Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vote in the Leadership Poll

Vote here and see how a convention would turnout if we could have a say directly.


Vote in the Leadership Poll

Vote here and see how a convention would turnout if we could have a say directly.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Do we want to win the next election?

As we Liberals come towards delgate selection, we have to ask one simple question:


If the answer is NO - if we, as an aggregate party, feel that it is not time for us to take control again of this country then we have plenty of options for leader:

1. Michael Ignatieff - A brillant man with a strong following from the powers that be. But honestly, will this guy sell? I honestly don't believe so. I have met him personally at a house party - heard him talk about some unity spine stretching across the country, blah blah blah. I'm pursuing a PhD, and honestly would like nothing more than to see an academic in the PM's chair again, but this guy isn't it. He hasn't been in the game long enough - you've gotta get bruised and battered before you can play the politics game.

2. Bob Rae - Once again, a brillant, experienced man who will bring the party back to its progressive roots. But again, when the most populous province remembers what it was like to be ruled by this man - we have to say for pratical purposes that this guy can't become leader. If we want to win, we need 60-70 seats in Ontario at the minimum - will a riding like Ottawa West-Nepean, or Whity-Ajax give this guy a chance? I don't think so. We have to be able to win ridings in the suburbs and rural areas where we lost in 2006.

3. Gerrard Kennedy - A fresh face, policy oriented and good looking, but unknown - if he's elected leader, the party won't have time to get him out there. An election looms in the spring. That gives this federal rookie only four to six months to prepare - if we want to win, Kennedy isn't the choice. If we want to win five years down the road - then he's our man.

4. Brison, Bennett, Fry, Hall-Findlay, and Volpe - These candidates shouldn't be in the race. While I like what Bennett, Hall-Findaly and Brison have to say - practically says they can't win. Fry and Volpe just need to quit - they bring nothing but wasted time to this race.

BUT - if we want to win, then I think the options come down to two of the leadership candidates:


1. Dion - Honestly, I like this guy. He's a political scientist who knows what he's talking about. His focus on a sustainable economy, national unity and Kyoto is exactly what I'm looking to hear. But he's missing two things - the ability to contrast with Harper and the ability to attract crowds.

I've said it over and over, that to win the next election, the Liberals need someone who can stand on the stage with Harper and offer a completely different product. Dion is smart, but his accent is quite strong and I think Canadians will just tune him out.

2. Dryden - And so, we are left with good ole Kenny. Why can we win with Ken? Three simple reasons.

a. He has high name recognition and a strong reputation - People know who Ken is and once they hear him speak and set out his vision, they will see an honest, sincere politician not out there trying to simply win 40% of the vote, but a man who honestly believes that government can do good in this country and that 100% of Canadians can get behind his idea of what Canada can be.

b. He can raise money - The Liberals are desperately falling behind in the money chase. Ken is the only guy who can go into rural Canada and draw large crowds. While they may come out because of his sporting past, they'll stay to hear about his ideas. The key is getting people to listen and Ken is the only candidate who has the gift in this race.

c. He has the right policies - Ken contrasts clearly with Harper's visionor lack there of. His description of a "pinched, small" Conservative ideology is strong and I think it will resonate with Canadians if he is given a stage onto which to shout it out. Imagine what we could do if the people running Iggy's or Rae's campaign were running Ken's. Imagine putting Kinsella's strategic mind behind the image and voice of Dryden.

If we want to win - if we want to stop Harper's closedminded idea of Canada - then we have to select a leader who can lead us there.

Ken Dryden is the one - listen, watch and read - learn about the candidates and imagine them during a campaign. Once you do that, you'll understand that winning this time isn't really an option, it's a necessity and Ken's the candidate to do it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

John Ivison on Dryden in the NP

Dryden is very much in the game
Don't be surprised to find the former goalie coming up the middle
John Ivison
National Post

Conventional wisdom has it that Ken Dryden will never be leader of the Liberal party because he's too dull, too decent and can't speak French. At the same time as Gerard Kennedy's star went supernova, Mr. Dryden's appeared to fall to earth, as the hockey legend dithered over whether to run and his potential support ebbed away.

However, students of recent Canadian political history know that the conventional wisdom is an ass, with the predictive powers of the man from Decca Records who rejected the Beatles because "guitar music is on the way out."

At close quarters over a swordfish lunch, Mr. Dryden leaves the very distinct impression that here is a man who could be prime minister -- unlike all but two or three of the other contenders in the leadership race.

While he can get bogged down with lengthy and faintly ridiculous analogies of his world view, it should be remembered that if he wins, his opponent will be Stephen Harper, not Bill Clinton. This next election will not be about charisma, it will be about integrity, intelligence and the vision of Canada that most closely corresponds to that of its people.

