Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kennedy Nails It

The Toronto Star has a story, detailing Gerard Kennedy's strategy for the Liberal Party. Kennedy makes this comment about the Conservatives, which illustrates a keen understanding of the Conservatives "soft underbelly":
Kennedy, who is expected to launch his campaign next month, insisted that Harper's Tories do not have a monopoly on fresh ideas for Canada.

"My feeling is, as savvy as Mr. Harper is seeming to be following the marketing route and so on, there's a cynical part about that that leaves a very big opening for the Liberal party if it can get its act together," he said.

Kennedy correctly likens the Conservative agenda to a marketing campaign. What is particularly interesting, is the fact Kennedy recognizes that policy is not crafted from philosophy, but manipulation of the electorate. Liberals can compete with "renewed federalism" in Quebec because, despite the outreach, the policy is an attempt to appease, secure votes and not a moral imperative. Translation, the Tories don't give a rat's ass about Quebecers aspirations, but do care about securing their votes.

Kennedy sees an opening, because if the Liberals can project a ethical, coherent philosophy it will dwarf the slick, vote targeted Tory program. In essence, a real agenda always trumps smoke and mirrors. I firmly believe that Harper's agenda is a soulless concoction of calming measures, that shows no consideration for long-term consequence. The only vision- how to secure a future majority? The entire Conservative program centered around the idea of gaining power and now it is obsessed with holding and expanding it. This is why the Harper agenda is so dangerous, it will make decisions that directly relate to self-interest, rather than the greater good. Kennedy sees opportunity to exploit uber political manipulation with a real agenda.

Kennedy also demonstrates his bold approach through his refusal to cede the west to Harper:
The Manitoba-born Kennedy, who lived in Western Canada for 26 years, spent last weekend meeting with Liberal organizers in Alberta and British Columbia.

"There isn't any reason why we can't have a Liberal proposition that comes out of Alberta and comes out of B.C.," he said, warning against abandoning the West to Prime Minister Stephan Harper's Conservatives.

"They feel alienated and in some ways they should because they haven't been part of the base. They're not regions to be added on to, they are Canada — just like Ontario is."

Granted, Liberals chances in Alberta are realistically small, but the fact that Kennedy wishes to engage is the first step in re-establishing a real presence. This is leadership, this is vision and it belies a sense of country. The more I hear from Kennedy, the more I get the sense that he appreciates the situation and understands the way to counter the foe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The guy is a keeper!