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?


John B. said...

While I have a soft spot for Dion, their selection of the last two suggests to me that the Liberals don’t understand that you can’t conduct a successful quest for a messiah on the cheap.

Interestingly, on the Louise Arbour recommendation:

Anonymous said...

The Libs prefer their women making sammiches. If they get a little uppity, they get cuffed around by the PM's stooges then it's out the door with them, see e.g. Jody and Jane. But the Libs have had women leaders at the provincial level, there's Kathleen Wynne, for example, or Christy Clark!

That said, I get the impression that Arbour won't suffer fools, which rules out a political career from the get-go. Plus, with her background, there's the risk that she'd start poking around into Martin and Harper's handling of the Afghan detainees. I don't think the Libs want that.


Simon said...

Mound, don't distort what I wrote, or just plain lie. I did not criticize you for "having the temerity to approve of the idea of Mark Carney as leader of the Liberals." I merely pointed out to you and all the others that carney recently became a British citizen, and that irrespective of his qualities that would leave him open to the same kind of attacks that Michael Ignatieff received. Anyone can read my post and see that, so you should be ashamed of yourself. I can forgive you for your creeping dementia, but not for your ignorance...

Anonymous said...

Discount Simon. He has never got over his crush, no matter the evidence. Louise Arbour would make a wonderful leader but there is not much chance in heck of that happening. Mark Carney would be good. He is pretty smart, competent and knows how to handle power, and by that I mean how not to abuse it. And he's not Chrystia Freeland. That's where I think we should start - anyone who is not Chrystia Freeland.

Steve Cooley said...

Anonymous- Christy Clark brand of liberalism is from a different planet than the brand in the rest of Canada. Christy's politics were a cross between Reform and Am Capone.

Anonymous said...

I remember you writing about her while I was still in South Korea working. In researching her, I also came to the conclusion she would be a good Prime Minister. But if I remember correctly, she was asked to run last time but turned it down. Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

Steve, yes. The love child of Reform and Capone indeed.