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Chrystia Freeland and Toronto Centre

Paul Wells considers the history of sideliners who made the jump


 

Chrystia Freeland interviews Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney at the National Press Club in Washington in April 2013. (Gary Cameron, Reuters)

There is much excitement in the roomy Venn intersection where journalists and Liberals meet over the news that Chrystia Freeland is seeking the federal Liberal nomination in Toronto Centre, where a by-election must soonishly be held to replace the retiring, though never shy, Bob Rae.

This is because Freeland is the press corps’s favourite kind of star candidate, one drawn from our own ranks. From its highest echelons, to be precise: Freeland, who is annoyingly younger than me, is a global superstar pundit whose track record includes stints at Thomson-Reuters, the Financial Times Moscow bureau, and for a time at the Globe and Mail, where she seconded Richard Addis as deputy editor for the first few years after the National Post launched in 1998. (Publisher Phil Crowley’s idea was that Canadians knew nothing about newspaper wars so he brought in Addis from the tabloids and Freeland from the quality press to teach Front Street how to fight.) Her latest book, about the Forgotten Middle Class, won accolades and made her Justin Trudeau’s favourite pundit because that’s a theme he seeks to promote.

Toronto Centre is also a riding of legend, because so many people who decide which ridings become legendary live there. It stretches from the financial district up to Rosedale and includes part of the University of Toronto and the city’s gay village. Previous MPs include Donald Stovel Macdonald, a Liberal whose September 1985 report gave Brian Mulroney much of his economic agenda; former mayor David Crombie; and Bill Graham. Trudeau has been under some pressure to find a candidate who’d have some economic credibility. Freeland will face competition for the nomination, but she provides the apparently needed credibility with a twist: FT, Reuters, global talking head, but also the furthest thing from a dusty banker.

Trudeau needs to recruit a new generation of candidates who can generate some buzz if he is to compete seriously in the 2015 election. (Most recent polls show the Liberal doing rather better than competing seriously, but it’s a long road to 2015, so I take those polls to be intriguing but hardly conclusive.) By all accounts Trudeau is already doing pretty well in candidate recruitment. The rumour mill is coughing up such names as CTV journalist Seamus O’Regan, who has conspicuously been spending quality time in his native Newfoundland. A few other ridings in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto seem likely to get interesting names in their nomination contests.

Meanwhile Freeland must compete for the nomination and the seats. She has all the usual weaknesses of rookie political candidates, plus one we have seen in only one recent case. The usual: it’s her first campaign, politics is a craft one learns by doing, and she hasn’t done much. History is full of sideliners who thought they knew how this works until they learned otherwise, from Jim Coutts to Rod Love to Randall Denley. The novel weakness is … well, are you surprised I made it this far without mentioning Michael Ignatieff? Freeland left Canada to pursue a post-secondary education and seems since then to have lived here only long enough to serve as Addis’s deputy from 1999 to 2002-ish. Liberals on Twitter yesterday were quick to pooh-pooh the comparison — surely travel is enriching! — and Freeland will be fine as long as there are no cases of her using “we” and “our” to refer to Americans.

Whoopsie.

In recent decades, however, as the president put it, “that bargain began to fray.” He pointed to the most important and most worrying evidence that it had broken down: “The link between higher productivity and people’s wages and salaries was severed — the income of the top 1 percent nearly quadrupled from 1979 to 2007, while the typical family’s barely budged”

 Obama pointed to some of the familiar political drivers of this shift — weaker unions and tax cuts at the top. But, to his credit, he also noted the structural factors — in particular, technological change and globalization — that have helped hollow out the middle class. These are the heart of the problem, because they are both largely positive and hard to change. We can’t stop them, and most of us don’t want to — but we surely do want to reverse their devastating consequences for the middle class. — Freeland, two days ago 

 


 

Chrystia Freeland and Toronto Centre

  1. A few things I’d note:

    I do think there’s a distinction between running for a nomination and running for leader like Mr. Ignatieff did right off the bat. Even when he ran in the 2006 election under the leadership of Paul Martin they were talking about Ignatieff like a future leader, and speaking of him as the 2nd coming of Pierre Trudeau. This is hardly the case with Chrystia Freeland, who, if elected, will be working under a leader who barring something completely unforeseen will be the Liberal leader for at least two elections. She’ll have plenty of time to hone her political skills and find a niche for herself in Ottawa.

