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Liberals seeing shadows?

I hope yesterday’s controversy in Mississauga isn’t an indication we’re going to be in for 6 more months of silliness from our leadership candidates – or their followers in blogposts and comment threads.

I applaud the passion some people have for their candidate of choice, (and I realize there are going to be arguments between candidates) but I’m just saying it’s not exactly party unity type stuff going on in some quarters. The last leadership convention got a bit nasty and personal between Liberals – particularly those ones online, and we’re already seeing it starting up again. It doesn’t exactly give those folks who might otherwise want to help get […]

The current list of Liberal blogs endorsing a Liberal leadership candidate.

I thought for interest sake I’d take a gander at the list of Liberal blogs who support each Liberal Leadership candidate at this juncture, since I thought the list that Ted over at the now-defunct blog Cerberus kept (in 2006) was a pretty good tracker of who was endorsing who.

I’ve taken a look-see through the Liblogs list (as well as Progressive Bloggers where I know the blog is a Liberal supporting blog but not on Liblogs), and where I can find a specific endorsement of a candidate, I’ve listed them as such.

Blogs that support Dominic LeBlanc:

All Politics Is Local John LaForet’s Blog

Blogs that support Michael Ignatieff:

[…]

The 2 most unsurprising events of the day

1) Michael Ignatieff announces he is running for the Liberal leadership

2) Warren Kinsella announces he is supporting Mr. Ignatieff”s candidacy.

I’m glad about #2: the breathless speculation of who Warren is supporting can now cease and desist – I suppose we’ll now see some Liberal bloggers going after Warren for his choice, but I have to say I respect him for why he did it. The reason I joined the Liberal Party in Dec 2006 was because I was there covering the Convention for BlogsCanada/Progressive Bloggers, and I witnessed in person how Dion won the leadership, how he carried himself, and for his beliefs in general. I became an […]

Has this candidate for LPC leader made me break my neutrality?

I think this new entry is “testing the waters” so to speak.. but with the absolute dearth right now of candidates entered into the race, he could be the sleeper pick.

Join the Facebook Group here! Since the announcement, the membership has grown by over 100%!!! (Though I have to admit I’m a bit hesitant of supporting any candidate that Rachel Marsden supports, but maybe he’s one of these “Bridge-builders” types).

Sunday shenanigans

– As Calgary Grit says, this is very interesting, and its musings are backed up somewhat by this. My only thoughts are that if Kennedy is musing on running again -this time as a “Liberal Renewal – 308 riding candidate”, the proof will be in the pudding, the devil will be in the details, etc.

– The 2008 Canadian Blog Awards start up again (with still a month to go before 2008 is over. Heh.) Head on over and nominate your favourite blog in the categories listed.

UPDATE @ 3:39 pm: Ouch. NBC Correspondent Lawrence O’Donnell, in the aftermath of Sarah Palin getting prank called by a couple of Canadian […]

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 […]

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.

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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.

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