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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I needed a break

I haven't posted in a while. All this "nation" talk got me a little agitated, so I figured a break was in order. And what better way to get away from this highly-charged, emotional political atmosphere than to attend the Ontario Liberal Party AGM with 1500 other highly-charged, emotional politicos??

It was an awesome weekend. I met up with some old friends and got to know some new ones. On Saturday, I participated in some of the policy discussions and sessions leading up to the 2007 provincial election. The Premier gave a rousing speech to the assembly on Sunday afternoon. I'm convinced he'll be re-elected in 2007.

JAMES CARVILLE WAS FANTASTIC!!! (even if his speech was too short). Very entertaining yet very useful. Three key points: Politics is about telling a compelling story; saying less helps you communicate more; and it's ok to marry a Republican so long as you stick to your own principles.

Don't worry, though: I didn't leave leadership politics behind. I got the chance to sit down with some of the bigger players in this race. Senator David Smith was kind enough to take me out for a drink. This guy is cool and he is poised. He just oozes the sureness and confidence that only comes with being a seasoned political veteran. We talked for over half an hour about leadership (past and present), his history as a point-man on candidate recruitment and the relationships he's built with other players in this party. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if Michael Ignatieff wins in December, Senator David Smith will have been the major cause.

I also conducted a blogging interview with Gerard Kennedy. His energy is almost fascinating. I'm still not sure he has what it takes to be Prime Minister, but I'm certainly more favourable towards him now than I was a week ago. Special thanks go out to CG and JE for setting it up for me. I will be sure to post the interview as soon as possible.

Oh yeah. I was also formally introduced to Michael Ignatieff for the first time. He is a very tall man. And I enjoyed his tie.

In any case, I leave you with this picture. The caption should read: "John Lennard nets Bob Rae two high-profile endorsements."

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Peterson attacks Trudeau

In the Toronto Star today, former Ontario Premier David Peterson apparently decided that his attacks on longtime rival Bob Rae weren't enough. This time, he turned his guns on Justin Trudeau for daring to stand up for his father's ideals with respect to national unity:

He [Peterson] also took a swipe at Trudeau — whose late father, iconic Liberal prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, held views similar to those expressed by his son — dryly noting, "I didn't realize he was a constitutional thinker. He should try making that speech in Iraq, or Lebanon."

I'm sorry, Mr. Peterson, but not all of us are Harvard academics like your golden boy, Michael Ignatieff. Not all of us can brag, as you do, about being the Chancellor of a prestigious university. That said, I would submit that one does not have to live or work in some ivory tower to realize that Dr. Ignatieff's position on this issue is recklessly divisive and absolutely inconsistent with the ideals that Pierre Elliot Trudeau stood for. Kudos to Justin Trudeau for pointing it out.

And speaking of Iraq and Lebanon, perhaps Chancellor Peterson would like to remind us what happened the last time Michael Ignatieff opened his mouth on foreign policy? Oh yeah, that's right: He lost the support of his GTA co-chair. Funny, that.

Come to think of it, maybe the good professor should open his mouth more often...

A winning horse?

Bob Rae, endorsed by Michael Ignatieff's former GTA co-chair? Bob Rae, receiving kudos from the National Post (yes, that not-so-left-wing rag that Warren Kinsella works for) for his progressive, responsible and thoroughly Liberal economic agenda? Bob Rae, standing up for Liberal Party principles and making sense on national unity?

I'm not a betting man, but I think I've picked a winning horse here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

We will not be bullied

This is my third post on this subject in two days. Needless to say, I feel very strongly about it. I am angry that Michael Ignatieff and his campaign have decided to use this divisive issue to hijack the debate within our party and force Liberal delegates to accept his position. This quote from Liza Frulla, an Ignatieff supporter, says it all:

"It's unthinkable for us to reject that because it's a given politically in Quebec. If other candidates are responsible. . . . I think they will not play this as an advantage for them or whatever because I think that would be disastrous not only for the Liberal Party, that would be disastrous for the whole unity of Canada."

