Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dionistas for Bob Rae

A Call to Arms.

In recent weeks, it has been no secret that I was in favour of defending our Leader, Stephane Dion to remain as our leader. I took a trip to Stornoway to express my thoughts to the leader. Many of you were there in spirit. Some of you appeared in person and played some road hockey with us. Some of you even donated to the leader's leadership debt. To all of you, I say thank you.

It was clear by the following day that Mr. Dion was not going to try and defend. What then? What of the team we had assembled to defend? Where would we go, and who would we support. Weeks of agonizing decisions ensued.

Many of you were (and still are) looking for a viable third option to the Iggy/Rae sequel. Manley, McKenna, Cauchon, McGuinty dropped off like flies hit by Raid. GK deliberated for a while and decided he could be more effective staying out. A wise choice in my humble opinion.

So we are stuck with the dogs that hunt. Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic Leblanc. Knowing this, where to? How do we get there from here?

For me, I had to try and put myself into the Conservative war room in a hypothetical scenario of Mr. X vs. Mr. Harper. I had to determine who was less likely to be framed by the Conservatives in a negative way and who would be strong enough to defend himself in the event that he is. In order to do this, I had to rip the candidates apart and analyze all of the negatives that could be exploited by the Conservatives.

It was a painstaking task made even more difficult by the fact that I consider myself a friend of two of the three men on personal levels and outside of politics. By friend, perhaps I mean access to. The added pressure of many friends moving to this camp or that camp made the task even more daunting. Men and women I have great respect for heading this way and that, here and there. Raucus debates sometimes ensued and some friendships have even been strained.

I watched as top Dionista and master of leadership 2006, Mark Marissen, walked to Team Ignatieff along with master bloggers Warren Kinsella and Jason Cherniak. Friends all.

I looked on as Gerard Kennedy's youth such as Jason Easton and Janice Nicholson took a stroll over to Dominic Leblanc's camp and breathed life and energy into it.

I've seen members of Team Dryden split to Leblanc and Bob Rae's camp.

I observed the mad rush of caucus members scurrying to the frontrunner's camp. No surprises really. Numbers of them never really stopped campaigning after leadership 2006.

What did all this movement mean? How the heck is this renewal? If it is renewal, which, if any, of my friends is right? Throw in the fact that I did an online poll whereby 53% of the respondents said "NONE OF THE ABOVE". Whack! What a headache!

In addition, I had to look at someone that could raise money (hint: if you already raised millions & paid off your debts you had the inside track), renew the Liberal family, increase membership and support of one member, one vote in so doing and, most of all, be a respected leader in this country and throughout the world so as to bring Canada back to its rightful place on the world stage. In other words, I wasn't looking for a wordsmith. I was looking for a statesman.

In the end, I've come to the conclusion that I will choose to support for leader the man I feel I can defend best against the Conservative attack ads and has more upside than the other contenders. A man that I think only - albeit a huge one - has one major political fault.

I laugh when I hear and read people offering up their candidate as "The Next Prime Minister". People! We need to select a leader FIRST. Then we can talk about an election. Then we can talk about a future Prime Minister.

In that spirit, we need a seasoned, battle ready, proven winner with experience in LEADING to fight Stephen Harper, who IS now a seasoned, battle ready, proven winner with experience in LEADING. Now is not the time for more experimentation of unknown unknowns and wild cards. It's the time for a serious, experienced supervisor in the giant sandbox.


His name is BOB RAE, and I will be supporting him to the best of my ability.

I am urging my fellow Dionistas and my fellow Liberals to follow me in this decision.


Francesco said...

Are you sure you are not drinking a little to much kool-aid? :-) (james you did throw that in my face and that is only fair i say the same)

also i think i would have to charactize WK as much more than a master blogger, i knew better i think you just slighted him ??

Blues Clair said...

Impressive leadership launch by Rae. For folks who might disagree, watch CTV's Graham Richardson.

Anonymous said...

Whew, much relief that Iggy didn't get you. Congratulations on your choice. Looking forward to your future postings in light of this big decision.

roblaw said...


It was the my Conservative endorsement of Michael Ignatieff, wasn't it?

James Curran said...

That was it Rob. When all the Conservatives want one person to run, you gotta ask yourself why.

roblaw said...

LOL.. well, now that I think about it, that Bob Rae is a helluva nice fellow..

A BCer in Toronto said...

When all the Conservatives want one person to run, you gotta ask yourself why

Or is that just what they want you to think? They're crafty, those chess playing Conservatives. Layers within layers... :)

While he's not my choice of course, Bob is a fine choice Jim. Good luck to him, you, and us all.

James Curran said...

Checkers yes. Chess?

No offense meant Rob.

lyrical said...

Et tu, JC?

The face that launched 14,000 facebook friends:

He's wearing the blue ribbon for National Child Day to honour the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child. This year's theme is "The Right to Protection from Sexual Exploitation." How many people knew that?

James Curran said...

I don't understand your question. Are you accusing me of disloyalty to the leader? You're kidding right?

And, I'm cetain many know the reason for the ribbon.

Bill Templeman said...

Bravo James. You have written as impressive a justification for Bob Rae as Kinsella did for Ignatieff. Well-reasoned. I support your decision, in the main because whoever winds up running for Prime Minister must be someone who is knows organizational dynamics and getting things done in the public sector. Rae has been there. Ignatieff has not. And now is no time for experimenting. The Conservative War Room would do real damage to Ignatieff on those issues. And no one, after watching Rae present his findings at the Air India Inquiry, can say that this man is not totally committed to the public good rather than the ruthless expansion of his own ego.

James Curran said...

Well said Bill.

roblaw said...

No offence.. hey, at least I can share thoughts here.. Warren K. banned me. And on the day I officially endorsed Michael Ignatieff.. hmm.. maybe that was why..

Knight to Queen's bishop 3.. lol..

Eugene Forsey Liberal said...

You make some good points. Unless there's a surprise entry, it's between Rae & Leblanc for me, obviously. The more debates, the better, to let all Liberals and the public have a look-see. Now, tous ensemble: ABI.

The Mound of Sound said...

James, I like Rae well enough but how will he fare in your home province? What we hear on the left coast is that the Rae brand is poison in Ontario from his days as premier. What's your take on that?



James Curran said...

Take the biggest recession (read depression) in Canada since the 30's. Throw in the most unpopular tax in the history of Canada, the GST, add the NAFTA negotiations and Meech Lake and, voila, the worst conditions ever for anyone to govern.

How will the Conservatives attack Bob's only weekness, the deficit, whilst they are about to run a $14 billion deficit across the country? Just sayin'