    While you’re right in pointing out that politics isn’t the easiest thing in the world to pick-up on, comparing Freeland to Denley, the most recent example you cite, seems odd. Denley ran in a Liberal-held riding that was held by a former Mayor of Ottawa, this isn’t really the same as running in Toronto-Centre as a Liberal. Denley was facing an uphill battle, whereas if she gets the nomination,it would be pretty stunning to see Freeland lose Toronto-Centre.

    Overall, you have a fair point about the difficulties of politics, and how star candidates aren’t always star MPs, but the context of Freeland is too different from Ignatieff to be all that important in the grand scheme of things.

    All that being said, it may all be a moot point. Seamus O’Regan may run (IIRC, before he became a recognizable face to all on the CTV worked for Brian Tobin so he may have a better grip on politics than some may think), as might former Ontario Cabinet Minister (and Toronto Mayoral candidate who lost to Rob Ford!) George Smitherman.

  2. I think Ignatieff redux is possible but unlikely. From what I remember, Ignatieff was recruited to join Paul Martin’s team, only to join as the ship sank, and after the first failed leadership campaign, was rushed into leading the party, and into that disastrous election. Freeland is seeking to join the team already at the bottom and well out of power, and under much more certain footing as Justin has full control.

    I’d agree with the risks of a rookie politician. I’ve watched many interviews on Reuters tv where she’s sitting across from the likes of Krugman, Carney, Lagarde, Roubini, etc, and judging from her excellent credentials, there’s certainly no question that she can stand firmly at the heights. Whether that makes her a credible retail politician remains to be seen. I think she’ll have a relatively easy time of it winning this byelection in one of the safest Liberal seats left, where she can start building those skills. Expect to see Justin campaigning with her to ensure all goes well.

    I doubt the Tories or NDP will focus on her, simply because she’s not going to be the leader. It wasn’t until Ignatieff was leader that the Tories started their attacks, and besides, while Freeland would provide some serious credibility and intellectual heft to the Liberals, allowing Justin to point to a strong team that he can govern with, the Liberal resurgence rises or falls on Justin’s shoulders alone.

    • Good analysis, but I think that the question of the future of the Liberal Party having ‘much more certain footing’ and Trudeau having ‘full control’ will not be known at least until after the 2015 election.

  3. Pushy, pushy, pushy, the liberal candidate…. give her all the free press you can = liberal main street media!

    • Is there some forwarding address where I can send my point when it’s done sailing over your head?

      • Now, now Paul we all know know your ilk will do anything and everything to promote the golden boy and his American based candidates like this….one question about 2015, where are the Libs going to pick up a new130 seats for power? Ahhhhhh, sorry but this reality just popped your dream balloon

  4. I’d have thought it more important that the lady be free to exercise the full and free range of her intellectual talents – if she should get the nod – not, as did MI run from them in fear of being thought an ” intellectual elite”; or morph into yet another trained seal, as has a certain star ex diplomat who went over to the dark side. In my uninformed view it also comes down to having the courage to be yourself and stand out.

    • Albert Camus was an intellectual; Christopher Hitchens was an intellectual; MI was a TV Presenter. (They hire those at Harvard) It’s amazing to me how few people who described MI as an intellectual (i.e. pundits) never read his books, because what you see is what you get… there was no “running” from anything.

      So in his defence, he was a standup guy who spent campaign time speaking out for veterans, which has nothing to do with intellect and everything to do with character. He lost because Canadians aren’t outraged about the right things.

      (And the ex-diplomat was ALWAYS on the dark side… the difference is the Tory gang is attentive to broadening to talent from non-traditional constituencies like diplomats or Inuit, while Liberals have spent 10 years deepening our base)

    • Any thought that Freeland will morph into yet another trained seal is seriously misplaced. One of Justins problems is that she will say things that will be taken out of context. However if she wins the nomination and by election she will have time to learn the trade.

