Will Dion/Rae agree to step aside for Ignatieff to be Prime Minister?

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Rob8305
Will Dion/Rae agree to step aside for Ignatieff to be Prime Minister?

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2008/11/30/john-ivison-coalition-success-may-ride-on-ignatieff-and-he-isn-t-game.aspx

John Ivison: Ignatieff would be PM in a Liberal-led coalition

Posted: November 30, 2008, 3:30 PM by Shereen Dindar

, , , ,

Updated at 11:09 p.m. ET

By John Ivison

Michael Ignatieff will become Prime Minister in a Liberal-led coalition government if the opposition parties succeed in bringing down the
Conservatives in a no-confidence vote in the House of Commons next week and if the Governor-General deems it to be a viable alternative, sources said late last night.

Mr. Ignatieff met with lame duck Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion, and leadership candidates Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc in Toronto last night and hammered out a deal that would see Mr. Dion and Mr. Rae step aside, with the latter named to a senior post, likely Foreign Affairs Minister.

Earlier, Mr. Dion is understood to have struck a deal with NDP leader Jack Layton in which the New Democrats would get around a quarter of the seats around the Cabinet table, if the coalition bid to unseat the Conservatives is successful. The deal would have a guaranteed two and a half year lifespan.

Now I do believe that this is wise because the Canadian public has a strong dislike indeed for Stephan Dion. The public regardless of Ignatieff's true colors will be more likely to give him and the coalition a shot.

It is understood that the plan will be presented to the Liberal caucus Monday at 1 p.m.

Good move. Kudos to Rae as well for putting the greater good ahead of his own.

CTV'S Bob Fife just reported as I was typing this that he is being told that the Prime Minister will porogue parliament. That is an outrageous move. Is there anything that can be done to fight that and stop Harper from clinging to power?

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So the NDP's lust for semi-power at any cost is going to result in Ignatieff becoming PM.

The NDP will never live this folly down.

remind remind's picture

I am starting to agree with you mspector. Iggy as PM is giving me chills.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

JeffWells

So what happens to the Liberal leadership race? Surely a Minister can't run against his own sitting PM.

 

Rob8305

remind wrote:

I am starting to agree with you mspector. Iggy as PM is giving me chills.

___________________________________________________________ "watching the tide roll away"

 But consider the alternative of the status quo.

500_Apples

M. Spector wrote:

So the NDP's lust for semi-power at any cost is going to result in Ignatieff becoming PM.

The NDP will never live this folly down.

It's a devil's gambit. The alternative was certain death.

Rob8305

JeffWells wrote:

So what happens to the Liberal leadership race? Surely a Minister can't run against his own sitting PM.

 

 That's what I was wondering as well.

chele

Who's this John Ivison guy? Some comedian just making this stuff up?

George Victor

It's a devil's gambit. The alternative was certain death.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Don't know whether I can handle this degree of rational reasoning.

And now to see what we can do involving Canada in saving jobs and Earth.

Yep.  A far superior outcome.

Stockholm

I really don't care who the Liberals have as PM. I think that any ideological difference between him and Dion or Rae are highly, highly exagerrated. These guys are all Liberals - they don't believe in anything anyways other than following public opinion. Why should I care if the PM is Ignatieff - its as if I'm going to fall in love with ANYONE who is a Liberal PM. Realistically, Iggy probably has the Liberal leadership sewn up anyways and I think that if there is to be a coalition government where the NDP has this much power and where there are also policy concessions to the BQ - its probably inevitable that the PM would have to be someone NOT associated with the left of the Liberal Party (if there even is such a thing)

jas

So we get Ignatief installed as PM with no say from the electorate?
What the hell was the hurry to get rid of Dion? What does this say to
the Liberal membership? And what happens to Ignatieff if the coup falls
through? What a freak show. I was excited, now it's just depressing
again. That's too much change for the electorate.

 

Draco

If these reports are all accurate, this must be Ignatieff's dream come true.  Things could not have gone better for him, right down the prorogation. 

 If Harper does that, he surrenders any possible legitimacy to claiming democratic authority, while at the same time postively forcing the opposition to take him down at the first opportunity.  Giving Ignatieff a couple of months to get ensconsed as leader, during which time he can appear on the news every day hammering the PM for not facing the elected representatives of the people?

