CHANCES ARE IT WON’T BE A LEADER WHO LEADS THE LIBERALS

Listening to the growing list of those adding their names to possibly become the next captain of the S.S. Liberal, it is hard not to have a smile form across my lips. It seems that with every new name comes another opportunity for the Conservative Party to prosper.

Current defense critic Scott Brison has tossed his name into the ring. While some will say that he is an able candidate, he brings with him plenty of baggage; perhaps more than the allowable limit. It would be hard to forget the long list of betrayals and scandals of the last government. It would also be foolish for us not to recall that Mr. Brison was himself implicated in what appeared at the time to be insider trading.

It seems that Mr. Brison had emailed a friend to share what many to believe was proprietary information. While not actually spelling out the decision that Mr. Goodale was to make before he made the announcement, the response by Mr. Brison to questions about the email speaks volumes about the character of this contender.

Mr. Brison’s first instinct was to deny sending the email. Foolish when one considers that almost everything today leaves behind an electronic record, making it virtually impossible to deny the truth. When pressed, Mr. Brison stated that he had sent the email and stated that he had earlier denied the action because he was taken off guard by the question.

One can only assume that Mr. Brison would be a fine captain of the good ship Liberal, as he is apparently able to tell non-truths on the fly, and worries about the consequences of his actions more than the truth. Personally, I want a leader who immediately gravitates towards the truth.

Also on the Brison resume: interchangeable values, flip-flop, and dithering. Scott Brison was once a Conservative MP. Just three years ago he lost the bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party to current Foreign Affairs minister Peter MacKay. I find it incredible that somebody can run for the leadership of two opposing parties in such a short span.

Brison told supporters he was vying for the leadership of the Liberal party because he believes in Liberal values. “I would not be where I am today without a Liberal Canada shaped by Liberal values,” he said.“Liberal social investments helped to give me a good start.” I guess his bid for the leadership of and tenure within the Conservative ranks was simply a mistake. Not the kind of man to be steering a ship. One who held such Liberal values dear should have realized them for what they were long before now.

Next on our list is Michael Ignatieff. Mr. Ignatieff has been out of our country for some 25 years. One has to wonder what would convince an individual with such an absence that he is leadership material for our country. Frankly, that kind of absence rate would make him a good senator prospect. Mr. Ignatieff was recently a Harvard University professor dealing in human rights education.

Michael’s black eye can be credited to his writings south of the border where he has been in defense of the War in Iraq. While I don’t really have a problem with one’s opinions differing from mine, that is not the case for many liberal supporters. As we are all aware, the Liberal party’s ranks are filled with anti-Americanism and a disdain for George Bush so tangible one can taste it.

Add to that little anecdote the fact that Mr. Ignatieff was parachuted into the Etobicoke-Lakeshore riding against the very vocal objections of the local riding association and one can see trouble brewing. It seems that the only thing Mr. Ignatieff can offer the Liberals is more divisiveness, more concentrated power, and less grassroots.

Beside him stands Mr. Bob Rae who was once the premier of the province of Ontario. Ontarians who lived through his disastrous leadership will not likely be sending him to Ottawa.

During the Rae era in Ontario, Mr. Rae found it necessary to betray the labour movement, the very same movement that was the catalyst for his being elected. Upon assuming office, the NDP began to spend Ontario into insolvency. As a result, Bob found it necessary to force all government workers to stay home for 10 days a year on unpaid mandatory leave. Those were known as ‘Rae Days’. The move sparked massive demonstrations against his government.

By the time the NDP finished their short reign in Ontario, Bob and friends had decimated their party and had more than doubled the debt of Ontario. Put plainly, he and his mpp’s had spent more in the short time that they ran the province than all of the previous governments of Ontario combined had done. This disaster led to a record amount of bankruptcies to follow his term, and a tax burden on Ontario’s working class that was staggering.

On another front, working people became humiliated when it was noted that enormous increases in social spending meant that many people who simply refused to work were taking home more in a month than those who toiled to fuel our economy and pay our massive debt. The result was a demoralized workforce. Many stated that they could no longer afford to work.

As with other potential Liberal leaders, Bob was once the leader of another political party. It seems that there are many politicians who have values that are in tune with the voters of Canada and with which way the wind is blowing. When one can switch philosophies in a bid to attain power, that speaks volumes.

I pray that this man never sees the leadership of any party, let alone a federal one with the sure chance of one day running our country again.

Carolyn Bennett has also announced that she will be seeking the helm of the S.S. Liberal. While still in dry dock, she is convinced that the ship will one day once again rule the seas. Carolyn doesn’t bring with her near as much baggage as the other candidates, but she has left a somewhat puzzling voting record, particularly during the last parliament.

Bill C-215, introduced by Conservative MP Daryl Kramp, called for added jail time on top of the current penalties for certain crimes when accompanied by the use of a firearm. Firearm use would automatically have seen 5 years tacked on to a sentence, 10 years if the firearm was discharged, and 15 years for bodily harm caused by a firearm. With the Liberals in the thick of calls for a crackdown on gun use, Carolyn’s vote against it put her at odds with that call. In fact, she was one of 94 Liberals who voted no.

To their credit, 34 Liberals broke ranks to approve this legislation. Perhaps one of them would make a suitable leader.

Bill C-248, again introduced by a Conservative MP, would have seen minimum sentences handed down to those who deal drugs to our children while they are at school, a place where they spend up to half of their waking lives. The legislation would have targeted those who sold controlled substances within 500 metres of an elementary or high school. Again, two-thirds of the Liberal Party voted to adopt this legislation, but Carolyn found it necessary to go against her own party to vote against it. I cannot understand any elected official opposing such a bill.

What Canadians need are MP’s from all parties who will vote on legislation on its merits, not on the grounds that it wasn’t introduced by their own party members. MP’s of all stripes have much to add to our country, and Carolyn simply gives the impression that she will demand compliance and obedience from her MP’s should she become the next Liberal leader. She doesn’t seem to have our best interests in mind when she casts a vote.

While the current list of wannabe’s is shaping up to be a gift for Conservatives, I will once again state that I believe our country needs at least two viable federal parties, as power corrupts. That we have seen. It would be good for Canada as a nation if the Liberal Party were to elect a strong leader with strong morals. Only in that way will it be a strong party, and one that can assure that no other party has a free reign, as no party should. We have just gone through 13 years of that.

Only let’s hope that it doesn’t become too strong, eh?

(Please note that this story has been rewritten from its original form. Due to an oversight on the part of myself, the original story was deleted from the server without a backup yet having been made. The editor regrets the error.)