Sunday, September 13, 2009

The race in Saanich-Gulf Islands just got a lot more interesting

As Woman at mile 0 reported last night, the new Liberal candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands is Renee Hetherington. This race is quickly shaping up to be one of the ridings to watch in a coming election, whenever that may be. We know the riding has a high profile Conservative MP, Gary Lunn, who may be very vulnerable to defeat. And we know that Green party leader Elizabeth May has decided to run there. What you may not know, at the national level anyway, is much if anything about Hetherington unless you've been following along. For that reason, thought I'd pass along this, the text of Briony Penn's nomination of Hetherington last night. It pretty clearly demonstrates that Hetherington is bringing a lot to a race that is going to be a tough one:
"I am very proud to nominate Renee Hetherington to be our candidate in the next federal election. I encouraged Renee to seek this nomination because I know she has what it takes to defeat Gary Lunn - WIN this riding – and help put an end to the shame of the Stephen Harper government.

As your candidate in the last election, I had to increase the Liberal vote by 6,000 votes – and I did. I had to gain the Green and NDP vote –- and I did. What happened? The Conservative vote went up! We learned a tough lesson last October. This isn’t the “green riding” some people think it is. It’s a tough nut to crack!

What can we do? We can – we must - learn from the last election and choose the candidate who will hold the voters who supported me last time AND reach out to the moderate voters who left us. That candidate is Renee Hetherington.

In fact … if you sat down at a drawing board to come up with the ideal Liberal candidate for this riding at this point in time, you’d start with someone with a strong grasp of the economic challenges facing Canada and a really impressive business background. How about somebody with an MBA who’s run a number of successful companies, and now consults to the resource sector? That’s a good beginning.

You’d be smart to decide your candidate would be a woman – and you might dream up a woman who had the savvy and the strength to be a cattle rancher – a woman who was ELECTED by the cattlemen in BC to be their executive director. [Aside to audience: Sounds improbable, doesn’t it?]

But of course you’d want your candidate to have impressive environmental credentials, too. So you’d make her a climate scientist – a PhD – who’s written numerous papers for peer-reviewed scientific journals and even has a book being published by Cambridge University Press -- and the book would be on climate change. Okay – you’re dreaming in Technicolor now, right? So go ahead and make her an absolutely unbelievably well qualified candidate.

Say she’s a business person, and a cattle rancher, and a consultant to the resource sector and a climate scientist – and now give her family roots that go back three generations in this riding, on Salt Spring Island. Okay – you’ve done it. You’ve created an absolutely amazing Liberal candidate – and she’s standing right here.

I am proud to nominate Renee Hetherington as OUR next Liberal candidate in Saanich Gulf Islands."
A video of her nomination speech can be found below. While she is new to this, she has a real integrity about her, a really solid sensibility. Some funny lines too. Tip though...move the Gary Goodyear line up in the speech, it's killer:) (occurs in last 3 minutes)

Congrats to Woman at mile 0 and everyone who worked for Hetherington out there.

(h/t to AMFresh for video & P for the speech above)