The conventional wisdom also suggests that the Conservatives will cruise through the next election and that the Liberals best hope is still six or seven years hence, by which time Mr. Dryden will be eligible for a cheap bus pass. Unsurprisingly, this is not a consensus the man himself adheres to. The Liberals' negative tactics during the last election allowed Mr. Harper to portray himself as the only candidate offering a hopeful, positive vision for the future. Mr. Dryden has (and had) no time for these tactics and is likely to stress Canada needs to think big and fulfill its potential.

As one Liberal, who is not necessarily a Dryden supporter, put it: "In person, before a small group, he is passionate and totally without ego. His heartfelt stuff about students and early childhood goes down well with women. He looks right at you and never -- unlike Michael Ignatieff -- seems to be looking sideways at the next person he will have to greet. There is substance here -- his problem is how to get it out on television."

It would be a fair criticism to suggest there is more than a touch of Paul Martin about the former goalie. For one thing, he seems to have the same classic Liberal tendency of appreciating all sides of an argument, which is not a recipe for decision-making. For another, he doesn't think the Liberal party requires root and branch reform, which must be slightly worrying for his supporters.

But none of his rivals should mistake that soft-spoken, thoughtful demeanour for naivete or lack of competitive edge. His eyes tend to fire at the suggestion he is not cut out for the political game, prompting the observation that he has taken part in -- and won -- more competitions than the rest of the field combined.

He is also unconcerned about his level of support in Quebec, which makes sense when you consider he was the goaltender for the team that brought that hockey-mad province six Stanley Cups in the 1970s. Delegates attending the Montreal leadership convention in December will clearly have one eye on what will sell in a general election -- and Ken Dryden will sell in Quebec. Even if his French is less than fluent, Mr. Dryden's name is not just known in the province, it is revered.

All of which makes it surprising that Mr. Dryden is now well down the list of most pundits, with one blogger placing him in seventh place out of the 10 declared candidates. That ranking ignores the benefit of being a man who is not considered particularly offensive by anyone in the field. Even though he was a favourite of Paul Martin's, and identified very early on by the former prime minister as a potential successor, Mr. Dryden has avoided being linked too closely with any particular faction. If he survives the initial ballots, he is well positioned to come through the middle and become the consensus candidate.

Why Dryden is running...

Ken's announcement on Friday was excellent. He was able to get onto Hockey Night in Canada and clearly and consisely explain why he's running for leader.

For him, its not about destiny, not about something he can do - it's about something he wants to do; the next step in his lifelong commitment to making Canada a better place to live.

What I like most about Ken is his down-to-earth style - wanting to meet as many people as he can, listen to their thoughts and put those ideas into action. This method will contrast starkly with that of Stephen Harper who listens only to his advisors and shuts Canadians out of their own government.

We can to be part of the system, not removed - Harper still doesn't understand this. Ken does.


Saturday, April 29, 2006


Well - the moment we have all been waiting for. Ken Dryden is in the race.

Check out his website here.

He did very well on Canada AM, Mike Duffy and Politics with Newman. Many said he did better than expected - and I have to reason - I think more is yet to come.

Ken is it ladies and gentlemen - if the Liberals want to win - he's the man for the job.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kennedy jumps in; Dryden goes tomorrow

Well tomorrow it will finally happen. What this blog has been waiting for a long time. Ken Dryden will officially announce that he is in the race.

Today's Globe and Mail had a pretty good column by Lawrence Martin about Ken and his campaign. I have to admit, I am pretty pumped. Of all the candidates in this race - Ken has the most potential. He just has to take advantage of this.

Looking at the other candidates in the race thus fas - only Michael Ignatieff can possible match Ken's intellect and ability. Kennedy is a bore, Brison is not ready for show time and Rae (well enough said).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bill C-206: An Opportunity to Actual Improve Child Care in Canada

Some how I got a hold of a copy of Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (extension of benefit period for parental leave) today and realized that Paul Szabo, MP has created an excellent opportunity to get the Conservatives at their own game over childcare.

It's a two paragraph bill that will extend the parental leave period from one year to two years. In the era of child care debate - this bill is perfect.

The Conservatives argue that parents taking care of their children is best. I agree. The problem is that if a mother or father wants to stay home past the one year allowance, they will loose their job.

Research says that children develop best when reared by their parents up until at least the age of two. This bill makes it possible for a mother to stay home for a year (or two) or for the two parents to split up the duties without having to re-enter the job market in the future.

Passing such a bill (which will use the EI fund to pay for it - big surplus currently) will not only encourage Canadians to have children, but it will benefit children, and simultaneously open-up childcare spaces for parents who do not want to take two years off work with their children.

Therefore, the government can bring in their $1,200 baby bonus later - say from ages 2 until 6 and improve the number of available day care spaces out - because a large portion of the child population under 2 years of age will still be at home with one of their parents.

