Where Marissen leads, who will follow?

Earlier, we reported exclusively that federal Liberal uber-operative Mark Marissen is supporting Stephane Dion's prospective leadership bid - possibly as his national campaign manager. But are there any other Lotuslanders lining-up behind Mr. Dion? The two names presently running on the rumour mill are Mike Witherly, the part-time lounge singer who headed up Prime Minister Paul Martin's British Columbia desk, and Doug Beaton, former senior advisor to Industry Minister David Emerson. Asked about the rumours, Mr. Witherly replied "I was impressed with Stephane at Mark's place. And I've always been a bit of a lefty Liberal. But I have not committed to anything yet." At this hour, Public Eye has been unable to reach Mr. Beaton for comment.


The important question here to ask is what organizing skillz does the Dion team have?

Who will control the numbers for the delegates?

It's all about the members and effectively organizing for the dsm's.

Who really cares who seeks the Liberal leadership? Who wants to lead a party that is $30 million or more in debt and is going to have a steady stream of new scandals dumped on its head (ala Brison), as it languishes in Opposition, a sitting duck target system, out of power, out of patronage, no longer able to defend itself.

Maybe Budd, it's because every person who became leader of the Liberal Party from 1900 until now went on to become the Prime Minister of Canada.

How many NDP leaders became Prime Minister? Oh yeah, I forgot. None.

Only one leader of the Liberal Party since Confederation failed to become PM. You may be willing to bet against the next leader of the party. I will gladly take that bet.

the chips are starting to fall into place. the real question is this, who will jamie elmhirst support? after his great electoral success on the island he is sure to be very much in high demand.

Jamie is much too important to waste time throwing his weight (not any more) behind anybody. His office will issue a press release when its time. For my money if Mark and Co. are supporting Dion than its a significant victory for his aspiration to be leader.

The Liberal Party is not $30 million in debt. That was an erroneous report from Elections Canada which did not take into account all of the candidate rebates which helped fund the national campaign, and which a bank loan was based on. It is expected that the national debt of the party (which isn't that big) will be eliminated by the fall.

I am always rather befuddled when I find myself agreeing with Budd Campbell on anything, however he does have a rather poignant point on this one.

What poignant success on the island? Didn't the Libs lose a seat in Victoria under his watch? he's a total tool anyway. Wherever that other detrimant aka Marissen goes, i'm sure Elmhirst will follow.

It may be that Budd Campbell has a point and it could be worse than he has stated if Harper and his gang get going on 'witch hunts'. But, and I don't want to sound too corny, doesn't that make selecting the leader more important and isn't it time to mobilized to action. With the utmost respect for the efforts of everyone who ran in the last election and who supported them, I cannot conclude that the overall campaign for the Liberal Party provincially or nationally was very impressive and I have a hard time seeing people taking credit (this applies to '04 as well). This goes especially for the Island. One need only consider the ridings north of the Malahat to illustrate the point. As I have stated, and who knows maybe I'm wrong, I don't see Marissen doing it for Dion. But on the other and if he is willing to fight like hell to get things going again then hats off to him.

Elmhirst is Marissen's fart catcher, what a loser.

Lovely discourse this morning on the Federal Liberal leadership. Instead of slamming your fellow party members, why not discuss ideas? Or the potential candidates? Surely it would be more prove more conducive to party cohesion.

Not being a Federal Liberal, I'm not keen to see you actually get it together. However, I do know both Mark and Jamie are dedicated and loyal party members who tend to avoid displaying dirty laundry - a concept we should all strive for in our individual parties.


After all, it's always important make sure that regular folks pay no attention whatsoever to the men and/or women behind the curtain.


WLM - The results in BC for the federal Liberal Party are the best since 1968. If you don't include 1968, it was the best Liberal campaign in BC relative to the national campaign since Confederation.

Hey Jack, if that gives you some consolation at night good for you. Somebody forgot to tell Emerson how great the liberal campaign was in BC. For that matter why don't you ask some of the candidates who were fortunate to win how much help they received from the brilliant minds at campaign hq led by elmhirst and co. I am sure they will give you a far different story.

