On running a national campaign.

My late friend Senator Keith Davey used to start every day at his office with a ruled pad on which he would make all his notes for the day in amazingly small scribbles. Whether checking on perceptions of a current proposal by Pierre Trudeau’s government or reviewing a day’s progress during a national campaign, it was always just a single page that told the story. And Keith told it well.

I think the Rainmaker (as Keith was sometimes called) would have had to learn something about smart phones and texting to do that same type of research today. When you consider that a national campaign now consists of 338 electoral districts in a faster-paced world, I doubt his system would be as reliable as it was.

If anything worries me about the current campaign, it is that while those wrapped in the Ottawa mystique think it is just a repeat of their successful campaign of 2015, it is not possible.

In 2015, there was a hard core of the old liberals ready to work with whomever Justin Trudeau wanted to lead the parade. The Harper government was burnt out and the time was right for change. Trudeau and the team had an easy romp into office. He thought he had done it with ‘Sunny Days’ but the truth was it was those geriatrics of the old liberal party who had pulled together in hopes of the old glory days of Trudeau’s father. They shared that win proudly.

But Trudeau the Younger dismissed them. There was no rebuilding of the party after the election. It was a time of dismissal. The old liberals became not proud members of a party but a collection of names from which donations were requested almost daily.

The truth is that the old party is dying off and there is no renewal. There is no pride in liberalism. The political edge is being lost to the populists and braggarts of the right.

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Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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