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Bob Rae

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The interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. | Le député libéral de la circonscription de Toronto-Centre à la Chambre des communes du Canada.
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Biography

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Robert Keith "Bob" Rae, PC, OC, OOnt, QC, MP (born August 2, 1948) is a Canadian politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre and interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.  Rae was a New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament from 1978 to 1982. Then he moved to provincial politics, becoming leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party from February 7, 1982 to June 22, 1996. He served as the 21st Premier of Ontario from October 1, 1990 to June 26, 1995, and was the first person to have led a provincial NDP government east of Manitoba. While in office, he brought forward a number of initiatives that were unpopular with many traditional NDP supporters, such as the Social Contract. Rae's subsequent disagreement with the leftward direction of the NDP led him to resign his membership and join the Liberals.  In 2006, he was a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, finishing in third place on the third ballot. He had originally been a Liberal in the 1970s before joining the NDP. Rae returned to the Canadian House of Commons on March 31, 2008 as a Liberal MP after winning a March 17, 2008 by-election holding the riding that had previously been held by Liberal Bill Graham. He was re-elected in the 2008 general election. Rae ran again as a candidate for the party leadership but withdrew on December 12, 2008. He was re-elected in the Toronto Centre riding in the 2011 general election and was named interim leader of the Liberal Party weeks later, replacing Michael Ignatieff.

 

Political career

Rae was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in a 1978 by-election, defeating Progressive Conservative Tom Clifford by 420 votes in the Toronto riding of Broadview. Rae won the NDP nomination over former MP John Paul Harney and activist Kay Macpherson.

Ontario NDP leader

When Rae won the NDP leadership, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party had governed Ontario since 1943 and was widely regarded as unbeatable. Rae was strongly critical of the Bill Davis government's approach to social issues, and used his acceptance speech to describe the PC Party's Ontario as "Toryland", "essentially a country club in which women and people of colour were not welcome". His comments were criticized by some in the media, though Rae himself would later write that his words seemed "particularly apt" in retrospect and "certainly aroused an angry response which often means a target has been hit".

Leader of the Opposition

Rae was an international observer for Lithuania's first multi-party elections in early 1990. A lifelong opponent of communism, he later wrote that he was impressed by the spirit of the opposition Sajudis party, which won the election. He was also very critical of the Kremlin's harsh response to the opposition's victory.

Premier

On October 1, 1990, Rae was sworn in as the first NDP premier of Ontario. He also took the Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio, giving himself a direct voice in future constitutional negotiations.

Out of politics, out of the NDP

Rae resigned from the New Democratic Party in 1998 due to his appointment to the Security Intelligence Review Committee. There was some speculation that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien would have him appointed Governor-General in 1999, but he was passed over in favour of Adrienne Clarkson. There was further speculation that Rae would return to the federal Liberals and run under their banner in the 2000 election, though nothing came of this at the time.

Return to politics as a Liberal

In a July 2005 interview with Michael Valpy, Rae indicated that he was still committed to public life and public service. Valpy's feature on Rae included a comment by Arlene Perly Rae that he could return to politics if there was a national unity crisis.

The new government of Stephen Harper appointed a judge to handle the Air India inquiry in March 2006 thus releasing Rae from his previous commitment and freeing him for a possible run for the Liberal Party leadership.

Federal Liberal MP

In the by-election held on March 17, 2008, Rae won handily. Rae returned to Parliament on March 31, 2008 after a 25-year absence.

In the aftermath of the 2011 federal election in which the Liberals were reduced to third place behind the NDP, Rae speculated on national television about the possibility of future co-operation between the two parties. Following Ignatieff's announcement that he would resigning as leader, Rae was touted as a possible successor. However, his advocacy of a possible Liberal-NDP merger caused consternation among some Liberals. Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien reportedly called senior Liberals urging Rae's selection as interim leader for a two-year term. However, the Liberal National Board has announced that the interim leader position could only be held by an individual who pledged not to seek the permanent leadership and not to seek to change the party or merge it with another party during his tenure. On May 19, 2011, Rae declared that he would not be running for leadership for the Liberal Party, but would instead seek the interim leadership position. He assumed the interim leadership position on May 25, 2011.

