Saturday, October 17, 2009

back from the Wildrose Alliance convention

Before I begin, I should correct something from the previous post. I saluted Harper for heeding the advice of the civil service, when in fact I should restrict that to the central agencies. The line departments are, at risk of overgeneralizing, spenders, and are typically managed by empire builders. Indeed, while I was at Finance the people in the line departments were blasting us regularly for being too tight with the money.

At today's convention, Mark Dyrholm really distinguished himself with his concession speech. He knocked it out of the park, in fact. When he told Danielle supporters that this was "your victory" to celebrate, someone in the audience yelled "it's OUR victory" and without missing a beat Dyrholm declared that as part of a grassroots party he accepts the amendment from the floor. Not only was he extremely gracious, he had just the right cadence, tone, and confidence in his delivery to get the audience on its feet repeatedly. If Machiavelli is correct that it is better to be feared than loved, one could argue that the confidence of Dyrholm and some of those close to him ought to serve them well. With respect to Danielle, Nigel Hannaford wrote an op-ed for the Calgary Herald claiming that, "to know her is to love her." I believe that's true; she comes across as someone who prefers listening to dictating. Her voice is authoritative not because of her tone but because of the substance of what she says. She's someone who strikes me as both Canadian and female in style.

In a Oct 15 comment on CalgaryRants' blog, Dyrholm supporter Craig Chandler claimed that
Quite frankly, if Mark was not in the race and it was just Danielle the media attention would not have been there to the degree it has been.
This race has done great things for our party and both Danielle and Mark deserve some praise for that.
Chandler is correct here. A contested race facilitated a lot of membership sales. Say what you will about Chandler, but he is not politically blind. With Chandler, it's like trying to finesse an 18 wheeler through a slalom course; the driver knows that some pylons are going to go flying given the nature of his vehicle, but that doesn't mean he doesn't understand the course. When a political engagement starts to turn into a loser, he knows it.

No comments: