Monday, December 7, 2009

Message to Michael Ignatieff: Got to know when to fold ‘em

There’s that Gambler song by Kenny Rodgers that advises: “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away, know when to run… .” Remember that? Isn’t that just the best advice ever for the Liberal Party of Canada vis-à-vis its leader, Michael Ignatieff?

I am betting there is more fact than fiction to the story doing the rounds in the mainstream media this weekend that a mutiny against Michael Ignatieff is afoot (see Or mutiny or stealth? at the Blue Like You blog for the juicy bits). No fan of Ignatieff, I’m heartened by the denials from Liberal MPs as reported by Don Martin in today’s National Post as follows:

“… mutineers went ballistic on blogs, Twitter and letters pages. ‘Fictional!’ a furious Bob Rae snapped. ‘Hurtful and wrong!’ tweeted Carolyn Bennett. ‘Totally unfounded!’ insisted Glen Pearson. ‘Ridiculous!’ said Ruby Dhalla.”

I’m heartened by these well orchestrated responses because all of us Tories know that a Grit’s first instinct is to lie. When do Liberals ever tell the truth when their fortunes begin to circle the drain? So, whatever a Grit says, assume the opposite.

“Fictional” says Bob Rae, therefore, I assume he is the leader of the mutineers.

“Hurtful and wrong!” tweeted Carolyn Bennett—oh no, is she about to cry again?.

“Totally unfounded!” insisted Glen Pearson. Assume therefore that there is a sound foundation for the rumour.

“Ridiculous!” said Ruby Dhalla. Now here I have a real problem. Ms. Dhalla may be feeding us a double lie with a hidden message—she is that duplicitous. A double lie is like a double agent in the spy world. Dhalla tells the truth knowing we’ll assume she’s telling a lie. So what’s the hidden message? Dhalla was Ignatieff’s Leadership Campaign’s national co-chair during the 2006 Liberal leadership campaign, and now she finds the man ridiculous. Anyway, that’s my interpretation.

Maybe Don Martin is correct when he points out that “… the notion of a coup d’état to take out Ignatieff even before his first anniversary in power is a mighty hard swallow,” because “every Liberal leader gets to lose an election before the knife penetrates their shoulder blades.”

However, just the threat of a coup could be the trigger to send Ignatieff back to Harvard. Why would he want to remain where he’s not appreciated? For the sake of party unity, he may step aside. Or perhaps he’ll call for a full leadership review and let the chips fall where they may.

Listen carefully. If we hear increased mutterings from Grit ranks about uniting the left under the LPC banner, we’ll know Bob Rae’s up to no good.

To paraphrase the Bard, Yond Rae has a lean and hungry look.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. What would your advice have been to Stephen Harper in the summer/fall of 2004 and the fall of 2005 when he was at Ignatieff polling levels and was largely being written off and the discussion was all about who would replace him?

    And a slight correction: lying is a not a habit of Liberals... or is that your way of calling Stephen Harper and his government all liars?

  2. Old School, Harper received an 84% endorsement from delegates in the 2005 leadership review.

    Want to take bets on the support Ignatieff would get in a Liberal leadership review if one were held today?

    I'd have said to Stephen Harper back then, keep up the good works--the Grits are about to implode.