  5. Never underestimate the power of the negative in politics. There are already trolls in Ottawa parsing every word and nuance for the wedge. We lament the absence of vision in politics and pillory those who dare to give us one. Stop Confusing Us With Facts, Paul.

    And the fun part of politics is about to happen. The agglomeration of bright, aggressive and petulant young turks will populate the race will ensure that the view that the heavens have opened and upon us mortals and god has descended. That is the trap she must avoid at all costs.

    Leave her alone and let her run a campaign. And most certainly, don’t buy into the notion that media players make good politicians. Just ask Mike, Pamela and Peter.

  6. The “we” and “our” seem like pronouns applied to the middle class in general, and while it was clear she was writing for an American audience, it seems like something she could have said about any western economy.

    Also, Ignatieff’s gaffe was on video — infinitely more damning than the written word.

    • Mark Carney just used ‘we and our’ in the UK….where he’s currently employed, just like Ignatieff was in the UK and the US.

      • And he too would be unelectable as a PM, and unhelpful nationally as a candidate…

        • Why?

          • For the same reason Pearson couldn’t carry a majority, even with a Nobel Peace prize on his CV

            … excepting that today the middle and working classes are much angrier, and much, much more cynical about “merit” in expertise and professional success. I mean really: a banker? Where have Carneyfiles been living these past 10 years… Elysium? In the by-election in Victoria last year, which is hardly a blue collar / lunch-bucket community Liberals ran a very bright Prof from UVic (U Tokyo PhD ex RBC Chief Economist), and he finished… fourth!

            A party of urban technocrats is a third or fourth place party, just as liberal parties are all over Europe.

          • Are you saying that Canadians are stupid, and would prefer stupid leaders?

            We prefer what….? Mud wrestlers? Farmers? Factory workers?

            The guy on the next bar stool….what??

            Btw Europe is very left wing…and liberals are not technocrats

            Wherever did you get THAT idea??

    • That they can ‘we’ a cable/magazine audience in the UK or US (or EU?) only shows how the solidarity of the self-identified “middle class” as an iPad-toting global culture has grown stronger than nationality (the very theme of her last book, to her credit !) Which is fine I guess, unless you are ACTUALLY middle class, and trying to make ends meet on a hell of a lot less than Chrystia Freeland. Combined household income for Toronto families has a median of $62k (i.e. If you + plus spouse = 62, you’re the middle class… over $90 or $100k? not so much…)

      So hearing folks from the creative class throw around “we” is one thing on in a magazine or cable show aimed at a transnational wealthy, but comes off quite differently as a politician whose “we” is neither a social nor a national identity shared with many voters. How to win over Rob Ford voters? People who know who Georges St. Pierre is? Where’s the Liberal “we” for them… if not clear nationality?

      Everyone shifts their pronouns when they get into politics: for a doctor, patients are no longer “they”; for a cop, the FBI is no longer “we’ …but a journalists’ great liability is doing it on record. It’s the price paid for name recognition. I think she’s wonderful, and Toronto-Centre is a great fit, but at best she won’t be able to help carry seats anywhere else for a decade at least, until she’s definitively a professional and forgotten as a journalist.

  7. Liberal elites of Rosedale & the media, creating a candidate for the Liberal elites of Rosedale & Montreal as well as for the media. What’s new?
    Carry on.

  8. Hey, this is a female Mark Carney.

    He: born in Fort Simpson, NWT, She: Peace River, AB

    He: undergrad/grad: Harvard, Oxford. She: Harvard, Oxford

    He: Married to British economist from Oxford,. She: Married to British economist from Oxford.

    • Except that she’s a journalist, and Carney is an economist.

      • Jack Germond and Mort Kondracke say that doesn’t fit my narrative.

  9. It’s a perfect riding for this “rock star candidate” to run in. She’s a “rock star” only among the political elite and her fellow journalists. But it’s such a safe seat for the Liberals she’d be able to easily run around the country spending lots of time in front of the cameras with her media friends. Not talking policy of course, just more Liberal fluff about how millionaire Liberals from downtown Toronto and Montreal really get the middle class.

