March 9, 2006

Infighting vs. Justified Criticism

Recently, Fuddle Duddle has had articles that have not displayed two leadership contenders in a positive light.

I believe my comments concerning Belinda’s lack of French are fully justified. Am I creating infighting because I believe that she cannot speak proper French? Or is it justified criticism?

I believe my comments concerning Scott Brison’s email are also valid and relevant. I say it is in the best interest that an also-ran who is under RCMP investigation is a liability for the party and the best solution would be for him to step aside. Am I hanging Scott out to dry? No. I believe that the facts we have will certainly entail the RCMP further investigating, especially considering the appearance of a cover-up with conflicting statements over the past two days. This got me accused of in-fighting, from Brison supporters.

Justified Criticism is part of any leadership contest, except the last one. We were attacking Harper for his positions in 1997 when we didn’t bother to question our leader’s positions in 1997. Paul Martin was anti-Kyoto and anti-SSM in 1997. In 2004 he was their ardent defender. When did he switch? Did we have the opportunity to question Paul Martin about flags of convenience? In Montreal, at the doors, it was a bigger issue than sponsorship. Did we have time to hold Paul Martin accountable? Not with the pre-marked ballots. Look how that turned out.

For this leadership to be effective, we need as much justified criticism as we can get. We have to make sure the open process decides who best reflects our values as Liberals. Smearing candidates is bad. I've never done it. I pledge never to do it. Some shots may a little shaky but at the end of the day; I will not say “these people are not Liberals.” This is not about alienation. I hope we have learned our lesson.

Honesty is very important. While I called the Brison event as I saw it, some Liberals were defending Scott to the bitter end. I know what it’s like to be a Baghdad Bob. Alfonso Gagliano was my MP from 1984-2002. I defended him for a while before I realized it wasn’t worth it. You lose all your credibility. It's not worth it to lie to yourself or to others. Objective people aren't fooled.

To Jason Cherniak, you know I respect you and defend you all the time, but this time, I will offer some honest advice. Here is how you handled the Brison Income trust leak.

1) Accuse Mike Duffy of making too big a deal of it

(it's not the media's fault, we laugh at Conservative's when they blame the media for dumb stuff like this)
2) Saying let’s wait for more information before we throw him off a bus
3) Throwing him off a bus by saying he shouldn’t have covered it up.

James Bowie is calling it an opportunity for Scott to Spin his way out and gain momentum. I like Bowie too. But James, my question to you is, do we want our candidates to gain traction from dodging RCMP investigations? After all, Ralph did nothing wrong, but the poll numbers disagreed. We shouldn't run our campaign on poll numbers either but, we do not need ANOTHER RCMP investigation hanging over this party's head. Not now. Not ever. James, defending people to the bitter end, a la Baghdad Bob, will only make the crow taste worse.

Or we could have just said what it really was, a land mine the Liberal Party does not need. That way, we don’t look like such dumbasses, just people calling it like the rest of the country will see it.

23 Commentaires:

Blogger s.b. a dit...

Oh course criticsm of ideas and platforms is justified in any campaign. What is not justified are caracter assasinations or personal attacks. Nor is criticising smeones gender, sexuality, family or amrital status etc. (and we need to be carefula bout that because those can be artfully hidden) I'm not saying you did any of this. It's just apoint of discussion about conduct during campaigns.

I believe the issue with Mr. Brison's e-mail is a Liberal issue and not a campaign issue. Liberals have made too much of it on their posts for verious leadership reasons. It should not have been covered up but should have been dealt with by Mr. Brison and current leadership, quickly honestly and effectively. Then it should have gone away.

Some party discipline here and seeing past a quick attack/defense of a possible leadership candidate would present a more decorous and unified party, to Canadians which is badly needed at the moment.

Attacking the press is unwise. They will do their jobs and Liberals should conduct themselves accordingly.

But, by all means when a leadership race does begin, which it hasn't until the executive decides the game plan, support your candidate. Liberals must remebeer they need to be a cohesive party after this is over and ideas are just ideas. People are invaluable.

3/09/2006 7:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

what's a battle?

