It’s not something that you rush into……but it isn’t something that can wait two years. That’s the position the Liberals sit in, as the party lays out plans to choose a successor to Michael Ignatieff. The party has released its final statement on the leadership process, deferring its vote on a new leader for up to two years. In the meantime, an interim leader will be chosen…..soon. But that ultimately means the new leader would only have two years to become acquainted with the Canadian voter. That’s exactly how long that same voter had to hear what Michael Ignatieff was all about. Like, exactly. Everyone knows how that ended. It took the prime minister almost seven years to get his coveted majority. Jack Layton has been the leader of the NDP for almost 10 years. The Liberals cannot think that a mere two years will be enough for a new leader to bring them back to glory. This has to be a transformative stage. Time is needed, but a couple of things have to be priorities: 1. An interim leader has to be chosen by the time the House reconvenes. It may have third party status in the House right now, but there’s no need to go hanging heads and assuming there’s an infinite amount of time to make a choice. 2. A policy convention sooner rather than later. Laying the planks for the party’s interim leader to walk on will be infinitely easier than the leader trying to make it up as they go along. One senior Liberal who was defeated on May 2nd told our newsroom today he never knew what would be announced as policy during the campaign from day-to-day. 3. Last but not least, the party has to get back to what made it successful- policies that appeal to a wide swath of people across the entire country. Some analysts believe a lack of focus was the problem in this election. Not true. The policy was good, the selling of it wasn’t. The party cannot wait the entire two years to choose their leader. That person simply will not have the time to assert themselves on the Canadian political landscape. Letting an interim leader run the party through the beginning of a very important historical period cannot be the course of action taken.
One of my favourite’s Lawrence Martin has his own ideas about the Liberals pending leadership race.
The Post’s John Ivison puts the fears of centrist Canadians to rest.
Following the Brosseau field day….So is Maclean’s Colby Cosh.