Accordingly, Apps said this in the Canadian Press article that followed the story:
Now, I don't want to simply be a contrarian here, but isn't Apps technically right? I remember the situation back in 2008-2009 when the vast majority of people, both members and caucus, and this includes Bob Rae's and Dominic LeBlanc's forces, agreed to allowing Ignatieff to serve as interim leader after Dion's departure/removal, yet still contest the next leadership race, because of the extraordinary circumstances we were put into at the time.Ignatieff did precisely that in 2008 but Apps said that was an unusual situation, in which Liberals were panicked by the possibility of a snap election into bending the rules. With Stephen Harper now firmly in control of a majority government, there's no similar pressure.
If this is true, then why does Apps get as much flak as he does? We are no longer in extraordinary circumstances, we're just in bad circumstances. However, with a majority government in place and four or five years to rebuild ourselves - three of those years on the per vote subsidy, meaning three years to wean ourselves off of it without fear of an election - it isn't exactly as if we're in panic mode right now. We have the time, unlike in 2008-2009, so why should the traditional rules be circumvented now?
In this case, I do kind of tend to agree with Apps. There's no reason to, and the folks claiming that it's stacking the deck against Rae or other contenders are crying over spilt milk. I wouldn't oppose it if the case was made out to be that the rules should change, and any interim leader can run in the next leadership race - however, to me, it seems that would probably end up endearing the interim leader to members, and really allowing for simple succession to occur without a proper race. The entire idea behind keeping interim leaders out of leadership races was to ensure that when the time came, after some of the heavy work was done and the party was settled, we could have an open race, and not have it already set beforehand.
I don't know - it could very well be that Apps is just being an ass and trying to ensure that Rae gets stuck between a rock and a hard place. This all being said, I don't see the disadvantage for Rae either; if the interim leader is, say, Goodale, then it takes out a major player that won't bother Rae in the leadership race. Really, why is there such a rush for Rae to be leader? Why can't he wait? Why not let the party begin the process of renewal, and let him bring forward his ideas on how to continue that renewal and propel it even further when the leadership race occurs?
I get the idea that Apps is an Iggy supporter and he just wants to screw the other guys over - but he's not doing it in such a way that gives an advantage to his side or any other side. We get an interim leader, like before, start the renewal process, then we get our leadership race. Everyone gets a fair shake, Rae or whoever else doesn't need to become leader right away. That was part of the problem last time - it's got to be party before your personal ambitions. Nothing else. Apps isn't doing or saying anything wrong now that goes against that.