Thursday, May 30, 2019
What's Missing from the Liberal DNA?
I got a blast today for having the temerity to approve of the idea of Mark Carney as leader of the Liberals. Of course the criticism was from Simon so you take that for what it's worth. I had legitimate reasons to prefer Carney over the current prime minister and I laid them out but no matter.
Actually, Carney would not be my first choice if I could choose a leader for the party that almost two out of five voters chose in 2015. There is someone else I always thought would make a prime minister, perhaps of the stature of Pierre Trudeau. I'm thinking of a highly accomplished individual who has reached great heights and has never shirked from a battle, regularly winning even against tyrants and bullies.
To me, that ideal prime minister would be Louise Arbour. I'm not suggesting she would take the job if it was served up to her on a platter but she might be the leader that Canada so badly needs right now.
Louise Arbour - lawyer, prosecutor, jurist who rose to sit on the Supreme Court of Canada, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, UN Commissioner for Human Rights, President of the International Crisis Group. She has proven herself and her abilities again and again and again. How does her resume stack up against the Dauphin's?
That got me thinking. In Canada there are slightly more women than men. That's a lot of women. A lot of capable women among them. Louise Arbour is one of them.
When you look at the history of Liberal leadership there's been a time honoured convention that the post should alternate between English and French Canadians. Let's look. Wilfred Laurier to MacKenzie-King to St. Laurent to Mike Pearson to Pierre Trudeau to John Turner to Jean Chretien to Paul Martin to Stephane Dion to Michael Ignatieff to Justin Trudeau. Like clockwork, eh? Tick-tock, tick-tock.
What's missing? Well what do they all have in common? They're all men. Not a woman among them.
The NDP have had female leaders. Even the Tories had Kim Campbell. Audrey McLachlin, Alexa McDonough, Elsie Wayne, Deborah Grey, Rona Ambrose, all held leadership posts.
What's missing? That would be the Liberal Party of Canada. The Liberals, it appears, like their feminism strictly masculine. Not one woman has risen to the Liberal leadership. Do you think there's something to that other than Liberal serendipity?
Half the country has been shut out of the leadership of one federal party, the Liberal Party of Canada. And don't give me any nonsense about picking the best possible candidate for leader, not after the last three.
And it may seem I'm being unfair comparing someone like Louise Arbour to an unproven school marm like the current prime minister. I'm not. The mediocrity that has set in to the Liberal leadership going back as far as Dion is profound. If you want to see what a Liberal leader once looked like, read this.
They don't make'em like they used to, eh?