Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Race for Stornoway: My Pick

I'm going to switch the order and start this profile off with an endorsement of Gerard Kennedy to be the next leader of the Liberal Party. Three months ago I had no idea who Gerard Kennedy was but the more I hear about him and the more I listen to him, the more convinced I become that he's the right man to lead the Liberal Party at this crucial time of renewal. So why Gerard?

Well, for starters, he meets all the minimum requirements to be leader of the Liberal Party:

Bilingual? Check.
Clean on the ethics front? Check.
Not associated with the Liberal Party civil war? Check.
Political experience? Check.
Effective communicator? Check.

But meeting those requirements only makes Kennedy a competent candidate with a kick ass political name. What else does he bring to the table?

Well, for starters, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Gerard Kennedy is the most electable candidate in this race. He's young, he's photogenic, he's a charismatic speaker, and the ladies assure me that he's quite cute. He'd be the kind of fresh, energetic face which could excite the public, and draw people back to the Liberal fold. His wife is Acadian which will play well in the Maritimes, and Kennedy himself spent the first 26 years of his life in Western Canada. As a Calgary grit, it's extremely encouraging to see a candidate with strong Western roots in this race, and I think there are a few seats in Edmonton which would swing to a Kennedy led Liberal Party. With the party on the decline in Quebec, it's absolutely essential to reach out to the West and, from what I've seen, Kennedy is the best individual to do that.

Another big drawing point for me is his experience. While Stephen Harper was off writing about fire walls before entering politics, Gerard Kennedy was running food banks. Listening to Gerard talk about poverty, you can tell that it's an issue he is passionate about and that he's in politics because he wants to make a difference. Jack Layton can talk all he wants to about helping the disadvantaged but Kennedy has walked the walk. In an age when Canadians are cynical towards politicians, I think voters would welcome an individual who has spent his life trying to make Canada a better place for all Canadians. Because of this, it would not at all surprise me if Jack Layton is having a few nightmares about the prospect of running against a Kennedy led Liberal Party.

Some will ask about his policy and vision, and after listening to him this weekend, I'm sure the substance is there. Kennedy has talked about making Canada an internationally competitive country, where immigrants can succeed. He's talked about promoting enterprise to spur on the economy. We know he has a commitment to education and to the disadvantaged. And, judging from his track record at the Daily Bread Food Bank and as Ontario Education Minister, he seems like an individual who can achieve results.

Pierre Trudeau was just what the Liberals needed in 1968, and I believe Gerard Kennedy is what the Party needs in 2006. Gerard has spoken about engaging the grass roots and reaching out to Western Canada. The Liberal Party needs a leader willing to spend the next decade of his life rebuilding a party sorely in need of repair. Gerard has shown a commitment to the Liberal Party for over a decade and he's talked about fixing the problems which ail it. He's a fresh face who can inject life into this party and remind Liberals of why they are Liberals. Free from past civil wars and supported by all wings of the Party, he's a candidate Liberals can rally behind after the race. Because of all these reasons, I am very proud to be supporting Gerard Kennedy in the Liberal leadership race.

Gerard Kennedy

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."

Age: 45

Background: Born in The Pas, Manitoba, Kennedy attended University in Ontario and Alberta. Like all 22 year olds, Kennedy helped found Canada's first food bank in Edmonton, becoming its first executive director. In 1986, he moved to Toronto to run Canada's largest food bank, managing a 30 million dollar non-profit organization without a dime of government support. Try running an attack add against that.

Political History: Kennedy won a 1996 by-election for Bob Rae's old seat, a seat which hadn't gone Liberal red in 70 years. Less than a year later he ran for the provincial leadership, losing to Dalton McGuinty on the 5th ballot. Despite McGuinty's loss in '99, Kennedy stayed loyal and was rewarded with the Education portfolio when the reptilian kitten eaters rolled to power in 2003. In that portfolio Kennedy has done a lot to give Ontario labour peace (if you think the Bettman and Goodenow had a tough time, the Ontario teachers are far, far more difficult to bring under contract), cut class sizes, promote healthy lifestyles at school, and go after bullying.

Rejected Campaign Slogan: "Think Ted Kennedy...minus the boozing!"

Rejected Endorsement: If my track record of supporting candidates is any indication, Calgary Grit.

Guaranteed Endorsement: Mississauga Peter

Pros: Young. Has experience in politics, but is clean of civil war and Adscam stains. Charismatic. Fluently bilingual. Roots across the country.

Cons: Not a ton of name recognition outside of Ontario. Not a lot to make fun of thus far, which will seriously make my life as a blogger more difficult should he win...

Chances: Kennedy has started at a disadvantage, having to focus on his job as Education Minister, while other candidates criss crossed the country. Despite that, Kennedy is among the group of 5 or 6 who have a realistic shot at winning it on the convention floor. At that point, he'll have to reverse the karma of 1997 when he lost on the 5th ballot, at 4:30 am.

I can't speak for our East, but I'm fairly sure Gerard will do well in Western Canada, having already recruited some big organizers in all four Western provinces. Rumour is, he'll also land a couple big name endorsements and has good caucus support among the under 40 crowd. He's got strong youth support and has managed to draw in organizers from both the Chretien and Martin wings of the party.


  • I agree with you, Kennedy could be the next best thing for the Liberal Party since Trudeau. If he has a good organization there are no reasons why he shouldn't be the next leader. Let's see how his PR will be and who he can get for endorsement. He does need some of the big wheels to come forward quick and start supporting him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 p.m.  

  • Joe Volpe is crushed that he lost your endorsement.

    I have some relatives with the PEI Department of Education who have worked with him over the years, and they were quite impressed with him.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 12:40 p.m.  

  • Good Call CG!

    Can't wait to see Kennedy in the House challenging Harper!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 p.m.  

  • I too have met the candidate (has he officially declared yet?) and was quite impressed with his views on party renewal and how Canada must confront our environmental responsibilities. He spoke clearly and was quick on his feet, despite it being the third meeting of the day with potential supporters.
    We need a leader who believes in the long-haul and can unite the fractured lines of the party along with bringing together the left and the right. And while some have questioned his lack of degree (not sure if its true, but its been questioned), this is not a case of someone who is reaching beyond their capabilities. When he's seen a need, he's gone out and sacrificed and done it (food banks). When he's been asked to serve in difficult positions (ministry of eductation) he's gone out and done it. As you mentioned, uniting school boards, teachers and parents, getting the two main parties to sign a four-year peace agreement, is something truly amazing. For those reasons, and also because he has a bit of Lloyd Axworthy in him policy-wise, I am ready to work for his leadership run. Having Calgary Grit on his team already may have put him over the top ;^)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 p.m.  

  • he's a huge micro-manager and is known for having the same personality-style cult of supporters that Martin had. he's like a male version of Carolyn Bennett but can mask the insanity better than she ever could.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:58 p.m.  

  • Good call - I'm still between Kennedy and Dryden, but Gerard seems like a very solid choice at this time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:05 p.m.  

  • //While Stephen Harper was off writing about fire walls before entering politics, Gerard Kennedy was running food banks.//

    A "circular" observation:

    Why did Edmonton need a food bank in the first place? Uh...Economic devastation caused by the National Energy Program.

    Who was responsible for the NEP? Uh...the Liberal Party of Canada.

    Create the misery in order to save the people from the misery.

    That aside, I am a political freelancer. I will probably join the Liberal Party (temporarily) just to vote in the leadership race, and I agree that Kennedy is by far the best of the lot.

    Bloc Toronto being what it is, having lived the first 26 years of his life in Western Canada, Kennedy is undoubtedly the only candidate with the hope of resonating with Western Canadians, and Western Canada is as important as Quebec to the future of the Liberal Party/Bloc Toronto.

    Ignatitieff's and Rae's patrons each represent factions of the old Liberal Party. Time for a new generation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 p.m.  

  • It's hard to disagree with your endorsement. He has great credentials, experience and skills. I've committed myself personally to not endorsing anyone until the policy discussions start, but it's hard to resist him.

    Just picture the awesome team with him and a cabinet made up of Ignatieff, Rae, Dryden, Brison, Hall Findlay, etc. Mind you, I can see a few of those cabinet ministers making good in the throne as well.

    As I said, I'm waiting until the policy discussion starts in earnest. Electibility means we get a good shot at government, but what would we be bringing to Canadians with Kennedy? One concern Ontario Liberals had in 1996 was that he was too left. So is he still? I don't think so. I think he and the whole party have learned the importance of fiscal prudence, balance, moderation and the limits of government. But if he hasn't we'll be toast no matter how "electible" he seems now. In particular for Kennedy, how does being a very local issue/provincial issue politician jive with his policies as a federal leader. If he envisions a federal platform involving federally run food banks and housing development, we're toast out west and in Quebec.

    To round out your profile though, I'll mention two additional pros and two minor cons:

    - Pro: He's been through three significant campaigns, leadership with himself in charge, 2 provincial, so he has probably got a decent core experienced team of advisors who know how to run a campaign. He's also got experience in what will be the, or one of the, key party platform planks: a while ago, I asked my readers at Cerberus what Liberal priorities should be and the most consistent answer was education and environment. Rae is making that his primary focus, and it's one of Ignatieff's 3 priorities. So Kennedy will have good credibility there.

    - Con: It should be mentioned because it will come up, but Kennedy grew up in a private boys school in Le Pas, i.e. privilege, and "dropped out" of the two universities you mention in the profile (Trent and Alberta). Easily deflected, in my opinion: just have Layton or Harper make the accusation and the response is easy: "I grew up with some privileges and have used that to dedicate my life back to society and I gave up my university aspirations to start Canada's first food bank the first time, and to run Canada's largest food bank the second time. What have you done with your privileges?" Still, because people don't know him outside of Toronto, Ontario school boards and blog-land, he'll have to get his true story out before the Cons and Dippers do.

    My one real concern is that a lot of Liberals are projecting on to him a lot of their own hopes and views because he is so unknown. Kind of like a blank slate we can all draw our own pictures on. That was part of what created a "juggernaut" for the former leader of the party: our hopes, assisted by a lack of a real campaign, replaced good leadership vetting. Hopefully, in a clean and fair fight over policy differences, Kennedy will be able to spell out in detail what his priorities are.

    There are 3-4 candidates I could see myself falling behind without hesitation. Actual detailed policy will determine it for me, but Kennedy


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 1:11 p.m.  

  • hit return a moment too early.

    Last line: but Kennedy is way up there and has an excitement factor that many of the others do not.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 1:13 p.m.  

  • Not to be "Western-Centric" as I've now lived half my life in the East but I tend to think differently than my Toronto friends in that I always want to see some real hard evidence that a politician has integrity and authenticity both before and after they are elected which is not always easy to maintain. And I'm interested to see what kind of things they've done as a private citizen to indicate what their true character is. Anything done with an end game (or should I say gain) in mind has not much weight with me. I have the same gut feelings about Gerard Kennedy as you have expressed in your blog. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 p.m.  

  • hangingtotheleft; Dion will be the next one I throw up. He's probably my second choice, so I wanted to hold off on his profile, in case Kennedy bombed or dropped out or something.

