Friday, January 5

Overview of Federal Leadership Convention

Had a challenge getting this on; being so long away from it. Well at last with my son's help I got it. Alot has happened in our family since my last posting. Our grand daughter needing a liver received it from her dad, our son on Dec. 21. He is recovering real well but Neala has been challenged all the way. Fortunately, suddenly over the past couple days she appears to be improving. The first 3 donors that offered, all family members were not approvable, so you can imagine how tense things were. Also, our second son got married. However, hopefully from hereon I will be more diligent with attempting to keep yopu informed. An overview on the convention follows:

Democracy Renewed – What a Great Week!
Overview and outcome of ‘Liberal Leadership Convention 2006’
(A new Liberal Leader for Canada and a new Premier for Alberta)

What a great week for our Province and our Country. It renews one’s faith in the collective wisdom of the people of Alberta and Canada. The week-end of Dec. 1 and 2 was a great week for democracy and renewal. The people spoke and were heard. The average citizen including, especially the little guy must feel a great sense of empowerment and hope for the future. However, the first couple of people who asked how the Convention went really took me aback by their responses when I attempted to share my perspective. It emphasized to me that there are so many who lack understanding of politics and systems and their unwillingness to hear another perspective. They appear to prefer to knock and complain. One bright young lady even suggested that “you (meaning I) may be separatist” … on hearing who I supported in the leadership race. As I said quickly to defuse the situation “for anyone to think such of me doesn’t understand me”. Another individual disclosed his prejudice telling me we had “made a mistake electing another Frenchman” etc. Such people are so closed I their focus and belief they likely wouldn’t accept if God was elected. They really must not think let alone tune into the news let alone realize Mr. Dion, at great cost to him and his family was the chief architect in de-escalating the separatist hysteria we experienced a dozen or more years ago thus keeping our great country together. In fact, if we think about it what party was in power when the hysteria escalated? Mr. Dion provided us the ‘Clarity Act’ that will guide us in the event the issue of separation ever arises again.

However, others quickly made-up for the ones just described and were anxious to hear firsthand details of the convention and assured me of my wisdom in choosing to support Mr. Dion. Over the week even some of my Conservative friends let me know their distaste for the current direction their party has taken, even appear to think it is only a matter of time before the next election and that the Liberals will be back in power again and hopefully stop the regression that’s occurring.

Anyhow, back to the Convention. I just wish that everyone could have such a wonderful experience. It was such a wonderful experience. Though the cost is high to each delegate to attend it is such an honour to be party to such an awesome experience. To begin with, though I and a couple others of the delegates were undeclared and having followed all Leadership candidates with interest over the preceding months and though I believe all the candidates were excellent, each having different strengths I was impressed most with Mr. Dion. Also, I believed that given my position as former candidate it would likely be in the overall best interest that I remain undeclared. However, with a couple weeks to go to the Convention and his reported underdog status and strongly believing that Mr. Dion would be the best for Canada I realized that if I wanted to help assure Mr. Dion to win I needed to advise him of my support. When asked my preference I made no secret of it. So really, going into the Convention I was committed and attended and worked for Mr. Dion right through. The main reasons I supported him was because of his stance with respect to Quebec and the environment. Also, right from the start I got good vibes from him and saw him as a man of integrity. He has never wavered in his stance on the Quebec separation issue.

The bitter cold snap we had before leaving for Montreal had already started moving to the East and though it only started snowing while we were there the wind was bitter cold. However, despite this we all felt buoyed. It is really something to be part of such a large movement. Some of us only saw each other a couple times during those days. Though alternates were disappointed and didn’t get bumped-up to vote and waiting in line for two hours for the first vote everything appeared super-well organized. I decided my time would be best spent mingling, engaging and enticing delegates from elsewhere to seriously consider supporting Mr. Dion. At night we visited some of the parties and started early each day. The first display of strength was by Mr. Ignatieff. Initially it appeared as though he would win hands down. The former PMs did us proud with their speeches directed at party unity as did the candidates and it was great to see many familiar faces from yester year; Don MacDonald, Marc Lalonde and TV reporter, Don Newman. Going into the second vote I was painfully conscious and concerned for Mr. Don’s lack of heavy-weight support from former Ministers but found a ray of hope from the New Brunswick delegation who assured me they were supporting Mr. Dion after the first vote as did others resulting in Mr. Dion capturing the prize. Since then we’ve seen and been assured by his enlisting his contenders and appointing them to his shadow cabinet so the Liberal shadow cabinet is a powerhouse tapping and utilizing such great skills. We all felt proud of the party and our efforts and look forward to great things as we continue to rebuild, renew and prepare for the next election and serving this great country. Vive le Canada! Michael Cormican, Past Candidate, Lethbridge

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