Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Leadership Speculation

Michael Ignatieff
Gerard Kennedy
Stephane Dion
Joe Volpe
Scott Brison

Ken Dryden
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Martha Hall Findlay

Carolyn Bennett
John Godfrey

Still Possible...
Denis Coderre
Hedy Fry
David McGuinty
John McCallum
David Orchard
Paul Zed
Ruby Dhalla

Taking a Pass
Frank McKenna
John Manley
Belinda Stronach
Martin Cauchon
Brian Tobin
Allan Rock
Ujjal Dosanjh
Joe Fontana
Glen Murray
Jane Stewart
Sheila Copps
George Smitherman
Anne McLellan
Christy Clark
Clyde Wells
Dennis Mills
John Parisella
Paddy Torsney
Louise Arbour
Dominic LeBlanc
Marlene Jennings
Robert Pritchard
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Tony Ianno
Dan McTeague
Carole Taylor
Ralph Goodale


  • Ujj opted out quietly a few days ago, actually. No French. That said, I'm surprised he hasn't been floated as interim fodder.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:37 a.m.  

  • despite the overboard jump by Msr. Manley and McKenna (2 bad on Frank, he'd have done a good job, boyo), plenty of solid candidates and more than a few that have receive little or no notice yet.
    Kennedy has the fire, heard him talk at UofWO; certainly interested in rolling up the sleeves and wrestling policy wise and chicken sandwich wise.
    Dryden very cool, has that Canadian Idol factor and hockey hall of fame demeanor; also scores points on being slightly policy wonkish.
    Dion definitely a great compromise candidate; strong federalist may just what the doctor ordered in 2 years time, also the rebuilding in Quebec cannot be underestimated.
    Axworthy is under the radar but if he wants it, he can bring gravis, experience and ethics to the party and an international left-wing vision. Gotta think Jack's cringing in his moustache at this (and that brother Tommy is playing point-man, working on the party's CSI-Ottawa report on the election implosion, is a sign of possible interest)
    One name that hasn't been mentioned, well I won't mention it but SHE was a reasonably popular MP from Quebec who could bring a whole new level of discussion to the race. Think Sheila but smarter, cuter and more loyal... And french.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:14 a.m.  

  • Alternative Universe
    King Kong
    Pancho Villa
    Samuel Hearne
    Louis Riel
    Theodore Roosevelt
    King Edward III
    David Copperfield
    El Cid

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 3:46 a.m.  

  • When Trudeau won, the Globe and Mail wrote that he was "one of the most unusual, unlikely and unknown figures in Canadian political history." Also, 1968's leadership convention was host to the most candidates in the party's history, with a whopping nine candidates. With all of the play-by-play commentators now calling this a "wide-open" race and with a huge crop of unlikely and relatively unknown (or at least unproven) candidates now thought to be considering a run, I am definitely starting to see some similarities. Hopefully, with the right leader, another period of nearly sixteen years of liberal government will follow this convention as well!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:57 a.m.  

  • I would love a race consisting of just the "likely to runs". Because no matter what, unless by some miracle Volpe or Bevilacqua won, I'd be quite satisfied with the leader.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 4:29 a.m.  

  • Scary!

    I prefer Simon's list. At least it includes some 'real' leaders.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 a.m.  

  • Hedy Fry...? LOL.

    By Blogger Red Tory, at 6:17 a.m.  

  • JM

    Yah, it’s too bad that Liberals couldn’t get ‘real’ leaders such as Stockwell Day running for the party leadership.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:32 a.m.  

  • The dark horse Christy Clark would make the perfect optic opposite fellow westerner Harper. I can tell you that many Ontarians followed Clark as she excellently maneuvered her way around the teacher unions, and LIKED what they saw. Essentially a conservative in Liberal clothes. Her education reforms...ditto. Bring her on! She'd be a huge draw for the Liberals.

    Whoever the next fed. Lib. leader is one thing must be a pre-requiste, and that is that the person have absolutely no ties whatsoever to Martin(and his advisors), or 'da little guy' and his pack. Only a new fresh face and about 10 years of healing will do.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 a.m.  

  • "Whoever the next fed. Lib. leader is one thing must be a pre-requiste, and that is that the person have absolutely no ties whatsoever to Martin(and his advisors), or 'da little guy' and his pack. Only a new fresh face and about 10 years of healing will do."

