Coming in second isn’t in the play book Brierley reads from. A lot is going to depend on how her leader does on Tuesday.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON April 11, 2011 – She came out of the gate quickly. “My name” she said “is Alyssa Brierley, and I am thrilled to be here today to launch our campaign to win Burlington for the Liberal party on May 2”

Nominated by Paddy Torsney, the last Liberal to hold the federal seat in the House of Commons, Brierley says she was approached by people within the federal Liberal Party to run for the nomination and was then acclaimed when no one else chose to contest the nomination.

Brierley was introduced to the larger Liberal community at a Town Hall meeting in Hamilton and had her picture taken with the man she hopes will help her win the election in Burlington.

Brierley was introduced to the larger Liberal community at a Town Hall meeting in Hamilton and had her picture taken with the man she hopes will help her win the election in Burlington.

Then suddenly, there are those Liberal red lawn sign popping up faster than the Spring flowers. . And the campaign is off to a pretty fast start. So who is this woman and what is she going to do for Burlington? “People look to their elected representatives for inspiration and for solutions to the problems” said Brierley when nominated.

“In short, people look to their elected representatives for hope. I recognized that the political process is the key to change, and that by making smart choices, we could make a difference at home, across the country, and even in faraway places. I’ve devoted a lot of time and effort to the study of political science, economics and law because I wanted to equip myself with the tools to improve the lives of people in my community.

“But look where we are today. Mike Wallace, Stephen Harper and the Conservative government have completely changed the face of federal politics. In a short five years, Mr. Harper has turned federal politics away from a tool for strengthening our country and into a cynical, coldly strategic game. I can’t ever recall a time where the prime minister has so arrogantly manipulated our democratic processes for his own personal gain.”

“We see it time and again in the headlines: Parliament prorogued, important memos surreptitiously altered, Parliament lied to over and over, election laws ignored. The Conservatives have brought to federal politics an unprecedented culture of deceit and corruption. This is the only government in our nation’s history that has ever been found in contempt of Parliament.”

OK – so the lawyer with a PhD is going to run her campaign based on what the Conservatives have done to the country. So far we’ve not heard what she will do for Burlington.

Brierley planting yet another lawn sign.

Brierley planting yet another lawn sign."So who am I?" she asked rhetorically at her nomination. " I am an energetic, young woman with a multitude of experiences who is passionate about making a difference for the people of Burlington and Canada. My roots are in Burlington. It was in Burlington that I developed my passion for public service, and I am deeply indebted to this community for lighting this fire in me. :I have degrees in political science, economics and law. I'm also pursuing a PhD in political science focusing on global politics and international relations."All good stuff – but what will she do for Burlington? We don't know that yet nor do we know how the public will take to her – but there are a lot of those red lawn signs out there."But I'm not just a politico or an academic - I have also developed business insight through my work in both the public and private sectors, and through my work as a lawyer. I've worked in financial services and telecommunications, in corporate and commercial law and in the development of regulatory policy. At the same time I remain true to my commitment to the community through my volunteer work with low income individuals and newcomers to Canada."Campaign office was packed on opening day. Liberals greeting Liberals and getting their marching orders.

Ahh – the stuff of campaign speeches. Rouse the audience, get their blood going – that and a bit of marching music can sometimes win you an election. But it isn’t going to be quite that easy in Burlington this time around. The Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff, is still a bit behind in the polls and we won’t have any real sense of who he is until the debate on Tuesday, April 12. If he comes out of that event a winner – then there will be a real race in this city for the seat in the House of Commons.

There will be a number of debates in the city; one being sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce on April 27th.


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