Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arguing For Copps

Unlike fellow Liblogger Far and Wide, I happen to believe that the news of Sheila Copps possible entrance into the race for Liberal Party president is nothing but good news, one that we as a party can benefit from in the long-term and we should be encouraging.

Now, I'm not throwing my support behind Copps, because who knows if she'll run and who else will at the same time. But I feel that Steve is wrong - Copps experience and history within the party, and her willingness to contribute and sacrifice her time despite what occurred in the past, is a testament to her resolve that the Liberal Party needs a steady hand with new ideas but the experience and insight to push it through.

No one can really say that Copps, a former Cabinet member and Deputy Prime Minister, is simply "old school." She is known for her ideas about reform, about her drive and determination to see things through despite some overwhelming odds (though one can ask about her success rate), and what's more - she comes from a region we desperately need to win back, and she is a former caucus member that knows how it works, both in terms of organization and what it requires to get out of a rut, being elected during the 1984 debacle.

For me, a person who's home riding is in the Golden Horseshoe, it's pretty clear why someone like Copps was so important to Chretien during that era. She helped organize, win, hold, and set up candidates in the dozen or so ridings within the Golden Horseshoe (where I'm from) during the 1990's. It was her strength in the area that helped win so many of those ridings.

And these days, we in the Horseshoe are really hurting. It would do us no ill to give Copps, still a big name in the area, the LPC presidency. She knows what needs to be done here and I say give her a chance to show what she can do.

But what about new faces? you ask. Fact is, new faces to the party are great. No one denies this. But what gives anyone the idea that an inexperienced, non-insider would be better in the president's position, which requires someone who is experienced and an insider, versus an experienced insider who knows what needs to be done? It doesn't make sense to me, really. We need new faces in the ranks, to be sure - but we need an experienced hand to bring them up in the first place.

So why not Sheila Copps? She was jilted by the Party, and now she's willing to come back and work for it. That's commitment right there, and if she's willing to do that, why can't we give the same kind of commitment back?


  1. Why would you put someone at the helm that immediately turns offs a percentage of the party? She was part of the old camps and it will be intepreted that way. Why anyone would want to start a new era with old baggage, I'll never understand. Makes me think Liberals don't get it, at all, to be honest.

  2. Copps can bring some things to the table that an inexperienced, consensus candidate can't. She's been involved long enough and she's strong enough of a personality to get results. It's the difference between a Tony Blair and a Henry Van Rompuy. If you want an enfeebled party president, fine - but if you want one who will fight for what the Party needs to have done, why not Copps? She could do it.

  3. She brings baggage to the table, go on Liblogs right now and look at Warren's latest, and you'll see that this choice just opens up old wounds. Come on people!!

  4. Baggage is one thing but so what? We'll be stuck with baggage no matter who we pick - it's the nature of the party and the caucus. Everyone will have an opinion about someone.

    However, I stand by the fact that she comes from an era where we as a party had to rebuild and we won three majorities, and it wasn't simply because of the vote split. Some baggage is bad, but surely that kind of baggage of experience is nothing but good.

  5. What I've argued is happening as we speak, just at the mere mention. Asinine to even entertain moving forward IMHO.

    I'm starting to think we are already dead, and we just don't know it yet.

  6. Steve, the fact is that the Liberals are a factional bunch - as are Cons and Dips when you get right down to it, when they have the opportunity for their factionalism to arise. It happens.

    But just because someone had the audacity to be a former Cabinet minister with tonnes of experience but also happens to be disliked by some of the more highly partisan people still within the Party who likely wouldn't like anyone except their own people... well, I can't think of anything more silly than disqualifying her for it.

  7. I'll never get it. You start fresh, you don't bring in someone who sits at the center of past battles.

    We're really lost, it's worse than I thought.

  8. I'm not saying we should bring her in - but I think its fair to say she has every allowance to try, and she has tonnes of benefits to come along with her. She isn't just a universal bad.

    Besides, who do we know that's fresh? Name one person, who has experience and insider contacts, who is still fresh and not affiliated with folks. Just one.

  9. Sure, let her run, that's her right.

    Mark Holland, not necessarily him, but that ilk. Young, passionate, limited baggage, forward thinking. There are LOTS of people of that caliber. Coady is another that comes to mind, Kennedy perhaps. Come on, you make it sound like it's an old warhorse or nothing, and if that's true, then yes we are already dead.

    The rat pack is almost 30 years ago, let's move on.

  10. Holland is a Martinite and Kennedy is just a non-starter for anyone that supported Rae or Ignatieff. Coady is the only possibility I'll give to you.

    And aside from Kennedy, I'd support either one of those over Copps. But even they will have their baggage and their enemies, nevermind the fact that neither of them is as well known as Copps. She has a presence that Holland or Coady can't fill.

    And of course its not "an old warhorse" or nothing - but would it not make sense to have someone who has her kind of experience anyways, despite the baggage?

    Besides, maybe we should start thinking less about how different factions will perceive someone, and more about what is better for the party as a whole.

  11. What is better for the party as whole is not to start your new era with a very old face, that became the lightning rod for old battles. If people think that's a positive start to a new era, then I won't be wasting much time worrying about this corpse.


  12. Well, that's your prerogative then. As I said, if I saw a better candidate than Copps I'd support them, someone like Holland or Coady (I'd especially like to see Holland as president). But I think Copps would be a fine choice regardless, and would bring a plethora of benefits to the party, and especially to my region.

  13. I'm with Steve, here. Haven't we learned what kind of failure it was to trot out Paul Martin and Jean Chretien at recent election campaigns.

    Plus, as someone who lives in the Outremont riding, I realized why Sebastien Dhavernas, a virtual nobody was more popular in 2008 than Martin Cauchon an old party heavy weight was in 2011. Basically, it's my belief that the folks of Outremont were telling Cauchon that his time was done. He represents the past.

    See where I'm going here?

    Sheila Copps is also a relic of days' past and should remain there along with Chretien, Martin and Cauchon, along with all those old feuds.

    It is time for fresh blood if the party has a hope in hell of rebuilding.

    It's bad enough they decided to put off finding a leader until 2013, which I think is fatal and very silly. But I digress...

    Already, I'm not that optimistic, between a Liberal Party that can't seem to get its' act together and an NDP with a very shaky future, given the face of its' party in its' current status is gone (I'm not optimistic about his return, he seems really sick), I'm worried that Canada's parliament will turn into a one party show--the Harpercons. Now there's a comforting thought.

  14. CK,

    I think Cauchon kind of had the deck stacked against him during that election, don't you? We probably would've seen the Bloc with a higher percentage of the vote had another candidate than Cauchon been there.

    Anyways, I've already explained my thinking. I don't think this Party can fool itself into thinking that a new face will make it all better. We need experienced hands on the wheel with us if we're going to get past this. I don't mean to say we have to hand everything back over to them, but remember that at this point in the game, we've got no one else to look on. It'll be another decade before we get rid of all the Chretienite/Martinite feuds - do we want to wait that long, or do we want to reap the benefits now?

  15. Besides, have some hope - everyone expected the Liberals to control the country for the next few decades but it's pretty obvious that didn't pan out...