Author: Carl Bainbridge
Mike Murphy talked on Saturday about his Bid for the Liberal leadership Personally I think this is one of two choices that have any chance of reviving the liberals in this province with the other being Kelly Lamrock. Both of these individuals had issues with the NB Power deal though they chose differing ways of dealing with it.
The only other person I think that would be a strong option would be Stuart Jamison. Here in the above article Murphy did discuss his actions and basically indicated that the political fallout damaged his credibility. In this particular case I believe Mr Murphy to be completely wrong. Jamison’s actions may have damaged him within the party executive and backrooms but his actions endeared him to the general public, something which needs to be taken into consideration and something that gets far understated.
Another thing mentioned by Murphy is that there is a faction within the party (the article implies perhaps the upper executive) who wants anyone but him in charge and who some believe wants Donald Arsenault in charge of the party. This is something I believe is likely (as it appears that both the Fed and Prov Liberals executive likes to choose the worst possible candidate for leadership to throw their support behind.) For some reason the Liberal hierarchy seems hell bent on completely self destructing the party.
My suspicion is that if Murphy (or Lamrock or Jamison) were to win the leadership of the party the entire (or a large part of) the upper executive and inner circle would resign and this would for all intents and purposes be something that would be for the betterment of the entire party.
While I am not a Liberal supporter and while I believe the PANB will provide a solid part of the government in the future I also believe that we need the liberals to offset the Conservatives and to hold them in check and without a strong leader this is not likely.
It is also my personal belief that Brian Murphy (cousin to Mike Murphy) would be a much preferable option as Fed liberal leader then any of the normally mentioned candidates and that he would be far more likely to get the party back on track (as long as they got past this concept of one election then throw away the leader attitude that seems prevalent in the party at the moment)
So while I will continue to work to defeat both men’s parties in both the provincial and federal elections, I still believe that a good portion of their parties fate lies in the hands of a good clean leadership race (and preferably a good cleanout of the upper executive and party leadership in the process.) The party at both the provincial and Federal levels needs a complete rejuvenation that cannot be gained if the present attitudes and behaviours continue
Author: Carl Bainbridge
When Jean Chretien was in power the Liberals were an almost unstoppable force. But every one must retire eventually, and when people started to believe it was getting to be time for Chretien to retire a split started to develop within the liberal party. Pretty much splitting the party in two were the group who stood solidly behind Chretien and the group who stood solidly behind his understood succesor Paul Martin. The problem with this sort of split is that it leads to hard feelings between those who feel their leader was pushed out before his time was over and those who felt their leader was held back past the time he should have been handed the reigns.
While Martin’s shortened reign was largely due to poor behaviour on the part of party brass and the fallout from this poor behaviour. However the cleansing of the party brass has left the Liberals with a leadership vaccum, one that has resulted in the liberals choosing sucessive poorly thought out leaders. This comes from two different problems.
- Because of a leadership vaccum in the party brass the search for leadership candidates has been stunted and some high profile, but inadequate leaders have been chosen and the (expected) successor to Ignatieff (Bob Rae) is a castoff from another party and unlikely to inspire voters either.
- Leadership candidates have been too self centered with high profile candidates with poor credentials being given a single election period to connect with voters and then being tossed to the wolves while the next leadership candidate is brought forward.
It is becoming quickly apparent this election that the current leadership is unacceptable to the voters and that those looking to change the current government are instead looking to the traditional third party and it is showing in the polling numbers with the NDP seeing an unprecedented surge and the numbers do not seem to be dropping.
The last time a federal party tanked this badly was when the Conservatives under Mulroney/Campbell dropped to only two seats in the legislature. Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest. While I believe the leadership should have gone to Elsie Wayne as the stronger of the two it was still the one thing the Conservatives did right. They stuck with Charest while the party was being rebuilt.
The Liberals need to learn a lesson from that rebuild and choose a fairly solid friendly face to be the face of the party while they rebuild.
At this point it appears the Liberals will drop to third place in the legislature and without a bit of luck on their side they realistically could end up fourth. It is time to stop with the flash in the pan high profile leaders that come loaded with baggage and choose a solid workmanlike leader who will rebuild the party. (like Layton has built the NDP into a force to be reckoned with)