Marc’s Posts

June 2024

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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Davey’

The sad news was received that former Liberal giant Keith Davey has died. This is big news for political types in Canada.  Davey typified Liberal politics in Canada and was the reason why many know the Liberal brand so well.

Whether it was in his role as the National Director of the Liberal Party when the “New Politics” was introduced in Canada.  When Lester Pearson (Mike) became PM in the early 60’s, it was largely recognized that the central Liberal Party figure that brought about the dramatic return to power was Keith Davey.

Davey broadened the base of support for the Party in those days, increased grass roots consultation in the Party, fixed the strained relations between the provincial and federal wings of the Party and created a process for increasing fundraising efforts for the Party.  These principles exist today and that is his legacy.

Synonymous with his roots in the Liberal Party, he was also a die-hard supporter of the Canadian Football League and Canadian baseball.

In short, Davey brought a whole bunch of fun into politics in Canada.  As a young Liberal  growing up in the seventies, I had cause to interact with the “Rain Maker” in national elections.  In the latter part of the Trudeau era, Davey was the reason why so many people like me loved “practical politics” – working in campaigns, creating effective riding associations and advising elected officials.

When I worked for former Prime Minister John Turner in the early 1980’s we fought the federal election in 1984 under Davey.  He was classic! Everyone knew we were going to get “smoked”, but he put on the toughest of skins as the Director of that campaign and motivated the hell out of all of us in the field.  In short – like everything else in which he was involved, it was fun!

He’s going be missed and we’re all blessed for having experienced his enormous presence.

- Marc Kealey