May 12, 2006

Endorsement: Another self-proclaimed 'Dionista'

After what can only be described as a long period of indecisiveness caused by overexposure to first class, highly qualified leadership candidates, I have finally made up my mind as to who I will support in the Liberal Leadership.

To explain a titch of my indecisiveness, I present to you an unnecessarily lengthy diatribe of the thoughts swirling through my head in the days, weeks, and (er) months, leading up to my decision. I call it UNTITLED (Portrait of Internal Leadership Pathos).

BRISON I just straight up like him. He’s sweet, smart, and hilarious. One of the funniest candidates of the bunch, he’s had me in stitches more times than I can count, and I like him personally. We also share a mutual adoration of tax reform and a few other policy issues; however, at the end of the day, I looked at my two main contemporary concerns with our party, and I realized that- through no true fault of his own- he lacked the ability to solve these problems.

RAE I also adore. Rae has it. In spades. I don’t know what ‘it’ is, exactly but I damn well know he’s got it. Have you heard him speak? Have you seen him interact with others? Have you read his writings? There’s no question that amongst seasoned professional politicos watching and participating in this race, Rae is flawless in every respect, from communication to policy to bilingualism. The people on Rae’s team are inclusive, talented, and deadly convincing. Moreover, I firmly believe their competitor’s rhetoric, “Rae days will kill his chances in Ontario,” is nothing but bullshit. Maybe I just give the voter too much credit but I think the recession and the unexpected nature of the win can go a long way toward exonerating a brilliant politician.

Not to mention that Rae had the most gender-equitable cabinet in North American municipal/provincial/federal history. Amongst equality activists, he will rightly go down as the one politician who didn’t just walk to walk, but talked the talk, and for that I can’t help but feel somewhat guilty about not supporting such a track record.

Unfortunately, again when I looked at my two main concerns about our party factoring into my decision, I realized that Rae possesses the ability to solve one but lacks the ability to solve the other.

And then there is DRYDEN. A man of intense principle, intense dedication, and intense intensity, there is no question that he would make a good party leader in many senses.

Another large attraction to Dryden is his team. They all share Dryden’s honesty, intelligence, and kindness. People always ask me why the magazines I read are addressed to Ken Dryden, and it’s because his office sends me their week-old copies of Time and Macleans because I’m too poor to afford subscriptions! He and his staff are just that nice. They’re also extremely honest. When wooing supporters they’re direct, blunt, and make no promises nor pull any punches.

Of course, returning again to my two main problems with our party, I again think Dryden might be good at solving one, but definitely not effective at solving both.

So what are my two main concerns you ask?

Firstly, I worry about the health of the party in Quebec electorally. I worry that not only are we losing soft federalists votes via a system of appeasement as promoted by Stephen Harper’s UNESCO or fiscal imbalance politics, but that those soft federalists are then turning into soft separatists. I worry that our poor electoral performance is the beginning of a cycle whereby fewer elected representatives makes us less capable as a party of understanding or representing the province, which then makes us less electible.

Secondly, I worry about the health of the party in Quebec internally. Declining interest, participation, inclusion, and integrity are leading to an upsetting “all work and no play” atmosphere. With the recent arrival of the Conservatives as a political force in Quebec, there is fear and concern where there should be motivation and excitement. Instead of feeling threatened and psychologically ill-prepared to do battle with two parties, this should be seen as an opportunity, a chance to highlight what makes us great and what sets us apart from all other parties. The Liberal Party is not the de-facto choice for Quebec federalists, it is the right choice for Quebeckers and communicating this is not a burden, my chers militants, but a challenge.

Linked, but distinct, a party struggling both electorally and internally can never be a cohesive and healthy organization. And to move toward this, I firmly believe we need solid commitment and will from the grassroots as well as strong leadership from the top.

And this, my friends, is why I am endorsing Stéphane Dion for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Yes, he’s solid in terms of policy- Canada’s role on the international stage, a vibrant economy that is also sustainable, and a commitment to social justice- and he speaks to these issues with a genuineness and conviction not often exhibited in most politicians. But while I don’t mean to downplay his brilliance in any of these realms, we as a party need a leader with even more.

