Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Bob Rae running in the wrong crowds?

I have trouble taking the Bob Rae donation allegations lightly. I have particular trouble after learning that one of the NDP campaigns he alledgedly donated to was London-Fanshawe. This riding , where Liberal Glen Pearson lost to NDP Irene Mathyssen, was personally one of my biggest disapointments of the 'o6 election.

From May 10/2006:

Glen Pearson - if I may sidetrack for a moment - is one of the great living Liberals. His CV includes serving as a firefighter for 28 years, founding the London Food Bank, consulting with all levels of government on poverty issues, and founding the organization Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan. Pearson travelled often to the Sudan. He build a YM/YWCA nearbye and was personally involved in freeing slaves - one of which he adopted as a daughter. He was defeated in London-Fanshawe by New Democrat Irene Mathyssen, whose CV includes 'good at being po-mo cynical about stuff' (paraphrased).

Glen Pearson is someone who makes you proud to be a Liberal. In my mind, this particular riding campaign was a microcosmic reinforcement of why I am a Liberal and not a New Democrat. And Rae - already noted at this point as a potential future Liberal leader - was there, bailing out his old friend Irene?

Is it unreasonable to cry foul? I can't usually be accused of demanding party loyalty too rigorously.

I'm willing to assume innocence, but this story should not go away until Rae indicates that this is a mistake.

- Mike (SCG)

UPDATE: Revisit the personal introduction that appears on Bob Rae's website:
I am a Liberal because I believe the Liberal Party represents Canada at its best: diverse, innovative, fundamentally decent.
Doesn't it grit your teeth just a little bit?


Blogger Alexander said...

look at liberallifeandtimes.blogspot,, and for proof

11:04 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Well alexander the problem is since its not in "reputable" news sources all we know now is that it was a man named Bob Rae in Toronto. While pretty obvious, it still is not 100 percent I think that's what he was saying.

I'm glad you posted on this because I was going to as well. I actually think this is outright awful. I mean just a few months ago he was still supporting another party! People rail on about Ignatieff not being in Canada and not Rae's absence from the Liberal Party, scratch that, direct opposition to it over a career? Who's the opportunistic one, I hadn't gotten to bent out of shape about him joining at the last minute to run for leader but I think this is pretty unacceptable.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Note, what I meant by not getting bent out of shape is I'm not leaping over everything the guy does, I didn't blog a word about it, but I have never been comfortable with his candidacy from that angle from the beginning. This is someone who was so deep in another party as to form a government with them. That this is getting no play is surprising to say the least. The only sense in which it is at least on liblogs is as far as "electability" and his legacy in Ontario, which is a different issue really.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this is true I will angry more than dissapointed with Mr. Rae.

4:02 AM  
Blogger Zac said...

Rae also donated money to David Christopherson in Hamilton-Centre during the'04.

Considering that most of us helped out on the campaigns of people like Glen Pearson and Stan Keyes, it's kind of hard to imagine our potential leader was working against us.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Zac said...

ahem, sorry....the '04 campaign.

6:55 AM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

Did he Zac? Good lord - there's a campaign I contributed significant time to personally.

Steve you make a good point. I made a similar comment on another blog. Ignatieff gets killed for sitting out the major recent battles. But that has to be better than actively fighting on the other side of the battlefield as recently as this year

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Herb said...

Look. As a former (very soft and not always happy) NDP'er who has joined the Liberal party directly as a result of the Rae candidacy, it comes down to this for me.

Are you guys going to welcome people like me into your party or not?

That's what renewal means.

If your answer is no, just come out and say so. I'll go back to being a political orphan.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous diana said...

Why Herb are you planning on running for leader this year too?

I've seen that you've posted this comment on other blogs, and with all due respect, this is an unfair question.
Bob Rae is asking to be the leader of the LPOC, not answer the phones at the campaign office.
In Bob Rae's own words ""What you all have to do now is to decide not who has the best ideas, necessarily. It is who is the most capable of bringing this team together.” Bob Rae...

And we are following his advice. A short few months ago, Bob Rae worked against us in a general election. He worked against a sitting Liberal MP. It is fair to ask, how after this has been revealed, he can unite a feisty caucus and thousands of Liberal members across the country?
So while Bob Rae and (you Herb), are important additions and assets to the LPOC, perhaps Bob isn’t the person who can unite the team. Perhaps, just perhaps, he should be a team player for a while.

8:57 AM  
Blogger SteelCityGrit said...

There's a pretty fundamental difference between supporting a party and leading it. That shouldn't be hard to see.

I'm proud that the Liberal party can draw on the best and the brightest from all political corners. I'm proud and happy to accept the Raes, the Brisons, the Herbs. Repentent sinners have always been a part of this party.

But this raises questions of vision and intentions. If Rae saw it necessary to actively oppose the Liberal party of the 06 election, then what does he want the party to be? Don't get me wrong - I am in no enamoured with that particular manifestation of the party. In fact, I think we need to see new ideas, a new style. But I still chose the Liberal option. Rae didn't. This is nothing to do with loyalty; that's a fundamental values difference.

9:28 AM  

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