One final thing, will the young liberals who smeared emerson's office with manure and graffiti come clean and tell the authorities who put them up to that?

"WLM - The results in BC for the federal Liberal Party are the best since 1968. If you don't include 1968, it was the best Liberal campaign in BC relative to the national campaign since Confederation."

a very interesting observation.

I suspect under Ignatieff, BC, Manitoba, 905/416, Montreal, and Atlantic Canada would go more strongly Liberal, which would be borderline majority numbers.

The recent Harper moves have shifted the protest vote lose from the CPC (who were on shaky ground to begin with)... Harper cannot run on "ethics in government" next time around nor on being a moderate-open leader... so everything is again for grabs again.

Billy, you're wrong about a lack of Dipper Prime Ministers. How could anyone forget Stephen Harper's predecessor, Prime Minister Jack Layton? You know, the guy that was handed the House of Commons by the last dimwit Marissen & Co. backed?

Billy (Cunningham perhaps?) wants to bet me that the next Liberal Leader will become Prime Minister, just like all the others have. Why even John Turner was for a time, ... before the deadly, savage traps left for him by the Trudeau-Chretien crowd took their inevitable and pre-planned toll. If Billy will tell me where to reach him, I will happily take him up on his bet.

Liberal claims that the Liberal Party has no debt problem. Really? That's not what Jonathan Ross of TDH Strategies reported in a Feb 1 article in The Tyee:

Liberals Dial Emergency

Published: February 1, 2006

"Another confusing aspect of the call concerned the party?s debt load, which has been the basis of much an internal stress long before a campaign that lasted for 56 days. The financial management committee contended that the Liberal party was only in debt to the tune of $4 to $5 million. This figure came as a shock to most, as according to Elections Canada the final annual filing for 2004 stated that the Liberal Party of Canada was $34,818,257.32 in debt by way of 13 bank loans. Furthermore, reviewing the published fundraising activities of the Liberal Party shows that they reported only $4,194,591.49 in fundraising for the first 3 quarters of 2005.

Something doesn?t quite add up."

The next time I vote is when Justin Trudeau runs for the Lib leadership!!!

Who would take the word of the mainstream media, with it's overtly pro-corporate bias, over the word of an independent concerned citizen, albeit one with no journalistic background and who just wakes up and writes stuff that he thinks about or hears second-hand as opposed to doing research or investigation? Budd Campbell - that's who.

I don't know what you're trying to say Jenn, ... and neither do you. Your paragraph is the kind of thing one would make up for a writing class, an example of how NOT to express oneself.

Your Windsor Star story uses the same figure ($4 to $5 million) that Ross discarded as early as Feb 1 for being not credible. It's well known, and it's been reported throughout 2005 in The Hill Times, that the Liberal's individual donor base is weak and they weren't getting the revenues the Conservatives were. With the results of the 2006 vote in hand, the Liberal Party's aggregate $1.75 per voter subsidy will decrease somewhat.

Come the next election the Liberal Party will still be in debt and will have to either run a shoe string campaign, or else find lenders willing to allow it to borrow millions more while there are still unpaid debts on hand from 2004 and 2006. Whatever the party raises in the meantime will be largely eaten up by interest costs and the peace time administrative costs of operating the party office and paying salaries to all the Mark Marrisen-Jamie Elmhirst-Billy Cunningham-Eric Bornman-Bob Virk-Dave Basi types all across the bloody country. And the Liberals will have to do that while in Opposition and with no access to patronage revenues.

To any reasonable person it's an IMPOSSIBLE proposition. You can maybe fool some people about it, but you weren't able to fool McKenna or Manley or Tobin! They wanted no part of this hopeless mess.

True to form, Budd Campbell responds and can't take criticism or recognize reality, preferring to proffer the bizarre fantasy land that exists only in his head. It's like the sunrise - never fails.

