March 15, 2006

A heavyweight enters the ring !

Last summer, I had the chance to have lunch with Bob Rae. As usual, he was running from one meeting to another. I was impressed with the man. I remember Anne McLellan enumerating Robert Keith Rae's qualities : candid, compassionate, courageous, articulate, knowledgeable, intelligent and so on. I'll admit that his term as Premier was probably not the most prosperous years of Ontario. The guy did the best he could with an unexperienced caucus and Cabinet. He was facing one of the worst recessions since a long time, he was also facing the biggest cuts in federal transfers. No wonder why the finances of the province were having a bad time.

Depuis ce temps-là, Bob Rae a gagné beaucoup de respect, tant au Canada qu'à travers le monde. Il est considéré par plusieurs comme un Homme d'État plus qu'un simple politicien. Il a en quelque sorte dépassé la vile partisanerie pour servir le pays à différents niveaux. Je pense à son implication pour la rédaction d'une nouvelle constitution irakienne, la fondation du Forum des Fédérations, ses rapports sur l'affaire Air India et sur l'éducation post-secondaire. En ne nommant que cela, j'oublie sa présidence du Conseil de l'Unité Candienne, ses efforts pour la résolution de conflits au Sri Lanka et un million d'autres causes pour lesquelles M. Rae se dévoue.

Et cet homme, qui doit avoir un horaire horriblement chargé, était assis avec moi et quelques amis dans un appartement du Plateau pour discuter de l'avenir de notre pays. Avec un groupe de jeunes, il échangeait sur les défis auxquels le Canada fait face aujourd'hui. Il est d'une simplicité déconcertante. Rarement, aurais-je pu m'imaginer en train de manger de la lasagne dans le salon d'un copain tout en discutant avec un ancien Premier Ministre provincial... J'ai été impressionné par la profondeur du personnage et par la justesse de son analyse des défis actuels. Mais, c'est sans doute sa franchise qui m'a le plus marqué.

Quand il a laissé la politique, il avait promis de revenir si le pays faisait face à une crise majeure. Au moment où j'écris ces lignes, un nouveau sondage vient de paraître, ce matin, qui donnerait la victoire au Parti Québécois si des élections se tenaient aujourd'hui au Québec. S'il est un homme de parole, il doit revenir dans l'arène politique.

Quand des rumeurs ont surgi suggérant qu'il était considéré pour le poste de Gouverneur-Général, j'ai tout de suite écrit à mon ami, Daniel Laprès, qui est très proche de M. Rae pour lui dire que ça n'avait aucun bon sens, qu'il ne pouvait accepter ce poste. Je lui ai expliqué que nous avions besoin de Bob Rae au Parlement, pas à Rideau Hall.

L'homme a une vision pour le Canada, une excellente compréhension des enjeux québécois et a une expérience internationale que peu de gens puissent avoir, à part son ami Michael Ignatieff je suppose. Cet homme va certainement apporter énormément au débat et au renouvellement du Parti Libéral. Il peut nous faire rêver.

Il peut également rallier plusieurs supporters du NPD. Je me rappelle d'un article de Michael Valpy, chroniqueur au Globe and Mail et ancien candidat NPD dans le comté de Trinity-Spadina, maintenant représenté par Olivia Chow. Je suis convaincu que Valpy troquera sa carte du NPD pour une carte de membre du PLC. On peut dire que Bob Rae était un libéral égaré qui, avec les années, a fini par retrouver son chemin.

Mais ce qui me refroidit par rapport à sa candidature, ce sont les mauvais souvenirs que les Ontariens peuvent avoir de ses années au pouvoir. Nous avons besoin d'un candidat qui gagnera les prochaines élections et l'Ontario est un terreau fertile pour nous, libéraux fédéraux...

Bonne journée,

Alex

N.B. : Suite à certains téléphones reçus aujourd'hui, je souhaite clarifier la situation. Ce texte ne constitue pas un appui à la candidature de Bob Rae. Mon idée n'est pas faite, je souhaite regarder quels candidats vont se déclarer officiellement et je prendrai ma décision en temps et lieux. Par contre, je souligne la grande qualité de la candidature de Bob Rae tout simplement. Tous les candidats ont de grandes qualités et des défauts parfois aussi importants.

