Profiles in Courage: Dave Taylor

After taking a gander at Swann and Mo, this week I profile the third candidate in the other Liberal leadership race. But, before I do that, be sure to check out Daveberta for his Mo-file, and a look at the endorsements in the race so far.

Dave Taylor

History: Taylor was the “non-insane Dave” for Calgary talk radio listeners for many years, before defeating proud Mensa member John Lord in the 2004 election. Ever since that time, he’s been the ALP dauphin, thanks in large part for his ability to perform in the legislature and deliver sound bytes upon request.

Federal Equivalent: Think of a Liberal Monte Solberg.

Colour me Confused: Although he has adopted a “proud to be Liberal” philosophy, the Taylor Liberals appear poised to change the party colours to blue and yellow.

Renewal Plan: Taylor has released a very impressive party renewal document.

Website Review: I probably should have done this before membership cut-off, because the criteria for a good website changes at that point. For now, everything you need is there and the donation box is prominent, which is good (although it needs to be easier for a non-paypal donation). I’d prefer a bit more of the web 2.0 stuff, but the visuals and layout look good.

Colbert Moment: Taylor, in an interview with Rick Bell, argues that Albertans employ a “truthiness” voting strategy:

“They don’t get it perfect, necessarily, but the voters know in their hearts, know in their guts, what’s the right way to go, on most things, most of the time.”

Strengths: Taylor is certainly the best communicator of the candidates and, in my books, that counts for a lot.

Strategy: By framing this as a right/left battle between him and Swann, Taylor has played himself up as the most likely to…enjoy electoral success (I just can’t bring myself to say “win”, after the last election).

Can he win? You betcha. The smart money has Taylor taking this one – but it has been a tough few years for leadership frontrunners so you never know. It’s certainly possible that they’ll have to count the second choice votes to decide this one.

My Thoughts: I can’t judge how it has played out in Alberta but, from afar, I’m been very impressed with the campaign Taylor’s young and talented team has put together. Their message has been on the mark and they’ve done a good job communicating it.

I have major doubts about the whole “proud to be Liberal” strategy, but I do think Taylor’s promise to brand the party as a fiscally conservative, pro-business option is the only way you’ll get votes from the places you need to get votes from. And his ambitious party renewal document, if implemented properly, would definitely set the party on the right track to one day be competitive.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2011 ALP leadership race

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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