Much has been written and said about the Liberal nomination race in Toronto-Centre, most of it negative and surrounding the intentions of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. As someone who has been involved in this process from the beginning, I think it's important that people know the truth.
There are three outstanding candidates seeking the nomination for the Liberal Party in Toronto-Centre. Chrystia Freeland, Todd Ross, and Diana Burke. I am the campaign manager for Diana Burke and have enjoyed getting to know all the candidates and their teams. This has been one of the most positive and collaborative campaigns I have ever been a part of, that is the reason for writing this today.
Here is a timeline of events relevant to this nomination race,
- June 19 2013, Bob Rae announces he will step down as MP
- July 23 2013, Todd Ross announces intention to seek nomination
- July 23 2013, Diana Burke announces intention to seek nomination
- July 26 2013, Chrystia Freeland Announces intention to seek nomination
- July 31 2013, Bob Rae effective date of resignation from the House of Commons
- August 20 2013, Members who joined up to 5pm on this date are eligible to vote
- August 27 2013, Notice issued to candidates about the date of the meeting and relevant cut-off
- September 15 2013, Liberal Nomination to take place
For those astute political observers, or those who have followed this race and know anything about politics and campaigns, or even if all you can do is count, it is 62 days between June 19 and Aug. 20. Surely that is enough time for anyone who is eager to vote in this race to go online and click send, or to fill out a paper form and put it in the mail with a cheque. As a political organizer, I can tell you that 62 days is an eternity. Apparently, there are a few people left out there who can't count however, and that is why literacy and numeracy are important issues.
This brings me to what led an overzealous journalist to take Diana Burke's comments a few days ago out of context and write a negative headline, maybe it sold some papers, or maybe it just generated some traffic to a website to keep advertisers happy, I don't know what motivated it. What Ms. Burke said was that a few of her friends were disappointed that they would not be able to vote because they joined too late...but, that the rules were followed and all candidates were affected equally. The second part of her comments never made the story of course, because that wouldn't be entertaining.
The truth about the Toronto-Centre nomination is that it has been a very friendly campaign. All the candidates get along, they are friends. The campaign teams and volunteers that have been helping these three candidates get along, they regularly chat and get together. None of the campaigns have complained to the party about the rules, because the rules are clear.
All the candidates have one thing in common, they have been inspired by Justin Trudeau to seek public office and change the way Ottawa works. The principles of hope and hard work that have been Mr. Trudeau's motto, have resonated with the candidates, and their teams. Regardless of who wins the nomination on Sept. 15, they will all rally behind that candidate and work hard, in Toronto-Centre in 2013, and across Canada in 2015, and hope for change.
It's not sexy, it won't sell any papers, but it's the truth.