"It's clear there were a lot of forces at play. (People) were challenged by the courage of Michael's ideas," said Paul Zed, a New Brunswick MP and Ignatieff supporter.
He attacked Kennedy, saying, "To preach party renewal and to preach openness and then sign this separate backroom deal I think is kind of a little bit of jarring with the things he said he represented."
I would like Mr. Zed to point to one campaign that wasn't working the phones, conducting clandestine meetings, talking in the backrooms, these past weeks? Everyone knew the dynamics heading into the convention, so Gerard had ample time to consider who he felt was the best choice beyond himself. Dryden made that calculation, Brison made that calculation, etc, etc. I don't see any hypocrisy in preaching renewal and a new direction, then aligning yourself with another candidate that you think best represents that ideal.
Apparently, the Ignatieff camp had twenty people in a room tracking every delegate at the convention. Most pundits have concluded that it was the slickest organization they had ever seen. And yet, no one moved to Ignatieff? Can we toss aside our cynical calculations for a brief second and actually entertain the notion that Kennedy made a ethical choice, entirely consistent with his campaign theme.? I don't buy the "support the francophone" to guarantee a future chance as anglophone.
It was an open convention from the outset. Kennedy was in position to spoil the frontrunner's dream because Liberals had given him substantial support. There is no hypocrisy in deciding to support another candidate's direction, in fact, listening to Kennedy throughout, where else could he have gone? Did Rae even utter the word "renewal"? Is there any way to reconcile the philosophical chasm between the Kennedy policies and Ignatieff? I would hope there is no lingering bitterness towards Kennedy, as the man who ruined the frontrunners party, because ultimately he did what every delegate and candidate did, move where his moral compass took him. It just so happened that his decision had the most impact.