Thursday, November 6, 2008

*Wink, Wink*: Gerard Kennedy Unsure About Entering Liberal Leadership Race

In a recent letter to his supporters, Gerard Kennedy expresses his paralyzing uncertainty about whether or not he should run for the Liberal leadership. He just isn't sure, you see, since all he really cares about is party unity. I mean, don't get him wrong, he'd be willing to take one for the team and run if that's what everybody wants. After all, as he is quick to remind everybody in an early paragraph of the letter, he is the hero who stole a seat from the NDP (in an historically Liberal downtown Toronto riding) in the last election. Well, he's just going to have to mull it over.

A choice section from the letter:

I have really been moved by the dozens of emails and phone calls I've received about the leadership. My supporters have not heard a great deal from me since the convention because I felt it was critical to put all of our efforts into supporting the Leader.

Leadership is not our only challenge. It is vital to ensure that the upcoming leadership contest does not impair either party unity or our ability to function well for the Canadian public in these times of economic urgency. Only then will our party will be able to gain back the full trust of Canadians, and defeat Stephen Harper.

I believe we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

Who can connect with and speak for the middle class, particularly in smaller cities and towns across Canada and in large Western cities?

Who can make people, first Liberals and then all Canadians, believe that renewal of the party - openness, effectiveness, meaningful grassroots engagement - will actually take place?

Who can articulate a powerful vision for tomorrow's economy?

Who can position Liberals again as the party of progress – the `radical centre' that is able to define the Canadian consensus about new ways to move the country forward?

Gee. I wonder who Mr. Kennedy thinks satisfies all of those conditions. I bet he'll feel a bit more sure once his supporters - the only ones he sent the letter to - slap him on the back and remind him how great he is.

Good thing the Liberal Party isn't desperate to avoid a large, expensive, and divisive leadership race. Otherwise, he might just find himself kind of unpopular come the convention.

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