Real journalists be damned! What do they know - after all, they just look over the figures given to them by people in charge of Liberal party finances. Let's all listen ot Johnathan Ross - he knows the real deal, because like the rest of us, he posts on a blog.

No worry folks. Norman Spector tells us this evening that he and Mike Duffy want carol taylor to be the Liberal leader. Norman went farther by saying it's time for a woman to be in charge.

Jenn, I think your obstinancy is starting to come through loud and clear. After all the grammar in your composition has improved quite a bit, allowing us a clearer picture of your mood.

If you don't think the Liberal Party is over $30 million in debt and with few means to pay it off, fine. But that is the reality of the situation, it's inescapable. The Windsor newspaper report cited earlier was not available for reading online as I don't have a CanWest subscription. But from the two summary lines that did appear it quotes a Liberal Party official saying the debt is just a mere $5 million or so.

If that's all there is in that story, quotes from LPC employees, that's not much to go on when every independent analyst who has been following all the Elections Canada reports puts the figure over the $30 million mark.

In fact, it's been stated for most of the last 25 years that the Liberals were more dependent on business than the Conservatives because they just didn't have the individual donor base the Tories and even the NDP have. The Liberals had lots of fair weather supporters, but because of the party's centrist positioning they didn't have a whole lot of people who were fully committed to the party's vision and were prepared to make personal financial sacrifices in order to support its work.

The logical extension of all that, and it's been discussed and forecasted for years, was that if the business money were ever taken out of the equation the Liberals would be at a serious disadvantage. That's now happened, it's no longer some impending development, it's been here for over two years. Chretien tried to soften the blow a little (but not too much, because he really wanted to hose Martin) by bringing in the $1.75 per voter subsidy from the Crown. And that is what the Liberal Party was living off between the 2004 and 2006 elections. But with the new election results, that subsidy will decrease, at the same time that the debt accumulated during the second campaign has ballooned massively.

The figure of $30 million plus is not something I made up myself. It's been in newstories in the Toronto Star and elsewhere even prior to Jan 23rd, though regrettably I don't have a bucketful of links.

You are barking up the wrong tree. Funny, Budd, but what do these guys have in common?

Mark Marrisen
Jamie Elmhirst
Billy Cunningham
Eric Bornman
Bob Virk
Dave Basi

During this past campaign, they did not charge the Liberal Party a dime for their services.

Bill Cunningham was the only one of these people who was on the "government payroll", so to speak, but when he quit to run as a candidate, he was no longer eligible for severance once out of power, unlike all of the other staffers who go unmentioned in your little list, who actually did get quite comfortable severances.

No one else on this list received any patronage of any kind from the Martin government.

It's funny that you single them out. And you include Basi and Virk on the list just to raise innuendo. And Bornman hasn't been involved in the last two elections.

What is your obsession with these people?

I should have made it even more clear.

Mark Marrisen
Jamie Elmhirst
Billy Cunningham

are the only ones on your list who have even been involved in politics during the last election.

George, it's getting late, thanks for the clarification. Only Cunningham, Marissen and Elmhirst were involved in the recent election campaign, the others are simply hangers on.

What was Cunningham's salary on an annual basis when he had his government gig at Library Square. Who is employing him now?

Changing the subject, the John Godfrey reception at James Hattan's house went over quite well. Lots of sushi. Godfrey gave a very good speech and answered questions well. Attendees included:
Tex Enemark
Bill Cunningham
Mark Marrissen
Roy Bornman
Dale Flood
Kevin Chalmers
Don Bell
Braden Caley
Megan Pritchard
and of course the host and his wife

Response to: Posted by jack on March 16, 2006 12:04 PM: "WLM - The results in BC for the federal Liberal Party are the best since 1968. If you don't include 1968, it was the best Liberal campaign in BC relative to the national campaign since Confederation."


Hi Jack, sorry to take so long to respond but I have been a bit busy.

Your statement displays a serious shortcoming in logic. "The results in BC for the federal Liberal Party are the best since 1968" does not necessarily imply "it was the best Liberal campaign in BC relative to the national campaign since Confederation", especially at the provincial & federal level. If I recall the expectations going into the lections were much higher. So, if you compare "expectations" to "results", which to me is a better measure of the Liberal campaign in BC, I would be very hard pressed to conclude a resounding success and certainly be hard pressed to attribute credit as you have suggested.

Also, any success that was achieved could be more easily attributed, and in my opinion with more reliability, to those candidates running and those supporting at the "grass roots" level. I would be surprised if, generally, the candidates and those at the grass roots would attribute success in a fashion suggested by you.

If what Marissen has to offer Dion is his success in the two previous elections and Dion is basing his reliance on Marissen on that then my estimation of Dion's chances are reduced.


You must be talking about your own expectations. Almost all of the commentators wrote the Liberal campaign in BC off (down to 2 or 3 seats) almost from day one.

Stephane Dion for leader? You can't be serious.

More proof positive why I'm a New Democrat for life. Only the Liberals would push someone like him for leader. And why? Because he speaks French? I guess it's a good idea to have a Prime Minister who speaks french if you're in France!

Why is nobody talking about Amar Randhawa?

He is the key in winning in the ethnic markets! He did wonders for Christy in NPA leadership race.

I am sure he will be involved behind the scenes helping Marky Mark. Amar's father controls the temples in Vancouver and Surrey.

Amar can also sign lot of young Indos from his UNITED Association...although they might not be eligible to vote for legal purposes

HA! I wonder what people who go to the temples in Vancouver and Surrey think about Peter's assertion that Randhawa conrols them.

what bout the earnscliffe boys?

Adam Johnson
Bruce Young
Micheal Drummond

Who are they backing?

Rumours are that Mark is gonna back Dion, Greg wilson is gonna support Gerrard Kennedy

Ujjal dosanjh is gonna support Rae

Raymond Chan is gonna support Stronach

The earnscliffe boys?? Between the three of them they couldn't motivate a goldfish to swim let alone bring something meaningful to a leadership candidate.

its gonna get real hot in BC

Marrissen - Dion

Greg Wilson - Kennedy

Bruce Young - Kennedy

Ujjal Dosanjh - Rae

Sukh Dhaliwal - Volpe

Raymond Chan - Stronach

Bill (who really cares) Cunningham and his man servant Koko Leftoko - Brison

let the fun begin

Wow, great breakdown Joe!

What about the other big player no one is mention? Mr. Blair Wilson or is he even a player?

Look, it doesnt make a ny difference who Blair Wilson suoports. Ujjal and Sukh will have a galactic battle on their hands. Mark M will dissapear cause all these folks are openly gainst Mark now. Nobody will return Mark's phone calls, i luv it

Hi Jack,

I don't recall almost all the commentators writing the Liberal fortunes in BC off before or even during the last election (and certainly not for the '04 one) and a review of the polls would suggest such was not the case (for example see: Nodice.ca at: http://www.nodice.ca/elections/canada/polls-britishcolumbia.php

In case it needs clarifying, and I don't think it does, 'expectations' by its very meaning and in the context used refers to before the provincial and federal levels' 'campaign' took effect with the voters.

However it may very well be that in the second half of the election most people were writing the Liberal 'campaign' in BC off and that may also have been the case for the national 'campaign' as well. But once you ask yourself who were the people running the 'Campaigns' on the provincial level and Federal level then you prove my point for me, which is:

If what Marissen has to offer Dion is his success in the two previous elections and Dion is basing his reliance on Marissen on that then my estimation of Dion's chances are reduced.

Marrissen was also the engineer of the only seat gain in canada for the fiberals
His credence and reputation is intact
kim hakkstad is funny, she will do ANYTHING for Christy and Mark, what a LOSER

the breakdowns of support there are largely incorrect

WLM is right that regardless of what people think of Marissen personally, and given how reclusive he is I question all comments to the fact, he's been the most successful Liberal campaign chair in the country for several years straight. I'm not nuts about Dion and had certainly written him off, but now that Marissen is backing him I might reconsider.