    Cerberus; Talking to Kennedy, I'm fairly convinced he can handle the difficult national issues.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:23 p.m.  

  • My impression when I heard Kennedy speak is that his French is as good as Dion's English, which is not really a compliment. Still it's better tha Dryden who is fluent in neither official language or Ignatieff who speaks American English and Parisian French, or Brison who speaks French in slow motion and leaks income trust information in English.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:26 p.m.  

  • Good choice!

    His candidacy encouraged me to re-join the party and has excited me about politics again.

    Looking forward to the race.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 1:47 p.m.  

  • I think Kennedy is scary . . .
    But I'm a Tory.
    He was an NDPer, left the party after Bob Rae's fiasco knowing well that the party would be unelectable until the next ice age. He was an opportunist in this.
    And he's pro-union as evidenced by his yielding to the teacher' union. That being said he has been an adequate ed min, though hasn't shown himself to have steel in his backbone.
    I think his biggest challenge will be in fund raising - he'll be swimming in Iggy's pool (Brae as well if he runs) before the campaign.
    A move to the left for the party will also not be too popular on Bay St.
    That being said, he will definitely make the ladies all atwitter, will pull support from the iNDeePers, and has the retail talents.

    By Blogger Lemon, at 1:48 p.m.  

  • Speaking as a Conservative who wants the worst possible Liberal to win, Dion - not Kennedy is the guy I'm most afraid of.

    I think a lot of people are reading into Kennedy everything that they want to, whereas in my long experience with him, he's a pretty generic guy (I am kind of proud that I stumped him with my question about how the Ontario Liberals numbers added up in the 1999 election, when he visited my high school).

    For the Liberals to win the next election, they either need to win back Quebec federalists and/or middle class Ontario (and no, that isn't latteland). His food bank stuff really doesn't help him in this regard, and his association with the McGuinty has the potential to hurt him in the 905. At the same time I don't see him winning back Quebec - what you Liberals never seem to get is that Quebec socialism is about nationalism. That is why they are willing to work with a decentralist Harper who will allow them to accomplish their aspirations.

    Incidentally, I think he is problematic for you folks for the same reason the Liberal convention thought the same in 1996. Its about ideological positioning, and he was viewed then as being too far to the left. Those sort of matters can harm candidates as well - especially when the Conservative party is increasingly able to pitch itself as a centrist option.

    I think if the degree thing comes out, it WILL hurt him, because, I must re-iterate, elections are about identity. For a Conservative, not having a degree doesn't hurt the base, for a Liberal it can be fatal.

    That said, Kennedy probably has much less baggage than other contenders.

    My ranking of the top tier candidates so far (in terms of the interests of the Liberals - reverse for my list of who I hope wins):

    1. Stephane Dion
    2. Gerard Kennedy
    3. Ken Dryden
    4. Scott Brison
    5. Michael Ignatieff
    6. Bob Rae (I am begging you to let him win)

    PS: If Martha Hall Findlay had a chance I'd suggest Liberals actually take a look at her resume.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 p.m.  

  • PS: Be careful about the "female vote" thing. Remember the ill-fated words of Stockwell Day's campaign manager, when he insisted the ads with Day chopping wood would make women swoon.

    PPS: Why do we always consider the gender gap as "the Conservatives do poorly with women" - remember the flipside is that "the Liberals do poorly with male voters". There are diminishing returns to courting the female vote, and substantial benefits for some Liberal chest-thumping.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:53 p.m.  

  • Just one thought on the whole "micromanagement" sound bite that came from the press and some people like to quote endlessly.

    Exhibit A - Stephen Harper is a well-known micromanager. Love him or hate him, he's Prime Minister and turned a losing party into a (gag) winning one.

    Exhibit B - If Paul Martin had been more of a micromanager, maybe he would have noticed that the Sponsorship Scandal was in the making. His explanation was always a "wince" for me when people asked him how he wasn't aware of money being mismanaged when he was Finance Minister.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 p.m.  

  • Why did the anybody-but-Kennedy vote take hold of the Ontario Liberals way back when? I confess I was too young then and out of the country briefly, but does anybody else get the vague, off-putting feeling from Kennedy (obviously not CG)? I don't know how to describe it. I know I respect the guy and his credentials and am completely charmed by him and think he would do a very good job in a public position, but I can't warm up to him. It sorta boils down to this: I would love to see him in Cabinet but not as Prime Minister. Sorta like the Tony Clement of the Liberal Party in that sense...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:02 p.m.  

  • An excellent choice by an excellent blogger. Great profile!

    By Blogger Ned Noodle, at 2:03 p.m.  

  • Like he know's he's too good?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:04 p.m.  

  • I think I would lay off the Trudeau comparisons. The truth about him is being revealed for the first time and as many of us have always suspected, we will need to stop that bogus hero worship.

    he was a moral cowared, he failed the greatest test of his generation by not enlisting an fighting facism. He supported mass murdering dicatators like Mao & Fidel and even had Fidel at his funeral. And know we know he was a closet separatist.

    Nope . time to find a new Liberal Party hero and bury the Trudea legacy. We have squeezed all the mileage we will get out of his celebrity status.

    maybe Kennedy will be the new celeb, but don't shackle him with links to Trudeau

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 p.m.  

  • Absolutely ridiculous Bart, get your head out of your ass.

    You, and the rest of blogosphere, rips on Belinda for not having a university degree, but a two time MALE dropout gets your endorsement.

    You rip on Ignatieff for political naivite, do you even know the story of Kennedy's 1997 U2 Video?

    You rip on other candidates for behing tainted by their past, have you even looked at the state of education in Ontario?

    One word. PATHETIC. You want another few? How about SEXIST, ETHONOCENTRIC and NAIVE.

    I just lost all respect for you. Don't claim to be interested in who the 'best' candidate will be if you're willing to selectively change the requirements to benefit your pet candidate. You've been trumping this joke of an education minister for months while leaving us in "suspense" waiting for your endorsement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 p.m.  

  • "I'm sure the substance is there. Kennedy has talked about making Canada an internationally competitive country, where immigrants can succeed. He's talked about promoting enterprise to spur on the economy."

    You call that substance? What political party doesn't want Canada to be competitive internationally and be a country where immigrants are successful? This is just cheap meaningless rhetoric in the hope of making us feel good about ourselves. It does and says nothing of what needs to be done or more importantly, how it's done. It's this type of talk that puts me off politicians.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:14 p.m.  

  • "Think Ted Kennedy...minus the boozing!"

    and Chappaquiddick...

    By Blogger daveberta, at 2:17 p.m.  

  • Calgary Grit, you forgot one check mark. University Degree - oops! Gerard doesn't have one!!!


    Also, "bilingual" is being very generous to Gerard Kennedy. His french is not as good as Stephen Harpers and more like Scott Brison's and Ken Dryden's.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:23 p.m.  


    While Minister of Education, also attended 57+ Parkdale-High Park riding related events from August 27, 2005 to February 9, 2006 (past 6 months).

    Note: This is an example of his commitment and work ethic! This is not an election year and he was not expecting to be running for Leader of the Federal Liberals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 p.m.  

  • Anonymous 12:10:

    "he was a moral cowared, he failed the greatest test of his generation by not enlisting an fighting facism. He supported mass murdering dicatators like Mao & Fidel and even had Fidel at his funeral. And know we know he was a closet separatist."

    Trudeau was a closet separatist??? Are you kidding me?? Read the references you are trying to allude to. He started out as an intellectual separatist but rejected separatism in favour of a rights based nation. That is why he was the perfect politician to take them on and why they hated him so much.

    On the other point, I agree: the monumental irony of a philospher king who advocates for a just society based on individual rights who befriended totalitarian mass murderers and gave rise to the concept of "group rights" to a degree he opposed.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 2:34 p.m.  

  • Well, Chappawhatever wouldn't have happened without the boozing.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 2:35 p.m.  

  • Gerard Kennedy's experience with food banks will come in handy if he ever becomes Prime Minister. Given his lack of education, and left leaning bent, we'll need a lot more food banks in the future if he ever gets into power.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:38 p.m.  

  • Note from a Non-liberal
    1. Way to early--this will cost you drinks
    2. Met your man years ago--smart, hard working, and a little full of himself
    3. Libs need to let go of really...put him down..back away
    4. Ted without the booze? Whats the point

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 12:23 PM,

    French smear: French is the language his two children speak at home. Names: daughter, Théria, and son, John-Julien. Enough said.

    Lack of Degree smear: Covered at length on internet. Non-issue. Choice: Open Canada's first food bank vs. complete degree. (I have yet to see a degree that helped feed 150,000 families/month - Daily Bread Food Bank). Read the following at

    "Personally, I'm not far off from receiving a Bachelor of Arts, but if you told me that if I were to stop now I could accomplish even a hundredth of the above I might have to make the jump. And that's not even mentioning the labour peace that has been achieved with school teachers under Kennedy and the higher grades now being acheived by young Ontarians."

    No more drive-by smears. Only constructive criticism please!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:41 p.m.  

  • Sounds like Kennedy has a Stockwell Day nomandic background combined with a Belinda Stronach education! In all seriousness, I know Kennedy personally, and he is really sincere and intelligent. But he knows nothing of how the federal level works - just look at how long it took Harper (an intelligent political mind from any perspective) to really figure out how to successfully pitch his message. The same thing is happening to him now that happened to him in 1996 - Everyone pins there hopes on his cheery optimism and cast their own dreams onto him...but we know how 1996 ended. The fact that he spent part of his life out West isn't going to help him much because no one out West has ever heard of him - he's an Ontario politician, and you know how popular they are in the Rest of Canada.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 p.m.  

  • My own preference for Ignatieff is, eh, fairly well documented by now, I guess, but Kennedy's a great candidate, my number two choice.

    I suppose the fact that the negative, anonymous and dishonest smears have started indicates that GK is being taken seriously; from experience, I'd urge supporters not to be demoralized by it. They're just cowardly anons - there's no "anonymous mode" in real life.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 2:59 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 12:56pm

    Not sure where you have been lately, but he has a very impressive organization for this leadership in Western Canada and his life in Western Canada for 26 years is considered important to us Westerners.

    I am confident Kennedy can handle federal politics, at least he has a 10 year political record as a Liberal, unlike some of the other candidates. None of the candidates are perfect. So far, Kennedy is the best of the lot.

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

  • 3ml: Is this intended to be serious commentary? The "good Canadian kid's" lack of instinct concerns a U2 video in which he looks like a fool. The erudite professor Ignatieff's? Supporting a criminal war for which tens of thousands have died and millions currently suffer. Oh, and general ambiguity on the issue of the permissibility of torture.

    But yeah, both are pretty much just slip ups and it really isn't fair that people would overlook one while failing to get past the other.

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

  • Anonymous at 12:56pm,

    In 1996, the Liberal party did not want a leader without political experience (Ignatieff is in this postition now)and Kennedy did not win the Ontario leadership.

