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Is this what goes for leadership in the Liberal party these days?

As I and many others have written, Joe Volpe's candidacy for the Liberal leadership appears to have received a financial shot from Apotex executives and their children. As an update, it appears that the Liberal Party is not planning to investigate these allegations, as it is apparently perfectly normal for children to save their nickels and hundreds and hand them over by the chocolate-stained fistfulls to their local Liberal riding committees. How do I get one of these gigs?

Now I'm not sure if, strictly speaking, it's actually illegal for a 16 year-old (or whatever, we don't know yet how old the donors are) to give their allowance to Joe Volpe, but it sure smells bad. Seeing as it is illegal to work around Elections Canada donation laws, and this seems to be the case at hand here, there is at the very least the appearance of wrongdoing, and the Liberals should be far more concerned with this appearance than they appear to be.

If I was a Liberal, I'd be hopping mad right now - and I'm sure many are. The Conservatives came to power this year solely because the public felt that the Liberal Party looked a little too cozy in power; as if they felt entitled to govern. Actions like Volpe's lend nicely to this scenario and validate the public's decision lasy January. If the Liberals ever want to govern this country again, they are going to have to take away, or at least share, the mantle of accountability that the Conservatives have donned. Why they have not taken Volpe to the woodshed over this is beyond me - it is a lose/lose scenario for them. Either Elections Canada finds nothing technically wrong with the donations, Volpe continues on to lose the leadership race and the public is left with a stink that someone got away with something, or Elections Canada finds something wrong with the donations and the Liberals are in the position of disciplining him only after being forced to.

I know that he's innocent until proven guilty, but I'm sorry "Elections Canada regulates contributions to leadership candidates. The Liberal Party does not," is lame. The Liberal Party might not regulate contributions, but they are responsible for the behaviour of their people, at least to the public.

It looks like the Liberals are losing the forest for trees here.

Touche... Joe is the rumoured kingmaker of the ledership.

He also has the ability oust any sitting MP at any future candidate nomitation.

So if a Liberal chooses to diss Joe, you could be out a seat come election time.

That is why no Liberal will try to censure him. (Unless you are Coderre.)

I'm not as familiar with the internal machinations of the Liberal party as you are, so I'll assume you are right. If so, then the party is in a real bind right now; out it's own "kingmaker" and risk not getting a seat or decent support, or leave him in and risk handing a majority to the Conservatives whenever they care to drop the writ.

You'll excuse me if I take your comments with a grain of salt, Libby - since you seem to be 'An Army of One' as far as Volpe backers go. That, and the fact that you seem to be going out of your way to sell him, and concurrently slam his competitors, makes me just a tad suspicious, especially since all the other Lib Bloggers would seem to agree that the only thing keeping Volpe from being a last place contestant is the presence of Hedy Fry. That said, Kev's called it exactly right - if the Liberals want to doom themselves to political irrelevance for the next decade or so, the surest way to do it would be to elect this kind of slimy politico to the leadership.

Often it is the small things which help voters make up their minds; those small, Freudian slips which make an impression gel ...

Such as Brison's first responses to questions about his email.

Such as Harper's reluctance to say he loves Canada.

Such as Ignatieff's writings about the need for Canada to defend America's imperialism.

Such as Volpe's apparent unconcern about the appearance of donations from preteens.

Once gelled, these impressions seldom change.

There is no way Brison, Ignatieff or Volpe will win the support of a majority of Liberals during the leadership vote.

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Curiosity - I'd agree with you about politicians having their defining 'moments' - I'll borrow a metaphor from the 'Net and call it 'Jumping the Shark'. I'll also add another one to your list - from what I've heard Hedy Fry's actually a very intelligent, wellspoken person who probably deserves to be taken seriously, but unfortunately she jumped the shark with her infamous 'cross-burning' speech.

Dan, I like that metaphor.

Do you think Harper has "jumped the shark" yet?
Or should that be "sharks"?

You've never heard that before? As I said if's from the Net, it was originally used for TV shows, the phrase originally came from an episode of 'Happy Days'. As for Harper jumping the shark - I don't think he has yet, not because of any great skill on his part, but because the various Liberal leadership candidates seem bound and determined that they want to keep the shark to themselves....

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