The "What Do I Know Grit"
I'd like to hear your thoughts on who that other person than Iggy or Rae would be.
Now that the party grassroots has effectively been told and shown by the party brass that their voices are irrelevant and that their selection of leader at the 2006 Leadership Convention didn't merit the support of the Party's "upper echelon", you can expect either one of two things: (a) there will be an even bigger disconnect between the party brass and the party grass at the May convention and a new grassroots candidate will emerge through the middle, or (b) the grassroots will stay away from the convention because they are disgusted with heavy-handed thuggery of the "leading contenders" and even worse they will stay home on election day.The time of the 2nd generation entitlement seekers should now come to an end.While Dion is still running the party, he should completely clean house of the has beens, hanger ons and offspring of the Trudeau era who have never had to fight a real battle of their own. This party has not yet realized the true state of its present existence.Now that the brass has achieved its goal of putting the party grassroots in its place, we have lost the opportunity to overhaul the party by modernizing our data and fundraising systems and changing the way we do business in the provinces with respect to membership.Now that we will be distracted by another leadership contest, we will dump our money into leadership races instead of filling the Party bank account to fight off the next round of Harper's endless attack ads. The winner of this leadership will be self-interest over the long-term success of the Party. The clear winner will be the party brass over the party grass. Have fun with that!
I was going to add a comment but I think Mala said it all. I can tell you, if the candidate whose people did nothing but try to undermine the leader for the last two years wins, I will vote Tory for the first time in my life. This Party will not even get the $2 from my vote until that man is gone.
I am starting to get a little tired of people claiming that the grassroots were somehow spited by the party brass. My question is where were the grassroots during the election? Is Dion's lack of support a problem amongst the party or elites, or did he fail to connect with the grassroots? To me it seems to be the latter.Also, could we please stop kidding ourselves that Mr. Dion was somehow the great candidate of the grassroots. He was the third place candidate who won because of who he was not, rather than who he was. Consensus candidates can be successful, but they can also fail to capture the support and motivations of the grassroots because they aren't really most people's first choice. This was the latter, in part, because he was unable to communicate effectively and connect.The great attack on the grassroots makes for such a tragic story...if only it were true.
Maybe you were in the wrong room in December 2006.What I saw was Dion winning the Leadership of the Party surrounded by hardworking grassroots supporters, while Rae and Ignatieff were surrounded by former cabinet ministers, by now former Members of Parliament and by the Party "establishment" (read deadwood).A few new Members of Parliament felt the beginning of the generational shift in power and they went with Dion.So I suggest that you continue to ignore the reality and continue spouting off about this alleged "compromise candidate" garbage.The grassroots won Dion the leadership and the brass never fully accepted it.While this issue has not been widely discussed, the Party had better come to terms with reality and start to make the changes that are needed to put us back on track and this doesn't mean a whole new round of Martin-like hostile riding takeovers and stacking the pronvincial offices and LPC with partisan hacks waiting for a handout. It means putting competent people in place the necessary energy and smarts to take this Party and transform it into a modern political machine capable of winning an election in the 21st Century!
No I assure you I was in the same room as all the other delegates on that day. What you have yet to explain is why it is Dion was not the clear choice of the grassroots when delegates were elected. He placed third on the first ballot. The grassroots showed more support for Rae and Ignatieff than Dion; that's indisputable as more had a greater plurality. It seems to me you are dismissing that group of voters.Dion set himself up as the compromise candidate, he was never going to win the first ballot. Again, we could engage in historical revisionism but I am not entirely sure what purpose that would serve. The grassroots did not win Dion the leadership, delegates chose Dion when their preferred candidates were defeated. There is quite a difference despite how you might try to shape this as an attack on the grassroots by some scary, shadowy group of party "brass". I would put forward the argument that the reason he didn't appear to be fully accepted by caucus, is because caucus members, who had already been through a tough election and had a better idea of what was needed to win, were worried that Dion did not have that.Remember though, it isn't the opinion of caucus that counts. Where were all these loyal, passionate grassroots supporters who spited the party brass and elected Dion? Judging by the popular vote, it looks as though they didn't show up. They did not donate, they did not campaign, they did not vote. If Dion was the candidate of the grassroots, why didn't they show up? Once again, consensus candidates are often everyone's second choice at best, and often a reluctant choice informed by a "no other option" argument (in Scott Brison's case, I think it was his fourth choice). Dion could not connect with the very grassroots you claim gave him the title; that can be a bit of a problem if you want to win.Now I will mostly agree with your last paragraph. The Liberal party needs a new leader, but a new leader will not save the party. This party is years behind in terms of ground organization, vote tracking, and grassroots fundraising. There are serious structural changes that are required, though I am not sure Mr. Dion, despite his noble desire to make them, has the moral authority to do so (which is rather unfortunate).
"No I assure you I was in the same room as all the other delegates on that day. What you have yet to explain is why it is Dion was not the clear choice of the grassroots when delegates were elected. He placed third on the first ballot. The grassroots showed more support for Rae and Ignatieff than Dion; that's indisputable as more had a greater plurality. It seems to me you are dismissing that group of voters."That's jsut about the dumbest thing I ever heard. Your logic in fact proves the grassroots chose Dion. Iggy and Rae had the biggest machines. They bought all the ridings going into the convention. Neither grew at the convention and the grassroots voted for Dion. It's really that simple. The other guys finished second and third. End of story. They lost. Conservative attack ad #1. Do you really want a leader that lost to Dion? As for where were all the grassroots Liberals? They were working the campaigns like they always do while the brass sat and watched the whole hing unfold very nicely for their candidates of choice, making sure their respective teams actively spoke out anonymouusly against the leader for the better part of two years. But that's life. Now we move on.
Listen Martiniter,I think you should really look carefully at what I said.When it comes to fundraising, the grassroots did show up. It was the establishment of the Party that sat on their hands and wallets because their respective candidates were still campaigning for the leadership. The truth will come out with the Election Canada campaign returns. Let see how many Rae and Iggy supporters donated to the Party.
How's this for grassroots? http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?Dion
Mala, given the limits to how much people can contribute, the fundraising problems the party had went far beyond the brass not contributing their ~$1,000. You also haven't explained why Dion couldn't connect with the Liberal base; we didn't get our worst share of the popular vote since 1867 for nothing. Traditional Liberal supporters simply didn't show up. If you go through the ridings and compare to recent elections, a shift to other parties doesn't tell the whole story. Liberals weren't motivated to vote and not all of those tens of thousands of traditional supporters are party brass.I think there's a bit of tunnel vision going on here. You're so focused at trying to find people in the party who "sabotaged" Dion, that you miss the fact that Canadians, particularly traditional Liberals, couldn't be bothered to show up to vote. We can blame the brass for that, but it seems to me that there is a failure to connect.
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