If you’re an Ontario Liberal voting in leadership election meetings this weekend, I hope you’ll consider supporting Gerard Kennedy and your local Kennedy delegates. And if you’re voting in Scarborough-Centre, I’ll be running as a Kennedy delegate and I’d greatly appreciate your support.
We have a lot of great candidates running for OLP that bring a diversity of experience and perspective to the table. While it’s hard to find fault with any of them, I feel that Gerard stands out from the pack for a number of reasons.
One, he balances experience with fresh perspective. As the minister of education from the first McGuinty government, he has governing and cabinet experience. And having left for federal politics in 2006, he has some distance from some of the issues that developed in the later years.
It’s going to be a tricky balancing act – we can’t run away from our record, we need to recognize that tough decisions had to be and were made in good faith, that some mistakes were unfortunately made, and that changes do need to be made. I feel Gerard is best positioned to strike that balance. His experience on the education file also offers the opportunity for a reset on what has become a fractured relationship with the province's teachers, which I think would be welcomed by all sides.
Second, I like Gerard’s policy positions. (Yes, I’m one of the rare breed that thinks policy matters in a leadership race).
Third, with experience in both the federal and provincial Liberal parties, he has first-hand perspective on what’s right and what’s wrong internally, perspective that has informed his positions on much-needed party reform. And his point about shaking off “governmentitis” is bang-on.
Finally, for me picking a leader is about the intangibles. It’s about judgment, temperament, and leadership style. I don’t expect to agree with a leader on every issue. But I want to know that I can trust their decision-making. While I may disagree with where they end up, I want to know they will listen to all perspectives, weigh them carefully, and make the decision they feel is best for the people.
I think his career, from running a food bank in Edmonton to the Ontario cabinet to the federal Liberal caucus, shows that Gerard Kennedy is in public service for the right reasons, is inclusive in his decision-making, and will make the right calls for the right reasons.
That’s why he has my support this weekend, and I hope he’ll have yours too.
* As always, my blogs are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of any other organizations I may be involved with.Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers