Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Next Face Manifesto. Encore Presentation.

“Our main enemy today is our own worst nature: our indifference to the common good; vanity; personal ambition; selfishness; and rivalry. The main struggle will have to be fought on this field.” This warning from Václav Havel can serve the Liberal party well as it searches for its new leader.

In choosing its “next face” the Liberal Party can rescue itself from the petty squabbles and Shakespearean dramas of the Chrétien - Martin feud and transform itself from the party of empty politics back to the party of grand ideals.

Before that transformation can occur however, the Liberal party must face reality. In its current state, it is perceived as an oversized and decaying mechanism hell-bent on the attainment and abuse of power. Power used for no greater purpose than to spread the spoils of government to Liberal sycophants while the party harped shamelessly about “Canadian values”.

Canadians simply did not trust this party and its leader. The so called “campaign” offered only exaggerated rhetoric and hollow promises. In the end the party and its leadership suffocated from the stale air of hypocrisy and political ambiguity.

For those who have been on the outside looking in, the time has come. For those who watched in horror as the party of Laurier, Mackenzie King, Pearson and Trudeau fall victim to imbroglio and scandal, the time has come. For those repulsed by the neo-conservative approach to Liberalism, the time has come.

The time has come for profound introspection. Introspection and inquisition.

What does the Liberal Party of Canada believe?
Why does it want to govern?
Is it still the party of visionaries and grand national projects?

Canadians need to believe that the Liberal Party actually stands for something.
Bright red lines need to be drawn across a platform unifying a party and marking the end of the divisiveness and fractionalization.

A new Liberal party must confer on the individual the most possible freedom, while minimizing at every opportunity the cruel realities of unfettered capitalism. A new Liberal party will advocate for the individual and hold that individual at the centre.

What of the leadership candidates? They must bring intellectual curiosity, political acuity and the gravitas to think about the Liberal Party, Canada and the world. They must be asked: does the Liberal party need them, or do they need the Liberal party?

Candidates must say no to a decentralized Canada, yes to real leadership, no to appeasement, and yes to one Canada.

In the words of Jesse Jackson, a leader must be “tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain and resilient enough to bounce back and keep moving on.”

Liberals are progressives and at their core they are reformers. All too often the Liberal party has come to represent the status quo. This is antithetical to what the party should be.

Pierre Trudeau spoke of how Liberals, “confront the powerful…confound the secure (and)…challenge the conventional.” The party must rediscover these convictions, awake from their slumber and aspire again to be the party of principles. The party must rediscover its idealism and energy.

The next leader of the Liberal party must pledge to fight for those ideals.

The next leader of the Liberal party must purge from the party the paranoid few who question the allegiances of the many. The next leader of the Liberal party must travel this magnificent country and articulate our hopes for an independent, free, democratic, just and prosperous Canada.

The next leader of the Liberal party must be the best among us.

Let no future leader stifle this debate.

Next Face Manifesto, February 14, 2006.


Elizabeth said...

I agree, and there is a leader that sounds like we need, not Martin or Chretien related and all the qualities of Trudeau, which brings me back to Michael Ignatieff, a breath of fresh air., who would be great help in renewing the Liberal party.

decoin said...

We must not rule out Belinda Stronach, who will confront the powerful and confound the secure, and who has the financial resources to finance a vigorous leadership campaign at a time when the LPC is strapped for cash. she is ready to lead now. We should elect Belinda by the third week of March so that the Harper can be defeated in April when Parliament resumes and the Liberal Party can be returned to its rightful position of power.

williebee said...

I agree with Elizabeth...M. Ignatieff will be a breath of fresh air and will not be bringing some of the old feuds between Chretian and Martin.

I like Belinda, but I do not think she is ready for this role yet..maybe in the future. She needs to understand the country more and to master French...absolutely necessary.

AP said...

