Long before the leadership race was opened I wanted a strong female candidate to win. Not out of any affirmative action but because a woman would help show the differences between Liberals and the other parties. Liberals at the national level have never had a leader who wasn’t white and male. How can we say we are the party for minorities and women when we keep electing establishment candidates. As the leadership process started I was unsure and uneasy, by opening up the supporter category it seemed to go from leadership to popularity contest.
Once the field was set it really came down to two people for me, Martha Hall Findlay and Marc Garneau. Although Marc Garneau was another example of what Liberals have chosen before he came across as a leader. While I was struggling with which to put first on my ballot Marc Garneau made it easier for me by dropping from the race. The more I think about it he would have been second for me anyways. Jesse Helmer’s article sealed it.
Martha Hall Findlay was my first choice Sunday when I voted because of her experience both political and nonpolitical. I saw her engaging people who wouldn’t normally care about the Liberal party especially in a demographic I feel all parties are ignoring, young professional women. Having such an intelligent woman as leader not only offers something different to Canadian voters, she also offers a role model for young Canadians. Martha knows how to recover from defeats and pick herself up after them, this isn’t her first leadership bid but I hope she tries again if she doesn’t win this time. Would rather she wins now.
One main reason I voted Martha Hall Findlay is she understands a leader alone will not win an election. The increasingly cynical public don’t want vague generalities and value statements but concrete solutions to Canada’s problems. Martha has taken some unpopular stands, even going against party dogma. Agree or disagree in Canadian politics today it is certainly novel. As a policy wonk and a riding policy chair I am becoming disgruntled and disenchanted with a party that doesn’t want to prepare to offer Canadians alternative options.
Another reason I voted Martha is the rumblings of leadership change coming from the Conservative Party. The fact it seems Stephen Harper isn’t thwarting these rumblings may be a sign he is ready to head to a Washington think-tank. Out of all the candidates Martha has the best chance to beat Baird, McKay or Prentice, Prentice I believe will the toughest CPC leader to beat. Although maybe Martha could recruit him, just a thought.
Elections are discussed with military strategy terminology, an area I’m comfortable in. The NDP are developing their centre-left Maginot Line to cover their ideological base , while the Conservatives are strengthening their Hindenberg Line covering their ideological base. What the Liberal needs to do is abandon old, fixed positions and become the political equivalent of Blitz Krieg, become the manoeuvring party we once were, not to gain power but remain relevant. Adopting and improving the other parties sensible policy and pointing out the flaws in the ideological policies.
One last thought on Martha’s campaigning ability. When I saw her at Chaucer’s Pub I was already convinced she was the best choice for the Liberal Party’s future. As she was being ushered out the door she broke free and came over to introduce herself to me. That and her sense of humour convinced me to write a meagre cheque for her campaign, wish I could do more.
My second choice was for Karen McKinnon promotions may come up with the rations in the Canadian Forces but appointments to squadron leader do not.
Whom ever wins this leadership will have to work hard to include the other candidates and their support. Members of a couple of camps have been rather arrogant, dismissive and decidedly nasty in their dealings with people. The pettiness and fear-mongering I’ve noticed have made me question my involvement in the Liberal Party. Both the Trudeau camp and Murray camp need to stop acting like this and remember the party has been and hopefully will be around longer than your leadership hopeful. I like the passion just not the pitiful attacks and snarky self righteousness, it is costing us potential votes. Also, when a reporter asks you to back up your claims then provide the evidence.