Sheila Copps is 1 of 4 candidates, running for the role of President of the Liberal Party. Many Liberals believe she is the hope of the party, who can spark interest, rebuild internal operations and entice new members. I think she would have the opposite effect for the following 10 reasons. This is despite the fact that she has the energy and the experience.
1. Back to the future:
Many critics of Copps believe she represents the back-to-the-future for the party and that she is just a pawn who is working for Bob Rae and his candidacy for leader of the Liberal Party.
Copps is someone who has a long history with the liberal party. As Jim Karygiannis stated, she is not a new face. She furthermore was involved in scandals which led her to lose her job. In order for the party to move forward and rebuild, they need to distance themselves from the past. This means distancing from Sheila Copps.
She is not liked by her peers and co-workers. During her political career she was heckled by the PC Party of Canada in parliament. MP John Crosby was one quoted as saying, “Just quiet down, baby” in response to a question in 1985. Her feud with Crosby was ongoing, leading many to view her as a woman of scandal.
4. Canadian nationalism:
This too created a bad image for Copps which may not work to her favour in reviving the Liberal Party. She had largely unsuccessful campaigns in 1990 which sought to keep American magazines from running “split-run” Canadian editions. She gave 10,000s of Canadian Flags to show her support for Canadian Nationalism, which cost tax payers, $45/flag. Necessary?
She lost her job as Deputy Minister in the 1997 election. She never gained strength after that. This was a damaging move to her career.
6. Promises not kept:
She does not really keep promises, especially in the past as Federal Minister. She promised she would resign if the GST was not cut. Somehow she weaseled herself back into the bi-election and won yet again. Would people put her trust once again knowing she broke her promises in the past?
7. Too many nicknames/cliches:
She has a number of nicknames/cliches associated with her name which could potentially ruin her reputation.
Sheila the Pig
“Pass the tequila, Sheila, lay down and love me again!
Many of her proposals have already been echoed by other Liberal MPs like Mike Crowley and Jessica Mendes. Can she be original? If she wants to revive the party, she must be original and spontaneous.
9. Sponsorship Scandal:
Canadian voters switched sides in 2006 when they voted out Paul Martin, thinking he had something to do with the sponsorship scandal during the Chretien era. Copps was a loyalist of the Chretien government and was the Deputy Prime Minister when the sponsorship scandal occurred. She may put a nail in the coffin rather than revive the party by becoming its President.
10. Points fingers:
Canadians want a leader who is trustworthy and can do the job. Copps has made accusations during her Rat Pack years; she pointed fingers at the Gomery Inquiry for boosting Quebec separatism. She never achieved anything on behalf of her people.