It's almost too much to believe.  Harper has become a caricature of all of his failings.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:
I really don't care who the Liberals have as PM. I think that any ideological difference between him and Dion or Rae are highly, highly exagerrated.
As are any ideological differences between them and Stephen Harper.

And yet babblers are falling all over themselves in an orgy of lesser-evilism, making deals with one devil to get rid of another devil. Go figure.

Stockholm

"So we get Ignatief installed as PM with no say from the electorate?"

Parties have a right to choose their leaders however they want. Its not up to the NDP or any of us to pas judgment on what mechanism the Liberals want to use. There have been many, many cases of PMs and Premiers being installed with no say from the electorate. This is what happens when a sitting PM resigns or dies in mid-term and their party picks a new leader. Ernie Eves was Premier of Ontario for two years when he took over from Harris.

The Canadian public does not elect a Prime Minister. We elect a PARLIAMENT and it is the role of the MPs to choose the PM. 

Stockholm

If you really think that there is no ideological difference WHATSOEVER between Harper and Ignatieff, Rae or Dion then why doesn't Harper offer the NDP six cabinet portfolios and a majhor say on government economic and social policies???

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Parties have a right to choose their leaders however they want. Its not up to the NDP or any of us to pas judgment on what mechanism the Liberals want to use. There have been many, many cases of PMs and Premiers being installed with no say from the electorate. This is what happens when a sitting PM resigns or dies in mid-term and their party picks a new leader. Ernie Eves was Premier of Ontario for two years when he took over from Harris.

The Canadian public does not elect a Prime Minister. We elect a PARLIAMENT and it is the role of the MPs to choose the PM.

Thanks for the civics lesson.

But what some people may be having trouble swallowing is that Iggy gets to become PM only with the consent and blessing of the NDP and the Bloc.

Pogo Pogo's picture

How many anti-'socialist' Liberals does Harper need to cross the floor to gain a majority.

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

Stockholm wrote:
If you really think that there is no ideological difference WHATSOEVER between Harper and Ignatieff, Rae or Dion then why doesn't Harper offer the NDP six cabinet portfolios and a majhor say on government economic and social policies???

Well put.Wink

 

Brian Topp: Our friends on the blue team seem to mostly focus on sticks, and not so much on carrots. ;)

George Victor

And yet babblers are falling all over themselves in an orgy of lesser-evilism, making deals with one devil to get rid of another devil. Go figure.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I prefer to see it in the context of the lesser of two weevils.  (You have to say it quickly.!

Stockholm

Harper is about 12 seats short of a majority so i guess 12 Liberals would have to do that - but the thing is that most of the rightwing rural Liberals who might have ever done such a thing were either defeated or retired in the last election. The current Liberal caucus is almost entirely composed of people from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver with a sprinkling from Atlantic Canada. There would be no advantage to any of those people joining the Tories.

What's more likely is that some "red Tory" types in the Conservative caucus would join the new government. I already saw in the NDP taped caucus meeting that Bill Casey is onside with the coalition.

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

Good for Casey! Smile

 

Brian Topp: Our friends on the blue team seem to mostly focus on sticks, and not so much on carrots. ;)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Stockholm wrote:
If you really think that there is no ideological difference WHATSOEVER between Harper and Ignatieff, Rae or Dion...
Did I say that?

Your usual debating tactic: distort and exaggerate what others say and then attack the distortion.

I can turn the tables on you: If you really don't care who is the Liberal leader/PM, are you really saying that there is no ideological difference WHATSOEVER between Ignatieff, Rae, or Dion?

Stupid, right?

Quote:
...then why doesn't Harper offer the NDP six cabinet portfolios and a majhor say on government economic and social policies???
Oh, I'm sure you'd jump at that one. Harper would suddenly become someone you could "work with" as soon as a whiff of quasi-power is dangled before your nose.

It's crass and shameless opportunism. But no surprise really for anyone with zero political principles.

Papal Bull

Bring in Cthulhu. Why settle for lesser evil?

Socrates Socrates's picture

What's up with the headline? I can't find a word about proroguing anywhere on any news site...

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

I can't seem to find it on ctv yet but this is a link to Andrew Coyne confirming that Rober Fife is stating that this is the case.

[url=http://blog.macleans.ca/2008/12/01/prime-minister-iggy-prorogation-the-r...Link[/url]

 

Brian Topp: Our friends on the blue team seem to mostly focus on sticks, and not so much on carrots. ;)

kylebailey260

Robert Fife claims Harper is going to prorogue...but I trust Robert Fife about as much as SH at this point.