We need someone who understands the country’s separatist sentiments (whether they be Quebec, Alberta, or Newfoundland), and the dynamics at play in the party.

He has been a dedicated member of our caucus for a long time, taking on the tough portfolios, writing the difficult legislation, and all the while being a dedicated member of our party, engaging with the grassroots and actively participating at events and within the policy process.

He’s not a conventional politician in many senses, but to me, that’s one of his greatest attributes. Yes he’s got the ideas, vision, and passion necessary, as well as the rare ability to fully communicate those eloquently and convincingly in both official languages. But most importantly, he’s also got the background and the proven party track record.

He’s always stood up for us as Liberals- at times against the most vicious of criticisms and open hostility from the opposition- and I am proud to now stand up for him.

38 Commentaires:

Anonymous élie a dit...

Denise,

Stéphane Dion is hated by most Quebecers. He is hardly the man to rebuild the party in Quebec.

Élie

5/12/2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Great Post Denise

Stephane Dion is the sleeper in this race. He is the victim of the most effective smear campaign the separatists have ever waged in this province.

Iggy supporter I may be, but to truly rebuild the party in Quebec, we cannot have a great asset like Stephane Dion be underutilized like he has been for the past 3 years.

5/12/2006 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I like Dion a lot, I'm supporting Kennedy but Dion is a close second choice and I can easily say that if Kennedy does not win that I will join Dion on a latter ballot.


I have to ask why Joe Volpe did not warrent any consideration?

Joking...

5/12/2006 11:21 AM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Denise,

I can appreciate your sentiments towards Dion. I'm supporting Iggs, but I think Dion is also a great, progressive thinker. I don't think he will be able to solve the electoral problem in Quebec as he is really not liked.

My biggest problem I have with your post is how you are so willing to glorify Rae when he's nothing but a turn-coat.

I remember your posts when you spoke about Emerson's defection. You were pissed that Emerson would defect for political ambition and yet, that is exactly what Rae is doing. Hell, he's only had a membership with the Party since April!

I know that Rae is very charismatic, but it's not enough. As a Party, we crucified Emerson. We need to be consistent and I have to say I'm disappointed with your sentiments towards Rae. I expected more from you.

5/12/2006 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

Rae and Emerson as apple's and orange's.

I can't belive anyone would make a serious comparison of the two.

Emerson switched parties to join the government days after an election.

Rae was premier over 15 ago and has not been a member of the NDP for almost a decade.

Pedro, are you claiming that one has to be a member of a political party for life?

It is fair to critize Rae's sudden commitment to the Liberal Party and choice to run for leader after having no involvment in the party. That is why I cannot support him. But to compare his case to Emerson is just plain stupid.

5/12/2006 12:02 PM  
Blogger polfilma a dit...

Good choice, Denise.

Ignatieff is my first choice, but Dion is my solid second choice.

As for Bob Rae, I don't see him as a turncoat because he left the NDP many years ago. People are allowed to evolve politically. But I think if he was serious about running for the Liberal Leadership, he should have joined the party a lot earlier than just a week before his announcement. For that reason, I don't want him as the leader, but he is a valuable asset to the party as a member.

Emerson's defection was a completely different situation. I wouldn't have a problem with it if he actually stayed with the Liberals for another six months, and then realized he had many differences with the party. The problem with Emerson was that he defected right after the election. He had no issues with the Liberals except the fact that they lost and he no longer had a Cabinet post. Even Emerson admitted that if the Liberals had won, he would have stayed with the party. He's blatantly opportunistic.

5/12/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Loony in LotusLand a dit...

Although I have not voted Liberal since Trudeau fooled me the first time I would have to say that Dion is the biggest threat to Harper that the Liberals have. He strikes me as a very intelligent thoughtful man of integrity. Unfortunately I don't think he can win the leadership for those very reasons. The big moneyed families behind the party need a more "ethically flexible" leader to be of any use to them. I will predict Joe Volpe will come up the middle in a Rae Iggy stalemate at the convention.

5/12/2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

I agree with Manitoba Liberal and polfilma. I think the key to defining what is and isn't a "turncoat" is transparency and purpose.

