Saturday, November 08, 2008

GK: A Campaign Of Leaders

In the 2006 Liberal Leadership race Gerard Kennedy began as the dark horse, the long shot, yet within a few months of introducing himself to Canadians, with his message of change, Kennedy garnered substantial support from Liberals like you.

He rose to challenge those campaigns that had more old party insiders, more money, and more of the same. After the second ballot he withdrew and supported Stephane Dion to prevent the party from being divided between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff.

In 2008 with Stephane Dion announcing his resignation the party faces division between those two older men again. Already both have their organizations in place, their strategies planned, and their deals made. Already these candidates have created their campaigns based on themselves, and not on Liberals.

Gerard Kennedy has not entered the race, he has not created some campaign designed by old party organizers telling you what you want to hear. Gerard Kennedy's campaign begins with you. With Liberals who want change, with Liberals who will lead where others follow.

Those people who speak to doubts about Kennedy's ability to win the leadership, speak from the very attitude which is destroying the Party, that attitude of doubting the power of the individual, the power of Liberals to act, to lead this Party instead of merely following it.

Gerard Kennedy's campaign begins and ends with you. It is not going to win because of a few organizers in Ottawa and their network of connections, it will win because Liberals across Canada will choose to do what others can't, they will choose not to merely support a campaign, but to be the campaign.

This idea is not from any organizer, this idea is not from any leadership campaign, this idea is from one Liberal who wants a Party that leads instead of follows. And it is this idea that will challenge those same old campaigns, because it demands the recognition that the power to decide the future of our Party and of Canada does not come from them, it comes from us.


Al said...

"After the second ballot he withdrew and supported Stephane Dion to prevent the party from being divided between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff."

Wrong, he withdrew on the first ballot, based on a pre-arranged "deal of losers". And look how that worked out for the country.

Had we chosen either Rae or Ignatieff, we would not be in this mess.

Steve V said...


Why didn't Rae chose Iggy on the final ballot, why did 2/3 of his delegates move to Dion? Why did Dryden move to Dion, saying he was the "most electable"? Why didn't ONE leadership contender, including the one's who dropped out, prior to the convention, not support the clear frontrunner? And, why did DELEGATES have an overwhelming preference for Dion as second choice?

DivaRachel said...

Is GK going to run?

to the Future said...


Two ballots took place before Kennedy withdrew.
I predict the Party would have been WORSE off with Rae or Ignatieff as the Leader. It is very naive to think Rae or Ignatieff would have done better than Dion. Where is their REAL plan to renew the Liberal Party? Oh, that's because they don't have one. How can you credibly be qualified to be Leader after spending only TWO YEARS in the Liberal Party?? That is the stunning duration of Rae of Ignatieff's time in the Liberal Party-TWO YEARS!!!!

Yikes! I smell party tourists out for a power grab.


Anonymous said...

Diva: I don't know if Kennedy is going to run. That's sorta my point. His campaign isn't a top down hierarchy like Rae's or Ignatieff's, it begins with us. This is the opportunity for a leadership campaign to start not because of one person but because Liberals want change.


whopitulia said...

Good post Scott. Gotta say I'm getting really tired of seeing comments echoing the IggyBob consortium's lame anti-Dion attacks on GK. It's the same unimaginative talking points both the Conservatives and the NDP used on the doorstep to keep me from voting for him in the past election and look how well that turned out for them. The more you try and talk me out of it...

Al said...

steve v

1) "Why didn't Rae chose Iggy on the final ballot?"

Who knows. He says he now regrets it and that he won't let it happen again that the losers will be allowed to chose an unelectable leader. Remember, Dion had only 17% of members' support after the Super Weekend.

2)"why did 2/3 of his delegates move to Dion?"

Rae's delegates drank the "stop Iggy" coolaid and were no longer focused on winning the next election.

3)"Why did Dryden move to Dion, saying he was the "most electable""

He was wrong, wasn't he?

4) "Why didn't ONE leadership contender, including the one's who dropped out, prior to the convention, not support the clear frontrunner?"

Selfishness. Ignatieff and Rae already had acquired the vast majority of caucus support and the also-rans bargained that electing a leader with little caucus support would elevate their status in a Dion administration.

With a $90,000 entry fee, that won't be allowed to happen again.

5) "And, why did DELEGATES have an overwhelming preference for Dion as second choice?"

Ask any delegate if Dion was their second choice going into the convention. A poll prior showed that the favoured second choice of Liberal MEMBERS was Ignatieff and then Rae. Once in the convention the delegates were managed in such a way that they were persuaded by their original candidates to chose Dion and thereby betrayed the members that selected them.

Why? Read #4 above.

I hope that the convention in May does not result in the same scenario. Lets hope the $90,000 eliminates the also-rans this time who would only be seeking a higher profile in the party.

And I don't include Kennedy in that bunch. We should welcome him as a serious contender in the debate but discourage the Stop Iggy and/or Rae campaigns. He would, however, be at a distinct disadvantage if he were to run, given that he would have little chance to establish himself in the house and raise his profile with Canadians. After all, we are going to pick the leader who will have to battle Harper sooner, rather than later.

