Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Friday, May 11, 2007


Why some journalists aren't in politics

If the Liberals want to know what not to do to turn things around, then do the exact opposite of everything Susan Riley says they should do in today's Ottawa citizen.

I mean, the article is a good read, and Ms. Reilly is always cute, but John McCallum a good performer in the House? Let the backbenchers carry Dion's load? Liberals need a clear message? When was the last time they had that? Certainly not during thirteen years of their most recent period of rule.

However, I do think that some of Reilly's underlying message holds water. The Liberals need to get their act together. I guess I depart from Reilly on two basic points.

First, I don't think the Liberals have the material. They are divided and they have a record.

Second, I don't think they have the leader. If after a year-long leadership race, you enter the job not fully appreciating what being a leader means, will you after screwing up on the job for the first six months? I doubt it.

UPDATE (11:41 am): By the way, I don't think journalists or columnists need to be political pros. In fact, we read their items because they're not written by political pros. They're writen by intelligent and informed people who provide a perspective that is usually one step removed from the political class.

Just thought I'd add that, especially since I guess I'm a bit of a journalist myself.

It's tough to say. The fact is that the Liberal duo of Dion and Ignatieff -- expected by many to be a potent pairing -- have not lived up to their billing.

Between the eco-hero halo seemingly surrounding Dion and the alleged foreign affairs genius of Ignatieff (neither of which really stand up to close scrutiny), the Liberals have benefited more from unforeseen circumstances than they have from their own efforts.

What the Conservatives need more than anything is a comprehensive lesson in crisis management. The Liberals desperately need to find someone who offers substance, not merely fluff.


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