However, in this case, I don't think that "party switcher" paradigm is even accurate. To the best of my knowledge, Bob Rae has never been associated with the federal NDP outside of the bureaucratic sense (the federal and provincial NDP aren't yet technically separate). To apply the federal party spectrum to the provincial one is a dangerous game. Simply ask anyone from British Columbia or Quebec if they feel their provincial Liberal Party is politically similar to the federal one and I think you'll find that for every person who self-identifies as a Liberal in both levels of government, you'll easily find another who identifies as a federal Liberal and provincial NDP or UFP.

5/12/2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/12/2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

I disagree.

I think Rae is an opportunist. I don't think its a matter of evolving, I think it's a matter of opportunism.

What do you say to someone who buys a membership and the next month declares he's running for leadership? What do you say to someone who runs for a party that offers a better chance of letting you become the PM than your own Party?

Manitoba Liberal and polfilma - Rae defected because he saw it as a chance to possibly become PM. It's not a matter of evolving or else he wouldn't have bought his membership so soon.

Rae has been involved at BOTH the federal and provincial level.He was elected to Canadian House of Commons in a 1978 by-election, defeating Progressive Conservative Tom Clifford by 420 votes in the Toronto riding of Broadview. He was re-elected in the new riding of Broadview—Greenwood in the 1979 federal election, and gained national prominence as the NDP's finance critic. It was the vote on Rae's motion of no confidence that brought down the Progressive Conservative government of Joe Clark in December 1979.

So yes, he was very much involved at the federal level. I know there are some provincial NDPers who are federal Liberals and that I can understand (i.e. Dosanjh), but that is not the case here.

5/12/2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Sorry I didn't make this as clear in my last post, I've been smoking way too much weed lately...

I don't have a problem with evolving. I don't think you need to be a member of one party for life. But before thinking of running, let's all keep in mind that Rae was NOT a member of the Liberal Party.

5/12/2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

Those are fair comments, Pedro, and indeed you would appear right about the federal aspect, but I would again refer to the argument I used when addressing Belinda Stronach's candidacy. Whereas an individual party member is free to base their personal decision to support or not support a candidate on whatever factors they wish, I do not think it's fair to argue or imply that a candidate not be allowed to run for leader.

Bob Rae paid his membership dues like anyone else and should be able to run for leader like anyone else. If you wish to criticise him, why not do so on the basis of his ideas rather than his history?

We all have our deep, dark secrets. You smoke a lot of weed, and my mom once made me doorknock for Reform years ago. I think we should both be allowed to run for leader. Whether or not we'd get any support, on the other hand... ;-)

5/12/2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger A BCer in Toronto a dit...

Nice post. But does anyone have dibs on Dryden's Hockey News subscription?

5/12/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger robedger a dit...

Great post; well-balanced.

5/12/2006 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Loony in LotusLand a dit...

Fuddles judging by all the activity on all of the blogs and commentaries it appears that there are far too many underemployed Liberal operatives out there. As an outsider I might suggest that you folks would be well advised to hitch your wagon to people like Rae, Iggy, or Volpe as these people have the capability to get you a job in the "political off season".

5/12/2006 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Denise! You need to do your Rae Research. He was a Federal NDP Member of Parliament - and a dang good one!

5/12/2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Hey my post went missing, so I'll say it again (sorry if it's a repeat)...

Denise,

I never said that Rae should not be allowed to run, but that he was a turncoat and an opportunist.

Yes, we all have our baggage and for God's sake, so much shit I regret saying is on the web. Regardless, history is important when you run for office because it WILL come up should he become leader.

I'm sure Rae has great ideas, but I refuse to support him because it makes us look like hypocrits.

If you think Emerson is a turn coat because he just wanted to be part of the government, how can you justify the fact that you don't think Rae is a turncoat when he JUST became a member before deciding to run. It just makes no sense to me.

