Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.

 

Monday, March 20, 2006

Coverage of the Leadership Campaign - Part Two

The story this past weekend has been how the Liberal leadership is being run for by non-liberals, etc etc. First of all, there are plenty of candidates from the Liberal past to go around. So, if these supposed outsiders are the front-runners, well, that doesn't speak to a lack of anything, but to that they must obviously have some legitimacy to Liberals, which is what matters. They have not filled a void left by the passing up of the spot by others (see past post-generally, I doubt a Fontana, or Cauchon, or Goddfrey, would agree they have no history with the party).

Now I would question the legitimacy of some such leadership contenders myself. I understand that line of argument. However, what is incorrect is grouping them all into one. I'm sure it makes good copy, but the fact is Bob Rae, Belinda Stronach, and Michael Ignatieff are totally unique cases.

They are said to be similarly distinct. Perhaps, but this is not enough. Rae has never been a liberal, but broke years ago with the NDP. Stronach was a Conservative but has been a Liberal cabinet minister. Ignatieff has been an outsider, but has been a lifelong liberal, and so not the ideological outsider the others have been historically. People will make different cases for which holds the most legitimacy. But this difference should not be downplayed for the sake of expediency, especially when such comparisons are being utilized to make a grand statement about the field of contenders, and relatedly, the state of the party.

-Steve

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, come on. Surely Ashley MacIssac is a worthy contender. He can tap dance cicles around Goodale and Dion.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the guy that posted the comment before me, you're a tool dude.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

What do you make of my dream 10 days ago:
It's in some Ivy League pub between a couple of mid-50 dudes who roomed together in university. Lets call one RAY and the other IGG. I think the conversation went like this.
IGG: Bob, who cares that you were NDP premier. Those Liberals are sick puppies. No one wants to lead them. You run and get the Left wing (Red Liberals) Liberals to support you. I will run and get the Right wing (Blue Liberals) Liberals to support me. Then at the Leadership Convention we will flip a coin. O.K.
RAY: Mike, O.K. I will be the heavy. I will bash Brison and Stronach and other Blue Liberals for you. Will you bash Dryden and Kennedy for me?
IGG: Those Liberals will not know what hit them. Hay, did you know that there has been a Yale graduate in the White House (either as President or VP) from 1980 to today. Those Yaleees had both Bush and Kerry in 2004. If Hilary runs, then Yale continues to rule. To bad we did not go to Yale or we could run for President. Oh yah, I forgot, we were not born in U.S. Too bad one of our diplomat fathers were not posted in the U.S.
RAY: It’s gonna be fun. Do you think I could get a job at Harvard afterwards? I could write a thesis.
IGG: Bob. As long as you do not run Canada into the ground like you did Ontario as premier.
RAY: Mike, it was not my fault. There was a recession. They named Ray Days after me. Maybe they will name some days after you.
IGG: Hay, did you read my Wikipedia update. I don’t need Ray Days. I am a Count. Maybe we can take over Russia next.
There have been a few attempts but no person has been able to tell me what it means.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Ignatieff isn't a right-wing liberal. How about catching up with the point some time this century buddy. He's a centre-left liberal, maybe more so than Rae. Maybe read some of our posts and learn something.

Not the point of your message? Well seeing as there wasn't one...
Save us from ourselves sir.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

IGG in my dream wrote that in some circumstances it was o.k. to use torture. I guess we are not talking about the same person, Or are we?

6:10 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

That's not clear enough, Ignatieff in no way said in any circumstances torture is all right. What you need to see, and what is the post in February about "Ignatieff and the False Moral Equivalent," that is if you're supposedly interested in non-violence. Challenging the liberal orthodoxy shouldn't be so threatening to the supposedly revolutionary left.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iggy has said he supports pschological torture, sleep deprivation, long periods of forced standing.

That is not what makes a Liberal - sorry!

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Brisonfan said...

