Musings —01.15.2012 11:35 AM—
Heading out of Ottawa, which this morning – like yesterday – was about a billion degrees below zero. And, Your Honour, I verily swear that this post was not written as I drove my VW back to TeeDot.
Here are some impressions of the weekend, which is worth what you pay for them:
1. It was a very, very successful convention. Though just a boring old policy convention, and though it was virtually impossible to travel to Ottawa in the Arctic-like temperatures, 3300 Liberals showed up. That is 2000 more delegates than the Official Opposition party had at their recent policy convention, and a 1000 more than the government’s party had at theirs. By any standard, that is a huge success.
2. After his speech on Friday night, many Liberals – from across the country – were asking if Dalton McGuinty could ever be persuaded to run for federal Liberal leader. I told them what I believe is the truth: he’s just been re-elected to a historic third term, and that’s the job he’s going to do. That said, I too was energized by his speech, which reminded me quite a bit of the speech given to the Democratic party convention in 2004 by a certain young senator from Illinois.
3. On the policy front, I was pleased (even though I am a republican) to see the resolution about severing ties to the monarchy sidelined. I was unhappy (as a democrat) about the ridiculous decision to empower just anybody to vote for the next Liberal leader. I foresee special interest groups (such as the homophobic, anti-choice groups which were very active in seizing control of riding associations in the 1990s) attempting to manipulate the situation to their advantage – and/or Conservatives and New Democrats flooding the leadership selection process to rally behind the weakest choice.
4. It was wonderful to see how many young Liberals were in attendance and active – as well as the large number of people who told me it was the first time they had ever attended a political convention. Its these people who will make the Liberal Party of Canada relevant again.
5. Contrary to what I predicted Sheila Copps didn’t win the presidency. Congratulations to Mike Crawley. Here’s hoping he learns from the mistakes of his predecessors Apps and LeDrew – and that he doesn’t interpret this as a license to bring back the bad old days of 2003-06.