And I'm very sorry to hear your mother made you go door-knocking for Reform ;)

5/12/2006 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I honestly look at the leadership race and say that if anyone is an oppurtunist it is Scott Brison. Rae has been a non-partisan public servent for 10+ years, and while I have already stated I don't want him as leader due to his sudden membership, I have no problem with him taking on an important role in our rebuilding. Brison on the other hand, from the moment he joined Martin's government has clearly been playing every game neccesary in order to run for leader. The fact that he has such high profile young liberals like Richard Diamond is even more evidence of this ambition, and Richard has even talked about this. Brison is not playing to win this leadership, he is following the 1990 Martin play-book and is building a team of young involved party members that will be around in the next 5-10 years to push for him to be leader.

I would rather have Rae at a Liberal cabinet table than someone like Brison who was musing about private health care when he was running for the Tory leadership.

5/12/2006 3:09 PM  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

I know, i know, i know Anonymous, my research is terrible! I'll try to do better next time, really i will. I guess maybe i just have selective memory about some things ;-)

And Pedro, I think you make some really good points. I think there were some valuable lessons to be learned from the Emerson experience, and I don't think it's untirely outrageous to apply them in this circumstance. Frankly, it's a matter of trust and whether or not we trust someone new well enough to put them in charge of our party.

Frankly, I never took a liking to Emerson and although he was senior government minister for the province, I never really trusted him all that much and certainly not enough to vote him leader of our party.

Rae on the other hand, is someone I do trust to lead the party from the most basic standpoint that, no, I don't think he would dismantle it or merge it or leave it; however, I do think his neophyte status makes him incapable of solving the internal structural problems or moderating the internal battles.

So in conclusion, I think the best way to explain it is that although I trust Rae not to hurt it, I certainly don't trust him to help or fix it. It's not even a criticism of his abilities, persay, just a plain old disadvantage he has from not knowing the party. It's the same disadvantage that made me rule out Kennedy. Although to be fair, I ruled out Kennedy for a few more reasons than that.

5/12/2006 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Wow Denise,

Why are you being so nice? Because now your a Dion spokesperson? Gawd, what a sell out! Talk about back-peddling!

5/12/2006 3:19 PM  
Anonymous tony a dit...

No kidding anon,

First it's that Rae wasn't part of the federal scene, then it was he should be allowed to run and you should judge him on his ideas, and now it's a matter of trust?

What's going on D?

5/12/2006 3:22 PM  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Good post Denise. Dion's always been one of my favourite Cabinet Ministers and is number 2 on my list right now.

And your reasoning is good too. One of the reasons I like Kennedy is that I think he do the same things for the West that you talk about Dion doing in Quebec (elect Liberals and rebuild the party).

Win or lose, these candidates can all bring a lot to the party.

5/12/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous YLCQ'er a dit...

Iggy and Dion, huh?

Too bad both of those stiffs are going to be no match for Dryden and his team across Quebec and Canada as a whole.

5/12/2006 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Good post Denise. I appreciate your honesty.

I think you overestimate Dion's appeal in Quebec and totally ignore the West. I'll be the first to agree that we will not win again until we increase our support in Quebec. That said, we're not getting back to a huge amount of sets in Quebec anytime soon so we'll have to supplement that somehow. The natural is the West.

Dion's ability to win in Quebec is questionable given his history, although he has a good of a shot as others in the race whose French is poor. Can Dion win Quebec in a general election by expanding beyond the core Liberal vote? For some reason, I just don't think he can.

So that leaves us with the West. Can Dion win in the West? In a word: NO. No one in any rural part of the West even knows who he is, let alone supports him. His English is poor and unless we're sweeping back to power, this would hurt Dion. He could not win us any additional seats in Manitoba, Sask, Alberta. BC is a tough call.

So with Dion as leader, where do we add seats? The answer is: I don't think we do add seats. If we do, it'll be because some people are redy to come back to the Party.

We need someone who gets his/her foot in the door in every area of the country. Someone with the name recognition to peak interest. Someone with the intelligence, honesty and integrity to thwart any idea that Liberals are corrupt. Someone who listens to the grassroots. Someone who has a record of delivering. Someone who can make the Party more urban, more youthful, more enticing to Seniors and to minorities.

In my humble opinion, we need Ken Dryden.

