Friday, November 24, 2006

Final Thoughts on the Final Four

Before I head off to Montreal next week, I thought I would give some final thoughts on the "Big 4" candidates in this race. Gerard is obviously my top choice but I'm perfectly happy supporting any of the other three should they win. They all have great positives and I haven't completely made up my mind as to which one would be my second choice should things not unfold as I hope they will in Montreal. I also have no freaking clue as to who has the best chance of the four to win which should make for a very exciting Saturday. So, over the coming days, I'll be taking a closer look at the front runners.

However, it's important not to overlook the other candidates in this race and not just because who they choose to support could determine this race. I honestly believe that many of the bottom four deserved a better fate and if I was filling out a preferential ballot I'd certainly rank a few of them above some of the perceived front runners. So, in fairness, today I'll give some quick final thoughts on the bottom four candidates:


Martha Hall Findlay

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Martha Hall Findlay is probably the feel good story of the campaign and probably one of the best things for the Liberal Party to come out of the race. It's no secret that the party is short on female talent in the front benches but Martha has turned herself into an individual who is universally respected in the party and the media and who showed herself to be a rising political star. The important thing to remember, which is often overlooked, is that Martha could have been the punchline of the campaign. Instead, Martha has proven that she completely rocks and that she has a bright future in this party.


Scott Brison

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I'm genuinely surprised at how poorly Brison did during this leadership campaign. He's a gifted speaker, has political experience, and would represent generational change for this party. The Income Trust e-mails just seem to have derailed his campaign before it ever got off the ground.

Despite this, my impression of Brison has probably gone up more than mine of any other candidate over the course of this race. I took my fair share of pot shots at him back during the last election and this spring but throughout this race he impressed at the debates, he impressed at his events, and he actually put policy out on the table. I don't have any doubts that Brison would make a fantastic opposition leader and I do think he still has a bright future in this party, even after his poor showing this race.


Ken Dryden

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It's hard not to feel bad for Ken after this race. He's, without a doubt, the most genuine politician you'll ever meet and it's hard to find a cynical bone in his body - maybe that's what did him in. As I said in my interview recap, he's the type of person who should be Prime Minister - he's just not suited to the real world of politics.

Still, Ken's talk of "big Canada" and his work on the childcare file has been a big benefit to the Liberal Party. It will be a pleasure to listen to his speech on the Friday of the convention.



As for Joe...well...the less said about that the better.

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