So now standing up for decades of Liberal national unity policy is "irresponsible"? More "irresponsible" than dividing the party over an issue that Michael Ignatieff hasn't even fully thought out?

The message from the Ignatieff camp is clear: Support my motion, or risk a national unity disaster.

Absolutely sick.

I, for one, do not support this motion. For me, this issue transcends leadership politics. I will encourage my fellow delegates at the convention to reject the motion, because I believe the premise upon which it is based is flawed.

Liberals have always recognized the bilingual and multicultural nature of Canada. We have always celebrated and supported the "cultural and social aspirations" of all Canadians, regardless of where they happen to live. Let there be no doubt: We have always respected Quebec and Quebecois.

As Liberals -- indeed as Canadians -- we must not let the strong-arm tactics of some Harvard academic and his pushy supporters dictate otherwise. We must not let anyone bully us into changing our philosophy or our focus. We must not give in to this political blackmail.

As a side note, take a look at the priority resolutions put forward by the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party. The top two resolutions are on Kyoto and the Quebec Nation. These will be debated on the convention floor. The rest will be discussed in workshops.

Now, it is no secret that LPC(Q) is dominated by supporters of the Harvard academic. The Ignatieff campaign routinely brags about "how much muscle" it has in Quebec. As such, it seems Campaign Iggy thinks the notion of Quebec nationhood is more important than gun control, Canadian foreign policy, improving health care, the "fiscal imbalance", supporting seniors, fighting regional disparities, regulating toxic substances and fighting cancer. Priorities, indeed!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What about me?

I am a francophone living outside Quebec. In the 1850s, my family established its home in what is now known as Ontario. They were the descendants of Canada's earliest French settlers. Thus, I belong to one of Canada's "founding peoples," even though I reject the concept of colonialism such a term implies.

While I do not live in Quebec, I am proud to share in "the unique language and culture" that characterizes francophones in that province.

What about me? Do I have a nation? If yes, what is it? If no, why not?

Dion hits the nail on the head

This is the most well-articulated argument against Ignatieff's "nation" position I think I've read to date. With this brilliant essay, Stephane Dion has proven once again why he is probably the greatest unity minister this country has ever seen. A potential Prime Minister? Perhaps, although I think his grasp of English is lacking, and he still comes across as arrogant and agitated (almost hysterical) during debates. Nevertheless, this article is fantastic. A clear home run on Dion's part.

Here are the main points:

-Quebec is a nation in the sociological sense. As Liberals, we can pretty much all agree on that point.

-But before Quebecois ask Canadians to formally (read: constitutionally) recognize this "notion of a nation," a few questions must be answered:

  • Do Quebecois want to be the only ones with such recognition, or would they be willing to accept other groups obtaining similar acknowledgement? If the latter is the case, would Quebec's national status eventually be diluted or minimized?
  • Is recognizing Quebec's national status a necessity or simply a preference? Those who claim that it is necessary must admit that Quebec would be justified in leaving Canada should such recognition not be provided. After all, one cannot live without something that is necessary. Likewise, those who claim that recognition is simply preferable should not believe in the vital importance of this issue, because one would not break up the country over something that is preferable, but not necessary.
  • Should recognizing Quebec as a nation be a symbolic gesture, or one backed up by concrete consequences (new power sharing, etc)? Michael Ignatieff claims that it need only be a symbolic gesture, but such a position contradicts the earlier notion that recognition is necessary: How can something be necessary, but purely symbolic? Even Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe acknowledges that while symbolism is nice, it needs to be backed up by firm actions.

I suppose the question to Dr. Ignatieff, who has foolishly chosen to pursue this issue, is what would those "concrete consequences" be? As Dion points out, during the 1980s and 1990s, Canada went through a series of constitutional discussions centred on the status of Quebec within our federation. In 1997, Canada's premiers were even able to agree that Quebec society has a unique and distinct character. The Quebec political class, however, rejected this recognition, saying it "lacked teeth."

