Monday, November 14, 2011

Copps' Laws

I haven't picked a horse in the race for LPC President, but Sheila Copps is certainly the candidate I'm most familiar with - I was, after all, one of a very very small number of Copps delegates at the 2003 Liberal Leadership Convention.

And while I like a lot of what I've heard from Sheila so far, I completely disagree on this point (and I'm not alone):

As for Mr. Rae, Ms. Copps says the executive should not be able to restrict who runs and who does not. That’s up to voters.

She noted that when Mr. Rae took over the leadership, he agreed to rules set by the party’s “current” executive that the Interim Leader would not seek the top job permanently.

But a new executive could change that rule. And Ms. Copps will if she is elected president.

The thing is - there's no rule against Bob Rae running for leader. Rae promised he wouldn't run when he accepted the job, and whether or not the executive repeals a non-existent rule isn't going to change that.

It's like a candidate who spends an entire election saying "no coalitions" then forms a coalition. There's no law against it, but it's certainly a breach of trust, and there would be political fallout.

But this isn't a post about Bob Rae. Rae has consistently said he won't run, and until we start hearing "anonymous Liberals" urging him to, he should be taken at his word.

Rather, the issue here is Copps who is, intentionally or not, turning the national executive elections into a proxy leadership war. The point of delaying the leadership race for 63 years (or whatever it was) was to give the party time to rebuild before turning its attention to leadership. As naive as this was, that was the deal, and everything should be done to make sure the national executive elections are about rebuilding the party, not the next leadership race.

I'm not sure what Sheila hopes to accomplish by continually promoting Rae's candidacy, but she's not helping her own by doing this.

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  • How she has conducted herself during the last month is an indication of what she would be like as President-- sucking up air as a Liberal pundit in a time when we can ill afford to have anyone other than MPs speaking to the media.

    She spent the last four years sniping at Liberals from her Hill Times column, and now expects everyone to hail her return.

    She is not a serious candidate, and the quotes she gave the G&M (assuming they are accurate) should be the nail in the coffin of her bid to become president.

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

  • Copps and Rae should not be allowed together with any that will carry on the Martin/Chretien FEUD i.e..a few prominent members of LIBLOGS...they should get the BOOT.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 a.m.  

  • Problem is, Rae is the strongest potential candidate.

    And, no, he's not a good candidate, just the best you've got. So until a strong slate of candidates starts showing up, maybe you shouldn't be so hard on Sheila for moving to draft Rae as leader.

    By Blogger Brian Henry, at 9:53 a.m.  

  • Bang-on on all points, Dan.

    By Anonymous Craig, at 12:29 p.m.  

  • "Rae has consistently said he won't run"

    That's not what he has actually said. Rather, he has said that the current rules do not permit him to run, and he is respecting those conditions.

    He has never said that he would not run were those conditions removed which bar him from running.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 p.m.  

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