I’m sorry, I think that its time to deal with the true believer syndrome which is the most annoying habit among some Liberals these days – especially those advocating for Belinda Stronach. Can anybody say with a straight face, after reading this manifesto that Belinda Stronach in any way, shape or form approaches the LEADER that this party deserves? Is she really the true inheritor of the party of Trudeau, Pearson or King? Close your eyes for one moment and imagine a Belinda Stronach speaking at the Paul Sauve Arena during another Quebec referendum – either exclusively in English or in her horrendously bad show-me-where-the-washroom-is-French. Imagine for a moment Belinda Stronach articulating her principled vision of Canada without looking at her notes. Her ability to give a decent speech is abysmal and her entire political career has the air of a high school project entitled, “what I want to be when I grow up.” She is NOT a serious candidate. Does anybody think she has well developed opinions after years of thinking about the issues that confront this country? Does she have anything more to offer our citizens than the vacuous “bake a bigger economic pie” platform? This is not a woman of substance. If this woman were to be elected it would be a dark day for the Liberal party. Who amongst you would be prepared to go door to door campaigning in an effort to convince your fellow citizens that she needs to be Prime Minister. If we want to elect our first woman leader, I can think of five women, who are serious, intelligent and charismatic, who would do this party proud. Let's please stop with the Belinda Stronach as leader talk.

Alex said...

Thank you AP for setting the Belida vote straight once and for all.
She is not worthy - end the debate.

Andy said...

A brain in intelligence lights up on the poilitics of truth's scan in key areas that involve accountability production andrecption of people's voices.

Accountability is a brain chemical in the leadership of a party.

Blinda Stronach & Michael Ignatieff have not been in the primary school of accountability and responsibility.

Blinda Stronach's brain is signaling for more money, more pleasure, more arrogance, more ignoring of people, more changing husbands and boyfriends, more connection with actor in Hollywood, more Mafia-Like connections with all influential businessmen and politicians in USA and Austria.

Michael Ignatieff is a man for wars.
He is a friend of pygimes in the politics of deception and lies; pygmies are those, who orignilally have been mentioned by Homer and Herodotus as very small humans.

Mr. Michael Igantieff ignores the voices of people because he is very arrogant.

Mr. Michael Ignatieff travelled with Bob Rae, the former premier of Ontario (the brother of John Rae, the vice-president of Power Corporation) to Baghdad/ Iraq for supporting of Abu Graib prison, Guantanamo and wars against humans.

His brother John Rae is the influential man of Power Corporation in Montreal.

Power Corporation is a centre in Canada, where all prime ministers, ministers and influential politicians will be supported by money and jobs after their services in the government.

Mr. Bob Rae has a law office in Toronto's Bay Street, where he operates for supporting of wars and influencing some politicians in Canada.

Mr. Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff are friends and both f them are supporters of Wars in Iraq and Abu Graib prison.

The Guantanamo prison and Abu Graib prison are the symbols for democracy in minds of Micahel Igantieff, Boab Rae and Blinda Stronach.

Are these supporters of wars for the leadership of the Liberal party of Canada?

James Curran said...


You're kidding right? That was just enough to almost make a fist at my computer screen. She is an uneducated, unilingual formere leadership of another party candidate.
Anyway, ditto for any other ex-wanna-be-leader or ex-leader of any other party than Liberal.

The What Do I Know Grit.

James Curran said...


Get a hold of yourself lad. You can spew out War this and War that all you want. But, don't think likening people to the mafia is going to work.

As for Michael Ignatieff? My friend, let me tell you something. He IS the only one listening to anyone in this Party of Ours - that is, if in fact, you are a Liberal.

The What Do I Know Grit.

AP said...

Great! Now that we have settled this Belinda for leader bullshit lets get down to business. Read the manifesto again and ask yourselves if the next leader of the Liberal Party should be any one of these people who, if you believe the media and blogs are “seriously considering” running for leader: Joe Volpe, Maurizio Bevilaqua and John Godfrey. All I can say is Gentleman stop “serious considering” and start thinking about who you want to support other than yourselves. If anyone seriously thinks that Mr. Volpe, Mr. Bevilaqua or Mr. Godfrey are going to set the world on fire than we have some problems. Here’s my challenge: Go to any major intersection in this country and poll the FIRST twenty people at random and ask them the following question: Do you think (insert name: Joe Volpe/Maurizio Bevilaqua/John Godfrey) will make a good Prime Minister? I will give you $100 if FIVE of these people actually respond to these names with even a faint, “Oh I think I know who that is” look. You lose the 100 bucks if any one of them says, “Wasn’t he on Survivor.” I suspect the vast majority of the twenty people – if not all – will respond with all the seriousness they can muster by saying, “who the fuck is (insert name: Joe Volpe/Maurizio Bevilaqua/John Godfrey)” Who outside the Liberal Party and die hard politicos can identify these three men. You know why they aren’t known? Because they have done fuck all. I don’t mean that in an insulting way its just a fact. With respect to Mr. Godfrey he may have been a minister but do you really think he will be mistaken for anything but a nice guy who is BORING. I mean these guys have all the star power of … well they have no star power. Let’s just put an end to these wild fringe candidates who I would classify as being the Dennis Kusinich rump of this race. Hell at least Kusinich had a message – stop the war in Iraq – unlike these three dudes. I mean what the fuck would we gain to listen to a 30 minutes speech by any one of these guys. Do you honestly think that after listening to Mr. Bevilaqua for example you will say something like, “oh shit, I never thought of it that way” or “holly shit, where has this guy been since 1988” or “I think we have just heard from the next Prime Minister of Canada.” I bet most of you will say, “I wish I can get those 30 minutes back”

Andy said...

