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Sunday, May 28, 2006

liberal leadership race... boring?

The Federal Liberal leadership race is on. Some people I know are excited.

Me? I've been having a really hard time getting excited about it.

Some of my blog friends have already thrown their support behind the candidates of their choice. Nicole and Bart are going for Gerard Kennedy, c-lo and Jason are going for Michael Ignatieff, and Mr. Cherniak going for Stephane Dion (You can check out other blogger endorsements here).

Having not fully decided who I will be supporting, here are some of my thoughts on some of the "top-tier" candidates...

Stephane Dion, St. Laurent-Cartierville - An intellectual heavyweight. He's smart, a great debater, and would probably be a decent leader. He could easily take on Prime Minister Harper toe-to-toe in the House of Commons.

Michael Ignatieff, Etobicoke-Lakeshore - Unfairly treated in the Federal Election, no academic should be forced to defend their academic writings in 10 second news clips.

Though many people don't seem to have an issue with this (c-lo), I do have trouble thinking that the next Prime Minister-in-waiting has only lived the last 6 months of the past 25 years in Canada. He's untested, has very little political experience, and as far as I can tell hasn't yet to even speak in the House of Commons (care to correct me?).

I would not dare to challenge his intellectual capacity, but I'm still undecided if he could sucessfully lead the Federal Liberals through the next couple years.

Bob Rae - The worst thing that ever happened to Bob Rae happened in 1990 when he became Premier of Ontario. Erase Ontario's Rae-led NDP government from 1990 to 1995 and Rae doesn't look so bad. Extremely intelligent, articulate, and educated, if he weren't unelectable, he probably wouldn't do such a bad job.

Gerard Kennedy - Though I hear he can get a little flakey at times, I think I like what I see in Gerard Kennedy. Born in Manitoba, studied at the U of A, founded the Edmonton Food Bank, ran a major Food Bank in Toronto. It seems like he actually has real-world experience compared to the privileged lives of his competitors. He's young, supposedly bilingual, has experience in government (and is still popular), and isn't connected to the Martin-Chretien divide.

Though I have yet to throw my support behind any candidate, I think I like most what I see in Mr. Kennedy.

I didn't have many thoughts about the other candidates at the moment, but if you'd like to check out their websites, here they are...

Joe Volpe, Ken Dryden, Hedy Fry, Martha Hall Findlay, Maurizio Bevilacqua, Scott Brison, & Carolyn Bennett.


Dan McKenzie said...

I have seen Ignatieff speak in the house on two separate occasions. One during the Afghan take-note debate and the other on the night of the vote.

Red Tory said...

What Dan said.

Sean Tisdall said...

So is Orchard a definite no go? I'm assuming that's the situation, but I'm no Grit insider. If that's the case, it'll mean a boost for Dion.

Allie said...

The real problem is they can't attract anyone of any real substance because the party is in such disgrace (and there's a huge possibility that this next leader will never lead the party as PM - thats not attractive to a lot of people).

Personally, I hope for Bob Rae...

toasted said...

I've been collecting info on Gerard Kennedy on my blog since the first rumours he might run which includes stuff he's done in the past as well as current events. My favourite quote was in a Globe and Mail article:
"He's the guy, after all, who defied all of his Liberal colleagues in 2001 by voting against a bill to give MPPs a 25-per-cent pay raise."

Good luck making your choice, it ain't easy.

c-lo said...


While I might have listened to your assessment of Ignatieff before I got on board, since I have joined his campaign team, I can honestly say that the man is politically saavy and has the skills to be the next Prime Minister of Canada. If he was a lightweight, I seriously doubt he would have the support of so many caucus members, let alone members that have distinguished themselves.

Plus having read what he has said in the HoC and the fact that Harper is appearing to set him up, I believe Mr. Ignatieff will be the next Prime Minister following the next election. When I read and listen to his speeches, or his Q&As, I am inspired by what Canada can become and the history we have already achieved.

That said, I can understand your concerns about the living out of the country thing, but I am always more concerned about what the person can do and what they say. Thus far, he has done everything and more than I could have hoped for.

Good Luck in deciding.

c-lo said...


I don't believe this race is full of lightweights. And if the Conservatives believe that it is, there arrogance and hatred of the Liberals will be their downfall.

The Liberal Leadership is race is full of thoughtful people with the ability to take on Harper.

daveberta said...

" The real problem is they can't attract anyone of any real substance because the party is in such disgrace"

Allie, no substance? I think the biggest criticism is that there is too much substance. Academics, Social activists, former Ministers. THere is plenty of substance, just not very much excitement.

Stuart Robertson said...

I just saw Bob Rae talk in Guelph and he had some progressive things to say about how the public sector should partner more with industry and makes better use of technology.

Dan McKenzie said...


Calgary Grit said that he believed Orchard was supporting Bob Rae.

Sean Tisdall said...

Calgary Grit is out to lunch. There's nobody David Orchard would rather torpedo than an FTA era NDP'er. Also, you F***ed up a vowel.

daveberta said...

woah, calm down kiddy.

Sean Tisdall said...

I'm not mad, just blunt. There's no love lost between DO and the NDP. You should hear him rip into Layton. Sorry, allow me to rephrase my previous post. Calgary Grit would be sorely mistaken if that were the case.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I would like to tell everyone I am working with Volpe. If you want to discount him, fine. But he will surprise people by his strong campaign.
Second, to Allie:
I disagree with you logic of hoping for Bob Rae. Why would a die hard conservative like yourself want a left leaner in? You should be hoping for a right leaning candidate so that IF harper's numbers drop and he and Canadians realize that dictators aint popular, there will be a choice between a far right harper and a slightly right Liberal leader. I believe your support for Rae as easier for Harper to beat is very short sighted.