Monday, August 3, 2009

Iggy's tour of Gaspe

Igantieff has been touring the Gaspe and Eastern Quebec this week, which makes sense, as the area contains a few ridings which could be Liberal pick-ups. Iggy paid particularly attention to the riding of Haute-Gaspésie – La Mitis – Matane – Matapédia, which former MNA Nancy Charest came within a few hundred votes of winning. Igantieff stated that he considered Charest, who was one of the first Liberal candidates to get formally nominated for the next election, a potential minister in a Liberal government. The area has been represented by the BQ since 1993, and Ignatieff was arguing for Gaspe to have a strong voice in government. Ignatieff said that making the Liberals a true national party was a top priority, as he "does not want to be the Prime Minister of just Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, I want to be Prime Minister for the regions."

Ignatieff had discussions with local mayors and other community leaders about issues such as EI and infrastructure spending. And in a bit of nomination news, according to this article: http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-soleil/actualites/politique/200908/02/01-889243-ignatieff-aspire-a-abaisser-le-seuil-dadmissibilite-a-lassurance-emploi.php says that Quebec Lt. Denis Coderre favours the return of 2008 candidate Denis Gaudreau in the area riding Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine, which was a top Tory target in 2008, but Gadreau ended up finishing ahead of the Conservative candidate. The riding was held by the Liberals until 2004, and the party has a decent shot of reclaiming it if Liberal numbers in the province stay strong.

3 comments:

Marie said...

Does that mean that Ignatieff would pass over long standing Liberal MP's for cabinet posts in favour of rookies?

When he is a rookie himself don't you think he would need at least a few in cabinet who have some experience. All of the "stars" they talk about are also newbies - Martha, Kennedy, the astronaul, Trudeau, etc.

None have ever been in government; never chaired a government committee, proposed a bill or held a federal government post.

He should be looking at people like Brison, Hedy Fry, Volpe, McCullum, Judy Sgro, Dosanj, Easter and I think there are a few more left who have been in cabinet.

Or is Ignatieff trying to wipe the former Liberal slate clean and start with all newbie cabinet ministers who would have to depend on more experienced beaurocrats to take the lead until they could get up to speed?

The Liberal Scarf said...

Well, for starters, Kennedy has tons of experience provincially, so saying he is a "rookie" is a bit misleading. Re-building the education system of Ontario post-Harris gave him more in government experience than most current Tory cabinet ministers.

Second, practically all of the names you mentioned will likely be in cabinet, so I don't really see Iggy saying one particular candidate is cabinet worthy as evidence of a sweep of longer serving MP's.

Third, Nancy Charest did serve a term as a Quebec MNA, so its not as if she is totally politically inexperienced.

Overall, I think an Iggy cabinet would have a healthy mix of experienced and established figures like McCallum, Brison, Rae, Coderre, Dosanji, etc, and some of the newer names like Charest and Garneau.

Marie said...

I agree that it's good that some have had provincial experience.
But, as for Kennedy - education is a provincial jurisdiction.
So are all kinds of things the old Liberals under Dion/Martin campaigned on (and the NDP still do) : child care, health care, social services, etc.
Quebec has a firewall against federal intrusions but the other provinces don't and let's hope Ignatieff Liberals will stick with federal issues for a change.