22 Commentaires:

Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Christo,

Je suppose que tu seras le bienvenu si tu veux joindre la campagne de Bob Rae au Québec !!!

Alex

3/15/2006 12:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

His speech in Winnipeg on Monday really surprised me. I'm still don't think I want him for leader, but he moved way ahead of some other possible leaders in my book.

3/15/2006 12:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Belinda connaît des grosses pointures partout dans le monde. Son organisateur Richard Mimeau l'a dit dans La Presse. Certain ont même sous-entendu qu'elle avait une relation TRÈS PRIVILÉGIÉE avec Bill Clinton. Elle est très appréciée... Pis en passant, les lunettes de Rae sur les vieilles photos sont beaucoup trop grosses, c'est pas beau. Belinda a du style, elle....

3/15/2006 12:54 p.m.  
Blogger Christopher Young a dit...

Alex,

Haha! Avec tout le respect que je dois à Bob Rae, je n'ai aucune bonne raison pour l'instant de quitter mon parti. D'ailleurs, Rae n'est même pas mon possible candidat préféré. Mais bon, j'imagine que c'est de bonne guerre, considérant mon commentaire sur le dernier post de Antonio...

Mais revenons au plus surprenant de ton message : il y a des libéraux qui habitent sur le Plateau ???

3/15/2006 1:00 p.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Le comté d'Outremont est composé entre autre du Plateau...

3/15/2006 1:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Hey guys, as a BCer trying to learn French, I love it that you write in French because then I get to practice. Right now, I'm working on translating Alex's post. Hahaha. I'm such a nerd, but at least it's something that really interests me.

3/15/2006 1:37 p.m.  
Anonymous what do you guys think of this.... a dit...

Mark Marissen, former prime minister Paul Martin's principal operative in British Columbia, is backing Stephane Dion's prospective bid to become the next federal Liberal leader, Public Eye has exclusively learned. According to a senior British Columbia Liberal, Mr. Marissen is acting as a coordinator for Mr. Dion to "try to help him figure out if there's the organizational will around the country" to support such a bid. The senior Liberal went onto to say that "if there was a campaign and if he were to decide to run then (Mr. Marissen) would likely be the national campaign manager." And that might explain why James Hatton and Jennifer (nee Schlotter) are hosting the upcoming reception for John Godfrey rather than Mr. Marissen and his wife, former provincial cabinet minister Christy Clark. A version of this article will be published in tomorrow's edition of 24 hours.

3/15/2006 1:54 p.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

OK, who cares ? This post is about Rae, not Dion. Stop punking blogs. And Dion will get only one riding in Quebec, it's Saint-Laurent-Cartierville. The media has killed Stephane Dion in Quebec. I like the guy but he won't be able to get us back in government. I want to elect a PM, not an Opposition Leader.

Thanks,

Alex

3/15/2006 2:14 p.m.  
Anonymous CuriosityKilledTheCat a dit...

The next election – Bob Rae and Stephen the First, Or: The Real Mr Clean versus the Pseudo-Mr Clean:

Context is important is assessing the merits of leaders of parties. If Bob Rae is elected leader of the Liberals, then the fight will be between Stephen Harper (he of the broken promises, hidden agendas, stealth campaigns and one-man-rule), with Jack Layton bailing frantically to stop the Good Ship NDP from listing too much and losing too many voters to Rae, while the Bloc flails away against Harper in Quebec.

No other contender for leadership of the Liberals could affect the dynamics of the situation as much as Bob Rae would.

He brings experience, intelligence, wit, humour (unlike Stephen the First), and integrity to the contest.

Imagine Belinda (to borrow the Texas description of Bush: All fancy hat and no cattle) Stronach against Harper? No contest; Mr Policy Wonk wipes the floor with her and steals the framing game.

Imagine Email Brison against Harper? No contest: Harper simply says "corruption" time and again and refights the election the Liberals deservedly lost in early 2006.

Bob Rae would present the same problem to Harper and his neocons' framing of the issues as Howard Dean does to the Bush neocons: a match of honesty and transparency against disingenuous deceit.