    I will say it is absolutely amazing how much press she’s been able to garner with her announcement. If I were thinking of running against her, I might think twice seeing how the national media has now completely gotten behind her campaign, much as they did with Justin Trudeau. It seems more than anybody else in Canada that the media now runs the Liberal Party of Canada.

    • Zack alors!

      • if that was a Paikin comment you are a genius and I salute you.

        • yes, yes, And William Stern thanks you.

    • It is in no way amazing that she’s getting a lot of press. 99.9% of the media in Canada are fellow travellers with a lib or NDP membership card tucked in their back pocket. Freeland will have a free hand in Rosedale, because most folks their would vote for a syphilitic three-headed-dog provided that it was a Liberal. It may not be pretty, but it is what it is, and like Bobby Boy Rae, she is a pompous hypocritical progressive leftist who will become an immediate media darling.

      • If “99.9% of the media in Canada” are Liberal and NDP sympathizers, then it must have been the .1% that produced repeated editorial endorsements for the Harper Conservatives in almost every major news organization in the country.

        With that kind of decisive control of editorial decisions, you’d think the .1% would engage with the Human Resources priorities of their own organizations and root out this conspiracy of progressives you have identified.

        • The liberals were so bad – they didn’t dare endorse them… they would all look “sick”… They saw how the general public were leaning – and to save their neck having all their reporters gushing over anything liberal… they were just trying save “face”.

          • You sure nailed that one. Always thought Wells was a gusher.

          • Right. Rather than endorsing the NDP, Greens, or Liberals( that they love, love love!), or not making an endorsement at all, they endorsed the Conservatives cuz everyone else is so bad and polls showed 1/3 of voters supporting the Conservatives.

            Oh, the cognitive dissonance!

          • Never trust the media party eh!

          • The depths of Conservative paranoia and feeling of persecution knows no bounds. Get all the major media endorsements, and complain about how the media are in the tank for the other guys.

    • Want some peanuts with your whine?

    • Well Harper completely ignores the media taking questions only from tame correspondents, when he takes questions at all. And his responses are so scripted as to not be news at all. The poor media types are starved for content, no wonder the see a ray of hope in Freeland.

  10. Freeland doesn’t know she was born if title of her book is anything to go by. People have to be deaf, dumb and blind to think the middle classes are being hollowed out in North America. Remove billionaires from discussion and North American middle class is easily the most blessed group of people on earth. Incomes are rising, standard of living is rising, material comfort improves …. and only left wing kooks think there is a problem.

    You could knock me over with a feather if Freeland would prefer to live same life she leads now 30 or 50 yrs ago. Our lives have improved immeasurably, not all of us want to go backwards like left wing types are so keen to do.

    • Guess you slept through the recent and continuing housing/ mortgage crash in that largish portion of N. America commonly called the US.
      And if you’re going to remove billionaires from the equation then it’s only fair to remove Fort Mac from the middle class debate in this country. Ask a dry Waller or carpenter in QC, ON or BC if they’re better off in real terms than in 1980.

      • “Crazed for elbow room, when the Boomers finally seized the reins of home ownership in the 1980s, all hell broke loose: Wide hallways, gargantuan entrance halls, mud rooms. By the turn of the millennium, Canadians lived in some of the world’s largest houses – and were filling them with some of the world’s smallest families. In 2002, a U.K. market analyst lined up developed countries according to how many of its citizens owned homes with more than five rooms. Canada easily bested Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand for the top spot.”

        http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/13/the-incredible-shrinking-home-why-canadas-houses-are-getting-smaller/

        David Hume – The humour of blaming the present, and admiring the past, is strongly rooted in human nature and has an influence even on persons endued with the profoundest judgment and most extensive learning

        • I’ll take the last as a compliment. But shouldn’t it be imbued?

  11. Wells You are taking a bit of stick on twitter for your focus on Freeland’s time abroad but it matters. I left Canada when I graduated from uni and lived abroad for 10 yrs and whenever I was in Canada, I could always count on someone giving me a hard time for living abroad – what’s the matter with Canada, not good enough for you? Lots of people were affronted by me not wanting to live in Canada. Rosedale types might think patriotism is silly but many other people care a great deal.

