I had all but decided to support John for leadership this time around. Yes, yes, I know the prospect of a Harper-Manley debate is enough to put you to sleep just thinking about it, but if Harper has shown us anything, it’s that substance trumps style every day. John Manley was exactly the kind of person the Liberals needed – experienced, proven, consistent, and impeccably clean on the ethics front. I don’t know a more ethical politician out there and Manley is someone who would never get a “Mr. Dithers” label. I also happened to agree with him on a lot of policy specifics and on his overall vision of Canada, so supporting John just made sense to me.
Here’s a quote from the New York Times October 27th, 1993:
The Conservative Party derided him as "yesterday's man" because he faithfully served Prime Ministers Lester B. Pearson, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and John N. Turner. But by placing today's problems in the hands of Jean Chretien, who will become the country's next Prime Minister, Canada's voters said experience must count for something.
There’s no doubt in my mind that John Manley would have been the right person to rebuild the Liberal Party.
So, with him dropping out, I’ve decided to endorse Joe Volpe.
No, I’m going to play very close attention to the field over the next couple of weeks. Tobin and Brison are charismatic, but I wonder if the substance is there. I like Martin Cauchon but worry about the Adscam/Chretien cloud. I like Ignatieff but am absolutely petrified by his lack of experience in politics, and in Canada. I’m a HUGE Stephane Dion fan but wonder if he’ll have the organization to actually win. Gerard Kennedy sounds too good to be true, but I know next to nothing about the guy.
My only hope is that we get a long, fair race with a lot of candidates to choose from.