In my opinion, Michael Ignatieff (for all his "bold" and "gutsy" pronouncements) is proposing a reckless and illogical Quebec policy. First of all, it conflicts almost entirely with his "Agenda for Nation Building" because it proposes that we accentuate the differences between Canadians rather than build on our common strengths and shared values (In fact, one might ask the good professor how many nations he actually intends to build). Furthermore, his policy lacks substantive direction and would lead Canada down a dangerous path. Promising Quebec special status within Canada will lead inevitably to a "What about me?" syndrome, whereby all kinds of groups will begin clamouring for special recognition. Finally, his refusal to delve deeper into this issue and consider the chain reaction it will have on other aspects of federalism -- the questions of equalization, the "fiscal imbalance," or Senate reform, for example -- is proof that Michael Ignatieff does not have the common sense to be leader of the Liberal Party (as if he hadn't proven it already).

Or perhaps Dr. Ignatieff has considered all of this. Perhaps he's convinced himself that he can do what every Prime Minister in Canadian history could not: Solve every problem facing our federation in one fell swoop. Perhaps he really does believe, as a supporter once said, that he is "like Garibaldi returning to Italy": Canada's own national hero, a giant among giants, a leader for the ages. If this is the case, not only is he reckless, he is dilusional. Clearly unfit to be leader.

An agenda for nation building? Nope. A recipe for disaster is more like it. Even his supporters seem to agree. And I'm glad someone has the courage and foresight to call him on it.

Great job, Stephane.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pragmatic Leadership, defined

Why do I support Bob Rae? This sums it up nicely, I think. No other candidate can honestly claim to have the wealth of experience or the insight that Bob Rae brings to the table. Why Liberals would want to pass it up, I don't know. But I guess it's up to the delegates in Montreal to decide.

My favourite quotation:

"I have had extraordinary opportunities to serve over the years. Every project has introduced me to more Canadians, taught me more about what is meaningful to us, shown me more about who we are as a people.

"From Burnt Church to softwood lumber, from terrorism to education, I have been forced to think of practical, workable solutions to seemingly intractable problems. I cannot claim to have always succeeded. I bear, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, the scars of having fought in the arena. But the arena is where one learns how to fight for what one believes in -- and how to win."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In response to Antonio

In typical Fiddle Faddle fashion, Antonio goes out on a baseless attack on Bob Rae, this time accusing him of "desperately perpetrating" (note: I think he meant "perpetuating") the lie that Michael Ignatieff supports torture.

Bob Rae did no such thing.

Antonio and his fellow Iggy Nationalists, in what was perhaps the rudest display in this entire campaign, were seemingly too busy heckling the other candidates that they forgot to listen. Or maybe they just didn't want to listen. Either way, Bob Rae never raised torture during the debate. Bob quoted the following passage from Michael Ignatieff's May 2nd, 2004 Op-Ed in the New York Times Magazine, and questioned its consistency with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which Mr. Ignatieff claims to support:

"To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: Indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targetted assassinations, even preemptive war."

I note that Michael Ignatieff has never backed away from that statement.

The main question Liberals need to ask themselves is the following: Are Dr. Ignatieff's views as an American academic consistent with our longstanding Liberal traditions, particularly as they relate to the Charter? Furthermore, should Canada be a "trafficker in evils," as the good Harvard professor suggests?

The answer, in my humble opinion, is no.

Good on Bob Rae for asking the tough questions. And good on Stephane Dion for backing him up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Persons' Day

Every year, the Sudbury branch of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) organizes a Persons' Day Breakfast in celebration of the anniversary of October 18th, 1929, the day on which Canadian women were deemed "persons" by the British Privy Council. I don't normally get up at 5am, but I did this morning, because I think the Persons' Day Breakfast (even if held a couple days late) is a cause worthy of my full support.

