Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Run Ruby Run

This isn't a statement on preference, because I've already pretty much decided on a candidate, but I do hope that Ruby Dhalla decides to enter the Liberal leadership race. I don't see any scenario where Dhalla could actually win the leadership, but in a certain sense that really isn't the point. It's important to have a diversity of views presented, and Dhalla would certainly bring something to the table, she would expand the conversation. This leadership race is more than just selecting a captain, it's a process that ultimately will give the Liberal Party a fresh direction. Dhalla would have appeal, she's articulate, smart and she possesses the common touch, that enables her to present ideas clearly. Dhalla has already proven herself to be a breathe of fresh air, so her potential entrance should be viewed as a net positive for the party.

I do see it as unfortunate, that the modern Liberal Party doesn't have room for a woman to seek the leadership. Not in a token sense, because Dhalla does have considerable substance, but there is some symbolism in a "white guy" only presentation. Add in a visible minority, and Dhalla brings the superficial optics that do make a statement. This race takes on a whole new flavor, should Ruby run, which goes beyond simple viability. Whatever the outcome, if the process allows for another strong woman to emerge on the front benches, it's a positive moving forward, the Liberal Party is better for the development.

I want a party that presents a representative sample of Canada as a whole, or at least some expression beyond the typical. Again, if Dhalla lacked the talent, then I'd view her inclusion cyncially, but I honestly see her as offering an interesting prespective, she's not a lightweight and she can be a force as the Liberals re-invent themselves. I say run Ruby run.


whopitulia said...

Good point.

P.S. re your preference, will it be a slow striptease ala Kinsella or a shorter one like Calgary Grit?

olaf said...

Add in a visible minority, and Dhalla brings the superficial optics that do make a statement.

I was waiting for this sentiment from the time I read the title. And that's really what it's all about, isn't it? That way, you can continue bashing the CPC as anti-women and anti-visible minority. It's really a win-win.

Steve V said...


Like I said, if it was JUST that, I'd be cynical. I think Dhalla is quite credible, she's very bright, engaging and she offers refreshing candor when pressed. In other words, Dhalla should run on merit alone, but only an idiot doesn't acknowledge it's also advantageous to present a race somewhat more representative of Canada as a whole.

If it's a "win win", it's only because there is something there, I mean if you're really diverse, you don't need to corral all your female MP's, so they strategically appear in the camera frame during QP. It's hilarious, if you pan out of the visible tv angle, you see a little cadre of women, surrounding by a white out. I guess it's better this time, which is a good thing, in the grand scheme.


No tease, just getting my thoughts together :)

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. We have an Obama-like candidate in Ignatieff, and the Liberals are determined to suppress the change and hope he brings.

Steve V said...


I don't get your comment. What does this have to do with Michael? I seem to recall the Democrats had a gigantic field for the nomination, and I would argue Obama was better for it in the end.

olaf said...


Nice cover. You know she's not going to win, so why are you pushing her to run, and not some other "bright and engaging" Liberal member of Parliament? Do you really think she's the most "bright" and "engaging" MP left available, beyond those who have already bowed out?

Lets be frank: If Ruby were a white dude (with the same level of intelligence and charisma), you wouldn't have written this post.

Steve V said...


Hey dude, do you read the posts, or just go off on tangents? I said she wouldn't win, but that isn't the point. I wanted Kennedy to run too, is that because he was a white guy? I like Dhalla, and she's the last holdout, which can bring more to the table. In the end, if Dhalla running gives her a higher profile in the party, like it did for Martha, then good stuff I say. Like I said, winning is only part of the process, injecting new blood into the party, more voices, is also a requirement.

Steve V said...

"so why are you pushing her to run, and not some other "bright and engaging" Liberal member of Parliament? "

Please point me to another MP that is considering a run at the moment, that hasn't declared yet, then you might have a point, a very small one, but at least something relevant.

Scott Tribe said...

