Friday, September 25, 2009

Outremont est Ouvert: Iggy, Coderre concede to Cauchon

Well! No sooner had I suggested in the comments over on Pogge's excellent blog that the Liberals would be wise to allow Martin Cauchon to try and unseat the NDP's Thomas Mulcair in his old Outremont stomping grounds than the G&M reports that they are apparently taking my advice.
Party insiders say Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has decided to allow an open nomination contest in the prized Montreal riding of Outremont.

Earlier this week, Mr. Ignatieff declared that the riding had been reserved for businesswoman Nathalie Le Prohon.

Mr. Ignatieff made that decision despite Mr. Cauchon's expressed interest in making a comeback in the riding he represented for 11 years before retiring from politics in 2004.

But insiders say Mr. Ignatieff relented in the face of a fierce party backlash and decided to give Ms. Le Prohon another Montreal riding – Jeanne-Le Ber.
Amazingly, I even called the bit about offering up Le Prohon to Jeanne-Le Ber. Cauchon was a Chr├ętienite whom Paul Martin Jr. didn't want hanging around too long once he became leader. Why he stayed out of politics with Dion's return is unclear, but if the Liberal tradition of alternating english and french leaders continues, then maybe that has something to do with Coderre's earlier reticence at welcoming him back.

At any rate, Cauchon was a fine Justice Minister who fought the good fight on Same-Sex marriage and he deserves to have a crack at winning the nomination in his old riding. And it's good to see Ignatieff has enough grace to admit when a mistake has been made, and then reverse it.

But not so fast, Iggy: what about St├ęphane?

(H/T to Mark Francis over at Secion 15)

- 30 -


Patrick Ross said...

Cauchon vs Mulcair would certainly a marquee contest.

Right now, I'd have to say that I'd place my bet on Mulcair -- that is, if I were a betting individual.

CK said...

I don't even know why this commotion began in the first place. Especially at a time when they have to be unified: beating Harpercons will be an uphill battle as it is & frankly, I don't think Iggy has the stuff to lead this party or any other party for that matter. However, for better or worse, he is all we got to fight ol' Stevie.

Cauchon would be absolutely the right choice to run against Mulcair. Quite honestly, I could never see Denis Coderre leading the party anytime down the road. As for Cauchon, who knows?

But what about Stephane Dion? He may have not succeeded as a leader, but he has had the riding of St-Laurent for many years. Indication that the folks of St-Laurent must like him & have confidence in him to represent them. Right now, Iggy should only stick to what's known to succeed & not experiment.

Scott in Montreal said...

@CK: I completely agree. The voters of Dion's riding know him and respect him and many of them sympathize with his efforts at communicating in his second language. He should win again, and would have been an amazing PM.

With Ignatieff, I am mostly concerned that he has no experience running stuff. As an academic and author, he didn't have a lot of chances to build managerial experience, nor develop the tools to deal with all the responsibility. But as you say, someone has to beat the Harpercons and Iggy is all we got.