5/12/2006 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Denise,

I'm pleased to see that you have finally found your knight in eco-friendly recycled armor.

Dion will continue to surprise people in this race. I think that much like in his life as an MP (thus far) he will be under some of people's radar but produce surprising results as he is a wildly intelligent hard working man. Historically he has made himself available and been very supportive of the youth and grass roots engagement. His ideas and direction are poignant and valid, and it is to the credit of such a strong field that we are presented with such difficult options.
*Though a stronger showing of Female candidates would be nice (I'm sure for you as well)

As you know I'm supporting Ignatieff for a host of reasons, and what he brings to the party, but not without my own personal questioning period.
Dion needless to say was also at the top of my list especially after watching him first hand through the UN climate change conference. I wish both you and your candidate the best of luck in the coming months and enjoy the process.

At the end of the day, the Liberal Intellectuals of the Torry apocalypse provide a hope for a stronger party and a wiser Canada.

DvG

5/12/2006 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Dion, good guy, great MP, but no leader.

He lacks the charm and the direction that is required and is disliked in Quebec.

I am sorry, but we dont' have to have a quebec member to win over Quebec. To imply that is an insult. To win Quebec and other parts of the country, we need to believe in what we are preaching. And Dion does not inspire me to believe...he inspires me to listen, just not to believe.

nor does Iggy, Rae, or Dryden. They make me all think...but when you listen to Brison speak about moving forward rather than side to side...that is something to consider!

5/12/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Anon4:26pm: Wouldn't Dion's mix of decentralism and hard line on things such as the Clarity Act play well in a lot of Western Canada? I may be in the minority here, but I think Dion would appeal a lot more to Westerners than he would to voters in Ontario or Quebec.

5/12/2006 7:19 PM  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

A worthy choice denise. the most recent Leger Poll shows that his is not, in fact, 'hated' in quebec but that the most quebecers support him for leader of the Liberal Party.

5/13/2006 6:13 AM  
Blogger MPM a dit...

calgarygrit: Dion's policies won't play in the West. Not because they are bad policies but because they are no relevant to the West.
Decentralization vs. a strong federal government is not going to make people who have not voted Liberal for over a decade now vote Liberal, nor will Dion's staunch federalism.

Dion has nothing that Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe in Humbolt, Sask. will see and decide, "Hmm. what a breath of fresh air -- we will now vote Liberal". He might get some traction in BC but not in the Prairies or Alberta -- at least not enough to turn into actual seats against a fairly popular Conservative government.

Although Dion has absolutely NOTHING to do with the sponsorship scandal, Quebec Liberals from the 1990's don't exactly garner a great deal of trust in the West. Sadly, Dion is open to that criticism and we won't win seats in the West by lobbing up that kind of bullseye and putting our new leader on the defensive so quickly.

Dion just cannot win change the landscape in the West. He may be able to gain some seats in Quebec, but not enough to get us back in government. So the fact remains: Dion is a great guy but he simply cannot get us back to government.

5/13/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger frenchie a dit...

Denise,

I too remembered your posts on Emerson's defection and must say I am disappointed with your flip-flopping on Rae.

I attend McGill and religiously read your columns. I thought you were well thought out, but I guess not.

You really came across as a political hack - support the Party line: Emerson = bad, Rae = good.

I will still continue to read your columns, but I am sad to see you aren't as independent of a thinker that I thought you were.

5/13/2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

rae left the NDP 8 years ago, Emerson had ran as a Liberal two weeks before

I supported the Emerson defection because I supported the Stronach one.

This is not inconsistent though, Although I would have appreciated Rae joining the Liberals a little earlier, I still believe he is welcome!

Emerson and Rae are not two peas in a pod

5/13/2006 3:30 PM  
Blogger frenchie a dit...

Rae bought a membership last month, Antonio. Last month... as in April. That's opportunism at it's best.

I don't care if you don't support it, but if Denise was against Emerson, I think she should be against Rae. She needs to be consistent.

And no, Antonio, you didn't support Emerson's defection. You were neutral. It's not like you gave an endorsement of it.

And two peas in a pod - that's not what a lot of people think.

5/13/2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger harrytuplips a dit...