    He had only been in politics a few months and finishing second was actually a pretty incredible acheivement.
    Now, he has 10 years of political experience including running a ministry with a budget that was larger than some federal ministries.
    Kennedy is much more credible in 2006.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:12 p.m.  

  • Stockwell Day was also quite "electable" in the eyes of many a right winger...

    Let's see. Stock was photogenic. He had none of the Reform baggage officially attached to him. He lived in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. He served as a successful finance minister in a provincial government (wasn't he also education minister for a time?). Could also pass for bilingual.

    Kennedy and stock are miles apart intellectually, or so I'd like to believe. But until I see some real proof, and some real debates and policy discussion, I'm afraid all I see is a Liberal Stockboy.

    I know I'm wrong. But the eye sees what the eye sees, and all that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 p.m.  

  • Kennedy's private school background is a slight negative, but not necessarily for its "optics."

    Anglophone politicians who attend those "old boy" schools (Lakefield, UCC, Ravenscourt etc.) seem to miss out on developing that extra quality that allows them to go to the very top in Canada. They do very well, but can never seem to reach the top prize.

    In Kennedy's case, leaving University to run the foodbank, may cancel that out -- as it appears he may have slightly rejected this part of his background.

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 3:35 p.m.  

  • Ted at 11:11am,

    You are posting some incorrect information about Kennedy.

    1) I agree that some will view Kennedy not finishing his degree as a negative. However, my understanding is that he was asked to become executive director of the Edmonton Food Bank right at the end of his degree. I don't think he deserves to labelled as a drop out. He completed a substantial time at university. He did not drop out of Trent. He transferred to U of A.

    2)There are NO private schools in the The Pas, MB, only public.

    Kennedy took his grade 11 and 12 on a scholarship at a private school in Winnipeg. His parents are middle-class and there was no way he could go to a private school without a bursary or scholarship assistance. He did not have a "privileged" upbringing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:38 p.m.  

  • 3ML

    Thanks for your concern, I think I will take my chances with Kennedy.

    See you next election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:52 p.m.  

  • I need a good picture of him and to run him though "Prime Minister Forever" a few times to see if he's good enough.


    Definitely one of the better ones.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 p.m.  

  • Anonymous 1:38pm: Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't tyring to make a critique about him, only mentioning a couple of the "negatives" the Dippers and Cons are going to throw at him so let's see how he responds now.

    I think the private school thing is really a nothing. I think the no degree thing is as well given all that he's accomplished since then (Bill Gates never finished either BTW) and the fact that what 90%? of Canadians don't have university degrees. But his vulnerability will be attacks that lump all of that together with "from Toronto". And it won't be Layton or Harper trying to spin that one, it'll be Kenny or some other attack dog.

    As for the roots thing having no wash in Alberta, don't forget that Harper made good use of his childhood in Toronto to try and win Ontario votes. It doesn't take much, especially if his father was well respected. People have memories. Anyone know how well his father did as mayor?

    And Mike B, Westcoast, others: why the need to lash out against Ignatieff in trying to defend Kennedy? The criticisms, such as they are, are not even necessarily from Ignatieff supporters.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 4:20 p.m.  

  • I stand corrected on the private school issue. It looks like Kennedy should have no trouble connecting with the middle class.

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 4:24 p.m.  

  • You guys do not get it.
    It is not the lack of a degree that hurts Kennedy but rather his attempt to make it look like he has one that kills him. HE is padding that resume, that looks bad. It also calls into question his ethics and I have to say they are looking shabby. He has made no attempt to deal with this issue or to clear it up.
    Second, what the hell is this "Enterprise" stuff. This is his key policy and as yet I can't figure out what it means, I have the increasinly strong feeling it means nothing.
    I would also say something about his abortion position which is clearly off the reservation for a Liberal leader but I do not want to be Kinsellaed like some others who have said bad things about Kennedy and found themselves being threatened with law suits.
    I will say what I expect from a leader is clarity.
    Do you have a degree? No, oh well then will you quit trying to imply that you do.
    Are you pro-Choice? No, okay how will that effect your policy. Will you protect a womans right to choose like Martin And Chretien did with same sex despite their religion.
    What the Hell do you mean by "Enterprise" are we talking star trek models or what? I hate politicians who spout off meaningless words that mean nothing. Boy it sure sounds good but it means??????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:27 p.m.  

  • I don't care for Kennedy's views on many things but I agree he'd a be a formidable opponent. Although I think it would be much worse news for Jack Layton than for Stephen Harper.

    The more interesting question I'm waiting to have answered, regardless of who becomes the next Liberal leader, is how they're going to go after Harper in the following election.

    By Blogger ALW, at 4:33 p.m.  

  • Good kid, but just not Kennedyesque enough.

    Seriously... He's a good candidate, but he is in a race with some other good candidates. He'd make a perfectly fine leader if he wins, but I haven't seen anything from him that puts him ahead of four other people.

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 4:37 p.m.  

  • wow. Lots of responses. A few things:

    1. The University thing doesn't bother me to a large extent. Bill Gates didn't finish University because he had a chance to make a lot of money and become succesful. Kennedy had a chance to help set up Canada's first food bank - he obviously made the right decision and Canada is better off for it.

    2. He lost in '96 because he had no experience. That sort of validates my point that a leader needs political experience. He's got a decade as an MPP and several years as Ontario Education Minister - works for me.

    3. I'm not comparing the guy to Trudeau - that'd be unfair. I simply said that in a wide open race, the party needs someone like Kennedy now, just like they needed someone like Trudeau in '68. They're very different politicians.

    4. The abortion stuff are complete lies being spread systematically by another leadership camp to attack Gerard. Read the Sun article from a few weeks back when he's asked about it, or the pro-life website rankings of provincial candidates.

    To me, the fact that the criticisms being thrown his way in this thread is the best people can do, only confirms he's a good choice. It certainly seems like people grasping at straws, in comparison to some of the major problems with other candidates.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 4:40 p.m.  

  • I have spent some time with Kennedy and he is a bright guy who people will like. A criticism that comes out of Queen's Park is that he is not seen as a team player and is a bit of a lone wolf in cabinet.

    I hear he has organization our west but word is his pub night in Ottawa last Monday was a disaster.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:42 p.m.  

  • "1. The University thing doesn't bother me to a large extent. Bill Gates didn't finish University because he had a chance to make a lot of money and become succesful. Kennedy had a chance to help set up Canada's first food bank - he obviously made the right decision and Canada is better off for it."

    That doesn't explain why he didn't finish his degree part time or anything of the sort.

    Can you not picture already the attacks on the former minister of education who couldn't finish his own education? It's so blatantly obvious even a Conservative could see it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:54 p.m.  

  • I have to go with you on this one, Calgary Grit. Kudos to those who want to objectively talk about the candidates. However, the plants from other camps are so blatantly obvious with their lies that it demeans the great debate that we Liberals like to have.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • "Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."

    The left was against importing American style politics before they were for it.

    Good to see from the previous post that the Liberal world is already divided between objective Kennedy supporters and plants!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:03 p.m.  

  • 3ml,

    Are you threatened by Kennedy as an Igantieff supporter? because you are really sounding a little desperate.

    As for your comment about Iggy:

    "His response to Iraq since entering politics has been perfectly reasonable."

    I think a lot of Liberals would not agree with that comment since the Liberal Party does not endorse the war in Iraq for humanitarian reasons but Iggy does.

    The fact is some Liberals will prefer Kennedy, some will prefer Ignatieff or one of the other candidates. That is the way it should be.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:04 p.m.  

  • Kennedy is certainly my second choice. Iggy is my first.

    My take on these two men is that Kennedy appeals to your heart while Ignatieff appeals to your logic.

    Both men are smart, Kennedy has the best inentions and is very passionate. But, I agree with a lot of people on here - this is all smacking of the 1996 liberal leadership race too much for me.

    I supported Kennedy then. Many of my friends literally fell in love with the man and were crushed by his defeat. We thought that we had it locked up.

    Ten years later I can see that we were perhaps a bit naive in our reasoning. Don't get me wrong, the man is very respected but he is a sort of blank slate. He delivers rousing speeches that make you feel like you can change the world, but everyone adds something extra to him, something they are personally searching for in a leader.

    By Blogger Zac, at 5:07 p.m.  

  • I'd be surprised if the Cons or Dippers (especially the Dippers) brought up the education thing too often. Every single time they do, he gets to remind everyone that he started Canada's first food bank.

    Plus, every single time they brought that up, they'd be saying to most Canadians that they didn't think it would ever be possible for any of them to be PM, no matter what they accomplished. How quickly do you think the Cons want to lose that "Tim Horton's" advantage they manufactured in the last race?

    And BTW he lost in 1996 on the last ballot, having lead on the first 5 ballots. And he lost because every single other candidate went to another candidate and not him, in large part because of (1) experience (2) sense of being too left shortly after the NDP disaster and Conservative ascendency and (3) he and his supporters frankly pissed a lot of people off on an individual basis.

    He's completely addressed the first point. He's addressed the second point just by the way he has been a team player the last several years. "Loner" is not the same as not being a team player or working together with others for the same goal. When this leadership race gets going, the second issue, where he stands politically now, is going to be the interesting one.

    And as far as a criticism of being a micromanager, not to make a comparison to Trudeau, but Trudeau was the consomate micromanager when it came to the files that he cared about (for everything else, like the economy, he could really have cared less). Harper is a micromanager as well and that's probably what the Cons need right now. Martin's problem was that he was also a micromanager, but that unlike Trudeau and Harper, he couldn't prioritize. So being a micromanager can be a good and a bad thing.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 5:14 p.m.  

  • Gerard Kennedy helped out Michael Ignatieff in this past election and the two got along. They are both excellent progressive candidates who can lead this party back into relevance and government.

    I think it's really a terrible mistake for advocates of either candidate to attack the other; and I don't think it's what the candidates themselves want. So when the anon-a-dipper and anon-a-tory trollers try to stir things up between them, what say we take a pass, eh?

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 5:14 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 2:54pm,

    I'm sorry, during your ridiculous rant you forgot to tell us what candidate your were supporting???

    Let's see what would be material for a Conservative attack ad:

    1) sending out questionable emails on the income trust issue
    2) supporting the war in Iraq (for whatever reason)
    3) having no leadership experience running any organization or government ministry
    4)living out of Canada for 30 years
    5) leaving the last semester of your university degree to run a food bank

    Hmmmmm. Gee. The last one sounds like an outright scandal compared to the first four!

    The Grit said it best. If this is what you are going to smear Kennedy on, good luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 p.m.  

  • All you Liberals seem to be forgetting something rather important...

    Canadians have no reason to un-elect Stephen Harper and plenty of good reasons not to return your cheating lot to power for a long time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:38 p.m.  

  • oh man... regarding jh's last comment: for all intents and purposes, this is like the last leadership campaign Kennedy ran in - multiple candidates and not one has more than say... 40% of the vote if it were held today.

    The candidate who wins is going to pull of a mcguinty - be the least inoffensive. Pointing out a list of scandals associated with each and every other major candidate will repeat history for JFK minus the JF.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:44 p.m.  

