This Is What I Have A Problem With
By no means am I supporting Bob Rae in his pursuit for the Liberal leadership, but having said that, I'm not discounting the fact that he's likely a really nice guy and indeed quite an intelligent fellow. What I have a problem with, though, are Liberals who viciously attacked David Emerson for his defection, claiming blind ambition BUT are willing to support Rae.
Rae has been one of the most prominent NDP figureheads at both the national and provincial levels. He first became an NDP member in 1974 and was then elected to Parliament in 1978 to serve as opposition OPPOSITION FINANCE CRITIC (read: by the time he was Premier, he should have known what the hell he was doing).
In 1982, Rae beat out Richard Johnston and Jim Foulds in the Ontario provincial NDP leadership race. In 1990, Rae became Premier. I won't digress onto his lousy record as Premier, but if you are interested, you can click here. In 1996, Rae resigned as Party leader after his Party lost the 1995 election.
So the purpose of quickly recanting Rae's political history, is to highlight the fact that Rae was a Dipper for nearly 20 years - and not just any Dipper, but an elected Dipper at both the federal and provincial levels and with a high profile.
Now he wants to be aLiberal? Fine. I don't care. Truly, I don't. But let's not forget why he's becoming a Liberal - so that he can become leader.
The National Post quoted him on the front page of their April 25th, 2006 paper as saying back when, "there is a smugness and complacency about the Liberal Party of Canada which has not really changed since my first encounter". Now, this is what he has to say: "The Liberal Party, for me, best expresses the progressive, pragmatic, practical spirit that Canadians want to see in their government."
Okay, fair enough - I agree with the latter, but then why wait until April of this year to take out a membership? Why? Because he wants to enter the leadership race.
I can understand that - hell, if he thinks he's the guy to run the Libs, then great, but what I take issue with are the Liberal Party members who aggressively campaigned against Emerson's defection; who called Emerson a political opportunist; and who stated that the reason why Stronach and Brison's defection was different from Emerson's was because it was not based on ambition.
So to all those who fall under that category, I direct my venom to you. It is all those types of individuals that embarass me and make me feel obligated to defend to tothers that not all us Liberals are hypocrites.