Sunday, April 09, 2006

Pedro Give Kennedy An Honourable Mention

To people who have read my site in the past, I guess it may be a little obvious that I will be supporting Michael Ignatieff (new campaign site; temporarily down). At the same time, I think Gerard Kennedy deserves an honourable mention. With some more time and experience, I hope to see this guy succeed our next Liberal Leader. Here's why:

Kennedy was raised in priviledge - he attended the private St. John's-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg on a hockey scholarship when his Liberal businessman father was mayor of The Pas, Manitoba. But this did not stop the man from working with the grassroots regardless of who they were.

From 1986 to 1996, Kennedy was the Executive Director of Toronto's Daily Bread Food Bank. The food bank distributed $30 million worth of food each year without government funding; 150,000 people are estimated to have used its services every month.

Because of his hard-work and success with the charity, Kennedy was named in Toronto Life Magazine's list of fifty influential people in 1992, and was named newsmaker of the year by the Toronto Star in 1993. Kennedy was also given an honorable mention in the Financial Post Magazine's CEO awards in 1995.

So here we find a progressive Liberal comfortable in any milieu, who is able to express empathy for the disenfranchised without sounding condescending, disingenuous, or elitist. This probably has a lot to do with his ideals.

With his commitment to ethics, Kennedy, who has already decided to go federal, didn't just give up his great government job for an unlikely shot at an opposition one - he's also apparently giving up his Provincial seat to do so.

Leaving the Provincial Cabinet was a must, and I tip my hat to McGuinty for expediting the process to ensure Ontario has a full-time Education Minister. But there's no reason Kennedy couldn't have held onto his riding, with the understanding he'd go back into cabinet again if things didn't work out nationally. My understanding is that Kennedy genuinely believed he'd be letting down his riding if he held onto it without being able to actually spend time there.

Kudos to Kennedy and in a perfect world, I hope to see him as the runner-up to Iggs.


At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for giving my fave ex-MPP kudos. Great bloggage btw.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kennedy needs more experience? I think Iggy Pop is the one who could learn from Kennedy, although Iggy would be an excellent advisor to PM Kennedy as his Foreign Affairs Minister

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Vincent Riccio said...

Kennedy is the candidate who is closest to the average Canadian with great experience. I see great weight in being able to stand on the front line of poverty and benefit the everyday Canadian .

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like them both! I am in trouble!
Iggy is very fast to learn, so it should not matter How about Mulroney..he never had any experience at all.

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

You know, I guess what it comes down to is preference and personality - it looks like common sense versus the intellect. It's hard, hey?! Both are amazing candidates and we are lucky.

I chose Iggs because I love his books, articles, etc. He has put out a strong view for Canada and I think he has the connections globally to make things happen for Canada. I don't think Kennedy quite has that YET. BUT, having said that, once/if Kennedy wins a federal seat, he'll get that.

Iggs has a sophistication that I (personally) think Kennedy hasn't quite mastered. I think it's a sophistication that comes with age. Iggs is wise and dignified. I think that's what he gives off when you meet him or see him.

Having said that, Kennedy is awesome and I hope he will be the next to succeed.

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Kennedy, but I also think that he needs more experience at the Federal level. While we know that he is left in his views on various social issues, where does he stand on such things as the military, the constitution, Fed/Prov relations, the economy, terrorism and vaious other international issues? If he is elected as Liberal leader, he will really need to spend at least one term in opposition before taking on the task of being Prime Minister. My biggest concern is that hs focus has been on issues that really are the business of Provinces, rather than the Feds. Too bad he did not win provincial leadership, rather than McGuinty.


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