Thursday, November 06, 2008


I know what I'll tell him:
Here's a note Gerard Kennedy sent all his supporters yesterday.

----- Original Message -----
From: Gerard Kennedy
Sent: Wed Nov 05 22:47:11 2008
Subject: Your feedback on new Liberal leadership/Votre rétroaction sur une nouvelle chefferie pour le Parti Libéral

I want to share some thoughts with you concerning the recent election and my role in the upcoming Liberal leadership and ask for your feedback.

First, I have received many congratulations on the victory in Parkdale-HighPark, but want to make sure the credit goes to where it is due – to the team that made it happen. Our extraordinary volunteers and chairs did great work on everything from grassroots fundraising to vote identification to outreach to community organizations. We took a seat away from the NDP in the face of their higher national vote.

Second, I have really been moved by the dozens of emails and phone calls I've received about the leadership. My supporters have not heard a great deal from me since the convention because I felt it was critical to put all of our efforts into supporting the Leader.

Leadership is not our only challenge. It is vital to ensure that the upcoming leadership contest does not impair either party unity or our ability to function well for the Canadian public in these times of economic urgency. Only then will our party will be able to gain back the full trust of Canadians, and defeat Stephen Harper.

I believe we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

Who can connect with and speak for the middle class, particularly in smaller cities and towns across Canada and in large Western cities?

Who can make people, first Liberals and then all Canadians, believe that renewal of the party - openness, effectiveness, meaningful grassroots engagement - will actually take place?

Who can articulate a powerful vision for tomorrow's economy?

Who can position Liberals again as the party of progress – the `radical centre' that is able to define the Canadian consensus about new ways to move the country forward?

I came out of the election campaign very energized by the considerable challenges facing us as Liberals. I will be considering these questions myself in deciding the best role I can play. I welcome any advice, discussion or even debate from you. I will be making a decision on whether to run within the next week. You can reach me directly by return email or at [PHONE NUMBER DELETED] during the day or at my home office at [PHONE NUMBER DELETED].

Best regards,


P.S. Feel free to share this email with anyone you think should receive it.

Here's the campaign office phone number and email, if you have an opinion:

Phone: 416-763-2700


This is no time to be shy :)


Anonymous said...

Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Gerard Kennedy did very well last time despite significant challenges. He will probably have a presence in Québec if he runs, something he lacked last time. In the last leadership he received relatively little attention, that is until the delegates were elected and people saw the strength of his campaign. This time he would be seen as a serious contender right from the beginning. Now he is an MP and the fact that he is a generation younger than the two supposed front runners is more of advantage this time. The very fact that Rae and Ignatieff supporters keep blaming Kennedy for giving us Stéphane Dion only shows how desperate they are to keep him out of the race. They are afraid of him. Kennedy can easily turn the tables on Rae and Ignatieff because, between the two of them, they could have preventing it from happening, but they failed.

Steve V said...

"The very fact that Rae and Ignatieff supporters keep blaming Kennedy for giving us Stéphane Dion only shows how desperate they are to keep him out of the race. "

Trivia question- how many leadership contenders, including those who didn't even make to to the convention, move to Ignatieff?

Answer- NONE

What percentage of Rae delegates moved to Dion on the final ballot?

Answer- 2/3

People can bitter all they want, the fact of the matter, Kennedy did what everyone else did, namely avoid Iggy like the plague. I'm so tired of selective memory, and boohoo revisionism. The reason DION was the overwhelming second choice candidate, because Bob had baggage and Mike had issues. Now, hindsight is all that, but let's remember the environment in the fall of 06, let's remember it well.

Gayle said...

How IS his French? I would like something more than speculation. I would also like to know how he will be perceived in Quebec no matter what his language skills are.

I am very interested in Kennedy, to the point where I might even join the party to support him, but these are questions that need answers...

Anonymous said...

If people don't like the way the delegate system worked last time why aren't they pushing for one member, one vote? They don't seem to have a beef with the system unless it DOESN'T work to their advantage. As for perceived "Dion baggage" it's not nearly as heavy and cumbersome as what the so-called front runners are dragging around. Good luck turning that into lemonade.

