Winston Churchill said to the House of Commons in November of 1936.
There is a long way to go in this race. But the question needs to be asked: "What is a leader?". Both of the front runners are unquestionably fine men. They are the opposite of an empty coat. They are men of the highest integrity. Excellent debaters. Intelligent in the extreme. They have the best interests of Canada at heart. At any time throughout most of Canada's history, we would be fortunate to be able to call either of them Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. But the same is true of Stephane Dion.
We are in a period unlike most of Canada's history. We are facing an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes. The current occupant of the PMO is a coward who is willing to rip the country apart to save his grasp on power. A cunning one but a coward nonetheless. In addition to this, he is openly plotting to turn Canada into what would essentially be a one party state by destroying his oppenents.
Given the current travails of country and party, I will be much happier to see a person who recognizes the danger and is willing to step up and be counted than one who waits to see how things triangulate. The Liberal leadership is not such a great prize right now. There is no point in strategizing for a run-up to a May convention if Harper is going to contrive an election in March.
Compare and contrast.
Mr. Rae, the Toronto Centre MP and Liberal leadership candidate, began staking out his territory Thursday as the champion of a coalition government aimed at taking down Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“He's going to carry the can,” said one of his chief strategists. “He's going to stand up and let his voice be heard and encourage Liberals to hang in and we can take down Harper and put in a good government that will do the right thing.”"Meanwhile, Mr. Rae left no doubt where he stood on the coalition concept. In a remarkable intervention during a raucous closed-door caucus meeting Thursday, Mr. Rae interrupted Mr. Dion, taking him on for being too conciliatory toward Mr. Harper."
Ignatieff:"Michael Ignatieff, Mr. Rae's main rival for the leadership and his former best friend, was not as aggressive in his approach, telling reporters that Liberals will be “thinking hard” and “responsibly” until the Harper Conservatives deliver their budget on Jan. 27."
"On Thursday, there was a hint of Mr. Ignatieff's hesitancy after it became known he was the very last Liberal to sign a letter endorsing the coalition, which was sent to the Governor-General before her meeting with Mr. Harper."
"Thinking hard"? You have got to be kidding. Dion tried debateing Harper respectfully and look what happened to him. The Conservatives are about to unleash pre-writ advertizing that will make Not-a-leader look like the trial run it was. Dion didn't think this kind of sleaze would have traction with the electorate. To his disappointment he was very wrong. He should have fought back against it right away. Dion's approval went up when he was combative. Like Rae is doing with his defense of the Coalition. Harper has been successful in his efforts to frame this so far.
Yes there are risks in backing the coalition. Yes Mr. Rae has baggage. But everyone does. And while I give Mr. Ignatieff high marks fro his honest contrition on his Iraq mistakes I can't conceive of a worse time for a "patrician" leader. We are entering into a battle for Canada. The time for half measures has passed.
This isn't a full endorsement of Mr. Rae but I guess you can decide which way I am leaning.Recommend this Post