Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Few Good Men

With Ignatieff's entrance in the race, the field for the Liberal leadership is pretty much set. I think it's important to say a few things, before Liberals scurry off into various corners, hopefully to re-emerge united after the process.

The most glaringly obvious point, all of the candidates represent a vast improvement over Harper, so it would be wise to move forward with this knowledge in the back of our minds. Fact of the matter, each man is impressive in their own right, each brings attractive attributes to the table, each seem to recognize where the Liberal Party is today, and where it ultimately needs to go to succeed. We should see a frank discussion, that incorporates some new ideas, this isn't a "rehash", the circumstance different, the actors well aware of that reality. Couple a leadership recognition, with a party apparatus offering clear signals that we can walk and chew gum at the same time, and you have a solid recipe for progress. I was worried that the leadership race would be a distraction, but having heard more now, I see the race working in tandem with practical initiatives articulated by the Liberal Party proper.

LeBlanc was a Liberal shining star in the last Parliament, an effective point man on a whole host of issues, quite able in holding the Harper team to account, no matter the question. A definite asset, there's no doubt that LeBlanc will "wear well" as the leadership process proceeds, this isn't an empty suit.

I must say, Rae amazed me in Parliament, the air about him, the grudging respect you could see across the aisle, when he spoke, they generally didn't heckle, they listened. Rae would rise, ask a pointed question, then sit down, looking comfortable, like the wise old sage that's seen it all before. The confidence and charisma that Rae possesses, not to mention the sheer intellectual capacity, makes him completely captivating and compelling. When Rae speaks, we are reminded of what a mediocre man Stephen Harper really is, the true leadership gap striking.

Ignatieff's eloquence isn't just flowered linguistics, the words are such, because the depth demands it. Ignatieff is a national treasure, held in very high esteem around the globe, and every bit of it deserving. A great capacity to inspire, with an eye for bold thinking, that is more unconventional than controversial. Ignatieff has prime ministerial material written all over him, now armed with practical experience, it's a potent brew.

It comes to a race between a few good men, maybe narrow in some regards, but still an impressive slate that effectively guarantees the next leader of the opposition will give Harper a serious run for his money. That's the bottomline, beyond personal preferences aside, all represent a serious upgrade and a nice contrast.

Let the games begin!


Anonymous said...

I think LeBlanc needs to lose a few pounds. If he is standing next to Ignatieff, not only will he be overwhelmed intellectually, but will look frumpy in doing so.

Constant Vigilance said...

Let me be the first to ask you to go away.

Steve V said...

Ditto. Deep stuff.

In_The_Centre said...

Great summary. Going to be good times here in Van.


Anonymous said...

Actually I never thought of it before but he is a bit frumpy LOL
Your title makes me sad. A few good MEN.
I'm watching a Jan 8 2008 speech. He reminds me of someone today.

Steve V said...

" A few good MEN."

I know. It would have been nice, and maybe Ruby will get in, but this is the field and without being gender specific, it's still impressive.

Anonymous said...

Still haven't heard from Dalton...

His brother is out, but that doesn't mean he is taking a pass.

That would certainly make the race an interesting one...

Jerry Prager said...

It appears that even Kinsella has come in from the cold at Iggy's invite. I have to agree that the Libs will emerge from this stronger: all the younger leadership possibilities who opted out seem intent on rebuilding the party from the ground up, while Rae and Ignatieff and LeBlanc seem intent on the discussion of ideas and visions and renewal.
PS. Steve, You can always do what Kinsella just did with his blog after it started overflowing with Con bile, he stopped allowing it in.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. One of the "candidates" should hire you as a speech writer. Do we have political speech writers in Canada? Sometimes I think not.

Anonymous said...

Eloquent post. They are all winners. I also like Dalton, but he seems focused on his challenge in Ontario.

Gayle said...

Steve - I certainly hope the tone your post sets carries through to the end of the race.

One thing I have noticed thus far is that most people are being respectful of all candidates. I believe most of the anonymous postings about anti-Iggy this and anti-Rae that are posted by connie trolls trying to stir up trouble.

Steve V said...

As you might know already , I delete 90%of the crap. At one point it was pretty bad, but most people probably didn't see it. They'll keep coming back, but then they seem to realize that it takes a nanosecond to go "click", accompanied by a hearty laugh watching people waste their time. After a while they tend to just go away, I prefer that over moderating, because that tends to stifle timely discussion.

Cons are welcome, I actually don't mind people like Tomm, they have their opinion and they express it honestly. Not an echo chamber, but high signal for sure.

Anonymous said...

"I believe most of the anonymous postings about anti-Iggy this and anti-Rae that are posted by connie trolls trying to stir up trouble."

Maybe Gayle, but one just has to go back to the blog archives a short 24 months ago to see the left of the Liberal Party has never been terribly receptive to Iggy. Some are prepared to give Iggy a second look but to some, his position on Quebec nationalism to pick just one, runs counter to the Liberal vision of Canada.

Steve V said...


Not sure his view of Quebec runs counter to what Quebec Liberals think, which last time I checked, sort of includes "Liberals" as a whole. We get all wrapped up in terminology, now today something like "distinct society" seems entirely acceptable, but when you really take that in totality, it's essentially the same recognition.

Gayle said...

My issue with Iggy is the fact that his people were undermining Dion at every turn.

I am certainly firmly on the left side of the political spectrum, but at the moment I am far more interested in defeating Harper than anything else.

Mostly what I find interesting, anon, is the fact that most people who post strong pro or anti Iggy sentiments do it as "anons".

Ted said...

"...his position on Quebec nationalism to pick just one, runs counter to the Liberal vision of Canada..."

Interesting comment that, for a party that chose a leader (Chretien) who introduced a motion in Parliament to recognize Quebec as a distinct society, then a leader (Martin) who appointed as his Quebec lieutenant someone who founded the Bloc Quebecois, then a leader (Dion) who supported distinct society in Meech, believes Quebec is a nation and supported a motion recognizing Quebecois as a nation, in a race where the three final candidates all believe Quebec is a distinct "nation" and supported Harper's resolution.

The nation issue is a canard in this debate. Those who, like me, believe in Trudeau's vision of "one Canada" may be disappointed or frustrated, but need also recognize that at this point in the party's history we are the ones on the outside of both the party and the country.

But the strong federalism vs strong provincialism pendulum will swing back one day. For now, we have to find other reasons to support Rae, Ignatieff or LeBlanc because Trudeau's federalist vision of Canada ain't there with them.

And frankly, each candidate has given us lots of reasons to support each of them.

liberazzi said...

It has turned out to some extent to a be a case of "flip a coin", but in a good way. Like I said earlier I like all three, but I think I know which way I am leaning. Going to give it another week though. Maybe Ill do the big WK striptease, keep you all guessing. Sheesh.

Actually, WK made a good case for Iggy today and really did a good job of dismantling a lot of the critisms of Iggy. A really shrewd move by Iggy to announce that he will call a policy convention within 100 days, it caught my attention.

We need on more guy or gal in this race to make it interesting.