Friday, March 26, 2010

A BCer in Montreal for Canada at 150

I'm heading downstairs shortly for a Travelodge breakfast and then it's down the street to check-in for day one of the Liberal policy thinkers' conference, Canada at 150, in Montreal.

Got in last night, went to the Canadiens game, and joined some fellow bloggers and some media folks for a drink. I walked by the convention centre on my way to the game and realized the last time I was there, and in this city, was the weekend why Stephane Dion won the Liberal leadership. It seems like a lot longer than three-and-a-half years ago. So much has changed, and yet so much is the same. Many of the challenges facing the party have nothing to do with the leader, and we're still trying to address them.

Skimming the media headlines this morning was interesting. A few weeks ago, the media declared the conference an inevitable failure before it has even began. Today I'm reading headlines that indicate either it's a waste of time, or it's a make or break last-stand for Michael Ignatieff. Such extremes.

And such drama. My expectations are considerably lower, although not has low as perhaps the party has been trying to set. This weekend isn't make-or-break, but it is important to have a wide-ranging, no-holds-barred discussion that pushes the traditional boundaries and generates some real ideas we can take into the next election, and -- more importantly -- beyond.

I want to hear more than the usual platitudes -- the children are our future -- and instead hear some big ideas, some critical thinking on the major issues of the day, and some thinking that goes beyond the next confidence vote or the next election.

I'll be blogging throughout the weekend, tweeting (@jeffjedras) and shooting some video as well, so stay tuned. And tune in to the Web cast to watch from home.

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CanadianSense said...

Best of luck at the conference and thank you for your viewpoint.

Off topic.

Send a photo from Reuben's. I need a fix.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jeff, I think you meant to write "no holds barred" unless you're also taking in a conference at the seminary.

Rick said...

Jeff, you are one of the bloggers I like to read most. You may be a committed Liberal (whereas I am currently hesitant Conservative), but you always seem fair and give intelligent insight.

I "love" (sarcasm on) the Torie attacks that this is a partisan conference - SHOCK! I don;t care if it is partisan, non-partisan, hyper-partisan or anything else in between - if it generates good ideas to make the country better - I am all for it.

To me right now, the Tories are my only option - even though I have a LOT of problems with them. I had high hopes for Ignatieff, and at least to date he has disappointed me. I am hoping that this conference gives the Liberals great new ideas that make sense for urban, suburban and rural Canada. if it gets them a good policy platform to form the next government, then I don;t care wh the guests are, who sponsored it, who stared it or anything else. I care about the results!

So good luck to all attendees this weekend - give us something to think about!

Lindsay Stewart said...

MoS wins internets!

"My expectations are considerably lower" Well at least the Libs will leave this meet-up with a new slogan.