I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Political Punditry in the Globe & Mail with respect to Jeffrey Simpson’s column December 10, 08 defending Bob Rae

In this era of nuclear politics in Canada the Liberals now have the leader to prevent mutually assured destruction.

With Dion (I'm weak and need the other lefties to prop me up) he had to take the desperate measure of aligning with Taliban Jack (I'm no corporate lackey) Layton whose lust for power is hidden just beneath the used car salesman smile lines on his face. To allow a separatist party, albeit as the apologists continue to remind us - legal - to hold the balance of power is naive in the extreme and a sell out of Canadian nation building at its worst.

Rae was, according to the real history in the Province of Ontario, the worst fiscal manager since confederation and an ideologue to the end. That he is now a convert to his cousins the liberals causes me concern about his motives. He, of course, could never be Prime Minister, in the NDP (no dads party) and is perhaps just an opportunist. That he is articulate, funny, a good public jouster and affable is immaterial when wanting to get the top job in a party who believes itself to be our matriarch for running the country. The persona he wants us to see has been crafted over many years in the public eye, some of it stormy.

Iggy will move the Liberals back to the centre where they need to be to challenge the conservatives who are doing a good job at managing this country but need the counterbalance that a centrist can provide. Harper sees in Iggy a person who is his equal and should he fail to listen carefully knows full well he may be "toast" sooner than later.

Thus we have nuclear equality in terms of leadership and we ought not to pass through the fail safe zone as we almost did over the past two weeks.

Now we the people need to demand they work hard - together - to get us through this fiscal crisis and help proud, dignified, hard working men and women preserve their livelihood and create the environment for getting back to work if they have already lost their jobs.

Mike Murphy

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Canadian politics will now mostly revolve around two cerebral, distant leaders: Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff. Warm, and fuzzy they are not; smart they are.

There, the similarities stop. We will now have Mr. Harper, the economist, versus Mr. Ignatieff, the humanist. A political lifer versus a relative newcomer. A leader who had barely been out of Canada before becoming prime minister versus someone who had barely been in Canada before returning in 2005. A man with a sharp ideological edge versus someone of centrist preferences. A fierce partisan who has trained himself to view almost everything through a political prism versus an intellectual who must now curb his instinct to view issues in the round.

Of Mr. Harper, Canadians now know plenty; of Mr. Ignatieff, they know little. A Liberal Party leadership contest might have provided windows into Mr. Ignatieff, but those windows never opened.

Instead, because Bob Rae correctly read the inescapable signs of his defeat and departed the leadership campaign yesterday, Mr. Ignatieff will be anointed leader without a contest, debate or clash of ideas. He didn't even have to give a major speech. Instead, the leadership fell into his lap, a testament to his tightening grip on the party and to the luck of circumstances.

Five years ago, he was teaching at Harvard; within days, he will be leader of the Opposition.

Had the Liberals proceeded with their plans to hold a leadership convention in Vancouver in May, Mr. Ignatieff would likely still have won. But, as the events of recent days have shown once again, a week is a long time in politics, and five months can be an eternity.

The political drama of last week, however, changed Liberal calculations. The urgency of ridding the party of Stéphane Dion coupled with the apparent need for someone credible to lead them through the weeks ahead propelled Mr. Ignatieff forward as the candidate of whom the party asked: Why wait for spring? Why not do it now?

Defeat was conceded graciously by Mr. Rae, who stilled his privately expressed anger at the fates that had brought his friend and rival to the leadership, instead of himself.

Mr. Rae is a proud man, with much to be proud of, and it was a terrible blow to that pride not just to concede but to have found himself in a position of such relative weakness that he could not even put up a successful fight.

Like Macbeth's “horrible shadow,” Mr. Rae could not escape the reality and mythologies of his years as the NDP premier of Ontario. They have stuck to him and tormented his political career as a Liberal. Even outside Ontario, where Liberals and others had not experienced those years, the telling of the province's travails, and those of his government, spread across the land, seeping into the common (if potted) wisdom of what actually happened and why.

Mr. Rae was, therefore, the candidate with the record, much of it admirable and politically saleable but for that “shadow” from which, however unfairly, there seemed no escape – whereas Mr. Ignatieff, by virtue of having been away from Canada for so long, had a long record all right, but one forged in writing and commenting on more worldly matters than the merits of saving a Northern Ontario paper mill.

Mr. Ignatieff must steer his bedraggled party through the perils of the coming weeks, holding out the prospect of the coalition his predecessor negotiated (and which he supported) while preparing his party (and the country) for the Liberals' eventual exit from that unhappy strategy.

Once the budget is passed, as it will be, Mr. Ignatieff will face an array of internal challenges – squeezing a better performance from a talent-challenged caucus, revamping the party's fundraising, producing a coherent long-term vision for the country – while keeping up a steady attack on Mr. Harper's government and trying to become someone Canadians might actually like.

A Liberal revival must begin with one simple, difficult rule: unity. Mr. Harper earned unity and enforces it with iron discipline. Mr. Ignatieff will have it only if Liberals reflect on the fact that they have been intermittently tearing themselves apart since 1984, when John Turner defeated Jean Chrétien and the loser never reconciled himself to defeat.

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