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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Decisions, decisions...

The more I see of this man, the more I'm convinced he would make an excellent Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party. I still like Brison and Kennedy a lot. They represent a modern Canada, one in which our leaders inspire us to think big and to find new solutions to age-old problems. This is where Canada needs to go, and my head tells me a younger leader with less "baggage" can take us there.

But my heart and gut tell me experience counts. When dealing with fragile issues such as fiscal federalism and national unity, wouldn't it be better to have a leader who truly understands the situation and its root causes? Someone who's been at the table, someone who's dealt with these complex issues before?

I say it again: Experience counts. And not just experience of the "good" variety (i.e. governing in a time of economic prosperity, with huge budget surpluses). Experience counts the most when you've earned it through tough times. As Rae himself admits, it's easy to govern during good times. People tend to forget your broken promises, ignore your mistakes and overlook your faults. The Liberal Party should understand this story quite well.

Governing during bad times is a different situation. People (even your friends) will highlight your flaws, accentuate your mistakes and find reasons to bring you down. When a leader, by virtue of circumstance, is forced to acknowledge his mistakes and, more importantly, learn from them, he's made progress. Bob Rae has made mistakes. He said so himself. I can see he's stronger, wiser, more resolute and more confident because of it.

Is this an endorsement? Well, I'm not quite ready to go there yet. I still need to work out my "head vs. gut" conflicts. But I will say this: I'd have no problem whatsoever with Bob Rae as Liberal leader. As Greg Sorbara pointed out during yesterday's launch: "There is a sense of destiny with this candidate...You can feel it."