In early jostling of major supporters, it is clear that this is a problem in the Kennedy camp as most have been shifting to Ignatieff and some to Rae. Clearly they have calculated that there is no hope for Kennedy to win in this current race.

WesternGrit said...

Can you post some clips of Gerard debating in Parliament (once the session starts), and engaging voters in French?

I think we all want a fair chance to assess the new leaders in their milieu. We want to see a strong, adaptive, resilient, and "quick on their feet" leader...

Steve V said...

"A poll prior showed that the favoured second choice of Liberal MEMBERS was Ignatieff and then Rae. "

Better re-read your polls, Dion was the clear second choice, I remember his supports boasting about it daily heading into the convention.

My only point, blaming Kennedy, when the entire convention and it's delegates had similar mentalities, is complete bunk. There was an unease with the two frontrunners, it's not Kennedy's fault that Iggy ran a horrible, gaffe filled campaign, that gave people pause. It wasn't Kennedy's fault that Rae had no history with Liberals, looked opportunistic, and offered NOTHING in terms of policy, instead relying on sheer force of personality. The reason Dion won, is because the top two guys didn't do their respective jobs, and he filled the void, a reality which had nothing to do with Kennedy, his campaign just one more example. I guess Kennedy gets blamed because his delegates heeded his advice, in unprecedented fashion. What a terrible statement on leadership.

Gene said...

On supporting Dion, "He says he now regrets it."

Now? Well, good judgement in hindsight is a poor trait for a leader. A leader needs to exercise good judgement at the time it is required ... not later. Of course, GK was not giving one second's thought to what would be best for his leadership ambitions when he threw his support behind Dion, was he?

It is obvious he will run again.


Anonymous said...

Al, Gene: Gerard Kennedy has not said he ever regretted supporting Stephane Dion. If you continue to suggest he did please provide one shred of evidence.


Gene said...

I saw GK on Business News Network yesterday. He tried to gloss over the terrible decision he made at the last convention when he threw his support behind Dion. Perhaps he reads this blog, but he remarked that he didn't regret supporting Dion. So the question is "Why not?" It was a terrible decision. There is no question the Liberals might be the government now if Ignatieff or even Rae had been chosen leader. I'm afraid GK is caught in a box of his own making. If he admits he supported Dion then he must take responsibility for choosing the wrong leader. If he does not regret his decision then we can only wonder why. Did it have something to do with his own leadership ambition? GK should spend some time as an MP in the Parliament of Canada before jumping into a leadership contest again. He should follow Martha Hall-Findley's lead and bow out this time around. I'm sure he would be given a prominent role to play as a minister if the new Liberal leader goes on to win the next election. His time will come but his entry into the race now, when the party is financially strapped, will simply look like, well, blind ambition before the proper tempering of such ambition.


Anonymous said...

Gene: Why did he support Dion? Because he didn't want half the party against Rae or Ignatieff. If GK had just let his delegates free Rae or Ignatieff might possibly have won (which I doubt because of certain deceitful tactics which I have since described), and if either one won, the Party would be divided. However since Dion won with GK's support, Dion was seen as a compromise candidate and there was drastically less division.

Look I supported GK and I was only one of four youth delegates not to follow him to Dion, I went Ignatieff. But I can see why he made it, even though I disagreed with it.

Does that mean I should be Liberal leader? No, because for all we know choosing Dion could have saved the Liberal Party from multiplying the division that already existed, and as I predict will only get worse.


Gene said...

If GK did throw his support behind DION to avoid division in the party, we have another reason to question his judgement. Look, Ignatieff and Rae are pros. They were roommates in university. If either of them had won the leadership, the other candidate would have thrown their wholehearted support behind the other, and followers with any common sense would have joined the bandwagon. Are you suggesting there was no division in the party after DION was selected? Did GK not foresee that throwing his support behind DION would not end division within the party and indeed would lead to a poor election result? The argument that GK supported DION to avoid division appears to be a rationalization. GK was not the saviour of the party because he threw his support to DION. Divisions continued to exist and indeed the outcome of the election was unfortunate. Lets cut through the rationalizations and recognize that GK's decision surely had something to do with his own political ambitions. The party now needs a strong leader with prior experience in Ottawa and the ability to speak both languages fluently. GK's best route to leadership would be a stint as an MP, perhaps Minister, and French immersion to improve his ability to communicate in both languages. Quebecers will accept nothing less.


Anonymous said...

Gene: The Party was not divided in the same way as it was between Martin and Chretien after Kennedy supported Dion because Rae's and Ignatieff's supporters were never in stark opposition to Dion as they were with each other.

I heavily disagree with you on the suggestion that if Rae or Ignatieff would have won the Party would have not been divided. True Rae's or Ignatieff's supporters being more numerous could have done a better job during the election, that would be weighed by the amount of the other guy's supporters who would have not participated. While with Dion, Rae and Ignatieff supporters were involved, but to a lesser extent.

Look I don't think you can say even with remote certainty the party would have been better off with Rae or Ignatieff; I do think that there is at least reason for Kennedy to have supported Dion, and I know it wasn't out of pure ambition.