    • Not to mention you can’t even really make it in Canada unless you go abroad. Our second tier celebrities are those who never left, while our first tier were either educated abroad, spent a lot of time abroad or were born abroad.

      It’s a strange dichotomy.

      • Yes, I have long found it peculiar how dire our culture is. Canada has a few quality fiction writers and not much else going on even tho we have some very talented people who have left for US, UK and other countries.

        • Honestly I think you and Red are well behind the times on this one. To the degree it still exists its surely a relic of being a colony.

    • You do realize Wells has lived overseas himself, right. I can truefully say I have never been accused of being unpatriotic for spending chunks of time abroad and can’t think of anyone I know who’s run into that problem. Most Canadians are in my experience broad minded enough not to be bothered by such small minded garbage… in the states maybe, in the UK quite likely, on occasion. Equating Rosedale types with a lack of patriotism is moronic. What century do you think this is for god’s sake?

  12. Fascinating the number of times the word ‘elite’ is being used in these comments….and like it’s a bad thing!

    Elite: noun
    a singular or plural in construction : the choice part : cream [the elite of the entertainment world]

    b singular or plural in construction : the best of a class [superachievers who dominate the computer elite]

    How typically Canadian

    • It’s called the “Tall Poppy Syndrome.” People in Canada just want to drag those of us who have risen to the top down to where they are.

      • Yeah, also the ‘politics of envy’

        Sad, depressing….you’d think we’d applaud ability, education, experience abroad, success…..

        • It even extends to people being jealous of the benefits those who are unionized get and instead of fighting for those same benefits themselves, they fight to have others benefits removed.

          • Weird, innit? Do somebody else down, rather than building yourself up. People can choose their own class and income anymore….but still they want to attack and beggar other people.

    • It’s called ‘egalitarianism’, and it’s the foundational democratic value. The term ‘elite’ is used sarcastically in that most elites presume being elite entitles them to power… which it doesn’t. Rule by merit-based technocrats is unpopular always and everywhere (unless the technocrats happen to be in a run of really good luck with things!) The tendency for the Left to overrate the validity of expertise and dismiss notions of “common sense” or “the wisdom of crowds” is a big part of why the Right has been ascendent in public policy for 30 years.

      Success is a terrible teacher. In market society, where everything is planned by trial and error, is 1% inspiration 99% good luck. (The unsuccessful manage plenty of perspiration too.) HarvOxbridge types make great civil service mandarins, but rarely effective politicians unless they have some massively humbling experience, like FDR’s polio or PET calling it wrong on WW2. It’s usually folks with ample failure in their past who have the character to make good politicians.

      • That’s class envy….not part of ‘democracy’

        Any society that relies on it’s dumbest instead of it’s best….is doomed.

        • Some envy, but not too much, really: class *pride*, not envy, is a much bigger wedge in the culture wars. Folks who love poutine at grungy diners very rarely “envy” elites for their season tickets to the ballet, etc. (Low brow culture is not inferior to high brow culture… except to middle brow minds.)

          Skepticism of society’s “best” leads us to rule by the average, NOT necessarily the “dumbest”; my whole point is that average people resent being treated as “dumbest”.

          Representative democracy has never been about electing the “best”, it is indeed precisely about electing *representative* leaders: politicians who are most in touch with middle-class public opinion, and to whom the majority of people can relate and empathize. (And they don’t relate well to globetrotting workaholic overachievers.)

          Chris Hayes’ book is excellent on this theme: http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Elites-America-After-Meritocracy/dp/0307720462

          • There is no such thing as ‘class pride’ at lower levels….there are just excuses. This is Homer Simpson crap.

            If people don’t want to be treated as the dumbest….then they should stop being the dumbest.

            If society wants to get ahead….and it does….most people don’t vote for morons…..that’s kinda obvious.

            If there is any ‘twilight’ for the elites…..it’s game over for the US.

            And for the west in general

            You’d better learn Chinese.

