Toronto Star piece encapsulates for me why Sheila Copps is the wrong choice for Liberals:
I had heard from Liberals who are thrilled that Copps, once one of the best-known — and most controversial — Liberals in Canada, is in the race. They believe she is their best hope to spark interest in the party, rebuild internal operations and attract new members.
I had also heard from Liberals who feel Copps is “yesterday’s woman” and to them an unsavory reminder of the years when the party was waging bitter internal wars. They also fear she will be more interested in seeing herself on national TV than in dealing with the nuts-and-bolts of running the party.
There you have it, and the above is problematic. I will never understand the net benefit in embarking on perhaps our final stand as a party with someone who solicits such a wide array of feelings? For a party that needs all oars in the water pulling in unison, the LAST thing desired is a controversial figurehead that turns some on, others off, a confusing presentation of the past trying to pave the future.
Sheila Copps GETS ink, she always has, because she has that kind of profile, because she is opinionated and the media laps that up. Liberals must ask themselves, do they prefer a nondescript builder or someone who will be in the news, and as we've seen MAKE some news of their own? Run through the other candidates for President, do they offend anyone, do they bring passionate disagreement, are they a POLARIZING figure? Personally, I want to hear ideas, beyond that I want the next President to work tirelessly behind the scenes to rebuild the party, I have no desire to hear them on television, that is a role for others. As well, I will literally CRINGE anytime a President interjects themselves into wider debates and becomes part of the story. With this sentiment in mind, having watched Sheila Copps for decades, it will be almost IMPOSSIBLE for Copps to wade in. Canadians will see a "face" on the party, one that they will CLEARLY identify with the past, one that will be at odds with our essential "NEW" thrust, the optics are confusing, period.
The LAST thing we need is baggage attached to our "NEW" direction, why we would VOLUNTARILY handicap ourselves like that forever escapes me. I appreciate the strengths her, Copps brings much to the table, but there are negatives and that in and of itself is concerning, for my money not the "best foot forward" scenario coming out this decisive convention. Again, who we choose for President isn't the critical moment for all time, but it's not a "nothing" calculation either, it has practical and SYMBOLIC ramifications that will be apparent in the months ahead.
A fascinating Lawrence Martin column today, on a mostly unrelated topic, but interspersed with references to Copps, apparently about leadership, but also somehow about Sheila, to the point a MP's opinion is sought. Again, another reminder of the direction we may well be headed, and one that deserves careful consideration...