Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Leaders lead

With his big bag o’ metaphors having been depleted after some weeks testing the waters, taking the temperature, checking the pulse, and dipping his feet in the pool of a possible Liberal leadership bid, John Manley said no thanks to a leadership run today.

Manley’s decision not to run follows a similar decision earlier in the week by former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna, who also went through a lengthily “exploratory” process as well before deciding to pass.

While I respect each gentleman’s decision, and understand the importance of making sure you have the resources and support to make a viable bid before you jump in the race, I have to say that this sort of tepid “I don’t really feel like running but maybe you can convince me” sort of thing doesn’t really inspire me.

We like to mock politicians for their egos, but the fact is, to be a politician you need to have a certain amount of ego. Think about it, you’re saying that, of everyone on your riding, you’re the best person to represent it.

That goes doubly when you’re running to lead a party, and auditioning to potentially lead the country. You need to have the fire in your belly. You need to want it. You need to believe that you’re the best person, the only person, that can do the job. That you’re the one that can lead the country.

Now, there’s a line between ego and arrogance, and woe to those that cross it. But I don’t want a reluctant leader. I want someone that really wants it, deep down inside. Not someone interested in the pursuit of power for power’s sake. But someone with a vision, with ideas, someone who has a direction they want to take Canada in.

Leaders don't need to be cajoled. Leaders lead.

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3 comments:

The Rat said...

Leaders also know when the cause is hopeless. Do you think it coincidental that the heavyweights in the Liberal ranks are all taking a pass, leaving the field to an NDP reject and a "Canadian" who has lived most of his life outside Canada, and another ivory tower academic to boot? If there was a prize to win, Iggy and Rae would be kicked to the curb very quickly. That they haven't been should send a very powerful signal to the grass roots that things are worse than you think.

burlivespipe said...

Gawd, more of the same whinging from ratz and a-holes. The fact of the matter the calibre of candidates in the last leadership race was mighty impressive -- get back to me about the previous leadership races for either of the Ndpers and Alliance/CON catchers with a straight face, chum -- and Rae and Ignatieff remain fairly impressive despite rodents' sniggering.
I was disappointed that McKenna bowed out, but agree with you Jeff that there isn't any time for hemming and hawing here. There needs to be a hunger for the job. Also disappointed that neither men signalled that, while not interested in the leader's baton, will eagerly take a major role in helping build the party for the next election... People with the experience and presence of McKenna, Tobin and Manley bring plenty of things to the party, and it would be an asset to have them serve in any capacity.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Also disappointed that neither men signaled that, while not interested in the leader's baton, will eagerly take a major role in helping build the party for the next election...

I concur. I hope they will get involved. We need team players, people willing to help builf the party for the long haul. I'm more impressed by those that roll up their sleeves in the tough times than by those that are only around in the good times.