01.23.2011 07:50 AM

In today’s Sun: Remembering Keith Davey

Aug. 4, 1984. That was the first time I can recall seeing Sen. Keith Davey up close. It was one of those hot, humid Ottawa Valley afternoons and, among other things, the Liberal Party of Canada was in a freefall, the campaign manager had quit, and things were rapidly going from bad to worse.

We – the majority government, the natural governing party – were going down the toilet. So Davey, ever the Grit optimist, agreed to step up. To try to save the unsaveable.

I, and a few dozen other Liberal national campaign staff, had gathered in a boardroom in our national headquarters in downtown Ottawa. We huddled there among the heat and the fax machines (such was modern campaign technology in 1984) and we waited.

Davey bounded into the room, well-attired, well-groomed and exuding energy. “I am a Liberal!” he said to us. “I was a Pierre Trudeau Liberal and now I’m a John Turner Liberal! And we are going to win this thing!”


  1. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    Mr. Davey’s unapologetic energy for being a Liberal is exactly what I’ve been talking about. The paper-bag syndrome: this is what the CPC has achieved over Liberals.

  2. James Curran says:

    You, my friend, are truly blessed to have known him and been that close to greatness!

  3. Steve T says:

    >”I don’t like your candidate,” I told Ian, “because I think he’s too conservative and he’s too pro-American.”

    **Sigh** And, once again, the anti-American undertone of Liberals rears its ugly head. I quite respect many of the Liberals’ viewpoints, and the fiscal management of the 1990s is hard to argue with, but this constant “if it is American then it is bad” thread just is such a turn-off. Get over it, Liberals. The U.S. is not going to invade, and there – gasp! – are some things that the U.S. does right. Just because a politician supports the U.S., or certain of its policies, does not mean they are any less Canadian.

    • Warren says:

      Take a pill. I love America and Americans. I lived there. I know the Pledge of Alleigance. Do you?

      • Steve T says:

        I do know the Pledge (I am a dual citizen, and lived in the U.S. as well), but my apologies nonetheless – I was grumpy on a Sunday morning. I atill have concerns with anti-Americanism, but didn’t mean to divert the attention from your article on Davey. A different discussion for a different time.

    • Mr. Chamberlain says:

      “gasp! ? are some things that the U.S. does right”

      Being solvent not being one of them… which I take as a symptom of and a sign that they really don’t do some important things well.

  4. why says:

    you can not win liberal if your intention is not wining country and people first

    • why says:

      What I mean some liberal in history proof stay longer than conservative in Canada worked as PM
      keep some one in power is only people and adjustability by facts and good intention
      intention and love for people interst is only glue stick to heart and can let you go when you made mistake
      every body know every human can do error but intention of job and real heart to do the job right is matter
      Harper now jump to big party with out of Canada party seat with billionar and forget regular people in town majority of people who can vot for PM are not celberity or king or business people are only ordinary people who look for real leader

  5. dennis says:

    Keith Davey understood the reason you have two ears and only one mouth is to listen twice as much as you speak. Thats why young
    people loved him. He made you feel every thought you had to improve Canada was important. Without Keith supporting me I never would have been elected.

  6. R says:


    The opposition has a majority of votes, yet is allowing these abuses.

    Why did they allow Stephen Harper a billion-dollar weekend photo-op at the G8 and G20 summits? The money could have provided housing for thousands of homeless people suffering and dying on the streets.

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