Thursday, October 16, 2008

In Case You Missed It


Don't mind me, if I don't go to the cutlery drawer just yet, I'm still trying to digest. And, don't draw any inferences from this post, I don't want him to run, no matter how this all shakes out. What I would like to draw attention too, the fact that despite long odds, given the dynamics of last night, the Liberal Party now has the benefit of a true progressive within it's ranks, a man who understands the bottom up approach that is demanded, if the party is too regain its footing.

In the days leading up to the election, we heard much talk about Kennedy facing an uphill battle. Peggy Nash was a popular MP, having met her once, I found her quite personable and engaging, no surprise to hear her constituents were satisfied with her as MP. When the Ontario popular vote totals started pouring in, and we began to see a bad Liberal trend, it looked like Kennedy would fail. I had several conversations with people, who felt that Kennedy would never win, unless the Liberals showed well in Ontario, a sentiment which I believed. Within this environment, it was simply amazing to watch the returns come in, not only did Kennedy persevere but he won by an astounding 3000 votes plus. If there was one feel good story of the night for the Liberals, it was the Kennedy victory (aside from another race in Ontario I won't mention here- woohoo!).

Had Kennedy lost, it would have been a sad end to a promising career in federal politics. History would have shown a rising star, who made a fatal error, never to recover, a footnote. However, Gerard Kennedy triumphed, and by all accounts, he did so because he pounded the pavement and engaged, in a way that people connected too, in a way that drew them away from their popular incumbent, the voters came out in droves. That speaks to grassroots appeal, that speaks to substance and character, that speaks to personal strength which trumped the ebb of the party as a whole. It really was a a brilliant moment.

I take some comfort in knowing that Kennedy heads to Ottawa, apart from all the other nonsense swirling around. Kennedy is one of the good ones, a real deal progressive, coupled with a economic sensibility, that to my mind, encapsulates what the Liberal Party must become. I'm glad his voice will be heard, in whatever capacity, it would have been a shame to see him fade into the night, because Kennedy understands what is required for this party to ultimately succeed. Some are irked by his criticisms, but I think we see today, why he was right all along, an arrogant, entitled party, that is preoccupied with power first, principle second, is a doomed entity.

Good for you Gerard Kennedy, well deserved!

We now return to the Dion death watch...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorta wished he didn't use the Gk signs from the convention, but he's excused being that he's not as well financed as Rae and Ignatieff.

-scott
thescottross

Steve V said...

Good for the environment ;) I doubt it was by accident.

Ashley_Wilkes-Booth said...

Yes, it is good for the environment - recycling signs is cool by me!

burlivespipe said...

Who will Gerard crown king next? Tobin? Carole Taylor? Ignatieff? Just a possible spin off to the 'How I met Your Leader' tv sideshow...

bigcitylib said...

I've heard his French was awful. Any idea if he's been brushing up?

saskboy said...

It's a shame if Dion runs away.

Constant Vigilance said...

I get it: "cutlery drawer".

When I think back to the convention a lot of younger Liberals felt that electing Dion was a sign of the grassroots taking over rather than power brokers selecting a winner.

Politics has changed. If the Conservatives have one thing figured out it is the importance of the grassroots. This is the source of fundraising not corporations. This election was the first in which bloggers had a major impact by highlighting plagiarism and forcing candidates to quit. This is another manifestation of the grassroots.

It would be a mistake to try and do a reset of the party based on 20th century practices when it needs to look to the 21st century realities to become the NGP for this century.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Gerard sits the next leadership debate out, along with all the hopefulls others from last time.

I supported him in 06, but his support of Dion was a terrible move. Give him 10-15 solid years of Ottawa experience and he will be a solid leader.

As for who should be the next leader, beats the hell out of me.

knb said...

I'm thrilled to see him going to Ottawa. With him comes that real desire for change and I suspect that he'll find a way to shake things up.

BCL - I'd read somewhere that he was still working on his French, but it had improved.

Tyler said...

Your post almost made me cry, this is a great man, and I hope to see him at the helm of the Liberal Party

Anonymous said...

The next Liberal leader has to be on the center, center-right of the political spectrum. This unite the left stuff makes the Liberals a left-wing party. The Liberals are not a left-wing party. So no Bob Rae or Dosanj. Iggy runs afoul of the Liberal strong central government policy and because of that is rejected by too many party members. I doubt he can win the nomination.

Anyway they need someone with the proven political skills. Dion just wasn't up to the task. Before him, neither was Martin. Martin didn't move the party to the centre, centre-right. If anything he moved it to the left, which was as surprising as it was unsuccesful

knb said...

Gee anon, where have I seen that comment before?

Anonymous said...

knb, you sound like a jilted lover. I put the essence of this comment on your site as well because I tend to read both yours' and Steve's sites. I'm concerned that we're going to make the same mistake of moving the party too far left. I don't have a problem with traditional areas where the Liberal Party has always been progressive and we can be out in front on the environmental issue. But we need to make sure that we don't cede the center to Harper. We do that and next time he'll get his majority.

knb said...

Jilted lover? I don't quite follow the reference, but based on your comment I'm not sure where you believe we've strayed from the right?

We are still a party that believes in wealth creation, trade, market forces and fiscal discipline. None of that has been cast aside, in spite of how you may view the leader.

liberazzi said...

No matter what happens and who takes over, the party needs to keep its progressive ideals. This doesnt mean moving further to the left, but being the ol fiscally prudent, but socially progressive along with a strong environmental purpose. Keep Dion's idealism, but find someone better to sell it.

I do not know about the whole grassroots thing, because the heads of whatever party it may be, make policy. They may gather ideas, but the grassroots never have a real say when push comes to shove. Take Dion for example, when did any of us get to decide the a carbon tax was a good policy move? Dion didnt even listen to his caucus. (Yes I agreed with the GShift and still do). I do believe that the party needs to engage its members with more townhalls and other types of events. Also, have a policy conference to gather up those ideas, brainstorm. Those on top need to stop believing that they have all the answers, but I doubt that will come to pass.

I have said my piece about Dion, its time to go. I admire Dion and if he needs time then fine, but not too much time. I hope they will move up a leadership review and change the rules from a delegate vote. Financially and logistically it makes the most sense. Rae or Iggy might be the best choice to rebuild the party. Then the next generation will have time to mature into leaders. I am still surprised that Tobin and Rock continue to sit on the sidelines. Like I said before Manley or McKenna will try and drag the party back to the Martin era, so I am not to keen on that. Tory Lite as someone called it doesnt really appeal to me, but it might come to pass.

liberazzi said...

With regards to Kennedy he is an appealing potential candidate, but I am not sure that he is ready for primetime. I think he is a risk, but still a valuable asset to the party now. Rae and Iggy are the safe choice to rebuild the party, as we cannot afford to make another mistake.

Steve V said...

lib

This has nothing to do with leadership, just happy to have more authenticity in our MP ranks, a force for change.