I think this is an interesting idea that can definitely obtain all party support if messaged correctly. More research is obviously needed to determine the real impact - but this Bill should be passed and the committee should follow through and examine its usefulness.

PS - the bill could be substantially improved to include part-time and contract employees in the parental leave legislation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Sorry for long vacation in posting - I've been waiting for things to gear up in the race.

Today - Bevilacqua announces, followed by Volpe and Brison over the next few days. All three will add to the race, but none are ready or able to lead the Liberals forward.

Apparently, Dryden is going to announce next week. This blog has been quite upset about the lack of attention paid to the Dryden campaign. Either his campaign is weak and unable to function in the era of the 24 hour news cycle and blogs, or the media isn't taking him seriously.

Either way, there has to be a better effort on the part of the Dryden team to increase the buzz about him.

Yes we know he needs speaking training. He's got to get his comments down to a few seconds instead of a few hours - but he's got so much potential. He could be the candidate that people rally around during the convention if it is done right.

My excitement for his candicacy has wavered as time has passed - others have been more impressive and aggressive - ie. Ignatieff and Kennedy. This shows passion and a desire to win.

Ken - we need you to step up and shake things up. Don't wait too long.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Doublespeak - Check it out

Totally off topic, check out this great site done by a couple of my buddies in Washington DC.

Doublespeak Show

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dryden's Journey to the East: Showing real leadership

Dryden got some good coverage on his trip to the NS Liberal AGM.

The NP writes a pretty positive story here.

"Oh, and I want to stress: Ken Dryden is no pygmie. Check out his quote in today's Post for evidence of that, in the story headline 'Federal Election Loss Good For Party, Dryden Tells Liberals.' (I've been saying that for a while, and have caught no end of shit for it.)" - Warren Kinsella

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ken is heading east

Yesterday on Mike Duffy Live, we learned that Ken Dryden has accepted an inviation to attend the NS Liberal Party convention in Halifax.

We're still routing for Ken to get into the race.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Opportunity to become a national leader

With the release of Alberta's position paper on healthcare yesterday, there is a unique opportunity for Ken to appear as a national leader and defender of our public healthcare system.

Hey, you can even use a goaltending analogy. Ken Dryden - Defending Canadian Healthcare! Don't let Ujjal take the lead Ken - you're the critic.

You can read Klein's latest attack on our national institutions here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Health Critic = Ken Dryden

Today, Bill Graham named Ken Dryden senior Health Critic for the Liberal caucus.

We applaud this choice and wish Ken the best of luck keeping the privatizers in check.

The whole list can be found here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Taking Stock of the Candidates Part 2

Draft Dryden releases its second analysis of potential Liberal leadership candidates - Scott Brison

Scott Brison

New generation - Brison represents a new generation of leaders. He's young, fresh and a change to the older leaders the parties have been electing.
Experience in leadership battles - Brison impressed a lot of people during his run for the leadership of the PC Party. He came 4th on the 2nd ballot, but missed 3rd bya few votes. Had he beat out Prentice, the Canadian political landscape could be very different than it is now.
Fiscal conservative - I'd put this down as both a pro and a con. He appeals to the blue grit bunch.
Name recognition - Relatively high name recognition with his press and attention during the Gomery inquiry.

Floor-crosser - Just like Belinda, Mr. Brison was once a full-fledged member of the PC Party. He said some nasty things about the Liberal party - he now wants to lead them???
Experience - Mr. Brison's experience is not too extensive and his ability to appeal to all regions is possibly lacking.
Language - clearly not fluent in Canada's second official language (French).
Electability - Brison suffers, unfortunately, from a possible inelectability factor. Despite his experience, charisma and policy knowledge, many wonder whether he can appeal to suburban and rural voters (key targets to retake 24 sussex drive).


Again, Mr. Brison will bring a lot to the leadership race. He will offer Liberal members a clear fiscal conservative agenda. Unfortunately, this vision is quite similar to that of Stephen Harper. The Liberals do not need Harper Light. They need a bold, contrasting progressive vision and unfortunately, Mr. Brison has shown he first doesn't believe in such a vision and second, isn't ready to carry the torch.

It's Worth The Fight

SES Research release another poll today showing the Liberals and Tories statistically tied nationally.

The first few weeks of the Harper government haven't been good. It appears that the Libs are not out of this.

SES got it right both in 2004 and 2006, so its the only poll I trust.

You can download the stat sheet here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Vote for Dryden

A new online poll here.

Let's get some attention.

Dryden Leads Potential Candidates in Ontario

SES Research has a new poll out today which shows Ken Dryden as the top choice among all Ontario voters to replace Paul Martin.

You can download the stat sheet here.

This only shows that Ken has to decide soon what he's planning on doing.

Canadians want you in the race Ken - let's get the party started!