Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Akaash Maharaj endorses Stephane

In case you missed it the other day Akaash Maharaj, former LPC policy chair, and very nearly the LPC president in 2003, has endorsed Stephane Dion. Follows his letter explaining why:


Dear Colleagues,

I hope this note finds you well, and looking forward to the Liberal Party of Canada’s leadership convention in Montreal this week.

As you know, this is the first federal Liberal leadership election in more than a generation whose outcome is genuinely uncertain. As a result, whether we vote at the convention as direct attendees, guide our ridings’ delegates as grassroots Liberals, or shape the context of the election as informed Canadians, the choices we make this week will have a decisive impact on the future of Canada.

I am writing to let you know why I have chosen to support Stéphane Dion.

Throughout his decades of public service, Stéphane has consistently displayed political courage, loyalty to the national interest, and irreproachable personal integrity.

As author of the Clarity Act and as our party’s most unwavering proponent of the Kyoto Protocol, Stéphane has always displayed the courage of genuinely Liberal convictions. While others shrank from the debate, he lived the creed that government must stand prepared to do what is right not in spite of the difficulty, but precisely because of the difficulty.

During the arduous transition between the Chrétien and Martin leaderships, Stéphane was as steadfast a beacon for party unity as he has been for national unity. He understood that a principled political party must remain bound together through loyalty to a shared set of ideas and ideals, and must be more than just the vehicle for the ambitions of any one person.

Above all else, throughout his public and professional life, Stéphane has been recognised by friend and foe alike as a person of the highest ethical standing. For a party whose adversaries have so traduced us over scandals real and manufactured, we can only hope to re-earn the confidence of Canadians if we choose a leader whose entire record speaks to the nobility of public service.

Irrespective of the outcome of the leadership election, Stéphane will work towards an open and inclusive Liberal Party: one that will value the contributions of all leadership candidates and their teams, one that will draw Liberals together after the convention, and one that will present itself to Canadians as worthy and able to govern Canada.

Stéphane Dion is the Prime Minister Canada deserves and the leader the Liberal Party needs. I hope you will join me in making both a reality.

With best wishes,


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Anonymous said...

Nice endorsement for Dion, but "decades" of public services. Ah, he's only been in politics for 10 years and in my calculations that is only one decade.

I am for Ignatieff, but if he doesn't I'd go for Dion, although I'm not confident he'd win over Harper. Kennedy isn't for lack of a better term "worldy enough" and Rae is a joke. If Rae wins, I'm voting Green next time.

And, I'll be glad when it's over because if I see another picture of Dion's dog Kyoto, I'll scream. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

Goodale is supporting Rae - huh? I have to ask why when Rae gets an endorsement it's always come forth in a press conference - is he copying the Harper strategy of show and tell?

I can only think that perhaps Goodale is trying to damage some votes in Sask towards the NDP. Sask is NDP country.

Bailey said...

I actually thought that Akaash Maharaj endorsed Dion a few months ago.

Anyways, it's a good catch. I've always enjoyed hearing what he has to say.

Jeff said...

On the decades thing, I think public service means more than just being in politics so that's probably the explanation there.

Goodale to Rae, yeah, that's a shocker, but so was Maurizio and Carolyn. Winability. Bob looks like a winner.

Bailey, I think the Akkash endorsement was announced last week but I think the letter was just released today. Just popped into my inbox this morning.

Anonymous said...

I support Dion, but boy-oh-boy does anyone remember that email Akaash sent after he lost in Toronto?

There's a lesson here: never push "send" after a few rum and cokes.

Jeff said...

Anon, I don't recall that e-mail, but while I wasn't at the Toronto convention I did hear stories form friends that were there, so I can imagine why he'd be pretty pissed.

Your point is right though, don't drink and e-mail, or drink and blog. I shall try to keep the drunken blogging this week to a minimum.

Anonymous said...

I dug out my copy of the letter Akaash sent after the presidential race in Toronto (there's a copy at his web site too). It doesn't seem like much a drunken rant. Hell, if I could write that well after I'd had a few, I'd chose to be permanently pissed!

* * *

Dear Mark,

I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying this week of high drama in Canadian politics. I just wanted to send you a few lines, to close my campaign for the presidency of the Liberal Party of
Canada, which culminated at the recent leadership convention.

The presidential election was excruciatingly close, with the vote count delaying the end of the convention by more than an hour. Ultimately, however, I did not prevail.

I should like to offer the other candidates, Greg Ashley and Mike Eizenga, my congratulations. Greg conducted himself with absolute honour throughout the convention, and I hope we will soon see him in the Commons. Mike ran a very professional realpolitik campaign, and I offer him every assistance in taking the Party forward as the new president.

The election results only deepen my gratitude to my supporters across Canada. I am keenly aware that it takes courage to be an idealist in a cynical world, to stand up for what is right rather than yield before the powerful. Accordingly, I feel a greater debt than I could possibly express to all those who were willing to endorse my ideas and ideals. It will always be part of my life's work to justify the faith every one of my supporters.

I am especially proud of my national campaign team, and of our having run a campaign of integrity and idealism, appealing to the higher virtues of liberalism and the nobility of public service.
Certainly, there are those who argued that this was not the right time for the politics of conscience to displace the politics of ambition. But I remain steadfast in my conviction that it is always the right time to do the right thing.

I do hope that I will be able to remain involved in the Liberal Party, to continue upholding the vision of the future I offered in my campaign. The election reaffirmed my belief that we must find the courage to grow the Liberal Party, to embrace the new Canada and live up to our democratic creed. And if history has but one lesson, it is that the future catches up to us all.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunity you have given to me to serve our Party and our country as National Policy Chair over the past six years, and as a presidential candidate over the last two years.

Whatever comes next, I look forward to continuing to share with you in the building a nation whose best is yet to come.

With best wishes,


To hear the convention speech, please visit:
< http://www.maharaj.ca/newsflash7.html >

To read national press coverage of the campaign, please visit:
< http://www.maharaj.ca/roundup.html >

To watch television coverage of the race, please visit:
< http://www.maharaj.ca/television.html >

Anonymous said...

It wasn't that email from Akaash. There was a different one sent to another mailing list. It didn't start with a salutation to a specific individual. I wish I had kept it.

Anonymous said...

That's strange. I've been on his mailing list forever, and I don't remember any other email fitting your description - I also got the one above. Anyway, his emails go out to so many gazillions -where did he get his list anyway, and how did I end up on it, I even get them on my cellphone? - that there are always copies hanging around the internet, on blogs, discussion groups, websites, etc. If he did send out some kind of "oh boy" email, you'd think you could Google it, especially since it'd be commented on by people. Maybe you had one too many rum and cokes before you read the note above :-)?! Anyway, post it here if there is anything to post -- I'd love to see it. I'm guessing lots of people will be writing lots of blisterers after this convention!!!