Monday, May 04, 2009

Bits and Pieces

While I intend to go into a little more detail on some issues this week, I thought I'd jot down a few observations from the past few days in Vancouver.

First of all, it was terrific to meet so many people. Bloggers, people who comment on blogs, MP's, media types and delegates all with their own perspective and reason for being there.

In the case of the bloggers, it was great to finally put a face or personality to the name. Every one of them serious about where the party is going and interested in playing a part in that. Each with an impressive knowledge of the issues, where the party stands and where they believe the party should be heading. I have to admit, it's great fun to have a conversation about an issue without having to start from square one to explain it. More on these people and my favourite commenter from BC later.

To a person, every MP I met was terrific. Those that I hadn't met previously were who I expected them to be and more. By more I mean that the level of dedication they have for the work they do was beyond impressive. I suppose that is how it should be, but with all the cynical stories that you read, you do wonder at times.

I personally do not think that our MPs get the level of respect that they deserve. I know that they aren't perfect, but I suggest that there are very few of us who would put our lives on hold the way they do, work the hours that they do for very little in return. Making a difference is really what many of them are all about. Sound hokey? Maybe, but from what I saw it's true. Oh and that elitist label that the Conservatives love to throw around about Liberals, politicians or otherwise? What a crock! I witnessed a diverse, engaged group that came from all walks of life and every part of the country.

Now, if you want to talk about a group that exhibited elitism, we need look no further than the media. Not all of them to be sure and the exceptions were notable. I'm not going to name people specifically, but you may pick up on what I'm referring to in future posts.

That said, I do give them marks for working hard, physically. Intellectually? Not so much for some of them. The bubble they often describe politicians of living in seems to surround them in fact and the lack of intellectual curiosity was in some cases, positively stunning. In other cases, I was really impressed. Again, more later.

In general, I came away feeling good about the party. It was really interesting attending pressers and events rather than reading about them after the fact. Indeed, I found reading some of the coverage later totally perplexing. I wondered more than once what event the writer had attended because it bore no resemblance whatsoever to what I had witnessed and I'm not talking about seeing through a partisan lens here. I'm referring to facts.

So, there are some broad observations. As I said, I'll go into some more detail later in the week. Right now I have to go sort clothes to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow and try to figure out if beer will come out of Italian wool, ;).


Anonymous said...

I thought the convention was a rather lame coronation.
For example: the Foreign Policy workshop with Rae/Graham/Coderre
What a miserable episode this session was....

One questioner was told by Rae that drugs are bad and our international treaties bind us to continue the war on these nasty substances. (My paraphrase)
Hey - we ignored these treaties to approve medical pot (as did 15 US States) - Many European countries have effectively legalized pot. There is all kinds of wriggle room to stretch the envelope and experiment with rational drugs laws.

And Dennis C. was rendered un-intelligible by David Orchard's comments on energy and trade.

And no one challenged the recent Iggy drift to the rabid-pro-Israel stance - in response to Harper’s wedge issue bs.

Warning: this is not Pierre’s (or even Jean’s) Liberal Party.
If we offer Canadians a conservative face to win votes - heck they are likely to choose the real thing!

Anonymous said...

I think anyone pushing the Iggy = Harper meme should remain anonymous, because it really doesn't add up.

If you can't see the difference, study the record of the Harper conservatives a bit closer.

PS: I have a pic for you, Arts ;)

Woman at Mile 0 said...

It was great to meet you LAM.

BTW...Anonymous posted the exact same comment on my blog several days original of you anon. Lame really lame.

RuralSandi said...

Interesting with Anon isn't it? Either an NDP'r (they're trying the Harper-lite garbage about Ignatieff) or a Con troll - they're out in full force making these stupid comments.

I watched the Foreign Affairs panel and the understanding, intelligence and all round understaning of international affairs is blatantly obvious compared to the NDP who want to play hippies and tie-dye shirt protesting of the 70's alive and the Cons who are absolutely pathetic in their understanding of the issue.

The more they troll, the more you realize they are worried.

Anonymous said...

Mile Zero: you would not publish my comment (courage!)
- hence its appearance here

Paid up member of the Liberals, election worker and present at the last two conventions as volunteer
(and will likely hold my nose and work for my MP next election)....
just pissed at the state of our party and country

as to the latest EI issue - Iggy could have made it make or break issue in January - but as I recall he didn't want the budget to be perceived as partly his he wants an election

at least Rae and Dion put the country first

Anonymous said...