    That's a great way to bring the party together...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:21 a.m.  

  • I was fairly surprised to see McKenna leave as well, and with a little parting shot (and I'm paraphrasing)...

    "I reminded myself of when I got out of politics the first time, that I got out of the trap and wouldn't go back for the cheese."

    That really doesn't sound right, but to me, it sounded like a dig on politics as he's heading back to private life.

    I'd have to go with Michael Ignatieff at this point.

    - Brison is too young looking
    - Stronach...'nuff said.
    - Cauchon -- we can't have a PM with a last name that sounds like "pig" in French. It just can't happen.
    - Dryden (I can't see him wanting that right now)

    Tobin is a possibility but I just don't see him having that "fresh start" perspective like Ignatieff might.

    Bob Rae is certainly an interesting possibility...more amusing than interesting...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:28 a.m.  

  • you guys forgot warren kinsella and alfonso.

    that said, i can't believe that those who voted liberals because they disliked harper would ever support christy clark. speaking as a BCer, she is the woman-Harper, except since she's not a white male, she won't get tagged with the flimsy christian bigot label. speaking as a small-c conservative, her election would be great for the country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:30 a.m.  

  • I think Axworthy should be added as a longshot to run.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:57 a.m.  

  • Geezzz.....with that list CalgaryGrit....you can now say that Paul Martin's Juggernaut, has been replaced with a JUG-O-Nuts.

    James Halifax.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 a.m.  

  • Seriously, Who is Christy Clark and why is she even on this list?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    Dryden, Dion and Iggy are the best choices but...
    Dryden is not a great speaker. Great writer, yep. Good thinker and leader yep, but dull as dishwater speaking. I think he would be a fantastic PM but would have real trouble getting elected (then again he speaks about as well as Harper, but that is a very LOW bar indeed.)
    Dion would be terrific. Put him in a room with a bunch of western seperatist and in an hour they would vote for him. Unfortunatly I dont think we can get 50% of Canadians to sit down and talk to him for an hour.
    Iggy, met him, like him but there is somethng there that troubles me, not sure what. To much the dream candidate, to much like Trudeau, everyone wants him to be the new Trudeau and that makes me nervous because it does not happen twice the same way, remember when Duran Duran was the new Beatles?

    You know what if some goofy member of Clarks Family can go on here and keep touting her for reasons that escape the rest of the world then I can keep touting Bronco. At least he would be credable with a serious fundraising machine deep Liberal ties and a legitimate public record

    Dave Bronconnier for PM!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 a.m.  

  • Here's another possible candidate, though he's not considered a front-runner.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 a.m.  

  • Could be wrong but I think Kennedy is the one to watch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 a.m.  

  • How about Kim Campbell?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 a.m.  

  • She's about on a par with Christy Clark or Hedy Fry, to be sure.

    By Blogger Wrye, at 12:19 p.m.  

  • "The dark horse Christy Clark would make the perfect optic opposite fellow westerner Harper. I can tell you that many Ontarians followed Clark as she excellently maneuvered her way around the teacher unions, and LIKED what they saw...."

    Mark - you can stop touting your wife: it ain't gonna happen.

    The recent two-week teacher's strike in BC can be attributed to Clark's deft handling of the BCTF, even though she left that Ministry a couple of years ago. While she was there she built up such a well of distrust and dislike that it was an impossible situation for anyone who followed. Clark did such a good job of presenting the government view of education and establishing a reputation for fair, even-handed conduct in the Ministry that public opinion, which was slightly in favour of the teachers at the outset of the strike became strongly in favour over the course of the strike.

    By Blogger deaner, at 12:26 p.m.  

  • To Anon who posted the thoughts on Christy Clark...I think its so funny that you "Ontario people" have been watching her so closely, admire her, etc and yet have no understanding who she really is.

    First, you can have all the Martin people go away with Christy-hello her husband is Mark Marrissen! Mark is one of the most disliked people in the west, most Liberals only say it behind his back. The two of them together are the most ego driven, media needy (they sold pictures of their newborn to the Vancouver Sun), mean-spirited people we have in the party.

