“Super weekend” hangover


So “Iggy” (29.8%) says he is “very, very pleased” with his position following a weekend of Liberal leadership convention delegate selection.

Bob Rae (19.8%) is just whiskers ahead of Kennedy and Dion (16.8% and 16.6% respectively).

However, and this may or may not be significant, in Ontario Rae is running third (17%) behind Iggy (27.9%) and Kennedy (26.8%).

Looking at the apparent also-rans the last woman standing, Martha Hall Findlay, has 41 delegates (that’s 1%), behind “undeclared” delegates who number 118 or 2.8%. That does not say much for the future of women, for now at least, in Liberal Party politics.

It also seems pathetic, to me, that loser Joe Volpe (4.6%) would be leading Scott Brison (3.9%) – although Brison did win his home province of Nova Scotia, even if just by a margin of five delegates ahead of Iggy.

Okay enough with the numbers. Now, looking ahead to an election, as a New Democrat in Ontario I would be elated to be running against a Rae Liberal Party. If, however, the war in Afghanistan was a deciding issue – and I don’t think it necessarily would be unless we on the left can mobilize otherwise apathetic voters – Ignatieff’s bullish position, it seems to me, would be easier to debate.

With Conservatives apparently most fearful of an Ignatieff leadership, something he is exploiting as he butters up delegates, power-at-all-costs Grits might well believe Ignatieff is their man.

The exciting part of this contest, and excitement in the Liberal context is subjective to say the least, is that this less democratic, old-style, delegate-brokered convention may well see the type of cross-the-convention-floor team building (read “deal making”) that saw Pierre Trudeau win in 1968 or Joe Clark, for the Conservatives, in the 70’s.

My interest in the Liberal leadership is that of a partisan opponent on the left, firstly, and a political junkie – full stop. Frankly I wish Canada’s electorate would squeeze the mushy middle, and their arrogant feeling of entitlement, out of elections. Since that may not happen, in the near-term at least, I am proud that the NDP is cleverly pointing out the voting records of ‘Harper Liberals’.

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