Thursday, March 23, 2006

In Accord

A BCer in Toronto live blogs the Sheila Copps event tonight. Sounds like quite a few bloggers were there form his recap.

UPDATE: It sounds like the event was a success. You can read recaps at Kinsella, Cerberus, The What Do I Know Grit, Trickle Down Truth, shoshana, and Jason Cherniak, among others.

This is a huge step in the right direction. The Sheila Copps saga was one of the most public displays of infighting in party history, and one of the reasons a lot of the Chretien Liberals have stayed on the sidelines over the past few years. If the Liberal Party wants to come back strong in 2007 or 2008, it needs to be unified. I'll give full props to Martinites like John Duffy and Jason Cherniak for attending.

Now we just need to figure out a way to get Jean and Paul shaking hands in public together. Or dare I dream: a Herle/Kinsella embrace? (well, that might be pushing it...)


  • well well well

    It was a great night, so many people. Kennedy, Ignatieff, Jeffrey Simpson, Peter Newman, volpe, fontana, of course Sheila Copps. Madame Chretien, Susan Delacourt. Anf guess what, you heard it here first from me...Hedy Fry will be running for the leadership, no joke guys...also good old Warren Kinsella was there, it was really cool night, great had losers like Marlene Jennings there, but other than her it was great. Greatest shock of all time was to hear Hedy Fry announce that she'll run for leadership

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:17 a.m.  

  • anyone know where B.S. was?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:36 p.m.  

  • Thanks for the link CG. It was a fun night, and it seems like a lot of bloggers were there too. Cerebus, Chernaik, TDT, The What Do I Know Grit, Shoshana, and, of course, Kinsella. Perhaps blogs are beginning to be taken more seriously.

    Although, as I mentioned to Chris McLeod, who extended the invite to the blogging community, since I'm a journalist in my day job (and really should get back to work) I hope blogging doesn't supplant journalism completly. And I think there's very good reasons why it won't. It does have an importnt role to play though.

    And Grey, I heard somewhere today BS was in BC, but I don't know for sure. She really should have been there though, I think she was the only one of the likely major candidates that wasn't.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 1:49 p.m.  

  • Disgusting disrespect for some of the speakers by talking hacks. Can someone tell Ignatieff to SHHHHHHH next time - Shoshana will concur - she said SHHHHHH to more than a few. I know he does not know most of these people since his last Liberals campaign was over 30 years ago but that gives him no right to ramble while others are trying to listen.
    The elitist quote of the night found in The Star: "What a bunch," proclaimed Etobicoke-Lakeshore's new MP, Michael Ignatieff, as he gazed upon the crowd filing into the hall where Copps was being feted. "Can we herd these cats? Yes, the question does occur. Oh sure, these are great cats. These are the best cats there are." Liberals are cats and Ignatieff wants to be head cat.
    When Turner called Copps - someone who participates in nomination battles - a "DEMOCRAT" I looked over at the guy who was parachuted into a safe Liberal riding - without a nomination battle. Lets start a poll to see how quick he goes back to Harvard if he does not win.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:16 p.m.  

  • How many places are you planning on copying and pasting that, Lester?

    Enough with the agenda.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 3:02 p.m.  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • The National Post had an article today that singled out Kennedy as creating a buzz.

    Liberals talk of 'rekindling the innocence': Tribute to Sheila Copps: Loudest buzz reserved for Gerard Kennedy
    National Post
    Fri 24 Mar 2006
    Page: A12
    Section: Canada
    Byline: Peter Kuitenbrouwer
    Dateline: TORONTO
    Source: National Post

    TORONTO - About 400 members of the Liberal Party of Canada, including up to a dozen candidates for the leadership job, packed the ballroom at the King Edward Hotel last night for a tribute to Sheila Copps, the former deputy prime minister, which organizers said doubled as a healing session for the party.

    "It's 'Hey guys, let's all get together and sing 'Kumbaya,'" explained Dan Donovan, an executive at Magna International and long-time Liberal Party insider. "It's a wonderful event."

    The evening began with the piercing voices of the Nathaniel Dett Corale soaring in great gospel harmony above the hubbub in the crowded lobby: "Walk together children, don't you get weary," they sang. "There's a great camp meeting in the Promised Land."

