Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Trash-Talking a Leadership Candidate

A fellow Liblogger's endorsement of Bob Rae garnered some harsh criticism of the candidate. Since I've also heard these comments from other Liberals, I want to address them.

Bigcitylib says that when Rae stepped down as Ontario premier he "left this province a smoking wreck". What a lot of rot. We were in pretty terrible shape after the years of Mike Harris, who polarized the province, slashed civil servant jobs, decimated the health system, and shot Indians... that was a shameful and scary time for our province. When Bob left, we had a howlingly mad NDP base (unions especially) who heard a big Ka-CHING when he won and got pissed when he didn't give them everything they wanted. The province was not in bad shape. He brought in tons of great initiatives. (See my own Rae endorsement for some details on that.)

Krydor says a Rae leadership win would guarantee a conservative majority, with the Liberals losing seats especially in Toronto. I don't know what the polls are. Bob Rae is really unpopular with some members of the civil servant and teacher's unions and the NDP base essentially tossed him out of office, but he is respected by most of the people I know in southern Ontario and Toronto. Also, Rae is able to address this issue. He is no apologist (as another commenter on the site implied). Rae says that his time as premier proves that he can weather tough times. He says that during the recession he governed through (which, by the way, was the worst since the Great Depression), he maintained investment, saved numerous companies, and maintained and in some cases expanded social programs. I think he can make his case to Ontarians.

Louise is less inflammatory but describes Rae's election as Ontario premier as "sort of a fluke". It was unexpected for sure and he took advantage of voter disgruntlement about an early election call, but Rae won because of his powerful, charismatic campaign style. Watch him go sometime. He's got the intelligence, knowledge and persuasiveness of Bill Clinton without the credibility problem. He draws people in and fires them up. If it's a fluke, it's one he's pulled off over and over in his political career, and he can do it again.

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8 comments:

annie said...

I am not a Rae fan, I am from Ontario, but Bryan Mulroney made life miserable for him, He may have done a few things wrong, but Harris was the worst of all.

Anonymous said...

Though I have not endorsed anyone as yet, ur blog on B. Rae, was excelent, well put. But remember that their is some blogers who passes themselves as liberals, and are in reality harpos people trying to put decent and infighting in the ranks,,, after all look at who they have...not much to defend...

Anonymous said...

Not liking your candidate is not smearing. Saying he left the province a wreck is a matter of opinion.

gwilliamjr said...

With all the great candidates the Liberals could draw from, a Bob Rae led Liberal Party would be a gift from the heavens for Harper. Its alway funny to see how people view history, Rae did what he had to do to put the province back in order, and thats understandable, but, it was never his election platform...when Harris won his first majority the Province of Ontario was into debt to the tune of one million dollars an hour, the cuts he made were part of his election promises, cuts that had to be made, and thats understandable, yet both Rae and Harris are hated by half the population in Ontario, go figure. Ontario would reject Rae, its a bad move.

indievoter said...

Bob's a formidable politician. If he gets to the debates people will find that out.

Anonymous said...

Bob Rae stole part of seniors pensions....old people on disability.....we will never get that back.....and we will never vote for bob rae again....

Davenport Liberal said...

Bob was elected when the market was bad and he made some bad choices politically. When you think about it 2 Billion in cuts, 2 Billion in tax hikes and 2 Billion in social contract. Hey I loved two weeks at March Break but, He probably may have survived just with the mass firings instead of spreading the pain. Do I approve of what Harris did NO but it was difficult back then.

That being said he has only been a Liberal for less then two months and that concerns me. What happens if the Tories have a spell of bad luck will he run there.
Loyalty to a party is important because it shows that they will stay during the bad and the good.

And the mudsling and fake websites are not impressing me!!!!

John Murney said...

Thank you, Yappa Ding Ding. Bob was ABSOLUTELY smeared on my blog. The Ignatieff campaign is particularly viscious in smearing Rae.