What else is wrong with the Liberal Party?
If it wasn’t for the billions of wasted tax dollars, the millions stolen from taxpayers to subsidize party operations and the lack of concern for working people in our country, I’d almost feel sorry for the Federal Liberals.
On the heels of their electoral loss on the 23rd, news coverage this week was dominated by big-name Liberal after big-name Liberal gracefully declining the privilege of painting a big red “L” on their foreheads and facing a bitter electorate.
They all had lovely excuses, of course: family, balance, financial obligations.
But none of them stated the obvious. The Liberals are in deep, deep trouble and these elder statesmen had no interest in being the Kim Campbell for the Red set.
The Liberal party has enormous challenges facing it. It carries a huge debt – estimated between $20 and $30 million dollars – almost a dollar for every Canadian. It has a Gomery-sized hangover from the Chretien years and the party faced scandal after scandal in the dying days of their mandate.
Not to mention the pitched brother-vs-brother battle between Chretien and Martin that left excellent Liberal organizers on the side-lines after Martin’s crew took over riding associations and provincial organizations.
Just ask Sheila Copps and Herb Dhaliwal how they feel about the techniques employed by Paul Martin’s acolytes if you are looking for the mythical united Liberal team.
The party knows it can’t choose a leader who served as a Cabinet Minister anytime in the last 12 years of Liberal Government because of that lingering aroma of rot left in voter’s nostrils.
At the same time, organizers are finding leadership a tough sell to provincial leaders resting on their political laurels.
Does Bob Rae or Ken Dryden or Michael Ignatieff or, as I heard chuckled about in a downtown lunch spot yesterday, Hedy Fry, really have the royal jelly to rebuild a directionless and shaky Liberal team?
And then, yesterday Agusta-Westland, an aerospace manufacturer, announced yesterday that it is suing the government for a billion dollars, citing Liberal MPs interfered in the Sea-King replacement helicopter tender process.
I’m not allowed to make this stuff up, you know.
The Liberals must be relived that they waited until after voting day to file suit but one has to wonder if the big three of McKenna, Tobin and Manley had advance notice of the lawsuit. Especially since McKenna neatly resigned as US ambassador and then, suddenly, decided that Federal politics wasn’t his cup of tea.
Mostly, I suspect that the brand name front-runners thought about the challenge and the balance sheet, considered the other nasty Liberal secrets that will be exposed by the new government, weighed the cost to their personal and professional reputations and decided, wisely, to take a pass this time round the ring.
The question is: what else do they know that we don’t about the state of the Liberal Party of Canada?
As seen today in 24 Hours Daily.