Remember those attack ads? The Harper Party ads about Bob Rae?
There were 101 theories about why the Harper Party would go after the interim leader of the Liberals. Was it to poison the Liberals who had vowed to fight attack ads against their Leader by making them decide if they could afford to protect a stop gap leader? Was it to distract the people from what was going on in Ottawa at the time? Or was it to try and make sure that it would be almost impossible for Bob Rae to attempt to be the elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada?
I’m thinking it might be number three.
Recently, well for a while now, the Harper Party has been pushing to have a pipeline shoved through B.C.’s back door to provide Alberta Bitumen (rather than oil or tar sands production) access to China. This of course was plan “B” after the big pipeline to Texas appeared to die a political death.
The NDP on the other hand opposed the pipelines in both directions and for the most part are opposing the development of the bitumen deposits in northern Alberta.
And in wanders Bob Rae. Its Stampede time in Calgary and Bob looks to the left and sees Tom Mulcair shaking his fist and preaching the evils of pipelines and Tar Sands development. Bob looks to his right and sees Steve Harper waving his hands in the air preaching Oil Sands development and the need for more economic freedom by running a pipeline through B.C. so it can be sold to the Chinese.
Now Bob Rae looks back and forth a couple of times and sees how far apart these two fellows have moved. They are polarizing the debate and Bob sees something the other two are missing. There are a whole bunch of people in the middle and they’re not really buying what the other guys are selling.
So Bob steps up and does the unthinkable. He starts to make sense.
Standing in Alberta where he knows he doesn’t have a lot of support, Bob starts talking about the Oil Sands.
Basically he tells people that the Oil Sands are going to be developed, we all know that, and it will be up to the governments of Alberta and Canada to decide how that development takes place. Bob says that the development needs to be of value to Alberta and Canada and that it needs to be done properly so that there is no hangover left for the descendants of Albertans and Canadians in general to clean up. He even goes as far as to applaud the oil companies that are trying to restore the region to its natural state after they are through.
He’s carving out the middle ground for his party and doing it in Alberta.
Bob Rae has been watching, he’s seen the collapse of WildRose and the hopes of the Harper Party to have their provincial equivalent ruling in Alberta. He’s seen the people of Alberta return to the more moderate Conservatism of the PC Party and he’s betting that at least some of them are closer to the Liberal Party stance than that of the Harper Party.
Does he expect to carry Alberta in the next Federal Election? I seriously doubt that. He’s talking to the rest of Canada as well. And a lot of Canadians aren’t too fond of the pipeline and the gutting of environmental policy to appease big oil but that also think that the deposits in Alberta will be developed anyway. Kind of like me. Kind of like Peter Lougheed who thinks Albertans should be processing the bitumen into oil and oil products and not the Chinese or the Texans and I agree with him on that as well.
I really think it is a shame that Bob Rae likely will never get the chance to be in the Leaders Debate at election time. I think he’d mop the floor with Harper. He’s an extraordinarily smart man and a very canny politician. Unfortunately he has a lot of baggage from his Premiership in Ontario, most of it undeserved.
Premier Bob Rae managed to steer Ontario through a recession with virtually no help from his Federal counterparts and left Ontario is rather good shape at the end. Unfortunately he lost his popularity in doing it.
Harper, the so called Master Strategist missed the mark trying to push Bob Rae around. He didn’t realize that Bob cares more for his Country and his Party than Harper ever will.
Bob Rae is still fighting a good fight and when he hands the Liberal Party of Canada over to the next leader, he will have done his utmost to make sure the party is capable of taking back the middle ground and going from being an also ran to being a serious contender in the next election.
I hope the Liberal Party will respect his efforts and continue to build towards their future.
I am not currently nor have I ever been a member of the Liberal Party or any other Political Party for that matter.
Although I tend to favour some parties over others, I still maintain that the elected member for my riding should be my representative in Ottawa and not his or her party’s representative in the riding regardless of the colour of their political flag.
I’m done disclaiming; if you would care to rant back I’d be happy to read it, besides I need new ideas from time to time.