"at least Rae and Dion put the country first"

and now they are both backing Ignatieff. Who has better judgment - Rae and Dion or the other anonymous poster?

KNB said...

I agree with Joseph anon. This constant ridiculous comparison leads nowhere.

There is interest in the party to decriminalize pot and as to the pro-Israel drift, perhaps you should look up and re-watch the session again. Rae spent considerable time on stressing balance.

Hey, if sour grapes is your thing, go nuts, but I can't see it serving any purpose. It's not living in real time. You can perceive Ignatieff to be what ever you like...that won't actually change who he is though.

You're fighting an imaginary battle and I prefer to deal with what actually is.

KNB said...

It was great to meet you too W@Mile 0! I'm looking forward to the next time, ;).

KNB said...

Anon, there was no guarantee that Harper was going to accept that.

I'm a big Dion and Rae fan, but I don't think for a second that Ignatieff doesn't also put country first.

If you were there, did you speak with him? Did you ask Rae about the party's position on the ME?

KNB said...

anon @ 1104, good point.

Woman at Mile 0 said...

Nothing to do with courage. Your comment is still waiting in my hold box.... that's why I recognized it here. As I did not attend the Bob Rae/Codderre session I cannot offer you a response on whether I think your summation of the event is correct. So far all I have seen of it was the Lord Alderdice piece of it and I enjoyed it. I was at the Dryden/Dhalla session.

As my partner is making the video of it soon for posting I am sure I will see it then and can respond. As your comment seems to fit whatever is written about the convention I don't feel a sense of urgency on this.

KNB said...

Oh, I missed that courage quip.

Anon, having met this woman, believe me, no courage lacking there.

Anonymous said...

Tried to post over at mile zero again but again got trapped in her screening system.
Paul Martin Post comment:
anon Liberal Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

OK I am back with my last anon comment - will revert to being a well behaved Liberal under my usual nom-de-plume after this.

Anyway I don’t buy your excuse for not publishing my comment on the for-pol session - it is your blog and your choice of course - but it still amounts to censorship.

On Thursday I did meet my hero, Jean Chretian - for the 3rd time!
I can’t forgive Martin for his 10 year campaign of regicide that largely destroyed our party and paved the way for Harper.

Anyway - I will admit to being cranky cause of that - and I watched the Democrats validate the Republican talking points over the last 20 years in the USA. Effectively yanking the middle, way over to the right. Effectively giving the voters the OK to choose the dark side again and again.

I see Iggy’s (and other current Liberals) comments on, for example Israel and Tar Sands, as pandering and moving the discussion to the right. And combined with his Iraq war/torture baggage it makes me a reluctant Liberal.
But still a Liberal in our FPTP system. No real alternative. My griping is a feeble attempt to be a center-left voice in a party I fear is drifting the other way.

KNB said...

Well, you're obviously going to see things the way you see them and I'm not unsympathetic to wanting the party to veer more to the left, but here's how we differ.

Dion tried to move in that direction and we can argue 'til the cows come home as to why that didn't work but even that isn't the issue now. That move was branded successfully in Canadians minds as being wrong for the party and wrong for the country. I don't believe that and I still think the Green Shift was the right way to go, but that becomes irrelevant when I pan back and look at the whole picture.

What's important now imo, is to get the country's steering wheel away from Harper and move forward with a plan that may not be as overtly left as Dion portrayed, but it's still a far cry from where Harper is or wants to go.

If you are who I think you might be, I'm surprised that you aren't able to see Ignatieff's moves as being strategic. That's not pandering, as he hasn't capitulated.

You're kidding yourself if you think Rae is pushing to move right on Foreign Affairs or that he'd tolerate it in his position. Geesh, even Axworthy was at convention and being supportive.

The Tar Sands, well whatever you or I might want, they aren't going away. Jack Layton could be PM and they wouldn't shut down. That's just not realistic any more. Until I hear the full plan/platform, I'll reserve judgement but again, Ignatieff's not in the same place as Harper/Prentice.

The torture bs? Come on. Any reasonable, thinking person knows that's pure spin by opponents and unworthy of any intelligent discourse.