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Which Liberal candidate would be best for the Tories?
Bob Rae
55%
 55%  [ 19 ]
Michael Ignatieff
14%
 14%  [ 5 ]
Stéphane Dion
20%
 20%  [ 7 ]
Gerard Kennedy
8%
 8%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 34

Author Message
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: Which Liberal candidate would be best for the Tories? Reply with quote

And why?

Note: I've only included the front-runners.
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Rae and Kennedy would allow the CPC to define the fight as left vs. right. A clear choice. Kennedy would be better because of his lower profile. But then again, Ontario remembers Rae.

Ignatieff would drive many Liberal lefties to vote NDP, splitting the vote.

Dion won't play as well in English Canada. I'm not sure of the value of his name recognition (I think Ignatieff ironically has better name recognition than Dion). Dion's camp will play him up as a smart scholarly professor. But, his English is relatively poor.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Ignatieff would probably provide almost the same government as the Tories, meaning that he would probably be best for the interests that the Tories represent, since of course parties and leaders in themselves are not that meaningful. As an academic, he may be tempted to be more radical on a number of fronts or act unexpectedly, though.

Bob Rae would simply be a foil where Harper will ask Ontarians if they want Ontario like it was in the early 1990s or the Ontario that exists today. He would probably take positions some older conservatives would be surprised by, as he would want to run as a "uniter." I don't see why anyone voting NDP or Conservative would switch to him, and I don't think many Quebeckers would think he would adequately represent their particular interests. Given that those are all types of voters the Liberals need swaths of for a majority, Bob Rae would probably lose badly to the Conservatives. So in this way he might be good. He may be bad if he shifts the debate to the left on a few issues, forcing Harper to co-opt some policies to win.

I think Kennedy and Dion would probably run on things that are far from exciting to the general population. This or that policy may be supported by this or that technocrat or leftist, but these people will not shift their support wildly and will probably represent little political power. Dion has a better chance of being favourably received by the elites if he focuses on his handouts to researchers and talks up maybe the need for a new wave of neoliberal austerity. Dion may well push through a number of positive reforms, but I think that he represents the "Starbucks" mentality that all the newspaper writers attack before returning to. Kennedy, to the public, is the equivalent of a generic Liberal / Democrat and could be shaped in any direction. As some have said, he may well take a McGuinty lap before winning. I think that Dion has the potential to collapse further than Kennedy, and is less likely to win big than Kennedy, so he would probably be third best for small-c conservatives.
CC Scott





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What? No Scott Brison or Hedy Fry?
Stephen





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Hedy Fry might be the greatest thing that could ever happen for the Conservatives.

But, she's not a serious contender.

:cry:
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Michael Ignatieff would probably provide almost the same government as the Tories, meaning that he would probably be best for the interests that the Tories represent


I agree with you in theory but I'm concerned about who actually calls the shots in the Liberal Party. I still question today why Paul Martin took the party so far to the left. I don't believe he would have done that had he been calling the shots. The strategists have decided that the Liberal Party needs to squeeze out the NDP and therefore whoever wins will have to bend to that desire I fear.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll admit to favouring Bob Rae for losing against the Tories, for most of the reasons already stated. However, it's entirely possible that if he's elected, we might get a stampede of 'progressives' from the NDP to the Libs, sensing a chance to finally get established - and the few remaining 'blue libs' would probably just give up on voting altogether, rather than hoppoing on with the Tories...

Just food for thought.
Arabian Knight





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dion won't play as well in English Canada.


And you know what? He won`t exactly play well in French Canada either. The man is despised for the Clarity act among soft nationalists, he`s not liked by the rural voters outside of Montreal (e.g. Sagnay, Beauce), he`s seen as an elitist in Quebec City at least according to the Radio commentary from there) and he`s well known to be Chretien`s boy from his days as Minister for Intergovernmental affaires.

Truth be told, he won`t get the Liberals very far in Quebec. Probably hang on the seats the currently have, but that`s about it.