    With that, hundreds of Liberals -- who each paid $50 to get in -- trooped into the hotel's Sovereign Ballroom and stood, sipping beer and wine, and listened to a long and emotional speech by Ms. Copps, heritage minister in the Chretien cabinet.

    Ms. Copps, now a newspaper columnist, covered the arc of her 20 years in federal politics, recalling how she breast-fed her daughter in the lobby of the House of Commons.

    She called on the Liberal Party to renew itself and "rekindle that innocence."

    "Canadians need to feel that politics is a noble place," she said.

    The event doubled as a coming-out party for Liberal leadership candidates.

    Several members of Paul Martin's last cabinet, including MPs Ken Dryden and Stephane Dion, showed up. Bob Rae, the former NDP premier who is toying with a run at the leadership, appeared, plus Toronto Liberal MPs Carolyn Bennett and Michael Ignatieff.

    But one of the loudest buzzes in the room last night was reserved for Gerard Kennedy, the former food bank worker who is Minister of Education in Ontario.

    "He's young, he represents renewal," said Sean McDonald, a former Liberal staffer who runs the blog

    Mr. Kennedy "came from Alberta," Mr. McDonald said. "He's perfectly bilingual. He's brown-haired, not grey-haired."

    Mr. Kennedy promised last night to decide soon whether to jump into the race. If he does run, he plans to call for major change in the party.

    "There has to be a fundamental reform of the party," he said. "It needs to be a much more open party.

    "The success of the party caused it to be cloistered. It missed the beat in terms of connecting to people. We need to roll up our sleeves and look at the way the party works."

    Mr. Kennedy praised the event as, "another non-linear event by Dennis Mills. There is nothing particularly logical about it," he said.

    But he called it a good chance to heal old wounds. "People are here from every one of the former factions," he said.

    Notable by their absence last night were Belinda Stronach, the Liberal MP for Newmarket, and Jean Chretien, for whom Ms. Copps was a staunch ally. Aline Chretien, the former prime minister's wife, stood in for Mr. Chretien, explaining that he is in China.

    "Jean thinks she was one of his best ministers," Ms. Chretien said of Ms. Copps.

    Dennis Mills, the former Liberal MP who is now an executive at Magna Corp., was beaming last night at the success of the event, which he threw together on short notice.

    "Wasn't that a nice peaceful evening?" he asked a guest as they departed.

    Edition: Toronto
    Story Type: News
    Length: 562 words

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 p.m.  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:06 p.m.  

  • Fair enough, Lester. I just did. I called him up and taught him some manners. Read him a whole chapter from Miss Manners. Now can you focus on the good? Did you enjoy any part of what every other Liberal other than you and s.b. thought was a resounding success with a real electricity in the air? Any part at all? Or is this just a platform for more attacks, the very kind of personal attacks the King Edward Accord was designed to avoid?


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 3:21 p.m.  

  • CEREBERUS...Great to see Sheila and Aileen again. Wish Jean had made it. Excellent event. Need more of them. Just wish I could hear everything that was being said. Hate people speaking in movie theatres and theatrical productions. Respecting others matters to us older types.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:28 p.m.  

  • She called on the Liberal Party to renew itself and "rekindle that innocence."

    INNOCENCE??? In the LIBERAL Party? Boy - she walked through 20 years of politics with her eyes closed, didn't she? From 'ripping up the FTA' and 'cancelling the GST' to pepper-spraying peaceful demonstrators and eventually to demonizing the Canadian Forces, the Liberal Party has been about one thing: the acquisition and exercise of power. Innocence has nothing to do with the LPC - and Copps should know that. Or, just maybe, she was (and remains) full of shit.

    By Blogger deaner, at 3:36 p.m.  

  • Heh. Wonder what S.B. thinks about using "girl" as an epithet, Lester. Keep up the good trolling.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 3:52 p.m.  

  • JASON...Spotted you on every blog I was on. Am I the only troll?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 p.m.  

  • Lester, maybe not the only, but you are a Troll.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 p.m.  

