Interim Rae Days

I’ve never quite understood the vehement antipathy directed towards Bob Rae. Witness for example, this nasty hatchet job from a rabid Harper zealot that summarizes a bunch of grubby personal attacks – compiled, ironically, by an embittered far left activist that the author of the post wouldn’t otherwise give the slightest bit of credence to.

Hey, I could be naïve, but Bob Rae always struck me as a fairly decent, stand-up kind of guy… so I just don’t understand all the hateful vitriol and libelous smears directed towards him.

Rae certainly has a lot of commendable attributes that would serve the party well, both as an effective public face on parliament hill, and more important, behind the scenes helping to rebuild its infrastructure. So what’s not to like?

And if it’s decided that Marc Garneau is to be the interim leader, well that also would be quite fine as far as I’m concerned. I think it’s great that the Liberals have two very capable individuals willing to steer the ship and help get things sorted out for a relaunch at some later date.


34 Replies to “Interim Rae Days”

  1. Witness for example, this nasty hatchet job from a rabid Harper zealot that summarizes a bunch of grubby personal attacks…

    Kind of sad to see Trusty dumpster-diving so soon after crawling back into the ‘sphere. I guess he’ll just never really get the whole “dignity” and “integrity” thing.

  2. ATY:

    You could say that Peterson ruined Ontario, by making Rae possible. Or that Ontarians ruined Ontario, by gratuitously and recklessly punishing Peterson, a perfectly good premier, for the relatively mild offence of triggering an early election.

    At all events, Harris and Eves left the province in far worse shape than Rae did.

  3. Well the vehement antipathy directed towards Bob Rae also came from the Liberal backed press – TorStar – and Provincial Liberals until he became one for the red team.

  4. I think Rae is the best choice the LPC has. He is bright, articulate, and will be more likely than others to agree with the government when he actually agrees with the government.

    His baggage is what it is. Everybody has baggage.

  5. ATY is demonstrating, however, the general political memory of Ontario. For whatever reason, despite Mike Harris’ rather unsavoury premiership, Rae, in the minds of the middle aged, adults in Ontario, is resented quite deeply even more than Harris. That, coupled with the Ontario NDP and Progressives hating him for being ‘a traitor’ as it were, his legacy is hard to live down. That is saying a lot considering what the Harris years were like. They were great for the populist neoconservatives but terrible for just about everybody else.

  6. It all began with Bill Davis selling out to Cardinal Carter. That was the end of Good Olde Ontario. That bad decision broke the Tory Dynasty and handed power over to the interests. Corporate. Union. Ethnic.

  7. The Tory Dynasty that represented the interests of: Corporate. Corporate. Caucasian. See ya, Good Olde Ontario, hope the door hitting you in the arse didn’t sting too bad.

  8. Omar, believe it or not, back in the 70’s the Ontario Liberals were campaigning to the right of Bill Davis’ Tories, and were definitely the more neo-liberal (economically speaking) of the two parties.

    The Robarts/Davis era was probably the last traditional ‘Red Tory’ government Ontario will ever know.

    Back to the topic at hand, Bob Rae was the only decent part of the Rae NDP government, and he alone was responsible for their surprise win in 1990. The problem with the Rae government was all the typical union heads / social workers / poli-sci dropouts that made up 95% of the NDP caucus. It was a 5-year-long Gong Show thanks to them, and the reason Ontario swung hard-right with Mike Harris.

    If Bob Rae could have somehow cloned himself to replace the other 73 MPPs he had, then Ontario would have had a solid government.

    OK I’m being harsh, Mike Farnan was good as Solicitor General and Laughren wasn’t as bad in Finance as people think – he actually pissed off Sid Ryan which makes him OK in my books – but after Rae & those two the rest of the Dippers were weak to downright awful.

  9. ATY: No, I wasn’t living in Ontario when Rae was in power. I moved there just after the so-called “Common Sense Revolution” had taken place. To be honest, I never got interested in provincial politics while in Ontario because I viewed myself as a temporary (and unwilling) resident at the time. From what I can gather it seems that Rae has the same toxic quality that the NEP does in Alberta – both things are wildly overstated but have bored into the collective memory.

  10. We’re talking about the wannabe Republican party here. It doesn’t matter who becomes interim leader and permanent leader because the Teabaggers will attack from day 1. It’s truly slimy but it works. And people will be dumb enough to fall for it no matter who is leader. Harper didn’t get a majority by giving motivational speeches

  11. Omar:

    Is this the Caucasian Male Government that had members like Leo Bernier, Larry Grossman, Bette Stephenson and Lincoln Alexander?

    Once again, get off the bong and get the facts straight before you begin keyboarding your conventional lefty bon mots.

  12. RT, I never thought of it along those lines before, but there is a lot of truth in your notion that the legend of the Rae government has become Ontario’s version of the NEP.

    Though I never considered it in that way, those lingering quixotic memories of the Ontario NDP government are what made the May 2nd election so intriguing. Ontario, having witnessed first hard what a surging NDP equates to, had a portion of the population buy the ‘orange wave’ stories from Quebec and actual fall into that pattern again anyway. However a good percentage of Blue Grits and I can only assume Red Tories as well, held their noses and voted for Harper in order to stop it. The result (aside from Harper’s majority) was of course the disastrous fall for the Liberals.
    And I believe ultimately the pattern of Rae’s fall from 1990 to ’95 will eventually be followed by their federal counterparts. Yes they did not form government, however the NDP will now be front and centre in the media, and the Harper war machine will pounce on Layton will all the vigor they once saved for the Liberals. Regardless of what Jack thinks, he will never become prime minister. The media + Harper war room will make certain of that.

