"Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics - doesn't make sense."
-- River Tam

Everybody begs for self-esteem

I’m finding it greatly amusing to watch the fortunes of the federal Liberal party succumb to a high-stakes game of “Not It!” :-)

Looking at the available candidates, I think that Belinda Stronach has a pretty strong chance at becoming the next Liberal leader, which is definitely not a phrase I expected to be typing even a year ago. I think she’s either a brilliant strategist or a nimble opportunist…or possibly a bit of both. But it looks like we’ll be waiting almost a year to see if it does her any good — the Liberal leadership race won’t be starting until at least the fall.

16 Responses to “Everybody begs for self-esteem”

  1. Someone mentioned Belinda early on to me after John Manley decided not to run, and I laughed it off. But now that Frank McKenna and Brian Tobin have pulled out of the race, it’s anyone’s guess, and I have to say, she looks stronger than anyone else. I must say I made a controversial (for a feminist) statement yesterday to Jamie, and told him I didn’t think Canadians were ready for a woman prime minister. My argument being, if we are going to go and elect a social conservative like Stephen Harper, I don’t think a woman stands a chance. However, when Jamie’s surprised reaction registered, I got thinking about it, and I wondered if that was exactly what the liberal party needed – some serious shaking up that put someone charismatic like her in the front running. And realistically, she can still appeal to the fiscal conservatives if not the social ones, as a business woman.

    Now wouldn’t it have been fun if Stephen Harper had lost, resigned as leader, and been replaced by Belinda’s ex-boyfriend? :)

  2. By the way, I also like Bob Rae’s chances. Do people think he would be haunted by his provincial past, or has he been forgiven? He’s a BRILLIANT man, and I’ve seen him speak. I would trust him implicitly from what I’ve seen, and I’m not as sure about Belinda.

  3. I dunno… after a budgeting a $9 billion deficit for the province, and paving the way for the Harris short-on-common-sense backlash, I don’t think Rae stands much chance with the Ontario voters. It’s not so much a question in my mind of forgiving him as whether I trust him to operate in the real world of, you know, money and stuff :D

    I do find it really interesting that such complete newbies like Stronach and Ignatieff are considered contenders. And who knows, faces that new might make all the difference?

  4. I can’t see Ignatieff appealing to the proles that the Conservatives relied on for their victory. The guy looks like a Vulcan. I think he carries the stink of intellectual elitism and the idea of that being a big political negative seems to have been inherited from the US here in Canada.

  5. Y’know, when I saw his picture, I just couldn’t place where I’d seen someone like him before, but Boyo, you nailed it! He does look like a Vulcan…or at the very least, a Romulan, just to tie into the other thread… :-)

    And Limbo, Bob Rae will never succeed in Canadian politics again, regardless of how intelligent he may be. There were waaaaay too many actions publicized as screw-ups while he was in power. Even outside of Ontario, he’s got no chance…anyone running against him with even a chimpanzee as a campaign manager will be able to drag out enough historical dirt to scare away the voters.

  6. I say Again Vote quimby

  7. It’s too bad about Bob Rae, but I have to agree with you all. Let’s all remember a little juicy backroom tidbit, though: Wasn’t it Bob who arranged for the meeting with Belinda where the terms of her crossing the floor was arranged? Perhaps he is keeping quiet on his candidacy for the moment with no intention of running at all, and perhaps he was planning to back her in a run for the prime minister-ship all along. I mean, Paul Martin is 67, we all knew he wasn’t long for the political life anyway, so the thought must have at least crossed their minds. Interestingly, our provincial MPP and federal MP – both liberals, both women – attended Bob Rae’s little speach on healthcare policy here at Western in November.

    Thanks for the reality check – generally speaking, the academic community loves Bob Rae and would welcome him with open arms, so I’m glad my friends can give me an outside perspective :)

  8. I don’t entirely agree that the academic community loves Bob Rae – and while I’m well aware that the ensuing Harris government cut education and healthcare to the bone, Bob himself made some pretty hefty cuts in those areas too: remember, I had to beat out WAY more people to get a med school position because of his cuts… Not that it’s particularly easy now to get in, but given my lectures were to 80 students only three years ago, and that number’s now ballooned to 160, one could argue that the 50% cut rate to med school spots was likely quite short-sighted… Now the provincial Liberal government only has to wait 6-10 more years for the first years to graduate and finish their residencies… How’s that for a long waiting list? :(

  9. I think the risk with Ignatieff isn’t that he is an intellectual, but that he may be an ivory-tower intellectual with little understanding of the real world the rest of us live in. Mind you, the same may be said for billionaires like Martin and Stronach – when you have that much money, are you actually able to see the world as it is??

  10. I think Martin was sincere when he spoke sbout the plight of the average Canadian, and understands what’s going on.

    In fact it pisses me off when someone like Harper comes across as professing to understand that plight more than a smart/rich person does, since he’s only saying that for the benefit of like-minded people.

  11. I hear ya on the cuts, Grabber, but I guess he’s really ingratiated himself with the general academic community down here (maybe not so much specifically in medicine, where things might have been different) because of the Rae Review on post-secondary education. Personally, I think he would have made a MUCH better choice than Michaelle (sp?) Jean for Governor General, and maybe less so for PM.

  12. Boyo, I guess it is a perceived risk at best, and perhaps a really unfair one.

    Now that I think about it though, I’m not sure that being intellectual = political negative here nearly as much as in the US – and Harper may be a lot of things, but I don’t recall him being a proponent of “dumb like us” politics. Am I wrong??

  13. Um, Grabber, the Ontario med school cuts weren’t made by the Rae government, they were brought in by David Peterson’s government, the Liberal premier before Bob Rae. It’s a pretty common misconception that the NDP made the cuts, but it was indeed the Liberals…y’know, the same ones that are now announcing how they need to increase med school admissions to make up for the growing shortfall in doctors.

  14. If Ignatieff were smart (as everyone says he is) he would wait a few years, learn the ropes and get in touch with what is actually going on in politics before running for the leadership. Electable or not, it would be nice to have some intelligent people running for Prime Minister.

  15. Homewrecker, I agree. It’s not so much “dumb like us” as his ‘man of the people’ (or even “rural like us”) posture, with the ridiculous ads featuring the on-the-nose depiction of common folk in the diner. Notice they don’t show something like a single mom with two kids sitting in front of the fire in a modest urban home.

  16. And now Allan Rock has formally bowed out. As if we would ever elect a guy named Rock anyway… :-)

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