          • I said ‘class pride’ is Homer Simpson crap

            I have no idea what SHE is talking about. THIS is technocracy

            World English Dictionary

            technocracy (tɛkˈnɒkrəsɪ)

            — n , pl -cies
            1. a theory or system of society according to which government is controlled by scientists, engineers, and other experts
            2. a body of such experts
            3. a state considered to be governed or organized according to these principles

  13. 1) For all it’s worth you might as well say she was using ‘we’ because she thought she was the Queen of England.

    2) Because I thought the whole “but he’s not realllllly Canadian” thing was very silly, I realize I’m not the target audience for this sort of platitude, but I always felt the “it’s OK if your not the leader thing” was a canard the CPC used to deflect other comparisons. If it doesn’t suit their current needs and they think it will work they will change their tune with no regard whatsoever to what they spend months of time and cash trying to hammer home. If you fell for it then, you’ll probably fall for it now and vice versa.

  14. Trudeau (and Freeland’s problem)is that in Canada, the Liberals are the party of the plutocrats and the plutocracy ecosphere (finance, media), the Conservatives are the party of the upper middle class, and the NDP is the party of entitled unionized government employees.

    If one is a member of the middle class or the working poor, who are you most likely to throw your lot in with, the plutocrats, the upper middle class, or unionized government employees. Whose values actually most closely resemble your values?

    Are the middle class going to believe the Liberals, the spokespeople for the plutocracy?

    • Consider Obama. He writes a great book and can give a great speech.

      But not a single bankster charged or prosecuted, Larry Summer about to become Fed Chairman, drone missiles falling on brown people everywhere, meta data snooping metastasized. Wall Street booming. Main Street still mired in economic stasis.

      i.e. he is a plutocrat stooge.

      True, the Republicans are plutocratic stooges also.

      In Canada, we at least have an alternative to the plutocrats. The bumbling paranoid Harper Conservatives and the clueless NDP.

      • It’s true that Obama gets away scot-free with doing things that would have jhad Bush Jr. being crucified by the press (e.g., drone-strike-o-rama).

        • Yup, I sure remember how Bush got crucified in the media when he invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and implemented “extraordinary rendition.”

          *snort*

          You were kidding, right?

          • That was just about the time the so called liberal media went AWOL as I recall.

          • I don’t know what you’re talking about. Bush was criticized in many circles for doing those things. Look at films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Standard Operating Procedure. The media is in some sense a reflection of the population — there are liberal media outlets, right wing media outlets and relatively centrist ones. I agree, lots of centrist and right-leaning media outlets were quite supportive of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. I think the rendition stuff got more critical coverage. But in any event, you’re already mashing things together by treating Iraq and Afghanistan as essentially identical events in this regard. The media, and the American people, and the international community, were far more supportive of the Afghanistan invasion (or in some cases less opposed to it), because of the closer connection to 9/11 etc. Look at Canada — we were yay on Afghanistan, nay on Iraq.
            Part of my point is, you don’t see people like Michael Moore going so prominently after Obama re the drone strike program, the way he was crucifying Bush for Iraq. You don’t see Michael Moore standing in front of the White House calling Obama a war criminal or anything like that.

          • So when you said “the press,” you meant “Micheal Moore”.

            Any other words in your comments that you have your own unique definitions of that we should know about?

          • There were a lot more figures in the US media than Michael Moore who were critical of Bush’s policy towards Iraq. I mentioned Moore because of his obvious prominence, his film was a massive commercial success, played in theatres to packed houses in the US and around the globe, he got prominent play with his speech at the Oscars and he won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, which also gave him massive media exposure. That’s the thing, Moore got tons of coverage in those mainstream media outlets that you seem to think didn’t provide any exposure to alternative points of view on Iraq.

            I agree with you that many or most of the large, mainstream media outlets in the US were supportive of the Iraq invasion, especially at the beginning before things turned south for the Americans after Baghdad fell. That tends to happen in wartime, the media and the population in general tend to get jingoistic, especially at the beginning. I didn’t support Bush’s policy or his invasion decision, so I don’t know why you’re jumping on me about that in the first place. If you want to go pick an argument with some hard-right Republican who supported Bush’s policy on Iraq, I suggest that you go find yourself such a person.

