Saturday, December 02, 2006

Notes on the Liberal Leadership Convention

I've got the TV tuned to Global. Although CBC has an excellent expert panel and CTV has the Duff (welcome back Duffy! Good to see ya!!), Global has Hannah Boudreau moderating the expert panel. Imagine that: an excellent female journalist, not just a pretty face, being given such a plum assignment. It seems to me that in the last few years the upper echelons in the media are slipping back slowly but surely to all-maledom. It's rather boring to hear and view. And so it's nice to see Global pick up the slack and head in the opposite directon. Maybe they should hire Paula Todd and give her a current affairs program that would rival TVO's or The Hour on CBC.

This slippage mirrors the House of Commons where we have fewer female MPs than Afghanistan's. The biggest disappointment in this Liberal Leadership race is to see only one woman candidate, and apparently a token one at that. This too is a slide back from when Sheila Copps ran against Paul Martin in a futile bid, but one that prevented the Convention from becoming an acclamation and showed more guts than any of the other male contendors.

But what is interesting about this Convention is the goodwill between the candidates. This party is showing us that, no matter who the leader is, there is bonhomie and a sense of pulling together for the good of the party. This unity, even friendship between the top two, is in stark contrast to the conservatives. Perhaps Stephen Harper is such a control freak because he also fears being stabbed in the back for bringing in only a minority government and figures an iron fist will keep his leadership intact. The Conservatives are known for their cannibalistic politics, which the Liberals briefly fell into with Martin ousting Jean Chretien. While the Conservatives refuse to learn from past mistakes when it comes to treating their leader, the Liberals have. They're firmly putting those divisive politics behind them. As I write this, the jockeying after the second ballot results has commenced. Smiles and graciousness abound. It makes it more tenable to watch and makes me wonder if perhaps this Convention will produce a better Prime Minister than Harper.

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UPDATE

The pundits are musing if St├ęphane Dion is electable. Well, it seems to me that if Canadians can elect Harper, wooden, puffed, coiffed, and obviously taped together by stylists for television, then this is a non-issue. Mind you, what else are they going to talk about as we wait for voting to end?

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UPDATE 15:01

It's down to Michael Ignatieff and St├ęphane Dion, and the pundits and campaign organizers are talking winnability. And they're suggesting Iggy is more winnable than Dion. That's interesting. Why would Canadians prefer a man who's just recently returned to Canada over a man who was in the thick of cleaning up the mess after the last referendum vote and understands how Canada has changed over the last 30 years as he's lived it? But then they declare Dion has the momentum. Summary: nobody has a clue!

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UPDATE 17:01

Thwack! That sound you hear is Chretien pushing Harper into the mud then dancing on his back while laughing throatily. (Over Harper having to meet the China Prez near the bathroom for a fly-by talk, then trying to claim he was the only PM from Canada to talk about Human Rights so that made it OK.)

2 comments:

Mark Dowling said...

I didn't see Chretien's comment, but he could be accused of being somewhat self-serving. After all, he is just back from a business trip to... China.
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=0395776e-9599-41d4-823d-e330c4179b37&p=2

talk talk talk said...

Oh Chretien is always self-serving, a political pugilist (literal one too) he is, and he hasn't lost his nasty right hook. Harper's claim to have the gumption to talk human rights with the Chinese, unlike the Liberals, royally PO'd Chretien -- because Harper was wrong and counting on short memories -- and he hit back. Hard. I can't stand either man, but I gotta admire Chretien's ability to still knock out his opponent.