As an ardent and early supporter of Stephane Dion (still first in my heart) you could argue I should be sympathetic to this line of argument from journalist turned Liberal staffer turned journalist again Mark Dunn, but actually I'm decidedly not.
Do we need renewal and change, and fresh blood? Absolutely. But while it may be of interest to Sun readers, I'm one Liberal who has no interest in revisiting who undermined whom three years ago or drawing-up an enemies list of undesirables to be purged from the ranks.
In fact, it's exactly that kind of mentality that has been one of our party's biggest problems over the years: we're unwilling to let go of past nonsense. Instead, we perpetuate a never-ending cycle revenge in which everyone always believes they're on the side of the angels.
It's not too hard to trace back. John Turner beats Chretien for the leadership; Turner's people feel Chretien undermines them so they go to work for Paul Martin to get revenge. Chretien beats Martin for the leadership, and Chretien's people feel Martin undermines him. You could probably trace it back to Laurier if you had the patience, but I think we've all forgotten how the war started. We just march off to the battlefield because that's what we do.
At some point, it has to stop. Some people were puzzled when I decided to support Michael Ignatieff in the last leadership race. They wondered how I could do that, as a Dion supporter, with what his people allegedly did to undermine Stephane. Well, for one thing, whatever his people did they certainly weren't alone. But more importantly, I'm going to make my decision based on the candidate, not his supporters. And building blacklists is neither helpful or productive. And it just continues a cycle of stupidity.
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This is a time for renewal, and it's a time for fresh faces. But who supported who in a leadership race, whether it was 1984 or 2006, shouldn't be a consideration. I want to see change at the top because of job performance, not tribal politics. We need to move past the desire to settle old scores and right old wrongs, real or imagined. Let's judge people on their ideas and performance, not their past affiliations.