    Christy has done NOTHING for the federal Liberals, she hasn't shown her face in a campaign, fundraiser or event in years. My advice to you and anyone thinking she is the great new hope of the party, is just LISTEN to her for 5 minutes. You'll find she is talking out of her ass, feel bad for many us of out here who had to listen to her throughout the campaign. Please shut her up!

    Here is a little food for thought...when she lost the NPA's nomination for Mayor of Vancouver the deal was that she would take an active role of the campaign and that she would be on hand for most of the campaign, this was in an effort to bolster good relations between the campaigns. The poor NPA executive thought that they would be getting the infamous power couple's strategic minds full time, but were disappointed to find out that Christy and her people just left them holding the bag.

    What a bridge builder, uh? You won't get the western vote with Christy and she doesn't speak fluent french-if any.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • What is all this Christy talk? Mark and Christy need to stop torturing us!

    Hey Mark, 8-9 seats doesn't make you a winner buddy, no matter what your wife says.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 p.m.  

  • Christy only wishes she were Harper. She is nothing like Harper. I realise we are all Liberals here, but please let's give Harper some credit, he does have a Ph D. in economics, is a straight shooting policy wonk and has some class.

    I cannot say anything nice about Christy or the merry band of disasters that follow her. We should make a list of those associated with her, kind of a wanted list, just so we know where they are at all given times.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 p.m.  

  • Has the years of Martin and Chretien wars really reduced the Liberal leadership to such a low level that people are seriously considering someone like Clark or Stronach or Volpe as a possible leader?

    People are drawing 1968 comparisions, but 1968 had heavy weights like Martin Sr. and others running, not the empty shirts that are being rumored today.

    This race needs names like Rock, Dion, Axworthy, Manely etc etc. Not also rans and weak provincial ministers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 p.m.  

  • For those you may be interested I've handicapped the race

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 p.m.  

  • Harper has an MA, not a PhD, which is why no one refers to him as Dr. Harper, unlinke Dr. Dion.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:05 p.m.  

  • Ken Dryden would get my vote. I think, however, that he's too intelligent to want the irritation.
    There is also the question of an organizational machine to work for him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 p.m.  

  • I am supporting Dr. Ruby Dhalla.

    She would be a fresh face and a fresh start.

    MP from Brampton. Easily won re-election.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:28 p.m.  

  • I am supporting Ruby


    A fresh face.

    A fresh start.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 p.m.  

  • I'm curious, why on earth are Brison & Stronach considered serious possible contenders in this race? Stronach is the highest profile floor crosser in recent memory and it would be ridiculously easy for the Tories to paint her as an ego-driven, ethically challenged opportunist of the worst kind (given her convenient & immediate elevation to PMPM's cabinet). With no real history in the Lib party how could she hope to defeat Harper in an election? He may be a dull policy wonk, but she's all flash and not substance ... he'd destroy her in a debate (to give fair credit where it's due).
    Scott Brison at least mostly managed to spin his walk across the aisle as principled, but really he didn't handle it terribly well if you look back at his comments about the new Tory party up to a year before and during that process.
    Can't the Liberals find anyone who is a committed, principled LIBERAL with a public history of ethical and loyal service to this country? I'm disappointed both Manley & McKenna chose to sit this out because both of them plus other candidates could have made a real race of this.
    Don't get me wrong, I've been a Liberal for years, but the likely field of candidates to date is underinspiring. Personally I'm rooting for Stephane Dion ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:45 p.m.  

  • its easy how to see how our thinking degenerates into the cult of personality.

    one of the lessons we should learn from harper is that personality isnt' everything!

    i think we need to have a little strategic think on what type of liberal party will gain mainstream support and then look to what leader best exemplifies that perspective.

    frankly no one on the list right now will beat harper inside of the next 6+ years so we need to find some better alternatives!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 p.m.  

  • As for why Stronach and Brison should be taken seriously:

    -Belinda has TONS of cash
    -A lot of the Martin crew will back Brison, now that McKenna has droped out

    I think both of them will be top 5.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:59 p.m.  

  • well let me say this
    ...not like you can stop me .....lol..when you see the performance that John Turner puts on during the "next great prime minister" show....you will all see that clearly it is Turner who should be the next leader. and isn't it intresting that CTV used the Liberal emblem from the last Turner campaign as the backdrop for the whole show....check it out on Saturday night. Go get'em John.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 p.m.  

