This is too soon to be talking about who is running and who to support, but there is one Liberal who I have tremendous respect for and wish he had a greater role within the Party, and that's Scott Brison. In the leadership race of 2006 at Camp Wanna-Be-Free, a retreat for Western Young Liberals, out of the eleven candidates, only Stephane Dion, Hedy Fry, and Scott Brison made appearances. And of those, it was Scott Brison who made the most effort to really connect to Young Liberals.
At the camp in Peachland BC, Scott talked to everyone, not just about politics, but about who they were and what they wanted to do. And besides sharing his vision for Canada, he shared personal stories and sang campfire songs. All in all it was clear that not only was Scott Brison the most outgoing leadership candidate there, he was one of the most outgoing Liberals.
I remember the morning after the big campfire, turning to see Scott grabbing Hedy Fry and carrying her to the edge of the dock. Thinking to myself that this regular politician would just as soon put her down and make some semi-humuorous remark about the whole affair. But Scott Brison oblivious to my own expectations and perhaps to those of everyone else who were watching, threw her and himself into that frigid morning lake.
That weekend I got to see an aspect I have rarely got to see in any politician since. That weekend Scott Brison showed an aspect that I really admire and that's character. Character to listen and connect with liberals, but more importantly, the character to be who you are.
Scott Brison is not running for leader, nor am I suggesting I would support him. What I am saying is that in the last leadership race, when I knew Scott Brison was in the field of candidates, that when he was in contention, the Liberal Party was the better for it.
In this next leadership race I want to see less of politicians being politicians, and more of politicians being who they are.