A local Liberal candidate says he hopes Michael Ignatieff will take over the party's leadership one day.
Gerry Lenoski, candidate for Burnaby-New Westminster, made the comments Thursday, the same day Ignatieff was scheduled to appear in Burnaby.
Some Liberals have been casting doubt on Stéphane Dion's leadership as polls show him lagging behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper."Some day Mr. Dion may not be leader, and I hope Michael Ignatieff will replace him," Lenoski said in an interview. "Everybody has a best before date."
Lenoski's comments would not have been as bad if they hadn't come after weeks of Liberal insiders trashing Dion. It's obvious that many Liberals think that Dion is well past his "best before date" and is starting to stink up the fridge.
Here is a sampling of some of the coverage Dion has been getting:
In the 2008 election, Dion has been a flop. Inside the party, there is disarray. Reporter Linda Diebel documented earlier this week in the Star a litany of campaign missteps, from the failure to have an airplane on deck at the election start to Dion's refusal to listen to anyone's advice.
Many Toronto-area Liberal MPs are furious with Dion, who seems oblivious to their concerns and their suggestions. And some long-time loyalists who knock on doors and stuff envelopes are sitting this one out, uninspired by their leader.
A number of senior Liberals tell me privately they feel Dion is an embarrassment – not an asset – for the party and that a thrashing on voting day, which they fully expect, is what the Liberals need before they can regroup and rebuild.
And if the polls are right, a humbling defeat is what Dion and the Liberals are facing. - Toronto Star "The Worst Liberal Campaign Ever" Sept 18, 2008
As one senior Liberal insider puts it: "For us to make any significant gains would require that just about everything go terribly wrong for the Conservatives."
Another muses that perhaps Dion should be dispatched to campaign in Newfoundland for the rest of the election, leaving Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff to lead the fight for seat-rich Ontario.
Among a dozen veteran Liberal stalwarts and strategists we interviewed last week, most privately admit they are no longer worrying about winning as much as avoiding losing in a carnage that could deep-six the party for a decade or more. -London Free Press
Wait, there's more:
Why Mr. Dion hasn't trundled out Mr. Rae and Michael Ignatieff sooner is a mystery -- well, maybe not a big one -- but he didn't have much choice given the funereal tenor his ill-starred journey has taken on. Even the Liberals' balky old campaign plane won't co-operate -- the rented 737 had to put down in Montreal for repairs, forcing Mr. Dion to rent a Bombardier borrowed from Porter Air to get out of town. You know you're in trouble when the ever-loyal Toronto Star refers to your "flagging campaign" in the first paragraph of its news report, while its big-name columnists line up to write your obituary. Chantal Hebert gave Mr. Dion a week at most to turn things around; James Travers suggests local MPs are just hoping to survive the slaughter.
Someone in the Liberal camp who doesn't like Mr. Dion has been talking to the papers, and stories about intrigue sourced to unnamed Liberals appeared in both the Globe and Star. The reports had similar themes: he doesn't listen to advice; he ignores the party's seasoned old guard; he micromanages down to vetting campaign ads; he's failed to mend fences since the leadership race or to share the stage with more popular figures who could leaven his stodgy image; and most of all he seems to have no idea the campaign is meandering along in no particular direction. -National Post, Sept 17, 2008
I have a whole other post full of other examples. These are just the ones I found without looking too hard. The big story on the Liberals this election is how badly they are tanking.
One thing is for sure, the knives have been sharpened and will be coming from all directions if Dion fails to deliver in the debates.