You Guys Need Some Direction

I keep thinking that the more we see of Stephen Harper, the less we see him hanging onto the right side of the spectrum and if what I see(and countless others as well) is correct, we should assume that Harpers’ intent is to move his party centre enough(by shutting up some of those radical MP’s that grace his party) that he hopes to displace the Liberal party as the natural governing party for Canadians. Unfortunately though the centre-left is so fractured that we are probably looking at years of this type of CONservative domination that we are experiencing unless of course, someone can beat Harper to the draw and force him back into the small minded corner of the totally oil polluted world he came from…Alberta.
Now looking at the Liberal leadership drama that is unfolding at this very moment. The contenders for the list are being drawn from stock that has seen better days. Although Bob Rae may be a fine individual and potentially the most powerful debater in our country(certainly the best when compared to the PM)and considering he carries with him a strong history of social liberal practices, it is unlikely that his formidable but rocky past as Ontarios’ premier during a time of major economic recession would benefit him or any party…even the NDP at this time. I like Bob, but personally he’d be better off taking the money and putting it behind someone else and hoping for an appointment into cabinet. He’d be a great deputy Prime Minister and a smart thinking internationalist. If I was running the show, I’d be impressed to have him on my team…I just wouldn’t want him at the helm, but at foreign affairs he be great.
Dominic Leblanc is a fine person as well with really large aspirations to become the leader of our country. The difficult thing is, despite being smart (although lacking experience in major issues)the french sounding name and background will kill him in the west, or even in Ontario where a large portion of the population cannot get over the french issue. Hate goes a long way in small town Ontario, or even Alberta. Those foks would despie seeing him in office as well and would never vote for him. Even if he said no taxes for any oil producer, they would still reject him. I would equate his chances for a win about as high as I would rate Bobs’. If I was the guy in charge, I’d make him the boss for eastern Canada and fisheries. He’s got that connection and relates well to the east coast experience. As leader of the party, he would guarantee Harper a majority and a bleak future for Canadians.
Frank McKenna would have been a great pick for the party but Frank knows better and undoubtedly can’t see himself ressurecting the brand any time soon as i’m sure he realizes that the party has major challenges ahead in policy direction, financing and structure. Besides, who the hell would want to leave a nice paying job with awesome benefits for a high stress job that automatically makes you a Stephen Harper target? Not Frank, he’s a smart guy, that’s why he bowed out immediately. He’s smart and there was squat for hestitation on his part.
Michael Ignatieff is a really really smart guy that got a great job in America(with benefits) but reminds me too much of some bourgeois burlesque character…a dancer in a Brecht styled cabaret that waltzes onto the stage…and falls off the other side into the writhing masses that consume him and his intellect. I don’t think hiding(okay, he says he was working) in the US for most of his life will benefit him in the party leaders’ debates when that happens in a year or two. And frankly, Canadians do not want to see a quasi-american sitting at 24 Sussex Drive. Iggy would make a great party whip and perhaps would fit in well in any role that covered bi-lateral relations with the USA.
Sometimes I think about Ralph Goodale as being an interesting candidate but the liklihood of him tossing his hat into the ring is small. The good thing about Ralph is…he’s not got a french sounding name, does not hail from Quebec and has held his own through numerous elections…although sometimes those races were tight. But really, Ralph is the only glimmer of red in a sea of blue where he comes from. That might help to build the party in the west if they were to choose a leader that comes from another part of Canada. And being from Saskatchewan there has to be a little of the left in him if not a lot. Perhaps there should be a concerted effort to raise his profile more than what it is.
So the choice is this…either unite the centre-left in the hopes of gaining a toehold in parliament again, or elect a party leader that can at least walk,talk and wave at the same time, otherwise any leadership race is a terrible waste of time and resources for everyone. And while you’re at it, pick some candidates that at least have a hope in hell of winning instead of picking people that fit into some specific category. The nomination process should be wide open and it should revolve around the party members in the riding. There should be no leaders’ appointments of candidates. The people that vote in the riding would certainly appreciate voting for their own choice…not the choice of some distant leader.


  1. Cari
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree to a certain point, but the province of Quebec, would vote for a French Leader, faster than an English leader.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted November 1, 2008 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes. By all means. Let’s continue to agonize over how best to accommodate Quebec …or not.

    Quebec includes those that support the left, centre and right just like the rest of the country. They are not idiots. They will vote the policies that suit the majority of Quebec voters. I grant them sufficient intelligence to not vote for someone just because his name sounds French.

    ps: It’s refreshing to have someone state the obvious fact that Harper is not governing from the right. He has betrayed his traditional conservative base and moved to the vacancy in the centre created by Dion.

    Canada has traditionally preferred centrist government. Dion crippled the Liberals when he moved the party somewhere to the left of Layton’s NDP. The new leader is going to have a tough job. It’s much easier to hold the centre than take it. Advantage Harper.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    r u going to run for the libs jim?

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