Monday, December 08, 2008

Bob Rae For The Liberal Party

On the morning of Thursday December 4th, I, in a work truck on my way to Oliver a small town in the Southern Okanagan, was listening to the CBC, listening to the tension growing over whether Michaelle Jean would grant Stephen Harper's request of prorogation or not. I listened with anxiety as the decision was announced and contemplated the implications of the governor general's action; and in that time of uncertainty, in that time of doubt, Liberals across our country were left unsure. They were left unsure of what this meant for our party, for our coalition, and for Canada.

At that moment, where leaders are demanded to act, not from some clear and objective rule, but from their very nature, Bob Rae stood up and declared we as Liberals will stay united, we as a coalition will stay united, and we as a country will stay united. Bob Rae spoke to Liberals, he spoke to NDPers, he spoke to the Bloc, he spoke to Conservatives, and most importantly he spoke to Canadians. He spoke of our determination to do what needs to be done. To lead where the Conservatives follow. To be what we have always been, the protectors and ensurers of our Canadian economic prosperity.

The Conservatives have sadly not only failed their own ideology by increasing spending and causing the looming deficits, but they have failed Canada by not acting. Conservatives in causing economic disaster do not deserve to govern Canada, and in ignoring their own ideology, don't even deserve to govern themselves.

The coalition is not just some means to rightly ouster the Conservatives from government, it is the embodiment of our country. It is people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs coming together to do what is right, what is right for Canadians, what is right for Canada. What is needed now is a government that works. Conservatives have lost the confidence in the house and it is our duty as Canadians to respond and make a government that can get things done.

In 2006 after Gerard Kennedy withdrew to support Stephane Dion, I was one of his few delegates to not follow. I chose Michael Ignatieff because I believed he was a strong leader. And ever since that day I thought I always made the right decision. I was wrong. Michael Ignatieff is no leader. In this most recent turmoil that has shocked our Party's foundation and our country's, Ignatieff has lost any positive attribute I believed he once had. In this crisis he has been vague and even indecisive. Where Bob Rae stood to meet the challenge, Ignatieff has only contributed to it.

With announcements that Michael Ignatieff may be chosen as interim leader it is clear that in the past days of this tumultuous time, he has only sought power for himself and not the betterment of our country. Michael Ignatieff and his organization of the old guard, of the very organizers who have contributed to the Liberal Party's decline by their arrogance, are advocating that Liberals should be left with no choice. That they be stripped of their right to select their leader. That Michael Ignatieff, a mere leadership contestant be appointed interim leader by party elites and make the leadership race effectively over.

I say no. I say to Michael Ignatieff, no. I say to the those Party hacks, no. My Liberal Party, my party of Laurier, of King, of Pearson, and of Trudeau is not a party that can be ruined by you. My Party does not exist in your hands, it exists in ours.

The Liberal Party does not need a man who only thinks of himself. The Liberal Party needs a leader who will lead for the good of Liberals, for the good of Canadians.

On that Thursday December 4th, the day the government was prorogued, I knew who I wanted for the Liberal Party. I knew who I wanted for leader. I knew I wanted Bob Rae.


burlivespipe said...

Well said. I have a lot of trust in Bob Rae, he is a quality individual and has what it takes to be an awesome Prime Minister. I was a Rae delegate in the last race, but just recently decided to back Ignatieff. I don't agree obviously with your impression of his recent actions, but I am committed to back whoever wins. I have also sent an email to the president in support of a one-member, one-vote response to this sudden turn of events. I will accept the will of the executive, though. It looks like we've just traded places!

Anonymous said...

Burlivespipe: You will accept the will of the executive? I know I can't leave the party, but I do know if the executive selects Ignatieff as interim leader I will be supremely disgusted in those members and in my new leader.

I respect your opinion, but I, in my gut, know its wrong to pick a leadership candidate for interim leader and override our democratic processes.

If we both changed, it at least shows we aren't stubborn. Perhaps we both listen more to rationality in partnership with our experiences instead of blind partisanship, and that is always a good thing.


BCLiberal said...

"I knew I wanted Bob Rae."

That's what she said.

Anonymous said...

BCLib: That's dynamite.

Socially Active said...

We, Canada, need something like Don't need to copy it we just need some place to start collecting complete ideas with individual and social cost benefit included, over reasonable time "5yrs".

Ideas how to start this?

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

Dear SR,
we have disagreed before & will no doubt again. But let me say that to take this position, at this time, given your history, is extraordinarily brave on your part, as an LPC member, and shows you are both a real Liberal & a real liberal. I admire your idealism & conviction. PET would have been proud of you.

Whatever the future holds for you, whatever your future views, no-one can ever take today away from you. When the chips were down, you did the right thing. Don't fret, idealists always win in the end.

Very Best,