  • LOL, Aline Chretien says that 'Jean' considers Sheila one of the best ministers in his cabinet. Sheila was a figure head Deputy PM who just did whatever Jean told her to do. She had ZERO real power. She was not in any manner involved in the daily functioning of the government.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:05 p.m.  

  • I'm not trying to rain on the parade, but is it not a bad thing when all the castaways from the prior leadership candidates of the PCs in their rump party days are gunning for the Libs? Not to mention, Shoshana didn't run a great 'avertorial' for the event. And after reading Cherniak's blog again (and I'm sure there's some Cons stoking the fires there), I am thinking that, at least in LibLogLand, the factions still have a lonnnnng way to go. (Especially at Cherniak dumping so hard on McIssac. Sure he's a fringe candidate at best, but *original phrase not used in light of the McIssac issue* don't beat on him either.

    I'll admit, I'm a closet Tory, but I want to see a strong Liberal party, not one that goes from 2 factions to 3 or 4. Am I just looking too much too soon?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 p.m.  

  • Roby,
    In my opinion the more former federal PC's that get involved in the LPC the better. Red tories were really never much different than Liberals and to the degree the LPC can poach the progressive side of the Conservative Party the better it is in the long-term. Over time I think Harper will have a hard time straddling the middle and keeping his so-con base happy. Look at what Bush has had to do in the US to cater to the right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 a.m.  

  • Warren Kinsella posted this on his website - and then removed it this morning.

    Anybody got the skinny?

    March 24, 2006 - It's really, really late, or really, really early, depending upon your point of view.

    Tonight - I won't provide any details - I had a mind-boggling, jaw-dropping, life-altering experience. If you know me, you already know that I can be pretty much be brought over to your side with a handshake and a beer.

    Someone, tonight, bought me a beer and offered a handshake and immediately made me feel crummy about approximately 13 years of bad stuff. From combatant to doubter in 30 minutes.

    It's like Rabin used to say, I guess: who else do you make peace with, but your enemies?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:09 p.m.  

  • Jason, Lester isn't trolling. He's on topic and contributing to the discussion. He has the same thing to say on many blogs because they are having the same discussion.

    As far as shamelessly using this as a partisan exercise, you are the only person promoting a candidate on the blogs about the evening. I don't think that is trolling either. About 80% of the room felt the same way Lester and I did. They are just not writing about it on their blogs. There may be steps taken to ensure talking doesn't go on during speeches at Liberal functions in the future.

    I'm a nobody. Completely unimportant and I don't belong to any political camp that has to play nice. So I just call 'em like I see 'em.

    Report has it that Belinda Stronach was at a hockey game and not in BC, very strange and I think a very large mistake.

    Perhaps because she felt people would assume she would benefit from the donations for the evening it would be best to not be there.
    Or that people would assume women in politics don't need financial assistance, given her wealth and not donate.

    Also what was she supposed to do, donate money to a fund for her competitors or not donate, and how much to donate? She is a billionaire. Both awkward situations, it must have been a difficult call for her.

    I don't know. But she should have been there. And I'm sure she won't apply for any of the funding generated that evening for women in leadership.

    By Blogger S.K., at 2:23 p.m.  

  • s.b. - YMMV, Lester seems to me like the prototypical anon-smear troll that is bedevilling this leadership race.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 4:42 p.m.  

  • I don't know jason, he's not anonymous and he says just about what I said went on. I know you like Ignattieff. I know you've decided to support him and that's fine.

    But calling someone who's a liberal and is contributing to discussions on topic on blogs doesn't make them a troll, just because they didn't have the time to write individual remarks on all the blogs about the evening, or because he's criticizing your candidate.

    I don't think he's endorsed any one candidate. Neither have I. I don't plan to either until the candidates are declared and they have put forward some platforms or ideas. Arbour made an interesting comment in the Star yesterday too about equating a run for the leadership to when she got her first phone call to be on the Supreme Court and said, "Do you know where I am? Do you know what I'm doing?" Interesting, because she ended up on the Supreme court.

    There are trolls, go over to Cherniak's blog if you want to see trolls. Lester is not a troll.

    By Blogger S.K., at 6:25 p.m.  

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