Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sign A Merger Will Not Happen

There is bound to be a lot of bad blood between Liberals and New Democrats after the latter started evicting a bunch of Liberal MPs, including Ralph Goodale, whom they have a bone to pick with.

From the Globe and Mail:
There is a dispute about an office. Parliament Hill status is defined in many ways, one of which is of course by office location. The most coveted are located in Centre Block, the jewel of the Parliament Buildings where one is closest to the action.

And so New Democrats have their eye on one fifth-floor office, in particular – that of deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale.

.... What rankles Grits is that Mr. Goodale has so much seniority and deserves a little respect, having served in senior cabinet posts from finance to natural resources to house leader.

.... Mr. Goodale’s eviction notice came Friday, according to the Liberals. No other accommodation was offered. Rather, once out the Saskatchewan MP will have to choose from the list of rejected and picked-over offices.
Now, to be fair to the NDP, they do have the right to pick what offices they want. No one really disputes this fact. But there is something fishy going on here, when it looks like the NDP are also going after Bob Rae, but leaving Stephane Dion alone in the Centre Block.

Don't get me wrong, I think Stephane is a stand up guy that deserves the spot - but there's not a single Dipper out there that can tell me that the evictions of Goodale and Rae, and presumably other Liberal MPs, isn't motivated by something other than "we get to choose." It's too convenient. C'mon, petty politics doesn't even escape the NDP, we know this.

Another sign a merger will not happen? This rambling post by Montreal Simon is a good reason. Where's the co-operation everyone on that side has been talking about? All I see is arrogance and hubris. You guys may deserve to act that way, but don't try and claim you aren't at the same time. C'mon, you're not fooling anyone.


  1. Since I am an old guy with a long memory, let me point out what Liberals did to the NDP Caucus after the 1993 election.

    In 1993, the NDP elected 9 MPs & the Chretien Libs formed government. The Libs had passed a House motion that stipulated a Party was required to have 10 elected MP's to constitute a Caucus. You needed to be a 'caucus' to obtain funding, joint office space, committee seats and questions in QP.

    A request by Opposition parties to recognize the 9 NDP MP's as a 'caucus' was rejected by the Liberals and from 1993 to 1997 there were treated as 9 Independent MP's without ANY caucus funding or shared caucus office space. NDP MP's were located all over place .. a Member here - a Member there ... etc. Not very fair but, hey the Liberals were entitled as the government to be as unfair as they wanted.

    New Democrats find it a bit odd that Mr. Goodale is respected enough by Liberals to warrant Centre Block offices, but not enough to be your Interim Leader nor official Leader.

  2. Buckdog,

    I'd actually want Goodale as an Interim leader, but he's never offered to stand up for the job. He does have to agree to the position too, you know.

    But, this seems all kind of petty, doesn't it? We had our fun in the past - aren't you guys supposed to be better than us, or something? Poor old Ralph has given the country quite a lot of service, not to mention that he's the only Opposition member from Saskatchewan. If Linda Duncan gets a Centre Block office, I think Ralph should as well. Stick it to the Cons, like the good ol' days.

  3. I live in Regina and know Ralph. He is a good man and will likely be the best Leader that the Liberal party never had. He speaks more french than the public knows, but the Party hierarchy will never allow him to be leader ... using a lack of french language ability as the rationale.

    Ralph has never been your party leader nor Mr. Rae. Mr. Dion has and he gets Centre Block accomodation.

    The thing to remember her is that the New Democratic Caucus has nothing to do with office space allocation. That is the responsibility of the Speaker's Office. The current Speaker (who remains until a new Speaker is elected) is a former Liberal MP who, I am sure, is following the established rules for space allotment.

    The NDP did NOT evict Mr. Goodale nor Mr. Rae.

  4. That's not what other folks are saying, and if it was just Milliken doing it, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be complaining. There's lobbying behind the scenes, that much is obvious.

    And Rae is the current leader, shouldn't that justify a spot?

  5. Under the Rules of the Federal Board of Internal Economy, the Speaker's Office allocates space for MP's. Of course everyone is lobbying ... Liberals included. Change is difficult. As for Rae, he is not Liberal Leader, he is an acting Interim leader.

  6. For a couple of years, 18 months at least; and given that he already has the space, why should he not keep it? I think a lot of NDP just want to stick it to him, and Goodale as well.

    I'm not saying the Liberals deserve the Centre Block offices, but there's a giant case of schadenfreude going on right now I'm sure.

  7. I have a feeling that Stephane Dion is being allowed to stay in the Centre Block less for the fact that he was the former leader of the Liberal Party and more for the coalition in 2008-2009.

  8. "...but there's a giant case of schadenfreude going on right now I'm sure."

    Politics is politics is politics. Cooperation may occur but it is less likely in a majority situation because, let's be frank, the Opposition doesn't have to cooperate with one another to achieve their goals. Jack wants to present themselves as the Government-in-Waiting (how entitled...) and the LPC will play the ironic role of the "alternative" to the governing Cons and out of touch NDP (sound familiar?)

    This role reversal has and/or will be gleefully lost on everyday Dippers who will line up to argue for their "justified" schadenfreude.

  9. The internal realities of political transitions (yes even among the opposition) are never pretty. Having to move your office is not nearly as bad in comparison to the number of Liberal staffers who lost their jobs because of the loss of their MP and OLO funding.

    If the NDP really wanted to sever the Liberal Party though, they'd play nice to all the careerists from the Liberals who are attempted to jump ship but need a hold a reason to hold their head up high within the NDP.

  10. sharon,

    Good point.


    Another good point. If this was a minority situation, I'd bet Goodale would have a shot at the the best office in the Block.

  11. Hey Spud... The Dippers are playing nice to Liberal "careerists". They're even approaching "politically savvy" Liberals out in the schticks to work for them since they have such a dearth of potential staffers who can guide absolute rookie MPs. If they had experienced MPs they would easily be able to slot in rookie staffers. With inexperienced MPs I've quite honestly even had NDP MPs contact me to "come help". New MPs need a whole lot of guidance on everything they do on a daily basis... not only on the Hill, but in constituency.

    My answer? It's not exactly a "super-duper" career to start with, not to mention the fact that I'm a Liberal for life. Sorry fellas. Should have stuck to your principles and focused on Harper during the election. Let's see if the NDP can find their principles to start actually "opposing" now.

  12. For the record, I would work with Dippers if necessary, but not necessarily for Dippers - meaning I'm happy to help out in municipal elections with an outright NDPer, but that allegiance ends when we start crossing jurisdictional lines.

    And how come I'm not getting any of these requests? I'm politically savvy, of a sort.

  13. All joking aside ... did Joe Clark have a Centre Block Office from 2000-2004? I did some quick research, but couldn't find anything. he may have been the leader of the 4th party, but he is RtHon - deserving of more respect than usual by the standards of this backing Goodale.

  14. I don't know, Eric... you'd think he might but I can see people slighting him for an office.