Interesting, a couple of rumors of his entrance, and already the lazy criticisms of Gerard Kennedy begin. The only guy who had the fortitude to resist the easy endorsement, rejecting Harper's cynical attempt to curry favor with Quebecers, somehow that's a bad thing. A guy who decided he had enough of theoretical indoctrination, and instead ventured into the practical world, the only motivation a pretty selfless endeavor, that's a bad thing. But, the real criticism, Gerard Kennedy, he gave us Dion, forever blemished in the eyes of many. Bullocks!
I must admit, I assumed that Kennedy would take a pass on this leadership race. However, it would appear that Kennedy is giving another run serious consideration, the idea of the "renewal" candidate floated. That characterization was always a given, should Kennedy decide to run, because after all, if you paid attention in the last campaign, he was already well ahead of the curve in this regard. Whether Kennedy runs, or he doesn't, I'd like to clarify what I perceive as an unfair attack.
Yes, Gerard Kennedy moved to Dion in the Liberal leadership. Yes, that decision was a pivotal moment at the convention, mostly because Kennedy had the rare capacity to deliver an overwhelming number of his delegates. However, what I've always found completely unfair, the way others "blame" Kennedy for the convention outcome, as though he the ONLY player, as though his decision was different from OTHER candidates, OTHER delegates. We all love Martha, but didn't she move to Dion initially? Why doesn't Findlay wear the goat horns too? Ditto for Dryden, ditto for Volpe, both of which eventually went to Dion on the final ballot. What of Rae, he didn't move to Ignatieff on the final ballot, a non-decision that was crucial in the final analysis? As a matter of fact, not ONE of the contenders in that room went to Ignatieff, only Brison after Rae was out.
Kennedy may have been the big player, but this was only a function of his popularity, his sizeable delegate total. The real story of the 2006 convention wasn't Kennedy, it was the simple fact that NOBODY moved to Ignatieff, the entire mood of the convention revolved around people shifting to stop him. Brison made his decision, Dryden made his decision, Findlay made her decision, Volpe made his decision, Rae made his decision and Kennedy made his decision, all of which conveyed a common theme, a collective mindset- Anybody But Ignatieff. With all the candidates, it was simply astounding to watch person after person decide against Ignatieff, the final insult, the greatest, when old friend Bob Rae sat on his hands, which essentially gave it too Dion, or at least confirmed the tide. Why didn't Bob Rae see the Dion danger and act to try and prevent it?
People want to blame Kennedy, I would say they have a selective memory, because all the players had a role, and in the final analysis most of it was counter-productive. The funniest part, seems to me DELEGATES vote, was Kennedy to blame for the fact that 2/3rds of Rae's people moved to Dion on the final vote? What was Martha thinking, moving to third place Dion after the first ballot? What were all those other candidates thinking moving to Rae, was this an orchestrated attempt to give the underdog Rae the job? What was Ken Dryden smoking when he went to Dion because he had "a greater chance of winning" the next election? In other words, it was a very complicated affair, and I frankly don't understand how Kennedy is singled out, when by all accounts, he made a personal decision to back a preference, just as EVERY other candidate did, just as EVERY other floating delegate did.
I don't know if Kennedy decides to run again, but I know one thing, anybody who discounts his candidacy because he "gave us Dion" has a serious case of selective memory and disjointed logic.