Choosing the next Liberal leader
Feb 1, 2013

Choosing the next Liberal leader

Choosing a candidate to lead a political party is ostensibly a task with the lofty goals of deciding the scope and direction a party is heading, the relative importance of the party's various values, and the policies that go with them. Unfortunately, such lofty aspirations are quickly brought down to earth and leadership campaigns end up being largely about the personalities involved, the gaffes, and the excitement of the horserace. In my coverage of the most recent GOP and NDP leadership races, it was far too easy to fall into the trap of commenting on latter and not the former. This isn't to say there is not value in following the horserace aspect of it (especially when so much commentary on this is just so egregious bad), but it should be but one aspect covered and a minor one at that.

As I begin coverage of the federal Liberal leadership race, I want to avoid, at least somewhat, the pundit trap and look at the bigger pictures issues going on. This is not to say that things like electability - the focus of my Vancouver Leadership Debate coverage - are not important, but it cannot be the only thing covered. I do not yet know who I support. If nothing else, one can consider these posts to be an attempt to discover who to support. So let us start by looking at the big picture, the 30,000 foot view of the political landscape. It can only be from understanding where we are, and where we want to get to, that we can develop the framework to choose a leader that is not based solely on the personalities and horserace that iconify modern leadership races and the pundit's coverage of them.

Next post: A 30,000 foot view of the Canadian political landscape

Subsequent post: Defining a Liberal identity in a narrowing political landscape

The short version of the above posts is to present a litmus test for the next Liberal leader. Namely, given the narrowing of the political landscape that makes running simply on a set of values difficult to do, they must be able and willing to provide bold, effective policy solutions to provide the Liberal party with a genuine identity and real shot at winning.

Note that I separated the above preamble from the two subsequent posts with the hopes that the first of these posts could exist in a somewhat less time dependent state.

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