Last week we left the Conservative party pitted against the opposition coalition of Liberals, New Democrats (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois led by Liberal leader Stéphane Dion. Dion was the man Canadians voters handed the worst outcome Liberals have had in decades. With that kind of opposition Canadians were willing to forgive Prime Minister Stephen Harper for stripping the opposition parties of their federal grant money of $1.95 for every vote received. This would essentially have resulted in wiping them out financially.
The Liberals were not about to sit on their hands until the House of Commons resumes from their enforced holiday on January 27, 2008. They have not been known as the "natural governing party" for nothing. Their leadership convention was scheduled for May of next year. The three candidates were Michael Ignatieff M.P., Bob Rae M.P. and Dominic LeBlanc M.P.
First to drop out was LeBlanc, the youngest of the lot, throwing his support behind Ignatieff.
This now left Ignatieff and Rae. Ignatieff had the support of most of the Liberal caucus and the party executive. The Liberal members of the House were probably encouraged by the fact that when Ignatieff stood to speak in the house, Harper became very nervous.
Rae has proximity to the left and would have been able drain away some of the NDP support, he said. That didn't translate to member or executive and parliamentary support. Rae was for the coalition (of the damned) whereas Ignatieff was not.
The executive of the party and the caucus swung into action and within days named Ignatieff as interim leader and started to put pressure on Rae to quit the leadership race. Rae saw the writing on the caucus wall and on Tuesday, December 9 Rae stopped contesting the interim leadership and also the actual leadership.
Ignatieff is the grandson of minister in the government of the last Russian Tsar (Count Pavel Ignatiev) and from his mother’s side a Grant, who were in education and heavy literature. He has a doctorate in history from Harvard where he taught for thirty years.
Ignatieff was again acclaimed (he was acclaimed as Liberal candidate) and while populist Rae opposed this Count Ignatieff probably thought this was quite correct. Count Iggy has now been promoted to prince and is priming himself to being crowned king. For this final coronation, he will need to electioneer hard.
Count Iggy is crowned Liberal leader