3/09/2006 8:28 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

When it comes to Belinda, her lack of French is one issue, but her naked and unabashed ambition is something completely different. Paul Martin's naked ambition (notice the gender equality in the use of the phrase) is what brought the Liberal Party into so much trouble in the first place. Any more of such attitude will likely doom the party to a decade opposition.

Belinda should realize that her position in the party would be strengthened if she did not run and instead chose to work on building the party and being a leader without necessarily having the title.

All I have seen from the potential candidates is a desire for the title. None of them in my mind have shown that they are willing and able to do the tough job of rebuilding. Organizing for leadership is one thing, but helping clean up the mess that currently exists is something completely different.

Belinda, do us all a favour and please don't run. Your candidacy will focus the media on what is wrong with the Liberal Party.

Your candidacy will set back any possible agenda for change, because the media will focus on you and your money instead of on any ideas you may have.

Don't run because, because you have not yet earned your stripes with longtime Liberals.

Don't run because you will be an easy target for the Reform.

Don't run because you are not the person that the party can rally to and we need that kind of person at this time.

Don't run because you will not benefit from it.

Don't run because your position in the party would be strengthened by showing some patience and maturity.

And please don't run simply because you want to and can afford to.

Sorry to be so negative, but a Belinda candidacy sends a completely wrong message to the Canadian public and would suck up all of the oxygen from the leadership race, taking away from what needs to be a serious and focused debate about where the party is heading.

Do you remember anything from her Conservative platform? I don't, because it seemed to me that her campaign was focused completely on her and did not put policy or ideas at the front.

This is just my opinion and I hope that I have not gone into the realm of character assasination or personal attack. If it is construed as such by some, I offer my profound and sincere apologies. Truth be told, I would like to see Belinda do great things as a Liberal, just not as leader just yet.

3/09/2006 8:44 a.m.  
Anonymous Andre a dit...


This is my first blogging experience and I'm writing as a French-speaking male from Alberta. I am neither a Conservative nor a Liberal. I was raised by my single, French-Canadian mother and I am incredibly proud of my French-Canadian heritage.

I am writing because though I am not a Liberal myself, I have many friends that are (yes they exist in Alberta ;). I am excited to see who will lead the Liberal Party in the future, but I must say that in light of yesterday (International Women's Day), it's really too bad that Belinda Stronach is the best female so far to strive for leadership.

I would like to see more women in politics. Being raised by a single mother, I realize how under-represented they are as well as their needs. I think a strong female candidate can help change that.

But what I see wrong with Belinda Stronach, is... well... everthing. But what is most disturbing is her attempt to buy supporters. Let's face it people talk and taking people on elaborate shoe shopping trips or paying them $70K for 8 months is a little disturbing, to put it mildly.


3/09/2006 9:37 a.m.  
Blogger decoin a dit...

Get used to the fact that it will be Prime Minister Stronach by March of nrxt year. No one else has the funding to run a better campaign. Naked ambition? Absolutely. That is what the LPC has always had and what it has temporarily lost. We must gain and hold power. Everything has to be geared to that. Without power we are nothing but too many "Liberals" have forgotten that. The sooner we recognize that only Belinda can succeed in the next federal election the sooner the neo-cons will be gone.

3/09/2006 9:55 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

La critique est saine, certes, mais la diffamation, les atteintes à la réputation et les attaques injustifiées le sont moins. Malheureusement, c'est vers quoi l'on tend le plus ces derniers temps sur ce blogue. Par exemple, M. Brison a peut-être (et je dis bien peut-être) des problèmes en ce moment, mais il en revient aux autorités concernées de juger les faits et non aux personnes qui interviennent sur ce blogue. Si ça continue comme ça, certains risquent d'avoir moins de temps à écrire sur les blogues, car ils en passeront dans les palais de justice à répondre à des poursuites. J'espère que cela n'arrive pas, mais certains devront comprendre que dans notre société, il y a un équilibre entre la liberté d'expression (qui est fondamentale dans une société démocratique) et le droit à l'honneur, la réputation et la dignité, sans oublier la présomption d'innocence. Je crois donc que tous doivent faire attention pour ne pas se retrouver avec des problèmes légaux.

