Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Delightful Dismemberment of the Liberal Hopescape Part 3

Having dealt with Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae, I move on to my choice for Liberal leader: Dominic LeBlanc.

Dominic LeBlanc: Two years ago, I supported Gerard Kennedy for the leadership of the Liberal Party. I supported Mr. Kennedy because I believed that our party needed to change the way it did business. I believed that our party had gone stale. I still believe that today. We need to fundamentally change course. The voters sent us a message last month. We do not need a makeover, we need major surgery. We need a new generation of thinking, of leadership. I believe Dominic LeBlanc is the man for the job. I'll deal with the questions surrounding Mr. LeBlanc's candidacy and then elaborate on why I'm supporting him.

Critics of Mr. LeBlanc, will undoubtedly say that he is too young. This will undoubtedly be the line of attack taken by the Conservatives. However, Mr. LeBlanc is just eight years younger than Mr. Harper. More importantly he will be only four years younger than Mr. Harper was when he sought the highest office in the land in 2004. It is a simple and cheap argument to say that Mr. LeBlanc and Mr. Harper are basically the same age and that if Mr. Harper is qualified so is Mr. LeBlanc. The age requirement for the job is 35. Mr. LeBlanc is over 35. If you think he is too young, we should change the rules and up the age limit. Furthermore, he has experience. He has more parliamentary experience than Mr. Harper did in 2004 or Mr. Ignatieff does today. He has more experience on the government side of the aisle than either of his opponents do in Ottawa. If four years in the Senate is enough for Mr. Obama, than eight years in parliament should plenty for Mr. LeBlanc.

The Liberal Party needs to do something to change its image. It is seen by too many as a function of big city elites. It is seen as a party of Central Canada. What better way to change this image than to elect as leader a rural New Brunswicker. The MP for Beauséjour has the opportunity to fundamentally change the map. He has the ability to speak to all Canadians, something we have not been able to do in a long time. We can't be afraid to talk to someone because they don't live in a condominium.

I've had the opportunity to hear Mr. LeBlanc speak about why he's running this job. Mr. LeBlanc outlines some of his vision here. I was impressed by Mr. LeBlanc's frankness when discussing the problems of the Liberal Party. Mr. Rae and Mr. Ignatieff seem to believe that with a coat of paint and some elbow grease we can become what we once were. Mr. LeBlanc understands the depth of the challenge for this party. As I've said before, I think it will take more than a leader to fix the structural problems of the Liberal Party. However, I believe M. LeBlanc will be the person to point us in the right direction.

I also believe that he is electable. Mr. LeBlanc is the excellent of combination of experience and a blank slate. His eight years in parliament, including time as parliamentary secretary of foreign affairs, gives him the gravitas and depth of understanding necessary for the job. He also does not have open wounds for his opponents to pick at. He is a Francophone who did his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto and is as comfortable in English as he is in French. He has talked about bringing the party back to the centre. Back to where we can be elected. On the economy, I believe Mr. LeBlanc has an excellent understanding of the global nature of the economic challenge and of the global potential which Canada has. I believe he understands how to make this party competitive everwhere. I also believe thta he has the judgment and the intelligence to be Prime Minister.

There are those who will say that I am wasting time on Mr. LeBlanc, that he can't win. I am not so old and cynical to believe that you shouldn't fight for what you believe in just because the odds are long. We have just witnessed the election of an African-American President. I think this is the time for long odds. It is the time to stand by the courage of your convictions. I believe in Mr. LeBlanc and I will work for his election.


Anonymous said...

Although I'm working for a different candidate, I salute you and your candidate, and have to say that I would be proud to campaign for any of these 3 in an election.

Anonymous said...

We have three GREAT candidates.

All have the ability to be PM.

whopitulia said...

You've obviously put a great deal of thought into your choice and you make some very interesting points. I was also a supporter of GK and am looking at a choice between Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc. I'll likely be waiting to see their campaigns fleshed out and see how they perform at the debates before making a final determination. I don't think supporting Mr. LeBlanc is a waste of time at all. He's an intriguing candidate and things can change, delgates move before the convention so the outcome of this race is not preordained as far as I'm concerned.

Reid said...

I think LeBlanc is the best choice of the 3 to lead the Liberals. His youth is actually a pro and not a con. He doesn't carry the baggage of the other 2 candidates and it would be much more difficult for my side to mount a media campaign agains Dominic. And while he is a "legacy" Liberal, unlike Justin the Younger, the LeBlanc name isn't polarizing the way the Trudeau name is.

That said, as a Conservative, I have no doubt the Liberals will make the wrong choice again and pick either Bob or Iggy.

WesternGrit said...

"The Dominator" looks solid... Maybe we put him between the pipes?

Anonymous said...

As an Iggy supporter I disagree with your assesment of Michael. It is nice to read critisism that does not bring up the stupid torture stuff though. I do feel you are fair about Rae and I think your choice of Leblanc is certainly defensible. I have had the opportunity to talk to MI myself a bit and am personally comfortable that your fears are unfounded and will spend the next few months trying to convince you of that.
You will spend the next few months trying to convince me that Leblanc is the best choice and at the end we will go out and beat the crap out of the tories.
Good luck to you.

Andrea said...

I couldn't agree with you more Aaron. I had the honour of watching Dominic LeBlanc perform at his first leadership townhall/debate today. He exceeded expectations. He proved why he deserves to be a candidate, and the leader of the Liberal Party.

It IS time to stand by the courage of our convictions.

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