  • Anon 3:38,

    Sure we do...Harper only set out five priorities and still hasn't delivered on any of them yet

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 5:47 p.m.  

  • What a surprise.

    You support Kennedy.

    Who did not see this coming?

    Too bad Joe Volpe is going to be the next leader.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 p.m.  

  • Hey Anon at 11:08:

    The National Energy Program did NOT impoverish Alberta. Kennedy set up the Edmonton Food Bank in response to those whom the oil boom had forgotten. Like Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw, Edmonton's underclass is quite visible on its streets and low rent housing projects. Alberta also has one of the lowest minimum wages. Its lack of of a PST is more than equalled by some of the higher prices paid for various retail and restaurant goods.

    Very interesting endorsement.

    David Imrie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:49 p.m.  

  • Toronto Liberal
    I thought he was gonna go with Dion so Nyah nyah

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:13 p.m.  

  • Ignatieff people really seem to be steamed by CG's support for Kennedy. I don't sense the same vitrol coming from Dion, Brison, Rae, or Dryden supporters. Why is that?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:14 p.m.  

  • Can you not picture already the attacks on the former minister of education who couldn't finish his own education? It's so blatantly obvious even a Conservative could see it.

    "Gerard Kennedy quit University to run food banks. In Alberta. Food banks. In Canada.

    We're not making this up. We're not allowed to make this stuff up."

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:15 p.m.  

  • I think Toronto Liberal is Jim Karyigannis, nobody loves Volpe that much, not even his wife.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:15 p.m.  

  • A note to all the Iggy supporters posting here, there is one of two possibilities for your guy:

    1. You are going to get 50% on the first ballot. In which case, keep making up lies about Gerard (he's pro-life) and slurs (re his university education) because you really don't need any of Gerard's people to support you. Or Rae's. Or Dryden's; or

    2. You are going to get something less than 50% on the first ballot. In which case what you are trying to do to Gerard and Rae is an unbelievable strategy. It's going to blow up in your face.

    And before any of you claim innocence (oh, we're not Iggy supporters...blah, blah, blah) - shut up and think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 p.m.  

  • "Can you not picture already the attacks on the former minister of education who couldn't finish his own education? It's so blatantly obvious even a Conservative could see it."

    Well, um, it never really came up when he was the actual minister of education but shudder...if I close my eyes I guess I can picture it...shudder...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:22 p.m.  

  • I have my masters, that does not make me more qualified to run the country than someone with a grade 10 education, or any less qualified than a someone with a PhD. On the other hand, I have lived in Canada for 27 of the past 30 years...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 p.m.  

  • I wonder if all these less then fair Iggy supporters are on the fringes of Camp Iggy or closer to the centre?

    Martin had lot's of these types around him and I always thought it wasn't his fault but if that's the case - why, like others have pointed out, are his supporters so much more nasty?

    Martin attracted poor quality followers maybe like attracts like?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:30 p.m.  

  • Anon 5:30...yeah, you don't see Dion's supporters player hatin'!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 p.m.  

  • Holy Crap...82 comments and the post has only been up a few hours...this is big news in the Canadian politics blogosphere.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 p.m.  

  • Hey "anon 5:30 and 32," get a chance to read what I posted? Ignatieff and Kennedy don't have problems - and the people I know who actually support the candidates don't have problems with each other.

    If you think anon bloggers trashing Ignatieff and Kennedy who identify themselves as being from the other camp are credible, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Not only do we not know which camp these trolls are from, we don't know what PARTY they are from.

    Let's please, Ignatieff and Kennedy supporters, not be chumped into some spurious online animosity. These are the two best candidates.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 7:42 p.m.  

  • Calgary Grit, really, verily, this guy ain't gonna win you any seats in Quebec.

    But hey, good luck with this.

    I will add: clever that many of you grits have built this whole concept of "look what a team" - in the absence of a strong leadership candidate, pushing this concept of a future cabinet instead of a prime minister per se, is very clever.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 7:46 p.m.  

  • Jason,

    I think you meant to say "two of the best"

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 7:56 p.m.  

  • I have actually changed my mind over the course of the day.

    Toronto Liberal for party leader!!! Who's with me?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:01 p.m.  

  • CG congrats on getting so many comments on a single post. I have bumped you upto No. 1 of all blogs to read.

    But, I must say, him being a university dropout irks me ... Although I don't regard a B.A. highly ... He comes from a generation that a degree is the minimum to displaying competence. Similar to Stock boy.

    Bill Gates is not a fair comparison. (If I had to explain why... no one would read my comment.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:04 p.m.  

  • STS: IMO, GK and MI are the two best, with Dion in third place; obviously that's my two cents.

    The amount of smearing they're seeing tends to suggest that persons unknown of parties unknown feel threatened by them - and obviously if they can sow dissension with their sniping, all the better for them.

    I am skeptical of attempts to manufacture animosity between these two camps, to say the least. Most of it is just silly personal digs, salted with the occasional "Ignatieff tortures Ukranians in Iraq" pajama-radical diarrhea.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 8:06 p.m.  

  • I can agree with those three being on top. Dion was who I was getting at when I fired up the italics. Don't know that there is enough space between them to make it a 2 and 1 grouping.

    Completely agree with you on the amount and origns of the mud-slinging though.

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 8:22 p.m.  

  • Wasn't everyone saying about a week ago that Igantieff was the next Trudeau -- the best thing since sliced bread? Now, Kennedy is the best thing to come along?

    Sounds like people are want a quick fix and a bandwagon to jump on.

    Face it, there are no easy answers and no one candidate can solve anything. We don't need a "fad" like Kennedy or Ignatieff -- we need stewardship and integrity to be restored in the Party.

    It's a long race folks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 p.m.  

  • Ignatieff is twice the intellect Kennedy will ever be. If you want a cute "hip" candidate, go for Kennedy, but the guy is as dumb as a bag of hammers (to quote Stephen LeDrew).

    Ignatieff is going to win anyways, despite what all the Kennedy fanatics might hope.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 p.m.  

  • Kennedy really isn't anyone whom is going to to cause myself or any other Tory to wake up at night in a cold sweat. On the whole he seems to capture a bit of the 70s nostalgia that captivates those on the left. After all he's lauded for having a great political "name". Generally a fairly insubstantial thing to be putting your money down on, after all I don't think drafting a leader whom is an obscure provincial politican on the basis that his last name was Reagan would be a good move either. Also I think the comments that he's young, photogenic, and has good regional 'roots' are more reminescent of Stockwell Day than Pierre Trudeau. Have you all inquired after his fondness for recreational watercraft?

    But a couple points to raise, Harper is considered a "western politician" although he grew up in Ontario. Kennedy grew up in the west but spent most of his life now in Ontario. That makes him an Ontario politician. Given that he hasn't lived in Western Canada for the last 20 some odd years I don't think he really has much of a native sun card to play. If he tries it will look about as silly as every leader in last campaign's debate desperately fumbling for some family connection to the maritimes. As an Ontario politican and being left wing I don't think he will have a great deal of credibility in Western Canada.

    Furthermore, if either Bob Rae or Kennedy become leader of the Liberal Party, and as a side note perhaps there should he an organization of Tories for Bob Rae, and lead the Liberal Party left they will drift away from the center of the political spectrum. Losing the centre to the Tories and losing the ability to demonize them as its going to become increasingly apparant that Stephen Harper will not kill your grandmother, eat your neighbours baby or unlease the four horsemen of the appocolyse on down town Toronto (sadly the latter possibly didn't make it through the policy convention althought it was brought forward by the Alberta delegation.) Given that the last decade of Liberal campaigning has been based on demonizing conservatives and clinging to the center in a viscious manner, I'd say that your screwed.

    Harper will do what he's doing now, impliment a gradual, cautiously conservative agenda which will cater to suburbs and reach out to Quebec while at the same time empowering the West.

    Ignatieff likely doesn't represent that same substantial leftward shift, though he is attempting to position himself as such. His prior militant views actually give him some credibility with people of a more rightward persuasion. On the other hand, he's extremely vulnerable from attacks from the left portraying him an an intellectual equivalent of the Marquise de Sade, and he can't exactly wave the flag and bash Conservatives for being too pro-american without finding news releases being churned out with past quotations.

    Brison would actually be troubling if he had always been a Liberal, hadn't made some indescreet remarks in the income trust matter, and spoke passable french. Brison's creative, charismatic and could probably play to the center better than other candidates. On the other hand, he would run into some problems demanding explainations for the implimentation of policies he was advocating as recently as a couple years ago.

    Bob Rae as mentioned negatives about leading the party to the left. He has a history of leading large segments of the country into economic decline and stagnation. Personally, I'm tempting to cut a personal cheque to the Bob Rae for Liberal Leader campaign. It would be every bit as good an investment as giving money to the CPC to see them gain their majority next time around.

    Ken Dryden, well I'm sure he'd be great at handling questions as he'd using to having shots taken at him. But seriously, Ken Dryden makes Stephen Harper look charismatic and exciting. On the other hand Dryden brings integrity to the table, name recognition and he's vanilla enough not to offend anyone. Personally I won't be surprised if Dryden manages to stay on the ballot he winds up a late round compromise candidate and wins. His slogan ought to be "No one's first choice, but everyone's third choice".

    I think the only real wild card for the Liberals is Dion. He's not wildly liked in Quebec, and his english isn't strong. However, he is intelligent, has a great deal of integrety and has been one long serving Liberal whom has been untouched by scandal. He draws a great deal of respect from people of all idealogical persuasions, I find that mildly worrisome.

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:03 p.m.  

  • What bothers me about the hype surrounding Kennedy - as well as some of the direction of the Liberal leadership race in general - is the emphasis on picking a "charismatic leader" who will then lead the rejuvenated party to victory. I realise that few here see electing a "great leader" as a panacea, but it seems to miss the point. The Liberals have let their organization atrophy in the past decade, especially, but not only in Quebec. That problem must be dealt with, first and foremost, and part of dealing with it is ridding the party of the sense of entitlement that pervades it.

    No, I'm not talking about the "culture of entitlement" - I'm talking about a party that does still see itself as the "natural government" and sees power only over a hill of strategy and a great leader away. The Liberal Party seems less a party of ideas than it does a platform for ambitious centrists with malleable ideals to enter politics and government.

    Kennedy's lack of a completed university degree is indeed troubling - it would make him the poorest educated PM in decades if not ever. That's something you can get away if you're Stephen Lewis or Bill Gates. But Kennedy is no Lewis and he's not Gates. Why, after all these years, has he not finished?

    By Blogger JG, at 9:16 p.m.  

  • Islandliberal said " Well, Chappawhatever wouldn't have happened without the boozing.

    Point taken.

    Did you know Ted Kennedy has been a US Senator for almost 44 years! That means Gerard Kennedy must have been at least 2 or 3 when Ted Kennedy was elected...

    By Blogger daveberta, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • and I think the reaction to this post says alot about how much of a threat some people think (but may not admit) Kennedy is.

    How much did your Joe Volpe post get, CG? 10 comments?

    By Blogger daveberta, at 11:01 p.m.  

