Friday, November 21, 2008

Profiles in Courage: Dave Taylor

After taking a gander at Swann and Mo, this week I profile the third candidate in the other Liberal leadership race. But, before I do that, be sure to check out Daveberta for his Mo-file, and a look at the endorsements in the race so far.

Dave Taylor
History: Taylor was the “non-insane Dave” for Calgary talk radio listeners for many years, before defeating proud Mensa member John Lord in the 2004 election. Ever since that time, he’s been the ALP dauphin, thanks in large part for his ability to perform in the legislature and deliver sound bytes upon request.

Federal Equivalent: Think of a Liberal Monte Solberg.

Colour me Confused: Although he has adopted a "proud to be Liberal" philosophy, the Taylor Liberals appear poised to change the party colours to blue and yellow.

Renewal Plan: Taylor has released a very impressive party renewal document.

Website Review: I probably should have done this before membership cut-off, because the criteria for a good website changes at that point. For now, everything you need is there and the donation box is prominent, which is good (although it needs to be easier for a non-paypal donation). I'd prefer a bit more of the web 2.0 stuff, but the visuals and layout look good.

Colbert Moment: Taylor, in an interview with Rick Bell, argues that Albertans employ a “truthiness” voting strategy:

“They don't get it perfect, necessarily, but the voters know in their hearts, know in their guts, what's the right way to go, on most things, most of the time."

Strengths: Taylor is certainly the best communicator of the candidates and, in my books, that counts for a lot.

Strategy: By framing this as a right/left battle between him and Swann, Taylor has played himself up as the most likely to...enjoy electoral success (I just can't bring myself to say "win", after the last election).

Can he win? You betcha. The smart money has Taylor taking this one - but it has been a tough few years for leadership frontrunners so you never know. It's certainly possible that they'll have to count the second choice votes to decide this one.

My Thoughts: I can't judge how it has played out in Alberta but, from afar, I'm been very impressed with the campaign Taylor's young and talented team has put together. Their message has been on the mark and they've done a good job communicating it.

I have major doubts about the whole "proud to be Liberal" strategy, but I do think Taylor's promise to brand the party as a fiscally conservative, pro-business option is the only way you'll get votes from the places you need to get votes from. And his ambitious party renewal document, if implemented properly, would definitely set the party on the right track to one day be competitive.

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  • Question for you Dan: why isn't the federal Liberal Party doing more to recruit potential Alberta MP candidates from among the many Alberta Liberal Party leadership and MPP candidates pool? Like Taft, for example. Failed leader but clearly electable in a riding in Alberta.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:12 a.m.  

  • @Ted: Simple answer: the ALP and LPC aren't very friendly with each other. Its better than it used to be, but Kevin's making a point of getting up and saying "I am not, nor have I ever been a federal liberal" on a regular basis didn't help much.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:25 a.m.  

  • I can understand why the ALP tries to disassociate itself from the federal Liberals, the Quebec Liberals do the same, but the question is whether the federal Liberal Party is doing anything to create bridges and if not why not.

    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 10:35 a.m.  

  • Donn Lovett is insane. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:18 a.m.  

  • Dave Taylor is the only Liberal I'd vote for, if I HAD to.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:30 p.m.  

  • Ted - Ken Nicol was ALP leader for a bit and he ran federally in 2004 in Lethbridge for Libs. There are a few other instances but you're right that it doesn't happen a lot.

    It's probably something the LPC should be doing, especially around Edmonton.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:03 p.m.  

  • Former MLAs Sue Olsen and Frank Bruseker ran as LPC candidates in 2000 and Ken Nicol and Debbie Carlson ran in 2004.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:32 p.m.  

  • Also, former ALP MLA Adam Germain ran for the LPC in 1997.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:33 p.m.  

  • So who are you endorsing/voting for in this race?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:57 p.m.  

  • Hey,

    Speaking of provincial/federal cooperation for the partys, I'm pretty sure that picture of Taylor you used is from him at the federal liberal Stampede Breakfast.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:19 p.m.  

  • Anon - Alas, I'm not an ALP member anymore so I don't get a vote in this one. All three are good candidates so I'm happy just commenting from afar.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:08 p.m.  

  • He's my MLA. I sent him a letter some months back. I've received exactly nothing in response. Says a lot, in my books. Especially since it was highly critical of the Tories (who I copied), and THEM I heard back from.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:22 a.m.  

  • Did you sign the letter you sent Taylor "anonymous" as well? Because if so, that might be the problem.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 p.m.  

  • Anon- I've found Dave to be almost outrageously available. He's always at Lilac Fest, Marda Gras, Gay Pride, etc etc, and he's always happy to talk to his constituents- yes, face to face. Give that a try.

    I love Dave and wish him the best in this race.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:01 p.m.  

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