Well it seems that blinking or turning your eye from the news for a few hours means that you will be woefully behind with regard to the latest shenanigans in Ottawa. I was fairly sure the Coalition would not last with Dion at the helm but I certainly did not predict the speed with which he has been dispatched to the political wilderness. Stephen Harper succeeded in making sure that Dion will go down as one of the worst leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada, ever. I think he deserved more. Yes, Dion had many faults. Mostly though his problem was that he was too smart for those around him and he chose not to conduct himself accordingly. When your entire party does not understand one of the main planks of your election platform you have a problem.  The fact that kept on pushing through, with the same strategy, shows his hubris. This should not have come as a big surprise to Liberals – after all who could say that they *understood* the Clarity Act.

Now, that brings us to Michael Ignatieff. I am not sure he is the best choice as leader of the Liberal Party of the Canada. Like Dion, he is an academic which could pose the same kind of problems. My sense of Ignatieff is that he knows he is right and he is going to make damn sure that everyone else knows it too. I have not seen any leadership coming from him at all since he first burst on to the federal political scene. He does not inspire confidence for me. He is the slightly better choice but only marginally.

On to Bob Rae. I have always liked Bob Rae. I lived in Ontario when he was premier and he was hammered from all sides. It is really hard to be an NDP premier during a recession when you need unions to give you some concessions. Unfortunately for Bob, ‘Rae’ days will haunt him forever. He would never be able to win enough seats in Ontario to form a government. The Liberals would be foolish to elect him as their leader.

So, who would be good? Well, the Liberal Party of Canada is at a crossroads. They need to morph into a party that speaks to people. To do this they need a charismatic leader. Hell, even a leader would do. The reason they have been so unsuccessful since Chretien left is because they have not yet had a true leader.

Brian Tobin is a leader – I am not sure why he has not run. He would be great. The man made fish exciting during the Turbot wars with Spain. I am positive he could turn around the Liberal’s fortunes. He must have a really good gig going on in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Deb is convinced that Frank McKenna could do something but he has also not put his hat into the ring. Again, not really clear why.

Clearly, what the Liberals need is the next generation. The current generation is old and tired and ready to retire. Pierre Trudeau burst on to the national scene and snatched the Leadership away from Paul Martin Sr. (which is why Junior needed to be PM so bad). I think what we need is Justin. Yes, he is young and has just been elected. Nothing was handed to him in the last election. He electrified Canadians with his eulogy for his father and he showed that he has every bit as much charisma as Pierre. Justin may be inexperienced in Parliament but he grew up in a political household. He has received a political education unlike any other. Perhaps he will be our Barack Obama.

6 thoughts on “Don’t blink…

  1. Looks like Ignatieff will soon be the leader, for the time being. He did a great job of hammering the Conservatives in Question Period during the last Parliament. Other than that, I’ve only ever read one of his books. I guess I’ll soon learn more.

    I have no idea if Justin Trudeau is the future. I can’t see why in particular, just because his name is Trudeau. I actually though his famous eulogy was overwrought — heartfelt, but overwrought. I have been more impressed with the writing and filmmaking of his brother Alexandre, but he is not the politician in the family.

    I would love to see Martha Hall-Findlay’s star rise again. The only time I heard her speak, I was favourably impressed. I’m not against yet another white guy running the Liberal Party, but I wouldn’t say no to a qualified woman, and I think Hall-Findlay has the goods. There does seems to be lack of leadership material among women in the caucus, ever since Sheila Copps was bumped out (I was no big fan of hers, but she definitely had leadership qualities). Then again, there isn’t a whole lot of leadership material among the men!

    I hope the Grits can get their mojo back. Otherwise we’ll be stuck with the TheoCons forever.

  2. Justin Trudeau is the future of the Liberal party, although his time is not now. He needs to get his sea legs, but I don’t see that taking long.
    I totally see Michael Ignatieff as the mirror image of Stephen Harper. Egomaniacal, haughty, power-hungry and totally in love with themselves. Leaders? No, autocrats.
    We are going to be stuck with The Harper Party for a while, but God it’ll be nice when he goes down for the count.

  3. “Justin Trudeau is the future of the Liberal party, although his time is not now.”

    Deb, why is he the future of the party? I’m looking for specifics. Maybe I’m missing something.

  4. Justin Trudeau has what it takes to be a successful political leader; he’s charismatic, intelligent, charming, speaks flawless English and French, and he has his father’s legacy. He’s Canada’s JFK or Barak Obama….young, handsome, with good looking young families. He needs to gain some on the ground experience, but after he has done that, I see him as becoming one of Canada’s longest serving Prime Ministers.

    And I agree, Alexandre Trudeau is the more praise-worthy of the brothers, but he seems to avoid the limelight. He’s a very successful and inspiring young man.

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