  • In terms of his going to the private school, if I understand what I've read correctly, he didn't go there because he was privileged, he went there on a full scholarship as a hockey player -- how Canadian-heroic is that??!?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 p.m.  

  • Finally someone with some sense in this party. Really there is no other choice than Kennedy. How do we get involved in his campaign?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:44 p.m.  

  • "With the party on the decline in Quebec, it's absolutely essential to reach out to the West"

    My problem is I don't know that gains in the West can offset losses in Quebec. Kennedy could spend the next ten years in the West and all he would be is ten years older. I'm not saying that someone else could pull it off...just that the West isn't particularly fertile ground for Liberal MP's

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 12:42 a.m.  

  • Anonymous at 9:44pm,

    You can get involved with the Kennedy campaign at

    Click on volunteer for Team Kennedy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 a.m.  

  • All I know guys, is that our party will be better off with people like Ignatieff, Kennedy and Dion runing for its leadership.

    Compare this to the last leadership that we had (1988) and the quality of candidates then and now. It is simply not comparable.

    In regards to Harper, I am not sure if he is as good as some make him to be. I mean he got a weak minority after his opponents essentially decided not to show. He's got an anti-social attitude and he's already dugged himself in multiple holes (transit plan of Cons apparantly won't fly, yet they have canned almost every environmental plans, their child care plan is somewhat up in the air...their GST cut might not go through...their accountability package is selective and in fact reduces the freedom of information act stuff and it is also broken by the party many times over already. His cook is suing him. He has fired two Communication directors in 8 months. He has stolen a guy from the other side of the floor. He is made an appointment to the senate after campaigning against such stuff all his life, etc...)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 a.m.  

  • I like Gerard, he seems like a nice balance of idealism and pragmatism.

    I think I'm going to support him, hopefully he'll be strong is Sask where I live...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:52 a.m.  

  • Well GK could do wonders getting that left flank back from the NDP. However, it seems ALL of the "major" contenders are more leftish Grits, so either way the NDP may have some trouble next time out. The key is to find the leader who can get back the lost NDP votes and recapture some of the middle that the Conservatives are taking. And I'm very skeptical about him rebuilding the party in Alberta. Doing so is going to be at least a 3-4 election mission, free of even the slightest hint of the "I like to do politics with people from the East. Joe Clark and Stockwell Day are from Alberta. They are a different type. Just kidding. No I'm not! har har har har." kind of nonsense that was all the rage when Ontario was a fortress. Think of how hard it was for Reform to woo Ontario, that is how the Liberals will do in Alberta for quite some time still. In the short game, without getting back Quebec, the Liberals CANNOT win a majority.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 a.m.  

  • Am i the only one who thinks Iggy looks like the love child of Michael Dukakis and John Kerry?

    He is after all a Massachusetts Democrat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 a.m.  

  • Kennedy attented St. John's Ravenscourt in Winnipeg on a full hockey scholarship.

    By Blogger Don, at 11:32 a.m.  

  • I hope people aren't drinking so much Kennedy kool-aid to suggest that he will win the "hockey" vote. I think someone else in the race might have something to say about that ...

    I think that certain someone might have even played for Team Canada or won some Stanley Cups or something ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 p.m.  

  • Calgary Grit -- you're endorsement is fine but it means you've lost your credibility as a neutral blogger. Now everything you post will be coloured by your support for Kennedy. And even if it's not, people will see it that way.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:27 p.m.  

  • "Calgary Grit -- you're endorsement is fine but it means you've lost your credibility as a neutral blogger. Now everything you post will be coloured by your support for Kennedy. And even if it's not, people will see it that way."

    Strange thing, eh? Guy who writes a political blog, takes a keen interst in the issues affecting Canada, and articulates in a clear voice what he believes in decides to take a stand in the Liberal leadership race.

    What next?

    By Blogger Don, at 1:20 p.m.  

  • I agree, what a blog!!

    A good choice CG.

    It’s fun to see Conservatives deconstructing the Liberal leadership field and instructive as well, once you get past the inane pejoratives.

    The criticism of Kennedy as a “de facto easterner” by virtue of living in Ontario is quite laughable. One of the distinguishing characteristics of being Canadian is the ability to move from one part of the country to another, while retaining the “perks” of Canadian social democracy…or what remains of it.

    Kennedy represents all of the positive things people here have said he is and best of all, he’s a candidate, who is virtually without blemish.

    However, Kennedy does have one big handicap. The Liberal “back room” doesn’t want him. It doesn’t want Ignatieff either, but that’s a whole other story…most of the front room doesn’t want Iggy. (I would acknowledge- after some thought, however- that Iggy is a long-term asset, but would strongly suggest he is not leadership material).

    Kennedy is a principled individual, who stands left of the centerline. That’s why the back room ended up organizing against him in Ontario.

    Still, he showed resilience, integrity, modesty and loyalty, qualities, which are essential to any decent individual in this society and fairly rare in a politician.

    Above all, Kennedy is consistent.

    Whether he wins or not is almost irrelevant in the long run, the final analysis- regardless of the critics- it will be Kennedy who leads those who want to raise the bar in the search for a new approach to politics by Liberals.

    At least the ones who want Canada to stand for caring and positive values.

    By Blogger Jim, at 1:20 p.m.  

  • You can buy the hype, you can love the bulletproof resume, you can stargaze at his image on TV.

    But who is Gerard Kennedy? What makes him tick? Is he just another wanderlust with a messiah complex who runs for every leadership race he stumbles across?

    I was genuinely excited and curious about Kennedy and I did my research on him. The problem with Kennedy is he's not much loved among his own in Queen's Park. That says a lot about the man. Word is he's aloof and full of himself, not supportive of his colleagues, and by all accounts doesn't give anyone his full attention. He stares through you.

    What was most telling for me about Kennedy is he doesn't get the respect of those he should - those who know him and work with him but don't rely on him for their meal ticket. Warhorse organizers in the West are worth jack as far as endorsements go. Political image makers can't change a man's character, and eventually the public sees through the spin. I'm not interested in gushing testimonials about how "on the level" or "down to earth" Kennedy was with you one on one, what matters is what he's like when he's NOT running for leadership. I wish he was the real deal. Too bad he flunks out.

    The contenders who pass the character litmus: Dion and Dryden. Godfrey too but unfortunately he's out.

    Ignatieff is another solipsist who can't stop talking about himself, sucking in neophytes who love the hype, pretend to have read his books, and have no clue about cultivating the grassroots. There's a reason why philosophers don't become kings. No one can rewrite every political rule in the book, from being soft on torture to having no freakin' experience of the polity you intend to govern. Good thing he's peaking too soon.

    Kennedy will end up ringing hollow. Dion is the man for the job.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 p.m.  

  • I saw this guy in Winnipeg this week and had a big turn out. He made an impressive appearance, I think the last few weeks, have shown Kennedy is gaining momentum, even though he hasn't declared. The attempt to smear the guy is pathetic but not surprising, as other camps realize he is the real deal, he has the youth, he's broadly educated, intelligent and has shown he can be successful in government and out, his accomplishments are enviable at a young age of 45. This is someone who will be popular with the Canadian public, with a clear record of public service the last 25 years, making Canada a better place to live. The Liberal party needs a youthful leader who represents change, I think the party would be wise to elect Gerard Kennedy. I voted conservative the last election due to the parties inability to offer a younger new generation of leadership, Mr.Harper is 46 and as much as I may disagree with some of his policies, he does represent a new youthful direction, something to this point the Liberals have been unable to offer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 p.m.  

  • Its interesting to me that a fair # of detractors on here of Kennedy have chosen to post "anonymously" rather then be put on the record of who they actually are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • For the eleventeenth time, all of the "OMG candidate X sucks, candidate Y will clean his clock" people are anonymous trolls, and we all know what political affiliation loves to anonymously troll.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 1:44 p.m.  

  • There are different reasons for posting anonymously. Cowardice could be one reason Scott. But the fact is its a small world in politics and posting anon allows people to speak more freely and not have their opinions held against them. Of course they aren't accountable for what they say, but is this the type of forum where you want to keep everyone accountable? It's not parliament. Without the anonymous option, everyone would be nice and perhaps less honest when it comes to brutal truths.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 p.m.  

  • Calgary Grit -- you're endorsement is fine but it means you've lost your credibility as a neutral blogger. Now everything you post will be coloured by your support for Kennedy. And even if it's not, people will see it that way.

    GAH! A political blogger with politcal biases! Curses!

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:01 p.m.  

  • cant read all 118 of these... dont know if this has been mentioned, but apparently mr food banks and telegenic grins is a total arsehole to his staff and goes through legislative assistants like mulroney went through shirts.

    that says something about his character. sure, most la's are insufferable, but many of them do put in the hours and do care about their work. la's are primadonnas, but you know what is even more primadonna? a douche who is mean to his staff.

    so if it turns out he is indeed that full of himself... ugh. the "NEXT TRUDEAU OMGZ" doesnt have to take trudeaus worst leadership trait, does he? why does the liberal party demand a big honkin ego in its saviour?

    that the liberal party is propped up by women is just sad. enough with these stupid alpha males....

    By Blogger ainge lotusland, at 2:26 p.m.  

  • A good choice indeed. He's certainly on my shortlist. I remember working on the Ontario Liberals' 2003 campaign, and the volunteer coordinator was telling me on election night that he felt that Kennedy should be premier. I looked into him a bit and was immediately very impressed. To hell with premier - this guy should be prime minister.

    Ontario's relationship with the feds would certainly have an interesting new dynamic if Kennedy and McGuinty won their respective elections, too.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 2:32 p.m.  

  • I remember Kennedy from years ago in Edmonton when he was a volunteer with the Gleaners Society which then started the Edmonton Food Bank. He was part of the poverty action crowd during some very very tough times in Alberta when we had bancruptcies and people losing their jobs and homes following Trudeau's national energy policy; then the US depression hit Canada and interest rates went through the roof and Alberta was seriously in debt. We had many people coming here from the even harsher times under an NDP government in BC so welfare rolls were soaring.
    I always assumed Kennedy was an NDP. The Liberals were certainly not poverty action socialists in those days. Kennedy was one of a number of poverty action socialists who regularily lobbied with the NDP. I understsnd he took this same lobby to Toronto to work at the Food Bank there.
    Unless he has changed his stripes this young man has been more on the giving "hand out" side of the equation rather than giving a "hand up" side which is where governments have to be while managing taxpayer's money.
    Just my thoughts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:33 p.m.  

  • He was great in Winnipeg and I think Kennedy is going to do very well in terms of delegates in this province.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 p.m.  

  • Wait a're endorsing Kennedy? I totally didn't pick that up from the preamble. I for one am shocked, shocked I tell you, that a Liberal would have personal opinions about the Liberal party.

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 2:44 p.m.  

  • Dennis at 12:44pm,

    Kennedy has always been a Liberal-check out
    for his bio and family history in the Liberal Party.

    As for the food bank stereotype of not paying attention to fiscal responsibility- in Kennedy's case it just doesn't ring true.

