The Race for Stornoway: Joe...Volpe!
So let me be perfectly clear on this post: I, in no way, shape or form, will not now or ever, endorse Joe Volpe as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I just want to be very, very clear about this, so to avoid any confusion.
That said, let's jump in:
"If you were running for mayor, he'd vote for you."
-Mayor Quimby Election Slogan
Background: Born September 21st, 1947 in Italy. His pre-political background is mostly in education.
Political History: Volpe ran provincially in 1981, but lost. He's a former President of the Ontario Liberal Party. Was elected as an MP in 1988 and supported Paul for leadership in 1990….and 1999…and 2000…and 2001....you get the picture. Became Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development under Paul, before replacing Judy Sgro in immigration when the media found out about the skills certain Romanian immigrants were developing.
Rejected Campaign Slogans: The possibilities are endless.
“Yes, I’m a serious candidate. Don’t laugh.”
“Loyal to the leader since 2004”
“Being in Cabinet has nothing to do with my flip-flop on gay marriage”
“Only he can defeat the Klansmen”
“Romanian Strippers at every campaign stop!”
“Not only will I ban the Sopranos in Canada, I’ll ban Joey!”
"Slightly More Credible than Dan McTeague"
Rejected Endorsement: Dominos Pizza.
Rejected Endorsement: Warren Kinsella, as his post from the other day had Volpe's name on it.
Rejected Platform: Increased MP expense accounts.
Pros: Umm…he wasn’t the worst Minister of Human Resources and Skill Development under Martin…and…umm…it’d be really funny if he won. I'm talking golden blog material every day.
Cons: Rumour is, he has never worn a pair of jeans a day in his life.
In Person: I’ve met Volpe once before, briefly, during the Stampede last year. I must say, I wasn’t overly impressed with him…and I had pretty low expectations coming in. I asked him a serious question about Canada increasing immigration rates and he barely answered it, resorting to some vague platitude on a completely different topic.
My Take: Joe Volpe personifies everything that's wrong with politics. He extolled false outrage over the Libranos poster. He resorted to childish name calling and vilification when he compared the Conservatives to Klansmen last year. He has a reputation as a vicious backstabber. Just read Juggernaut, or ask Judy Sgro. He eats 100$ pizzas and takes 1000$ limo rides. He was vehemently against same sex marriage until his Cabinet position was on the line.
That said, with Dan McTeague being rumoured to run, Joe Volpe is no longer the worst candidate out there. And, if nothing else, he's been a Liberal a lot longer than the rest of the field. That should count for something.
Chances: Volpe has been building an organization longer than anyone still in the race and, because of that, he can’t be ignored. He won’t win, but if he gets enough delegates to the convention, he could play a key role in deciding who comes out on top.