The Libs can't win more than an extra 6 or 7 seats in the West no matter who the leader is.

Quebec is the wildcard for the Liberal Party's future. The recent polls show Dion as the most popular candidate for leader in Quebec. We shouldn't expect miracles in Quebec, but we at least need to re-consolidate the ardent federalists. For now, we are in the low teens in terms of support in Quebec. Dion can re-inspire people who care about Canada.

The appeal to the soft nationalists led by folks like Lapierre and, well before him, by Mulroney, only work for a short time. Quebeckers will like honest leadership when the real debate comes. Dion is that honest leader, in my view.

The only other candidates who could resonate in Quebec are Rae and Ignatieff. But Rae doesn't work any where else in the country, and Iggnatieff's recent views on war and missle defence and torture just won't cut it in Quebec. It doesn't matter what Denis Coderre says when he tries to suggest that he is the reason for Ignatieff changing his ways.ztqugh

5/14/2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger J. Kelly a dit...

There's obviously no comparison between Rae and Emerson... Anyone who says otherwise is trying to score cheap political points, I think.

5/14/2006 4:32 PM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

At the very core of it, we're talking about defection and defection for the purpose of political gain and opportunism.

It's obvious that both defected, but whoever says that Emerson and Rae are different has failed to illustrate that Rae is not defecting for political gain.

To me, it seems pretty clear that when someone defects for the purpose of becoming leader and only buys a membership the month before declaring, is in fact, an opportunist.

I know some of you disagree, but everyone has failed in proving otherwise.

Yes, Rae ditched his NDP membership in the late 1990s; yes, he was a private member of the public for x-amount of years, but that doesn't mean he isn't an opportunist.

5/14/2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger J. Kelly a dit...

First of all, it is not "obvious" that both defected... Rae actually didn't defect, at least if you use the English language properly instead of perverting it for cheap political points. I mean, open a dictionary. What Rae did was join. You can't call someone a defector unless they are switching from one party to another. Directly. Really. It's true. The only thing Rae defected from was political independence.

Now, as to your argument that Rae is an opportunist, well I think the burden is on you to "prove" that he is one, rather than asking others to prove that he isn't. How does one go about proving that a leadership candidate's motives are entirely pure and high-minded? Opportunist is such a lame insult, anyway. Who in the Liberal party isn't an opportunist, really?

If you want to criticize Rae for wanting to lead without having spent any years in the Liberal trenches, that seems entirely reasonable. But it's a tiny point in the large scheme of things, kind of like the criticism of Ignatieff that he lived in the United States for soooo long and just came back to Canada because he wanted to lead the Liberal party... It's like, Okay, I get your point, but maybe we should just get the chip off our shoulder and just consider the candidates by merit.

5/15/2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger Pedro a dit...

Oh my gawd, j.kelly, try chilling out a sec.

1. Defection, as defined by dictionary.com: "To abandon a position or association". So yes, Rae did defect from the NDP and then joined the Liberals.

2. Burden of proof? If you can read, you'll notice that I've been emphasizing the fact that Rae bought a membership a month before declaring. I don't think it gets worse than that.

3. And no, I don't at all have a chip on my shoulder. Perhaps this is your weak attempt to discredit an argument based on rhetoric.

5/15/2006 1:39 AM  
Blogger J. Kelly a dit...

Okay, well my Oxford English Dictionary says to "defect" means "to abandon one's country or cause in favour of another" and that's the definition I'm more comfortable with, dictionary.com be damned. I'm sorry I brought the dictionary into this at all.

Anyway, using either definition, what you wrote was incorrect, ie. that Rae "defect[ed] for the purpose of becoming leader..." That's simply untrue -- it would mean he gave up his NDP membership in the late 1990s in order to run for the Liberal leadership in 2006.

If you want to criticize Rae for joining the Liberal party for the purpose of becoming leader, that's fine. I still think it's fairly irrelevant -- of course, I'm not a Liberal. Personally, I'm distrustful of people who join a party at a young age and stay with them their whole lives... You know, foolish consistency, small minds, yadda, yadda...

5/19/2006 7:52 PM  

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