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article imageCanadian Liberal Party Need New Leader Now, Rae and Ignatieff Announce

By Bob Ewing     Dec 7, 2008 in Politics
Both Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff say the Liberal Party needs a new leader before the Canadian Parliament resumes sitting in January 2009.
They want him gone and soon. The two contenders for Stéphane Dion's job say the Liberal party needs a new, permanent leader before Parliament resumes on Jan. 26. There are reports that Dion may step down within days,
"We need to find a leader of the party before the House comes back at the end of January," leadership candidate Bob Rae told CBC News on Sunday."
There is buzz that Dion may resign at a Liberal caucus meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
Adding to the interest, there is speculation that New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc, the third candidate in the leadership race, will pull out of the race Monday and throw his support behind front-runner Michael Ignatieff; however, no decision has been made "at this time."
"Mr. Dion has indicated that as soon as a new leader is chosen, he will step down, and I think the party is obviously considering ways in which the leadership race can be moved forward," Rae said.
Ignatieff said,"There's an emerging feeling in the caucus that, given the importance of this [Jan. 27 budget] vote in late January, it would be appropriate to have a permanent leader in place," he said. "The caucus is considering various options about how to do that."
"As a Liberal, I believe the first step for my party is to replace Stéphane Dion as leader with someone whose first job is to rebuild the Liberal party, rather than leading a coalition with the NDP," John Manley said.
"Mr. Dion had seemed to accept responsibility for the defeat (although somewhat reluctantly), and should have left his post immediately" after the vote, wrote Manley, who is now a counsel at McCarthy Tétrault LLP.
"Furthermore, in agreeing to the terms of the coalition with the NDP and the Bloc, Mr. Dion bound his successor to a controversial arrangement without even consulting any of the candidates to succeed him in the process, leaving them no option but to endorse it or break with him as party leader."
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