Bob Rae has the stature to call Harper on his distortions and stealthy policies like no other Liberal candidate could.

Perhaps there is a Dark Horse candidate waiting in the Liberal wings, ready to explode (further) on to the scene?

If not, realpolitiek dictates Bob Rae for leadership.

3/15/2006 2:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Sorry, I cannot share your enthusiasm for Bob Rae. I do not think he would be interested in becoming a Liberal if there was not a Leadership vacancy. I prefer the Liberal candidates that are committed to the party and proven it.
Furthermore, he cannot make it in Ontario, he is very unpopular there.

I am looking at Kennedy and maybe Ignatieff.

3/15/2006 2:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Gooooo Ignatieff! Good luck, Alex, you'll need it.

3/15/2006 7:19 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Rae = tax hikes.

Forget about him.

3/15/2006 8:00 p.m.  
Blogger McFly a dit...

Bob Rae as leader forecloses the door on any debate in this party on the direction we need to take, our values and the policies that flow from them. How can you possibly have such a debate in this party when the leader's messaging is "lets unite the left"?

Harper has nothing on Brison and it's naive to think that Harper is going to hang his hat on an email that disclosed nothing more than the morning news.

Further, curiositykilledthecat needs to spend some time reviewing the results of the last election. It was about much more than corruption. A poorly executed campaign and more than a decade in power may have also played a role in the Liberal loss. Just my opinion though.

3/15/2006 9:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Bob Rae will move the liberals more to the left, alienating many liberals who are centre and slightly right-of-centre. If this becomes a problem, don't be surprised to see more Liberals jump ship to the Conservatives, who have been moving closer to the centre, despite the fear-mongering of pathetic liberal attack ads.

Liberal Party Member

3/15/2006 10:52 p.m.  
Blogger Kinsella Supporter a dit...

Forget Rae.

Draft Kinsella.

3/15/2006 10:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I welcome anything that drives right-wing Liberals out of the party for good. Canada a soildly centre-left nation would be better served by a NDP/Liberal merger into a single progressive party while the Tories and Liberal Cons can go off and have their own debating club about privatizing sidewalks.

3/16/2006 9:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

As much as I can't stand Belinda Stronach, I have the feeling she might win. What will happen to all us left-of-centres?

3/16/2006 10:22 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I have 2 names to throw into the hat. First, George Radwanski. He has always been a Liberal. Plus, he has shown his true Liberal traits by taking Canadians money for his own benefit, Second, Carolyn Parrish. She exemplifies true Liberalism. She could smooth relationships between U.S. and Canada. And if she fails to win the leadership, Radwanski can make her ambassador to the U.S.

3/16/2006 10:46 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Bob Rae heavyweight so is butterbean,why don't you elect him.

3/16/2006 11:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

LOL I have to disagree with anon on an ndp/leftist-liberal alliance. Canada is not left-of-centre but a solidly centre country. Balance is needed between the left and right. Having left parties dominate isn't good for democracy. A change of spectrum is healthy in democracy. And somehow, I'm sure an NDP prime minister would be far worse for everyone than a Conservative prime minister, as has been the case of NDP governments in BC.

Don't demonize right-of-centre, everyone is a proud Canadian, and diversity in opinions is what democracy is all about.

3/16/2006 11:49 a.m.  
Anonymous From the Liberal Wing of the Liberal Party a dit...

I agree that Canada is for the most part a centreist nation, but it is centre left by far. With only the Haris and Klien and certain aspects of Campbell's B.C government ever having acheived power with a centre-right vision. In a two party system between a United Progressive Party of left-liberals, and sensible, moderate NDP"ers (purged of the socialist rabble from that group) and a party of the Right comprised of the Conservatives and the Righty neoliberal Martin Liberals I have no doubt that the Left Party would have a disnict atvantage in our electoral system.

If Liberal Party members want Belinda to lead them I suggest they form their own new conservative party.

3/16/2006 1:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

If I wanted to vote in an NDP Premier, I would put my support behind Dosanjh who at least ran as a Federal Liberal.

I think Rae is a smart man but he did too much damage in Ontario.

3/16/2006 8:32 p.m.  

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