Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It Could Be Worse

A lot of pundits are screaming about how no one wants the Liberal crown. About how it's not a prize worth winning. About how McKenna, Manley, and Tobin bowing out show that the party is in shambles.

That's ridiculous.

I'd like everyone to remember a certain leadership race which featured the following candidates:
Stephen Harper
Belinda Stronach
Tony Clement

That's about the equivalent of a race featuring Manley, Belinda, and Andy Mitchell.

Lord, Harris, MacKay, Prentice, Strahl...the list of high profile candidates who took a pass on the Tory leadership goes on and on.

And guess who is Prime Minister today?


I, for one, am looking forward to the prospect of 8 or 9 candidates in a wide open competition. I think it's exactly what this party needs to bring in new members and create some excitement. Party members will be able to look at the contestants and see who really speaks to them, rather than just jumping on the bandwagon to ensure they're on the winning team. It's shaping up a lot like 1968 and I think most Liberals liked the way that one ended.

The fact that there are still over a dozen credible candidates out there shows that there's still some interest in the job. This could be just the chance for some fantastic candidates, lacking only name recognition, to show what they're made of.

30 Comments:

  • And then there were 3

    No. Not the Genesis album after Gabriel left the band.

    Tobin is now out.

    So, let's review. First Manley. Then McKenna. Now Tobin. OUT! How'm I doing so far? I told ya. No ex-premiers will be leading this Party. No Provincial cabinet ministers will be leading this party either.

    The recurring theme here? IT IS TIME FOR NEW, FRESH BLOOD!!!

    Even those backing out are using the catch phrase. New blood.

    New Blood? Hmm. Iggy? Dhalla? Hmm. Someone nobody's ever heard of? Don't be surprised if there isn't a whiff of a newcomer soon. A virtual unknown.

    Hey....but what do I know.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 6:36 PM  

  • Peter Gabriel for Liberal Leader..at least his campaign would have a good soundtrack. Shock the Monkey perhaps?

    CG is right...the 3 wise men bailing on the race does not mean the end of the world, just the end of the world for people who gauge their support by sticking a wet finger in the wind then bolting for the nearest frontrunner.

    james curran is also right..no x-premiers need apply which should mean that Bob Rae will be the next to bail from the race.

    depending on which way Brison goes (politically) one could also say 'no atlantic canadians need apply' either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:58 PM  

  • Let every one apply who can answer the following question in the afirmative.

    CAN YOU FLUENTLY SPEAK BOTH OFFICIAL LANGUAGES?

    This is a requirement for many jobs (not all), and should be for the Liberal Party of Canada!

    Imagine a French debate with the Liberal leader needing an interpreter. Now imagine no Quebec seats.

    P.S. If I was fluent in French I would run. Unfortunately I am not. But if I wanted to run, I would spend a few years learning before I did run.

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 7:09 PM  

  • Here is a complete list of why the federal Liberals will be in opposition for at least two leaders.

    With Brian Tobin gone (again, I am somewhat surprised), the Liberals truly have no one left that will capture the imagination of people across Canada. Oh sure, there are some who may have a regional appeal, or those that have a special interest appeal, or those that are on the left wing of the party, but there is no one left who has the potential for broad appeal.

    I again repeat my prediction that the federal Liberals are at least one leadership campaign away from forming a government in Canada again. Harper and the Conservatives must be giggling in their beer and popcorn.

    By Blogger Andy, at 7:13 PM  

  • Is Andrew Telegdi still in?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:14 PM  

  • We're going to be in government for a while...

    By Blogger Toronto Tory, at 7:21 PM  

  • Bob Rae!!! One word......ONTARIO. Three letters...............NDP.


    Nuff said.

    Back to Harvard vs. Cornell. Iggy and #29.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 7:21 PM  

  • I absolutely agree, CG. All this nonsense from the conservatives casting doubt on the Liberal brand is hogwash. The big three who've dropped out know fresh blood is just what Canada needs.

    By Blogger Agent Banana, at 7:25 PM  

  • To recap, eliminating those who Stephen Harper would *school* in a French debate, our prospects are below.

    Contenders:
    Michael Ignatieff
    Ken Dryden
    Bob Rae
    Allan Rock
    Stephane Dion

    Thanks for coming out:
    Martin Cauchon
    Joe Volpe
    Maurizio Bevilacqua
    Gerard Kennedy

    Still not a bad field. Iggy v. Dion? Gawd would I love to see them debate en francais (provided Iggy's French is as good as they say it is). Or Iggy/Rae in English. I like Rock's chances, but I can't say I want to hear him debate. I like Ken Dryden, but I neither like his chaces nor the sound of his voice.