 

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FRA:

 

Robert Keith Rae, ou Bob Rae, (né le 2 août 1948 à Ottawa, Ontario) est un homme politique canadien. Il fut le chef du Nouveau Parti démocratique de l'Ontario du 7 février 1982 au 22 juin 1996. Il a été le 21e premier ministre de la province canadienne de l'Ontario du 1er octobre 1990 au 26 juin 1995, le seul chef néo-démocrate à avoir occupé ce poste. Il est actuellement le député libéral de la circonscription de Toronto-Centre à la Chambre des communes du Canada. 

 

Carrière politique

Député

En 1978, il est élu pour la première fois député néo-démocrate à la Chambre des communes du Canada, à l'occasion d'une élection partielle dans la circonscription torontoise de Broadview, défaisant le progressiste-conservateur Tom Clifford par 420 voix.  Lors de l'élection fédérale de 1979, il est réélu dans la nouvelle circonscription de Broadview—Greenwood. Il acquiert de la notoriété en tant que porte-parole du NPD en matière de finances. C'est le vote sur la motion de non-confiance déposée par Rae qui fait tomber le gouvernement progressiste-conservateur de Joe Clark en décembre 1979.  Rae est réélu au parlement fédéral lors de l'élection de 1980. Il épouse Arlene Perry quelques jours plus tard.

Chef du NPDO

Rae joue néanmoins un rôle central dans l'effondrement de la dynastie de 42 ans du Parti progressiste-conservateur. En 1986, Ian Orenstein conteste le leadership de Rae. La campagne de Orenstein était une manière symbolique de protester contre les politiques centristes du parti sous la direction de Rae. Rae sort victorieux de la contestation, sans difficulté. Contrairement aux attentes, les niveaux d'appuis au Parti libéral baissent de manière importante vers le milieu de la campagne. Les progressistes-conservateurs sont menés par un Mike Harris inexpérimenté et, à l'époque, sans grand profil auprès du public ; ainsi, les néo-démocrates de Rae sont les premiers bénéficiaires de la dégringolade libérale. Des sondages effectués tard dans la campagne montrent le NPD avec une mince avance sur les libéraux.

Premier ministre

Rae est extrêmement populaire pendant ses six premiers mois au poste de premier ministre ; un sondage montrait que son taux de popularité personnel dépassait les 70%. Le Nouveau Parti démocratique de Rae est défait par le Parti progressiste-conservateur de Mike Harris lors de l'élection de 1995, tombant à seulement 17 sièges. En 1996, Rae démissionne au titre de chef du parti et député pour York South pour se lancer dans un carrière en droit, en éducation et dans le secteur privé.

Retraite de la politique et du NPD

Rae quitte le Nouveau Parti démocratique vers la fin des années 1990 à cause de sa nomination au Comité de surveillance des activités de renseignement de sécurité (CSARS). Certains spéculaient que le premier ministre Jean Chrétien le nommerait gouverneur général du Canada en 1999, mais sa candidature est mise de côté en faveur de celle d'Adrienne Clarkson. Il y eut encore des rumeurs que Rae serait candidat pour le Parti libéral fédéral à l'élection de 2000, mais elles se sont avérées non fondées. En 2005, Rae écrit un rapport pour le gouvernement libéral de Dalton McGuinty sur l'éducation post-secondaire, communément appelé le "rapport Rae". Rae s'est également impliqué dans des dossiers internationaux dans les années récentes.

Retour en tant que libéral

Lors d'une entrevue en juillet 2005 avec le journaliste Michael Valpy, Rae affirme qu'il est toujours dévoué à la vie publique. Il n'a pas tenté de réconciliation avec le NPD depuis sa lettre de 2002, et paraît avoir définitivement rompu avec le parti. Le reportage de Valpy sur Rae comprend un commentaire d'Arlene Perly Rae selon quoi il pourrait revenir à la politique s'il y avait une crise d'unité nationale.

Bob Rae est élu député du parti libéral à la Chambre des communes lors d'une élection partielle tenue le 17 mars 2008 dans la circonscription de Toronto Centre. Il est réélu lors de l'élection générale du 14 octobre 2008. Àprès l'annonce de la démission de Stéphane Dion, Rae se présente de nouveau à la direction du parti libéral mais, compte tenu de la crise politique canadienne de 2008, il retire sa candidature le 9 décembre 2008 afin de laisser le champ libre à Michael Ignatieff. Il a depuis critiqué la décision d'Ignatieff de retirer le Parti libéral de la coalition avec le NPD.

 

source

2011-11-19

updated: 2012-11-18

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