    Not only did he run The Toronto Food Bank, a 30 million dollar a year operation without any government money and with no deficit, but he also served as Chair of the Estimates Committee reviewing all government expenditures for seven years in the McGuinty government. In this regard, he is known as a penny pincher or as one of his cabinet colleagues stated, "He is the most diligent reader of any expenditure item in the Ontario government. He squeezes dollar bills until the Queen screams."

    I think his platform will reflect the centre where the Liberal Party belongs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:54 p.m.  

  • Kennedy had his turn at helping the unfortunate. His decision to enter into politics just over 10 years ago, I believe, is reflective of his desire not just to help the unfortunate, but to help create opportunites whereby the unfortunate can help themselves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:40 p.m.  

  • I dont think I would vote a zero who couldnt finish the most easiest of degrees ever, liberal arts.

    I could have done that with my eyes closed!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 p.m.  

  • "Anonymous said...

    I dont think I would vote a zero who couldnt finish the most easiest of degrees ever, liberal arts.

    I could have done that with my eyes closed!

    2:19 PM "

    Yet not smart enough to know how to input a real name as opposed to Anonymous. Willing to accept my point of view as credible that I am anonymous? My point exactly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 p.m.  

  • Oh Anonymous at 2:19,

    You probably did do that with your eyes closed. If you had opened them maybe you would have seen a food bank that needed running or a government that needed led.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:32 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 2:19pm,

    You forgot to tell us who your candidate was!

    Letters after a name have nothing to do with intelligence. Kennedy could get a PhD if he wanted to. There is no substitute for extensive political experience.

    I highly doubt that you or many of us would be recruited to be the director of a food bank at the age of 22 and then make the unselfish decision to take the job because it would help others more than it would help one's self. Obviously, the easier road would have been to finish the degree (and Kennedy was at the end of his degree program)and ignore the chance to make a real difference to society.

    Anyone can do the easier route with their "eyes closed" but it takes leadership, character, sound moral judgement, and maturity to take the more difficult road less travelled.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:41 p.m.  

  • solipsist?>

    By Blogger Jim, at 5:14 p.m.  

  • angela- you are a phoneyQ!

    By Blogger Jim, at 5:18 p.m.  

  • Ha! I was thinking the same thing Jim. Sheesh CG, your comment section is even teaching me new words now.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 5:22 p.m.  

  • While Kennedy and Ignatieff suporters tear each other part all over the blogosphere and in real life, the Liberal Party has a better option than those two, who lack experience on the Federal Level.

    Joe Volpe is organizing to win. He is a better man for the job than both of those other candidadtes. Allthough I'm sure Joe would be generous enough to allow Kennedy an Ignatieff to serve in his cabinet once he is Prime Minister.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:30 p.m.  

  • Maybe Joe will introduce a national pasta-care program :p

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:55 p.m.  

  • What an ingrate Calgary Grit. Ignatieff sits down with you and you have the nerve to support someone else? Show a little gratitude.

    Not that it matters - Ignatieff OWNS Calgary. We've got pretty much every riding President and are going to wipe the floor of you Kennedy clowns come DSM time!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:05 p.m.  

  • Yeah CG, how DARE you exercise your democratic right to support the candidate of your choice!? GAWD.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 7:30 p.m.  

  • If I may say, I am immensely proud of the fact that Gerard Kennedy is such a flawless candidate people have resorted to attacking him for a crappily pasted together IMovie video, featuring an overplayed, cliche song by a whiny Irish wank named Bono. If this is what's going to 'dog' Kennedy for the duration of the campaign, I'll be mightily impressed.

    Seriously guys, give it up! Let's make this a real policy discussion about ideas and where the focal point is putting a party that cares about all Canadians and that will fight for social equity back in power.

    If you want to discuss crap music videos, get on the VH1 message boards.

    By Blogger andrewridgeley, at 7:45 p.m.  

  • I never heard of Kennedy also. But was quite impressed with his creditianls. Kennedy is suppossed to be the liberal candidate who will bring the West in. But he's not enthusiastic about senate reform. Without any policy ideas for making the west in- I think the Liberals should look for another candidate with federal experience. The Liberals tradionally have elected federal cabinet ministers as their leaders: Martin, Chretien, Turner, Trudeau, and Pearson were all federal cabinet ministers. The Liberals have dominiated this country politically and should stick with the formula that works.

    By Blogger, at 8:24 p.m.  

  • The "old formula" is why we are in opposition and why so many Liberals turned away from the Party, especially in the West.

    Kennedy has not said that he against Senate Reform. On the contrary, he is keen to implement Western views into Liberal policy- something that has been missing in the Liberal Party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 p.m.  

  • The Liberals need a credible alternative if they are to have any chance of defeating Harper next time. Gerard Kennedy just does not have the heft for the job. He'll also be carrying the baggage of being part of the McGuinty govt as anti-McGuinty fever begins to build in Ontario. But an even bigger con is that David Herle is in his camp, according to today's Ottawa Citizen.

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 10:18 p.m.  

  • I believe Angela meant, "sophist". Since she also called Kennedy a "douche", it's not surprising that sophist was a tad difficult to come up with correctly. She was close though, and Ignatieff is a sophist. If by douche, she means cleansing or refreshing, then I suppose that could also be correct for Kennedy. We shall see.

    I myself have also had some issues with the alpha male syndrome of the Liberal Party. I don't think I've ever used the word douche to get that point across. Hmm alpha male, douche, no sorry it doesn't make any sense Angela.

    By Blogger S.K., at 10:31 p.m.  

  • I have searched high and low, and there is no basis for cardinal47 8:18's post relating david hurle and Kennedy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 p.m.  

  • David Herle is like the kiss of death to any leadership wannabe.

    Same thing with Littler, Mark Watton, and Scott Reid.

    Those douchbags needs to be kept at a distance from any serious contender.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:01 p.m.  

  • I don't believe David Herle is involved with Gerard Kennedy's team. Herle was on with Don Newman today and when Kennedy's name came up Herle didn't say a thing about him.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 11:25 p.m.  

  • Re anonymous at 8:44 PM, you'd better research more thoroughly next time. According to Deirdre McMurdy in Friday's Citizen,page A5, "Martin-era loyalist David Herle, on the other hand, is said to be in Gerard Kennedy's camp."

    That's my source.

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 12:49 a.m.  

  • Cardinal47: If it doesn't show up on google news search, or (where the citizen is digitally published) either the copy you have is a gag, or was very wrong and they have removed it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:06 a.m.  

  • i don't think i've ever seen this many comments over one post... it's impressive. I guess it just goes to shoe the influence CG has. that being said, i'm not too sure who i'll support. i'm torn between dion and kennedy at this point, but who knows what's to come. december is a long ways away, and hopefully each candidate will campaign in a positive manner. and come on people... what's with the smearing of kennedy? or iggy? or any candidate for that matter. the fact CG has come out with an endorsement should foster INTELLIGENT DEBATE, not PERSONAL ATTACKS for choosing a credible candidate (i know what you're all saying... what about joe volpe??? well, we'll leave that endorsement to TL...). so come on people. let's debate the pros and cons of each candidate, not smear each other. that makes us no better than our dear friends to the south, who love to run negative campaigns.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:46 a.m.  

  • CalgaryGrit,

    I am certain your endorsement is appreciated and will be recognized, however, the ground game/team is critical.

    A 1996 endorsement (which we hope will also occur from the same Toronto Star ten years later) dug up by Ron over at

    should remind Gerard's Leadership Executive that endorsements alone do not make a leader.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 a.m.  

  • Sorry, the above post should have been signed by me (I never sign Anonymous).

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

  • I think CG must be absolutely crushed and shocked that his endorsement does not guarantee Gerard Kennedy a victory.

    You guys are all sick of the mud slinging - well I'm sick of all the sanctimonious preaching, like we're all five year olds who need to be told, "we're all Liberals" and "let's focus on the issues". This is not kindergarten and you guys aren't recess supervisors. Please stop lecturing us on etiquette!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:49 a.m.  

  • Solipsism

    1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
    2. The theory or view that the self is the only reality.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:25 a.m.  

  • Wow, last time I checked, most Liberals wer saying how it was such a bad thing that Belinda Stronach didn't have a degree. Now we find out that Kennedy is a nother underacheiver, yet its alright because hes a male. Sexist? yes. and you guys are Liberals? wow, what a joke of a party you have become!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:51 a.m.  

  • You Grits have resorted to putting all your egg's in one basket with Gerard Kennedy?

    Last time i checked though, the Alliance placed their bets on a college drop out, photo geneic, former minister of a provincial government who was popular in his home province (Stockwell Day), and lost badly.

    I hope you Lib's dont have your hopes up of winning the next election, cuz really your gonna be in Op for a long while my friends. ha. ha .ha.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 a.m.  

  • You are indeed a true Grit. Mr. Kennedy is an abject idiot.Your
    continual comments regarding his "good looks", age and other superficial qualities is a prime example of the thought process of Liberals everywhere. Image over substance- EVERY time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:59 a.m.  

  • wow. The mud-slinging posters from the Tories and other candidates are sounding mighty desperate! It only makes undecided voters like me lean more to Kennedy.

    Kennedy has a 10 year political record of substance, he doesn't need to rely on his looks.

    Political experience, leadership in government and society, a proven Liberal,Western roots- sounds like a formidable candidate to me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 a.m.  

  • I am an Innatieff supporter and I want to say to anyone slagging CG for expressig his preference, bugger off.
    Sure Iggy gave an interview to CG, it was offered to him he did not request it.
    It was offered because he is objective.
    Part of showing he is objective is in part showing his bias.
    So he supports Kennedy, he has still been more fair then 99% of bloggers in his coverage of other candidates (Warren Kinsella is always the most fair.)
    Does anyone think CG did anykind of Hachet piece on Iggy?
    IF anyone thinks they are a supporter of iggy and they are attacking any of the other candidates (except Volpe) then they are not a real supporter of Ignatieff. He has stated he is only running against Harper not against other Liberals. I imagine Kennedy would say the same thing (maybe he has) so sure guys lets keep digging up make believe dirt on our candidates to amke it easyir for them to sling dirt when elections come. We all know who the real dirt kickers are, so cut it out, Liberals are just not that good at it anyways, leave it for the conjobs

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 a.m.  

  • Ignatieff and Kennedy have both told their people not to attack other candidates. Of course, since most of the


    posting is coming from our trusted colleague "anonymous," it may very well be that both camps are in fact clean as a whistle in their tactics.

    By Blogger Jason Townsend, at 12:30 p.m.  

  • The comment about Iggy OWNING Calgary is a bit of a farce and is indicative of the Martin take-overs a few years ago. Grow up. I think we can all make intelligent decisions based on our own personal values and do not need over zealous Iggy supporters to tell us what to think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:06 p.m.  

  • I have a question, which is immensely assholish, but I think fundamentally true. How the heck is running a food bank a legitimate qualification for much of anything.

    Its thankless (oh wait it turns out its not) and its noble, but how hard is it to tell people "poverty sucks, um... give us food"? Considering the size of a food bank organization, I think its hardly a better claim to some sort of organizational merit than the manager of a small restaurant chain, or say, Magna's "As Prime Minister" competition.

