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Brief thoughts on Bob Rae running or not running

There was a bit of a dustup online (amongst Liberals anyhow) over this story CBC broke yesterday:

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae will be permitted to run in his party’s leadership race and he is expected to enter the race, CBC News has learned…Party President Mike Crawley said a motion will be presented next Wednesday “to clarify how Rae could put himself forward as a candidate.”

The main debate raging seems to be over Bob breaking his word last year he would not put himself forward as a candidate for the permanent leader position (and you can find that quote of his very easily – at Macleans for one from an April column Aaron Wherry wrote)

Personally, I’m not so uptight about Rae changing his mind – if that’s indeed what he does. It will be up to the Liberal members and “supporters” to decide whether that’s a reason to not make him permanent leader or not. Justin Trudeau has said he didnt want to run – would it be held against him if he changed his mind? I certainly wouldn’t – and I won’t if Bob Rae does.

Like BCL, I’m more concerned if he’s the right choice. I think it’s fair to say he’s done a good job as an interim leader and performed well in the House and in front of the Parliamentary Press at scrums, but we have languished in 3rd place in the polls (the latest Nanos poll being the primary example, though we are up some there and at a higher # nationally then in other polls). We were mired in 3rd place even with Nicole Tyrmel as interim NDP leader, and we certainly don’t seem to be moving up to challenge the NDP under Thomas Mulcair so far.

My question to Bob Rae supporters would be: if we’ve been stuck in 3rd place in the polls with a generally acknowledged credible performance by Bob Rae as interim leader, what will change with him potentially becoming permanent leader to make the public change their mind towards him and the Liberals? I don’t think changing the title from “interim leader” to “permanent leader” for Mr Rae is going to make a lot of difference to voters. It’s up to Rae supporters then to explain what will be different then from the way the political scene is now.

(On a side note about that Nanos poll, Mulcair certainly isn’t taking a beating in the polls as predicted by the pundits over his statements on the tarsands and such, now is he?)

7 comments to Brief thoughts on Bob Rae running or not running

  • kwittet

    I have to agree that if Bob Rae won the leadership race the party is going to have a hard time winning a election. As a conservative I watch with great interest at how this once great power has been reduced to almost nothing. Is it the brand or lack of real talent that has taken the liberals so low? I can admitt that over the years the liberals have done some great things politically. With great interest I watch the great Justin debate. Will he run or wont he run? I know I will take some grief over the following comments but do you liberal supporters think that Justin is the answer? His father was a star at first but after many years that star appeal faded. To me it appears that some liberals are hoping the name only will carry them to victory which in reality is very sad that politics comes ahead of what would really be best for our country. I dont know what the answer is for the left political parties. To me it only makes sense to have a two party system, but that is my opinion.

  • JF

    Scott,

    I think there is a really really really big difference between Justin Trudeau saying that he didn’t intend to run and changing his mind (if he does so) and Bob Rae promising not to run so that he could be eligible for a job, getting that job, and then breaking his promise. So yeah… If Bob Rae runs I will hold it against him as it speaks poorly to his character & credability. Frankly, I will be disappointed with Liberals and Liberal Supporters if they don’t hold that against him.

    He can run if he wants but his status as a promise-breaker can and should be held against him when it comes time to ultimately decide.

    • I’m sure more then a few people feel the same way. It’s a legitimate beef.. As I said though in the blogpost, that’s the least of my worries over Bob Rae being the permanent leader.

  • Penny

    I’m a card carrying Liberal and donate every year – much to the chagrin of my DH – tho he does vote federally for the Libs. However, he said he’d never vote Liberal if Bob Rae became leader. I think he’d abstain from voting, which is truly sad. He voted NDP in our last prov. election, but would never vote for them again and most assuredly never for the fed CRAP party.

    BTW, he’s a dual French/Canadian citizen, but this time he bowed out voting in the French. He would have voted for the centrist candidate, as my MIL did. However, he was pleased to see Holland, immediately after he was elected, reduced all Ministers’ salaries by 30%. Gee, Harper calls for austerity, but not for his over blown govt. and his 1500 communications’ staff.

  • Jordan

    “(On a side note about that Nanos poll, Mulcair certainly isn’t taking a beating in the polls as predicted by the pundits over his statements on the tarsands and such, now is he?)”

    Isn’t he? The NDP and Mulcair himself lost a fair bit of support in Prairies. The NDP and Liberals are statistically tied in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and the Prairies.

    • Nanos always groups Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in 1 big group. Take Alberta out of that equation, and I would bet it would show the NDP are more competitive in “Saskitoba”.

      Regardless.. the NDP went up in every other region (the Maritimes they are down incrementally) and up nationally. You’re stretching to suggest he’s taken a beating with these results… and it certainly doesnt show any beat down in other polls taken recently, as BCL mentioned at his place today.

      • Jordan

        Well the NDP must have had a big drop in Alberta then if you think they are competitive in Saskatoba seeing they dropped six points there since the last poll and have less then half the support of the Conservatives.

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