Liberal Party Crisis

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Pondering
Liberal Party Crisis

With the latest resignation of Jane Philpot this is no longer just about SNC-Lavalin. She mentioned the environment in her letter so it seems she may be dissatisfied about more than just SNC-Lavalin.

Aside from Freeland these two women are the most high profile female Liberals in caucus. 

This could bring Trudeau down, not SNC, 2 powerful women quitting cabinet based on ethics. 

Philpot's letter is very condemning. Both women know they are giving ammunition to opposition parties against Trudeau specifically. By remaining in the Liberal Party and declaring themselves Liberals they have created an unofficial show-down. It would be very difficult for Trudeau to kick either one out of the party yet he clearly does not have their confidence. 

Martin N.

Jeebus, are there not enough crisis threads yet? Hard to keep up.

Martin N.

Freeland may have to join in to keep her status. McKenna can stay with the Clown Prince.

Trudeau must be desperately rummaging in his tickle trunk for an appropriate costume while Katie anxiously looks up calliope rentals.

Pondering

I started this one to stay off the SNC-Lavalin issue. This is about the Liberal Party. JWR leaving caucus was serious but she was directly involved with the case.

Philpot is not connected to the SNC-Lavalin issue.  Her sole reason for leaving caucus is that she has lost confidence in cabinet/Trudeau.

This is her letter:

It is an enormous privilege to be the Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville and to have served as Minister of Health, then Minister of Indigenous Services, then President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government. It has been an honour to play a leading role in progress that has shaped our country: bringing Syrian refugees to Canada; legislating a balanced approach to Medical Assistance in Dying; negotiating a health accord with new resources for mental health and home care; improving infrastructure for First Nations to provide clean water on reserve; and reforming child welfare to reduce the over-apprehension of Indigenous children.

However, I have been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of Cabinet.

In Canada, the constitutional convention of Cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all Cabinet decisions. A minister must always be prepared to defend other ministers publicly, and must speak in support of the government and its policies. Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a Cabinet minister.

Unfortunately, the evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former Attorney General to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, and the evidence as to the content of those efforts have raised serious concerns for me. Those concerns have been augmented by the views expressed by my constituents and other Canadians.

The solemn principles at stake are the independence and integrity of our justice system. It is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our Attorney General should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases. Sadly, I have lost confidence in how the government has dealt with this matter and in how it has responded to the issues raised.

It grieves me to leave a portfolio where I was at work to deliver on an important mandate. But I must abide by my core values, my ethical responsibilities and constitutional obligations. There can be a cost to acting on one’s principles, but there is a bigger cost to abandoning them.

Although I must regretfully resign from Cabinet, I will continue to serve Canadians in every other way that I can. I was elected as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville and I intend to continue in that role. I am firmly committed to our crucial platform priorities, especially: justice for Indigenous peoples; and implementing a plan to tackle the existential threat of climate change. Canadians need the assurance that, in all matters, Members of Parliament will act in the best interests of the public. My decision has been made with that spirit and intent.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Jane Philpott MD PC MP

Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville

robbie_dee

There's really only two ways for this to end now. Trudeau can expel Wilson-Raybould and Philpott from caucus (and who knows who else will follow them out the door), try to brazen out the crisis, and lead a badly divided Liberal Party into an election in just over seven months, or he can resign. Either way, this is mainly good news for Andrew Scheer.

JeffWells

 Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, who announced over the weekend that she isn't running again, tweeted: "When you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised. Thank you @janephilpott for articulating this beautifully."

It really is shocking to watch this snowball. How does Team Trudeau come back from this?

NDPP

They don't.

voice of the damned

Martin N. wrote:

Jeebus, are there not enough crisis threads yet? Hard to keep up.

I concur. Given that babble now has no search function to find posts, it's quite difficult to remember what you posted where, when there are multiple threads about one topic. There's no real reason these developments can't all be discussed on one thread about the scandal.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Martin N. wrote:

Jeebus, are there not enough crisis threads yet? Hard to keep up.

Why does this bother you?  You are clearly to the right of Trudeau and it seems likely that you want Scheer to end up with a majority, so what is it about this thread that irritates you?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

robbie_dee wrote:

There's really only two ways for this to end now. Trudeau can expel Wilson-Raybould and Philpott from caucus (and who knows who else will follow them out the door), try to brazen out the crisis, and lead a badly divided Liberal Party into an election in just over seven months, or he can resign. Either way, this is mainly good news for Andrew Scheer.

It's good news for Singh, too-the NDP is far better positioned to win over the votes of people who sympathize or stand with JWR, Caesar-Chavannes, and Philpot than Scheer, who leads what can only be called(apologies to the Little Rascals)"The He-Man-Woman-Haters-Party".

