In Support of Dominic LeBlanc
On one side you have the always-brilliant Michael Ignatieff who has matured as a politician so much over the past three years. I can certainly visualize him being a great Prime Minister.
On the other side you have arguably the most gifted politician in Canada today, Bob Rae. He’s experienced, he’s polished, and his Liberal credentials - doubted by some in 2006 - can no longer be questioned.
But I’ve decided to go another route. I won’t lie - Ignatieff’s position on issues I hold dear and the reaction I've seen to the words "Bob Rae" from average Ontarians played a role in my decision. But I’ve always said the problems faced by the Liberal Party run deeper than leadership so I would have had no problem sitting this race out and directing my energies elsewhere if no one caught my eye. Luckily, Dominic LeBlanc did just that.
As a 40-year-old child of the Liberal Party, Dominic understands the party and will direct his limitless energy to ensuring it’s long term health and prosperity. I know he’ll run to win the next election, as he should, but I have to respect anyone willing to admit it will take a decade to restore the party’s health. It was clear to those at the LPCO debate yesterday
While he’s certainly the best long-term option, I think Dominic brings skills to the table that will ensure short-term success as well. He’s fluently bilingual and an excellent communicator. Again, watching him yesterday, the man was engaging, funny, pointed, and knowledgeable - he will inject some badly needed energy and life into Canadian politics. Politics is about connecting with voters and I strongly believe LeBlanc is a leader voters will be able to relate to.
In addition to this, he also brings close to a decade of federal experience to the table, and is going to be a challenging opponent for the Tories to smear in the ten million dollar ad buy we all know is coming to a TV screen near you this May.
In short, LeBlanc is a politician of great potential, the only knocks being a lack of name recognition and a really bad haircut. But with the Liberal Party entering its third leadership race in five years, I want a leader who can guide us for a decade. With the Liberal Party desperately in need of renewal, I want a leader who understands the problems we face and is committed to finding long-term solutions - not just a quick fix.
So while my leadership endorsement may very well be the kiss of death, I offer it to Mr. LeBlanc. For any undecided Liberals out there, I would ask you to at least give the man a fair look because I suspect Dominic may surprise you.