Thursday, April 27, 2006

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.


At 8:39 PM, Blogger kris said...

You do know that Bob Rae's first experiment in politics was on Trudeau's campaign, right? :)

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emerson was ELECTED a Liberal and sits as a Conservative. Rae isn't walking away from an electorate who chose the NDP.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Silverwinger said...

Charest was a conservative, Klein was a liberal, there is nothing sacred in politics it seems. Rae may be the front runner in a unite the left movement, a seedling of an idea that may take root.
No doubt Bob is a bright fellow and knows what he is getting into but once in the race can cause a major split in the far left of the party.
For the life of me, I don't know why he is getting back into mainstream politics but a career with the NDP is a non issue.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Kris - yeah, I do know that about Rae, but still - working on a campaign vs. close to 20 years in elected politics... not quite enough to be called a Lib...

j - I know Emerson was elected, but so were Stronach and Brison when they split. The only reason why Emerson's was "different" is because he left so early because of his "blind ambition", according to some. If leaving a party under the guise of opportunism is considered such a bad thing, then what Rae is doing should also be considered a bad thing. Let's face it - if Rae doesn't win, he won't try to get elected or becoming a major organizer - he's in it for the opportunity.

Silverwinger - I totally agree with you - there is little difference between parties and that's why I understand why people can switch, but for some people (the one's losing because of the switch) always claim foul like it's this huge betrayal of principles. Those are the people I was talking about in my post.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

While I won't be suporting Rae it's been 10 years or more since he was an elected NDP member. People are allowed to change.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Yes, people are allowed to change and I fully respect that. What I have a problem with are people who attacked Emerson for his opportunism, but at the same time would go support Rae.


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