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Bob talks to bloggers.

So, the blogchat with Bob Rae has just ended about 15 minutes ago. Bob took our questions for about 35 minutes, and the session was well attended by many well known Liberal bloggers. If you’re a regular reader of Liblogs or Progressive Bloggers, I’m sure you’ll see their accounts soon on their blogs popping up. I won’t steal all their thunder, but I’ll focus on 2 issues that Bob addressed from myself and a couple of other bloggers that I was paying close attention to:

– With regards to the post-Green Shift postmortem, it sounds to me that he believes still in the environmental goals and issues that the Liberal Party brought to the election campaign, but he thinks the electorate wishes needs to be looked at, and that the Liberals should not be dogmatic in thinking only the Green Shift or a similar program like that is the only way to meet our environmental goals – that other ways need to be looked at and presented to the electorate as a plan. At the moment, other goals seems to me to mean “cap and trade”, but Bob didn’t specifically say that’s what he was thinking of supporting for a policy, so we’ll have to watch his campaign closely for more specifics on what he thinks the Liberals should be putting forth as an environmental plan.

– With regards to the Liberal grassroots and election strategy, the main points I got out of that was that Bob, like the other candidates, does endorse a 308 riding strategy (ie. Liberal 308). Again, specifics weren’t listed as much as I would have liked, but one aspect for making the LPC competitive out in the western provinces that he talked about was that it sounds like he believes Liberals need to engage the West more by being more visible out there, as well as acknowledging that there is a resource-based economy out there, and that we as Liberals need to come up with policies that acknowledge that fact, while at the same time trying to transition to a green economy. With regards to the grassroots of the Party, he strongly and unequivocally supports the “One Member, One Vote” concept that was narrowly rejected at the last Liberal convention. He’s also not sure a “Kingston” conference or a “Port Hope” conference is the way to go in trying to reconcile the grassroots and the Liberal Party leaders with regards to more involvement and policy… but he thinks the effort is a two-way street.

All in all, a very interesting and productive phone call, and it’s good of Mr. Rae and his campaign team to do a blogger outreach like this. I look forward to the other 2 candidates doing this as well.

PS – I’m still neutral in this race, if you were wondering.

UPDATE: It appears that Bob has added to his Liberal blogs endorsing him, as Jim Curran has done so at his site; I’m not sure if he made that decision before or after the blogchat 🙂 At any rate, I’ll add his blogs name to Bob’s list over on my sidebar.

UPDATE 2 @ 4:25 pm: Danielle has more details of Bob’s varying answers on a wide range of topics.

UPDATE 3 @ 4:40pm: Another summary by James, and by Saskboy (and by the way, John, I agreed with Bob’s answer on the Big 3.. and left me wondering why Saskboy, who so often goes after the NDP, is advocating an NDP-type takeover.. but you can ask him over at his site 😉 ).

UPDATE 4 @ 10:16 pm: More reaction from bloggers on the call at Calgary Grit, Liberal Arts and Minds, Impolitical, and A BCer in Toronto.

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