September 14, 2007

Panic Permeates Outremont Liberal Campaign


Panic has settled in at Outremont HQ as a general lack of motivation over the past few months is beginning to reflect in a poll that was commissioned by La Presse, stating that Tom Mulcair is indeed ahead of Jocelyn Coulon by 6%.

Others in the party infrastructure are beginning to sharpen their knives. One member of the provincial executive is preparing a verbal volley at Stephane Dion following the imminent loss.

I speak to former colleagues and they are defeated. They shrug their shoulders and believe their fate is sealed in the next general election. Dion was on the wrong side of the issue in Quebec politics for so long that people grew accustomed to disliking him.

His weak whiny mousy personality did not help his cause. People hated Jean Chretien but he still won Outremont handily. (h/t Chantal Hebert)

Where do Quebec Liberals go from here?

Do they change party policy? They already have. The PLC(Q) passed several resolutions recognizing the change in Quebec. I wrote the fiscal imbalance resolution myself (2 and a half years ago). As many look forward, the Liberal Party looks back to its former successes for some form of inspiration. However, many pieces are still missing.

The Liberals lost many organizers outside Montreal to the Conservatives. The YLC(Q) is barely a shadow of what it was just 2 years ago. Slowly, the Liberal Party in Quebec is losing the foundation that once made it so great.

Tuesday morning, either heads will quietly roll, or there will be mayhem in the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party. Either way, Liberals must ask themselves where they are headed. Today the alarm sounds only in Outremont. Soon, it will be all across Quebec.


23 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Ok, this may be the dumbest question you've ever received. But is it really that bad?

I don't know much at all about the overall history of the past liberal strength in Quebec. So I would really love to hear your thoughts on what it was and what has led to its decline.

And do you think there is any chance Coulon can win - or have you completely written it off at this point? Just curious.

9/14/2007 1:58 p.m.  
Blogger janfromthebruce a dit...

You could always change your party name - conservatives do that, just look at the Sask Pary. The same players but different logo.
All kidding aside, I find it interesting that the liberal volunteers have gone to the conservatives which just reaffirms my belief that the liberals are not progressive at all, and all that pretending has finally caught up with your party.
Outremont is just the canary in the cage in the coal mine, so to speak.

9/14/2007 2:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

What goes around, comes around and in this case, is richly deserved. Now if only the rest of the country will see the LPC for what it is and dumps it.

Oh wait, with the exception of downtown Toronto, the RoC has given up on loyalty to the LPC.

Its is so refreshing.

9/14/2007 3:19 p.m.  
Blogger KC a dit...

I am so frustrated with the state of Canadian politics. There is plenty to complain about re: Stephane Dion. But his refusal to buy into nonsensical "fiscal imbalance" rhetoric (how a province who is a net recipient of money in this country can complain is beyond me) and his lukewarm support for the divisive "nation" resolution are not among them.

9/14/2007 3:42 p.m.  
Blogger Scott Tribe a dit...

Kyle: I agree. It's pretty evident the nationalist wing of the Liberal Party in Quebec has no particular inclination to help Dion win these ridings. They're still fighting the leadership battle from past December, it appears. I'm sure a lot of them will be very happy to see the Liberals lose in Outrement.

I hope they remember however that regardless of what happens Monday, even in the old Progressive Conservative Party, the knives weren't drawn til the party leader was tested in at least 1 federal election.

9/14/2007 3:46 p.m.  
Blogger KC a dit...

I dont even consider them "nationalists". A true nationalist would consider self sufficiency to be a component of self determination. The nationalists want it both ways. They want all the real decision making to be done in Quebec City with the funding coming from outside.

At least the separatists (most of them at least) are consistent and principled (ie we decide, we pay). Thats more than can be said of the soft nationalists.

9/14/2007 4:12 p.m.  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Has the Fuddle Duddle decision desk called it for the NDP?

If so, that bodes very well for Coulon ;-)

9/14/2007 4:25 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

It is not over, the NDP depends heavily on the student vote, which is unreliable, to put it mildly.

The deflated Liberal troops at the Outremont HQ are more of an indication of what is actually going on.

Bloc supporters are going to the NDP it seems. One must wait and see if this actually materializes

9/14/2007 6:21 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

It is the people in the party infrastructure who have caused this to happen and whose heads need to roll after Monday. They are no doubt quite pleased with themselves. If they think this will cause a leadership challenge or someone they favour to become leader, they dont know the meaning of the words, "knives will come out"

Dion will need to show some leadership and set up his guillotine starting with the riding association president who was on holiday until the third week of the campaign and working his way up.

9/14/2007 6:48 p.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

P.S. Anyone with a brain in HQ had bloody well better hope that Coulon wins on Monday. I for one am fine with him losing because I`d love to see some of those assholes outed and turfed to the political waste heap for manufacturing a loss.

9/14/2007 6:52 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Hillarious. You've told me yourself, many times, that nobody volunteers in Quebec and noboday has volunteered to Quebec for a long time.

People like you who gave away the store to the "nationalists" and allowed the Quebec party to die should be taking responsibility. Don't blame Dion for finding everything in shambles now that you guys are all trying to wipe your hands.

9/14/2007 10:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Wow Jason, you are rather hilarious....

Mulcair was a popular Quebec Liberal minister and seemed to work for the people when he was there.
I think he deserves to win Outremont (I did not see Liberal brass going door to door like the NDP did).

