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Attention Liberal Head office, get Louise Arbour as a candidate.

This is an open letter to the Liberal OLO; please make a very determined effort to recruit Louise Arbour (the soon-to-be-former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights)  to run as a Liberal candidate somewhere in Montreal for the next election. I understand attempts have been made before at convincing her to run, but redouble your efforts, particularly in light of reading over here that Harper and his government may have helped in torpedoing her chances for a 2nd term at that post because they were unhappy with her criticisms of the US over detainees.

I believe she is well respected in Canada (outside of Conservative circles).  She obviously is an accomplished jurist, both domestically and internationally, and getting a high-profile person like Ms. Arbour to commit as a candidate for the Liberals would help in getting some positive news for the Liberals in Quebec, and perhaps Canada in general, for a party that could use some positive coverage after the last month or so of gloom and doom out of the pundits.


16 comments to Attention Liberal Head office, get Louise Arbour as a candidate.

  • Mound of Sound

    I was told last month by a prominent Lib front-bencher that overtures are being made but LA has made it clear that she won’t entertain any discussions until her job at the UN is finised.

  • I believe Wally Oppal, current AG in BC’s Liberal gov’t, is right off the bench. The fact that he made numerous decisions and was fairly high profile didn’t hurt his cause, nor his current status, either.

    In a similar vein, I sure wish Dion’s team would successfully recruit Nazanin Afshin-Jam to be the Liberal candidate in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast. The former beauty queen and graduate of UBC (with scholarship to the Science Po in Paris) has worked with Red Cross and has been an outspoken advocate to end the death penalty for children.
    She’s a natural fit, too, if she wasn’t busy with a successful recording career.

  • Mark

    The chances of her running are slim.
    The chances of her running in an openly contested nomination are nil.

  • Daveberta’s got a pretty good point there.
    But imagine if Ms. Arbour had, say, John Manley’s current job…..
    Don’t you think we would go from number one Lapdog-Nation to Honest-Broker pretty much overnight?

    (nice post Scott – you really did bring it all out in the open here, thanks)


  • Maybe she would run and tell the people thar she ws fired from her job by Harper.  She was well liked at the UN, and could have run another turn. She said she was stepping down, but knowing her love for the work, I doubt it .

  • KC

    Scott – Surely the ethical constraints of “the law” are not the only factor in what is right and wrong.  In politics there is a lot of actions in the grey area that are legal but unethical.  This is one of them. 
    Bailey – I know there is precedent for this kind of thing.  Still doesnt make it right. 

  • Louise Arbour would be my dream Prime Minister, but I’d honestly hate to see her reputation tarnished my partisan politics.

  • Going from politics to the bench gives political lawyers the opportunity to give up their partisanship and use their legal knowledge for the law. The whole system is premised on the belief that people are able to do that. 

    If a judge goes from the bench to the House, it is the exact opposite. What happens if she gets elected and Conservatives start attacking one of her legal decisions in the political arena? While it might be perfectly justifiable in law, it might be very difficult to argue in speaking points. You turn every controvercial decision she ever made into a political football.  I think it would be very bad for our judicial system, which protects all of our rights.

  • Phil Larouche

    1st Paul Martin has confirmed long ago that he’s not running again. The original plan was that he would resign soon after the leadership convention. They couldn’t find a “star candidate” to run there or didn’t want the star that wanted to run. (Typical Dion indecision). Paul Martin is stuck being an MP.
    2nd I just wish that Louise Arbour would run for us.  We have to be realistic for a minute. Why would  she take the chance to lose  in an election  since there are no more safe Liberal ridings in Quebec. She would take that chance to become the Justice Critic of the Official Opposition ?
    The idea is very good but Celine Hervieux-Payette wants to appoint her friend who’s V-P at SNC-Lavalin as the candidate in Lasalle-Emard. I can’t remember her name. What a star !!!

  • Bailey

    Furthermore, Roy McMurty, the former Chief Justice of Ontario Court of Appeals was a prominent Progressive Conservative MPP in the 1970s and 80s, serving as Attorney-General.

  • Bailey

    I can see Jason’s point of having a former judge running for the Liberals or any political party for that matter but there are a few ex-politicians that now sit as justices on Canadian courts.  For example, Pierre Blais is on the Federal Court of Appeals, Yvon Pinard sits on the Federal Court of Canada and Edmond Blanchard is Chief Justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court.  So, perhaps it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • There’s no law that say they can’t run, I don’t think.  If she’s interested, we’d be silly to not pursue her.

    We need some good candidates like this  – she has more experience on political matters then Ignatieff has.

  • KC

    I agree with Jason.  Having a former SCC judge run for office compromises the percieved independence of the judiciary.   It just shouldn’t happen.  Its something you give up when you accept a court appointment.

  • As a matter of principle, I don’t think that former Supreme Court judges should run for politics.  As much as I love the idea for a number of reasons, I don’t think it should happen.

  • We dont have to parachute her in anywhere. We just tell Paul Martin to speed up his retirement.. or at least declare he’s not running in the next election, and let her run there – let  her run in an open nomination for that matter.She’s originally from Montreal anyhow, so it’s not that “big” of a parachute.

  • Great idea.  My only question is, would this amount to parachuting her into an otherwise relatively safe riding?  That hasn’t worked too well lately.

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