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Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and his wife Janine Krieber arrive for their campaign flight in Ottawa on Sunday, September 14, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and his wife Janine Krieber arrive for their campaign flight in Ottawa on Sunday, September 14, 2008. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ottawa Notebook

Dion's wife goes rogue? Add to ...

A scathing message attacking Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff appeared today on the Facebook site belonging to Janine Krieber - the wife of Mr. Ignatieff's predecessor, Stéphane Dion.

The message, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe, says the party "is falling apart, and will not recover." It also blames "the Toronto elites" for being out of tune, arrogant and unrealistic.

Mr. Ignatieff's leadership is openly questioned, as is his decision to shun the coalition deal struck by Mr. Dion, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe.

"The time for choices is now," the message says.

The Canadian Press reports, citing unnamed sources, that Mr. Dion himself was not involved in producing the note.

It was deleted from the Facebook site this afternoon, and Liberal officials are refusing comment.

The text of the note, and The Globe's translation, follow.


Ça fait un an et une semaine que je n'ai pas écrit dans mon blog. Ah! que la présidente est paresseuse. Mais maintenant, il faut faire quelque chose.

Le parti libéral est en pleine déconfiture, il ne s'en remettra pas. Comme tous les partis libéraux d'Europe, il deviendra une pauvre petite chose à la merci des coalitions éphémères. Pour avoir refusé la coalition historique qui pouvait le mettre à la tête de la gauche, il sera puni par l'histoire.

Bon, j'en était convaincue au moment où Paul Martin a traité si cavalièrement Jean Chrétien. Ce moment a signé la mort de notre parti. Si les élites de Toronto avaient été plus éveillées, humbles et réalistes, Stéphane était prêt à prendre tout le temps et les coups pour reconstruire ce parti. Mais ils n'ont pas avalé le 26%, maintenant nous sommes à 23%.

Le temps des choix est arrivé. Je ne veux pas que les conservateurs continuent à changer mon pays. Ils sont en train, doucement, comme n'importe quelle dictature, de transformer le monde. La torture n'existe pas, la corruption est une vue de l'esprit. Avons nous vraiment le bon chef pour discuter de ces questions? Est-ce que quelqu'un peut vraiment écrire toutes ces insanités et nous faire croire qu'il a tout simplement changé d'idée? Pour justifier la violence, il faut avoir réfléchi sérieusement. Sinon, c'est très dangereux. Qu'est-ce qui nous garantie qu'il ne changera pas d'idée une autre fois?

Tout ceci, la base du parti l'avais compris et le citoyen canadien est en train de le comprendre. Les supporters de Ignatieff n'ont pas fait leurs devoirs. Ils n'ont pas lu ses livres, n'ont pas consulté ses collègues. Ils se sont contentés de son habileté à naviguer dans les cocktails. Certains d'entre eux sont enragés maintenant. J'entend: pourquoi personne ne l'a dit? Nous vous l'avons dit haut et fort, vous n'avez pas écouté.

J'amorce une réflexion sérieuse. Je ne veux pas donner ma voix à un parti qui risque de finir dans les poubelles de l'histoire. Je regarde autour et il y a certaines choses qui me plaisent. Comme un parti dédié, qui ne conteste pas son chef à chaque hoquet des sondages. Un parti où la règle serait le principe de plaisir et non l'assassinat. Un parti où l'éthique du travail et de la compétence seraient respectés et où les sourires ne seraient pas factices.

Je ne rêve peut-être pas.

La présidente


It's been a year and one week since I last wrote on my blog. Ah! "la présidente" is lazy. But we have to take action now.

The Liberal Party is falling apart, and will not recover. Like all liberal parties in Europe, it will become a weakling at the mercy of ephemeral coalitions. By refusing the historic coalition that would have placed it at the helm of the left, it will be punished by history.

Anyway, I became convinced of it the moment that Paul Martin treated Jean Chrétien so cavalierly. The party died at that moment. If the Toronto elites had been more in tune, humble and realist, Stéphane would have been willing to take all the time and absord all the hits needed to rebuild the party. But they couldn't swallow the 26%, and now we are at 23%.

The time for choices is now. I don't want to see the Conservatives continue to change my country. They are, slowly, like any dictatorship, changing the world. Torture doesn't exist, corruption is a fabrication. Do we really have the right leader to discuss these questions? Can someone really write these insanities and lead us to believe that he simply changed his mind? In order to justify violence, he must have engaged in serious thought. Otherwise, it's very dangerous. How can we be sure that he won't change his mind one more time?

The party grassroots had understood all of that, and the average citizen is starting to understand it too. Ignatieff's supporters have not done their homework. They did not read his books, consult his colleagues. They were satisfied that he could be charming at cocktails. Some of them are outraged now. I am hearing: Why did no one say it? We told you loud and clear, you didn't listen.

I am starting a serious reflection. I will not give my voice to a party that will end up in the trashcan of history. I am looking around me, and certain things are attractive. Like a dedicated party that doesn't challenge its leader at every hiccup in the polls. A party where the rule would be the principle of pleasure, and not assassination. A party where work ethic and competence would be respected and where smiles would be real.

Maybe I'm not dreaming.

"La présidente."


Update The Canadian Press has a full story, which we've posted here.

And The Star's Susan Delacourt notes that Ms. Krieber "has not been seen much since Dion stepped down a year ago; she did not show up at the tribute to Dion at the Liberals' convention in May."


(Photo: Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and his wife Janine Krieber arrive for their campaign flight in Ottawa on Sunday, September 14, 2008. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

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