Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Bottom Line: "Liberals couldn't fund it, even if they wanted to."

Mike Duffy's comments on Bob Rae dropping out of the Liberal leadership race....


Tom Clark and Mike Duffy on CTV News at 6:00;

Tom Clark: I know Bob Rae did the math, he knew that he could not win, but when he believes in something he speaks so eloquently, so passionately about it, yesterday arguing so vociferously about the need for grassroots democracy, about the party members picking the party leader. Today, exit stage left?

Mike Duffy: The Nation executive said "OK, Bob, yes we'll have a vote of riding presidents and so on and we will do it next Wednesday or Thursday". So there was no time for Bob Rae to go out coast to coast and meet all kinds of grassroots liberals and bring them on side, no time to sell memberships; a big part of his winning strategy, had he had four or five months to do it, was bring new people in, environmentalists, social activists, trade unionists, to bring them into the Liberal tent because he is a popular figure with those people, and have them become Liberals and vote for him. He didn't have the time to do that, so he recognized today he better get out.

Clark: One of things he spoke to the media today about, and I'm sure you heard it before, but he reiterated that regardless of what is in the budget on Jan 26th, he wants it voted down. I've heard same thing from NDP, but is that really the message the coalition wants to put out because then it looks like it's only about grabbing power, and then, by the way, is there any point in the Government consulting the Oppositon for budget input, when that is the answer?

Duffy: Well, the Prime Minister said this afternoon he want to get input, particularly from Liberals, on the budget, and the reason Bob Rae is so hard in favour of getting in to this deal with the coalition, and he signed the paper, was that he was hoping some of those NDPers would come across and vote for him as Liberal party leader. Now that he is no longer in the leadership race I think you'll see Michael Ignatieff growing his own vote, and this whole thing about an election at the end of January, first of February, we've checked all the math: Liberals couldn't fund it, even if they wanted to. It's got to be at least six month down the road before they get their rebates from the federal government that they could consider going to an election.

So provoking a constitutional crisis really is all about the $1.95 subsidy, about returning to the government benches without spending any money, because the Liberals are broke. How desparate can you get?


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