With my critics to Mr. Michael Iganatieff and Blinda Stronach, I am not going to prescribe any Antidepressants to any of members of the Liberal party, but also I am signaling for preventing of having any leader in the party, who later will " hijack" dopamin siganling from all memebers.
Dopmanin is a brain chemical connected with movement, emotkion, motivation and feeling of pleasure.

When Mr. Michael Igantieff does not know any remorse for his activities for promotion of wars and expansion of Abu Ghraib, Gumatanamo and Gulag around the globe; when he and Bob rae are travelling to Baghdad for supporting of Abu Ghraib prison and wars in Iraq; when Mr. Igantieff insults Ukraianians in his books; when Mr. Igantieff does not respond to letter and emails of people, who write him for problems, how can he be the only one listening to anyone in this Party of Ours?

Dear James

The field of politics is not the field for kids in Kindergarten; Blinda Stronach, who was not able to study in the York University in the first year; when Blinda Stronach, who changes husbabds and boyfriends as changing of her shoes; when Blinda Stronach does not respond any letters and emails as she was the minister for human resources and skills; when Blinda Stronach loves power and pleasure in Hollywood and eating foods with Jack Nicholson (actor) and Bill Clinton in New York and with Paul Martin in Ottawa for more connections and more money, how can we expect she has time for people, who are in misery and poverty?

Mr. Michael Igantieff is going to be cultivated for big oil companies, who are promting him as a new leader of party.

Mr. Igantieff is not saying us he should run around with a microscopes of accountability and responsibility; he is saying us, why people of Canada are not supportuing wars, Abu Ghraib and Gunatanamo prisons.

Mr. Igantieff is angry, why people know him as a serviceman for the washrooms of the big companies, especially giant oil comapanies.

Talisman Oil Inc in Sudan and killing of thousands of people are stories for people.

The government of Sudan is alleged to have killed more than 2 million people and displaces 4 million others over the past 20 years.

Mr. James Buckee, CEO of Talisman coporation in Calgary once said: the best way for gaining wealth is those places, where are unsafe for others.

One of businessman in Germany said: in wars and after wars, we can gain much of our wealth, if we go there.

Mr. Michael Igantieff and Bob rae are the agents of the wills of big corporations and oil compnaies for creating of wars and collecting of wealth of other countries.

The Heglig of Sudan was a place, where used by the Sudanes to refuel planes and helicopeters and load them with 500-pound bombs.

Talisman's Heglig was used for killing of millions because of petrodollars.

The big oil companies are sending the politicians for leaderships because of their missions for promting of wars.

They want wealth and they kill people for more power and more money.

SEA Of RED said...

Wow. Such passion!!! Is it just me or are we all just saying the same things. In a nutshell, there is no one worthy candidate, right now. If you believe Ignatieff is a George W. knock off, which I am inclined to believe and Belinda Stronach would rather sit front court with Spike Lee at a Knick's game instead of returning an email, then, I say, who? Is this country so deprived of any real, genuine candidates, able to resurect, this once omnipotent party? Did Chretien and Martin truely drain the pool of up and comers? Or, are we looking in the wrong places?? Maybe, just maybe, we need to look at what has transpired with the PC party. A party which, but a mere decade ago, won 2 seats, to a party with a minority and no one to challenge. Harper probably gets the best sleeps of his life knowing full well no one is at the helm of the good ship lollipop.This appals me. I am somewhat speechless, to say the least, that the Liberal party is in Limbo. Has anyone spoken to Danny Williams or Bernard Lord lately?? Hell, those 2, at the very least, have some intestinal fortitude. And, honestly, if I ever here Dalton MGuinty's name ever again..I will tear up my card. I don't believe anyone in this blog has mentioned his name seriously, but, I;ve heard whispers. People should not drink and think at the same time. Be patient, my fellow Liberals. Let's us look at Team Canda's failure in men's hockey as a lesson. They rewarded loyalty and service, and put together a team destined to fail as opposed to putting the best players on the ice. Stoll, Spezza and Crosby sat watching...biding their time. I say to you, someone is out their, watching, waiting and biding their time. Don't look in the obvious places. Expand your minds and your horizon's. Out there , lies the answer.

tobias said...