    By Blogger matt, at 7:33 PM  

  • Matt,

    I am hearing that in spite of playing for the Habs, Ken Dryden is not fluent in French.

    Anyone know for sure?

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 7:40 PM  

  • CalgaryGrit,

    Brilliant comment about the Alliance race. Thought, and laugh, provoking.

    As a general rule, I just take the predictions and consensus of the commentariat, and then believe the exact opposite.

    By Anonymous Shane Baker, at 7:46 PM  

  • I can't believe how dumb this post is.

    There was a reason why Harper's only combination in the 2004 race was so light: everyone knew Harper had it sewed up. Ditto for the 2003 Liberal Leadership race. This beast is not similar and to compare the two is wrong.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:49 PM  

  • 5:49 that's stupid on a level I can't even desribe. It was only a lock for Harper because people like Mike Harris didn't run. If they ran, Harper would have lost easily.

    We're likely to get a similar scenario here. I suspect Ignatieff will win now, might have before anyways, but might not have.

    Situation is identical. Go crawl back under your rock in suburban Alberta, and find a blog that caters to folks like you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:53 PM  

  • I'll bet all of ya a million bucks...Tobin's gonna come back..watch...I have a feeling Manley might jump in....but Tobin...definitely will trust me on that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:59 PM  

  • Anon; You're telling me Harris or Lord couldn't have won the CPC race? Or that McKay couldn't have, at least done well?

    The fact is, Harper was the best of a gawd-awful field. Even today, I don't think many people think Harper is an exceptionally gifted politician. There were a lot fewer who thought so back in 2004.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:11 PM  

  • Liberals - R.I.P.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:23 PM  

  • Harper is an exceptionally gifted politician. Look at his record, but I do hope people continue to down play him, as that is when he performs the best.

    Also remember Chuck Strahl was planning on running but did not have the funds, same as Jim Prentice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:37 PM  

  • I will concede that Harper had extremely weak competition in the Tory leadership race.

    But I don't believe that ought to reflect on the strength of his own qualities and credentials. Without the baggage that came with coming in as Alliance leader, he mey well have crushed that field, rather than just easily beating it.

    Looking back on it now, I would say that the one person who would have really been a truly formidable opponent to Harper in that race would have been Peter MacKay, had he been smart enough not to sign the dreaded deal with Orchard earlier on.

    And that includes Mike Harris. The mere mention of Walkerton would have been enough to finish him.

    Looking at the potential Liberal field with the big three out, the only one I can see rising to Harper's level or beyond would be Stephane Dion.

    He would be an intellectual match to Harper. But more importantly, he's a francophone Quebecer, something the Liberal Party desperately needs at the moment.

    But having said that, his history as an ex-Chretien minister may be too much to swallow for a province still seething with rage over Adscam.

    In short, the Liberal Party is in a world of trouble right now. And that's exactly why the party's heavyweights aren't bothering to take a run at leading it.

    By Blogger Brandon, at 12:17 AM  

  • I somehow think that Dion's accent won't be overlooked as Chretien's was in a general election. The "2nd generation academic from Outremont" accent isn't forgiven the way "da liddle guy from Shawinigan" was.

    By Blogger matt, at 12:44 AM  

  • CG:

    Perhaps Lord or Harris could have won the Conservative leadership. The fact is neither particularly wanted to face, what at the time was popularly believed to be, the unbeatible giant known as Paul Martin.

    Had they known about Sponsorship earlier, you would have seen more than three contest for the leadership.