MississaugaPeter said...


Much improved. Canvassing with him this winter and spring and summer, he used every opportunity to practice his French with francophone constituents. At least 2-3X a day/night, we would have to hold back from going too far ahead while Gerard had 3-4 minute conversations with francophone constituents.

At Rae or Iggy levels? Nope. But they don't have a beautiful, young, Obama-like, family who is perfectly bilingual (Jeanette, Théria, John-Julien). Note: children attend public French schools since Jeanette is an Acadian.

Anonymous said...

Since he still has debt from last time, I'm pretty sure that most of his donations this time would have to go to pay off that debt first. i don't think it would be legal, although i'm no expert for him to be collecting leadership donations for this race before paying off the last one. And no he wouldn't be seen as a top contender this time from the start. He would be sen as an also ran, just like last time. The vast majority of his delegates ere Sihks, told to vote for him by their temple. he really had no other delegate support to speak of and would not have gotten Stephan's, and won't get Stephane's this time.

If anyone knows the legality of collecting donations when he hasn't paid off his debt from last time, that would be great.

I also think the anyone but Iggy vote would be exactly the same this time. He can come to the convention with 35% and still lose again because no one will move to him. Iggy would have to go to convention with 45% or more delegates to win. The person who finishes second on the first ballot if Iggy is first will win this time. That will probably be Rae.

Anonymous said...

And No Kennedy will not get delegates from Quebec, Iggy and Rae will have them locked up just like last time. Very little has changed in a year and a half. He's wasting time and money tryiong to be kingmaker, but he isn't even that. His Sikh community backers are and were kingmaker. Hopefully they just pick a top contentder to begin with and make everyone's life easier.

Steve V said...

"I am very interested in Kennedy, to the point where I might even join the party to support him"

That's why I joined the party ;), and I'm not a Sikh either. Sigh at the stupid.

MississaugaPeter said...

Anon at 2:54

What an ignorant thing to say: "The vast majority of his delegates ere Sihks, told to vote for him by their temple."

In 2006, outside Quebec, Gerard had the 2nd most number of delegates after the Delegate Selection Meetings (more than Rae and Dion). That would mean an incredible number of Sikhs (please spell it right, Rae would not be impressed).

Anon at 2:57 (probably the same idiot as Anon at 2:54)

How could could you already be able to say that Quebec is locked up for Rae and Iggy. If Gerard gets the support from the Quebec caucus that he hopes, Gerard will be competing with Rae and Iggy in most of Quebec.

Steve V said...

"probably the same idiot as Anon at 2:54"

Good call. Plus it comes from an emotionally unbalanced person, who is quite bitter after the last race and racist too boot ;)

Steve V said...

Anyways...Peter, would you say the French is much improved, on par with Harpo?

Anonymous said...

I think we need a leader that inspires us. I don't want to say that GK doesn't inspire people - he does inspire some and perhaps even more that I don't know of. However, IMHO, people should look at how leadership candidates establish their campaigns. Until now, he hasn't paid his debts from the previous convention. How can he possibly afford the next one without paying the last one? I'm sorry for being so cynical, but we need someone that'll bring more people and hence money to the LPC, not more debts.

He's young, he still has many more chances of proving himself to Canadians. Don't get me wrong, I think we should inject fresh blood to the party; however I truly believe that this is not his time YET.

Steve V said...


He actually paid off the same amount of debt as others, but he incurred more, because he didn't start last campaign with an established organization and backers. Keep that in mind, because he has paid off a lot of money, this despite not having little profile after the campaign. I don't think anyone should infer from this circumstance.

Also, doesn't inspire? Come on now.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say he does not inspire. I really see the future of LPC in him. I just said that in my opinion this is not his time YET. But it's good to know that he's already paid most of it.

Steve V said...

"I really see the future of LPC in him."