    Another question I have is how successful his management of the food bank was, if this is to be the linchpin of his campaign. I really think CalgaryGrit jumped the gun in endorsing Kennedy, whose main asset is that nobody knows who he is.

    My experiences listening to him as a speaker (he is my MPP)

    PS: oh and if you're wondering, the last Prime Minister to lack some sort of degree was Mackenzie Bowell in 1894. Though he was a tradesman (a printer - a trade which I re-enact at my keen summer job).

    PPS: If you are wondering why a lot of people care about the degree thing, I will explain it (for the record, I am a phd student who thinks that a BA is probably a waste of time, and that education should be far less accessible - and a poor substitute for keen emotional intelligence, which is what actually matters in office).

    People expect in the political class somebody who is better than them. That is why Harper gets ragged about his stomach (which is small compared to a lot of middle aged Canadians I know), and that is why Reform had so much trouble establishing any sort of gravitas from the public. If Stephane Dion adds two numbers incorrectly, he has a free pass, if Kennedy does so, he doesn't. Image can run away with a candidate, and you definitely don't want the Bush-bashing (much of which centres around the idea that Bush is dumb and common) annex left to decide that your candidate isn't one of them (since they are precisely the people a left-leaning Kennedy is supposed to win).

    Kennedy may have no negatives, but he has few positives either, and I think CG should have waited for more than "enterprise is good" or "immigrants are good" to make his choice (though I appreciate that he has put his leanings out for the world to see). At any rate, maybe the ability to say platitudes is important in politics - as Rick Mercer once said... When Hedy Fry was minister of multiculturalism, her one job was to stand up in parliament and say "racism is bad"... And she [expletive in verb form]'ed it up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 p.m.  

  • I got sidetracked by my own asides, which are bigger than the rest of my post. Anyhow, Kennedy has seemed like he was looking for the nearest exit at most of the speaking engagements I've seen him at.

    As for his constituency involvement, I've been to one of his constituency association meetings. There weren't any real constituents there, it was comprised mostly members of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation. I was a token HS student, and he got pretty pissed when I suggested one of his ideas was ill-concieved.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:38 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 4:33pm,

    Good Grief. What a rant.

    Kennedy accomplished plenty as executive director of The Daily Bread Food Bank. He ran a 30 million dollar yearly operation with no deficit and no government money. He was noted by The Financial Post in their top CEO's listing for 1995.

    He has 7 years of opppsition critic experience, 7 years as Chair of the Expenditures Committee, monitoring all government expenses and three years as education minister, reversing much of the damage caused by the Harris government. The Education Ministry had a budget larger than some of the small provinces and many federal departments.

    We out West know plenty about him and he has substantial more political and leadership experience than some of the other candidates.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:24 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 4:38pm,

    Don't be too obvious with your drive by smear. Who is your candidate? You left that part out.

    Too bad you missed his recent speeches in Edmonton and Winnipeg. They were very impressive, the rooms were packed and no one was leaving. His youth event at U of A was also very strong. Too bad you missed it. Oh, I forgot, you were too busy drumming up smear stories to post on Kennedy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:34 p.m.  

  • Re Anonymous, at 11:06 PM who said:
    "Cardinal47: If it doesn't show up on google news search, or (where the citizen is digitally published) either the copy you have is a gag, or was very wrong and they have removed it."
    Don't be absurd! Ever hear of the print edition of a newspaper. I have the hard copy in my hands. The statement's there in print. If you want to challenge the columnist on the statement re Herle being in Kennedy's camp, then email her. Just don't keep pretending I made it up just because it causes you some anxiety.

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 7:54 p.m.  

  • Kennedy’s my second choice, mostly because I’m wary of the fact that he doesn’t have any federal experience. I know he has provincial experience, but federal politics is a whole different ball game (however his provincial experience sure beats no experience at all). It’s also a possibility that his lack of degree could hurt him, because some people expect the leader of a country to be well educated.

    That said, he’s a good speaker, charismatic, and was a good Education Minister in Ontario (both of my parents are teachers and speak very highly of him), plus his work for the food bank is definitely a positive. So while Kennedy does have a lot of potential to be a good leader, I’d prefer to see Dion get the top job.

    By Blogger A View From The Left, at 9:41 p.m.  

  • I'm with the last poster. For experience sake, I'd like Dion this time, and Kennedy next time after he's served in the HOC - learned how the GOC works, and we can see how he matches up.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 p.m.  

  • Kennedy is my #1 choice and Dion is my number 2 choice.

    I could easily see this coming down to Ignatieff v. Dion or Kennedy...I sure as hell hope we end up with Dion or Kennedy in that scenario...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 a.m.  

  • Re David Herle and Kennedy; for benefit of Anonymous

    For the benefit of Anonymous who can't seem to find the reference to David Herle being identified with Kennedy's leadership bid, here's the extract from McMurdy's Citizen column:

    "Peterson's anti-Rae barb a hint of what's to come in Liberal leadership race
    Article Tools
    Printer friendly
    Font: * * * * Deirdre McMurdy, The Ottawa Citizen
    Published: Friday, April 14, 2006
    Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but even if the principals are able to keep in their claws, there remains the issue, as Mr. Peterson has now demonstrated, of the baggage carried by their supporters. The risk is that, given the fresh wounds and deep divides in Liberal ranks, much of the residual bitterness of old rivalries will surface.

    Although many senior party members have yet to commit -- and some, like Cyrus Reporter, a former aide to Allan Rock, are sitting on the sidelines by taking on such jobs as candidate liaison for the party -- there's plenty of scope for uncivil sentiment.

    The divisions of loyalty are already apparent. For example, Mr. Smith, a Chretien confidante, has been holding get-acquainted breakfast sessions for the novice MP with leading Liberal powerbrokers at his elegant, antique-stuffed condo just off Toronto's Bloor Street.

    At the same time, others of Mr. Smith's political vintage, such as senior Chretien policy adviser and confidante, Eddie Goldenberg, are viewed as Rae supporters. (They reportedly chilled together at a weekend meeting of the party's western arm in Edmonton.) Martin-era loyalist David Herle, on the other hand, is said to be in Gerard Kennedy's camp.

    "The dispersal of the traditional camps is a positive," says the party organizer. "There's less stark polarization, though granted, this is still politics."

    For all the noble rhetoric about a new era of civility in politics, something that Mr. Harper has flagged as a priority for this parliament as well as for previously testy external relations with key partners like the United States, not everyone is convinced that the talk will endure the walk. Especially in the Liberal leadership contest.

    "It's not about civility, it's about support in the second ballot and beyond," says Stephen Le Drew, former president of the Liberal party. "The beating start after the second ballot. Until then, nobody wants to piss anyone off because they want to keep that potential support alive."

    After that, all bets are off.

    © The Ottawa Citizen 2006

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 1:20 a.m.  

  • The only candidate for the Liberal Leadership that was disconcerting for Tories is Frank McKenna. He would have been a less incompetent version of Paul Martin, and likely dipped substantially into the soft PC support that Harper has made a point of courting.

    But with essentially every Liberal leadership candidate intent on veering left, that leaves the Liberal Party's right flank entirely exposed and those voters whom are centrists to be pulled into the Conservative Party. I'm sure you will have fun duking it out with the NDP over who gets to be the main irrelevent left wing party while we seize the center :)

    By Blogger Chris, at 6:09 a.m.  

  • I am waiting for some policy ideas to be rolled out. So far none of the candidates has passed the fluff test: To wit: as a general rule of thumb, if the negation of particular committment can not be considered, then talk of such a committment is just so much fluff. For example "I am committed to improving Canada's health care system and environment and I am committed to making Canada a world leader on the education." is fluff; no one is seriously going to say they are committed to the opposite.

    By Blogger Koby, at 6:46 a.m.  

  • Chris wrote: I'm sure you will have fun duking it out with the NDP over who gets to be the main irrelevent left wing party while we seize the center :)



    You call Harper running things like a dictatorship and bending over for George Bush, the center?

    More myopia being dished out by the Harper cuckoos.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:42 a.m.  

  • Just like Harper, a neo-con, can play the centre, any of the Liberal candidates can play the centre and right of centre. I would not rely on current candidate stereotypes of being left of centre to predict future policies.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:34 p.m.  

  • Chris: it is extraordinarily unlikely that the Liberals need to shore up their right flank as much as they need to shore up their left. The NDP has been eating away at their margin and they know it. Besides, the whole point of bringing in Martin was to protect the right, and look how well that worked.

    For that matter, look at the Dems in the United States, and look how well chasing the center has worked for them.

    Fortunately, Canada is not the United States; the right doesn't get to dictate the discourse. They don't get to say who's "out of the mainstream"; if they did, the NDP wouldn't have controlled many provincial governments in Canadian history, and Harper wouldn't have had to fight the "scary right" thing.

    Liberal parties don't always have to nominate crypto-Republicans, and take a look at the rest of the Americas: it's moving left, not right.

    An understandable and worthy choice, CG. While the education issue may present problems, it pales in comparison to Ignatieff's baggage, and the "provincial transition" problem is mild compared to that facing Rae. He'll need to shore up his right flank, but that'll be a much easier job than trying to go the other way would, considering the shift to the right in the party over the past 15 years.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • I've now heard from two separate sources that Mr. Kennedy's french is not as advertised. A francophone friend of mine spoke to him recently and said his french was atrocious. Too bad anglos are so easily duped by would-be "bilingual" candidates. I'll put my money on someone who's at least honest about their abilities rather than someone who's padding their resume to make themselves look better.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 p.m.  

  • I'm a Liberal and heard Kennedy speak at the U of A last week. From what I'd read he sounded attractive but when I heard him speak it was all platitudes. Reminded me of a left wing Stock (comparison has been made before). All good looks and the technical skills to deliver a speach, albeit with very few tangible ideas.

    Someone earlier mentioned his 'international country' line - is was a totall pile of bull that he has tossed in to make it sound like he, perhaps, actually has that University degree that he sorely lacks. Everyone acknowledges that to be competetive in the world economy you need higher education - how can a guy who obviously didn't see its value lead the charge.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:40 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 4:19pm,

    You're back! You spend most of your time attacking Kennedy on whatever straw you can grasp. You are even repeating the same phrases.


    Kennedy has not been dishonest about anything. He does speak French. No, he does not sound like Stephane Dion but neither does Steven Harper or the other anglo candidates.

    You are not helping your candidate by smearing Kennedy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:51 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 5:40pm,

    Which of the leading candidates have released a policy platform??

    None of them have. They are only talking about ideas and vision in their speeches right now.

    Yet another anonymous poster trying to discredit Kennedy.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:58 p.m.  

  • Anonymous 5:40 again. Although I read this site quite often, I never comment. But since I saw Kennedy the other day, and I've met other day I thought I'd add my comments (I'm also bored of studying). I have no candidate - but I found that Kennedy dodged two of my specific questtions at the forum and lacked the ability to go deeper into an issue when he was given the chance by an obviously interested listener.
    Maybe you were the one who escorted him to the room and then asked him the most ridiculously easy question anyone could ask - except that you had trouble reading it from your notes.

