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Ignatieff inner circle shrinks, 2 more aides depart


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OTTAWA — The exodus continues from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's inner circle.

Two more aides confirmed late Friday they're leaving the leader's office, a week after Ignatieff turfed his chief of staff, Ian Davey.

Mark Sakamoto and Alexis Levine, both directors of political operations, are returning to the private sector. Both insist they're leaving voluntarily.

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Sounds like bad news for a party that I thought was going to be in much better shape in January last year.

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Globe and mail article today.

Follow the leader not the Liberals

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/bureau-blog/follow-the-leader-not-these-liberals/article1354792/

Michael Ignatieff needs to get a grip – on his caucus, on his party and on his staff. Too many of his Liberals are going rogue.

Eight of his MPs voted with the Tories this week to kill the long-gun registry. The Chrétien Liberals created the registry, spilling political blood to frame it into law. Privately, in the closed-door caucus meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Ignatieff urged his MPs to stand together and vote against the government. His pleas fell on deaf ears. However, Mr. Ignatieff reminded reporters that he was allowing his MPs to vote freely, and that it was a private member’s bill, not government legislation.

This week, too, Liberal president Alf Apps sent a note to colleagues and party supporters comparing the H1N1 vaccine crisis to the Bush government’s handling of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. More than a few Liberals were upset with the Apps hyperbole.

Then, Mr. Ignatieff’s hand-picked national party director, Rocco Rossi, was on Twitter, joking about swine flu and party patronage, saying “pork before swine.” A veteran Tory strategist called the Rossi joke “offensive.” Mr. Ignatieff didn’t offer any comment on the Apps/Rossi controversies.

It doesn’t end there: Ignatieff senior staffer Mark Sakamoto appeared on national television as an “ordinary citizen” complaining about the supply of the H1N1 vaccine. His cover was blown; the incident was embarrassing.

Mr. Sakamoto denied he was a plant. As parents of a newborn, he and his wife are on the priority list for the vaccine, and were waiting in line at a clinic when the interviewer approached. However, some believe the Ignatieff adviser should have known better.

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I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. I think that all parties have some good ideas (and some bad ones)...but the Liberals used to have a lot more (in my eyes anyway). Now they have no ideas, and I'm left with a choice between Conservatives and New Democrats. The Liberals have nothing to offer right now, and it seems a great many people feel the same way.

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I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. I think that all parties have some good ideas (and some bad ones)...but the Liberals used to have a lot more (in my eyes anyway). Now they have no ideas, and I'm left with a choice between Conservatives and New Democrats. The Liberals have nothing to offer right now, and it seems a great many people feel the same way.

I hear you the Liberal party left me a long time ago, I stood my ground and watched the NDP move to me.

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Sounds like bad news for a party that I thought was going to be in much better shape in January last year.

Think the politcal panel last week on CBC said that Peter Donolo was going to be bringing in better people to do the job. The Hill Times said they expected to be a number of people stepping down in light of that.

In other words, Donolo was not the only change that was anticipated. It would appear you were not one of the those people and that any changes in the office can only be regarded as negative.

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Think the politcal panel last week on CBC said that Peter Donolo was going to be bringing in better people to do the job. The Hill Times said they expected to be a number of people stepping down in light of that.

In other words, Donolo was not the only change that was anticipated. It would appear you were not one of the those people and that any changes in the office can only be regarded as negative.

By better people Dobbin means the same people that were charge during Adscam. The way to revitalize your party is to bring back all the players that caused the problem in the first place and push away the grass roots. This is what we are talking about with the Liberal party leaving the Liberals in the country. I am firmly NDP at least they Listen when I stand up at convention and dont tell not worry my pretty little head about party policy, at least they let me vote who will run in my ridding, at least they ask me what I think of the leader and who runs the party. Democracy has left the Liberal party and in doing so the Liberal party has left Canadians.

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By better people Dobbin means the same people that were charge during Adscam. The way to revitalize your party is to bring back all the players that caused the problem in the first place and push away the grass roots. This is what we are talking about with the Liberal party leaving the Liberals in the country. I am firmly NDP at least they Listen when I stand up at convention and dont tell not worry my pretty little head about party policy, at least they let me vote who will run in my ridding, at least they ask me what I think of the leader and who runs the party. Democracy has left the Liberal party and in doing so the Liberal party has left Canadians.

This is how the Conservatives did it, Mulroney was never far from the ear of Stephen Harper during Harper's elections. The fact its worked for them probably says more about the quality of the voters they attract than anything else, clearly they can be pushed a long away without noticing a thing.

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I don't want to be too critical of the Liberal party but they have some deep rooted problems. They've been reduced to mainly being a Toronto/Montreal party and the avg age of their MP's is what over 60???? Where's the fresh blood instead I see a lot of politicians who have grown stale being in the house since 1993.

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It's rather sad. The once great party which I was usually in agreement with is almost completely gone. I'm thinking of canceling my membership. They certainly don't represent my values anymore.

From Stateside, the trouble with the LPC is that it never has had any "values". It was, for example, against gay marriage until it was for gay marriage. It organized the Afghanistan deployment it now deplores. The LPC's views go wherever the wind goes.

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Th Liberal party doesn't deplore the Afghan mission. Part of it does, I'm sure, but part of it always have. The ability to be pragmatic is the key to success in Canada. That's the exact reason that the Conservative party now does so well.

