It's good, it's very good. It hits all key points that it needs to, and there's little in there I can find fault with. I especially like the primaries idea. It's a tad idealistic but, hey, that's the business we're in.
However, Paper Dynamite Online's Peter Wrightwater, I have concerns over Rae's game of footsie with the permanent leadership.
I'm not saying Bob Rae, if the executive changed the rules, shouldn't be allowed to run for permanent leader - I just know I wouldn't be voting for him, for a few reasons. But that's what the democratic process is about, and I'll get my chance to vote when the time comes.
But, think of it this way: Rae is our interim leader, someone who took up an extremely crappy job as leader of a demoralized third party in a majority parliament, basically with the intent to rebuild and re-energize the Liberals so we can get this thing chuggin' again. When he was chosen by the executive to head up the party in the interim (and for everyone's blathering, the executive did have a choice, and if they really wanted to keep Rae out they could have), he agreed not to run for the permanent leadership as a condition of the executive's support.
Now, if in 2012 the new executive decides to rescind this condition, does it really make it any less unscrupulous for Rae to then decide to run for the permanent leadership when he originally agreed he wouldn't?
Legally, there'd be nothing wrong with it. I would however consider it to be morally bankrupt. And from there, I would start to suspect what was going on in the backrooms of the 2012 convention, and wonder how key Rae supporters were positioned in the new executive to be able to change those rules. And you can't tell me that it didn't happen. Reality is simply never that favourable to one man.
Before you know it, we're away from the "Rae Revolution" and back into those old conspiracy games that characterise the modern LPC. Personally, I accept it as a natural cause-and-effect force within political organizations; for the majority, it's just the typical cynical politicians doing what they do, and we're back to square one.
So, you know what? Here's one way to step around this - Bob Rae must make his intentions clear sooner rather than later. If we get this out of the way now, we can avoid messy accusations later on. If Rae wants to run for the leadership, let him, but he must make it clear now, before the 2012 convention, when all of this comes to a head.
Furthermore, any candidates for the executive should also make clear their intentions, not just to the backroom boys, but to the entire Liberal Party. Call it a Rae Bloc, call it divisive, call it whatever - but Liberal Party members must be informed. If we are, then we can make the decision on Rae's ability to run for the permanent leadership maturely and honestly. Enough of hiding it.
If Rae and co. fail to make their intentions clear, then I think Liberals and Canadians in general are absolutely justified in whatever punishment they chose to put on Rae and the Party. If you want to change the way things are done, then pull backroom bullshit like that, let's not even pretend we have credibility anymore - it's clear no one will believe us anyways.