Thursday, March 09, 2006

Belinda's going to do it

Reader Cat sent this bit of information. I am still trying to decide where this goes. Belinda Stronach says she's not committed yet but seriously considering a run for the Liberal leadership.

Stronach said she'd like to be part of renewing the Liberal party, adding a strong race with several candidates would be part of that process.
I have mixed feelings about Stronach. On one hand she seems competent enough to hold a leadership position. On the other hand I don't view her as capable of pulling together the Liberal party, particularly the deeply rooted liberals, into a unified body.

Let's play Dr. Phil for a moment.

Stronach says: she hasn't made up her mind yet but is seriously considering a bid for the party's top job.
Drop everything before the word "but" since in any sentence everything appearing before the word "but" is irrelevant; everything appearing after it expresses the true feelings of the speaker. So, she's seriously considering a bid for the leadership and her mind is made up.

She said she's pleased with the feedback she's received so far, but she'll have to weigh the support she has among her fellow MPs, party faithful and the public.
Again, drop all before "but". She doesn't know where she stands and the feelers are just starting now.

Her candidacy got a big boost last week when former Liberal cabinet minister Reg Alcock lined up behind her.
That's big, but is it big enough? There is another wing of the Liberal party which fought Martin's play for the leadership. They have their own choices, although they seem to have dropped off the radar for the time being. Nothing means one of them won't resurface. If Stronach has an advantage it is that she does not represent the old Liberal guard and past scandals cannot be pinned on her in any way.

Stronach has had leadership aspirations since her unsuccessful bid two years ago to lead the Conservatives. Last May, she shocked politicos of all stripes by crossing the floor to sit as a Liberal cabinet minister.
That's what niggles at me. It looks less like a principled run for the leadership for something she believes in and more of a run for a position of leadership - period. Any party will do. She is, after all, a turncoat. I will quote Phil McGraw here: "If they'll do it with you; they'll do it to you."

Now, McGraw is referring to marital infidelity, but if Stronach believed so strongly in the tenets of the Conservative Party of Canada, enough to make a run for the leadership, how does she come to believe in the Liberal philosophy? Her walk across the floor smacked of opportunism, regardless of any other motivation she may elucidate. She must have been aware of the fact that the new Conservative party was not the Progressive Conservative Party of the past. Yet she ran for the leadership believing she could command a hard-right, socially conservative crowd of reformers.

It would be interesting to see how she campaigns. Liberals, however, should remain aware that she brings the baggage of a defection and she needs to clearly detail her reasons for leaving the Conservatives and what makes the Liberal party so attractive to her - and then Liberals have to hold her to it.

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