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05/07/2011

Watching the Liberals lose

Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

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RCMP survey the room where Liberal Leader Michael Iggnatief will speak later at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto following the election results. The room was not open to the public until 9:30 pm.

The room which was reserved for election night results for Michael Ignatieff, was, by far, the quietest night of election return coverage I’ve ever witnessed.

The doors to the actual room remained closed until 9:30 pm, but once open, there was a trickle of people who entered. The quiet, and the mood, of the room, definitely foreshadowed what was about to befall the big Red Machine.

As the numbers rolled in, a small crowd began to gather. As folks stood about and witnessed the returns, their faces told the story. Everywhere we (the media) looked people seem transfixed - their expressions glum.

When Ignatieff did enter the room, he came to the stage with a mighty smile, but the smile seemed a bit forced and his body language told a different story. When he chose to speak was also a bit unusual. No one had yet been declared winner in the riding, but Ignatieff took to the stage to profess his wish to stay on. For those of us who have watched politics for a while, it was a bold statement. Surely, the Party would not be happy with the results of the campaign. Some would call immediately for his resignation.

When it was revealed later Ignatieff lost his seat, the writing was on the wall. The following morning, Ignatieff resigned as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

With a new majority government for Stephen Harper, as well as losing Official Opposition status for his own party, AND having lost his own bit for reelection, Ignatieff's experiment in federal politics came to a quick, and swift, end.

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 Liberal staffers arrange signs outside the room Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

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Liberal Party staffer John Moser stands by signage of leader Michael Ignatieff as staff prepare for the speech later in the evening.

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Three people watch TV in the room at the Sheraton where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would later deliver his concession speech. 

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Liberal supporter Robb Collis watches results at Sheraton Centre where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff's campaign came to an end.

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Buttons sit upon tables unused as a small crowd gathers at the Sheraton where Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff would soon appear.

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 Faces in the small crowd show the mood in Liberal land.

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 Laura Hodgins (right) and her sister Jennifer watch results at Sheraton Centre.

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Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff arrives in the room at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto after election results.

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Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff speaks at the Sheraton Centre.

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Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff leaves  the Sheraton Centre in Toronto accompanied by wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar.

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Watching this is like celebrating Eastern and Christmas all on one day. A very good day for Canada.
Thanks Conservatives, thanks NDP.
One happy Canadian

Really... it was a given from the day that Iggie left Harvard without giving up his tenure that he wasn't going to connect with Canadians, English or French-speaking; the party that connected with Chretien sadly lost its way... and hubris and arrogance and the professional "we know better than the little people" seemed to take over.. it's good riddance to Iggie and a lot of the old mob who've driven the party into the bin.. perhaps it will come back.. perhaps it won't... in the meantime, let's see what Stephen and Jack can do to keep our economy leading the rest of the G7 and the envy of much of the world...

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