Well said seaofred, well said.
Out there lies the answer indeed...and the analogy to team canada is interesting. those blinded by loyalty could get burned by it.

WT said...

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think we are all saying the same thing at all. The fact is that some of us are dismissing Ignatieff and others are supporting him.

I understand that people might worry about where he would go with the party, but I think that fear is mostly unfounded. The difference b/w him and any other candidate is that he is extremely prolific. This is not necessarily a bad thing unless you run for office. I am not saying that you have to discount his work, after all that same work some base their criticism on, is what has made me support him. What I do think is that one should look at his academic writings and his work done in that role as an academic pursuit. When you take quotes out of his book to criticize him, you take out abstracts…the problem with this approach is that it shows one side of his debate and much of what is quoted is only half of his dialectic.

I know that his support of the war was wrong. However, what I do appreciate is that he didn’t come to that conclusion on a whim. He in fact wrestled with this decision with more regard than 99% of us who opposed it (myself included). Alright, one may then point out that what does that matter if he was wrong anyway…it matters because that is what I want in somebody who is going to lead this country. I want somebody who has ideas and who has the brain power and the analytical skill to ensure that the vision he is putting forth is a well thought one.

Somebody may then add…that said, would he then send us to war? I think the answer would be unequivocally no. At least not for the same justification of the Iraq war. We know so much more now than we did when the war began, and even for the protection of the groups in Iraq Ignatieff was hoping to protect, it would not be justified. Furthermore, as a leader of Canada and one who makes the decision, it is much less likely one will be willing to send us to war when the political ramifications would be disastrous.

Alex said...

Ignatieff is not a man of the people. He may be an intellectual but he does not have the heart and soul of a Canadian. He does not represent the everyman. Ignatieff represents bigheaded academics and phillosophers who have no idea what the everyday man lives like.
You can write as many books as you like - until you can speak with convicition for those who can't speak for themseleves you loose my vote.

AP said...

I think we have to relax about Ignatieff the intellectual and his academic background. When we see comments like Ignatieff does not have the “heart and soul of a Canadian” our blood should boil. This is a cheap shot. There is not one idea of what it means to be a Canadian. Have we not learned from the last election campaign that Canadians resent having the one true definition of what it means to be Canadian rammed down their throat? Canadians told us that they did not want to, “choose their Canada.” The “everyman” knew instinctively that there were many images of Canada, each one as valid as the other. Unless we know the man personally how can we claim to speak about what is or is not in his heart. From the few times that I have left this country I knew where my heart belonged. In fact my “Candianness” became clearer and stronger and I came to see just what an amazing place Canada is – not perfect – just amazing. How can we say that Ignatieff does not represent the “everyman?” What does that mean? He does not sip Tim Horton’s coffee by the bucket and he doesn’t play hockey? We can’t fall into the trap of assuming that a Canadian has to love hockey and drink Molson Canadian. Great Canadians also include the intellectuals, artists and architects who have the ability to go beyond the clichés of backyard skating rinks and love of Tim Bits. Think of David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, the Group of Seven, Margaret Atwood, Micheal Ondaatje etc, etc. etc. Although Frank Ghery hasn’t lived in this country for decades, I like to think that when he says there is a Canadian within him and that influences him every time he designs a building he is validating the genius of this country. As for Ignatieff representing, “bigheaded academics and philosophers who have no idea what everyman lives like” that sounds like the type of nonsense that would come out Mike Harris’ mouth. Remember it was the “bigheaded academic” Pierre Trudeau who fought for a Charter of Rights and Freedoms because he believed in the grand ideas of liberty and equality. As for speaking with conviction, all I can say is actually see him speak or read one of his speeches and agree with him or not, you cannot help but see that the man has convictions. His are not the empty speeches packed with trite ideas and focus group tested drivel that we so often hear. He has serious things to say. We should welcome that he may ask us uncomfortable questions that may actually force us to think. That doesn’t mean that I will support him, it just means that his voice is needed in any leadership contest. If we’re going to dismiss Ignatieff let’s do it for the right reasons but let’s not take cheap shots at the man and let’s try and get beyond the outdated, hackneyed images of Canada.

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »