The Future of the Liberals

The once mighty Liberals have been reduced to a rump. The Party's worst showing in Canadian history. Leader Michael Ignatieff lost his own seat, this morning he gave up the leadership. Some speculate the party could spend years in the political wilderness. We ask about the fate of the Liberal Party.


The Future of the Liberals - Panel

We started this segment with a clip from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaking this morning announcing he will ask Saskatchewan MP, Ralph Goodale to convene a meeting next week to choose a new leader of the Liberal caucus ... so that there is a new leader of the caucus as the party goes back into the House of Commons. And announcing that he expects the party to find a new leader of the party perhaps he said by the fall.

For the first time in Canadian history, the Liberal Party has fallen to third place. It will return to the House of Commons with just 34 MPs. Michael Ignatieff lost his seat last night and now he is announcing he will step down as leader.

Mark Holland lost his Liberal seat in the riding of Ajax-Pickering to Conservative Christopher Alexander. And Dominque LeBlanc will be returning to the House of Commons. He was re-elected as a Liberal MP in the riding of Beauséjour in New Brunswick. We reached him in Shediac.

Prominent Canadian Clips - Diane Francis

My name is Diane Francis. I'm editor at large with the National Post. I've written ten books, I'm on several boards, and I am a visiting professor at Ryerson University. Canada I think is very confident. Canada, Canadians, I think, are saying I'm going to vote strategically. What interests me. I'm going to send a message. And I think we have a movement toward a more polarized two-party system, which I think in a way is healthier, rather than too many cooks spoiling the broth.

The Future of the Liberal Leadership - Panel

Lots to talk about with Mr. Ignatieff's announcement this morning that he is asking Ralph Goodale to find a new leader of caucus perhaps by the fall.

Rob Silver was the National Policy Director for Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy's campaign for the Liberal Leadership. He's also a former Special Policy Advisor to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and he was in Toronto. Paul Adams is a former Parliamentary correspondent and a former pollster. He's now a professor of journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. And Brooke Jeffrey is a political science professor at Concordia University and the author of Divided Loyalties: The Liberal Party of Canada, 1984-2008. She was in Ottawa as well.

Last Word - Prominent Canadians on the Election Results

All morning, we've been hearing from prominent Canadians, sharing their thoughts about what this election means for the country. We wanted to end the program with some more voices. They got the last word this morning.

K-OS clip

Yo what's up. This is Kevin, K-OS, I'm a musician. Canada is going to be Canada as it is anyway. This is good for the punk rock ethos of our country. Maybe things being Conservative the only change I can see is that the more you try to suppress arts and things that seem frivolous the stronger they become. So maybe that's the change. I'm not freaking out. I'm not going to take this too seriously. I hope all the artists out there continue to do it with vigour and zeal. It's good for a country like ours for people to speak their minds and be honest about how they really feel - y'know?

Sherry Cooper Clip

Sherry Cooper, chief economist, BMO Financial Group. Well, I was delighted to see the results. I think that this now sets the stage for the continued out-performance of the Canadian economy and Canadian financial markets. So I'm very pleased to see that Canadians have come through with a resounding vote of confidence for Prime Minister Harper and as well, um, for a very strong opposition leader in Jack Layton.

Lawrence Hill Clip

My name is Lawrence Hill and I'm a novelist. My gut tells me that Canada looks like a country whose politics are laid out much more boldly. I mean we've given, Harper a majority government which he's been seeking for years. We've given a huge new role to the NDP as Canada's official opposition. We've elected a Green party member - which is fabulous, decimated the Bloc and put the Liberals on the ropes, so it's a country where we've laid out our politics more boldly.

Suzanne Tremblay Clip

My name is Suzanne Tremblay. I, was an MP in Ottawa from '93 to, to '04 for the Bloc Quebecois. I was shocked. I was sad for all the members of the Bloc that I know, that I work with, and that were defeated. It's certainly an evening that was very difficult for all of them and especially for Mr. Duceppe who has worked very hard and, uh, who was really very, very, very shocked. When I saw him on TV, I knew he was very shocked.

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