Je crois également qu'il y a lieu d'améliorer la qualité des interventions sur ce blogue, qui ne sont seulement consitutées d'attaques (ou presque) pour le moment. Il n'y a que du salissage sur des candidats à la direction ou sur des personnes. Presque rien de positif sur d'autres candidats. Ça fait vraiment pitié et c'est très "petit". Certains ne sont pas d'accord avec le choix des autres et c'est leur droit. Cependant, pourquoi ne cherchent-ils pas à "vendre" leur candidat préféré plutôt que d'attaquer les autres? C'est vrai que c'est plus facile de faire cela, car ça nécessite moins d'efforts intellectuels et c'est moins compromettant comme on n'a pas à divulguer notre préférence. Pourtant, je sais fort bien que ces individus sont capables d'avoir une bien meilleure contibution aux débats sur ce blogue et c'est triste de voir qu'ils tombent soudainement dans la facilité et l'ingratitude.

À bon entendeur,


3/09/2006 10:18 a.m.  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I agree with your post.

The complete lack of any sober second thought and critism of Paul Martin in the lead up to the last last leadership was a horrible thing for the party. Critism is needed at this point. As Liberals we have a duty to raise vaild questions with those that want to lead our party. By blindly rallying behind Brison and not holding his feet to the fire we do a diservice to our party. Do you think the Tories or NDP will hold back on Scott if he becomes leader? No of course not. I'm not saying we have to destory Brison with mean spirted attacks, but asking valid questions about this income trust issue is important and Brison must defend himself he wants to be taken seriously. Same goes with Belinda on her questionble loyality to the party, or Iggnatiff and his nomination and past opinions on Iraq.

The tricky part of this is going to be the abilty take a critical look, but not resort to bitter infigthing amongest various leadership camps.

I hope everyone can be mature enough to realize that we are all Liberals, and thinking differntly about a leadership contender does not make us a tratior.

3/09/2006 10:55 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Pour m'accuser d'avoir fait de ce blogue une place de salissage, c'est un stretch. De mes articles precedents, il y avait mon resume de la nouvelle ecosse, ou j'ai parlé de d'un evenement, les autres étaient sur Harper et Shapiro, la decision du Kirpan, et après ca, la fameuse post du bilinguisme, mais Luc.

Tout ce que je dit de Scott Brison est la verité, pas du salissage. Est-ce que c'est de la speculation, pas vraiment.

1) Il a envoyé un email a un banquier en disant le resultat d'une decision qu'il a discuté à la Table de Cabinet?

2) il va être sous investigation de la GRC avec cette nouvelle revelation.

3) Ca rapporte pas une bonne image pour la plupart de nous autres qui voulons rebâtir le Parti.

N'ayez pas peur, je prends pour mon candidat dès qu'il/elle déclare ses intentions. J'ai choisi de parler de Belinda a cause de la decision de ma Presidente des jeunes ici au Quebec.

J'ai choisi de parler de Scott après qu'il s'est ramassé avec beaucoup de merde, et je parlais justement de celaa à cause que les Canadiens et les Liberaux parlaient de cela aussi.

Je vais pas me faire poursuivre pour ces commentaires, ils ont pas de raisons pour faire ca non-plus.

3/09/2006 11:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...


Est-ce que j'ai parlé de TON commentaire sur Brison??? Est-ce que je t'ai nommé??? Non plus. Tu sais, tu n'es pas le seul à faire des articles et des commentaires sur le blogue. Tu es sur la défensive bien rapidement...


3/09/2006 11:35 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

La seule personne qui peut contrôler les articles, c'Est les trois personnes qui les ecrivent. Mais pour utiliser vos mots
Je crois également qu'il y a lieu d'améliorer la qualité des interventions sur ce blogue, qui ne sont seulement consitutées d'attaques.

Je reponds a ton commentaire sur mon article, c'est pas tellement un commentaire sur la defensive. Cela m'a aussi donné l'occasion d'expliquer la situation en français. Vous savez comment j'aime le bilinguisme.

