Northern Liberals Unsettled By Leadership Issue

Tuesday, December 09, 2008 at 15:15



A long-time Liberal member from northern Saskatchewan is questioning the wisdom of appointing a federal leader.


Jimmy Durocher was a vocal opponent of the party’s decision to appoint Joan Beatty as the Liberal candidate when she ran in the Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River by-election earlier this year.


Beatty lost that campaign, and Durocher says he sees similarities between what she went through and the situation surrounding Michael Ignatieff.


Ignatieff is poised to become the party’s next leader after rival Bob Rae’s announcement today that he is conceding the leadership race to Ignatieff.


Prior to today’s announcement, Rae had been critical of the decision to not let party members across the country decide the leadership.


Durocher says the party loses out when grassroots members are kept on the sidelines.


He doesn’t believe party officials when say they don’t have time to do a conventional nomination.


Durocher says a federal election can be carried out in five weeks, and he wonders why a nationwide nomination process can’t be done in the same timeframe.


He says every card-carrying member should get a say in who their national leader will be.


The most-recent Liberal candidate in Northern Saskatchewan also wishes his party would hold a traditional contest for a new federal leader.


David Orchard says both Ignatieff and Rae were worthy candidates for the top post, and the leadership should have been decided through a nomination process.


Regardless, Orchard says he wants to see the coalition government proposal proceed.