Pondering

This thread is not about SNC-Lavalin. I agree there are enough threads about that. This thread is purely for discussion on the impact on the Liberal Party in terms of a possible change in leadership. 

Both JWR and Philpott are staying within caucus. They are not quitting the party. They intend to run under the Liberal Party banner. 

Trudeau now has to decide whether or not to keep them in caucus. If it were almost anyone else he could simply eject them. He would have been able to neutralize JWR alone but not with Phipott's resignation. Ejecting both these women from the party would be huge. 

These two women are still showing up for work. They don't seem the type become backbenchers. 

How are they going to campaign for Trudeau in October? Trudeau is the Liberal Party in terms of campaigning. Saying they don't have confidence in cabinet is saying they don't have confidence in him, He does run cabinet. 

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

Martin N.

Ken Burch wrote:

Martin N. wrote:

Jeebus, are there not enough crisis threads yet? Hard to keep up.

Why does this bother you?  You are clearly to the right of Trudeau and it seems likely that you want Scheer to end up with a majority, so what is it about this thread that irritates you?

There is nothing about this thread that irritates me, just so many threads that it is difficult to keep track.

I am CLEARLY too honest and honourable for Trudeau, not necessarily to the right of his professed agenda. As I have stated CLEARLY all along, I think Trudeau charming personally and do not dislike him personally but believe him to be an opportunistic poseur with an intellect a mile wide and an inch deep. He is an unserious person, ill suited for a serious position and events have proven me correct.

I will be just as content with a serious, ethical Liberal government under Ms Philpot or  Ms Wilson-Raybould or an ethical government from Mr Scheer or Mr Singh.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

Pondering

Ken Burch wrote:

robbie_dee wrote:

There's really only two ways for this to end now. Trudeau can expel Wilson-Raybould and Philpott from caucus (and who knows who else will follow them out the door), try to brazen out the crisis, and lead a badly divided Liberal Party into an election in just over seven months, or he can resign. Either way, this is mainly good news for Andrew Scheer.

It's good news for Singh, too-the NDP is far better positioned to win over the votes of people who sympathize or stand with JWR, Caesar-Chavannes, and Philpot than Scheer, who leads what can only be called(apologies to the Little Rascals)"The He-Man-Woman-Haters-Party".

I agree with both comments. Feminists are going to have a hard time stomaching this. Those that can't will look towards the NDP not the Conservatives. 

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Feminists are going to have a hard time stomaching this.

I dunno. I certainly haven't done any polls of woman voters, but from where I'm seeing things, there really does seem to be something a little ginned up about the supposed feminist backlash around SNS-Lavalin. I mean, how many National Post columns purporting to be outraged that Trudeau is violating feminist principle do I have to read before I'm entitled to make cynicism my a priori assumption about all this?

Now, I am not someone who believes that just because the right-wing media wants something to be an issue, the left can simply dismiss it as "a big fat nothingburger". But, at the very least, the optics on this are pretty sketchy. I could maybe understand it if there was some feminist issue that was directly at stake in the controversy(*), but the most anyone seems able to put forth is "The Liberals are attacking a powerful, capable woman", as if Trudeau and company would be any happier with a man who made the same decisions as JWR did.

 (*) Like for example, Trudeau and the boys going to bat for a company that was allegedly hiring prostitutes to entertain potential clients. I'm not saying that the woman involved were neccessarily all being trafficked, but given the realities of the international sex trade, it seems to me a question at least worth asking. That is, if people really are concerned about analyzing SNC-Lavalin through a feminist lens.

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:
 

Now, I am not someone who believes that just because the right-wing media wants something to be an issue, the left can simply dismiss it as "a big fat nothingburger". But, at the very least, the optics on this are pretty sketchy. I could maybe understand it if there was some feminist issue that was directly at stake in the controversy(*), but the most anyone seems able to put forth is "The Liberals are attacking a powerful, capable woman", as if Trudeau and company would be any happier with a man who made the same decisions as JWR did. 

I dunno. I certainly haven't done any polls of woman voters, but from where I'm seeing things, there really does seem to be something a little ginned up about the supposed feminist backlash around SNS-Lavalin. I mean, how many National Post columns purporting to be outraged that Trudeau is violating feminist principle do I have to read before I'm entitled to make cynicism my a priori assumption about all this?

 (*) Like for example, Trudeau and the boys going to bat for a company that was allegedly hiring prostitutes to entertain potential clients. I'm not saying that the woman involved were neccessarily all being trafficked, but given the realities of the international sex trade, it seems to me a question at least worth asking. That is, if people really are concerned about analyzing SNC-Lavalin through a feminist lens.

I haven't been paying much attention of the MSM. Until today I thought there was a decent chance this would blow over. Most Canadians are not following this story, just the headlines if that. I didn't even consider the prostitution stuff. It isn't about SNC-Lavalin anymore.  

