Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Grassroots over backroom money

I am so proud to be a Liberal. Over the weekend we had a leadership convention that could be a defining political event of my generation. I proudly stood wearing a T-shirt supporting Stephane Dion while waving a Canadian flag. A mild distaste was growing in my mouth as I looked around the convention hall and saw the millions of dollars that were spent on paraphernalia and signs; money that could have been better spent on aid in Africa. Worst of all was the Ignatieff camp with flashing pins, plush scarves, and multi colour T-shirts for his delegates. All of it bought with money that came from the back room halls of power on the hill.

Some people have questioned Dion’s ability to renew the party given that he was a former cabinet minister. However, Dion’s victory is a true renewal of the party. Dion spent the least amount of money of the top four on his campaign, he had little backroom support to begin with. Dion’s supporters are the grassroots of the party, not the powerhouse of the party. Despite Ignatieff’s new face and new name to politics, an Ignatieff victory would have been a victory for the status quo.

Stephane Dion is free to make decisions based on his values, his intellect and his people. He does not have to worry about strings from above. This weekend we voted for change, we voted for renewal, and we voted ideals.

I love democracy, for once, we voted for the little guy.


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