Simply a Lib, or can Bob Rae do more for social dem causes than NDP?
By Glenn Wheeler
“It is (Green Party candidate Chris Tindal), not (Liberal Bob Rae), whom (NDP candidate El-Farouk Khaki) mentions first when I ask him about his opponents.’Chris likes to show he has support from across the spectrum. But voters have to make a choice about who expresses their views the best.’
Tindal, meanwhile, claims to be doing politics differently. ‘We’re not campaigning against any one person,’ he tells me in his Parliament Street campaign office. He’s urging voters to make history by electing him.”
No federal by-election has held greater portent for the nation’s politics than the current race in Toronto Centre.
There are six candidates, but it’s all about Bob Rae, who, in all likelihood will be sent to Ottawa on March 17 to sit as a Liberal in the House of Commons and, perhaps, to serve as Liberal leader and PM once we’re past the painful tenure of Stéphane Dion.
But while it’s a celebratory occasion for progressive Liberals, a profound dilemma faces social democrats watching even an energetic leader like Jack Layton languish on the margins. Many can’t avoid the looming question: could the Liberal party, encumbered by corporate ties but led by a sophisticated, urban-sensitive ex-social dem, do more for progressive causes in Ottawa than the stalled NDP?