  • Doesn't Brison also have a lot of support among the Young Liberals?

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 2:29 p.m.  

  • "Doesn't Brison also have a lot of support among the Young Liberals?"

    Young Torys...an honest mistake.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 p.m.  

  • how about joe volpe for leader? He's much respected in the party, has a good base and has reached out to different parts of the country while he was a cabinet minister. He's also not in anyone's back pocket.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:45 p.m.  

  • More bottom barrel scraping :

    Carolyn Parish
    Adrienne Clarkson
    Anybody with the last name Trudeau

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:49 p.m.  

  • Is ruby thinking of running...is this serious or just names being thrown out....
    because after reading her web site I am thinking she could be a good candidate, a fresh face, a young face, and a woman.

    I am not torn between
    Anne (not sure if she will run)
    Scott Brison (I think he could bring renewal)

    and Hedy Fry...simply because I love Hedy in my riding but honestly not sure about her running the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:13 p.m.  

  • Is it just me, or is Kennedy sounding more and more like the favourite?

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 3:45 p.m.  

  • It's really tough having a reasoned discussion about who should be leader with so many tories on the board. Volpe, Kennedy, wtf... let the Liberals make their own choice and you guys can have fun with Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 p.m.  

  • _Is there an order method to these lists? Such as alphabetical, or east-west or age/exp.? Personal perference revealed? Just wondering.

    By Blogger CQ, at 4:30 p.m.  

  • CG I take your point about the cash for Belinda and Brison's appeal to Martin insiders, but I still don't think seeing either of them (or both *shudder*) in the top 5 of any leadership contest as being remotely positive for the party (if either wins anyway).
    I still stand by my opinion that Stronach needs 10 years on the backbenches to actually learn about public policy and frankly I think anyone (like McKenna or Brison) appealling to the idiots that surrounded Martin would be a terrible choice. Our party needs a leader willing to challenge and rebuild the Grit brand and platform, preferably someone with the least amount of Chretien v. Martin baggage. I realize that would discount Dion in many quarters, but I still think he's been the most proactive trying to articulate a new theory of Liberal federalism in Quebec, which for the party is still the most important battleground for rebuilding. Similarly, I think Ignatieff has had the cajones to actually forcefully articulate some good points, but political inexperience will be his biggest handicap ... in any even I think we all need to agree to stop looking for another Martin-esque "savior" and pick a good old-fashioned, pragmatic and even ruthless hands on leader who can inspire the party rebuild from the ground up! :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:31 p.m.  

  • I'm amazed that no one has mentioned Justin Trudeau as a possible leadership candidate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • Okay.

    I'm going to post this again. Provincial politicians have not been able to make inroads on the federal scene. Only 1 premier has EVER become PM. No provincial minister is going to win a national election. A non-elected Liberal has a better shot at leading our Party. So, scratch out the following: Gerard, Tobin, Rae (I dont even know why he's being mentioned Ontarians won't vote for him EVER), Clark, Smitherman and, already, McKenna.

    Clark resigned for "family reasons" from the education portfolio cause she wanted to spend time with her son and there was too much travel. Shortly thereafter, she announced running for mayor and was DEFEATED in the NOMINATION. - not the election. Running a leadership campaign will invoolve lots and lots and lots of travel.

    Dr. Ruby Dhalla is a Doctor of Chiropractics and she and her brother (who was on a Liberal TV spot) had a practice together. She is a second term winner in her riding and was the first Sikh woman elected to Parliament. Here's the knock....SHE was APPOINTED in her riding by the Martinites and has caused a giant rift within the Brampton Springdale riding. Thank God she has a great, dedicated group of volunteers and a strong riding president in Vicky Dhillon.

    Belinda would best serve us if she did NOT run for leadership. I think it would further her status in the party should she opt out. I don't think her father (sponsor of the "next great Prime Minister" show that airs Saturday night) will let her pass this opportnity up though. She does not speak French, does not have a post-secondary education, does not have a clue about foreign policy, hasn't figured out Parliamentary procedure yet. Her loads of cash does not HELP this party because of Bill C24. $1,000 per company only.

    Back to original programming... That leaves Dryden and IGGY....So far. Small shot at Dion.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 5:34 p.m.  

