Ten Reasons I'm Supporting Ryan Meili – #10 – He's Soft Spoken

Back when I
first started blogging regularly about the NDP leadership campaign, I
had a loyal reader named Kent (who I'm 98.3% sure is
Kent Lindgren who recently endorsed Dwain Lingenfelter.)

At the time,
Kent took issue with oh, pretty much every single thing I said (a
tactic I'm increasingly seeing from Lingenfelter supporters not only
only my blog but on other blogs, message boards and even the
Wikipedia entries as
well.  It's like some Link supporters simply can't concede any points to any of the other candidates.  In fact, I'm tossing around the idea
of a blog post around some of the Lingenfelter campaign and supporters'
tactics as I find that this is perhaps one of the biggest underlying
philosophical differences between the Lingenfelter campaign and those of the other three candidates.) 

Anyhow, as
penance for making a mistake about the Google Maps mash-up on Dwain
Lingenfelter's campaign web site in a post back then (I thought it was
misleading on purpose, it turned out to be a fairly major usability
issue instead), I wrote a list of “
5 Reasons Dwain Lingenfelter Would Make A Good Leader for the NDP“. 
I challenged Kent to do a similar list for Ryan Meili but even though
he kept posting increasingly trollish comments until I finally refused
to respond to him, he never did write that list. 

I still feel the
list of five reasons I gave for why Link would make a good leader
stand.  But in my opinion, the Waterhengate scandal has superseded all
of these reasons and, should Lingenfelter triumph on June 6, I will
have a really difficult time supporting him as leader.  (I know I'm not
the only person to feel this way – I've heard from new and long-term
NDP members as well as supporters for each and all of the other
candidates who feel similarly.) 

Anyhow, with two
weeks left in the leadership race I thought I would do a companion
series to my “Five Reasons Link Would Make A Good Leader” post.  Over the next couple weeks, I'll write a series of posts listing “Ten Reasons I'm Supporting Ryan Meili for NDP
Leader” (and using some of the Link supporters' logic, this will
obviously mean that Meili is twice the candidate that Link is!

Reason #10 – He's Soft-Spoken

In one of my first posts about Ryan Meili, I wrote about the many parallels I saw between Ryan and Barack Obama
(See the comments in that thread for the type of reaches and
equivocations that the Lingenfelter campaign and its supporters are
increasingly targetting at Ryan as they see him as more and more of a
threat.)  Now obviously, this isn't a perfect analogy but just as Obama
never resisted too strongly when anyone compared him to JFK or Abraham Lincoln, a comparison like this can be a useful shorthand for the type of
candidate someone is, what they stand for and/or how they're attempting
to go about achieving their goals. 

One of the most
obvious differences between Obama and Meili is their respective
techniques as orators.  Obama is pretty much unparalleled in modern
politics with his ability to connect with and inspire a crowd.  Meili
is not nearly as accomplished as a speaker and I admit that, as someone
who was hoping to find an Obama-esque figure in this leadership race,
this was a disappointment for me the first couple times I heard Ryan
speak.  But as I began to realise that the person I chose to support
didn't need to be (and really, shouldn't be) an exact clone of Obama, I
began to see that
Meili's style of speaking
– quiet, thoughtful, but with a healthy dose of humour – had the potential to be as
much of a benefit to his campaign as anything else he had to offer.  Why?  Simple. 
Because when Ryan speaks, you have to lean forward to listen to him. 

Can you imagine
a Legislative session where, instead of having the Sask Party and the
NDP leaders shouting at each other like kids in the sandbox, you have
someone like Ryan leading the debate – where there is a focus on nuance
and logic instead of hectoring and scoring cheap political points?  (Well, Ryan's campaign theme is “Dream Big” after all! )

The other thing
that's brought his soft-spokenness home as an advantage is seeing how
Ryan interacts with people at events – he doesn't intimidate people, he
draws them in.  It's a silly, insignificant detail but when he met my
eighteen month old son at an event, Ryan took a moment to get down on
Pace's level and spoke to him quietly for a moment, eliciting a big smile from my
son.  Everything else I'd learned and heard about Ryan up to that point made me want to
support him.  But with that small gesture, I was sold that Ryan was the
candidate I was going to support as fully as possible for the rest of
this campaign.     

Next #9 – He Has Very Little Baggage

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Head Tale - Ten Reasons I’m Supporting @ryanmeili for #skndpldr #skpoli (2009 Version Recap) on 16 Jan 2013 at 10:19 pm

    […] He’s soft-spoken 9. He’s got very little baggage 8. He’s run a positive campaign 7. He’s my age […]

%d bloggers like this: