First, let me express my whole-hearted support of your coalition with the NDP. I encourage you all to stay the course and continue to push forward with this plan regardless of what Stephen Harper says or promises. He has repeatedly demonstrated his inability to put the country above partisanship and power games, and there is no reason to believe that he will change his behaviour in the future. Enough is enough.
As you deliberate on the details of this coalition, I would like to recommend Scott Brison as interim party and coalition leader.
Consider the following:
- As much as I and most other party members admire and support Stephane Dion, I feel that he would be unacceptable to too many people both within the coalition and among the Canadian public.
- Installing any of the three current Liberal leadership candidates would give that candidate a distinct and unfair advantage during the upcoming convention.
- Bringing in members of the old guard like Ralph Goodale or John McCallum would look too much like a return to the bad old days of the Liberal power brokers.
Scott Brison's performance over the past week has been tremendously impressive. His response to the fiscal update in Parliament was articulate, tough, cool-headed but forceful. Dare I say... Prime Ministerial.
Brison is young but experienced. He's a Maritimer and therefore largely outside of the worst of regional politics. As Industry and Finance critic, he is well versed in the central issues the coalition will have to deal with. He is not a contender for the Liberal leadership, nor does he really have a horse in that race, and is therefore safely neutral. And he has demonstrated his communication skills admirably and forcefully this week as point person for the media without ever sounding shrill, angry or arrogant.
Please consider Scott Brison as interim Liberal leader. Thank you.