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Mr Ignatieff: Allow the riding of Outrement to be an open nomination for the Liberal candidate (updated)

I saw this story pop up in the Canadian Press today at one of my Liberal colleagues notes at Facebook, and I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment; the Liberal Party leadership should be allowing an open nomination and a contested nomination to see who the standard-bearer for the Liberal Party will be to run again NDP’er Thomas Mulcair.

In brief, it appears former cabinet minister Martin Cauchon would like to come out of retirement and run again, but Denis Coderre (the Liberal Party’s Quebec lieutenant) announced last week that this riding was being reserved for someone the Liberals wanted to have run here. It appears from the news article there are some Liberals who suspect Coderre is trying to prevent Cauchon from getting back into politics because he’s afraid he might be a potential leadership rival. In the meanwhile, the article reports Cauchon is the “grassroots Liberals choice” according to some leaked document that came out from the local riding’s president.

I say we find out who has that support of local Liberals – I see no reason why there shouldn’t be an open nomination here. After all, we know what happened here the last time a candidate was appointed; so let the local Liberals decide.

If Coderre has a candidate in mind for the riding he wants to run, that candidate should prove themselves in a nomination battle. I think a move by Michael Ignatieff here to state that an open nomination process will take place will show that he is serious about party renewal and listening more to the party’s grassroots.

UPDATE on Sept 21 @ 12:55 pm: Glad to see I’m not a lone Liberal voice calling for an open Outrement nomination. Steve opines the same sentiments as I.

UPDATE 2 @ 6:15 pm: More from Jeff, more from Dan, and even John Lennard comes out of blogging hiatus to comment.

UPDATE 3: It seems Ignatieff has made his decision to stick with the apparent appointed candidate, Nahtalie Le Prohon. If that’s what the decision is, fine… but I hope the party will try to come to an agreement with Cauchon to see if he can’t run in another riding. If he wants to run again, and he’s going to be uprooted, the very least the LPC should do is see if they can’t convince him to run somewhere else.

11 comments to Mr Ignatieff: Allow the riding of Outrement to be an open nomination for the Liberal candidate (updated)

  • @ELF: Hey, I was the one who suggested asking Cauchon to run in Duceppe’s riding (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, which I mistakenly thought was still Mercier). But that was only in jest – partly because Coderre was himself a sacrificial lamb against Duceppe until he finally got elected in ’97. There may be a larger consideration than just a turf war however.

    Recall that the sponsorship scandal scorched the Libs in Quebec worse than anywhere else. Cauchon was completely cleared by Gomery I believe; but so was Martin and that didn’t mean Quebecois were about to let him off the hook. Bringing back another face from the Chretien era might be spooking Iggy’s team, because Duceppe did such a marvellous job smearing the Liberal brand entirely with the corrupt label. This is something the Libs are only barely getting away from here. Of course Coderre himself was implicated at one time, but nothing stuck.

  • Optimus P

    I wonder, Scott, if it was Stephen Harper appointing a candidate and disallowing an open nomination meeting, if you’d be so forgiving as saying “oh well, he’s made a decision, fine”. Somehow, I think you’d cite it as evidence that he’s a control freak with a contempt for democracy. But hey, Iggy’s the Liberal leader, and you’re a Liberal, so different rules must apply.

  • EFL

    “Let him run in another riding?” You stop the guy from running for nomination in his own riding, which he won again and again, and now you want to run in “another riding” – where would he have a fighting chance, around Montreal? Not many. And mind you, one would think this is a riding one would want to win back, eh? I saw some Liberal blog that he should get to show what a team player he is by agreeing to get creamed by Duceppe in Mercier? WTF?

    Yo Tribe, you fell for Iggy, now you have to spend your time defending him. It’s on you & yours. The party’s been turned over to the crazies in QC, as I warned. I warned you about judgment, foreign policy, paper tiger, etc.etc..

    This kind of commentary actually angers me. To go from a supporter of good smart coherent guy like Dion (I remember your convention conversion) to Iggy! And finish with lame thoughts “I hope he gets to run somewhere else?” Where, Davenport?

    Bloody hell. Y’all are only starting to realise what you’ve unleashed. Have some shame, and take responsibility for cheerleading us into this dead end.

  • dillon

    How can anyone question Coderre”s behaviour and decisions. Cauchon should run for the nomination in Bourrassa.

  • Just let the local membership decide who’s the best candidate for them — while it may not fit everyone’s general idea of the ‘best’ answer, it is the local Liberals who will be doing the doorknocking and campaigning on behalf of their candidate. Two great candidates should make for one heckuva build-up to the campaign.

  • Loraine Lamontagne

    According to La Presse, Coderre would have in mind Nathalie Le Prohon, a Montreal business woman in her forties, former CEO of Nokia, member of different boards including Hydro-Quebec.

    I think the goal for the party is to reclaim the riding and who’s best to do it: a defeated former minister of a disliked government or an upcoming, well-known and successful business woman? This is Outremont….

    • @Loraine Lamontagne, Cauchon was not “a deafeated former minister of a disliked government.”

      He was a minister in the popular and successful Chretien Liberal government. As Minister of Justice he was at the lead on advocating same-sex marriage and marijuana decriminalization. He was also a Chretien loyalist who, after being left out of Paul Martin’s cabinet, did not run for re-election in 2004. So no, he was not defeated.

      It’s perfectly fine to support and advocate for another candidate, but let’s not do it by besmirching and spreading untruths about another.

  • Although I’m across the country, I truly doubt OutremontLib really speaks for the grassroots. I’d be willing to bet dollar for Jos Louis that Cauchon would win a fair nomination battle, and handily.
    The grassroots does need to have its voice heard, and if a leader was to impose a candidate for the second time in 3 elections, I’d be expecting that it would result in a number of defections locally. This is a possible pick-up; why would we screw that opportunity up?

  • DL

    Why can’t the Liberals have a totally democratic open nomination proicess that anyhone can run in in all 308 ridings and not EVER allow any candidates to be appointed?

  • OutremontLib

    The reality is that the grassroots want Dhavernas, the 2008 candidate. Cauchon is the pick of the elitist riding association who are looking to get their former staffer job back. I agree Scott Iggy has to open up the nomination process. Party brass/brats Steve Mackinnon and Greg Fergus got that treatment so why not the same in Outremont.

  • Northern PoV

    Lets appoint David Orchard!

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