Monday, February 20, 2006

Brison is hitting the campaign trail

Unless I missed a memo Scott Brison hasn't declared himself a Liberal leadership candidate yet, but it looks like he'll be hitting the campaign trail in British Columbia Wednesday.

Sean Holman at Public Eye Online reports that B.C. Liberal power couple Mark Marrisen (Paul Martin's B.C. lieutenant/enforcer) and Christy Clark (former provincial deputy Premier) will be hosting a reception for Brison at their home Wednesday. The note makes clear the couple aren't endorsing Brison, and there will be more repceptions to come.

The leaked e-mail and more are here.

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IslandLiberal said...

The East Coast's man sizing up support on the West Coast.

JD said...

I'm starting to think that Brison has a good shot. I think that he would really "go after" Harper as I think that he "hates Harper's guts". I personally couldn't care less about his sexuality. We need someone who is willing to "kick some *ss".

Penny said...

I like Brison and e-mailed him some time ago to encourage him to run. He responded nicely.

So howcum I didn't get an invite to this shindig?? They must've left my name of the list by mistake, eh? Think I should just show up at Christy's place?

Thank goodness she isn't running - so far!

Anonymous said...

Yeah - Brison is okay.

I would rather see Christy Clark running than hosting coffee parties.

She would give some much needed energy to this race.

Scotian said...

I like Brison. I liked him back when he was a PCPCer, and thought if he won the leadership that the PCPC would have a really good chance of coming back strong. I think he could be a credible Liberal leader, the real question is more how well the Liberal party itself would feel about him. He is an unusual case unlike most floor crossers. He did not cross out of a party so much as the party itself crossed away from him leaving the Liberal party as best reflecting his political beliefs.

This makes him a rather potent symbol against the Harper led CPC, no question about that. The fact he is seen as a traitor by some within that party and its supporters would also have its uses in helping to expose the underbelly of anger/contempt to Canadians. He is even younger than Harper, making it difficult to paint the Libs as being led by tired old leadership. He is telegenic, and he does handle social interactions in public far better than Harper ever has or likely ever will.

I was hoping he would run for the leadership, even if he was unlikely to be able to win it. For better/worse I think the Liberals are going to be his home for the long term after all that has happened with the CPC and Brison. I also think his genuine political beliefs are best aligned with the spectrum the Liberals represent more than any other and that he would be a very useful long term asset for them. He also has run for a national leadership once before (granted it was the PCPC) and only lost because the victor signed a written contract he violated right after becoming leader. I think he may be very useful at shaping the next generation of Liberal policies and platforms and should not be dismissed because of his history but rather embraced because of it.

He is seen by all but the most partisan CPCers as having been a principled floor crosser and not one motivated by personal agenda/desires. He epitomizes the inherent centrist nature of the Liberals, he carries none of the scandal baggage from the Chretien years, and he is very capable. His one great lack as I see it is his French skills, which all things being equal is not all that much for negatives. It all depends on how the Liberal party internally feels about him as their leader, and that I honestly have no read on. I would hope they would not be blind to the talent he represents.

Anonymous said...

Brison would kick ass as Lib leader! He was the star performer in Question Period last year. Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

Christy and Mark are no longer a power couple. Christy, at least, is washed up.

I wonder if Brison could really pull it off. It does have me worried that Mark is putting money on Brison. Now everyone in BC is going to have to support Brison or else they'll be expelled from the party.

Marissen is the Big Brother of BC.

Manitoba Liberal said...

Scott Brison is also in Winnipeg this weekend and doing meet and greets with various former Martinites organizing on his behalf.

Is Brison the Martin's Western Teams new go to guy?

durable1 said...

Brison would have been a comfortable place to put my vote except for the fact this reception in BC is hosted by the wrong people. I would be happier if it was in the home of a neutral liberal, not that anyone in politics can truly be neutral.

Ah, well, I didn't get an invite to send my regrets!

A BCer in Toronto said...

I like a lot about Brison, my only nagging doubt is his precieved arrogance/anger. And I know he was a Progressive Conservative, but how progresive is he really? I think we need a centre-left leader, if Scott fits into that mold great but I don't know enough about him to say if he does or not. It would be cool to see a coaster in there though, even if it's not a west coaster.

Anonymous said...

The Liberal Party having a non-Ontario/Quebec leader would be a first in the history of the party.

Scotian said...


I live a couple of ridings away from Brison's, and have paid attention to him ever since he was first elected to Parliament. I also have spent a lot of time in the Annapolis Valley including the area his riding includes. He has a very good reputation around those that know him best, his constituents, and the area he represents has Acadia University in it which provides for a more socially progressive area than one might think just looking at it on a map using urban/rural comparison generalizations.

I met him once back when he was a PCPC MP, and he impressed me, and it is not easy for a politician to impress me as I literally grew up around them from the municipal to federal levels. I grant he has a healthy sense of self confidence, but that is hardly unusual in his business, especially for one that would be a party leader, and the last couple of years seem to have moderated it somewhat given all he has had to adapt to.

As a man I like him and respect him, as a politician I also respect him which is as I said not an easy task to succeed at. Sure, he makes the odd misstep and mistake, but that is human, I would be more worried if he did not. Generally though he has managed to keep his mistakes minimal and successfully represented his constituents so much that when he became a Liberal he did as well and then better than as a Conservative. They trust the man more than voting for the party, and when an opposition MP earns that kind of respect from their constituents that says something about just how responsive to them he has been. That strikes me as a good recommendation.

I don't endorse politicians lightly, and most of the ones I have met in person have disappointed me in some manner or another. This man was one of the few that did not. You can take that for whatever you feel it is worth, but I thought you might like the perspective of someone that lives close to his riding, met the man once, and has followed him since he appeared first in federal politics. The fact that a gay man was elected an MP as a PCPC was a significant political event, especially coming from Nova Scotia and the Valley. This is why I made it a point to keep an eye on him and how he did. The fact that I happen to like visiting the Valley regularly only aided in that pursuit.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I appreciate your thoughts Scotian, and as I said there is a lot I like about Brison. I hope he runs, and I get to learn more about him.