Monday, October 20, 2008

Good comments from Leblanc and Trudeau

With the election over, I’ve again returned to my sanity-saving habit of not watching shows such as Politics, Question Period and particularly Mike Duffy Live. I may still skim the transcripts though, and I liked these comments from Sunday’s Question Period by Liberal MPs Justin Trudeau and Dominic Leblanc.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Newly Elected Liberal in Papineau): I think a lot of people are jumping on the idea that we need to change leadership and that would suddenly fix everything. I think there's a lot of things broken within the Liberal party, there's a lot of rebuilding we have to do on party unity, on learning how to fundraise properly, on reaching out to our grass-roots and rebuilding an organization, and Mr. Dion is having a weekend of reflection right now to see whether he wants to be part of it, or how he wants to be part of it, and I'm all for leaving a man of integrity and honour and intelligence to decide what's best for him without pressuring him one way or another. I think the party's challenges are larger and more important than just leadership, and that's what we need to be focused on.

TRUDEAU: I think as far as ad scam and sponsorship, that's been completely put to the side. The challenge now is to rebuild the brand, rebuild ourselves into a competitive force on the ground as well, reach out to the values of Quebeckers that are so much more Liberal in so many ways than they are anything else, and strengthen the party from the ground up. That really needs to be the focus that we bring.

DOMINIC LEBLANC (Newly Elected Liberal in Beausejour): Well, Jane, it's probably a number of factors that were at play. There's no doubt that Mr. Harper's very negative campaign around the notion of the green shift, around the notion of taxing pollution and reducing income taxes created some havoc in terms of our ability to put forward what I thought was a positive message. It's not one factor. It's not just leadership. I agree with what Justin said, Jane. If the Liberal party is going to turn the page and look forward, there's no magic answer. We have to find a way to excite people about politics, to excite young people about politics, that they can make a difference, so it's a rebuilding exercise that doesn't start with just changing the siding on the house. We've got to go back to the basement and look at a number of factors, and that's what Mr. Dion is doing this weekend, and I think we should give him the time and the respect that he deserves to make that decision tomorrow.

LEBLANC: Jane, there's no simple answer. What I will tell you is that Liberals across the country, I think, are fed up, the Liberals I'm talking to, with us shooting at ourselves. We don't have enough ammunition to be firing on ourselves. If we want to behave like winners and act like winners we have to stop this sort of anonymous source or people questioning the leader every time something doesn't happen. It looks very amateur. Mr. Dion has deserved and earned the respect to make his decision. I will support whatever decision he announces tomorrow, and I think Liberals should do that. It's very premature to sort of do a
postmortem on the leadership. Let Mr. Dion have his say tomorrow. He's earned that. And I think the Liberal party then has to show more maturity than perhaps we have had in the last number of weeks.

And a reminder once again of why I dislike these shows, as gossip columnist Jane Taber keeps pressing them on Dion:
LEBLANC: I'm not going to discuss that today. Mr. Dion doesn't deserve that, and Liberals are tired of that kind of discussion until it's appropriate.

TABER: I'm not tired of it though…
Well as long as you’re entertained Jane, that’s clearly what’s important here.

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Anonymous said...

I thought these younger generation Liberals showed better leadership in that interview than we've seen from the old guard in a while.

Top Can said...

The old guard needs to step aside and let the young turks start taking on more prominent roles in the party.

Honestly, if I hear the old guard saying they're for change, I don't believe them for one second. The only change coming from the old guard in the Liberal Party is spare change, and that pretty much is no change at all.

Mark Richard Francis said...

Leblanc been around a bit and deftly handle the file dealing with the Harper v. LPC lawsuit.

He's well-spoken in both official languages, and intelligent.

We should keep an eye on him.

Red Tory said...

I would agree completely. That was an impressive performance by the two young gentlemen.

Too bad the "adults" in the party weren't as mature. Idiots.