Dept. of Unintentional Irony

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae speaks out on the issue of suicide prevention as an important public health matter.

Needless to say, committing suicide is a topic about which the Liberal Party of Canada has considerable first-hand knowledge and expertise.


Liberal AV Club’s Amateur Hour (Part Deux)

Political wonks may recall Stéphane Dion’s cringe-inducing “address to the nation” back in 2008 during the constitutional crisis over a putative coalition government… If not, Adam Radwanski described this way:

At a time when he needed to look reassuring, to look prime ministerial, [Dion] looked exactly the way the Conservatives have been trying to portray him – like the leader of some sort of third-rate coup, being filmed in his hideout with one of his accomplices sticking a cheap video camera in his face.

Fast-forward three years and it seems that the same blundering crew of AV boneheads are resolutely determined as ever to make the Liberals look as cheap and inept as possible…

Patient viewers will note that there’s a seemingly interminable 5 minutes of video consisting of nothing but sound checks preceding the “action” to come. When a speaker does finally appear at the podium after this inexplicable waste of time… Surprise! There’s no audio whatsoever. For an entire minute the speaker is without sound. When the audio does eventually cut in, it’s of the worst possible quality – crackling and breaking on every high note. Subsequently, the AV team seems to get that problem under control, but then the volume is HIGH… then low… then HIGH again… Only in the last 15 minutes or so do they manage to get things right.

Yes, I know… it probably seems like a trivial gripe, and this could just be regarded as “raw video” and therefore held to a lesser standard, but I believe that presentation matters. Good grief, what sane person with better things to do would even bother sitting through that first five minutes of pointless faffing around?

The Right Man for the Job

Rex Murphy asks what sort of person would volunteer to lead the Liberal Party in its current state of wreckage.

It’s a rather thankless job by anyone’s reckoning, but in selecting Rae, the Liberals have, I believe, at least got the person with the right mix of experience, temperament and, as Rex puts it, “generosity of spirit” to tackle the considerable challenges facing the LPC as it strives to rebuild itself and become a relevant alternative to the Conservatives and NPD.

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.

Partisans Abroad


Does anyone else find it more than a little embarrassing and unseemly that our current prime minister frequently uses his media soapbox at international summits such as the G8 as an opportunity to take cheap (and erroneous) pot-shots at his political opponents and economic policy critics at home?

I thought Bob Rae summed up the essence of the problem quite well:

”I think all Canadians have to recognize that we have the smallest man on the world stage that it’s possible to imagine, and that’s Stephen Harper. He never misses an opportunity to stoop. Not to conquer, just to throw mud.”

The Americans used to have an unwritten policy that “partisanship ends at the water’s edge” — a quaint notion perhaps, but alas, being a total douchebag, one that Stephen Harper has never seemed able to grasp.

Rae on Ignatieff (Part III)

Here’s the final part of the interview between TRNN’s Paul Jay and Bob Rae. In this segment Jay focuses on Ignatieff’s initial support for the Iraq War (referencing his NYT editorial supporting the notion of “Empire Lite” — a “global hegemony whose grace notes are free markets, human rights and democracy”)

Interesting that Jay “outs” himself as being “not a fan of the Conservative Party” (hardly a secret) but this is one criticism of the Real News that I have which is their tendency to present an unrelentingly slanted viewpoint from the left side of the political spectrum.

Rae on Ignatieff (Part II)

Another bit of a tease, as it turns out; in which, despite repeated attempts by his dogged interlocutor, Bob refuses to get drawn into a recriminatory discussion about the failure of the coalition to mount an effective opposition to the Conservative government.