    I know that a number of candidates could have delivered far stronger policy performances - I'm actually more interested in the substance then the style. And since the last election saw Stephen Harper become PM, I'm guessing so are most Canadians.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:29 p.m.  

  • Anonymous at 5:40/6:29pm,

    Kennedy is a very respected politician with a 10 year record in opposition and government. He is all substance and I don't think McGuinty would refer to him as a top minister if he was just about style.

    His recent appearances in Edmonton and Winnipeg impressed us Liberals out West. All of the candidates are speaking of vision right now, not policy, so it is kind of early to be declaring that others could do a better a job than Kennedy when they are all just speaking about ideas at this stage.

    Since you are not for any one candidate, I am sure that you will enjoy listening to Kennedy and all of the candidates when they do finally release their policy platforms down the road.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:10 p.m.  

  • 5:40 again - Winnipeg Grit - Fair enough. Thank you for the reasoned response to my concerns about Kennedy, rather then a dismissal by people who seem to think that every comment is part of a campaign.

    I will certainly wait for more policy from the candidates (I am a liberal out west so it does matter to me). Perhaps it is bad politics for the candidates to reveal to much of their policy planks so far out.

    But as to where I stand if the convention was today, I just felt that Kennedy was weak on substance when given the chance to talk about it - I feel that is a legitimate concern.

    As a note to anyone who works or volunteers for a candidate - when you are obviously associated with the cadidate don't participate in the Q+A. Everyone notices and it makes you and your candidate look bad!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 p.m.  

  • Anon - which questions did he dodge?

    If you're going to smear the guy anonymously, at least explain yourself a little more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 p.m.  

  • Gerard Kennedy will not win. Not having a degree is a big deal for a Prime Minister. He'll when I was in my 20's you could get a job as a Beer rep and make some good coin. These day's you need a marketing degree at the least. Point: Any job where you are at or above manager level requires you to have a education. Its a litmus test for competence (perceived) and it also gives people credibility. Sorry people, but Stockwell day was the exact opposite (except on the left) and he couldn't cut it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 p.m.  

  • Kennedy is awesome. I voted for harper last time, but I might take out a membership in the liberal party, because I trust Kennedy is NOT a crook.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:50 p.m.  

  • CG, what is Kennedy's degree in?

    By Blogger John Murney , at 2:08 a.m.  

  • John Murney: He doesn't have one. But looking at his resume, he sure implies he has one "attended U of A and Trent"...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 a.m.  

  • Kris Warren,

    Stop the smearing on this one. Kennedy bio is factual and it is only smear workers that are trying to twist it. Kennedy did attend both universities, 4 years of university education. He left at the end of his program from U of A to become executive director of the Edmonton Food Bank.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 a.m.  

  • The idea that somebody who hasn't finished their degree is somehow less qualified then others is laughable, since we all realize a true education starts after our post secondary years. It is obvious Gerard Kennedy is broadly educated, which is what the Canadian public expect from a leader who has devoted countless years in making Canada a better place. As someone who runs a business and hires people everyday, the employee with the broad work experience has always been the "top gun", the real world doesn't revolve around the halls of academia. The average Canadian relates well to people who can understand their circumstance, and have lived in their world. Mr. Kennedy track record is solid, something at 45 is an achievement that no piece of paper can replace. Gerard Kennedy will be a popular Prime Minister, someone who the public sees as a lot like them, not perfect, but a Canadian who has paid his dues with many years of service to his nation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 a.m.  

  • The Liberal Party of Canada has suffered tremendously from having pre-selected a "messiah" in their last leadership campaign.

    If anyone should have learned anything from the previous leader its that you should not listen to the marketing and spin and wait for the actual leadership contest before preselecting the next one.

    This ones important folks, choosing the wrong one could very well lead to the end of the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 p.m.  

  • Dan Arnold, A.K.A Calgary Grit,

    Nice try seeming to look impartial. Everybody knew you were supporting Kennedy. Don't try to make us buy the lie that you believe more and more that Kennedy is the right choice while denigrating other candidates with your biases. You can't have it both ways.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:54 p.m.  

  • 193 comments, ha ha ha.

    By Blogger James Bowie, at 5:51 p.m.  

  • Can some one tell me why running a food bank is the be all and end all to the qualifications to be the prime minister of Canada??
    I want to know:
    How many university courses has Kennedy completed?
    How many courses does he require to complete his degree?
    Why has he never completed his degree?
    Why does he allow his resume to imply that he has a degree?

    If Kennedy ever became PM he would be the first PM in almost 100 years who did not have a university degree.
    I think it IS an important issue and these are relevant questions. Kennedy WILL have to answer them before the convention. Bank on it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:08 p.m.  

  • Anonymous troll or smear worker from another candidate's camp posting at 7:08pm,

    The fact that you have to come on a blog and ask why running food banks for 13 years is important and signficant speaks volumes about you.

    University education (and Kennedy has 4 years of it) is a small part of one's overall life education.
    Having degrees does not qualify you to be a politician. Leaving university at the end of your program to run a food bank shows an incredible level of maturity for a 22 year old, knowing that the decision would help hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

    You like to skip over the fact that Kennedy has a stellar 10 year record as a politician displaying intelligence, innovative policy development, leadership and diligent fiscal management.

    You portray yourself as a desperate mud-slinger and everyone can see it.
    You can bank on that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 p.m.  

  • Leaving university before graduation implies a lack of will. BTW, its easy to run a foodbank. How hard is it to ask people to donate money for poor people? Not very hard.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:23 a.m.  

  • Anonymous at 1:23am,

    You are too funny.
    Thanks for the joke, your comments are hilarious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • Kennedy had initially been my first choice because of his charisma, good looks, stellar name, and political experience; however, I would have to agree with Mr. "style no substance" Anonymous back there. Now that some time has passed, I still only have a superficial knowledge about him (and it's not from a lack of trying). What little I do know about him is that he leans to the left. As a socially-progressive, fiscally-conservative Liberal, a shift to the left would definitely worry me. While it might help the Liberals gain NDP support, it might just make me and other right-leaning Liberals vote Conservative. Canadian federal parties win campaigns from the centre; that was one of the reasons why the Conservatives were able to win this past one.

    Also, irregardless of his accomplishments, in today's day and age, a PM can't not have a university degree and be taken seriously. I'm sorry, he just can't.

    While there's not doubt that Ignatieff does have his weaknesses (why I initially supported Kennedy), he's at least more centrist. There's also a lot of substance in his widely-documented views, though he does have to work on condensing his intellectual arguments into political soundbites (ones that aren't his quotations taken out of context). The "thirty years out of Canada" thing is an issue, but the positive aspect of it is that it has allowed him to view Canada in an objective light. This will certainly help him in foreign affairs during a time of growing hostility with the US.

    To all those who want to attack my bare-bones reasons for my Ignatieff support, it demonstrates a point. I wrote the first couple of reasons that came into my mind to satisfy all those who have been complaining that the 'Anonymous' detracters of Gerard aren't stating and explaining their own first choices. Essentially, it's because CG has been able to outline his reasons in great detail. Supporters of other candidates would not be able to do their first choice candidates justice when writing only on the comments section. I'd love to write a detailed dissertation that would merit a critical response and debate on why I belive Ignatieff's should be leader, but I don't have time at the moment (yay exams). Also, as demonstrated, it makes a comment really, really long. The subject of CG's blog entry is Kennedy, so we shouldn't be yelled at if we only comment on Kennedy's potential as leader

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 a.m.  

  • Young MPs set to back Kennedy


    OTTAWA -- A group of about a dozen young Liberal MPs acting as a bloc is poised to support former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy's bid to become leader of the federal Liberal Party.

    The group's support would be a boost for Mr. Kennedy, 45, who has never been a member of the federal Liberal caucus and is not well known outside Ontario. The Kennedy campaign team is emphasizing generational change and the support of young MPs would underline that and show he has early momentum.

    "Individually, our voices can only get us so far," said Ajax-Pickering MP Mark Holland, 31, explaining why the MPs decided to throw their support as a bloc. "If there's a number of us that are of a like mind and are looking for similar sorts of things, then there's a lot power if we work together."

    Mr. Holland emphasized that he was not the spokesman for the group and that all members have an equal voice. He was vague about the number of members in the group, describing it only as "sizable."

    However, it is believed that the group numbers between 12 and 15, of which the majority are young MPs elected in the last two elections. Members include Scott Simms, 35, of Newfoundland; Mississauga MPs Navdeep Bains, 28, and Omar Alghabra, 36; Mario Silva, 39, of Toronto; and Borys Wrzesnewskyj, 45, of Etobicoke.

    This group is preparing to publicly announce its support for Mr. Kennedy soon. But it is part of a larger group, which includes former MPs and defeated candidates, that is still debating policy and considering candidates.

    Mr. Holland said the group members were looking for a candidate who could unite the party and was not a "hyphenated Liberal" or an "ite." He was referring to the two factions -- the Chrétienites and Martinites, or supporters of former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin -- who feuded within the party for nearly 10 years.

    He said members were also looking for a "progressive" Liberal who could balance a strong national government that could deliver social programs and keep the country's finances in order.

    Most members of the group are from Ontario, the province that has the most Liberal MPs. Of the 102 Liberals in the House of Commons, 54 are from Ontario.

    Mr. Holland said group members had "really good conversations" with a number of the candidates, and the consensus reached around Mr. Kennedy was not easy. Mr. Kennedy was recently informed of the group's thinking. "We've let him know that there's a good portion of us that are going in that direction," he said.

    The Kennedy team is obviously pleased with the support.

    "I don't want to comment on individual names," said Senator Terry Mercer, a Kennedy strategist, about the group's decision. "But I think that Gerard Kennedy will show a significant amount of caucus support. I think people will be impressed by it."

    The group of young MPs has been meeting, sometimes twice a week, in Ottawa or Toronto or by conference call to discuss the candidates and policy issues. The meetings started after election night when Mr. Martin declared he would be stepping down as leader.

    Members have never met as a group with candidates. Rather, they have met individually by phone or in person with some of the candidates and have brought the intelligence from those meetings back to the group. Mr. Holland said the criteria "was that if out of our group a name didn't come up at least more than once amongst the group, then it wouldn't make sense, we couldn't build consensus around that person. That's how we narrowed things down."

    Mr. Alghabra, the MP for Mississauga-Erindale, said he found it an "effective way of discussing what's important for us as . . . parliamentarians and based on those issues, instead of going after the individual, highlight the important issues and find the best that we think will champion those issues."

    Mr. Simms, the MP for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor, suggested it's more effective to work as a group. "If, indeed, strength is in numbers," he said, "then we get to flex our muscles a bit more than we would on our own."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 p.m.  

  • Hey CG. I agree that Kennedy has a lot going for him, but you might want to downgrade the "fluently bilingual" to just "bilingual" in light of your May 13 post. And I'll stop referring to myself as an "effortless" skater.

    By Blogger Havril, at 6:50 p.m.  

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