Early details about the Liberal leadership race

Remember the Liberal Party of Canada? The House of Commons third-place party has had the luxury of waiting in order to replace Michael Ignatieff with a permanent leader. Former Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae has stepped in to fill the void in the interim, however, his critics suggest that his plan is to use the office of the Liberal leader to promote and entrench himself to give himself advantage in an eventual leadership contest.

Details are starting to emerge from various Liberal camps upset with this very real scenario. The newly elected Liberal President Michael Crawley was backed by a younger generation of Liberals who have influence behind the scenes of the party in Ottawa. The nightmare scenario for many of these Liberals would have been to present a “renewed” party with Sheila Copps as their President and Bob Rae as their leader. These Liberals have been moving Crawley to define the upcoming leadership race.

I’ve learned that Crawley and Rae will likely agree that the latter must hand over his “interim” title at the end of this spring sitting of Parliament as the House rises for summer.

Also, the projected date of the Liberal leadership race, according to my sources, will put the leadership election date in March or May of 2013. Rae will likely want a shorter race and I’ve heard that March 2013 would be his preferred date. This may indeed be the concession reached, despite the protestation of the other candidates.

As for these other candidates for Liberal leadership, I’ve heard the names David Bertschi, Martha Hall-Findley, Marc Garneau and David Merner.



  • Jordan

    Jonathan Mousley has launched a bid.

  • Mthielen

    Has MHF paid off her previous leadership debt so she wants to try again. She better get a make-over and do something with her hair if she wants to impress voters.

  • DougM

    Believe it or not, in Toronto the emaciated vampire look is very chic.

  • Liz J

    The Liberals don’t seem to get it, they simply don’t have it, they need to clear the deadwood and build a whole new structure. MH-Findlay and Spacey Garneau in the line-up? Give me a break!

  • Jinkers

    Stephen Harper and the CPC shall reign over us forever. They are the natural governing party.

  • Jordan

    After one majority.

  • Anonymous

    You might be surprised to hear this from me, but I don’t see many signs of sentient life from the federal Liberals. Right now they’re AWOL in terms of cohesive policy alternatives, leaving the center and everything left of that open to the NDP, who probably can’t lean far enough to center to seize it. Though the polls are currently shining upon the NDP- they;re tied with the CPC… interesting.

    So, the shackles are finally being taken off of Rae, and in other quarters they’re trying to beat the drum for the young Prince Justin to assume his rightful throne, thinking that a cult of personality will be enough to break the majority grip of the Dear Leader. Maybe it would help if he had a dalliance with a Kardashian, or appeared on Dancing With the Stars…

    I like Rae, but even if finally anointed as leader for reals, his role will still be caretaker of a party undergoing renovation, and he’s probably unelectable as a PM. I also like Trudeau, but as I said, I’d prefer policy over personality. He should bide his time and raise his kids, and make his move in 10 or so years.

    I’m not hopeful at the moment.

  • DougM

    You might be surprised to hear this from me

    True, but its an astute analysis in any case.   If Rae didn’t have his Provincial NDP debacle in his background, he may be electable in Ontario, but anyone who remembers “Rae Days” still has a hate on for him that borders on the fanatical.   Moreover, they have been spinning their wheels trying to get sound bites rather than rebuilding policy –  I’ll grant that it could easily be considered the job of the new leader to do that, but if that is the reason, they should be getting on with the New leader – they acclaimed Iggy without a whole party input, why wait so long and give the floor to the NDP?   Politically, tactically and within the realm of policy, they are just milling aroudn in the hope that everyone will give them the keys again.    It ain’t going to happen.

  • Anonymous

     anyone who remembers “Rae Days” still has a hate on for him that borders on the fanatical.

    “Rae days” is a handy, albeit 20-year-old lightning rod, but I would say that to most Ontarians, particularly those who had amalgamations and downloading jammed down their throat, the damage to Ontario inflicted by the Harris reign was longer-lasting and more toxic. This idea will of course be tested if we see the next federal election fought with Rae as Liberal leader.

    Politically, tactically and within the realm of policy, they are just
    milling aroudn in the hope that everyone will give them the keys
    again.    It ain’t going to happen.

    Well, that’s the point. They don’t have anything going on besides some muted curiosity over the leadership race, and some party faithful seem to be banking on Justin-mania. They’re not completely out to lunch; a cynical electorate with traditionally low turnout can be fired up as easily by charisma as they can be dissuaded by negative ad-bombing and robo-calling.

    So… it could happen. Whether we like it or not.

  • Liz J

    Bob Rae has announced he will not seek the  leadership, mighty good of him but is that not what he declared when he took the job temporarily and according to the LPC rules?