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Dion resigns, Leblanc drops out.

So I think everyone knows that Stephane Dion officially tendered his resignation today. I think all that needs to be said on that has been said, but I’ll say this: Despite all of his faults that his detractors would list, I think he was a bit unfortunate in that he became leader when his chief opponent has been one of the most partisan over-the-top Prime ministers ever, with the Conservative Party importing Republican style tactics to completely destroy Dion’s reputation, at a time with the Liberal Party in some internal disarray and disorganization (which to be fair, he did not address). I don’t think Prime Minister Lester B. “Mike” Pearson, another awkward politician, would have survived this onslaught and become Prime Minister either, if faced with these tactics and smears. That’s the political era we live in unfortunately, here in Canada, and hopefully that era can be reversed once Harper is gone from the political scene.

Secondly, Dominic Leblanc has officially dropped out of the race and thrown his support to Ignatieff. That means I’ll be dropping off the list of Liberal blogs who endorsed Domininc. If they endorse one of the other 2 candidates, I’ll move them to one of those 2.

Lastly, we now wonder what the LPC executive “in consultation with caucus” is going to do on Wednesday in regards to replacing Dion as leader. I’ve already made my views on that known, but Ill briefly repeat it; I’d prefer a democratic option – being able to have as many people choose the new leader as soon as possible now – but if it’s too cumbersome or it can’t be put in place in time, or not constitutionally possible to do, then the LPC executive should make a decision on who the Liberal leader should be (as is their power to do so).

Whatever the case may be, I agree we need a leader in place by Jan 26th before the Cons. introduce their Budget, so the new leader can make a critical decision on whether to support this Budget or to call for its defeat. The new Liberal leader, if he does go for the latter option, will then have to decide if they still want to go and propose to the G-G that the proposed coalition is still on the table, or be prepared to go to an election, or simply ask the G-G to try and form the government and hope the other 2 parties will informally support them.

My position? Killing a coalition idea now – when it was the real threat of removing the Conservatives from power and forcing a wounded Harper to ask for an unprecedented prorogue the first place – is in my mind a bad idea. I’ve no problem waiting to see what Harper might put in his new Budget before we decide to vote it down, which is what Iggy’s official stance is, but I agree with Mr Rae that we should be keeping the coalition agreement in place now and that we should be prepared to use it and indicate to the G-G that it still is a viable alternative government if the Cons Budget comes up woefully short and they fall in the House on it.

6 comments to Dion resigns, Leblanc drops out.

  • roll tide

    CTV now reports, Rae is out.

  • roll tide

    Will the Liberals make the same mistake they made in joining the coalition.

    Caucus not always gets it right, its better to check with the rank and file.

  • Joe

    It’s kind of odd for Iggy supporters to argue that Rae’s proposal to hold an internet vote is unconstitutional. The constitution says the Executive can make a decision after consulting with Caucus. Can’t the executive make the decision to rubber stamp whomever the membership votes for?

  • bob

    Keep the coalition as a possibility. Then you have a two-barreled shot-gun: the threat of an election with a new leader, and the threat of a coalition. So you don’t have to gamble on the GG approving a coalition.

    And you have a third possibility: lowering the gun after making Harper soil himself.

  • JC Kelan

    Much of your post is based on the erroneous assumption that the coalition remains in place despite the change in Liberal leadership. The departure of Dion means the coalition is already dead.

    The Governor General will not hand the government to an interim leader who may be replaced in a few months but leads a three-headed monster based on agreements signed by a previous leader.

    Furthermore, should the government fail on the Budget vote, she will have no choice but to call an election. With the coalition dead, she will not call on a 77 member caucus to take a shot at getting the confidence of the House.

    The only viable outcome then is an election.

  • I agree 100%. The coalition is a very good idea. Besides, it’s very rude to toss your political allies away like yesterday’s newspaper. That’s the kind of thing Harper et al would do.

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