3/09/2006 11:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Heureux de constater que tu es d'accord avec moi Antonio. Il y a en effet une grande place pour l'amélioration sur le blogue! Mais soyons clairs, ce ne sont pas seulement les trois éditeurs qui doivent réaliser cela, mais tous les gens qui font des commentaires. C'est à tout le monde que je m'adressais. C'est essentiellement de là (les commentaires) que provient d'ailleurs le contenu problématique, même si des éléments des articles sont également parfois très discutables (et pas seulement les tiens!!!).

Et oui Antonio, tu étais sur la défensive, bien curieusement. Tu as dit que je "t'accusais" alors qu'il n'en était rien, si ce n'est pas une réaction défensive, je me demande bien ce que c'est...

Oui tu aimes le bilinguisme Antonio, comme tous les libéraux et la grande majorité des Canadiens. Le bilinguisme fait parti de notre identité. Mais ce n'est pas parce que l'on ne maîtrise pas parfaitement les deux langues officielles que nous ne sommes pas dignes d'occuper une fonction dans ce pays. L'important, c'est de réaliser qu'on a une lacune et travailler à la corriger, de vouloir améliorer son bilinguisme, c'est ce qui est noble. Les différents "potentiels" candidats à la direction de parti qui ne sont pas parfaitement bilingues font d'ailleurs des efforts pour le devenir et ils devraient être félicités plutôt que d'être stigmatisés.

3/09/2006 12:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I heard a scibe talking about an interview he conducted with Belinda when she was running for the leadership of the Conservative party. His exact words were . . . "I don't think there's a light on upstairs". I have serious doubts about Belinda's intelligence level if she becomes leader. In question period after she crossed the floor, she looked out of her element. You can bet a lot of Conservatives are hoping she wins that leadership bid.

3/09/2006 12:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio is going to be so blacklisted when Scott or Belinda become leader.

If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

3/09/2006 1:19 p.m.  
Blogger angela a dit...

The complete lack of any sober second thought and critism of Paul Martin in the lead up to the last last leadership was a horrible thing for the party.

last time around, there were a lot of people criticizing martin, its just that they werent invited to the damn leadership convention. shitty to see that according to the people who drank the martin koolaid, we might as well have been working for a different party, because who even knew we existed....

3/09/2006 1:29 p.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Bonjour Luc,

Je suppose que tu fais allusion à mon post sur Brison car tu m'as fait le même commentaire cette semaine quand je t'ai rencontré. Je ne fais aucune fausse accusation, je me moque simplement de son manque de transparence. Nous n'avons pas besoin d'une autre enquête de la GRC sur un de nos députés. Il devrait même siéger comme indépendant pour le temps que l'enquête prendra. Tant mieux s'il peut réintégrer le caucus par la suite.

Je trouve également dommage que les gens ne dévoilent pas leur véritable identité sur les blogues. Ça gâche un peu la sauce. Si j'ai des commentaires, je n'hésite jamais à les signer. Si je ne peux les signer, c'est qu'ils ne méritent pas d'être publiés. Par contre, j'aurais aimé savoir qui a écrit le commentaire sur Belinda Stronach, son analyse est très très bonne.

Quand on choisit un/une candidat(e) à la direction, on doit penser en terme de gains électoraux. Et clairement Belinda ne poura faire aucun gain au Québec. Son apprentissage de la langue française pue l'opportunisme. Ça me fait penser aux jours où on étudiait comme des fous le jour avant l'examen et on oubliait la matière une semaine après. On étudiait simplement pour avoir une bonne note, non pas pour s'assurer de bien comprendre la matière. Belinda fait la même chose, le français n'a jamais été une priorité dans sa vie.

3/09/2006 1:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

If Antonio is going to countinue to use this blog to attack good Liberals like Brison and Stronah than Fuddle Duddle should not be associated with the YLCQ web page, nor should Antonio countinue to serve on the exectutive of the organization.

It is clear that he has a certain grudge against people in the party and should use some other form to rant against things he views as wrong.

Look at how disloyality to Paul Martin hurt us in the last election. Now Antonio is just keeping those same attacks going.