    By Anonymous Kiraly, at 1:10 AM  

  • Tories/anonymous blogwackers,
    In what world was Harper thought of in '03 as anything but a deep-tory sacrificial choice? No Harris, no Klein, no Lord and no McKay. They may have not ran, but it wasn't because they were scared of Stevie Wonder. Hey, don't get mad, I'll pay my respects later. But that field was weak -- the powers that be did not see much of a future with all the potiential infighting and the 'supposed' Martin juggernaut. Cut to '04 after what looked like a possible victory slipped to a Lib minority -- he was ready to quit. The public wasn't buying their soap, the candidates where firing their shotguns into their fellow teammates trousers, it was debilitating. He stuck it out and hit the pancake circuit in the supper -- to more than a few guffaws from pundits and media types. Six months later, he and his party run the most awesome shock and awe election campaign, something other parties will be studying in a multitude of countries, for years! But even with that, and a major scandal plus another explosion mid-campaign, and as inept a performance by a party and leader since Bob Skelly in '88 -- he manages a weak minority, less than Martin did in '04!
    There was no one but the Tory koolaid supply clerks completely inhaling what he was selling -- 37% is enuf in our wacky democracy, but its no landslide!
    But with all that, I give you your props -- he has shown much much more style and panache -- but sorry, no charisma. Perhaps charisma is overrated? Harper holds the keys and even my Liberal values see he alone isn't going to hand them back. We need a Diefenbaker-like meltdown, with multi-muff-ups before people are not going to take it back from him. They will give him the benefit of the doubt for another election.
    Us Liberals need to pick wisely, looking to the future and map out just what we stand for. None of this 'Liberal values are Canadian values' pap, no more 'We conquered the deficit' crap -- it was the Canadian people who did that and I think they would like to see that acknowledged.
    Well, I'm going back to my coffee!

    By Anonymous daninvancouver, at 2:03 AM  

  • Why are all the top people you're touting either lawyers or academics? How about someone who has actually lived in the real world and who can actually relate to working people and families? And no, I'm not a dipper. They have even more academics who don't get it.
    And why are there so many people that have or aspire to a top position in the Liberal party so closely associated with Power Corp. (including Bob Rae, for crying out loud). It makes me think that the Gov't of Canada is for their benefit alone. One corporation should not have that much influence.
    OK, I've had my rant. Carry on dreaming about a Liberal resurection.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:09 AM  

  • I think Ignatief will win, and be the Liberals equivalent of Preston Manning. Then after a few years, they'll find a Stockwell Day to take over, and then the new blood will have had time to make something of itself and they'll finally get a new name who has a chance of winning the country over without being dragged back to the current messes that riddle the party structure and policywise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 AM  

  • Again. Who the hell is thinking Bob Rae is a Liberal. I have never thought so. I don't even know how the guy is being mentioned. Ditto Dosanjh. Ditto Stronach. Ditto Brison.

    As for Power Corp. You're kidding right. You think it's just a Liberal thing. Mulroney is right in there with the Desmarais. Mila introduced McKay to Desi's daughter and apparently Petey and her have "had relations".

    If the Power Corp link offends you, then Belinda's out for sure. Frank and DESI are buddies too.


    The What Do I Know Grit

    By Blogger James Curran, at 7:53 AM  

  • If Rona Ambrose can give the goalie a little slap behind the ear and reduce him to a quivering bowl of jello, you Grits had best keep looking.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 AM  

  • RE: Anonymous 12:09AM

    You said:

    "Why are all the top people you're touting either lawyers or academics? How about someone who has actually lived in the real world and who can actually relate to working people and families?"

    You mean to tell me Stephen Harper is not an academic ideologue?

    He received his BA and his MA in Economics from the University of Calgary then worked for the Reform Party in their formative years. Then he ran for Parliament lost, and then won the next time. After that brief stint, he got 'annoyed' with Preston and left the Reform Party to head the ultra-righty National Citizens Coalition until he did what? Joined the 'real world'? Nope, sorry, he ran for and won the leadership of the Alliance, and then orchestrated the merger with the real-Tories.

    So where in his after University years did he live in the real (non-academic) world?

    A.L.

    By Blogger A.L., at 9:53 AM  

  • A.L. makes a great point. No more of the "entitlement" crowd. No more former lawyers or talking heads from Bay St.

    Let's recap: perfect Lib. leader:

    - fresh blood
    - bilingual
    May I also add:

    - not from Quebec OR Ontario

    and

    - nurtured from grassroot middle class Canada.

    Look east my friends. Anyone there fit the bill?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 AM  

  • CG - very, very good point - this makes me feel a lot better putting it into perspective.

    By Anonymous fjm, at 10:50 AM  

  • Joe Clark fits all of the above.

    Less chin but a lot more stones than Allan Rock plus the liberal party has already adopted Brison,Stronach and the word "progressive"....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 PM  

  • It can't succeed in fact, that is what I think.

    By Anonymous www.muebles-en-guipuzcoa.com, at 4:22 AM  

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