Thank God the Liberals rejected a U.S. primary-style leadership vote!
Who cares about the Liberals' creation of a new class of "supporter" as differentiated from "member"?
And, with barely a 26-vote vote "win" over Sheila Copps, the new President, Mike Crawley, will be shown soon and sadly to be in waters "over his head" starting with healing the party divisions and moving to the question of Mr. Rae's possible bid to become the permanent leader. According to reports, Crawley believes that if Rae does want the permanent leadership, "he would have to resign the interim leader's post" first.
As the candidate from the Martin camp, Crawley is clearly sending signals that he does not support Mr. Rae's candidacy for the permanent leadership, at a time when the party, both in the House and also in the public eye, desperately needs Mr. Rae's "brand" as one of the stabilizing features of a rather chaotic period in the history of the party.
Crawley professionally, conducts wind energy projects.
As the new, only 42, president of the Liberal Party at this juncture, Crawley will have neither the heft nor the gravitas required by the post, at this time. This is a very turbulent time in Canadian politics. Harper's gang has a huge stash of cash, a very long list of contributors, an army of committed volunteers who subscribe to the neo-con agenda, and a substantial component of the public media that are at least neutral, if not openly supportive of the Harper moves.
Crawley comes into this post as a "young boy" trying to perform in a very complex, very cloudy and extremely turbulent context, both within the party itself, and in the wider political theater.
Youth may have vigour; it may even have courage; it sometimes has insight; but it rarely demonstrates wisdom.
Many members, and former members will be extremely heristant to support an executive led by Crawley, perhaps through no specific fault of Crawley, either of commission or of omission. However, a ship that is foundering on the shoals does not easily right itself by the appointment (election) of an untried skipper.
And this ship is still foundering. And this new skipper is certainly untried. Having the backing of all delegates under the age of 30 is not necessarily demonstration that this party is coming to grips with the seriousness of its current situation.
Mr. Rae reminded delegates on Friday evening, "Remember, we have been knocked down, but not knocked out!"
Well, with this election of Mike Crawley, the knock-down may have turned itself into a knock-out, administered by the party to itself.
Openness is certainly welcome. But without the necessary gravitas, wisdom and experience, it is like a wave of "magic dust" sprinked over the delegates in one final act of showmanship, certainly not a decision that will bring the confidence of the Canadian electorate to the funding, policy or candidate selection process in the next election, OR in the election following the next election.