| Oct 23, 2008

Editorial - Off and Running

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Editorial - October 23, 2008 Off and runningBy Jeff Green With the resignation of Federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion on Monday, the media has been full of speculation about who will be seeking his job.

On the CBC, they crowded the screen with banners for about 15 different people. As of yet no one has come forward. Then it hit me. None of those people should be the leader of the Liberal party; it should be me.

So, folks (American politicians like to talk about folks, so I am bringing that to my campaign) you read it here first. I am hereby announcing my candidacy for Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Candidates are always evaluated on their strengths and weaknesses, and I will be candid about mine.

When I look at all the other potential candidates I see two glaring advantages that I have over them. First of all, I understand what it is like to occupy the so-called “political wilderness” that so many of us Liberals have never had to face, with the possible exception of Bob Rae after the Harris election in Ontario, but do we really want a leader who lost to Mike Harris?

Folks, I have been in the political wilderness all my life. In fact I live pretty close to the real wilderness, certainly closer than potential candidates. While the other candidates will all be talking about departing the wilderness I will be alone in talking about how Liberals must embrace the wilderness because that's where Liberals are destined to remain for a long, long, time.

Enough attack politics. My second strength is that I am uniquely prepared to be a leader in hard economic times. I have been living with hard economic times most of my adult life. Almost 20 years ago, when I could have moved to any community in Ontario, I chose rural Frontenac County, so clearly I laugh at hard economic times. The other candidates live in Toronto and Ottawa for the most part, so they have been on the gravy train all their lives. They have no experience that will prepare them to deal with an economic downturn.

OK, let's go to weaknesses.

I have no knowledge of party politics, how the House of Commons works, all of that stuff, and no connections within the Liberal Party, and I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Liberal Party of Canada (I may have once been member of the Communist Party of Canada, however, which is really the same thing. Just ask our MPP)

Are these really weaknesses, however?

I prefer to think that I am uncorrupted by too much detail about institutions that don't really function properly anyway. I am running as the new broom. The broom does not need intimate knowledge about the dust; it only needs to sweep the dust into the dustpan, or under the carpet, as the case may be.

My French? No worse than Dion's English, I daresay, and it is certainly better than Elizabeth May's French. I expect Elizabeth May will be the second candidate to announce of the leadership.

You can see that I am uniquely qualified for this job. But, you may ask, Mr. Green, why would you make this kind of sacrifice?

There are two reasons. First, and foremost, my country needs me. Secondly, the job comes with a house, and I assume it also comes with a household staff. I've always wanted a household staff.

It's too late to talk me out of it. I'm off and running. I've already engaged a hair stylist and an esthetician. I have even put my family on notice that if they don’t show enough deference they will be replaced by actors.

I have the substance, and I’ll have the image. I hope I don't have to make too many speeches. I hate making speeches. Maybe I’ll hire someone to make speeches for me.

Vote Green for Red leader.

(Send donations c/o the Frontenac News. Box 229 Sharbot Lake, ON, K0H 2P0, and look to my new website: fromgreenshifttoshiftygreen.ca)

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