Nobody in Quebec volunteers if there is bad leadership.
Instead of blaming "fuddle duddle" for giving away the store, maybe you should look at how deeply Adscam has tarred the Liberals in Quebec (rightly or wrongly).
The Liberals are weak here and the Cons have taken advantage of it. They have and are using any ally they can get (be it provincial Liberal, municipal organizer - Fortier is good at that -, the ADQ).

As for the BQ, they are laying low, they are also weak.
As for Dion, I like his clarity act - and instead of following maybe he should show some hard-love towards Quebec instead of seemingly following Harper. Maybe Dion should rock the boat instead of being une pate molle...

9/14/2007 11:47 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

But, WTF, Antonio would have you believe that this is all Dion's fault. Adscam has nothing to do with it, in Antonio's view.

That is where I am taking exception.

9/15/2007 12:54 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I would kindly suggest that Antonio get out and do some door to door. Il redécouvrira l’heure juste assez vite.

As for this being all Dion’s fault, I agree that very little has to do with him or his leadership.

Why is it so hard to for some to understand that Mulcair was a popular Liberal minister at the provincial level? I was surprised that he ran in Outremont and if he wins, good for him. It shows guts. The media is trying to spin this as a test of Dion’s leadership and it’s fair from it. If anything, it’s a test of the grass roots organization here and the willingness to forget pass transgressions.
Yes Outremont has been a Liberal bastion and it would be a shame to lose it but it would fatuously stupid to blame that on Dion.

9/15/2007 2:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

and it’s fair from it. = and it's far from it...
typo -

9/15/2007 2:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

BTW, sorry about my comments directed at you Jason, I misunderstood the jist of what you wrote.

9/15/2007 2:10 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I think I have been the only one on the ground in Outremont, based on all the crap I have been hearing on the Liberal blogo-sphere

9/15/2007 2:20 a.m.  
Blogger Tarek a dit...

During the past leadership race, the onus was on Liberal delegates to choose a leader who was capable of reaching out to Canadians who did not vote Liberal or who had abandoned our party in recent years.
Yesterday's poll tells us that our party is holding its ground, percentage-wise, in Outremont. However, we have not been able to capitalize on the collapse of the Bloc vote which, in such a cosmopolitan and diverse urban riding, went entirely to the NDP, already a strong contender.
What Antonio, I and other Quebecers have been repeatedly saying is that the Liberal Party needs a leader that can appeal to the soft nationalist vote in Quebec. By choosing to ignore this dimension of the politics of his home province, our current leader has shown a remarkable lack of leadership. How can we expect to take back power when all we are doing is defending the ground we already hold?

9/15/2007 2:34 a.m.  
Blogger Christopher Young a dit...

Cherniak :

I've been canvassing for the NDP a couple of hours a week for the last month. And you couldn'T even guess the number of people telling me they're former liberals, unsatisfied with Dion, and switching to us (with enthusiasm) to "Send a message".

Blame Antonio if you want ("A blogger destroyed our Quebec wing!") but that's reality - if we win monday, Dion is going to be one of the reasons.

That, and the fact that Mulcair is an incredible candidate.

9/15/2007 9:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Tarek, so what you are saying is to pander to Quebec just as Harper has done? Well it seems that the strategy taken has not worked. It’s as if you think that some kind of sovereignty association is the way to go… Silly me, I was hoping for a strong bilingual Canada, not an independent Quebec within Canada. Can’t wait to hear what solution the braintrust will come up with once Alberta demands more freedom.

Being a leader does not mean following the polls all the time and it requires that you think about the country… Yes elections are won in people’s backyard (meaning most care about localizes events mostly). If the Liberals lose Outremont, it will be symbolic more than anything else but also reflect poorly on the grassroots organization.

Dion has soon some lack of leadership (lately with the veil controversy) but hearing him speak in French about Quebec, I wonder if we are listening to the same speeches…. Of course Dion does not have the easiest time in the media (when that nutbar Dr. Roy gets to badger him on the radio, you know something ain’t right), but is this his fault or of those around him?

Antonio, as for being on the ground, I have an office in Outremont, maybe you should come by one day, I’m not there all the time but enough to get a feel of what’s happening…. Could it be that the riding was taken for granted and that the popularity of Mulcair was underestimated?

9/15/2007 9:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

That, and the fact that Mulcair is an incredible candidate.
Yes he his - I had hoped he would have run for the Leadership of the provincial Liberals in the futur.

And as you have pointed out, the NDP are well organized there...

9/15/2007 9:42 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


I think the NDP have been campaigning for 2 months longer than the Liberals and it is beginning to show

9/15/2007 9:54 a.m.  
Blogger Tarek a dit...

Cherniak_WTF, first of all: Je suis Québécois. Parfaitement bilingue, de surcroît. So don't say we're not hearing the same speeches.

Secondly, I never once said he should pander to anyone. The fact is we live in a democracy where citizens choose their government. When you're in opposition, you have to peg yourself as a suitable alternative to the current government. Dion has failed to do so in Quebec.

Moreover, Dion waited an eternity before naming his man in Outremont. And last weekend, during the door-to-door blitz, he chose to be in Vancouver, because an economic forum was more important to him that preserving one of the last francophone ridings we still hold. His deputy leader was there. Just so you know!

9/15/2007 11:53 a.m.  

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