Marissen hitches his horse to Dion's wagon

Mark Marissen, former prime minister Paul Martin's principal operative in British Columbia, is backing Stephane Dion's prospective bid to become the next federal Liberal leader, Public Eye has exclusively learned. According to a senior British Columbia Liberal, Mr. Marissen is acting as a coordinator for Mr. Dion to "try to help him figure out if there's the organizational will around the country" to support such a bid. The senior Liberal went onto to say that "if there was a campaign and if he were to decide to run then (Mr. Marissen) would likely be the national campaign manager." And that might explain why James Hatton and Jennifer (nee Schlotter) are hosting the upcoming reception for John Godfrey rather than Mr. Marissen and his wife, former provincial cabinet minister Christy Clark.

19 Comments

Who cares? The power of Mark and his puppet Jamie is history. They are just opportunists.

Makes no difference. Rae or Stronach will win BC.

Mark Marrisen is old news, him and his "boy" Jamie are gonzo!!!

Makes sense, Rae, Drden, Godfrey, Ignatief, or Dion would probably fit him best, rae and dryden maybe less so. Smart fellow, for sure.

Dion? His english is so bad that he couldn't possibly communicate effectively with the "rest of Canada". The Coderre organization runs Quebec (for Papa Jean) so he couldn't even count on a home base.

No chance.

Bob Rae? The man who hurt the economy of Ontario so bad it took a common sense revolution to try and revive it?

Are you kidding?

Look, the Liberals still practice the old delegate selection method that requires hard work and organizing skills. The "vote for me because I am smart" doesn't cut it.

Good to see former Paul Martin backers dispersing. No coronation this time. The Chretien folks are all over the place too. This is good.

Poor Dion, there goes his credibility, reputation and legacy.

Actually this is really big news. Not to be indiscreet, but Dion (who I really like) told me personally that he's been having problems raising money and getting big time organizers to sign on to his campaign. Apparently (a different Liberal source tells me) the Stronach campaign has been paying organizers obscene sums of money for their services (in the $10,000 a month realm). This has hurt Dion (and everyone else but seemingly, Ignatieff and Dryden, and possible Brison and Rae), and Marissen's support comes at a key time in the fight for organizational support. Moreover, this kind of 'endorsement' does a nice job of signaling to people out here (Montreal, but the east in general) that the unified force that was the western Martini squad *seems* to be coming unhinged.

A very big development (no matter what you folks think of the other Marky Mark), and one that I imagine could make Dion a kingmaker, if not a really serious contender.

Kudos again Sean.

The new political financing laws make it illegal to take a contribution of over $5100, $10,200 for Belinda herself. She donated over $3,000,000 to herself last time to finance big salaries for organizers - if she is doing this again, it is illegal. This is not some Party rule that she can break like she did in the Tory race when she failed to pay the Party its share of her contributions but the law of Canada. The second she spends a dollar she is a candidate by the law.

This will hurt all the candidates and the wannabes who run to attempt to be the Quebec LT will find they are unable to run a real campaign. The Party needs donors to pay down their massive debt, they don't need a lot of pointless candidates taking that money away from them.

I bet there won't be many realistic candidates running in this race.

Last I checked, a person has a right to try to earn a living for his family, so if Marissen wants to work for someone, and that someone is willing to pay for the services...whatever. However, it is time for all associated with "old" to go...and for "new" to surface in positions of leadership within the Fed Libs. Remember...in the absence of light...there is darkness (see the last 5 years for the Libs...and the current "Dark Empire" running the country today (when was the last time a government reversed income tax cuts and called themselves "Conservative"...oh yeah, last time), oh and was it ever dark these past few years for the Libs!

Dion...no go (Chretien and Martin Cabinet...see "Sponsorship scandal")

Ignatieff: Too new and untested (I mean who IS he anyways?!)

Rae: ??? NDP destroyer of Ontario (I suppose the strategy here would be to get as far away from the fiscally prudent Martin...for some insane reason? Forget about this guy.

Dryden: Hockey legend...(yeah, so what? Does he have what it takes to lead a nation?) Maybe.

Still waiting for "the one".

Martin's Kool Aid drinker ....

Hahahahahaha !!!!!!

I can't see Dion getting very far in BC and I can't see Marrisen doing it for Dion whether in BC on anywhere in Canada. Unfortunately the article doesn't give any reasons why Mark Marissen might want to support Dion or why Dion might want him to manage his campaign. Presumably that is because they haven't been made them public so one can only wonder.

It seems that all of the prospective candidates have some kind of downside and no one really stands out yet. However, of those that are mentioned in the media I would have to say someone like Ken Dryden or Bob Ray.

Drydan doesn't have much experience in the political arena but he does have some. However, he has demonstrated leadership qualities, is highly accomplished, is a known quantity under pressure, has had many years exposure to the limelight and dealing with the media and is well known and respected for his achievements and liked in all parts of Canada. If you are considering salability in BC I think he may have it.

Bob Ray is another, despite his track record as a premier of Ontario (and I would certainly not try to defend it). Ray has many years experience as a political leader. More important, I think, is that he represents a ready made bridge for those on the 'Left' to cross over to the middle, something that may well have changed the Liberal fortunes in this last election. Considering that the next election may be quite soon it may be a big advantage to have someone already established in this regard. In other words with Bob Ray as leader the Liberal platform not only would be more to the left but people on the left of centre may perceive it as such and trust it as such. It is hard to imagine that he as leader would alienate existing Liberals and in reality are the Liberals likely to attract many people who voted Conservative last time in an election held in the nest year or so. If you are considering salability in BC I think he may have it too.

Although there has been no suggestion as far as I have read about the possibility of Sheila Copps running for the leadership again, she is left of centre (and so has a head start on bridge building), has considerable political experience and is a fighter. I enjoyed her columns in the Toronto Sun during the election. However, I can’t see her getting very far out West but probably better than Dion.


WLM, 15 Mar.'06

One of the assumptions of people who support Rae is that he'd attract a lot of support from people who regularly vote NDP. Maybe that's the case, but I'm doubtful.

With all honesty - this is an actual question, not a rhetorical one - can someone please tell me if MM actually has the same power he used to?

Bob Rae, eh?

Let me get this straight. The Liberals are howling fowl over the Emerson switch and now they are going to recruit a party switcher as their new leader. Have I left something out?

Budd Campbell,
As a matter of fact, you HAVE missed something. You see, unlike Emerson, Rae has been out of office for over eleven years and he has not even as-of-yet become a member of the Liberal party or the cabinet for that matter. Emerson, on the other hand, waited a New York minute after the election before jumping into Harpo's cabinet. But being a Tory, you shouldn't let the facts get in the way. Continue.

It is funny, because the word kool aid drinkers comes to mind when I thibk of every person that will not be around after the next liberal leadership... too many bridges burned for that gang.

Hey,

Here is a good one... who made more off the liberal party Marissen or Radwanski. No seriously kids, what do you think politics is all about - ideals or money??

I'm an anglophone from B.C., and I will be one of the delegates to the convention in december. I will be voting for Dion. Aside from being brilliant, he has experience and is not sullied by scandle. He is perhaps the only MP to weather the Chretien and Martin governments while simultaneously enhancing his reputation. He is a man of purpose and vision that will lead this party strongly into the future, and has the integrity to do it in an appropriate and clean manner.

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