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And then there were 2.

..leadership candidates for the liberal Party that is.

Rae to run for Liberal leadership

That makes Rae and Dominic Leblanc the only official 2 candidates for the Liberal leadership so far. Apparently, the Globe and Mail story today that claimed Rae had told friends he was thinking of NOT running probably tipped his hand.

UPDATE: Just heard from someone I know in Quebec that Rae went on RDI and confirmed he was running. Not the best time in the news cycle on a Friday to be announcing your candidacy, but he probably felt he had no choice with the “not running” rumours swirling around.

I’ve met Mr. Rae before […]


Attempting to straitjacket your successor

One of the odd quirks about the US presidential race is that a retiring incumbent President – or even a losing one in an election campaign – still sits as president for 3 months between the November election and the January inauguration of the next President. That allows the outgoing administration to attempt to do all sorts of things to impose their “legacy” on the next administration. In George Bush’s administration’s case, they’re attempting to ram through regulation changes (presumably that Congress at this point can’t review) that will attempt to impose their ideological views on the next President, and as you might expect, their view is to try and […]


Thursday Thoughts

I suppose I should comment on the new Harper Cabinet that was sworn in today. My first impressions are this:

The good points of this shuffle – more women in Cabinet. As an aside, you kind of had the feeling that Lisa Raitt would get rewarded by Harper for removing the thorn in his side Garth Turner. Besides, I’m sure she made it clear she wasn’t getting into politics to be a backbencher, after being the former head of the Toronto Port Authority. More good points – Baird out of the Environment slot, and Clement out of Health.

The bad points are Flaherty staying Finance Minister, Gerry Ritz staying Agriculture after his stupid remarks, and Jason Kenney, never one to pass up a good smear job, being in Immigration.

The amusing points: Stephen Taylor (or his Conservative source that often feeds him their spin) being wrong that a Liberal from Quebec would cross the floor to join Cabinet, be that Irwin Cotler or someone else. Either Stephen and/or his source was trying to create mischief in Liberal-land, or else some folks up in Cons HQ were being overly optimistic of their PM’s power to persuade someone to cross the floor.

All in all, a reshuffle with a few new faces. I expect more of the same from this bunch which means parroting Harper and the PMO talking points. I’d hope Harper would let his ministers have more freedom to actually display an independent thought or 2, but don’t be surprised if nothing changes.

No more cutting corners please, Liberals

Speaking of “same old, same old”, I’m rather ticked to see some in the Liberal Party thinking that there really doesn’t need to be any major overhaul, and that all the Liberal Party has to do is let the presumed economic downturn take care of Harper, and presto, everyone will want us back in government. I heard far too much “hoping” this past election campaign from some Liberals that something would knock Harper down in the polls and out of government, and this sounds distressingly like the same thing – pick a new leader, look for external events to knock Harper and the Cons dowm, and we’ll be voted back in. That is unacceptable – it should be apparent that strategy has failed us, and we really need to do a re-think and stop trying to cut corners.


Some interesting parallels with Dean/Obama 50 state strategy and the proposed Liberal 308 strategy.

A blogpost I did over at Liberal 308, which I’ve cross-posted to my blog.


This is a very timely op-ed over at CNN about how Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy” plan was attacked by some of the the Democratic strategists and politicians – as was Obama’s decision to adapt it for his presidential campaign – as pie in the sky thinking, but how they were vindicated:

Dean’s insistence on having a Democratic Party that existed in the heartland, and not just California, New York and Massachusetts, was brilliant in that it made clear that the party recognized the rest of America…If Democrats are going to achieve success on the national level, they must have significant enthusiasm on the local level. It’s hard to get your supporters ginned up for a national campaign if they see no infrastructure, especially local get-out-the-vote operations.

Gee, does that sound familiar to anyone up here north of the border? If you’re in the Liberal party of Canada, it should. If it doesn’t, then you didn’t pay very good attention this past election campaign. There were other problems as well, which we all know about and that will get touched on in later posts, but in too many ridings, it appeared that GOTV was non-existent.

Personally, I can tell you I was up in Guelph during the by-election before it got cancelled, and I can tell you that the team of Frank Valeriote had a very impressive ground-game, and enthused local volunteers. It was probably that ground-game that allowed him to resist the blue tide in SW Ontario on election night – but in far too many other ridings, it appears a lot of that was missing.