No other news source is reporting the prorogue as far as I know. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Canadian Press wrote:
Dissension in Liberal ranks over who would lead a coalition government is threatening to derail opposition party plans to replace the Harper regime.

As negotiations between the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois were edging close to a deal late Sunday, frustration was mounting among Grits over Stephane Dion's lead role in conducting the talks and potentially installing himself as prime minister. Dion has announced his intention to resign as Liberal leader as soon as a successor is elected May 2 at a convention in Vancouver.

Some Liberals question Dion's moral authority to commit the party to a multi-year pact with the other opposition parties when he won't be the one who has to see it through. Others fear Dion will renege on his promise to resign should he make it into the prime minister's office.

"Getting a deal with the NDP and the Bloc is not the problem," said one Liberal insider.

"It's the internal stuff that's going to cause this to fall apart."

Strategists for the three contenders vying to succeed Dion - Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc - complain that they've been kept in the dark about the negotiations.

"This thing really is being run by Dion and his people. We're not being asked for our opinion," said a senior adviser to one contender.

Moreover, there is suspicion among all three camps that Dion may be angling to save his own job.

"Dion is making a power play. That's the absolute reality," griped another senior Liberal.

ottawaobserver

Just to clarify, in later editions of the CTV National News, after their earlier "scoop" of the caucus tape kind of fizzled as their big exclusive story of the night, Fife added in to the end of his double-ender with Sandi the prorogation rumour, which I assume he lifted from Stephen Taylor's blog.

As I said in another thread, if they prorogue without passing their own Economic Statement, then everything they said last Friday about how we would be hurting seniors by not passing the Ways & Means motion to adopt the provision about delaying RRIF withdrawals is proven to be BS, plus the Commons would just go crazy anyway.  Harper would look so desperate and autocratic it would backfire terribly ... I can't believe they would try it, but really who knows what dumb thing they're going to try next.

Rob8305

I spoke WAY too soon.  Now Rae's spokesperson is denying that he has agreed to do this and Dion apparently was not even at the meeting that Ivision reported on.

 As far as Fife, yeah, I'm in B.C. and so I got the later edition of CTV National News where he mentioned the prorugation possibility and made it seem like a certainty.

Sorry for spelling proruge wrong initially. I hate stuff like that.

 

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

it's "prorogue" actually.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
I really don't care who the Liberals have as PM. I think that any ideological difference between him and Dion or Rae are highly, highly exagerrated. These guys are all Liberals - they don't believe in anything anyways other than following public opinion. Why should I care if the PM is Ignatieff - its as if I'm going to fall in love with ANYONE who is a Liberal PM. Realistically, Iggy probably has the Liberal leadership sewn up anyways and I think that if there is to be a coalition government where the NDP has this much power and where there are also policy concessions to the BQ - its probably inevitable that the PM would have to be someone NOT associated with the left of the Liberal Party (if there even is such a thing)

I have to note down the time and date, but I think I agreed with most of what Stockholm just said...

KenS

Well, people seem to have finally noticed this is by no means necessarily true that Iggy has been chosen. I was skeptical the minute i heard it. and here's what I posted in one of th other threads:

I don't think the talk of Iggy camp scuttling the coalition, or of Iggy being the PM now comes from the Cons sowing stories.

I think they are plants to keep things churning, but they come from Iggy's camp.

So on the one hand they have Iggy giving the official line- "I'm 100% behind this." And at the same time they are working to keep alive that enough cracks begin to show that they can more openly cast doubt on the whole thing.

I wouldn't rule out that the Liberals choose Iggy to be Leader and PM. But it seems unlikely. Why would Rae agree to that? He has de facto veto power, and many others would not like it either.

And I agree that in the final analysis it doesn't matter who the Liberals choose.

The PMO is not going to be running this show. In fact, we're in for a demonstration of all the downfalls of government by committee in a political culture with no experience in that. It will be good for us. Plus lots of wincing and entertainment.

 

josh

I can't believe Rae would agree to this.  Or Dion for that matter.  The better move is to have an interim leader, like Goodale, until the new Liberal leader is chosen.  And then, depending on how the coalition is governing, going to new elections.

KenS

Dion has absolute veto power over any attempt to replace him- whether its another true interim Leader like Goodale or Iggy.

And Rae has de facto veto power over installing Iggy. Doesn't matter how much of a majority of Caucus members Iggy could pull together- even by themselves neither Rae or even Dion are sufficiently isolated to be bullied or rolled over, let alone the internal tractuion they have with no more than a single discusssion between them.

And Iggy attempting a coup would be showing FAR more signs than a single source talking to a reporter. That cannot be done quietly.

duncan cameron

Reporter Ivison got spun by the Ignatieff camp who do not want a coalition led by someone else. He does not seem to have confirmed his story with other sources. The Nat Post is dumping on the coalition, Duceppe's Useful Idiots they call it. So the reporter works for the paper, and is happy to supplement its line with a scoop, that is being denied by Rae, and makes no sense. You cannot have a leadership contest, and have one of the contenders become PM.

josh

Sources close to Mr. Ignatieff said he was "not wild" about the idea of forming a government propped up by the separatist Bloc. They said he was inclined to accept the concessions wrung out of the Tories on its fiscal update and allow the government to survive.

"My gut is Michael will cause all this to fall apart. He doesn't like this," said the insider.

http://tinyurl.com/5pmvh3

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

M. Spector wrote:
Canadian Press wrote:
Strategists for the three contenders vying to succeed Dion - Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc - complain that they've been kept in the dark about the negotiations.

"This thing really is being run by Dion and his people. We're not being asked for our opinion," said a senior adviser to one contender.

It seems as though Dion has learned how much he can trust the 'leadership contenders'. Good to see the old dog can still learn some new tricks.

Stockholm

I still think that if Ignatieff is the one who causes this to fall apart - it would destroy his chances of winning the leadership since so many Liberals would never forgive him for that.

I heard on the radio that Rae denied that a deal had been made to install Ignatieff and he said that the Liberal CAUCUS would decide that. CAUCUS!! Well apparently the Liberal caucus is meeting today and supposedly most caucus members are Ignatieff supporters so if its up to the CAUCUS - then either Ignatieff is in or they pick a pro-Ignatieff interim leader.

josh

A lot of non-Liberals wouldn't forgive him for it as well.

The self-interest in preserving the Harper government taints the article, nonetheless: 

 

"Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff is unlikely to support the coalition deal being negotiated by lame duck leader Stephane Dion -- a decision that would doom the opposition parties' attempt to bring down the government next week in a vote of no-confidence in the House of Commons.

A person close to Mr. Ignatieff said that any deal with the Bloc Quebecois and NDP struck by Mr. Dion would be a "poison chalice" for the next leader."

 

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1016753

Wilf Day

Stockholm wrote:

I still think that if Ignatieff is the one who causes this to fall apart - it would destroy his chances of winning the leadership since so many Liberals would never forgive him for that.

Not to mention the fact that this would abandon the centre-left field to the NDP. "I tried to work with the Liberals, I even offered them a coalition. Some of them turned out to be Conservatives with red ties."

 

duncan cameron

I agree with Stockholm, Ignatieff loses big if the coalition idea is scuppered by the Liberal caucus. Rae is getting the better of him as the voice of "party unity." Reporter Ivison for the Post has dropped the Ignatieff for PM line, and replaced with the no coalition now according to Ignatieff. We wait for the next dispatch from the Post guy with the direct line to the Ignatieff spin doctor.

jas

I don't understand the rush to get a new leader in in time for the
coup. The seats won by the Liberals were won under Dion's leadership.
It makes some sense to keep him as interim leader, perhaps getting in
writing from him that he will step down when the time comes. It not
only keeps the situation more stable, but I have this feeling, based on
little factual evidence, that Dion might not be a bad leader for a
coalition. I don't think he is the type who needs to be the ultimate
Fearless Leader making all the decisions and taking all the credit.
Some others, however, might be.

I would think the others would want
to wait to see what becomes of this. Spring is not that far off. Dion
would be the best to take this shaky alliance into the spring and the
leadership convention. As was planned.

