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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Rushing at the modern sunset to your window / Gestured with the bleach in hand, she said "let's go" "L.A." she cried / The heartbreak rides for free
— A.C. Newman, The Heartbreak Rides
November 30, 2006
Advice From Howard Dean

Howard Dean addressed the Liberal Leadership Convention last night.

Grits get pep talk from Howard Dean
JEFF SALLOT
Globe and Mail Update

MONTREAL The most wide-open Liberal leadership convention in a generation opened Wednesday, with a pep-rally style speech in the evening by U.S. politician Howard Dean.

He told about 2,500 delegates at the Palais de Congres in Montreal that opposition political parties — such as his in the United States and theirs in Canada — can win elections by going after every vote.

“Whether it is the Liberal Party or the Democratic Party, we should never cede a single region or province, never cede a single state or city. Nor should we ever cede a single voter. Not a single one,” Dr. Dean said.

Amongst the permanently cynical, there’s a great deal of catty talk about Dean’s advice. Dean’s personal campaign is probably one of the most famous acts of self destruction in recent political memory.

Paul Martin’s pales in comparison. Noboby even knows where Canada is compared to the U.S.

Dean is the current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and as such is basking in the glow of seizing both the House and Congress in the recent mid-term elections.

It’s important not to forget a key reality of politics: there are two ways to win.

The first is winning the honest way: getting out there and talking to people; shaking hands; kissing babies; engaging in a disussion of ideas; not resting on laurels, but really making a difference.

That’s winning. In the current context of a Liberal Leadership race I’ll call this the Pierre Trudeau Style of Winning. It’s a wonderful thing to watch happen, and fairly rare.

The other way to win happens because the other guy loses. There’s a big difference. I’ve recently begun calling this the Stephen Harper Style of Winning. Make no mistake, the Harper government is a result of the failings of the Martin government, not any sense of Conservative idealism.

The Democratic victory in the U.S. mid-term results, I suspect, fall into the second category. It occured in a political environment created by George W. Bush’s astonishing lack of popularity. The Democrats did nothing to create a culture of success: they scrambled in a culture of failure.

The Liberals, like the Democrats, currently lack focus and—figuratively speaking—leadership. It remains to be seen if the Democrats will coalesce into a coherent whole now that they’ve achieved power.

I certainly wouldn’t take Mr. Dean’s advice with a grain of salt until we’ve seen evidence that they can, and that this wasn’t an accidental victory.

Doing so could be a sure recipe for another Conservative led minority government.

Posted by skooter at 6:20 AM This entry is filed under Politics.
This entry is tagged: Liberal Leadership 2006

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