That`s at least the impression I`m getting when I talk to some Quebecers about the race.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I still question today why Paul Martin took the party so far to the left.
This appears to be true for a number of reasons, although the characterization is ultimately false. First is that he knew that a merged conservative party would probably do 30% at the polls minimum, meaning he had to hack at soft social-democratic votes in Quebec and elsewhere. Second is that he defined himself as essentially the perfect fix-it man, which left him with a large weight of expectations once he took the leadership, and froze him into multibillion dollar committments in areas like health care, child care, native issues, etc. He simply couldn't fail those high expectations or else he would totally collapse, he felt. Once the polls started to reflect this it built up a dangerous situation where he had to pour water on every fire. This created the perception of moving to the Left, which they accepted in rhetoric, but there was little or no content to this perception. All of the moves were consistent with average pro-business technocratic government. Any "frills" to this approach that existed were removed with Harper, who simply took the basic Liberal program and converted it into conservative-sounding policy. Of course, over the rough decade that Martin wielded strong influence, it was almost categorically to repeat standard neoliberal mantras on debt and taxes, and was quite hostile to social programs.

Naturally, we are talking about the very small band in which parliamentary politics moves. Conservatives should not worry, the fundamentals are too important to be left to elections.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Quote:
I still question today why Paul Martin took the party so far to the left.
This appears to be true for a number of reasons, although the characterization is ultimately false. First is that he knew that a merged conservative party would probably do 30% at the polls minimum, meaning he had to hack at soft social-democratic votes in Quebec and elsewhere.


But people feared Mr. Harper in those early days. Had Martin remained a fiscal conservative I believe he would have planted Harper's feet in cement. I even liked the old Martin circa 1995. Harper would not have been able to break through if Martin had remained the deficit slaying champion. He really only fixed one thing in his tenure as finance minister and that was the deficit - that is why people loved him. I see what you are saying but given Harper at the helm of the merged party I think it was a strategic mis-step to give Mr. Harper room to move. Mr. Harper essentially became Paul Martin of 1995.
Donald Hughes





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the question is what else did you want or expect Martin to do. The only way Martin could have remained a "fiscal conservative" is if he was seen as delivering new goodies to the business types. But remember that Manley already increased spending in the pre-Martin budget, and Martin had those huge expectations. Also remember that he did desperately try to quickly ditch a lot of this spending or recast it as his own. And also remember that he did include a broad tax relief package as part of his pre-election budget. Where are votes Martin would have gained had he been more austere in budgeting and in what way? I don't see it. In any case, of course, the majority of Canadians voted NDP, Green or Liberal. In some places, the Tories won seats simply by talking about "accountability", something that has nothing to do with specific Tory policies, a reality that has always been true for the vaguely social-democratic BQ. And again, there was no major divergence in Tory or Liberal platforms other than culture. But also we must return to the point that he could have cut back on spending in some areas all day, at the end of the day business cares a lot more about "corporate chequebook" issues like "research" funding and corporate tax cuts. Harper didn't scare them enough on either count.
kwlafayette





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Dion wins, Harper might actually end up with a fight on his hands. Bob rae may not be popular, but I don't think he would make any mistakes during a campaign.

With Ignatieff and Kennedy, there will be rookie mistakes. The Liberals cannot play the anti-American card if they pick someone, who for all intents and purposes is an american, as their leader.

Still, I think Kennedy would be the easiet for the CPC to take down. Ignatieff is very smart, and being more right wing than Harper (as an American), hos policy might be tough to beat.
Jason





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ignatieff would certainly make the campaign interesting to watch. Not for the Liberals though. They'll lose lots of centre-left support to the NDP as their party divides. They won't get much from the Conservatives unless the government's performance takes a turn for the worse.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donald Hughes wrote:
Where are votes Martin would have gained had he been more austere in budgeting and in what way? I don't see it.


A lot more Progressive Conservatives would have went with Martin if he hadn't gone off the deep end in terms of spending. I can't say for certain, but I would bet he would have faired better if he had made debt reduction a larger part of his strategy.
cbasu





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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

None of the above.

The Liberal Party of Canada is an election winning machine. It would be a mistake for the Conservative Party to discount any of the putative leadership contenders.

The Liberals wrote-off Stephen Harper. Remember?
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Which Liberal candidate would be best for the Tories?

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