The second coming of Bob Rae

The first and only time I met Bob Rae was in high school, over twenty years ago now, when he was about the age I am now. We were assigned a big project in Economics. While everyone worked hard, I got the idea to invite Bob Rae in to class. I got an A+ for minimal effort. I've always liked Rae since then.

At the time, Rae had just formed a coalition government with David Peterson in Ontario. Nobody knew whether that was a smart or not at the time. It ended up being a very good move. A few years later, Rae was premier of the province in what might be the only time the NDP ever governs in Ontario. It wasn't smooth sailing, although you could blame the economy at the time in part. You could see Rae mature, but it wasn't enough for his government to survive the next election.

Now Rae is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. This will drive my brother crazy, but here's why I like that idea.

Bob Rae is a great opposition leader. I don't know if he would make a great Prime Minister or not, but you always want the opposition leader to be effective. I'd love to see Rae as leader of the opposition in Parliament.

Bob Rae is brilliant. He is probably the smartest guy I've ever disagreed with on many issues (except for you, big brother David). I don't know if brains are really an asset in politics or not, but if they are, Rae has what it takes. He's principled too.

Of course, I haven't touched on policy issues. That's a whole other post. But I'm rooting for Rae and the introduction of national Rae Days (sorry again, David). Go, Rae, go!

Stephen Harper on jumping parties

From Pulse24 - Toronto's News:

We do not go out of our way to romance MPs to cross the floor...We try to create a principled party and going about it in a principled way. We are cautious about party-jumping because it creates cynicism it and if they jump once, you are not sure they will not jump again. I will always handle that with extreme caution.

As my six-year-old son said this morning, "Why does it seem like we have the same government?"

Don't cross the floor

A new government is being sworn in, and a former Liberal cabinet minister has crossed the floor and joined the Conservative cabinet. His personal website still shows the Liberal logo.

I don't know how you can run for one party and join another one a couple of weeks later. What's changed except you were on the losing side?

I hope Harper passes legislation calling for an automatic by-election when this takes place.