Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Kennedy's Last Leadership Race

Here is a recap of coverage of Gerard Kennedy’s bid for the leadership of the Ontario Liberals. It is mostly taken from the Toronto Star. I hope this will help non-Ontarians know Kennedy better.

His Supporters:

The Star endorsed Kennedy as their ideal candidate:

“…he developed a grass-roots understanding of the problems ailing Ontario society; especially in the wake of the Tory cutbacks, which have hit the poorest hardest.

Kennedy also possesses… the vision and the charisma so essential to winning an election. He has a proven ability to attract and inspire people of differing backgrounds to a public cause.

…Publicly and privately, his opponents are badmouthing him. Primarily, they paint him as a left-of-centre liberal in a neo-conservative era.

…Kennedy will maintain the Liberal tradition of sticking to the middle while offering an alternative view on such hot-button issues as welfare reform…”
(Toronto Star Nov. 23, 1996)

Notable supporters I found mention of included Carolyn Bennett and the late great Dominic Agostino.

His Detractors:

MPP Dwight Duncan warned that Kennedy would ‘drive capital out’ of Ontario by his proposed labor policies. …The argument occurred as Kennedy was describing his economic policies; he has suggested shortening the work week and discouraging overtime to increase employment.” (Toronto Star Nov. 28)

A letter was distributed on the speech night of the convention, from members of Kennedy’s constituency. It read:
To know Gerard Kennedy is to leave In the months since the by-election, there has grown to be a significant discontent with Gerard’s presence in the riding.”
He basically faced much the same criticisms that Ignatieff faced from his riding association, as a parachute candidate with little experience and jealously inducing star power.

Dalton McGunity’s criticism:
“ ‘some people want to take this party to the left…’ To follow ‘some people’ would be making a mistake, he went on, because it might cost the Liberals the next election… ‘I’m a Liberal of conviction, not convenience.’ ” (Toronto Star Nov. 30)

Toronto Sun Editorial:
Kennedy is “… a lefty who really hasn’t done much other than give away food.”

His Convention Speech:

Gerard Kennedy made an impassioned plea to Liberals last night to return to their roots.

In a speech and video that evoked the ideals of Pierre Trudeau, Kennedy asked Liberal delegates to move to the left because it is both morally correct and politically astute.

“We have never been elected as a conservative-Liberal party and we will never out-conservative the Conservatives. That approach has never worked in the past.

“We must not forget to stand for something, forget to be Liberals.”

Prosperity, he said, “is linked to a health care system that is not only part of our infrastructure, part of our competitive advantage, but probably the thing we can be proudest of.” (Toronto Star Nov. 30)


Blogger Steve said...

Do you know if the full text of the speech can be found anywhere? Regardless, thanks for beginning to flesh out some potential Kennedy policies as opposed to the platitudes I'm reading elsewhere. This should be a prerequisite, though I'm not hearing any uproar or calls of "blind faith" from such instances that its not present.

Good post, right on top of what's quite a development, no matter how much bloggers think they were 100 percent prepared for it from naming every potential candidate in advance.

I restate that, regardless of the federal situation, its a shame for Ontario to lose him, particularly as education minister, and with John Tory et al picking up steam.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

The Toronto Sun doesn't like him, that should be enough for any Liberal to support him.

4:24 PM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

Steve -

I don't know if there is a full text of the speech. I could find no record of it online at all - and only pulled this stuff out of (not online) Toronto Star archives.

7:39 PM  
Blogger James said...

You might want to have a look at this article about Dwight Duncan and how he says citizens are happy with higher electricity prices!

11:44 AM  

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