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The fact its worked for them probably says more about the quality of the voters they attract than anything else, clearly they can be pushed a long away without noticing a thing.

My sentiment exactly. A bored, aging country, stricken by alternating fobias of terrorisms or miscellaneous flues, wants no bold decisions, strong principles, has no desire or will for change. Pay less and do nothing, with that anything goes. Oh yeah, and take good care of my hip / arthritis. Is it of any surprise that both main parties offer just that? Any we won't be getting anything much different anytime soon. No, I doubt that even a bunch of fresh faces would make a huge lot of difference.

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I think to say the ship is sinking is an overstatement. Don't get me wrong all is not well in the LPC but I have confidence that some form of it will rise again; it has to. They were once upon a time the perfect middle ground between the NDP and the CPC. Having said that what is to be done in the mean time? The chances of the NDP moving to me are slim to none and it is far more likely that the CPC will move closer to my personal views. If only they'd distance themselves from the social conservatives in their ranks I could vote for them. However, the Toronto Pride/Diversite fiasco reminded me that social conservatism still holds far too much sway in that party.

So I'm left in a lurch, I can't in good conscience vote for the NDP as they wish to socialize/nationalize far more than what I'm comfortable with but on the social issues I'm in relative agreement with them. The CPC are just about where I like them to be in terms of spending priorities but are about 30 years behind on social issues. The LPC is closest to where I like on most counts but they are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to a number of reasons. This makes me wonder if a vote for the LPC isn't about the same as a vote for the GPC.

I think inevitably either the CPC will move to where the LPC once was or another party will be created to fill the gap between the CPC and the NDP.

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And what if there isn't any such gap, anymore? If we only want continuation of the status quo, no cent spent on any change or innovation (like sustainable economy; international initiatives; truly peaceful foreign policy), unless it's for my very own hip replacement? Why would we need more than one party then (and even that mostly for entertainment purposes)?

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Dave_ON,

So I'm left in a lurch, I can't in good conscience vote for the NDP as they wish to socialize/nationalize far more than what I'm comfortable with but on the social issues I'm in relative agreement with them. The CPC are just about where I like them to be in terms of spending priorities but are about 30 years behind on social issues. The LPC is closest to where I like on most counts but they are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to a number of reasons. This makes me wonder if a vote for the LPC isn't about the same as a vote for the GPC.

I think the parties' policies are actually closer than they have been in a long time. The ideology and rhetoric makes them sound like they always did, but there isn't much difference there.

Vote for whomever you have confidence in managing the country adroitly. Harper is the obvious choice, given that he's been doing it for awhile now, but then again who knows what a majority may bring.

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And what if there isn't any such gap, anymore? If we only want continuation of the status quo, no cent spent on any change or innovation (like sustainable economy; international initiatives; truly peaceful foreign policy), unless it's for my very own hip replacement? Why would we need more than one party then (and even that mostly for entertainment purposes)?

I think the gap is very much still alive and well and felt by many Canadians like myself. We need a socially liberal and fiscally restrained government. Neither the NDP nor the CPC can fit that bill at present.

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Dave_ON,

I think the parties' policies are actually closer than they have been in a long time. The ideology and rhetoric makes them sound like they always did, but there isn't much difference there.

Vote for whomever you have confidence in managing the country adroitly. Harper is the obvious choice, given that he's been doing it for awhile now, but then again who knows what a majority may bring.

I don't disagree, but a major issue for me is a parties stand on Gay rights and other social issues. If a party doesn't believe in upholding these or is willing to sacrifice them to appease a fringe group of religious supporters I can't support them. I honestly think it will take a CPC majority for the LPC to be able to rebuild itself and become more viable. The only trouble is every time the CPC is within striking distance someone opens their mouth and inserts their foot.

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I think the gap is very much still alive and well and felt by many Canadians like myself. We need a socially liberal and fiscally restrained government. Neither the NDP nor the CPC can fit that bill at present.

I'm not at all sure about that "very much" part. Some voters, maybe. But the majority? How much of the cash destined to feed SUV, yet another home reno or vacation trip would it care to divert to those "socially liberal" policies and initiatives, unless they are destined only to fly as empty words in the wind? We've seen it with the "Green shift". There's a saying something to the extent that "staying still is going back". So obviously, majority of Canada is in no way interested in going anywhere (like environment friendly, sustainable economy, social policies, like meaningful child care, accessible college education, investment in modern city infrastructure, urban transit, high speed trains, etc), just staying where we are and enjoying what we have. And one doesn't need a whole lot of creative political contest just to stay where they are, pretty much any one party will do, as long as it doesn't screw up majorly. Is this condition temporary, I don't know but I'd like to think so, if only for the sake of my kid, who'd otherwise be running a serious risk of succumbing to fatal boredom long before old age.

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So I'm left in a lurch, I can't in good conscience vote for the NDP as they wish to socialize/nationalize far more than what I'm comfortable with but on the social issues I'm in relative agreement with them. The CPC are just about where I like them to be in terms of spending priorities but are about 30 years behind on social issues. The LPC is closest to where I like on most counts but they are becoming increasingly irrelevant due to a number of reasons. This makes me wonder if a vote for the LPC isn't about the same as a vote for the GPC.
Remember, even if the CPC got a majority the courts would prevent much of a "lurch" to the right on social issues.
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