  • Regarding iggy, he is a good man, and would be a good leader. All the points about his intellect are true and I think on the issues he would be solid and a credit to the party blah blah blah.
    Here is where it gets really superficial.
    He has no eyes.
    Ever noticed in photos or on TV and even in person he has those big eyebrows and deepset eyes.
    I think Canadians would have a tough time in coming to like or trust him because they can't look him in the eyes.
    Sure it is shallow and sure it should not matter but in the end 10% is what you say
    30% is how you say it
    60% is how you look when saying it
    No eyes just kill you, no eyes, no warmth, no trust. Hell Harpers weird ass eyes probably cost him the 2004 election. Did you not notice how all the tory freindly media started to refer to his peircing blue eyes and stuff to spin it.
    No iggy just does not have the eyes for it.
    Now Ruby Dhalla, hubba hubba those are some great eyes.
    She should run just for that reason

    Dave Bronconnier for Leader!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 p.m.  

  • Tobin's out.



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:49 p.m.  

  • Good riddance to Tobin. We don't need a midget leader from the Rock.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 p.m.  

  • Dr. Ruby Dhalla?

    She is not a Dr.

    She is a chiropracter.

    She makes her money off stupid people that think your neck making loud noises will stop you from getting a cold.

    And besides her background as a wanabe and failed Bollywood actress, what does she bring to the party other than being young and new?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 p.m.  

  • Demos; Oh yeah, I agree. I just think Brison and Belinda will do quite well in the race. I can't fathom supporting either of them (although I'd give Scott a shot in 5 or 10 years possibly) and I don't want either leading the LPC.

    I'm just saying that people shouldn't underestimate either of them. Especially Brison who could win this thing.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:04 p.m.  

  • Fascinating, all the candidates with any background and machinery to make a run at the Liberal leadership have taken a pass. I mean is the 48 million in debt number that the media bandied about accurate? If so I supose that would explain all the percieved front runners dropping like flies. I wonder if Allan Rock and Stephan Dion will pass next, if they do I'm going to get the impression that the Liberal Party is on the verge of bankruptcy and can't seriously compete in the next election.

    I mean say what you want about no name cabinet ministers in Ontario that no one outside of Ontario has ever heard of, Tobin was the most charismatic candidate with any national stature being bandied about. Manley and McKenna were the most competent choices for the Liberals.

    I supose that leaves Rock, Ignatieff and Dion as the percieved front runners. I doubt Rock will ever live down the gun registry. Ignatieff hasn't been in the country for 30 years and he's fairly old at 58. Furthermore, I think the fact that Ignatieff's views on foreign policy are more likely to popularize him with conservatives than Liberals which probably isn't going to help him win a nomination.

    Ironically, it may be Stephan Dion who gets the call as he could at least shore up the Liberal base of support in Montreal if not much outside that. But after slagging Harper for his lack of personality and being a dull, boring policy wonk this will be a case of immitation being the sincerest form of policy.

    Aren't you all looking forward to that? Academic policy wonk, versus academic policy wonk on the exciting topic of the nature of federalism. The media will be driven to tears.

    By Blogger Chris, at 6:08 p.m.  

  • These two things don't mesh together:
    1) Fact: The Liberal party is the official Anti-American party of Canada.

    2) Fact: Michael Ignatieff is 58. He has spent most of his life, and certainly the vast majority of his adult life, outside of Canada. Most of that time was spent in the United States. With Americans.

    Running Canada.
    In Our Country.
    I'm Not Making This Up.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 6:22 p.m.  

  • BILINGUAL CANDIDATES only need apply. Let's not embarass ourselves by backing people who can't function in both official languages. Trudeau would be rolling in his grave.

    Can you imagine a French debate with the Liberal leader needing an interpreter. If you can, then imagine no seats in Quebec, and deservedly so.

    Anyways, it's o.k., this afternoon, Gerard passed Dion for first ballot support. See


    Kennedymania has started. Coming to a packed lecture hall near you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:34 p.m.  

  • Kennedy is NOT going to win this. Hell, he may not even enter.

    Brison and Stronach. Good grief Bart. They WERE Conservatives. I like them both on a personal level. And, Scott is a force in the House. But, good grief.

    We need to first go back to the original thinking. Who are we as Liberals? And, who is able to live and breathe that definition of who we are and where we are going?