Over yogourt, muffins and cold coffee, I listened to journalist and human rights advocate Sally Armstrong speak about her experiences in Afghanistan covering the plight of women. It was an inspiring speech, sorrowful at times but ultimately uplifting. Despite my personal feelings about the war, I cannot help but celebrate the fact that life is improving for women and girls in that part of the world.

I was also planning on celebrating how far Canada has come as a society with regards to women's rights. I should be celebrating the fact that women in my generation no longer have to endure the sexist, degrading workplace comments that women in my mother's generation endured. Instead, I'm reading this. To say I'm not celebrating is an understatement.

Peter MacKay, quite simply, is a bad person. He's a bad person not because he espouses bad policies or because he's shown bad political judgment. Peter MacKay is a bad person because he disrespects women. I cannot believe that in the year 2006, someone would actually think that referring to a woman as a dog is funny. I cannot believe that MacKay (Canada's chief diplomat, no less) refuses to acknowledge he said what he said, even in the face of irrefutable evidence. I guess I should believe it, though. Peter MacKay has a history of chauvinism. He once told a female colleague to "stick to her knitting" when she had the audacity to disagree with him on the radio. Sad, but true.

Belinda Stronach has demanded an apology. Knowing Peter MacKay's character, I wouldn't hold my breath.

The media's reaction has also been sad. I'm watching Global TV right now. I cannot believe what I am seeing. I've just heard the MacKay incident described as a "lover's quarrel" and a "soap opera." Radio host and Global commentator Bill Carroll doesn't believe this whole incident was offensive at all, and even suggested Belinda Stronach owes Peter MacKay an apology. Global's journalists are laughing about this. Reporters are giving viewers advice on "how to deal with a breakup." Absolutely shameful.

This isn't about a breakup. This isn't a soap opera. It's not about partisan politics or the rough and tumble of parliamentary debate. Degrading women isn't funny. This is sexism, pure and simple. And trivializing sexism is just as bad as sexism itself. CanWest Global should be ashamed of itself.

I began the day an optimist, celebrating the advancement of women's rights here and abroad. I end the day with a sense of cynicism, sickened by the comments of a bad person and disheartened by the reaction of the media.

Persons' Day. Sigh. I guess there's always next year...

Godfrey for Rae

Today, the Honourable John Godfrey, MP for Don Valley West, former Liberal Leadership candidate and former Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) will announce his support for Bob Rae in his bid to lead the Liberal Party of Canada.

This is big news for the Rae camp. John Godfrey is one of the most well-respected Liberals in Canada, having fought his entire parliamentary career for important social policy reforms, including early learning and child care and a new deal for municipalities. He's also an all-around great guy. Back in April, I thought he made the best presentation at the Edmonton forum, and I'm still very fond of him to this day. Dr. Godfrey's principled, progressive and passionate approach to public policy jive well with Mr. Rae's.

For us to implement the kinds of changes we need-- be it in social policy, foreign policy or environmental policy -- we must defeat Stephen Harper. Bob Rae can do that. John Godfrey agrees. John is another Ontario MP who clearly believes Bob Rae can play well in this province because he offers the strongest alternative to Stephen Harper's agenda.

Welcome aboard, John.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Something to consider

Despite polls like this and the many others like it that show Bob Rae as the Liberal's best chance to beat Stephen Harper (including in Ontario), people continue to have their doubts.

I can understand that. It's always tough to convince a cynic.

For years, we've been told that Ontario hates Bob Rae. Ontarians have never forgiven Bob for his term as Premier (you know, the one in which not a single public sector employee was laid off, in which more social housing was built than at any other time, in which jobs were saved at steel plants and lumber towns in Northern Ontario, in which new community colleges were opened, in which citizens were given catastrophic drug coverage, in which affirmative action programs increasing the number of women and minorities in the public sector were introduced...). His legacy still remains a ball and chain around the neck of the provincial NDP, some say. This, according to Cherniak, is why Hampton and Co. have been "dead in the water" since 1995.

