July 28, 2006

Gerard Kennedy is the one!

The Toronto Star asked nine candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada two questions regarding the situation in Lebanon:

What would you have done differently than Prime Minister Stephen Harper?

If you were prime minister, what would you do now?

In my opinion, Gerard Kennedy's answers put him far ahead of the rest of the pack as a progressive:

Gerard Kennedy, former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister, said he would have reacted more quickly, both diplomatically and in getting Canadians out of Lebanon, adding, "Certainly, I don't think the Canadian government acted as quickly as other governments did.

"I believe that Canada should have been calling for a ceasefire, and we should have been doing that some time ago. We should be talking to all the responsible parties in the region ... It will be the cause of some regret that Canada did not exercise its good offices in this and people are dying on both sides of the border. It's not that we are a friend of Israel or a friend of Lebanon — we're a friend of peace."

Kennedy, too, is open to providing Canadian peacekeepers.

"If (Harper) has dismissed Canada's peacekeeping role, I think that's a mistake. And that's where I would differ with him. I think at some juncture there will be room for peacekeeping in this and Canada should stand ready, not just to respond, but to be part of the group, within the UN initiative. I don't think it should be left solely to the United States' initiative ... In some way, Prime Minister Harper has let down the parties in the Middle East and Canada by not exercising himself in this way (as a negotiator)."

I am neither a delegate nor a member of the Liberal Party. Had I been one, Gerard Kennedy would have been the clear choice for me.

Gerard Kennedy's leadership site

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