            In the meantime, of course, you changed the channel away from my original point, which is the comparatively kid-gloves treatment that Obama gets from people like Moore. Again, it’s not like people like Moore aren’t critical at all, it’s just that they turn the volume way down for someone like Obama whom they congenitally like and see as fundamentally “progressive”. It’s called hypocrisy and double standards.

          • It’s called human nature. If you start from the proposition that people are and will be hypocrites, particularly when their team is up, the you avoid much of this silly debate. Fact is other liberals are critizing Obama even if Moore is muted.

          • No, you’re original point was that Obama gets comparatively “kid-gloves” treatment from the press. And the point was nonsense.

            Foreign life is cheap to Americans, no matter who the president is.

          • “Foreign life is cheap to Americans, no matter who the president is.”
            Oooh, reflexive hatred of Americans, combined with tarring 350 million people with one bigoted brush. Stay classy.

    • The LPC may be a lot of things, both positive and not, but plutocrats is an absurd charge. Throughout its history it has been both hailed and reviled by the other parties for stealing from the right and the left.

    • Actually the Liberals are the party of the middle, the CPC is the party of Anne Rand and the NDP is the party of the unionists.

      Ask yourself, who would a plutocrat vote for? My bet is CPC.

  15. Wasn’t Bob Rae a hideous enough parachute politician? So another Liberal “genius” wants to run. This person shouldn’t be representing me. But the Rosedale putz’s want someone with more reputation than honesty. Provincially the riding is also represented by another bag of tepid swamp water named Murray. Even as a transportation minister he’s useless. This riding has serious economic, and social issues that have to be addressed. This dog ain’t up to the challenge.

  16. Just a further thought on the pronoun problem. Obviously those Twitter people didn’t do their research before offering that as a defence, and I’m sure there will be many instances where we find she’s used ‘we’ as in the US, but from what I remember, this didn’t trouble Ignatieff until running for leadership. I think she could face questions about being a parachute candidate in the byelection, but if she’s well prepared, she should be able to brush them aside with ease.

    If I’m not mistaken, the picture accompanying the article was from an interview in which Freeland started the introduction by describing Carney as a friend and fellow Canadian, and talked about how normally modest Canadians were rightly proud of our banking system and proud to have exported Carney to the FSB, and soon to the BoE, or something to that effect. I’m sure there are just as many instances where she’s proudly describing herself a Canadian during her time abroad, and I think her clear position as a member in Justin’s team, as opposed to a future Liberal Leader, will defuse the bulk of the risks of the pronoun problem.

  17. Hey PW!

    History is full of sideliners who thought they knew how this works until
    they learned otherwise, from Jim Coutts to Rod Love to Randall Denley.

    Reach back far enough and you might come up with another… Brian Mulroney.

    Never elected; became the leader; spectacular majority government; equally spectacular meltdown to a party of two after he left.

    History can repeat itself. It usually does, but in ways we least expect. I’m hoping for a repeat.

  18. So she’s a Canadian-born journalist that hails from exotic places like Moscow and New York City and is back in Canada, parachuted into Toronto Centre in quest of becoming a ‘star candidate’ for the Liberal Party of Canada under the leadership of Trudeau V2.

    Where have we recently heard this love story before?

    Before the media becomes too excited over another one of their own sweeping us off of our feet, perhaps Ms. Freeland should beseech an audience with Professor Ignatieff, the Liberal’s most recent Failed Messiah.

    Perhaps Toronto Centre Liberals will fall in love with her, and perhaps Toronto Centre would vote for a Liberal candidate even if it barked and walked on four legs, but since V2 isn’t going anywhere soon, is the purpose of this puff piece to introduce the rest of us to V2’s most illustrious and magnificent shadow-shadow cabinet (is there another term for the band of critics in a party that didn’t make the grade of “Official Opposition”?) and prepare us for Their Glorious Comeback?

    • Did you read the article? Because it already covered this ground.