The article goes on to talk about Obama’s adoption of the 50 state strategy, and how this decision too was derided by the so-called strategists – but how he too – with the help of Dean – was correct in pursuing it:

When Obama announced that he was implementing a 50-state strategy, he was laughed at. But here we are with six days left in the campaign and the Republicans are having to spend precious dollars on ads in Montana, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada, GOP locks in past elections…changing the attitude among the nation’s Democrats was also vital, and that’s where Dean played a role. The former governor of Vermont saw firsthand the sorry shape of the party when he ran for president in 2004. Republicans, led by Karl Rove, perfected their voter registration efforts, targeting voters down to the neighborhood, block and household. They knew that to win they needed a well-oiled machine that wasn’t activated every four years; it needed to be active all year round and in every election cycle. So Dean put the people and resources behind substantial voter efforts in a number of states, and they went about rebuilding a crippled party that had no central voter registration effort, an outdated database of supporters, a fundraising arm that heavily relied on trial attorneys and Hollywood types, and a message that changed depending on the day.

Again, does this sound and look familiar, Liberals? Again, if it doesn’t, I’m not sure what you were seeing, because it seems pretty similar to the state of the LPC right at the moment.

The editorial concludes with this line: Old pols always said that all politics is local, and the only way for a revitalized Democratic Party to expand its reach nationally is by re-branding the party on the home front. That takes time, money and leadership, and Howard Dean was willing to put his money where his mouth is.

This question should also be asked by the party members of the LPC: which Liberal leadership candidate and supporters will not only be dedicated to the reforms structurally and organizationally that are badly needed in the Liberal Party, but also be willing to put their money where their mouth is, as well as the dedication and persistence and courage to do so when some in the LPC hierarchy may resist this and also call it “pie in the sky” thinking?

Who will endorse and implement the Canadian version of Dean’s plan here? Whether you call it Liberal 308, or “10 + 3”, I believe (and I think many of our supporters believe) it needs to be done sooner rather then later. Grand vague statements of being for “renewal” are fine. Citing specifics for what type of renewal you want and how you go about it are better, and of course, actions speak louder then words.


Pick the leader with the best ideas, don’t base it on where they’re from.

That would be my answer to James Bowie, who asked today whether the new Liberal leader should be picked based partly on long–standing Liberal Party tradition to alternate leaders between a francophone and anglophone leader.

Personally, my choice for a leader will be the one I feel is most qualified and has the best ideas and political philosophy; where he/she happens to reside and what mother tongue he/she happens to have is the last thing I’d even consider. In fact, I can say right now I wont even use that as a consideration. I would hope the majority of LPC members would think the same thing.


McKenna not running for Liberal leadership

The former Liberal premier of New Brunswick, Frank McKenna, has announced he will not be running for the Liberal leadership. I’ve stated a couple of times I’d remain neutral in this race (for now), but I’ll say this: you can’t argue with his success as premier, but for myself anyhow, Mr. Mckenna was a bit too far to the right on certain issues – and you probably wouldn’t have seen me rushing to embrace his candidacy.

I should also mention per Warren’s blog earlier, that Dominic Leblanc is the first to enter the ring to compete for the Liberal leadership. I confess I don’t know much about his policy positions on issues, and whether he agrees that the Liberal Party needs some serious institutional and structural reforms, such as what Liberal 308 is advocating for, but I did state I’d hope some fresh faces would step forth for this leadership race, and he’s certainly that.


It’s not over til its over…

…but it’s getting close to be over for McCain/Palin and the Republicans. Take a look at the map from this AM, and note the “Strong Obama” states Electoral vote to the right of the 306 current estimated votes for Obama:

You’ll note it says 272, which is 2 more then Obama/Biden need to clinch the electoral college and the Presidency. 272 strong EV’s means that even if Mccain were to somehow swipe away all the “Lean Obama” votes + the Undecided states, he’d still lose. I don’t think he’ll accomplish even that herculean feat. It appears to be a masssive blowout for Obama come next Tuesday. It can’t […]


What would a Sarah Palin presidency be like?

Scary thought, isn’t it? Here’s a website called Palin As President that puts those thoughts into a visual presentation 🙂 Very well done… and not far off the truth.

(H/T to C.A., a Liberal acquaintance of mine for finding that website).


Liberal 308 website now in operation.

A suggestion was made over at the Liberal 308 Facebook group that perhaps a website might be in order – not only to help spread the word, but to be usable for those folks reluctant to use Facebook. So, one of our Facebook group members, Clara Chang, took some initiative and created one.

She gave those of us who are admins over at that FB group administrative access at the website, and I thought I’d spiff it up a bit. Check the revamped Liberal 308 website. Yo can also get there now by clicking on the Liberal 308 logo in my sidebar, as I’ve changed the link in the […]


Some signs Mccain/Palin aren’t doing so well..

With so little time left in the US Presidential Race, you know things aren’t going well for your campaign when an analyst says this:

Obama, at least, does not look to be competitive in South Dakota or Arkansas.

Ouch. Here’s an even bigger ouch for Mccain:

It will be very difficult for Obama to win more than about 397 electoral votes, which is where he’d end up if he wins all the states where we currently have him favored, plus North Dakota, Montana, Georgia, and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Obama would have to win West Virginia to break the 400 barrier, and I don’t see that happening; the other long […]

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