Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Leadership Race

I noted on the evening political shows yesterday that the media were trying to keep the Mississauga 'sound bites' alive. This morning there were a couple of stories pushing that narrative, but Sunday's events were more of an aside than a real story, as it should be imo.

Given that Ignatieff and Rae were sitting beside each other in the House today as they voted for the new Speaker, and peace in our time, (or at least at this time), seems to have broken out, I thought I'd share a few thoughts about the candidates.

I attended the forum on the weekend and as I'm sure you've already read from some of my colleagues, it went really well. It wasn't a debate at all, if you ask me, but rather a Q&A that was open and really amicable. Neither Ignatieff nor LeBlanc attacked each other's position and more often than not they agreed on most issues, at least on the surface which is all that time would allow.

I had hoped to see all 3 leaders because I've yet to make up my mind as to who I will support. I didn't expect one meeting to answer that question for me, but I wanted to get a better sense of who each man is, today. In addition to hearing what they had to say about the last election, the next election and their policies, I wanted to gauge them as they responded to each other and to the audience. I can't say I was surprised by either man but I learned some things that gave me some comfort.

Ignatieff didn't strike me as oft cited 'conservative in liberal clothing'. I understand where those comments originate, but his responses were measured, in accordance with Liberal ideals and it was clear that he has learned something about politics in a practical sense since being elected. He was sincerely engaged, interested and didn't shy away from or skirt any issue.

Dominic LeBlanc was really the one I wanted to know more about. I've seen him in the House and during pressers, but like most people, I didn't really have a sense of the man, specifically as it relates to policy and this race in general. I have to say, I was impressed. He's got a terrific sense of humour and a comfortable manner. It was evident that he is quite serious about this run in spite of the media paying little attention to him. While it was difficult to get into any detail re' policy and ideas for the future of the party, it was clear to me that he's put a lot of thought into presenting something different than we've heard thus far. I look forward to hearing more from him.

I still am not prepared to declare who I will support and in fairness, I still haven't heard Rae speak to the issues we face at this moment, (though I was 2 feet away from him during his scrum at the Delta Meadowvale, ;). Two blogging colleagues who also attended the forum were trying to sway me in earnest to whom they were supporting, but I think there is still time to see all of these men in action.

On that note, I'm getting a sense that there is more than one Liberal out there determined only to choose the person who can beat Harper, with little consideration being given to other issues. Believe me. No one wants to see Harper and his 'new' Conservative party out of power more than I do, but I also want to see this party move in a direction that is clear and speaks to what Canadians want.

Who will provide that direction? Here's to more forums and future debates so we can all answer that question.

2 comments:

penlan said...

knb,

For whatever reason this post did not make it onto the Liblogs page & I don't know if it did on Prog Blogs. The fact there are no comments makes me think it didn't.

Just so you know.

I agree, it's not JUST who will be leader but how the party is united & progresses forward & changes to what the people want & what the country desperately needs & not constant "power plays & grabs".

Really like your take on LeBlanc!

whopitulia said...

It's good to hear different views on that event. Thanks!