Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's time to narrow the race

Okay, Carolyn, Maurizio, Joe, and Hedy. None of you have any realistic chance of actually winning this leadership convention; Volpe until very recently was the most likely among you, that's saying something.

It's not that you're bad candidates. Far from it; Ms. Bennett's got some great ideas about democratic reform, Mr. Bevilacqua is a very smart man, Ms. Fry is our Liz Taylor and a passionate advocate of social and activist liberalism, and Mr. Volpe... well... he really hates Stephen Harper. (And Michael Ignatieff, apparently.)

But the hard fact is, we need to have an actual leadership debate, between the candidates who stand a chance (and Ms. Hall-Findlay, because let's face it, she's fantastic, and if there's going to be a dark horse, it should be her) so that we can better narrow down our choices. You've all made your points - Ms. Bennett, we need democratic reform; Mr. Bevilacqua, you'd make a great finance minister; Ms. Fry, we need to be passionate; Mr. Volpe, you really hate Stephen Harper. (And Michael Ignatieff.)

You guys probably won't even really have enough delegates to play kingmaker, and even if you do, you're going to be knocked off so early that picking a candidate to kingmake, as it were, is going to be a gamble anyway, because your votes won't be enough to put them over the top. You may as well just get out now and make that gamble early. Get behind a winner and secure your cabinet job, post haste! (I do want most of you to be in the next cabinet.)

It's time for Volpe to fall on the sword; he should probably refrain from endorsing anybody, actually. As for the rest of you, you can't take it this time; maybe next time. But for now, we need to get some good discussion going. And 11-candidate debates are just insane logistically.


At 6/13/2006 3:41 a.m., Blogger YYC Liberal said...

I don't really think that Brison has a realistic shot either.

At 6/13/2006 4:08 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

An endorsement from Volpe may spell death to any candidates' bid. Good thing we all know now that he won't be supporting Iggy.

At 6/13/2006 10:33 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

OF course Brison has a shot, he's got a good and dynamic team everywhere in the country. the one that's overestimated right now is Kennedy, last week in his Québec tour he had 7 people showing up in Qc city and 3 in Trois-Rivières... just a few weeks ago Brison met with over 40 in Qc city and about 25 in a brfst in Trois-Rivières.. (and 20 in Sherbrooke!) KEnnedy has no campaign in Qc, 75 ridings and no organisation!Bonne chance!

At 6/13/2006 11:47 a.m., Anonymous MississaugaPeter said...

Gerard will surprise in Quebec. Getting people to know who he is (the video) is a start.

Same thing was said about B.C. and Gerard has quite the team/support there now.

Gerard will definitely surprise in Quebec.

At 6/13/2006 11:57 a.m., Blogger Clear Grit said...

I think Brison stands as good a chance as Kennedy, frankly.

At 6/13/2006 2:17 p.m., Blogger CMinOC said...

Brison has a great shot and will do VERY well.

Let's be honest, he is the future of the party and will be around.

The team around him is very strong and well organized. I think he will surprise a lot of people.

At 6/13/2006 2:30 p.m., Blogger Kyle Carruthers said...

I think Brison stands as good a chance as Kennedy, frankly.

I dont know if I would go THAT far. Brison is a high calibre individual and has a decent chance, but not as good as Kennedy. I know he has decent support in Atlantic Canada, and amongst Aboriginals but not enough to win.

My biggest concern would be that Brison would king Ignatieff. My great respect for Scott would evaporate quite quickly in that disturbing hypothetical.

At 6/13/2006 3:49 p.m., Blogger YYC Liberal said...

Gerard will surprise in Quebec. Getting people to know who he is (the video) is a start

The video that intentionally misrepresents his education?

At 6/13/2006 4:35 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:33,

Lies and more lies. Where will you fiind your 2nd ballot support for your candidate??

At 6/13/2006 5:14 p.m., Anonymous burlivespipe said...

Good point BG... however, Bevilacqua as finance minister? He'd have to deliver a helluva lot of delegates and unearth some scuzzy dirt on Harpor to get that post. Maybe Treasury Board, or Whip. Not finance when you've got Brison or McCallum, or even Dryden maybe.
Yes, Volpe should throw his support on Ignatieff if he really hates him. The Prof will be scrubbing his suits for a good long time to get that spot out.
My ouiji boards says Dion and Rae in the final.

At 6/14/2006 7:44 a.m., Blogger DPW said...

I have said before, as another former Progressive Conservative who has come over to the Liberal Party (yea - four generations of Tories are rolling in their graves), my heart is with Brison in this race. Maybe PCs know him better, but one thing the LPC has to do to recover is win over the former Red Tories who don't want to risk the nation's economy with the NDP (or the Jack Layton look alike candidate in the race - Gerrard Kennedy) or forfeit the social contract to the CPC.

I am not expecting Brison to lead on the final ballot, but he is making an important contribution to the race and will make an excellent Atlantic lieutenant or maybe even deputy leader.

It's not one's usual source for political insight, but the June issues of Alberta-based Outlooks magazine has a good interview with Brison. The magazine is available on-line, at www.outlooks.ca, in PDF format. You have to scroll through a lot of eye candy (it's June - Pride month in most of Canada - and the advertisers are busy) but the Brison interview is on pages 32-33.

At 6/14/2006 6:39 p.m., Anonymous CuriositykilledTheCat said...

Ignatieff's argument in favour of the extension in Afghanistan were pathetic: a clumsy attempt to wrap himself in a sentimental flag and win over doubters with that kind of argument.

Ignatieff dealt with Harper's cunning and abusive Afghanistan debate in the same way that John Kerry dealt with Bush's rush to war in Iraq. It will haunt him for this leadership campaign.

But his policies are more flawed than just one lapse in one debate. Ignatieff's "centre of gravity" as a politician lies in the USA, not Canada.

That is what the audience at the debate and Liberals throughout the country are concerned about. Why elect a man who is more American than Canadian, to run Canada? Aren't Canadians good enough to run their own country?

Ignatieff will not win the leadership of the Liberal Party.

At 6/16/2006 11:14 p.m., Anonymous GayandRight said...

Brison's mangled french is the funniest since Preston Manning attempted to learn it.

In reality, for the Liberals the next election will simply be a dress rehearsal for the one afterward. So the party needs to figure out who is going to stay on and fight another day. Of the current group of Class-B contenders, my money's on Kennedy. Good luck to him on his attempt to build the Liberal Party into something other than a "Bloc Torontois".

But if he runs the next campaign on fear, that'll be four virtually identical campaigns in a row for the Liberal Party, with decreasing returns. I hope he has the gall to do it - it will ensure a Conservative majority.

The fact that the gay-marriage issue will be settled by the next vote will make it even harder to play that game. I guess the Liberal tacticians will have to work overtime to find a quote from a Conservative MP somewhere that indicates less-than-stellar abortion-on-demand credentials.


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