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Interesting goings-on

I received a notice last night in my email, part of which I’ll qupte here, which details what the LPC Executive decided to do in regards to picking an interim leader for the Liberals:

(Liberal Party President) Mr. Ferguson emphasized that the Liberal Party’s overriding objective is to select an interim Leader through a process which respects the principles of fairness and openness. In this spirit, with respect to its decision to select an interim Leader, the National Executive has chosen to consult broadly with the Party’s constitutional bodies, including Caucus, defeated candidates from the last general election, Council of Presidents, and Commission Club Presidents. Through this process, an interim Leader is expected to be chosen as early as Wednesday, December 17, 2008.

With this decision, the # of Liberals “consulting” with the LPC executive on the interim leader goes from the Liberal caucus of MP’s and Senators – around 135 people – to approximately 800, which is markedly better, but still of course means that the wider grassroots and LPC members (around 70 000 members) wont really still have much of a say.

I’ve been rather neutral on this whole affair. As long as it met the LPC Constitution, I’m prepared to live with the decision – whatever the LPC executive comes up with. because I do believe there does need to be a leader in place by Jan 26th.

That said, when even Ignatieff supporters like Jason Morris and Jeff Jedras are a bit concerned and have some reservations that the Iggy camp is going a tad fast over this process, that makes me pay some attention to what exactly the rush is in the Iggy camp to make this a fait accompli, and why the LPC executive could not have done as Jason has suggested and asked that the Delegate selection meetings (DSM’s) be moved up to January and then having the delegates immediately vote by phone or the Web for the permanent leader.

The LPC party president has been quoted elsewhere as promising Liberal members writing into him concerned over this selection process that he would stand up for the Liberal members rights, but I’m not convinced this solution – while it at least brings in more people – is going to satisfy a lot of Liberal members who are upset they seemingly have no say in the matter.

I believe that the result of all this you’ll be seeing a fair # of motions at the May Convention to modify the Liberal Constitution as to how to deal with a situation like this in the future.

UPDATE: I’ve just heard from another Liberal blogger that he’s heard that Bob Rae will be dropping out of the liberal leadership race, as of 3 pm, per CTV. If that’s the result of this decision, then I really think the LPC executive has dropped the ball on this. I do congratulate Ignatieff, and I sincerely hope that the result of this coronation/acclamation is a bit better then the last one the LPC had with Martin.

4 comments to Interesting goings-on

  • Mary Lynn

    So Ignatieff it is. I’m going to withhold judgment on this for the time being while we wait and see how he does as leader. To be honest, I’ve felt very torn the last week. I would have preferred a more democratic process, but I also appreciate the argument that we need a new leader for our party as fast as possible.

    Since I kept wavering between Rae and Ignatieff as my own choice, I can profess to be all that upset at the ultimate outcome of all this. Both men have incredible strengths. Both have issues that would have needed to be addressed. At least now that a new leader is in place the party can concentrate its efforts on countering the CPC’s message.

  • Tim N

    I agree with rolltide.

    The Liberals need a leader, fast. It may not be the ideal situation -but slapping a convention together in January would not be appropriate either.

    What this move does is give the Liberals GREAT flexibility.

    We (the public) know that as long as Dion and Harper are around, parliament won’t work. Liberals can come off smelling like roses right now – they used the cooling off period – they are making dramatic changes “for the good of the country” – they are showing that they are trying to work with government, by removing an obstacle (Dion)…

    Now – what will the Cons do? (nothing of course, but be prepared for the attack ads).

  • My read of the LPC constitution (Sections 54.3 and 54.4.a) seems to suggest that the consultation of the “top 800” follows the constitution as much as a broad consultation of the membership would. So why not hold a broad consultation of the membership then?

    From my point of view, it seems that Jason’s suggestion made the most sense.

  • roll tide

    CBC finally picked up on Rae at 10:52.

    Scott concerns are right. However, they needed a leader, fast, and they just saved themselves a wad of money.

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