Consider this, though:

In the 1977 and 1981 provincial elections (the two immediately preceeding Bob's first as leader of the NDP) the party received 21.7% and 21.1% of the popular vote, respectively. In the 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1995 elections with Bob Rae as leader, the party received 23.8%, 25.7%, 37.6% and 20.6% of the popular vote, respectively.

In other words, at the worst point in the NDP's history (1995), in spite of a frustrated electorate, a furious public service and two emboldened opposition parties, Bob Rae was still able to maintain the NDP's traditional levels of support in the province.

Take a look at the two elections since Rae's departure as leader: In 1999, the NDP received 12.6% of the popular vote, and in 2003, 14.7%.

My conclusion: The NDP's troubles in recent elections are not due to Rae's supposedly "negative" legacy. Rather, the provincial NDP is where it is today because it no longer has Bob Rae as a dynamic and persuasive leader. It is because the NDP continues to apologize for the Rae government's pragmatic policies and positive accomplishments that it continues to falter. It is because this "party of protest" refuses to take a practical outlook on public policy that it has yet to break the 20% mark since Rae's departure.

Despite the cynics' assertions, I remain convinced that Bob Rae will play well in Ontario in a general election. Canadians and Ontarians will trust a candidate who talks candidly about his experiences, both good and bad. Canadians and Ontarians will listen to Bob because he is a great communicator who will deliver our message strongly and compellingly.

Under a Rae leadership, I know we will attract progressive voters, both traditional Liberals and those who have voted for other parties in the past. Under a Rae leadership, I firmly believe we will win more Ontario seats than we did in 2006. Under a Rae leadership, the Liberal Party will form the government again.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Iggy closing speech

"We know who we are.... I know what I stand for."

Yeah, sure.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Crybaby Iggy

"Bob, you've known me for 40 years."

So real leadership sounds like a two year who just lost her dolly? Come on, Iggy.
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Here we go

Iggy and Rae on foreign policy... Watch out.

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The heat is on...

No love loss at all between Dion and Ignatieff. Wow that was great!
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Kennedy's on fire

No question about it. He's bringing sexy back to the infrastructure debate! Good for him.
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Liberal money?

In the social housing debate, Stephane Dion just referred to taxpayers' dollars as "Liberal money". Can anyone say 'entitlement'? I think Harper might.
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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Real leadership?

What a fitting concept. Michael Ignatieff: Many faces.

Case in point: Qana

Michael Ignatieff (August 1, 2006): "Qana was frankly inevitable in a situation in which you have rocket-launchers within 100 yards of a civilian population. This is the nature of the war that's going on ...This is the kind of dirty war you're in when you have to do this and I'm not losing sleep about that."

Michael Ignatieff (August 1, 2006): "A ceasefire on the Israeli side becomes logical for Israel when it has achieved its military objectives and when it reaches the point of diminishing returns, and that is the point we've reached now."

Michael Ignatieff (August 10, 2006): "Israel has a right to reply to kidnappings and rocket attacks (by Hezbollah)."
To recap: In August, Michael Ignatieff clearly believed that Israel's response was not only inevitable, but justified.

That was then. This is now:
Michael Ignatieff (October 8, 2006): "I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime."

Confused? So am I. Was the attack inevitable and justified, or wasn't it? Was it a logical "military objective" or was it a "war crime"? Ignatieff, with expertise as "a professor in the laws of war," now seems to believe that war crimes were committed, right? Well, maybe not...

Michael Ignatieff (October 13, 2006): "Whether war crimes were committed in the attack on Qana is for international bodies to determine."

So now the good professor isn't so sure. He'll let the real experts decide. Good for him.