I don't know Kim very well, but if there were two people in the province I would be loyal to, it's Clark and Marissen. Let's admit what this string of posts is about, and it's the fact that no one can handle the destruction of their misinformed stereotype of Marissen. Everybody thought he was a mercenary organizer, but lo and behold, it would appear he's just a decent, principled Lib who is more concerned about the unity of Canada than his own gain. Dion's not my fave candidate, but there's clearly something to him.

No kidding. Mark's choice is fucking blowing my mind. It's out of the blue, but I love it.

It will be interesting to see where the key orgaizers from the East Indian community line up:

Sukh Daliwal and Amar Bajwa are both supporting Volpe,Sukh is going to be a major player in BC for Volpe. Rumour has it that Daliwal signed up 8,000 new liberal members in 2004.

Amar Randahawa - rumour has it he is supporting Bob Rae.

Prem Vinning - he will support anyone but Marky Mark. He hates all martinites especially Mark. He also has a dislike for Bajwa since he was involved in kicking out Herb Dhaliwal.

who really cares?

this is the most boring race ever!!!

Stephen Harper will be PM for the next 10 yaears

The Chinese community is the force that will be the kingmakers
Raymond Chan and Bennie Yeung are the holders of this mantle, who are they supporting

Philip Yung is a federal liberal supporter, who is he supporting

Note to S Handa and anon:

If you are a single person and want to make up fake third party validation using two different pseudonyms, don't post them both one minute apart and think you're fooling people into thinking it is a spontaneous outpouring of support.

Doug is toast. He's only supporting Dion because:
1) Mark is, and
2) He would have trouble spelling anything more than 4 letters long.

Doug Beaton is a king in liberal circles, he will reappear as the key organizer for Dion.
Witherly, Kim Haakstad and Ryan Hoag are all gonna organize the Young Libs (Coco and his merry band of losers) to help Dion

Is Jonathan Ross involved in the leadership and if he is who is he supporting

The Chinese community is also controlled by Ujjal Dosanjh - he will have a big say in which way that community goes

Raymond Chan will be backing Stronach or Brison, hence Bennie and Philip Yung wil do the same.

Wonder what Marrissen will end up doing once he looses in trying to obtain Dion the leadership position. He will be royally fucked.

This has not been a good year for Mark and Christy. I think the two of them are caput.

I heard that MM is trying to help CC stack the BC Liberal Party Executive with her supporters to protect her future chances of running for BCLP leadership.

She's cooked though - Carole Taylor is doing to great.

Gawd it sucks to be either MM or CC, but to be honest, they both deserved it, which I've discovered having known them personally.

Holy crap...would you guys/gals all shut the fcuk up and actually DO something besides gazing at your own navels and blowing smoke up your own asses! Something like THINKING for YOURSELVES?! Who gives a rat crap about "the big players" within the liberal party? Can anyone refer to themselves as a "big player" anymore, in a party that looks like its lost its vision, direction and relevance after 3 years of tearing itself apart internally? Does it really freaking matter WHO is supporting whom in a leadership race that still looks to be without any ideas or vision, from ANY candidate? Will it make a difference to anyone whether or not Marrisen, Cunningham, "joe blow", or "the ex-Grand PooBah of the Year" supports a particular candidate? If your votes can be swayed simply because someone you admire/hate supports a particular candidate, and is ONLY determined by this factor, at a time when the Liberal Party desperately needs new ideas and renewal, then the Liberal Party is completely screwed.

It's easy to paint targets on people that had the balls to take on management roles within a party in the grips of an internal civil war. Now that it's over, its in extremely bad taste to continue to personally attack any of them, regardless of how much they were, or were not, twats.

Grow the fcuk up and start thinking for yourselves. The Liberal Party, and indeed, Canada, can't afford more inadequacy in government: the inadequacy that was the past Lib government, and certainly the inadequacy that is the current Tory government. If the types of posts on this site are symbolic of the "up and coming" braintrust in the Liberal Party, then "God help us all".

Find a candidate that is worth supporting and do so, regardless of who else is or is not doing the same.


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