  19. This is because Freeland is the press corps’s favourite kind of star candidate, one drawn from our own ranks.

    Sure. Just like Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, and Peter Kent. All treated like rock stars.

  20. The problem, clearly, isn’t partisan. Indeed, at its heart are good things worth preserving: technology and globalization. Is Freeland too realistic, too capitalistic, and too committed to the liberal economic values of the past? No. Of course not.

    Rather, Freeland used: “we” and “us” when referring to the economic challenge of our time. How many times has she done this before? Will this issue carry along on hundreds of little small legs?

    Michael Ignatieff, the last failed Liberal import, got in trouble using the term “we” when he was addressing Americans for unique and arguable reasons.

    He’d made a living as a writer singing the virtues of Canadian nationalism and Canada’s separateness from the US. Most important, he used “we” to promote American jingoism and war in Iraq. There was no way to pretend that he was trying to or even thinking about Canadians when he waved the flag of aggressive American Exceptionalism. Read more at les-horswill.blogspot.ca

  21. Unlike Michael Ignatieff who was just handed a seat in Etobicoke-Lakeshore (and apparently booted out the former MP Jean Augustine), it sounds like Chrystia Freeland is not being handed the nomination. Justin Trudeau is leaving it up to the membership in the riding association to pick the nominee and she will be expected to earn it fairly. If she wins it, then she has earned the right to run.

    • I’m confused. That speaks about Reuters, Freeland isn’t even mentioned in the article. Why would you attribute a decision made by a multinational corporation specifically to her?

  22. That picture of her? Scary!

  23. The parties all receive such broad generalisations. Problem is, each party has a mix of believers and doubters, there is a rich debate internally, and the leader just seems to represent whatever the media are willing to lap-up. The Conservatives by 2015 will have had 9 years in power and their time is winding down. Never fear: they will be back, in the same or a different form, a few years on. The Liberals are a mess, and ever since they were genetically programmed to believe that they were the only party that could EVER possibly govern Canada their self-righteous ways have only grown stronger each year. That’s why they thought a naive semi-buffoon like Trudeau was ready to lead a national party. He’s bumbling and constantly trying to remember his “message” while impulsively screaming about this or that issue that he is barely competent about, only to make retractions and corrections later on. Calling the NDP clueless is like saying to a 3rd round pick in the NFL draft, “You’re short, your style is kind of weird for the big leagues, and we don’t really believe in you, so we won’t really give you a chance. But stick around just in case.” But if we let go of our pre-formed notions on past history, of ill-informed ideas about what someone (or a party) can or cannot do, and give them a chance, then they might just turn out to be a 5’10” anomaly like Russell Wilson and the next great quarterback in the history of the league. Worst case scenario for giving a “3rd party” a chance? They suck, you bench them (they’d be a minority anyway), put in a more prototypical player (government) and win a championship a couple of years later. Best case? You discover something you never knew existed and somehow it freaking works. If we keep voting out of fear instead of hope for something better, then we are bound to get the same poop we have been getting for the past 5 decades. Anyway, we’ll see who wins this by-election. The media who apparently “love the left” sure didn’t even mention the highest profile person in the race, Jennifer Hollett (of MuchMusic, CBC, CTV, with an MPA from Harvard University, part of Obama’s Leading Change Network for grassroots organizers, an app developer who created one in 2011 to help understand the impact of political contributions in elections across North America, who is the international summit moderator for the Girls20 summits annually, and to top it off, a high profile journalist who helped run the Journalists for Human Rights group in Africa). She’d win the Liberal nomination in a heartbeat! But surprise, she’s running for the NDP. Let the best woman win. P.S. only one of them actually lives in Toronto Centre and has lived there for the past decade.

    • Well-argued post. It will probably sell for many in that area code, her being one of Obama’s young pioneers. Unfortunately, her “Left” cred (solid as it appears to be) isn’t what world-class COTU pink-symp media mavens really salivate over. They want a Liberal with glitter. They want to restore to Ottawa the same neutered animal you’ve mocked. (And I’d ask you to restrain from savaging JT in future posts. He’s the Tory’s saviour, and we’d like to keep him upright and confident until just before the election.)

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