Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nomination Watch

'Tis the season for election speculation. Here's a run down of some of the high profile Liberals who might have a safe seat on their Christmas wish list now that the parties are starting to gear up for the next vote.

Bob Rae - I must first say that I find it someone ironic that the candidate who put out the least policy during this leadership race will be writing the Liberal platform but I'm sure Bob will do a good job the offer is very reminiscent of Chretien putting Martin in charge of the Red Book after his win in 1990. As for where Bob'll run, that's the $845,000 question. A lot of Liberals are talking about Rae taking on Jack uno a uno in Toronto Danforth and the proposal certainly has it's merits. Last election Layton beat Deborah Coyne by 14% of the vote but it was a lot closer in 2004 and with every poll we saw this summer saying Rae could steal NDP votes, this would be The battle of the election and likely the best use of Rae's star power.

Gerard Kennedy - There are a lot of options for Kennedy but the most logical would seem to be to take on Peggy Nash in Parkdale. Even though the riding is now NDP both federally and provincially, Kennedy has stolen this riding from the Dippers before and won the seat in 2003 by an uber-majority (over a 40% lead on his closest challenger). Kennedy could also try and establish his credentials as a Western Liberal for a future leadership run which would make several Manitoba seats appealing. The Dan Report speculates about a run in Winnipeg South.

Martha Hall Findlay - After the campaign she ran, her impact on Dion's win, and the fact that she's been shuffled aside in the past for a "star" candidate, you have to figure Martha will get a safe seat. And since the safest seat around is Toronto Centre, that's where my money is.

Justin Trudeau - It's been speculated for a long time that Justin would one day run and the stars seem to be aligning for it. He raised his Liberal profile during the convention and the party is in desperate need of fresh blood in Quebec. Justin is as good at retail politics as any of the pros and it would give the Liberals some youthful energy in the Quebec caucus if he won a seat. Outremont seems to be the most talked about target, although daddy's old riding in Mount Royal could open up if Cotler decides to not run again.

Christy Clark - I haven't heard this rumour anywhere so I figure I'll be the one to start it. Given that Dion is looking for strong female candidates and Christy's husband just happens to be Dion's national campaign manager, it certainly seems like a logical fit. There are a few BC ridings which are ripe for the taking and Christy would be a fantastic addition to the federal caucus.

Martin Cauchon - After reading the Macleans leadership spectacular, one thing which struck me was how blunt Martin Cauchon was about still hosting future leadership ambitions. With that in mind, now might be a good time for a return to federal politics and his old riding (Outremont) has conveniently opened up with Jean Lapierre's retirement from politics.

Other Names
If Cauchon is making a comeback, certainly a few others in the "Chretien gang" might be considering it too. Allan Rock's endorsement of Stephane Dion was interesting, considering the neutrality of the likes of John Manley and Frank McKenna. It's also not out of the realm of possibility that a Jane Stewart or Bob Nault might consider returning to the kingdom they were driven out of three years ago. Jane Taber mentions a possible Collenette run in Ottawa Centre, although it's Penny, not David. Fuddle Duddle has speculated about some of the Quebec seats and tosses out Brigitte Legault's name as a young female candidate. There's also some talk of a Liza Frulla comeback. As for fellow defeated Liberals Anne McLellan and Reg Alcock, they haven't tilted their hand one way or the other.

30 Comments:

  • I'm thinking we'll see Rae in Toronto-Danforth and Kennedy in Parkdale-High Park.

    As much as I'd like to see MHF run in her real riding of Newmarket-Aurora (if for no other reason, to depose Belinda), I doubt that's going to happen. I could see her going to a 905 swing riding though. I think the best option for her would be Halton, also creating a national battle between her and Independent Garth Turner, and also preventing any shot of a Tory win there.

    According to Stephen Taylor, Trudeau is rumoured to take a run at Outremont; however, given Cotler's strong pro-Israel stance comapred to the Liberal policy, and his wife leaving the party in disgust, I don't think he'll run again. So, Mount Royal could be an option. Also the safest Liberal seat in Canada, so all Justin has to do is run and he's elected.

    Had they not selected a candidate, I would have seen Clark running against David Emerson in Vancouver-Kingsawy. But, I think she'll go to a swing riding somewhere in the lower mainland. Fleetwood-Port Kells seems like a possibility, taking a run against Nina Grewal.

    By Blogger BC Tory, at 10:31 PM  

  • You're presuming of course that Emerson is even running again.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 11:22 PM  

  • Anne won't run again.

    By Blogger Manley Man, at 11:37 PM  

  • Which is a damn shame, but she's certainly done enough for Canada in her public career.

    After the extremes she's gone to in the last couple of years, Martha deserves a nice safe seat.

