Bob was given a bad lot when he was elected Premier but he did the best he could, and although I didn't vote for him in '90 or '95, I know which I prefer between 'Rae Days' and 'Harris Years'.

Not quite set who I'll be supporting between Rae Kennedy and Dion, but people like Ignatieff who say 'let's re-open constitutional talks' having no experience in the subject makes me cringe. Bob doesn't say it's a bad idea because he's lazy or not passionate enough, it's because he KNOWS the situation better than most (having been there) and has the UNDERSTANDING to grasp what damage could be done to our country.

Grrr to your blog sirs and madams.

9/11/2006 1:27 p.m.  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

Ignatieff's ignorance of Canada's political history really shines through. Only someone that was outside of the country for 30 years and missed the entire mess of the late 80's, early 90's constitution battles would be so gung-ho to go through it all again, with the same predictable results.

9/11/2006 1:45 p.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

I agree Iggy lost. I think his campaign will stall any time now. DEM's will save him but at some point, he'll need to do something big to pull in subsequent ballot support.

Yes, some Martin people seem to be supporting Rae. But the people who are raising his money and calling the shots are all related to Bob or John Rae or Jean Chretien or Power Corp. These are the people who will run an election campaign and be in the PMO if Rae did miracles and was not demolished in Ontario and managed to win the PMO.

These people got us into a little mess called the sponsorship scandal! Is it so hard for Liberals to just cut the cord and start fresh by picking someone with no baggage? We're going to have to do it eventually.

9/11/2006 3:25 p.m.  
Blogger Ed King a dit...

I'm not a Bob Rae supporter, but I feel I have to respond to this attack.

Ignatieff is hardly showing leadership by talking about a fiscal imbalance without defining what it is. As Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty have discovered, talking about a fiscal imbalance without attaching any numbers to it is easy, but once you get elected and you have to deal with reality, it's a whole other ball of wax. Ignatieff has not proven that he has considered the issue any more seriously than the Tories when they were in opposition.

Rae is making a tough choice by saying that he will not promise to amend the constitution before discussing it with the provincial governments. As someone who supported the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords, it must be difficult for him to acknowledge that the chances for success are slim. I'm sure he could score some easy points in the media by saying that he wants to accomodate Quebec's constitutional demands, but he knows all too well the risks of raising expectations when the odds of success are so slim.

9/11/2006 3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Ok I'm back from Quebec and I will weigh in with a post later.

All the candidates talk about "oh its too hard" and "we might fail" well, what do we have to promise that is different than Stephen Harper?

Politics is about tough choices, yes. Bob Rae has made tough choices before.

HOWEVER, saying "it didnt work last time" is not a good enough excuse.

Bob Rae was willing to amend the constitution in 1992 when he negotiated Charlottetown, and this was already attempt number 2. 3 short years after meech, Bob was willing to give it another shot.

Now 15 years later, Bob says it is not worth it. What has changed Bob? At least answer that.

Stephane Dion says the constitution works fine no matter what Quebec says...WOW Stephane, thats a great way to throw it in the faces of soft nationalists who might vote YES next time because Canada refuses to negotiate a solution.

The tough choice is clear, get quebec in or face more referendums. I say take the candidate who says you can, not the ones who say you cannot.

9/11/2006 5:26 p.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...


You are a young kid, you did not experience the pain and anguish o the 80 referendum or the attempted staelth of the 95 referendum by the separtists. The plummeting economy that engulfed the referendum periods. The drop in the housing market, the flight of capital.

There were tremendous loses for Quebec society and Quebecers.

Why embark on a course that could lead to a repeat of that. We have discovered a workable formula over the past decade or so; tackling issues one at a time, head-on, and making real progress.

Chretien and Martin followed this path with success.

Ignatieff is all wet on thisone. Bob Rae and Stephane Dion are right.

Sometimes you have to step back from being a kool-aid drinking partisan and do whats best for the province and country.

9/11/2006 6:45 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Grit Heart, a PQ government will call another referendum and say the federal government has done nothing to accomodate Quebec, and we will go down that path again.

By saying no to trying again, you are ASKING for the referendum. I saw the misery caused by th 95 referendum, at 13 it is what inspired me to join politics.

9/11/2006 6:52 p.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...

Since '95 the federal parties have all met "Quebec's demand" of recognizing it as a distinct society. Furthermore, the federal government has tranferred significant powers to the provinces.

Michael Ignatieff missed the last 30 years in Canada so he fails to understand the pain the nation went through. He has no plan just a one-liner for the debates. If his die-hard supporters think this is their route to victory in November good for them. For the rest of Liberals we don't need to play with matches. The re is nothing to gain and only a country to loose.

The PQ will only form a Government if we let Jean Charest down. Opening up the pandora's box of the constitution is not what Charest wants or needs.

9/11/2006 7:07 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Charest is on the record saying he wants constitutional talks if he gets a second mandate

check your facts before speaking for others

9/11/2006 7:40 p.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...

I agree with Antonio.

It's very annyoing when non-Quebecois try to act like they know more than Quebecois, like Antonio or myself.

Saying Antonio knows nothing of the "pain and anguish of the referendums..." shows your ignorance and arrogance to life in Quebec following the referendum. We lived through Montreal's economy being devastated and terrible compared to other Canadian cities. We lived though the French-English language battles, which often time evoke nationalist sentiments from both sides.

Grit Heart, I don't know if you live and grew up in Quebec, but from your comment, it sounds to me like you didn't. If I misunderstood you please ignore the following. But if I understood correctly, I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but please don't try to speak for Quebeckers... I think we understand the reality of life on the ground more than you do, even if we are 'young' compared to you.

I don't think age is very relevant, because I know a lot of very dumb older people (compared to myslef), like George Bush and Jacques Parizeau... I would hardly consider them as wise men.

9/11/2006 8:07 p.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...

Cat Mutant:

I am a Quebecer

And I was not 13 years old at #the time of the last referendum.

I support neither Rae nor Iggy. Butr on this question Iggy is alone. Rae is right.

9/11/2006 8:33 p.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...


I have just spent some time at the website of the Quebec Liberal Party.

"The affrmation of Quebec within canada" is the title of the QLP`s constitutional policy. Nowhere does it call for new contitutional talks. Rather it proposes a five point program to reach Quebec`s desired aspirations.

So perhaps I am correct and you are wrong, again!

9/11/2006 8:41 p.m.  
Blogger Scarberian a dit...

What has changed?! British Columbia and Alberta have laws on the books which say that they will not engage in constitutional negotiations without a referendum of their residents. Taking this in conjungtion with the federal Regional Vetoes Act it means that constitutional negotiations are just shy of utterly impossible.

Quebec has had five opportunities now to address their constitutional complaints. After decades of mega-constitutional politics, it's not up to Quebec anymore. Alberta, British Columbia, Aboriginal peoples all have legitimate demands too and many of them collide head-on with the demands of Quebec.

While I am in favour of re-opening the constitution, Ignatieff is not the man that can succeed. If his environmental policy is any indication, his leading the charge on this matter will only exacerbate regional tensions.

9/11/2006 9:58 p.m.  

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