Thursday, December 07, 2006

Anti-Semitism and The Liberal Leadership

Just when you thought the Liberal convention was a rousing success, out pops this unflattering angle:
Bob Rae was the target of anti-Semitic attacks during the Liberal leadership contest, motivated at least in part by the fact that his wife is Jewish...

I would post more from the article, but you should go read the whole thing because it's quite meaty.

If there were any concerted attacks on Rae it is unfortunate. However, I don't like the tone of the criticisms toward the Kennedy campaign. Could it be that "brown" people supported Kennedy because of his bold immigration and foreign policy positions, instead of some anti-semitic angle? Actually, a quick scan of Kennedy's donors looks to be embarrassingly european.

I'm not a big fan of "bloc" voting, but the reality is leaders of various communities will exert influence to get support for their chosen candidates. Was anyone aghast when a group of women moved to Hall Findlay at the convention? Is anyone surprised to know that yes, egads, Rae had some big donations from Jewish contributors- shocking! Come on. It's all politics, people back people because they search for affinity. If Sikhs went with Kennedy, and then followed him Dion, then I say Gerard must have resonated with the Sikh community, much in the same way he DIDN't with Quebecers. If the Canadian Islamic Congress had Dion and Kennedy as their top choices, then Dion and Kennedy had policies that were more attractive. Maybe the real criticism, there might be too many single-issue voters in the process, which is unfortunate, given the wide range of ideas.

12 comments:

Mark Dowling said...

"embarrassingly European"?

Is that a Don Cherry-ism?

Charlie Barnard said...

Steve, you must remember the role our conservative friends played in trying to derail Mr. Rae's campaign. They may have perpetrated these anti-semetic fliers, not that they would ever own up to that one with as much glee as they have to the others.

Anonymous said...

The organizers in the Bob Rae camp owe Kennedy an apology. They are clearing trying to smear him and they have not gotten over the fact that Kennedy did not go to Rae.

Time to speak up Bob.

Manboy said...

The conservatives would do anything to stop Bob Rae because they knew he would beat the pants off them in a general election. They supplied the anti-Rae buttons at the convention so it wouldn't be surprising if they planted some anti-semetiism as well.

Regardless of whether there was a Muslim anti-Jewish block of delegates or not, the Kennedy / Dion block will end up dividing the Liberal party more than uniting it. Steven Harper is pretty good at creating divisions isn't he. Divide and conquer. I think he thinks he succeeded. I'm afraid he may have outsmarted liberals right under their noses.

Psychols said...

What a sensationalistic rag Macleans has become. Joan Bryden of Macleans is really saying that Bob Rae lost because of the ethnic Muslim vote. Her piece should be rejected as worthless.

That article is not news. It is innuendo, rumour and speculation. We don't know who circulated the ridiculous fliers because Ms. Bryden didn't bother with investigation but I think we can safely assume that it was not Kennedy or his people.

Steve V said...

"embarrassingly European"?

Mark, I meant that as a statement that the donors don't reflect the diversity in Canada.

rms said...

Has anyone noticed Kennedy's strong policy to "close the Immigrant success gap" ? It was one of his first priorities out of the gate, and far from pandering, it came from a place of strengthening Canada's potential to compete in a global economy.

No surprise that would resonate with new Canadians.

Steve V said...

rms

Exactly!

lance said...

Charlie and manboy:

It's one thing to muck with a convention on records and issues.

It's an entirely different thing to be anti-[insert race/religion/creed] as an attempt to muck with a convention.

Give your heads a shake. Do you honestly think the CPC would have told _everyone_ in earshot about messing with the campaign if they had anything like this on the board? That would have been stupid.

I submit that the CPC under Harper is anything but stupid.

Sheesh, partisan is partisan, but own up to your own crap already.

Cheers,
lance

samiam said...

Returning from the convention, I heard that some Rae delegates were disappointed that he mentioned the Air India investigation in his speech, that it miffed some members of the Sikh community who were delegates -- there is still feelings of guilt, shame and prosecution in that community regarding this tragedy. i'm not tying this to the article and anti-semiticism that is talked about here. But I do know that some people were angry about Bob's refering to his being involved in the AI inquiry.

samiam said...

Oh, but I should emphasis that the Tories were mostly there to create mischief. Baird and Moore both essentially admitted on Tv that they were spreading buttons around. We have to shine light on these tactics and be prepared for more divisive acts ahead. I don't think there's any doubt that they would have done this, if they didn't do it.

Steve V said...

"I heard that some Rae delegates were disappointed that he mentioned the Air India investigation in his speech"

That's interesting. I wondered if some delegates were offended when Kennedy basically said that the Liberal Party was a top-heavy, priviledged, arrogant organization. I'm sure some in the old guard didn't react kindly to Kennedy's attacks, even if someone needed to say it.

I also heard some Quebec Rae delegates were upset with his lack of French in his speech, so maybe Rae can't win. Winging it might have been a negative.