Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wisdom, Courage, principles. Andrews sets a new standard.

Bill Casey sent a message to Stephen Harper. He didn't listen. Danny Williams punished him in the polls. He didn't listen. Now two of Newfoundland and Labradors Liberal MP's have seen enough.

Will they be punished, I doubt it, perhaps a slap on the wrist. That's okay. These two political war horses know there are rules that parties have to follow, and they will accept punishment, if any. I can't see them being kicked out of caucus and disrespected in the same way the Con/Reformers did with Bill Casey. The Liberal party welcomes divergent views, anyone who has ever witnessed a Policy convention for the party will know this to be true.

Andrews and Foote have been sent to Ottawa by citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador. They have to walk the streets, eat in the diners, worship in the churches, cheer at the same rinks and share the same communities with the people this budget will hurt.

Harper is playing tricks with the budget, he taken steps to punish the citizens of that great province for not sending any Conservative MP's to Ottawa. This is the bitter, vindictive little man in Harper, that Premier Williams has been so good at calling out. Cutting $1.5 billion from what is owed to the people is just dirty dirty dirty.

Ignatieff is caught in a rough spot too. Party discipline is important. But he is a man of principle and he knows what Harper is trying to do. Harper likes to create wedge issues, both for citizens and members of parties. He drags up the abortion debate, He drags up Gay rights. He pits English against French, West against East...anything he can find to divide people.

As Ignatieff has shown in recent weeks, he is a calm, thoughtful, intelligent man who makes decisions using the best information he can get his hands on. He is smarter than Harper and I doubt he will let this issue divide his party.

This could all backfire. The Liberals, under Ignatieff, can show they are still a broad based party. To pick up on the Key from the New Obama administration, the Liberals can and will be seen as a party that welcomes all views, from all corners. Encourages free thought and dialogue as a way to solutions. A consultative approach with a willingness to listen.

Compared to Harpers iron fist, my way or the highway approach to policy, the Liberal approach is a refreshing refrain from the same old, tired politics.

It was during a time of change in the Democratic party, when a man with a funny sounding name came to be known by all the country after his powerful speech.

Perhaps we have seen the rising of our Obama. Perhaps we are seeing the first signs of a current of change that can bring us to the promised greatness of our democracy. A democracy shaped by people who speak for main street, not by people who seek only to hold power.

Perhaps the man with the warm accent and east coast born strength, can be our new beacon. From the streets of the rock, to the halls of power, with people like Andrews and Foote around, hope has indeed found a messenger.

While my NDP MP Ms. Leslie voted against a document before she saw it, showing an absolute disdain for democracy, in an attempt to stay in her bosses good books, Mr. Andrews and Mrs. Foote showed real leadership. I wonder if they could use some new constituents, mine seems to be on vacation.


  1. Yup, Herr Danny tells him what to do - uh, huh. He's not looking at the long range picture at all.

  2. Really Andrews has courage?
    I find him to be quite naive, he tends to speak before he thinks in most TV interviews.
    I suppose he owes Danny a favour for getting elected. Payback time.

  3. This is Mr. Ignatieff's first real leadership test. Will he permit members of his caucus to be dictated to by a Provincial Premier? This isn't a case where an MP advises his party leader he/she wishes to vote independantly in accordance with his/her constituents. This is a case where two (or more) Liberal MPs put alliegance to Premier Williams ahead of the wishes of Mr. Ignatieff; and they didn't even advise him of the fact first. If he can't exercise control and leadership over his party, can he expect Canadians to believe he can exercise control and leadership over a government. He is being tested - will he stand tall or pull a Dion (duck and run for cover)?