Bob Rae Launch
I suspect Bob’s going to have to talk about this topic once or twice over the course of the campaign so you really don’t need me to rehash his answer here. I will, however, come to his defence regarding the poll that was leaked today – it was one question taken out of context from the full survey…for all we know the question before it was “who is best to handle an economic crisis?” and Bob finished first. I doubt that, but no one should think much about this poll one way or the other and the 20% who choose him as the worst to deal with the economy is hardly damning.
How can we make the party competitive in Western Canada?
This question, asked by my friend Avnish, is my standard question for leadership contenders, and answers to it have helped me decide the last two candidates I’ve chosen to support for Liberal leadership.
Bob said that the leader and MPs need to be physically present in all ridings, and that they must take the time to listen to local concerns. He was a bit shorter on specifics than I would have liked but I was impressed that he admitted the party needed more than “a fresh coat of paint” and that “a lot of work needs to be done”. Anyone who thinks there’s a quick fix out there, is going to be solely disappointed in a year or two.
Making the Party Competitive in Rural Ridings
Jeff Jedras asked specifically about a part of the $1.90 vote subsidy going directly to the ridings and Bob agreed it was a good idea. Personally, I think it’s a horrible idea, since it would mean a lot of money going to places like York Centre, which do not need it, and very little going to places like Calgary Southeast, which do.
I do however agree with Bob that there are “too many layers” in the Liberal Party and that the “title-itis” epidemic has spread out of control. Then again, I might just be bitter that I was passed over for the position of Ontario blogging liaison on Dominic LeBlanc’s Near Eastern and South Caucasus Affairs foreign policy committee.
Fundraising? What gives?
This was my question – I specifically wanted to know what the leader could do to help. He agreed that the leader needs to take an active “hands-on” interest in this issue, and that there should be issue-based fundraising directly related to the goings-on in the House of Commons.
Bob talked about using technology to connect with Liberals and lamented that there’s a lot of frustration among the grass roots because policy resolutions often “don’t lead anywhere”. Agreed.
Interestingly, he came out against Ignatieff’s idea to hold a Kingston-style conference – he believes consultation needs to be more broad based and that the Kingston/Port Hope model has become antiquated in the 21st Century information age.
One Member One Vote?
He’s in favour.
RIP Green Shift?
Like the other two candidates, he agrees we can’t go back there. If I could editorialize for a second here, I do hope that everyone who voted Green for environmental reasons realizes that the Liberal implosion last campaign means that no major party is going to touch carbon taxes for the next 20 years. I'm just sayin'...
Surprisingly, no one brought up Bob’s idea for the LPC to offer free memberships - I could have, but I'm genuinely undecided on this one. While I do like the open voter registration system used in the US, I’m really unsure about how this play out in practice in the context of the Canadian system. I’d be curious to hear what others think.
Also offering recaps - Tribe, the other Danielle, Bowie,
Labels: Bob Rae