Sunday, April 15, 2007

Liberal Party feud breaks open ... good!

Liberal Party feud breaks open ...

Yesterday, Bourque was first to reveal a Liberal family feud between senior party strategists Ray Heard and Scott Reid over the relative value of Citoyen Dion's leadership and whether or not it was time to pull the plug on Dion for the good of the party (see below).

Today, Bourque has learned that the two have been asked to square off on cable TV in a verbal joust to be hosted by Parliament Hill longtimer Mike Duffy.

It's not quite a "Thrilla in Manilla", but the reverberations of this open wound point to a deep gash within the country's so-called natural governing party. Call it a continental divide, if you will, a test of wills still simmering since last year's inconclusive leadership race foisted an unprepapred third-tier Chretien-era Cabinet minister to the top of an unsuspecting and unexpecting tribal alliance of Liberals still licking their wounds over their recent loss at the polls.

The Dion leadership is now a big question mark within the party.

"Fact is, many senior Grits are absolutely appalled but afraid to speak out", acknowledged Mr. Heard, in an email to this scribbler.

As one prominent Liberal blogger put it to Bourque in an email last night, "it's like Chance the gardener from the movie Being There has come to life and is now running the party". Or so it would seem.

This latest public display of (dis)affection is the talk of the weekend in Liberal circles and promises deeper ramifications in the weeks to come.

Now, Bourque has obtained a copy of an email sent by Ray Heard to a couple of reporters less than 48 hours ago, in which he refers to the hapless Dion-May deal as a "devil's pact" and where he offers his views "on the record":

"I say this on the record. Some Liberals feel today Mr. Dion should be forced to quit as leader. His deal with Elizabeth May, a social reactionary, is the very last straw. It denigrates the tradition that the Liberals are a national party. Though he was the architect of the Clarity Act, Dion is cynically kowtowing to the decentralists in Quebec; he does not, like his predecessors, speak up for Canada any more.. He refused to support extending the terrorism provisions Bob Rae said were needed to find the Air India terrorists. He is fudging the commitment to fight terrorists in Afghanistan his own government made. He is surrounded by a bunch of control-freaks who will not accept the offers of veteran strategists, who date back to Trudeau, to help with policy. Both Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae are eminently qualified to succeed him before the next election and I cannot fault their supporters for plotting to dump him before its too late." - Ray Heard

And so, yes, a fractured Liberal Party is set to (not so) quietly unravel.


Saturday, April 14

From Heard to Reid ... and from Reid to Heard ...

To Scott Reid
"Your performance in defending that idiot savant, Stephane Dion, on the Duffy show yesterday confirms beyond question you are the sub-Arctic Comical Ali of the Liberal Party. Defending the indefensible has become your forte in a crowded field of amateur Liberal spin-doctors. Your fractured rhetoric underscores that your background before joining Paul Martin was strictly municipal.

However, you were dead on when you called me a "whiner" because, perhaps like Thersites in The Iliad, I have always spoken out when there is time to avoid disaster.

Thus, I publicly warned Paul Martin that you and the other thugs in his entourage would take him right down the tube if he didn't dump you during his long quest to topple Chr├ętien. My counsel was to love Chr├ętien to death to get him to depart gracefully. When I did this, you lectured me in an endless email. In a career that includes covering the White House, editing a metropolitan daily and running a network news division, I have never been addressed in such juvenile terms.

Thus, at Royal Bank, I advised Cleghorn and Barrett their merger would be dead on arrival unless they gave notice of their intentions to Chretrien and Martin.

Thus, covering LBJ and Nixon, inspired by I.F. Stone, I saw a disaster pending in Viet Nam.

So now the battle is joined, Reid. I love a fight, whether physical or verbal, as you shall learn."

Ray Heard

To Ray Heard
Thank you for the note Mr Heard.

When appearing in media on behalf of the Liberal Party, I take the position that I should offer a vigorous defence of the Liberal Party and its Leader. And I'm proud to have that opportunity because I believe strongly in the Liberal Party of Canada.

I make no claim to perfection. And I've never reacted to any of the public criticisms you've leveled against me personally. In spite of the fact that we've never met or spoken I felt you had every right to critique my conduct while I worked for Mr Martin.

Yesterday, I was asked for my opinion on your call to unseat our leader before the next election. I gave my opinion and I stand by it.




Scott Tribe said...

I can only presume that this is the NDP side of the duo here.. regardless who it is (and you guys still refuse to publicly identify which is who when you post) for you to use "Citoyen Dion" - which is a Blogging Tory term of denigration - is beyond the pale.. regardless of which one of you used it.

audacious said...

go back to your corner Scott

lance said...

Borque used it Scott. Click the link.


James Bowie said...

a few things.

1. This is not an inner-party conflict. Neither Scott Reid nor that other fellow is currently part of the team. They're just two old comms guys from short-lived administrations.

2. Bourque did use the term "Citoyen Dion," which is vituperative. It is true, however, that Stephane Dion is a citizen of France. So what can you do?

3. No comms guy, Reid included, in his right mind would agree to debate this kind of idiotic fluff. We're in opposition. We debate the governments record. Period. Full stop.

4. Scott Tribe is a nice guy.

jeff davidson said...

spin spin whiskey and gin....

at 14 points in the polls, dippers should worry about their own meltdown.

audacious said...

ah, i suspect the fall of dion will come first!