The Race for Stornoway: Martha Who Who
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
Background: Martha won a silver medal at the 1976 Canadian Ski Championship. If she'd been an NHL goalie, we'd all know who she was but, unfortunately, skiing doesn't get a lot of media attention in Canada. Still, Martha worked her way through law school and if there's one thing the Liberal Party loves more than Toronto leadership candidates, it's former lawyer leadership candidates. Martha has run several businesses since graduation.
Political Experience: While having never been elected would be considered a drawback in most races, Findlay isn't too far behind the rest of the field in terms of political experience. She came within a whisker of defeating Belinda Stronach in 2004 and one imagines that had she won, she'd be considered a very legitimate candidate. Of course, it would have also made Canadian politics a lot more boring over the past two years. Speaking of which, following Belinda's waltz across the isle, Findlay stepped down to allow Stronach to run in Newmarket Aurora.
Rejected Campaign Slogan: "Newmarket Aurora's finest"
Rejected Campaign Theme: Anything by The Who.
Pros: Great bio, young, female.
Cons: Has never held elected office. No one knows who the hell she is.
In Person: She's not as polished as some of the other politicians in the race but chatting with her at the LPCA convention last month, she certainly seemed like she had a good grip on the issues and the political process. I even know of one young Liberal, at his very first convention, who was so impressed he decided he'd support her in the leadership race.
My Take: Andrew Coyne says that Findlay has "possibly the single most impressive resume" he has ever seen in a political candidate. Admittedly, running for leader is a different ball game than running for MP and, while others obviously disagree, I do think political experience matters.
Martha is running to make a name for herself and to raise her profile. In that respect, she's probably already achieved her goal. Given that she declared so soon and was simply known as "the lady who ran against Belinda", Findlay faced the very real risk that she would become the punch line of this campaign. But that has certainly been far from the case and she has mounted a surprisingly credible campaign thus far. Given the lack of females in politics, I really hope Findlay finds her way into a Cabinet position sometime in the future.
Chances: none < chances < slim