The only problem I have with that, it assumes you need to be in your sixties to be the NOW? Now I'm inspired. How old is Obama, and didn't people say he was the future of the party at one point (I'm only making the analogy, not suggesting anything more on that comparision) It's not like Kennedy doesn't have a pedigree, or he's a kid, he's in his PRIME.

Omar said...

I would prefer Kennedy get some seasoning in the House before he runs for the leadership again. Someone at the helm who has no experience on the ship is a non-starter for me.

Steve V said...


I would say being a minister, in a high profile portfolio, qualifies as seasoning, frankly in a way that others can't say, apart from Rae.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope Iggy and/or Bob have more intelligent or even just more creative talking points than their anon/surrogates as represented here in these comments because, frankly, you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep and Gerard's looking better and better by comparison.

Omar said...

I did say it was a preference and I should have added 'somewhat' of a non-starter. Those of us outside the confines of Upper Canada know little to nothing about GKs achievements at Queen's Park. Not to take anything away from those achievements, but they are rather unknown to the rest of us. I want to see how he performs at the big show.

Anonymous said...

Steve I was a delegate at the last convention who phones every delegate. i also phoned everyone in my riding. I know the Sikhs were told to support kennedy. i know they were told to go to Stephane. If you weren't a delegate and you didn't make those phone calls then I wouldn't be calling me stupid. Kennedy had no other delegate support to speak of. The VAST, and I mean VAST number of his delegates , were Sikhs. Again not making their own decisions, told who to vote for. They will tell you that themselves, on the phone, in the grocery store, at the convention. it's not a secret. They also ge their delegate fees paid for by the temple and other Sikh associations, so the notion that trying to move the convention to Toronto or ottawa somehow is a plot to disadvantage Kennedy is absurd.

BTW calling people stupid is really just childish. I was there. I don't believe you were.

S.K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry Prager said...

I've always had a lot of repsect for Kennedy, both when he first went from the TO food bank into politics and then we he did a superb job of restoring the integrity of the Ontario school system after the Lack of Common Sense Reactionaries nearly destroyed it. I might even join the party.

Anonymous said...

Paul Wells has a leadership poll, so far Dion and Iggy are neck and neck. Gerard's not doing too badly either.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 5:36,
I worked on the Kennedy campaign last time and I was one of hundreds of delegates that were not Sikh.
You are obviously trying to swipe Kennedy because you support someone else. Stop posting such nonsense- your statements are false.

Steve V said...


You can keep spewing the nonsense over and over, doesn't make it true. Stupid is a kind word.

Steve V said...

And, SB if you post it again, I'm deleting :)

Steve V said...

Only a couple people, but the fact we hear of joining the party because of Gerard might be saying something, particularly when renewal is on everyone's mind.

Steve V said...

Kennedy today:

"Organizers tend to want to find a home pretty quick, for myself that's a big reflection on whether I'll run, and I think people understand that. I had no standing organization during Mr. Dion's tenure, that's not how I play the game"

It's a dirty game Gerard.

Steve V said...

Whopitulia, I hope you don't mind me lifting this from your link, but it's a good reminder:

"On July 13, 2006, The Toronto Star reported that Gerard Kennedy appeared to have signed up more new members than any other candidate in the period of the race geared towards member recruitment."

Gabe said...

I seem to recall hearing or reading that the reason Kennedy was a few votes behind Dion on the first ballot at the Leadership Convention was because a few of his supporters switched their vote to Hall-Finley because they didn't want her to be embarrassed by a dismal result. The rest is history - Kennedy honoured his deal with Dion.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice that in the same week that Barak Obama was elected as President that such racist, vile crap is being posted on a Liberal blog's comment section.

burlivespipe said...

Gabe, except for 'super-delegates', the vote on the first ballot was a lock. It was preordained by who you were elected to represent. As a Bob delegate, I couldn't switch my vote if I wanted to.
As a westerner, I've always been impressed by Gerard. Of course, the question of his french and leadership debt does make me pause. I'd need to hear more about that, and also his ideas but I am listening.