    So then what happens to the state of federal politics in this country? The NDP will not be forming government any time soon, as no matter how distasteful the Harper government becomes the NDP will not look like a responsible replacement in four years time. And the Grits, though their tenacity is quite admirable, I fear are truly following along the lines of their British counterparts post WW-I. Oh, they’ll probably rebuild enough to improve their seat-count in 2015, but it will take a Herculean effort now just to replace the NDP as official opposition. There is no way they can form government.

    That effectively means the only real opposition to the Harper government rests with… his own Conservatives. That they have been accepting of his transgressions over the minority years is understandable, but now with no effective opposition anymore (regardless of Layton’s 103 seats) they really need to start being more critical of their own government’s actions. Also, the media needs to start doing their fucking jobs again – swearing added for emphasis – because they are now just part of the establishment and, thus, utterly useless.

    Frankly I fear Canada has just become a larger version of the one-party rule which Albertans have re-elected for generations. And regardless of what they think, making up new populist parties to replace the corrupt old one every 30-40 years is a poor model for democracy.

  13. TofKW: It’s hard to say what the shape of Canadian politics might become in the future. Harper’s goal has always been to kill off the Liberals and supplant them as this country’s “natural governing party” and he’s certainly gone a long way towards possibly achieving that goal. In doing so however, he’s going to have to make a lot of compromises to permanently occupy the middle ground and I wonder how that will sit with the more ideologically driven base of his party over time.

    As for the Liberals, they’re going to have a difficult time differentiating themselves in the new political environment in which find themselves. As long as Harper continues to spurn the social conservatives within his party, and the NDP just gives lip service to the unions and environmentalists, that doesn’t leave much of an opening for the Libs to expand their appeal.

  14. If Harper future continues as Harper past it may well be Harper that gets rid of Harper.

  15. As long as Harper continues to spurn the social conservatives within his party…

    OK I was rather long winded (as usual) but that was my point when I stated that the the only real opposition to the Harper government rests with his own Conservatives.

    Are we going to see Harper actually begin to manage a fiscal conservative government? I don’t have high hopes. Real senate reform? Again, I don’t think Harper is serious about that either. And as for upsetting the social conservatives, where exactly are they going to go? Christian Heritage Party?

    My hope are those CPofC supporters who wish good governance will set the pace here. And likewise the fourth estate needs to do their jobs again to hold elected officials to account.

    I admit 4 years is a looooong time in politics, but even so I just don’t see either the NDP or a miraculously rebuilt Liberal party being able to replace the CPofC in 2015. They would be lucky to even win as a coalition.

    I don’t think people realize how strong Harper’s grasp on power is. The only way he can lose it now is, as benalbanach wrote, if he becomes his own undoing. And that involves his own party.

  16. A new party could ruin Harper. You only would need to take 5-10% of the votes from the Conservatives to make it almost impossible for them to win again. Any variation of conservatives from a Red Tory revival to populist nationalism would do it.

  17. As I have been saying since the mid-1990’s: Red Tories/Conservative Nationalists can make 0r break the CPC. We have silent votes, but our hearts continue to beat. For how long (?) – remains the question.

    The EC Manning (Preston’s Father) thesis was that the Liberals had to dissolve (much like the British Liberal Party did post 1921) in order for their to be a two-party system (and starker choices) in Canada.

  18. Umm – just so you are aware, John A. MacDonald’s Conservatives were also called Tories, and they didn’t have “Progressive” in their wording. This whole “you can’t call them Tories because they used to be the Reform Party” argument is a little stale.

  19. Umm – just so you are aware, John A. MacDonald’s Conservatives were also called Tories, and they didn’t have “Progressive” in their wording. This whole “you can’t call them Tories because they used to be the Reform Party” argument is a little stale.

    Oh man… you can’t possibly be this thick.

  20. There’s no debate to be had. As ATY suggests, it’s just history. It’s the clean ideological break from the past that was made when the CPC was formed that makes your use of the word (and your silly avatar) so infuriating. Why can’t you just embrace the fact that you reject the beliefs of traditional Canadian conservatives? Why the need to identify yourself with people and a party who despised everything you stand for?

  21. …just so you are aware, John A. MacDonald’s Conservatives were also called Tories, and they didn’t have “Progressive” in their wording.

    Sir John A’s Conservatives also stood against the laissez-faire corporatist Liberal party, and offered our new nation a strong pro-Canadian, anti-USA economic platform. The ‘Progressive’ part may have not been in the name yet (the original ‘reckless coalition’ caused that) but there was no doubt this party stood for conserving heritage, tradition, prosperity and probity.

    Hell, not only is the word ‘Tory’ a misnomer when used to describe the Harper Government® …but one can argue the word ‘Conservative’ doesn’t fit well either. Might I suggest Populist Neo-liberal Socially-Conservative party?

  22. John A. MacDonald’s Conservatives were also called Tories, and they didn’t have “Progressive” in their wording[sic]…

    That’s so true, Trusty.

    Moreover, very few people know that the pre-Confederation Sir John A. advocated that a firewall be constructed around Upper Canada in order to keep the central government’s regulatory paws off it, that he once gave a speech in Washington in which he referred to Canada as a second-tier Limey/Scots-Irish/fugitive-slave backwater, that he sent an open letter to Lincoln in which he apologized for Canada’s refusal to fight for the Union and further pledged, by way of future remediation, to have Canadian troops kept at U.S. disposal for deployment in America’s War on Natives.

    For details, please refer to The Angry Glock-Owning Loner’s History of Canada, a special Sun TV/Fox News collaborative publication, available exclusively at Wal-Mart’s Plus-Sized Men’s Undergarments section. Review copies are available from the Procurator’s Bureau of the Special Magistracy for the Propagation of Official Truth and Harper-Thought.

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