Many faces, indeed. But real leadership? Definitely not.

I'm a celebrity!

Well, not quite...

But the Toronto Star did profile my blog today on page H3 (national report section) along with Cherniak, Calgary Grit and Cerberus. Needless to say, my mother was pretty excited when she saw it. Check it out if you get the chance.

Anyway, I'm on my way to Toronto for tomorrow's debate... Should be a great time!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What about health care?

Cerberus asks a legitimate question, although he mistakenly claims that none of the frontrunning leadership candidates have distinguished themselves on this issue.

In fact, Bob Rae has been talking substantively about health care for months. In early September, with the support and endorsement of former federal Health Ministers Monique Begin, Diane Marleau and Ujjal Dosanjh, Bob Rae delivered a major health care policy statement. In it, he committed to six specific goals:
  • Establish a national catastrophic drug plan (the Maple Leaf Drug Plan) that ensures that no Canadian has to choose between their health and their personal finances;
  • Establish an accountability principle in the Canada Health Act;
  • Provide investments in new health care solutions, such as electronic-health initiatives, to reduce wait times across the country;
  • Increase federal funding for health care professionals programs in colleges and universities, to help alleviate the shortage of doctors, nurses, lab technicians, physiotherapists and other professionals;
  • As recommended by the Health Council of Canada, provide funding for a Population Health Strategy to stimulate progress in healthy living. Particular focus would be placed on improving the health of aboriginals and children;
  • As recommended by Dr. Carolyn Bennett, make Canada an international leader in health research by increasing the funding to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and put CIHR funding on a predictable basis.

So there you have it. A candidate talking seriously about one of the most pressing issues facing our country today.

I understand Ted's dilemma, though. Sometimes, we get so caught up in our own candidate's spin (or in Iggy's case, damage control) that we forget to look at/talk about what the others are proposing. I'll admit, I've been guilty of that before. For example, Scott Brison's broad review of the Canadian tax system (particularly his tax cut proposal for young workers) makes a lot of sense to me. I should have said so much earlier.

Moving forward, I think we should all endeavour to listen a bit more to what the others are saying. That'll be the first step to bridging the leadership divides after December 3rd.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

As the late, great Ann Richards might say...

Poor Iggy, he can't help it! He was born with a silver foot in his mouth!

(h/t Professor Clifford Orwin...Although I have been waiting to use that line for a long, looong time!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Just keeps getting better (or worse?)

Not losing any sleep over "war crimes." Wow.

I guess that begs the question: What does he lose sleep over?
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Friday, October 06, 2006

We can all be friends

A few people have asked me about my thoughts on Warren Kinsella's recent criticisms of Bob Rae. He's been particularly aggressive these past few weeks (I wonder why...) and while I literally used to stay up at night crying about it like a baby who lost his soother, my attitude is now much more serene.

I am entitled to my opinions. Warren is entitled to his. I'm entitled to be right. He's entitled to be wrong. Same goes for my friends over at Fiddle Faddle. Our current disagreements don't mean we can't all be friends at the end of the day, or that Warren won't be a fantastic person to work for in the next provincial election (yes WK, consider that a job application). There will be no lasting animosity when this is all over.

With that, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Spend some time with your families. Eat a lot of food. Have a lot of fun. And forget about politics for a while

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Cherniak!

He didn't mention it, so I thought I would. Have a good one Jason!

Monday, October 02, 2006


I think I'm coming down with a cold. I blame the damp weather, my exceedingly high stress levels as of late, and my new blogging co-chair Jason over at Little Red Leaf. I know it was him! Germs travel quickest over the blogosphere, I'm sure of it!

That's my theory, anyway. Back to the Vicks Vapo-Rub. Ugh.

Bob Rae, Success Story

In May 2006, people were saying that Bob Rae would never appeal to Liberal activists across the country. "Too new to the party," they said. "The grassroots will never support him."

