Liberal leadership hopeful makes pitch
If you’re a federal Liberal supporter and you’re looking for a candidate who will merge the party with the NDPs or Greens, George Takach is not the man you want as leader.
Takach, 55, a Toronto lawyer, bleeds nothing but Liberal red.
“I’m not from the NDP wing of the Liberal party, I’m not from the Conservative wing of the Liberal party, and I’m not from the Green wing of the Liberal party,” said Takach to about a dozen Liberal supporters during a get-together Tuesday afternoon at Original Joe’s in Vernon.
“I’m from the Liberal wing of the Liberal party. If we do what we need to do well, we won’t have to worry about cooperation. We can’t go to the Greens and say ‘we won’t run Liberals in eight ridings in Alberta and you won’t run Greens in eight ridings in Ontario.
“If a Liberal voter wants to vote Liberal, as leader I have to give them the right to vote Liberal. I can’t tell them not to vote Liberal.”
Takach is one of nine candidates seeking the Liberal leadership, going up against the likes of Justin Trudeau, the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, and Canadian astronaut legend Marc Garneau.
For Takach, it’s absolutely critical that the Liberals make a breakthrough out west, and that “you’ll be seeing a lot of my pretty face out west.”
“It’s a huge diverse country, but a lot of issues that bother people are the same across the country, like the economy and youth unemployment,” said Takach, who visited the University of B.C. campus in Kelowna Tuesday morning.
“At UBCO, I was talking about the prospects for jobs for graduates and they’re not that great. If you combine youth unemployment and under employment together, it’s about 26 or 27 per cent. That’s got students, parents and grandparents worried.”
Takach, whose first job was as an 11-year-old ski instructor, and who has spent time with his family skiing at Silver Star, feels current Prime Minister Stephen Harper has nothing to say about knowledge-based businesses, manufacturing or a green economy.
“The jobs-economy message is central to the Liberal party getting back on the horse and riding off to victory,” said Takach, whose policy platforms include the need for a faster Internet in Canada, one that is more broadly based for all communities, big and small.
He plans to focus on the gamers in the nation.
“I have a program called ‘Geeks for George,’” smiled Takach. “Two million gamers will love my Internet policy. I’m hoping 100,000, 200,000 or 300,000 become supporters and that will generate a lot of interest and new supporters for the Liberal party.”
The nine candidates meet in Vancouver Sunday for the first of five nationwide debates.
A new Liberal leader will be elected April 14.