I agree with Jean Chretien. MP Bob Rae should be the Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – May 7, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – Jean Chretien, three time majority Liberal Prime Minister of Canada, yesterday stated that Liberal MP Bob Rae should be interim leader until a leadership review be held in two years.

The Liberals suffered their worst election results in generations; the seeds of which were planted by their own lack of unity with Paul Martin and his supporters attempting to force out Mr. Chretien.

I’ve had a lot of chats about Mr. Chretien of late.   No politician is perfect, but what he represented was the best of Old School politics.   He was a loyal soldier who served Pierre Trudeau very well waiting for his turn to possibly lead; and when that time came; did an amazing job.

I have a hunch Mr. Chretien read more of Macbeth than Mr. Martin did.    Mr. Chretien, whether you agreed with his politics or not was  a strong leader who worked successfully with a lot of people and achieved success for his country.

Mostly he knew what it took to win and was always willing to pay the price.   Using a hockey analogy; he wasn’t afraid to go into the corners or head to the net; take the hits, but score the goal.

In my short tenure covering politics I’ve met many politicians that wanted to be “The Guy” the candidate, but the reality is as we saw in this election, a leader has to have star quality; has to have at least the appearance of strength and have to know when to go for the kill.

The NDP may have run the cleanest campaign, but Jack Layton delivered some key blows during the debate that resonated without staining.   Mr. Ignatieff may be a learned and nice gentleman, but between Mr. Layton and Mr. Harper, and even Ms May and Mr. Duceppe, really didn’t stand much of a chance on the leadership issue.   He also made the fatal flaw of turning his attack to Mr. Layton instead of focusing on Mr. Harper.

The Liberals need to rekindle themselves.    Mostly they need to focus; realize who the enemy really is; create a real plan and execute it.  They also need to address their own ridings association, by association where local failings contributed to their disaster as they did in this riding where the last candidate was pushed out only to see his replacement pull in a lower vote total  and percentage of the vote.

Mostly they need to decide on a leader who can actually tangle with Mr. Harper in the next election.   They don’t need the smartest or the best.  They need someone who can go toe to toe; take the attack ad hits instead of whining about them, and deliver positive blows back while focusing on the many failings of Harper government.

A tall order indeed, but when Jean Chretien suggests Bob Rae I have a hunch he has very good reasons why.   And I agree with his suggestion.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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Scott Beck


  1. I agree that Rae would probably make a fine interim leader, but for two years max. The Libs have four years to get their sh!t together. Let’s hope they will grow up, quit their infighting, and be serious about renewing the party.

  2. Bob Rae the turncoat of Rae Day fame? Why would anyone want to listen to anything that Jean Chretien says? Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada stated that they would hear the appeal by the PS unions for the $30 Billion theft of excess funds that were stolen by Jean Chretien’ Liberals and which they used to offset the deficit of the day. There are so many things that the Liberals have gotten caught with, involving money, that the only moral thing to do would be to get rid of all of them and start the party anew again.

  3. Yes Stan. The same guy who caused the the American economy to slump, plunging Ontario into a recession in the early nineties.

  4. I am not so sure the NDP ran the cleanest campaign having a candidate running for an area she was never in and a candidate that was a markist lenist, and saying different things in French than English but I know what you mean.

    Mr Goodale has been a dependable loyal party trooper but is being bypassed for the role because of language period.
    If Bob Rae does get the interim job, does this give unfair advantage towards the full time leader voting?

  5. Author

    No. It’s simply the best candidate for the job. I think this is mostly Mr. Harper and his team not wanting Mr. Rae as the Grits point man. I think it’s time to get used to a change of how things have been done and tougher and better leadership from the Liberals. It’s a great strategy too, because now the Conservative attack ad machine will have to sit back and figure out who to attack, when, etc while the “interim” leader should be more than able to handle himself with anything Mr. Harper can dish out.

    It’s time to see how Mr. Harper really can be on defense and it should be an interesting next year or two in Parliament.

  6. Good points, however I do not see how the Conservatives have to do anything for 3 years to “attack” Liberals. The Liberals need to prepare policies that are relevant for today and find a spokesperson to deliver those messages. We have no more money to fund new programs or throw at old problems.
    Mr Ignatief wanted to allow more family reunification, nice idea but it does not account for the extra services for immigration, health care, welfare or even if newcomers will be able to find work in a field that is needed in Canada.

    Health care is another large cost and no matter if delivered from the province or not, direction comes from Parliment, so it is up to each of us to direct our Parliment leaders.

    I see the next couple of years easier for Harper, everytime something is announced the media will not have to go to 4 different naysayers opinions to report versus the one voice from the government.

  7. The Libs need an interim leader for the next two years who is good in The House, and has no ambition to be the full time leader. They’ got a lot of reorganizing, planning, and hatchet burying to do before choosing a new leader. A new leader won’t save the party from oblivion. Only the party members can do that. And when Harper starts his character assassination TV ads in two years, they will have to be ready to retaliate big-time.

  8. Simple School for thought ….

    The Liberal Party of Canada should cement the difference of oppinion between them & work out for a healthy re-engineering & re-build new thoughts & new strategies. There will be no fruits in their store to critisize each other in their own Political party.

  9. Jamie, I firstly want to correct your comments about “who the enemy really is” – there is no enemy, as we are all Canadians with the same purpose of making Canada great – with cooperation we can show the world that we really are a GREAT nation – finacially we are the best in the G-7, and interesting enough statistics just released …..we have more millionaires per capita than any other country in the world “source World Bank”….financially we must be doing something right – incidentially I can’t claim to being one of them, as much as I would like too!
    Jack Layton is now Her Majesty’s leader of the Official Opposition whose prime purpose is to make adjustments by amendment to any proposed laws introduced in the house, both before and after committee…it’s not to seek out the enemy.
    The Liberals have a tough job now rebuilding a great political party which steered us through the twentieth century…Ralph Goodale would be the perfect choice to start this rebuilding process, and I personally believe he is the best choice – (Buffalo) Bob Rae has bigger ambitions and to become interim leader would harness his thoughts of being official Leader, and perhaps PM (cherish the thought as we are reminded what he did to Ontario) however, with his exposure as Ontario’s Opposition Leader and eventually Premier, he has the credentials to be the opposition in the House.
    Whatever happens we (Canadians) are living in interesting times and we will have some topics of discussion to tell our grandchildren about the birth of the 21st. century, as we know it, here in the greatest country in the world!

  10. Author

    Joe generally your friends do not make attack ads with the sole goal of assassinating your political character, thus my use of the term enemy. While attacks ads serve those who use them well the results are rarely for the best of the Country or its citizens.

  11. How about my ex-wife, admin? She became, ‘Irritable Dominate Type-A Holy Queen For Life of the friggin’ world, using strategically placed attack ads on the fridge door. My shame, moral and pride were undermined and assassinated in some cruel Valentine’s day massacre, when her karma repeatedly ran over my dogma, with her shouting from the driver’s seat, “I’m not the enemy. I’m not the enemy.”… Don’t get me wound up. Now, you’re the one provoking me, admin. You started this. You looking at me? You. You want to fight for free? Anyone can see you were asking for it.


  12. It will be interesting to see whether Harper will stop his character assassination policy against any opponent he comes across. For the last five years, that policy seems to have worked beautifully when used on political opponents or civil servants who were just doing their jobs. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he suddenly scraps this winning strategy, but I fear it’s in his genes.

  13. Holy Jumpin’. Sideways offers a different view of things, for sure!
    I’d consider that a threat. Shouldn’t be ignored. Report it to the police.

  14. I was with you Joe until you started with the attack verb-age against Bob Rae. Is this a preemptive strike in case he does end up leading the liberals and possibly swing a united left?

  15. Admirable optimism, Joe —“more millionaires per capita” etc. What about poverty and homeless stats? Or are we turning into an ‘I’m all right Jack’ nation? (And I don’t mean Layton.)

  16. That’s what Canada needs. Thousands of filthy-rich people, and millions of dirt-poor people. Sounds like common sense (revolution) to me.

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