Hey, Lester this is the wrong post, go to the one below "Ignatieff and Torture-not quite their own words." I think that's it.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

I guess my IGG and your Ignatieff are not the same person. You appear smart. What are the chances of two former roommates (one a former NDP leader and another a Canadian in self-imposed exile) uniting to both run for Liberal leader? Has this happened ever before?

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

Your Ignatieff sounds like he is going to get Pearson's Nobel Peace Prize. My IGG is a calculating intellectual who is going to go back to the US and laugh at his Canadian adventure (maybe make dean).

6:36 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Well we'll see won't we. I'm not sure why the roomate thing has tugged at your heartstrings so much. Our Ignatieff is different, mine is based on study and reflection, yours on all or none simplification. With us or against us eh? But that's cool.

Man how dare he live outside of Canada. How dare he travel to war-torn countries the world over to visit with victims of war and refugees. Stick with your own kind and then you are worthy! So, like do you feel warm and fuzzy about Jack Layton's commitment to Toronto-Danforth? That's what would get you going eh? Screw a national vision, or not having no concern for Quebec's future in Canada. Those are partly issues, we live in the United States of...oh wait.
I smell some concern from our friends in other parties over this man.

Anyway, despite what you say, and even if you're 100percent right, others will "mistakenly" see him as centre-left, and him and Rae may split the vote there, and then yes Belinda could win. I don't know who she was roomates with but I'm sure you'll catch us up.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

My IGG and RAY don't have a problem with splitting votes because at the end they can pass them over to one another. My dream did not tell me which one will be Good Cop and which one will be BAD Cop?

6:43 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

One more. Ha ha a "diplomat father" who only helped engineer the PEARSON PEACE PLAN you speak so highly of. Good research buddy. But really I have to go, its been fun.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

Your Ignatieff appears to be a good guy, maybe we can get Angelina Jolie to join him in his travels.
In my dream both RAY and IGG were not only university roommates, they were the sons of diplomats. Maybe IGG and Ignatieff are related.

6:52 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

Lester you devil - cool and oh so dry. Welcome to the show.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Also, smarmy sarcasm is our bit, we're not earnest enough for it to really make much impact against us. Try unfettered rage or something like that.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

Your mature welcome is appreciated.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

ha ha ha. Yeah I'm so impolite, your dream story and insulting nicknames were the model of maturity.

7:11 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

Not good cop/bad cop. I prefer Pelletier/Marchand.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Ha ha ha. Yeah, that occurred to me too. There's others I'd rather be, I'll have to temper it. ha ha.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Also, upon reflection, I did not meant to say others in the Liberal Party couldn't be more interested in human rights etc. I meant to say he's done more than he is credited for. That's his thing, but certainly I am in no position to know the commitments of every member of the party. So, no offense to any of them.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous imspartacus said...

Back on topic -- i understand the ballyho about all the 'new liberals' who are infiltrating the race (maybe)... However, doesn't their mere interest in the job and carrying the Liberal banner prove a certain level of inclusiveness, of street cred when it comes to appealing to other Canadians who are looking for a tent that isn't Bush-lite nor Che-green? Part of rejuvenating the party is bringing in new blood -- instead of just recycling the Martinites and Chretienians ad infinitum. My wish was for Lloyd Axworthy to run -- so having people of varied depths of experiences like Rae, Dryden and Kennedy in a race is invigorating. Ignatieff, Dion and Stronach -- they would bring different layers of discourse and ideas to the debate, along with new people who are compelled by their candidacy. Compare the possibilities -- yes, it's still early and I am getting antsy -- to what the Tories when thru just a few years ago. One one-note petulant bully, a brassy blonde and the schoolyard four-eye geek. And the winner became prime minister! It's a great country and it can be even greater with the right leadership.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

For sure, this media reaction is nonesensical. Though I do think there's something to the claim that to lead a party you should have at least not repudiated most of your life. I think that's where grouping doesn't work, because Ignatieff for example has always been liberal, just not a party insider.

Thanks for commenting on the actual post.

11:17 AM  

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