Saturday, October 18, 2008

Draft McKenna!

It looks like Stephane Dion is going to step down Monday, and I wish him all the best. He seems to be an intelligent, passionate, and charming individual who just isn't all that great a politician.

So without further ado, the Liberals must draft Frank McKenna as their parliamentary leader.

McKenna was the popular premier of my home province of New Brunswick for ten years, resigning in 1997, since he promised to only serve that long. His policies were all about jobs, and he convinced businesses to invest in NB through traditional means like tax incentives but also a more personal touch: direct phone calls to businessmen and professionals. He even had a toll-free number direct to his office, 1-800-MCKENNA that anyone could use. This was not a man afraid to face his constituents. More recently, he was the ambassador to the US, and he is currently Deputy Chairman of TD Bank (which is valuable experience given the financial turmoil afflicting the globe).

Most importantly, he's a good communicator, a credible leader, and speaks flawless English.

The only problem is that he doesn't seem to want the job! And the Liberals will probably cruise to another defeat without him. But if he runs, he can count on my vote.

UPDATE: Maybe I spoke too soon; from yesterday's paper:

Could McKenna be the Liberal leader?


Steve V said...

speaks flawless English.

Too bad about that other official language, and anti-abortion, there's a winner.

Are we really this stupid? McKenna ain't the white knight, he's a mirage.

Deb Prothero said...

No way are any women going to vote for McKenna. That horse is not in the race.

Desmond said...

Steve, McKenna speaks adequate (though not flawless) French; New Brunswick is the only officially billingual province, and he did need to use it.

The "speaks flawless English" thing was meant as a humourous comparison to Stephane Dion, but humour is apparently lost on some people... for abortion, I don't think it's fair to say that McKenna was or is anti-choice (at least not publicly), but he was opposed to Morgantaler opening a taxpayer-funded private abortion clinic in Fredericton. That's a big distinction.

In any case, he's far better than the most likely alternative, Ignatieff.

Deb Prothero said...

McKenna is too attached to Bay St. for my taste. Lousy french and yes, he most definitely is anti-abortion so you'll lose all the female liberal votes before you're even out of the gate.

Deb Prothero said...

By the way, the Blogging Tories are already hooting it up about McKenna on the abortion issue.

Desmond said...

"Lousy french and yes, he most definitely is anti-abortion so you'll lose all the female liberal votes before you're even out of the gate."

I did not say anti-abortion, I said anti-choice. I am anti-abortion too; I think it is better avoided altogether, and should always be a last resort.

But I am also pro-choice.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a non-issue. Even if elected, McKenna wouldn't dare touch abortion. Even when he was fighting Morgentaler over his clinic, abortion was legal and freely available in New Brunswick, albeit with some regulation.

You're right though, politics is politics, and McKenna may struggle to convince Liberals that he's the right man for the job with a murky record on abortion. But this isn't the US.