    We NEED people that understand policy and principal.

    Again, scratch out Stronach.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 6:49 p.m.  

  • Check out Ruby's site

    She is a winner

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:57 p.m.  

  • Ujjal may not be running, but what about Herb Dhaliwal? He could make a political comeback.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 p.m.  

  • And please don't condemn us to Alan Rock . . . .

    If he were to be successful, it would guarantee at least 5 years in obscurity.

    Absolutely no personal magnetism.

    No potential for growth in terms of appeal to younger voters.

    Bringing back Alan Rock is like waking the dead (temporarily).

    Please don't encourage him.

    Think of the future of the party.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:23 p.m.  

  • For God sakes can we have a Liberal actually become leader of our party?? Is that too much to ask? I think not! Anyone who has ran for the leadership of another party is automatically disqualified (are you listening Scott, Belinda and Bob). As for ignatieff, he needs to pay his dues in the party first.

    And a word to Blue Grit: Can you explain your dislike for volpe and bevilacqua? Is it maybe because their names end in a vowel? I'm no fan of volpe but I'd rather see him become leader than a turncoat, ala Brison and Stronach.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 a.m.  

  • I'm a card carrying NDPer, but I'd work on Gerard Kennedy's leadership campaign and maybe even switch parties if he wins. I love the glory days of Trudeau when my party wasn't as vote hungry and was willing to work with our natural friends, the Liberal Party of Canada. Kennedy is young, hip and progressive. I'm down, and a lot of other Dippers would be too. :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 a.m.  

  • Cripes, I hate using a popular pseudonym sometimes. That "demosthenes" up there isn't me. (Or, perhaps, I'm not him. I've probably been blogging/commentating longer, but not on Canadian politics)

    Still, he/she/it's right about one thing: Stronach is utterly impossible to take seriously, and Brison only somewhat less so (thanks to the party switch). They are unelectable leaders right now, and only time will tell if that will change.

    Ignatieff doesn't work either. His support of the Iraq war, for whatever reason, is going to drive away whatever left-liberals remain into the hands of the NDP, and his dancing around the torture issue ("I'm against torture" is meaningless if you split hairs over what it is) isn't going to help much either. He'd bleed the urban votes that the Liberals now officially rely on.

    That leaves Cauchon (who I honestly don't know), Volpe/Bevilacqua (not the most popular of politicians here) and the "possible" bunch. Of those, Dryden, Dion and Rae seem to make the most sense. If Dryden can learn to speak effectively, then he may well be a great leader, Dion impresses everybody, and Rae somehow managed to get the NDP into power in Ontario... that counts for something.

    Finally, does anybody else feel that the "waiting game" is fantastically destructive? Anybody who is "waiting out" this leadership race for the next one is going to be a sword of Damocles over the head of the true leader. Removing that element from Liberal politics is more important than any "rethink" could be.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 2:06 a.m.  

  • Kennedy with Dion as deputy leader would be a pretty unstoppable combination. Though what about the anglophone/francophone alternation convention?

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 1:15 a.m.  

  • Maurizio is by far the best choice, ...but then I'm rooting for either Belinda or Scotty to win because I'm a card-carrying CPC member and Stephen will make mince-meat of either of them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:39 a.m.  

  • I thought Tobin was likely until he signed off. Somehow Clyde Welles could be shifted from wild spec to just possible. TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 12:31 p.m.  

  • If we take seriously the idea that the party needs new blood, new ideas, a new start, etc., I think Iggy is the man. None of the commonly cited knocks against Ignatieff disqualify him as a candidate, whereas he has a bunch of advantages that really matter.

    The "27 years out of the country" argument is, I think, a really lame one. The truth is that the most coveted posts in the fields of academia and journalism, as is the case with so many other pursuits, lie outside Canada. Rejecting potential leaders who've spent time (even a lot of time) outside the country is a good way to filter talent and ambition- obviously not a process that makes sense. In any other field, a superstar returning home to canada would be universally hailed as a benign case of "brain gain", (as was Ignatieff's return to Canada as an academic).

    The second main argument against- his support for the Iraq war- can be pretty easily dealt with. Indeed, it seems that by claiming that his views on this issue are personal, and not necessarily representative of how he would act in government, he's begun to put it behind him. Besides, assuming he wins the liberal leadership, how important would this be in a general election? The Tories certainly wouldn't be able to credibly run to his left on foreign policy issues (It may leave him vulnerable to sniping from the NDP though).

