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Positive vs Negative (Ads)

As soon as Justin Trudeau won, the Conservative attack ads came out. Everyone knew they’d be coming, but they came out far earlier then they did after Dion and Ignatieff became Liberal leaders, hinting and indicating that the Conservatives are very concerned about Justin Trudeau, even 2 years out from the next election.

Debate has raged of course, whether JT’s declaration that he was going to stay positive would work or not. Some believe it to be needlessly unilaterally disarming themselves, others feel that Trudeau is already a known quantity and that this alone should allow him to resist the negative battering.

What we didn’t know however was whether the […]

Congrats to JT; plus musings on attack ads & other things

Unless you’ve been away this weekend, you already know Justin Trudeau was overwhelmingly selected to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada on Sunday. My congratulations to him, as well as the other candidates who ran for the post.

What might be next for him and the Liberal Party to do, strategy wise? He has up to a year and a half before the next election. There are already rumblings the Conservatives have their attack ads ready to go on him. They used those attack ads to define (negatively) Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, before they could define themselves to the Canadian public. Thomas Mulcair of the […]

Thoughts on Liberal primaries and other stuff

My Liberal blogging colleague Jeff Jedras has a new soapbox to preach from. In addition to his own blog, he now is an occasional contributor at Macleans magazine. So first off, congrats to him on that. His first column over there is to do with the proposals that Bob Rae brought forth on the “open” Liberal primaries to vote for a Liberal leader. In brief, Jeff doesn’t like it. Basically, he thinks it’s a gimmick, and he’d prefer making the party more attractive to Canadians via our ideas – and encourage them to join through a more democratized party.

Personally, I don’t know why you can’t do both. I […]

Rae the reformer?

Bob Rae said a couple of very interesting things regarding the reform and rebuilding of the Liberal Party over the weekend that caught my eye – the main one being his idea of opening up the LPC leadership race to a US primary style – but also his criticism of the riding structure:

Rae said the party must broaden its membership base, starting with taking membership forms out of the hands of riding presidents and the party’s provincial wings. “Ridings should not be controlled by small cliques or by people who try to keep people out because they’re afraid of losing control.”

…Rae indicated his own support for allowing “all […]

‘a merged Liberal and New Democrat party could have swept 186 seats to form a majority government.’

Did that catch your attention? It caught mine. That article is located here.

Now, I’m not saying I openly advocate a merger or even talks of a merger with the NDP. I do however think it shouldn’t be openly dismissed, as some folks are doing. It should at least be discussed and debated upon by the grassroots and leadership of the party – along with any and all other options.

Quite frankly, given what happened on Monday, the Liberal Party can’t afford to dismiss any options. It also means it can no longer afford to ignore or not listen to what it’s grassroots base says to it. You cannot set […]

A word about sulphur

Apparently, some folks on the Conservative side are a tad upset at some sulphur comparison Mr. Ignatieff made about Harper; some of the usual suspects in the media too. Some folks don’t have very long memories about certain Conservative smear campaigns against present and past Liberal leaders – but hey, Harper didn’t say those smear campaign stuff directly – his sycophants and MP’s did – whereas Iggy did say it as a direct description, so that’s apparently horrible.

(I can attest to sulphur smelling like rotten eggs, by the way. I grew up in an area with lots of farms that used sulphur wells. Nasty stuff.)

Above and beyond all […]

Tacking left? Or, just sharply defining more differences? Good, either way.

A story in the Globe and Mail this AM from Martin Lawrence says that on the advice of Peter Donolo, Michael Ignatieff has decided to politically “tack left”. Warren Kinsella on the other hand, says Ignatieff isn’t “tacking left”, but “occupying the centre”, where all the votes are.

Personally, I think both guys are right. I think Ignatieff has tacked to the political centre – thus moving left of where he once was on certain issues (confused yet?). This makes sense, as there is no point in trying to be Conservative lite. The voters who are naturally inclined to vote Conservative, when given a choice between Conservative and Conservative-lite, will […]

Liberals condemn Harper and the Conservatives for appealing Khadr decision to the Supreme Court

This came across my email just now: a statement from the Liberal Party and key Liberals condemning the Harper government’s decision to appeal the Omar Khadr case to the Supreme Court:

Liberal MPs today said Stephen Harper continues to treat some citizens as more Canadian than others by appealing, for the second time, the federal court’s order to repatriate former child soldier Omar Khadr from the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison. “Stephen Harper doesn’t care that we’re the only Western country with one of our nationals still in Guantanamo Bay,” said Liberal Consular Affairs Critic Dan McTeague. “He’s content to damage Canada’s once proud reputation by doing nothing to safeguard Mr. […]

Dear Ralph Goodale..

..and Liberal leaders of the caucus:

Turtling Abstaining from votes and giving the Conservatives a free hand in the House the last Parliamentary Session didn’t work out very well this past election; so why in the world are you thinking of trying it again by being willing to consider giving up one of your seats on the House committees and handing the Conservatives defacto majority status on said Committees?

As Kady O’Malley said about this apparent surrendering a committee seat without a fight tactic:

Did you learn nothing from the last leadership race? Just because a half dozen or so of your MPs may be out on the party party circuit hustling for support doesnít mean that you can just abandon your responsibilities as the Official Opposition. You talked a good game about the dangers of a Conservative majority during the election campaign – now show some spine and make sure that they donít end up with a de facto majority in the committee room just because you donít have the gumption to hold your ground. This isnít just about one of your seats – itís about the combined power of the opposition parties, and you owe it to the rest of them – and the people who voted for you, for that matter – not to cede it out because youíre distracted by the glimmer of something shiny off the Hill.

It’s pretty sad that we’re willing to concede this with nary a whimper,† while the NDP has vowed to fight the Conservatives and prevent them from having a majority on the Committees when they ddnt earn that privilege in the first place with another minority government. My attitude toward this is the same as Eugene Forsey Liberal is saying† over at their blog: “This is crazy! Have we gone completely nuts?! WTF!!!

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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