Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tonight's post is irrelevant.

Gerard Kennedy is out.

So, explaining why I don't think he should be leader because he's from Toronto, has no Quebec organisation, isn't bilingual, and has won but a single federal election, but is probably a good choice the next time we have to find a leader (*cough*after Iggy blows it*cough*) is moot.


If it ends up being just Bob, Michael and Dominic, I'm going to need one HELL of a sales job to strongly support and get solidly behind any of them.

In fact, the more I look at this whole mess, the less I am motivated to anything for this party. They've done a craptastical job of mentoring and apprenticing the next generation of leaders, and I'm increasingly frustrated by the narrow view and the lack of vision some people are afflicted with.

This isn't about center/left or center/right. The environment isn't a left or right issue. This is about putting forward policies that empower people and work to the benefit of future generations.

Maybe it's the fact that I am sick and don't know why and I'm tired of that, but I am failing to see why anyone is in politics but for any other reason than consolidating power and trying to force feed 40% of the population a particular narrow world view.

And I'm REALLY getting sick of hearing about how Obama worked in the US.
This is Canada. We don't have or need an Obama. We need someone with a plan who can make the LPC relevant again in 3 to 5 years. We need a Howard Dean. Then we look for our Obama.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Liberal Leadership Convention - Pt. One in an Ongoing Series

First off, I would like to welcome every single one of my Liberal Prog. Bloggers and 308ers to Vancouver in late April. If you are planning on attending as a delegate or as an observer, please let me know because I would like to make sure I meet up with you while you are here. Mayhaps we could even strike an ad-hoc committee to do a detailed analysis of local wines and brews?

I waited until after the official announcement of the where and when of the leadership convention to comment on it. I am more than pleased that it is here in Vancouver, I've been invited to receptions by both Bob and Dom, but was unable to attend either.

I am tentatively supporting Mssr. LeBlanc, barring the arrival of a better candidate to the race and that Mssr. LeBlanc answers the email I sent his constituency office two weeks ago. I understand that things are busy for him, so I am willing to be patient, but it should not take more than three weeks to return an email.

I have been stunned by the "Audacity" of Lawrence Martin. (h/t The Diva Rachel) I am stunned because this opinion piece makes me wonder if Mr. Martin has ever *met* Mr. Ignatieff. If he had, he would not claim that he has anything close to charisma. Unless you think charm is speaking to people as if they are stupid imbeciles who can't recognize how great it is to be in presence of a man of his personal stature, then I guess you could call him charismatic.

Michael Ignatieff is "articulate and polished and suffers from no lack of erudition" but he possesses no gift for oratory. He possesses the tone, tenor and content of a history professor at an Ivy League university. I wonder how that happened?

He is not a "fresh face". He is four months older than my father, and at 62 he represents the generation past who's time is over. He will not be there to rebuild this party. His career arch cannot afford the next 3 to 5 years of being in opposition. And mostly, I see him as a US carpetbagger who hedged his bets to return to the country of his birth to be Prime Minister. He didn't sign up to be an opposition MP, and mark my words, if he becomes leader the LPC will suffer an even greater loss than the one suffered by Stephane Dion.

When that happens he will quit politics outright, move back to Harvard and try to gain some income to make up for the past few years of slumming it here in the Great White North.

I feel much the same way about Bob Rae as a candidate when it comes to age and experience, but I don't see him as an "Obama Figure" any more than I do Michael Ignatieff.

And before Scott Ross comes in here talking about the Greatest-ness of Gerard Kennedy, just stop.

I don't think he should be the leader either, but for very different reasons...
that I will share tomorrow.


On a completely different note: In honour of the approximately 113,300 Canadians who have died in foreign wars and during peacekeeping missions around the world

We Will Remember Them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Someone I thought I knew.

I’ve been an active participant in online communities since sometime around 2000/2001. I have made many friends (both online and IRL) over those 7-8 years and I’ve always managed to put an amount of cultural perspective on things. I grew up white and middle class in a small, backward, white, middle class neighbourhood in a small, backward, white, working class town in Canada. Many of the friends I have made online grew up in similar circumstances, but an equal amount grew up broke and poor in the US, UK and Canada. I understand that my experience of class and privilege is very different than some of my friends.

I have had an ongoing friendship with a man from Louisiana for a couple of years now. He lived in Germany when he was in the US Army and relocated himself to the Bay Area of California upon his discharge. After Hurricane Rita, he returned to western Louisiana to be closer to his family and to help them rebuild their lives and to rebuild his own after some devastating losses in California. He was (and I imagine still thinks he is) an anomaly in western Louisiana; a white, liberal Democrat living in a rural parish.

He sent me an email saying that after watching “Bowling for Columbine” he was going to get rid of some of his weaponry. We talked on the phone about how to make health care work for Americans. We brainstormed about immigration reform.

I should have known that all was not right with him when he responded to my firm statement about being a feminist with, "Aw darlin’, you don’t want to mix yourself up with those people." I stated that I was "one of those people" and if he knew and liked me then he had mixed himself up with "those people". He changed the subject.

Then Barack Obama ran for the Democratic nominee for president. He voted for Hillary. When she didn’t win the primaries, he announced to me that he was voting for McCain.

Because no black man should have power over the white race.

Stunned, I listened to him go off about how he knew that he wasn’t evil but his wife was going to work for slave reparations and the good southern white folk, who had nothing to do with slavery would be forced from their lands while the *n***ers* get their forty acres and a mule.

It was like I had been slapped in the face as he went on about the *uppity black women* he worked with thought that they were better than him now. I had to get him off the phone. I could not believe that he actually thought these things. I didn’t speak to him for a very long while.

I logged into yahoo messenger to see if there was an offline from a friend in England. Instead there was a hateful message from my friend in Louisiana telling me that he was disgusted that I, a foreigner, would meddle and interfere in the election of HIS country by trying to get someone who would destroy America elected.
I went over to Facebook and there was a message from him there as well telling me to stop posting things about Obama because I was disrespecting his voting choice. I had sent all my FB friends in the US a reminder to vote the day before. The application was through the Obama feature, but I had set it up so that it would just remind people to vote in a non-partisan way.

I told him that if he had a problem with me reminding him to vote and with me taking an interest in the administration of the country I will probably live in one day that was his problem, not mine and he knew what to do with his problem. He sent a reply back about how I know him well enough to know that he votes in every election so my reminder was somehow insulting, and he didn’t understand what I meant by "knowing what to do".

This person was my friend for a couple of years. This election brought out a side and a belief system that I can acknowledge exists but never accept in my life.

I told him that he had been insulting and ignorant and had revealed himself to be someone I did not and could not want in my life.

As much as the 2008 Presidential election has brought out the finest qualities and traits of the American people, I had no idea that the worst and the ugliest would hit so close to home.