 

aka Mycroft

Partly it's the optics of the guy who Canadians overwhelmingly rejected becoming PM but I think mostly it's that Iggy doesn't want anything to stand in his way.

aka Mycroft

The Ignatieff camp was leaking disinformation on Friday that the NDP was insisting they wouldn't accept Dion as PM and he'd have to step aside - something the NDP quickly denied and attributed to an unnamed Liberal leadership campaign.

josh

Yes, the optics would be bad.  He's announced he's stepping down anyway.  So what's wrong with advancing the date by a few months.

jas

Because it's being done in such a frenzied manner, giving people little
time for thought. This is rarely a good way to do things, and may just
lead to more fracturing. Also, having the time we thought we were going
to have would give the contenders that much more time to blunder if
need be, to reveal to us their true colours, and for possibly a new and
better solution to arise. Just my thoughts.

madmax

Dion needs to step aside for the good of the country.

kylebailey260

A Liberal friend of mine says that Goodale is associated with the Rae camp- if that is true (which is probably subjective depending upon which LIberals you talk too)- then Dion would be a more honest broker/interim leader until the race.

Dion stepping aside at this point wouldn't do much good- the two former roommates appear intent on taking the leadership to May 2. I think having another interim leader, even if one could be found who isn't perceived as associated with either camp- wouldn't be adding or removing any poison from the chalice of power passed from an interim to a new leader.

 

I agree with jas- time to see the how the leadership candidates respond in a coalition gov't would be nice.

 Personally, I think Rae has so much to gain by having a chance to prove his statesmanship (esp. vis a vis the NDP caucus, and the left wing of the Liberal party), that there is no way he'll let Iggy take power. Having the support of 50 of 77 MPs (and where exatly does this figure come from, other than Iggy camp spin?) won't allow Iggy to grasp the reins. Iggy would need to call riding presidents, youth leaders etc....and he can't do that quietly and without upsetting a chance for a coalition.

 

Question for those who know NDP popular, and federal caucus support better than I:

There is a perception that Rae is 'persona-non-grata' to dippers...but how long would that last in a situation where they sit down in caucus together and everybody has two swallow the lesser of two weevils?

KenS

Like everyting else right now, especially the general mood of Canadians, Dion will be judged on what people see coming, not on what a hapless choice he looked like before and in the election.

It will not be an advantage going into a coalition government with a question mark as PM. But as has been said in a lot of ways, this is MUCH less about the PM and it will be good for politics of any kind to back off from focus on the leader. dion is taylor made for that.

And look what Dion's self interest is. He simply cannot be PM past May. In a way that takes a burden off of him. If he becames PM he will already have more affirmation and vindication than he stood a chance for. More than that: he's playing to a legacy- which doesn't require him competing and winning over his colleagues.

And he's the perfect antidote to the soon to be semi-despised Harper. He stands to be re-assuring when the only people after his throat are the now discredited Conservative opposition.

Goodale could also fit a lot of those criteria. But people are saying NOT Dion. NOT Dion doesn't mean you get to choose who else.

And Goodale is not without problems. It would be difficult at best to unequivicolly bind Goodale to resigning in May, the way Dion can be effectively bound. And that binding is an absolute necessity for the Liberals internal dynamic, and hence for there participation in the coalition. You can compell the Liberals to table their race for the moment- and force Iggy to live with no longer being in the state of nearly having the leadership in the bag- but it simply is not feasible to expect them to throw into uncertainty whether there is going to be a leadership race. They need someone who they can have nearly complete confidence will be only the interim leader and PM.

KenS

NDP Caucus members will live with Rae fine. PM or not, they are going to be dealing with him a lot. Thats life. I'm sure they already know that.

Politics is like other work: you spend a lot of time with colleagues in your own party, let alone the others, many of whom not only would you not choose to associate with them, but you don't like a lot of things about them.

KeyStone

This reminds me of the King Solomon story except backwards.

In the story, two women come to King Solomon each claiming that the baby is theirs. They can't agree so Solomon says he will cut the baby in half. The 'real' mother says she would rather let the other mother have the baby than see the baby killed.  Solomon recognizing that the woman willing to give up the baby loves it more, awards her the baby. 

In this scenario, Ignatieff has basically threatened to destroy the entire coalition unless he is the PM. Dion and Rae loving Canada more than power, have graciously decided to step down and let Ignatieff have his way, rather than let the coalition be torn apart, and let Harper bludgeon through his agenda. 

Let's just hope that this little powerplay doesn't establish Ignatieff as the Liberal leader in the minds of Canadians, and that the Liberal leadership contest is not dismantled or postponed indefinitely as a result. It would be a grievous error.

 

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