3/09/2006 1:58 p.m.  
Blogger James Bowie a dit...


I read your post. I think it's fair and honest.

I would like to clear up one thing. I have never supported Brison, nor am I "Supporting him to the bitter end," as you suggest.

What I'm doing is suggesting that the ammount of attention he is recieving offers a serious chance to turn a loss into a win. If he can do that, he'll earn serious respect. I fear, however, it may be too late. It's been more than a day; the news cycle is gone.

Thanks for the link.

3/09/2006 2:18 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

What exactly am I viewing as wrong?
Leaders of the party who brought in bilingualism not speaking french?

RCMP investigations on candidates in a leadership race whose goal it is to clean up and rebuild the party?

I can't be alone here!

I am not sorry for having this opinion. The problem with the last leadership race was we did not hold Paul Martin accountable to his views. We cannot stand idly by and have a flattery contest.

James, I am not implying you support him for leadership, not Jason either for that matter. We have clear facts now.

The best thing to do is back away slowly instead of blindly defending him. Let the investigation begin. My colleague Alex wants Scott to sit as an independent in the meantime. I disagree with him on that point. Scott can serve as an effective critic.

Lastly, I resent people calling me disloyal. I worked my ass off the last election campaign pounding the pavement and my colleagues here in Quebec know that. There is loyalty, and there is honesty. If I cannot be honest on my own blog, where can i be?

3/09/2006 2:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Kent a dit...

Anon 1:19,

Both Brison and Stronach won't be elected leader - you know that, I know that and most liberals know that.

And even if Brison and Stronach winning was a reality, kudos to Antonio for questioning and criticizing them despite the apparent "threat" of being blacklisted.

And Annon 1:58,

I think it's absolutely ludicrous that you would even question Antonio's loyalty to the Party because he's willing to approach this leadership contest critically and with a sober mind.

This time is extremely important to the Liberal Party because it will determine who will get us out of this rut. If there is any time to be critical, it's now.

So your though of having Fuddle Duddle not associated with YLPC(Q) is rediculous. Blogs are for the exchange of ideas and if you can't handle it, don't read them.

3/09/2006 2:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Jason Townsend a dit...

I think there is infighting going on - but the most dangerous and pernicious of the infighting is the anonymous posters on places like CG and Cherniak who are slagging Brison atm - they could just as easily be Tories trying to start fights.

Here, criticisms are signed and up front - but I should say, I guess, that some of the exploratory campaigns - those of Ignatieff and Kennedy - have already asked that supporters not criticizee their fellow potential candidates.

That's the policy I've been following, and I see its advantages; being able to say, in good conscience, that we've never torn into a candidate in public or private, that we can work with any of them with the race is over. The infamous "bayonetting of the wounded" in these races is not a strength of the LPC.

I know that, even in inter-party politics, negative campaigning often "works" - but it works at the expense of the overall reputation of the party and its ability to mobilize all its members. I really don't think the HMCS Liberal is in such great shape that we should be having firefights below-decks.

3/09/2006 3:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Antonio. Fuddle Duddle is not YOUR own blog. This blog is the property of the YLCQ.

3/10/2006 9:54 a.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Hey Anonymous 9:54

There is a little disclaimer on the side that says : " Les Jeunes Libéraux mettent à la disposition de ses blogueurs un espace virtuel afin de susciter le débat et l'échange d'idées. Ils n'endossent toutefois par le contenu de leurs interventions."

Maybe you don't understand like some leadership candidates wouldn't understand, but it means that the posts are the bloggers' own ideas. It is in no way the position of the YLCQ.


3/10/2006 4:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

The truth is that Scott Brison is emerging stronger from this episode. He has demonstrated impotant traits of a Leader:

1. Acknowledging an error
2. Confronting the media with the matter
3. Apologizing
4. Accepting responsibility
5. Undertaking not to do it again

Every politician makes errors, it is how they deal with them that matters most.

Brison has demonstrated the right way,contrast it with David Emerson or Stephen Harper over the past 2 weeks) and it becomes evident why Scott deserves to be a front runner.

3/13/2006 10:42 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home