University of Toronto
2 min

Beware the ides of December!

Okay, perhaps it’s not quite the ides of December – that’s not technically until the 13th, but by Wednesday the 10th, Stéphane Dion might find that he’s about to find himself stabbed in the back – metaphorically, of course.

Word leaking from the Liberal caucus all weekend has culminated to this conclusion – that Dominic LeBlanc is poised to withdraw from the leadership and back Michael Ignatieff.  After all, the events of the last week have demonstrated the necessity for the party to have a proper leader to be installed before the January 27th budget.

There had been talk of trying to accelerate the leadership selection process that would have perhaps allowed some form of online or phone voting system which would have ended the delegated selection process, and instead been something more akin to a one-member one-vote system that some factions of the party have been pushing for. Rae, understandably, is pushing for this proposal.  But word is also that the national party executives were cool to that proposal, and instead, we could see the next leader voted in by caucus and the national executive, and that leader would almost certainly be Ignatieff.

What does this mean for the fate of the coalition? Well, Ignatieff said yesterday “Coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition.” This rather echoes the talk that he is cool to the notion of the coalition and given the polling data, that the thought of a coalition is in fact more unpopular with the voters, then it may be savvy for him to keep such a position, while Rae plans to head across the country to champion it.

The Liberal caucus is meeting Wednesday at their regularly scheduled time. It seems that it will be the moment of truth for Dion and the Liberal party as a whole.



There were some great reads on the past week to be found over the weekend:
-The CBC’s senior Parliamentary editor, Don Newman, reflects on the lessons learned from the past week.
-The Toronto Star’s bureau chief takes a look at Stephen Harper, and finds that Harper simply couldn’t help himself when he was so base and partisan, and that it sounds like there has been a lot of shouting and rather colourful language echoing through the halls of the Langevin Block.
-Some constitutional scholars dissect just what happened at Rideau Hall on Thursday morning.
-At the Whistler Film Festival, Donald Sutherland joked about proroguing the jury should they get deadlocked, and apparently he called up Adrienne Clarkson while last week’s shenanigans happened. Word is she wished she were still in Rideau Hall so that she could reject Harper’s request to shut down the Commons.  That makes two former GGs to take that position.