It seemed redundant when MP Marc Garneau announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Party yesterday. It felt like the return of Michael Ignatieff. It also told Canadians there are now misgivings about crowning young Trudeau. Well, nobody ever told you that all Liberals in Canada are of a like mind.
You hardly need to be savant to know that young Trudeau’s campaign is already running on empty. It lacks careful planning and a strong, experienced organization and the people writing for him are putting him into an awkward box. He is being cast on the extreme right of the party, he is pandering to the West and he caused a train wreck with his support for the Chinese buying Nexen. His leadership campaign is a Quebec-centric and amateur effort. It lacks a balanced understanding of Canada.
And it is not as though we have a lot of choice here. MP Joyce Murray from Vancouver Quadra is definitely a breath of fresh air but she has a long and difficult climb to get herself into a position where the Conservatives will bother to attack her. Martha Hall Findlay shot herself in the head when she posed as a westerner and advocate from the Fraser Institute. Professor Deborah Coyne also has lots of promise but she should have been our candidate in Durham but seems to prefer to be a critic on the sidelines.
We will have to wait until next year when the candidates have paid their $75,000 entrance fees to know who is really in the race. At that stage, we will know if there is going to be a choice.
It looks as though those of us who care should all have a serious talk with MP Dominic LeBlanc from New Brunswick. While he bowed out to his friend Justin Trudeau, he is free of young Trudeau’s baggage and he seems to have more political savvy. As the son of the late and much respected Roméo LeBlanc, you would expect him to have a strong sense of duty and it is obvious that he has a better understanding of our great country.
The Liberal Party is at a crossroads and half-assed campaigns for the leadership are not the answer. We need serious thinking about the nature and future of the Liberal Party and Canada. Canadians owe nothing to the Liberal Party but the party owes very much to Canadians. We bloody well better recognize our responsibility,
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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