Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bob Rae Permanently Drops Out Of The Liberal Party Leadership Race

Wow. I didn't see this one coming. The political drama in Ottawa, Canada's capital, continues to unfold as the country's former governing Liberal party tries desperately to appear united behind one leader. Michael Ignatieff is now poised to be that leader. The question is, will he honour the Liberal's commitment to the recently formed coalition with the New Democrat Party, or... will he decide the Liberals can successfully challenge Canada's current Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, on their own? Either way, it's clear that the crisis in Canadian politics is far from over.

Canada.com reports:
(Ottawa, Canada) Bob Rae (pictured right) is dropping out of the Liberal leadership race paving the way for Michael Ignatieff's (pictured left) acclamation as the party's new chief as early as Wednesday. Rae told his supporters in a conference call Tuesday morning that he is not letting his name stand as a candidate for interim leader of the party, nor will he be trying for the job later when the party has a convention in May.

Stephane Dion (pictured) intended to stay on as leader until a replacement was chosen at the May convention, but pressure to bump up the selection process mounted after the Liberals and New Democrats (NDP) formed a coalition and vowed to defeat the Conservatives at the earliest opportunity. Dion announced Monday that he agreed with other Liberals that his replacement should be in place before Parliament resumes Jan. 26 and that he would step down as soon as his successor was chosen. Bob Rae, the Toronto Member of Parliament and former Ontario premier has a news conference scheduled for 1 p.m. ET in Ottawa where he will explain his decision. Rae's withdrawal comes a day after the third candidate in the race, Dominic LeBlanc, bowed out and pledged his support to Ignatieff, whom LeBlanc has described as the consensus choice of the party. Ignatieff is believed to have the support of more than two-thirds of the Liberal caucus. READ MORE