I see Olaf has managed to let some of the general Blogging Tory group-think seep into his normally half-objective posting while he's been absent from blogging... regrettable really.

Steve: If we're going to do any recruiting, what about Jane Stewart? She's a former cabinet minister, so she's got more experience then Ruby.

Steve V said...


I'm on Ruby, because Ruby is deciding whether to run, and I would encourage it. That's it, nothing more. Feel free to start a "draft Jane" movement ;)

olaf said...

Please point me to another MP that is considering a run at the moment, that hasn't declared yet, then you might have a point, a very small one, but at least something relevant.

Haha, good one. My concerns have been mollified. You win this round Steve. In a rout. :)

olaf said...

Also, Scott, I appreciate your pity. I really, really do. Will someone please save me from myself!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Steve, for setting the example in most of your comments, if not the title of your post.

When we speak about women, I think it would help if we referred to them by their last name, just like we do with the men. Thus, Ruby Dhalla is Dhalla. Just like Gerard Kennedy becomes Kennedy. C'est simple . . . n'est-ce pas?

Mark Dowling said...

Liberal approach to diversity: token leadership candidates
CPC approach: white guy leader but splitting ethnic vote by targeting socially conservative minority voters

I don't see Ruby getting back the chinese-canadian votes lost in BC

Steve V said...


You will note, I referred to Ignatieff as "Michael" in the comments :)


Not sure if Dhalla entering has anything to do with BC voters, nor was I really entertaining anything of the sort, when I concluded she should run.

I really hope the Liberals don't resort to a "Kenney", the whole outreach is such a transparent kiss ass, it's embarrassing. I also noticed the COMPLETE lack of diversity at this past week's convention, it was like a snow squall.

RuralSandi said...

Pretty expensive for her to just offer a diversity of views?

Would you want to get in debt - just to be a voice in the crowd to offer a diversity of views?

Steve V said...


Well, let's see if Dhalla has some serious backers. I agree, if she would have to go into debt, the Dhalla is better off taking a pass. If, however, she could sign up some VF members and augment the cost, then Dhalla is beneficial in another way.

Anonymous said...

Im am sorry but she is a beauty queen runnerup and a does that make her prime minister material...if you going there ...why not justin trudeau, at least he has the education and also has the beauty.

burlivespipe said...

Anon -Well, we could hang out at some bitter, very white university club and tab some under-employed BA, maybe an economics major who doesn't really want to work in the business. Get him some big-ass, deep-pocketed industrial (maybe even foreign, if we can keep it under wraps!) backers and he could run... oh wait. That sounds like a loser.

JimmE said...

Ms Dhalla is a chiropractor????
Sorry, I was with you 'till I heard that, you lost me! I don't want a practitioner of 19th century German new-age Moon Music anywhere near the leadership.

John said...

jimme said: "I don't want a practitioner of 19th century German new-age Moon Music anywhere near the leadership."

Ahh, not right now. But what about when you find out that she's channeling P. E. T.? You'll change your tune then, mister!

Anonymous said...

Two points:

1. If Ruby Dhalla wants to run she has to pony up $90,000 just to get her name on the ballot and that doesn't even include the costs of running an active campaign. She would be personally on the hook for any debt she would incur. Does anyone want to write her a cheque so she can run - just to show that there is some diversity in the Liberal Party.

2. Someone compared Ignatieff to Obama. That has to be the most ridiculous comparison I've ever heard. The two have ZILCH in common.

liberazzi said...


Your post expresses my feelings exactly. Therefore, I hope she runs as well.

I am still undecided, so I am curious to see which one you will support.

The Iggy/Obama comparison is absurd and shows some of the delusions his supporters seem to have about him.

MilitantLiberal said...

I think Dhalla is an Ignatieff supporter, but if you don't hold that against her, she's smart, quick witted, young, charismatic. What's not to like? I don't think she should run though unless she thinks she can win.

JimmE said...

Perhaps you're right, in fact one might also say we need someone who can convince us that she has manipulated the spine of the Liberal Party.