Yesterday, I watched in shock and dismay as Bob Rae, who I considered to be the best choice to lead the party, resign and give way to the Liberal Executive Branch who had decided some days ago to appoint Ignatieff. I realized like anyone else who's been watching the crisis within the party, that an Interim Leader would have to be put in place before the Budget announcement on January 27th. However, what really made me cry foul was when I learned that the small group of elites within the Party would actually be deciding matters on their own in a closed room -- as to who THEY thought should be appointed the new leader, and that by so eagerly pushing Ignatieff as the only choice, they were effectively letting Bob Rae know that he didn't stand a chance. There are thousands of Liberal Party Members across Canada and not even 10% of the total had any say about the matter.
Wasn't it just one week ago that they were accusing Harper of being a bully and not ready to listen to anyone else! The party's president announced yesterday that they really didn't have much choice given the short time frame within which they had to arrive at a decision. That is absolute NONSENSE! An interim leader could've been appointed in an Open and Democratic way in various ways -- and with the Technological means that are available to us in this day and age, there is no doubt that Voting could've been brought thru electonically or through e-mail. A working system could've been put into place within a week. Bob Rae being a strong team player within the party for over two decades handled himself with the poise and intellect that would be expected of such a long-time politician! Nevertheless, his understanding of how a democratic and fair process of choosing a leader should be handled had been tossed to the side by a few in the elite branch of the Liberal Party -- who I suspect had made up their mind some time ago, and went about their business of pushing their agenda to other Liberals in meetings behind closed doors, and other soft persuasive techniques -- until they convinced most in the Caucus that Ignatieff was the only choice! Quite frankly, I am appalled at how this was handled. We could've had an honest, open, and experienced Interim Leader at the helm of the party who is skilled in what he does, how he deals with the media, with questions, and shows a willingness to work with other minority partners -- such as the NDP. The Coalition had a very real purpose while Rae was in the running -- and that was to defeat Harper's government for the good of Canadians! Now, I am convinced that the Coalition Deal is dead in the water because the elite Liberals behind Ignatieff are convinced that they do not need the backing of the NDP, or the Bloc or anyone! Well, my gut tells me that they will be in for a rude awakening! Thanks to this undemocratic and unfair way they handled this matter -- the Harper government will actually gain strength and validity!
My dream for a new and more progressive coalition government to lead the people of Canada has died since yesterday's announcement -- and I'm sad to say that this will be bad for all Canadians and for the Democratic Principles that I so dearly cherish.