    Harder to dismiss is the argument that he lacks political experience. Obviously this is true, and important, but it's should hardly be determinative. This is, after all, what the best type of "new blood" is- new to politics, not just to the higher ranks of the liberal party. Besides, the non-political stuff he's devoted his life to is highly relevant to a potential PM. Politics may be the best experience for a career in politics, but writing and reporting on global affairs must be a close second.

    Weighed against these easily surmountable negatives are a whack of positives, but in particular three major ones: brains, off-the-hook communications skills, and a capacity and inclination to craft a vision for the country. I think everyone here would agree these are the "must-have" qualities for whoever is going to take on the resurgent Torys and rebuild the party; I also think that by these measures Ignatieff is by far the choice of the field.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:13 p.m.  

  • Gerard Kennedy is a solid prospect. No ties to anyone at the federal level, he's actually from Manitoba, represents Toronto, has an MBA but would look good opposite Harper (once led the Food Bank). Catholic but not afraid to stand up to the Church hierarchy, he shamed Toronto's Catholic School Board Administrators for their capitulation to the Harris Conservatives. Proven organizer since McGuinty's people wanted him stopped during the '98 Ontario Liberal leadership race.

    Speaking of The Great McGuinty, Dalton is one to watch. Proven solid and decisive (Sharia Law, calling the Ipperwash Inquiry, etc.), he could figure in the race.

    Long shots - Lloyd Axworthy. Up side: proven cabinet minister. His own man. Would likely have become Premier of Manitoba were it not for the western anti-Trudeau backlash of the late 1970s. Smart. Down side? Comfortably esconced in his cushy job as President of the University of Winnipeg. 66 years of age. Wants to stay put.

    Ralph Goodale - Competent. Wins by large margins in decidedly non-Liberal territory (Harper spoke of his riding where I once lived - many transplanted Torontonians and Asians!). Right age (56). Another former provincial leader. Down side? Parlez-vous Francais?

    Bob Rae - Chretien wanted him, Rae quit the NDP over Svend's Middle East antics. Was a Liberal around 1968, then a New Democrat, now what? Make up your mind, Bob!

    Roy Romanow - Hmmm. Remember how Chretien wanted the 2000 Election to feature four former Premiers (Tobin, McKenna, Rae and Romanow)? Didn't happen. Can't see it now, either. Roy is too CCF.

    Christy Clark - Sorry, we don't need more Tories in Liberal clothing. Cannon, Charest and Emerson are enough. If she picked fights with teachers, forget it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:49 p.m.  

  • Don't forget Tony Ianno (stifles laughter). According to The Globe and Mail "Mr. Volpe, along with Tony Ianno, the former junior minister for seniors who lost his downtown Toronto seat to the NDP's Olivia Chow, have both been “burning up the caucus phone lines,” one MP said. Mr. Ianno's efforts may be hobbled by the loss of his election race, however." The article also mentions Ruby Dhalla and Dennis Mills as potential candidates.

    By Blogger Scott Piatkowski, at 9:06 p.m.  

  • There is a McGuinty to watch, but it's not Dalton. David McGuinty's cv and interests are geared towards federal politics. He could out Tim Horton Harper anyday of the week. The only problem is positioning himself away from his brother in Queen's Park. Gaining support in other provinces will be an issue if he decides to run, but his diploma in agriculture should excite the rural riding associations who will be fed up with the big city mentality of the other candidates.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:39 p.m.  

  • If Christy Clark runs, I will quit my job and work full-time on the campaign of whomever is opposing her. And if, by some horrible twist of fate she were to win, sign me up Jack Layton! I would never want to be involved in/a member of a party that would have her as leader.

    Hear Hear to the Clark naysayers, and all I have to say to the "Ontarian admirers" is you obviously didn't leave in BC under her reign of terror as Education minister.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 a.m.  

  • If Christy Clark runs I will quit my job and do everythign I can to support her.

    I know talent when I see it - and she would blow this race wide open.

    Attractive, charismatic, a great debater, a westerner, an outsider, a woman, a mother and experienced.

    I love this idea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 a.m.  

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