Friday, January 25, 2008

Don Valley west, why does everyone who doesn't win elsewhere want you?

What do Sam Bulte, and Deborah Coyne have in common?

They both lost in the last federal election, and now they both have facebook groups for them to run for the Don Valley West Federal nomination. To refresh your memory, Sam lost in Parkdale High Park, and Deborah lost to Jack Layton in Toronto Danforth.

I really hate to be a killjoy as both these women seem to be very qualified candidates, but I think it looks bad that we shuffle around people who lose election into seemingly winnable ridings just to get them elected. I prefer building riding associations around candidates, not parachuting them in if they can't get the job done in other ridings that they can possibly win.

It makes the party look elitist, that they can just push anyone onto the electorate, and feel that since the riding is Liberal, the public will vote for them. I believe in developing candidates that work together with their riding associations to stay involved in their constituency areas. Not candidates who move to another more winnable riding once they lose an election. I believe that if you lose, try again, campaign harder, meet more people, and sign up more members.

So on facebook I just see people joining groups for this riding, i have joined none. I really want to see if this nomination will be picked by the leader, or if it will be open and freely contested.



burlivespipe said...

They are both campaigning to win the nomination at this point. It remains up to the members in that riding to decide if either one deserves their support, so i see no problem with it.

William Norman said...

Mark Warner, the ousted Toronto Centre Tory candidate is also rumoured to be the the mix.

Gabe said...

Jamie - I disagree with your analysis. Bulte was defeated (despite being an incumbent) in Parkdale-High Park over a scandal that suggested a conflict of interest over copyright regulations. In fact, the blogosphere was instrumental in bringing about her defeat.

Deborah Coyne, on the other hand, ran against Jack Layton in a riding that nobody else (truly, nobody) had the chutzpah and courage to put up a fight. The margin of defeat was relatively slim, and it showed that she was a serious candidate with serious ideas and more importantly, a serious future as an advocate for Canadians. That campaign -- in which Deborah defied expectations -- shows the Liberals of Don Valley West that she will not shy away from a fight, and that she's willing to go the distance, against all odds, to advocate on behalf of Canadians.

Parila said...

Gabe, Deborah got her ass kicked in Tornto Danforth. Against her, Layton increased his absolute and relative margin of victory. She got fewer votes and less popoular vote than Dennnis Mills in 2004. And she apparently left the Riding Association broke. I am not sure how any of this qualifies Coyne for a penny of support in Don Valley West.

Gabe said...

Dennis Mills had been quite popular as a constit MP in Toronto Danforth, and after he entered the private sector (working for Belinda's dad), the riding association fell apart. Its financial hardship can be blamed on the fact that it's not easy to fundraise against an inexplicably popular party-leader with ties to the riding that go back many years. In other words, unless Bob Rae had run in T-D instead of T-C, we Danforthers had little hope of painting the riding red.

Jack Layton has a few more elections in him, and there's no reason why any star candidate with ideas and electability should continue to allow themselves to be a sarificial lamb in the riding. Liberals in T-D expected a blow-out; what we got was a great candidate who, though she lost the election, inspired confidence in a significant number of young people in the riding. Though we don't necessarily have the income to support the riding association, we're the future organisers that will re-invigorate the party's presence in T-D, and we owe a lot of that to Deborah's encouragement.

Of course Deborah's campaign in T-D cannot be said to "qualify" her to be the nominee in DVW. But I maintain that it shows that she has the courage and the commitment to the Party to fight a tough election. What qualifies to her be the nominee, in my opinion, is her 7 years on the Refugee Board, her time on the Ontario Human Rights Commission, her years as a policy-maker and adviser, and above all, her long history of advocacy for strong federal solutions for the problems that successive Conservative governments have burdened us with.