Saturday, November 01, 2008

We need a leader committed to doing some heavy-lifting

The blogs have already been all over Frank McKenna's (latest) decision not to seek the Liberal leadership. So, Liberal Messiah Search 2009 continues. I wanted to touch on his reasoning though, which seemed to go largely unexamined:

Rebuilding the federal Liberals and restoring the party to a majority government will take more time than he's ready to give, Frank McKenna said Tuesday.

The 60-year-old former New Brunswick premier formally ruled himself out of the leadership race to replace Stephen Dion.

``The challenge of winning the leadership, restoring the health of the Liberal party and returning a Liberal majority government requires a longer time commitment than I am prepared to make,'' McKenna said in a news release.

It's true, getting back into government is a long-term project. I give him credit for recognizing that fixing the Liberal Party is no short-term project, even for him. And if Frank isn't able or willing to make the commitment needed to that project, then he made the right choice in bowing out.

Whomever does run, and wins, needs to be in this thing for the long-haul, and needs to be willing to make that commitment. And frankly, we as Liberal Party members, as well as the caucus and the anonymous seniors, need to recognize that this is going to be a long-term project.

It won't happen overnight. It won't be fixed in one election. We need a leader committed to the long-term, and we need to give that leader our support and help, and the time to get it done.

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CfSR said...

And the party needs a candidate who knows something about:

a) recruiting candidates
b) building the party
c) raising money
d) selling memberships
e) opposing arrogant governments
f) knowing when their staff/organizers are full of shit

With Frank out, there is really only one possible candidate qualifed to do so.

That he is qualified to be PM is a big bonusé

WesternGrit said...

Good points Jeff. I would add that we need to ensure we commit to the "heavy lifting" even IF we win. There is a very real possibility that we win the next election, when Canadians express their collective desire to be pulled out of the current economic turmoil. Sure Harper is going to try to be as "Liberal-like" as possible, and maybe even "Paul Marin-esque" in his attempts to fix things (don't know if that's possible with Flaherty there).

Even winning the next election, we need to ensure we stick to our organization building process. We need to fix the mechanics of membership, fund-raising, recruitment, etc. Even in office, we'll need to continue to address this.