Friday, December 03, 2010

Ralph Goodale for the Liberal Leadership

The other day I was watching Parliament’s Question Period. Ralph Goodale was standing in for Michael Ignatieff who was absent. Watching QP it occurred to me, why isn’t Ralph Goodale leader of the Liberal Party? He’s articulate, presents himself well, and knows both government and the Liberal Party well, as a longtime MP and having served in Cabinet.

Goodale has a certain common-touch, he looks like someone you’d meet at the local Tim Hortons. Also, being an MP from Western Canada where the Liberals are not that strong, he could potentially bring significant gains for the party in that region. Furthermore, he’s shown that he can work with different leaders having served in senior posts under Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, and Michael Ignatieff.

Ignatieff has not been performing well in the polls or in the public arena. After the next election – whenever that may be – I have a strong feeling that the Liberals could be in for another leadership race. I hope, in such a situation, that Goodale is given serious consideration.

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  1. I met Ralph Goodale back before the last election at a gig held by Garth Turner. Mr. Goodale rocked Garth's House with a speech mad on the spot. No script, no teleprompter and it was straight off the cuff. I have always thought Goodale would make a great leader.

  2. Goodale's an old boy. I think many want to see new blood.

    Besides, I don't think he'd be electable in Quebec.

  3. Zorpheous, I never met Mr. Goodale but he comes across a great and down to earth person.

    Iggy and Bob Rae are deadwood. Iggy is a failure as a leader and Rae has a lot of baggage when he was the Premier of Ontario. I read his book and he blames everybody else for his failures but himself.

    CK, I don't know if Mr. Goodale is bi-lingual. If he is not he may have difficulty in Quebec but his folksy ways may win people over.

  4. I love Goodale. Love the man. Smart, funny, but behaves well in the House. No scripted notes, as you say, because he knows his stuff. I often wished he'd run for leadership as well, but CK is right. Too many people view him as part of the old boys' club. Liberals are trying to shake off the past (doing a poor job of it, though).

    I also suspect he wouldn't get enough support from his own party to hold it together. There would be infighting, like under Dion.

    Goodale once said he won't run because his French isn't good enough. Not sure about that, so maybe CK is right on the QC thing as well.

    I hope he sticks around, though. It's a pleasure hearing him speak.

  5. I never met Goodale either, but one of my siblings worked with him from time to time and said he is very down to earth, very approachable, honest, sharp, and kind.

  6. 900ft J, I agree with you on bi-lingual issue which perhaps he can improve upon if he already knows some French. I also agree that support for his leadership within the Liberal Party may not be that enthusiastic because of the new-blood business but through proper canvassing and campaigning odds can be improved.

    Old-boys club? That is not a fair characterization of him. He came out unscathed from all the Liberal scandals and he is fairly solid personality that way. As far as rest of the caucus is concerned I don’t see any bright spark who can take on the job of leadership and win a general election. Maybe I am wrong but that is my reading.

  7. LeDaro, I think that's how people view him - the old boys club - I've heard it before. I don't agree with it either, but that perception could work against him.

    I'd love to see him as PM, I just don't think he'll be chosen as leader of the party.

    I liked Dion as well but figured he didn't have the "stage presence" to win an election. Too bad, because he has vision and good policies.

    When someone like Fantino wins a by-election without even showing up for debates and barely speaking to the press, wins on name recognition, it shows how little attention people are paying to policies and issues.

    I keep calling politics "Canadian Icon" because it's more and more about appearances. Too bad. It's really hurting our country.

    Again, about Goodale, I asked someone who is pretty close to several in the inner liberal circle, and what I said is based largely on what they explained to me. I don't like saying that, however, because it could depend on who that person has been speaking to in the party.

    I'm sure he could wipe the floor with harper in a debate, but since harper knows this, he'd most likely avoid such debates.

  8. You raise good points, definitely politics is driven too much by image and a lot less by substance. Still, I think Goodale has a certain folksiness to him that could help with the public; and maybe he can turn "experience" into a positive brand.

    I guess we'll have to see what happens after the next election - especially if (I think most likely when) Iggy does badly and he's pressured to stand down. Though I do have to admit, right now, it doesn't even look that Goodale is interested in the leadership.

    Losing that seat in Toronto to Fantino - who as you say didn't even bother to show up for debates - shows the ineffectiveness of Iggy's leadership.