I think about what will filter through eventually. Most Canadians have never heard of Philpott or JWR or maybe vaguely recall the names. What I think will filter through is two highly respected women resigned from the highest levels of government because they don't support Trudeau. 

Trudeau got some flack for the 50/50 cabinet because women didn't have as many important files. He has lost two major female faces that will not be easy to replace. 

 

Pondering

Just listening to talking heads. They are saying normally they would be ejected from caucus. They still might be. Trudeau is between a rock and a hard place. If he ejects them from the party they could run for another party and win. 

I am trying to think about what is in the heads of JWR and Philpott. What is their plan? Surely not just to be back benchers. 

They could just run and not mention their lack of support for Trudeau but why would they? They would be better off just resigning and returning to their careers. Both of them would get very high profile positions and be well-paid for it.

These women are not going run in October to become back-benchers. 

robbie_dee

Ken Burch wrote:

It's good news for Singh, too-the NDP is far better positioned to win over the votes of people who sympathize or stand with JWR, Caesar-Chavannes, and Philpot than Scheer, who leads what can only be called(apologies to the Little Rascals)"The He-Man-Woman-Haters-Party".

 Sure, the NDP could benefit, particularly if Jagmeet finally finds his footing. May and the Greens, and Blanchet and the Bloc will probably pick up some seats too. But the “He Man Woman Haters” have been sitting on a solid third plus of the vote for some time now and I don’t think that support is going anywhere. So if the left* splinters in several different directions and the Cons pick up just a few points they have a straight shot to majority government.

*I realize you may quarrel with how “left” the Trudeau Liberals are. I merely mean to the left of the Conservatives.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Pondering wrote:

Just listening to talking heads. They are saying normally they would be ejected from caucus. They still might be. Trudeau is between a rock and a hard place. If he ejects them from the party they could run for another party and win. 

I am trying to think about what is in the heads of JWR and Philpott. What is their plan? Surely not just to be back benchers. 

They could just run and not mention their lack of support for Trudeau but why would they? They would be better off just resigning and returning to their careers. Both of them would get very high profile positions and be well-paid for it.

These women are not going run in October to become back-benchers. 

MPs don't normally get kicked out of their party's caucus for resigning from Cabinet on a point of principle.  There's no grounds for it.  Not only that, but Justin would be taking the risk of causing a mass defection of women voters away from the LPC if he expelled them in what everyone would interpret as retribution.  He simply has nothing to gain from taking such a step-and Liberals never do anything if they think they can't gain from doing it.

 

BertramPotts BertramPotts's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

I don't see how this is viable for JWR whose testimony will be playing constantly in Conservative ads.

voice of the damned

BertramPotts wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

I don't see how this is viable for JWR whose testimony will be playing constantly in Conservative ads.

Right. But the Conservatives already have the raw material to make ads about JWR's testimony, whether or not she runs in the next election. I was replying to Pondering's argument that her running would provide an extra layer of difficulty for the Liberals, over what's already there. My view is that it doesn't.

robbie_dee

voice of the damned wrote:

BertramPotts wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

I don't see how this is viable for JWR whose testimony will be playing constantly in Conservative ads.

Right. But the Conservatives already have the raw material to make ads about JWR's testimony, whether or not she runs in the next election. I was replying to Pondering's argument that her running would provide an extra layer of difficulty for the Liberals, over what's already there. My view is that it doesn't.

The problem for Trudeau is that in order to defend himself he has to say that JWR was lying or, at a minimum, grossly exaggerating. At which point he would then have to explain why she is still running as part of his "team" then.

voice of the damned

robbie_dee wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

BertramPotts wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

I don't see how this is viable for JWR whose testimony will be playing constantly in Conservative ads.

Right. But the Conservatives already have the raw material to make ads about JWR's testimony, whether or not she runs in the next election. I was replying to Pondering's argument that her running would provide an extra layer of difficulty for the Liberals, over what's already there. My view is that it doesn't.

The problem for Trudeau is that in order to defend himself he has to say that JWR was lying or, at a minimum, grossly exaggerating. At which point he would then have to explain why she is still running as part of his "team" then.

But if he just says something like "Well, you know, there are different interpretations of what people said", is Liberal candidate JWR going to come out and say "No! It's not a case of two different interpretations, he's falsely accusing me of lying or exaggerating"?

And if she doesn't say that, most Liberal voters will just think "Yeah, two different interpretations. JWR's not disputing that, so why should I? And anyway, Harper's the biggest scumbag who ever lived."

voice of the damned

Persuant to the cheap pseudo-feminism being bandied about here and there...

When you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised. Thank you for articulating this beautifully. +1

Wow, who knew that getting "correct decisions" was as simple as just adding more women to cabinet? Guess BC really made a big mistake when they kicked out Christy Clark!

(Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that there are more women in power than, say, thirty years ago, and I think JWR and Philpott have probably made the correct decisions. But still, the idea that women would universally do the right thing, or that these two women are doing the right thing because they are women, is just so much essentialist claptrap.)

https://tinyurl.com/yyy2g9jy

 

 

 

Pondering

BertramPotts wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Logically if they are running as Liberals in October, and they can't support Trudeau, they don't foresee him surviving as leader. 

But if they just keep their mouths shut about Trudeau and don't say anything about him either way, and he stays out of their ridings to avoid awkward photo-ops, it's basically a passive-aggressive strategy on both sides, and a lot of Canadians probably aren't gonna notice it, much less analyze what it all means. 

I don't see how this is viable for JWR whose testimony will be playing constantly in Conservative ads.

Good point. That would be awkward. LOL

But I am also thinking about what is in their heads, Philpott and JWR.  My point is that either they have cabinet positions or they are backbenchers. Their plan can't be to just stay in the Liberal Party as backbenchers. They are not backbench material. They wouldn't have run without the expectation that they would be in cabinet. Either they plan to rejoin cabinet or they plan to overthrow Trudeau, perhaps both. 

Trudeau is being called a liar for the early statements he made. It doesn't seem like JWR and Philpott warned him of their intentions.  He has been a deer caught in the headlights. 

It isn't about SNC anymore. It's about two cabinet ministers withdrawing from cabinet because they don't want to behave unethically. The obvious inference is that they believe cabinet is still behaving unethically and they can't be a part of it. 

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:

Persuant to the cheap pseudo-feminism being bandied about here and there...

When you add women, please do not expect the status quo. Expect us to make correct decisions, stand for what is right and exit when values are compromised. Thank you for articulating this beautifully. +1

Wow, who knew that getting "correct decisions" was as simple as just adding more women to cabinet? Guess BC really made a big mistake when they kicked out Christy Clark!

(Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that there are more women in power than, say, thirty years ago, and I think JWR and Philpott have probably made the correct decisions. But still, the idea that women would universally do the right thing, or that these two women are doing the right thing because they are women, is just so much essentialist claptrap.)

https://tinyurl.com/yyy2g9jy

But it has been shown that adding women to the boardroom results in more successful businesses. Due to sexism we are raised quite differently. The theory goes that men are more risk-takers.

I recently read an article that women are less trusting than men which surprised me but does make sense. We have a lot more to fear. 

Women don't belong to the old boys network. We don't bond at the strip club. We don't have the same code. Of course that is generalizing but I think political women are more likely to have strict principles while political men are more likely to be there to play ball. 

When is the last time you heard of a sex scandal involving female politicians. 

It is sexist to extrapolate that all women are more honest than all men but it is not sexist to acknowledge the ways in which sexism has impacted our behavior in a multitude of ways. It's still a real struggle for women to navigate in the upper reaches of a man's world. 

 

cco

Pondering wrote:

But I am also thinking about what is in their heads, Philpott and JWR.  My point is that either they have cabinet positions or they are backbenchers. Their plan can't be to just stay in the Liberal Party as backbenchers. They are not backbench material.

I'm sure they think of themselves the same way. "I'm not here to do something lowly or boring like represent the people who voted for me!"

Pondering wrote:

When is the last time you heard of a sex scandal involving female politicians. 


About 8 months ago.

Pondering

cco wrote:
Pondering wrote:

But I am also thinking about what is in their heads, Philpott and JWR.  My point is that either they have cabinet positions or they are backbenchers. Their plan can't be to just stay in the Liberal Party as backbenchers. They are not backbench material.

I'm sure they think of themselves the same way. "I'm not here to do something lowly or boring like represent the people who voted for me!"

Pondering wrote:

When is the last time you heard of a sex scandal involving female politicians. 

About 8 months ago.

I am agog. Which one? What did she do? 

Backbenchers do not get to represent the people who elected them. They are about as poweful as the members of the NDP are. I doubt they even get the chance to talk to the PM's staff other than some lowly secretary. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Just Isn't True Do would likely agree with your assessment since he probably heard it at the family supper table on Sussex Drive

Pondering

This is what I mean when I say this is no longer about SNC-Lavalin. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/philpott-resignation-1.5042965

A million more Freeland-type ovations can't undo what Philpott did in a few hundred words: she told the doe-eyed #TeamTrudeau hangers-on that their faith in this government is misplaced. And she said she would not be able to fulfil her duties as a minister if it meant publicly defending the government. ...

And if she doesn't, as someone privy to the conversations around the cabinet table about this whole affair, why should anyone else?...

When the message that this prime minister can't be trusted comes directly from one of the most respected voices (formerly) around the cabinet table, you pay attention. And ignore the obsequious blather on the radio.

This could be the beginnings of an insurrection.