They were wrong. Because of the hard work of grassroots supporters from coast to coast, Bob Rae has emerged from Super Weekend in a strong second place position, with 20% support nationally. Bob Rae placed first in four provinces (PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and British Columbia) and second in Saskatchwan. He garnered a quarter of the total vote in Quebec and has proven, across the country, that he is the only candidate with national appeal who has both the depth in each region and the ability to grow everywhere. The grassroots have rallied to Bob Rae's side. We are very pleased.

In May 2006, people were saying that Bob Rae would never fare well in Ontario. "Ontario Liberals will never support him," they said. "He will have no on-the-ground organization."

They were wrong. Sure, Bob Rae began the campaign late in the organizational game. And sure, he doesn't have as many MPs, MPPs, ex-officios and other "bigwig" endorsements as his three main rivals (3 Ontario MPs have openly supported Bob Rae, versus 5 for Stephane Dion, 10 for Gerard Kennedy and 20 for Michael Ignatieff). But over the past few weeks, our organization has ramped up, and Bob Rae was able to exceed anyone's expectations in the province. Winning over 17% of the vote, Bob's strong third place finishing in Ontario was unpredicted and indicative of the momentum he has generated over the past several weeks. In fact, Bob Rae did better in Ontario than either the third or fourth placers did nationally. Clearly, many Ontarians embrace Bob Rae's leadership potential. We are very pleased.

When all the dust settles, it will become clear to everyone that Bob Rae is the success story of this weekend. He is one of only two candidates in this race who can legitimately claim to have appeal from coast to coast, with a full, national slate of delegates. He is one of only two candidates in this race who has proven to be competitive in Ontario, Quebec and the rest of Canada. He is one of only two candidates who emerged from Super Weekend leading in four provinces.

The message from the Rae camp? A simple one, really. Bob is the only candidate with room to grow. He is the only candidate who can move ahead in each of Canada's regions. He is the only candidate with the experience, the insight, the persuasive ability and levelheadedness to lead our party to victory against Stephen Harper in the next election.

Bob Rae shares our Liberal values, he understands our country and he knows what's at stake. He is a leader. He is job ready.

And on December 2nd, I am confident Liberal delegates will come to the same conclusion as well.

Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Ignatieff 7, Kennedy 5

I'm told hordes of Iggy Nationalists spent the entire afternoon fending off a surprising challenge from Gerard Kennedy in their man's own riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. In the end, Team Iggy was able to pull off a squeaker, but just barely.

Now that's something! Michael Ignatieff: Barely has the confidence of his own association.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Well that's that

I'm exhausted, I'm hungry, I have a headache, my eyes are dry (note to self: never wear contact lenses for 17 hours straight!), my feet are swollen, my back hurts, my car is uncharacteristically low on gasoline, my cell phone bill is sky high, my house is a mess, I've misplaced my glasses, my parents are wondering when the phones will stop ringing, and I've just woken up after a 50 hour stretch of sleeplessness (or perhaps "sleep-free"ness?). And on top of that, it's cold and it's raining. Sigh.

Why, you may ask, is my life in such disorder? Well, yesterday was game day for me. I won. I was one of four Bob Rae delegates elected in Sudbury, an area in which the old battle wounds from the NDP-Liberal fights of the 1980s and 1990s remain. It was a tough sell, we fought hard against the odds, we were successful and in the end, that's what matters. I, for one, am ecstatic.

First, foremost and from the bottom of my heart: Thank you to my fellow Liberals (especially my friends, family members and colleagues) who came out to vote for me and the other Rae delegate nominees in Sudbury. I am deeply grateful for your support and humbled by your level of confidence. I won't let you down. In John Lennard, you will have a tireless advocate for Bob Rae and the leadership we want and deserve.

Second, to my fellow delegates who were/are/will be elected this weekend: See you in Montreal.

Bob's on Question Period now. I'll watch that, and go back to bed.