Friday, 21 February 2014


A message confirming that I could attend the Liberal Party of Canada convention as an accredited blogger arrived without fanfare in my email box a few weeks ago.

This is the program.

First, I was surprised; DAMMIT JANET! has published some very rude posts, justifiably critical of specific LPC actions.

Then ambivalent - did I want to spend four days or so in the febrile, adrenaline-charged environment of a political convention?  I had attended one at the provincial level when I lived in Québec; from my perch as an observer, I noted what ideological hothouses they are.

Which is inexorably, the point of these conventions: to gather the troops, get every one armed - from the grunts to the generals - and in a state of readiness do to battle AGAINST the other parties.

So, I took myself to Montréal, registered, got my media pass, settled into the media room with my spiffy new MacBook all charged up; a wise move since the dozens of yellow extension with NO power bars are somewhat artisanale et broche à foin.  

With one eye on the closed circuit monitor which would eventually transit the feed from Liberal Live, I checked the convention program and saw that Chrystia Freeland and Larry Summers were to have a little chit-chat to *warm* up the crowd for Justin Trudeau welcome speech.

WTF?  Yes, that Larry Summers.

There's much that he has done that is not admirable.

More information about Naomi's reference, and Larry Summers' role in facilitating white collar crime.
As Treasury Secretary under Clinton, Summers played an important role in convincing Congress in 1999 to pass the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed key portions of the Glass-Steagall Act and allowed commercial banks to get into the mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations game. The measure also created an oversight disaster, with supervision of banking conglomerates split among a host of different government agencies -- agencies that often failed to let each other know what they were doing and what they were uncovering. 

At the signing of the bill, Summers hailed it as "a major step forward to the 21st Century." 

Summers also backed Phil Gramm's other financial time bomb, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which allowed financial derivatives to be traded without any oversight or regulation. So it was on his watch that the credit-default swaps warhead that has blown up our economy was launched. 

Indeed, during a 1998 Senate hearing, Summers testified against the regulation of the derivatives market on the grounds that we could trust Wall Street. "The parties to these kinds of contract," he said, "are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies and most of which are already subject to basic safety and soundness regulation under existing banking and securities laws." 

It would be hard to make assumptions that turned out to be more wrong than Summers' were.
But aside from his association with catastrophically WRONG economic strategies, Summers uttered his Lib14 convention platitudes as though they were the fruit of some arcane lojong that he had cut up into children's bite-sized pieces.  All with the insufferable arrogant delivery that has branded his toxic imprint upon institutions.

So, I voted with my feet and left Le Palais des congrès.

As for the rest of the convention, I've set up some Real Life meetings with women who have chosen the Liberal Party as the route they want to explore to engage politically. One of them is Naomi.  Another is Nancy LeBlanc, also known as the blogger impolitical. I am curious about the path that has brought them to this convention, and what their own personal hope might be.

There are others, too.  Stay tuned.


Alison said...

Brilliant you are doing this.

as though they were the fruit of some arcane lojong that he had cut up into children's bite-sized pieces

deBeauxOs said...

Stay tooooned, as they say. More to come!

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