Monday, March 04, 2013

Harris & Russell on Murray #lpcldr

While the race goes on in the background, two pieces to note that are out in the last 24 hours on Joyce Murray demonstrating her continuing ability to impress.

There was the column in iPolitics as of last night by one tough cookie, Michael Harris: "The credibility candidate: Joyce Murray in conversation." It's out from behind the paywall so I'll leave you to read it.

Also on the must read list is Peter Russell's column in Ontario Newswatch: "Joyce Murray is the Best Choice for the Liberals and the Rest of Us." He is impressed with her stance on climate change and of course, her position on democratic reform.
As a non-Liberal but someone who is concerned about the sorry state of our parliamentary democracy, I find Vancouver MP, Joyce Murray, by far the most impressive candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Equally impressive is Murray’s grasp of the key structural problem behind the sagging performance of our parliamentary democracy – the increasing irrelevance of parliament and the decline of citizen engagement, especially among the youngest eligible voters.

She is fully committed to reforming the electoral system so that the distribution of seats in the House of Commons is closer to the distribution of voters’ preferences across the country.

The simple plurality system that rewards a party like Mr. Harper’s Conservatives which gets 40 percent of the votes with over 50% of the seats must be reformed.

But she understands that reform of the electoral system will take a while.

In the meantime, Murray stands out as the only Liberal candidate willing to consider the kind of electoral co-operation with the Greens and the NDP that might be necessary to ensure that the 60% of Canadians who reject the principles and policies of the Harper Conservatives will not have to endure four more years of rule by the Conservative minority after the 2015 election.

Murray supports nomination of Liberal candidates in all ridings, but proposes a process of riding-by-riding co-operation with the Green Party and the NDP to support a candidate who has a good chance of defeating the Conservative candidate.

This approach would focus on ridings where Conservatives are in a minority position and their candidate can win only by more progressive parties splitting the opposition vote.

It takes both common sense and courage to take this position.

It is surely a sensible way of protecting Canada from government by a party whose policies and principles are not supported by a majority of its people.

But at the same time it is courageous because it goes against putting one’s own party first above all else. And it is that partisan passion which tends to infect the party faithful that Murray will have to overcome.

For the sake of her party and our country, I hope she succeeds.
As always, carry on campaigning.