Monday, October 23, 2006

Rae uses Maclean's excerpt to extricate himself from his New Democrat past

The Maclean's issue that is on the newsstands today (Monday) and lands in letterboxes across the country over the next couple of days features an exclusive excerpt from Bob Rae's carefully timed book on himself and his views, Canada in the Balance.

It is just in time to influence the Liberal leadership race.

A few weeks ago, John Geddes of Maclean's wrote of Rae:
Choosing a leader isn't about ideas, [Rae] declares, as much as finding "a person you're comfortable with." His hope for a second political life rests on selling himself as a moderate guy who has seen it all and knows better than to make dumb mistakes.
Rae now uses the book (and this week's excerpt) to strategically address what many think may be his Achilles heel, his New Democrat past.
“I bear, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, the scars of having fought in the arena. But the arena is where one learns how to fight for what one believes in — and how to win,” Rae says.
He also writes that switched to the Liberals because he came to the conclusion, after 20 years in the NDP (including a term as Premier of Ontario), the party was “wedded to a culture of opposition and protest.”
“The federal NDP’s recent opposition to any tax changes for large and even small business is a sure sign that `private sector is bad, public sector is good’ is a flawed mantra it simply can’t avoid,” he said.
In response to the book and the statements in the excerpt, federal NDP finance critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis told Joan Bryden of Canadian Press :
“Mr. Rae is absolutely wrong and appears to be willing to say anything to impress his new friends.

"The NDP believes that prosperity and social justice are two-sides of the same coin. The private sector plays a vital role in our economy and under Jack Layton’s leadership the NDP have run on platforms that recognize that. The difference between the Liberals and the NDP is that we believe in balance.”


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