    If Kennedy isn't going to run out west, then Parkdale-High Park is the obvious choice, since it allows him to knock off a Dipper. However, I can see a lot of advantages to him running in the Prairies, since with the loss of McLellan and Alcock, the party's prairie Cabinet reserve amounts to Ralph (who's a formidable Minister, without a doubt) and some promising backbenchers.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 11:47 PM  

  • however, given Cotler's strong pro-Israel stance comapred to the Liberal policy, and his wife leaving the party in disgust, I don't think he'll run again.

    Cotler has so far said he will run again, although the guy's not young, and he's had a fairly successful run in a pretty brief (all things considered) stay in the Commons, so I could see him bowing out.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 11:54 PM  

  • We really don't need Justin Trudeau in Quebec. Trust me. All of the ROC is crazy about him. Get him to run in English Canada.

    He would be a disaster for a Quebec campaign. He's a loose cannon. Remember his comments on how the Liberals should lose the election. Maybe get Sacha to run in Mount Royal, that would make much more sense.

    The next campaign is going to be really hard in Quebec, we don't need Justin Trudeau on top of that.

    Alex

    By Blogger Alex Plante, at 11:57 PM  

  • While I like the idea of Bob taking on Jack mano-a-mano, that's perhaps too much risk that I'd like to see (given that if he lost Bob may not run again).

    Why not have him run against Olivia Chow? All the benefits of a major "riding to watch" and it'll also sap strength from the NDP in most of Toronto as they'll have to put volunteers in to fight for her.

    I've also heard a rumour that Bill Graham won't be running again. Has anybody heard anything about that?

    By Blogger Glen, at 12:06 AM  

  • Yes, I too am baffled about the Rae choice for the platform. I don't know if anyone has any feedback, but party platform isn't a one person job, and the leader has a lot of influence... so wouldn't it be like an important job with little final say?

    By Blogger m5slib, at 12:30 AM  

  • Justin in Quebec = fresh blood?

    cuz the name trudeau is completely unknown in the province

    i suggest you fly in and look at the signs lol

    please we are tired of him before he has arrived....when he says something intelligent ill be impressed.

    eulogies dont count!

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3:53 AM  

  • From what I've heard its Kennedy as a lock to run in Parkdale-High Park, and possibly Rae in Etobicoke-Lakeshore (his home riding, where he lives)... but obviously we'll have to see how that plays out.

    By Blogger Tony Jones, at 4:34 AM  

  • If Nault ever did decide to run again, he'd have to find a new riding. Roger Valley has got firm control of the Kenora consituency.

    That said, if Nault was interesting in getting back in the game he could try Winnipeg South, if Alcock doesn't want to come back. I guess Kildonan St. Paul in Winnipeg would also be a possibility

    By Blogger Pete, at 6:04 AM  

  • Tony, you're right, we'll have to see whether or not the Good Professor decides to stick around or not for Rae to run in E-L. Personally I like the idea of the head-to-head with Layton...hopefully they'll both lose.

    By Blogger RGM, at 7:41 AM  

  • If Cotler chooses not run, Mt Royal may be poised to have a woman candidate. A couple of local names have been thrown around. Then there's the JT factor.

    By Blogger WestmountLiberal, at 9:22 AM  

  • Eh, I doubt Winnipeg South is a good place to be running a rookie MP without a whole lot of profile in Manitoba. I mean Reg Alcock was ubiquitous in Manitoba and if he couldn't hold onto his seat, now its been under a Tory incumbent for more than a year. Anita Neville could always free up her seat. She always seems terribly vulnerable to defeat but somehow manages to hold on, so its a relatively safe riding as far as Winnipeg ridings go. Saint Boniface is even safer but they elected a new incumbent Liberal there last election.

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:43 AM  

  • Toronto-Danforth, Parkdale High Park, Outremont...

    Good to see the Liberals are planning to use their star power to take on the 'Conservatives' in the next election.

    Shouldn't these rfolks be targeting Tory MPs instead of fighting over safe iberal seats or taking on the NDP???

    By Blogger Pink, at 10:25 AM  

  • Toronto-Danforth, Parkdale High Park, Outremont...

    Good to see the Liberals are planning to use their star power to take on the 'Conservatives' in the next election.


    Pink,

    Why don't you tell us which ridings in Toronto currently held by Tories you would like to see contested by Rae, MHF and Kennedy. Oh, that's right, there aren't any! The best they have is a handful of seats at the outskirts of the Greater Toronto Area, and even those ones seem to be dropping like flies. (Stronach, Turner, Chong) In any case, isn't knocking off a Dipper pretty much the same thing as taking out a Con at this point?

    By Blogger Ed King, at 11:17 AM  

  • I know it's not a "rule", but it's not really "done" to run real opponents against party leaders. I mean, I'd love to see Jack Layton turfed. Heck, I'd consider moving just for the sake of voting against him.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 11:42 AM  

  • Sam Bulte wants another go at PHP and it's going to be tough to deny a woman candidate, so Kennedy out West may happen yet.

    Though Toronto Centre is going to open up as well.

    By Blogger Darrell, at 1:48 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Darrell, at 1:48 PM  

  • While I was planning on campaigning for the Liberals, if Sam Bulte runs again, I'll have to campaign against her. She very sloppily and wrongly took money from the lobbyists she was in charge of regulating.

    More than that, her proposed changes to the Copyright Act defied common sense. Charging elementary schools hundreds of thousands *each* to access the Internet? Insanity.

    http://www.copyrightwatch.ca/?p=22

    By Blogger Sunir Shah, at 3:11 PM  

  • Ugh - can some Liberal please stop Sam Bulte? Fast? I'd HATE to vote NDP to stop her, but I will if I have to.

    Sam Bulte SUCKS. Surely to god the Liberals can do better than that sack of shit.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:30 PM  

  • "...and Christy would be a fantastic addition to the federal caucus."

    Errr, something tells me you're not from British Columbia...

    By Blogger Devon Rowcliffe, at 6:00 PM  

  • Running Rae against Layton bad political etiquette and just plain wrong. The NDP have strong support across Canada and it's not fair to them to have their leader knocked out in the name of political strategy.

    By Blogger sinblox, at 3:39 AM  

  • Not fair? What is this, the Special Olympics or something?

    By Blogger Raymaker, at 1:41 PM  

  • Running Rae against Layton is good strategically. By giving the NDP leader a tough fight in his home riding, it weakens the national campaign and makes Toronto volunteers focus more on the leader's riding instead of Trinity-Spadina and Parkdale-High Park, as well as other ridings they hope to take.

    At the same time, if Rae loses, as he likely would, it relieves him of his obligation to be an MP. If he wants to serve the Liberal party there are other ways in which he can do so. Being an advisor to Dion in the manner of Mitchell Sharp to Chr├ętien is one way.

    I think having Justin as a candidate is good for the campaign in English Montreal and eastern/central Canada. He's a marvellous campaigner. Obviously he's not going to appeal to people who hate his father and/or the Liberal party. So what? There is no point in a party trying to tailor its message to people who will never vote for it under any circumstances. Reformers and Bloquistes can slag Trudeau all they want. A Liberal victory depends on attracting people who've voted NDP in the last two elections and people who'd be voting PC if they still could, in addition to the Liberal base. Do that, and you have a solid base for a majority government.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 3:02 PM  

  • Kennedy has never "stolen Parkdale-High Park from the NDP". The NDP performed dismally in all three provincial elections 1995 and after (coming behind the Tories who, I should add, were the incumbents from whom Kennedy "stole" the riding - though the actual Tory incumbent didn't run again, leaving Annamarie Castrilli a failed Liberal leadership candidate whose riding had been districted into nothingness to lead the Tories).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 8:13 PM  

  • There seem to be a lot of rumours of Rae running in Toronto Centre following a retirement by Graham. Contrary to Tony Jones' claim, Rae does not live in Etobicoke Lakeshore (where Ignatieff is the incumbant). Rae lives in Parkdale-High Park.

    I expect that Kennedy is now looking at two possible ridings - PHP and York South Weston, where he lives. Tonks would have to step down in YSW and I've no idea if this is in the cards. Should Tonks want to stay, Kennedy will most likely run in PHP.

    Sam Bulte would run in PHP if Kennedy gets the YSW riding. Hers was a narrow loss last time and could easily be reversed if our national numbers recover by 5% or so.

    I can't imagine getting Rae to run against Layton. It would make the Libs look unsportsmanlike and we'd probably lose the seat anyway.

    Rumour also has it that Tony Ianno would like to run again in trinity Spadina. Where all this leaves Hall-Finlay is unclear to me.

    By Blogger Abrawang, at 10:04 AM  

  • Toronto-Centre's safety is being overrated by many, I think (and I actually live there).

    It's certainly a safe seat for Graham, but it's gone Conservative both federally and provincially in the past. Granted, even without Graham the riding will probably stay Liberal, but it's not guaranteed.

    By Blogger Kevin Brennan, at 3:19 PM  

  • It went PROGRESSIVE Conservative in the past. Every since that was replaced by the Reform Party it's been a Liberal stronghold with the Cons the third place party.

    If the Cons ever want a chance there again, Stephen Harper is going to have to get down on his knees and beg the lesbian and gay community's forgiveness for his party's disgusting bigotry.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 11:23 PM  

  • It's more likely that it would go NDP than Conservative right now, I agree. My main point was that Graham's personal popularity in the riding is higher than the Liberal party's. If he left, and a particularly strong candidate from another party ran, the seat could be in play.

    By Blogger Kevin Brennan, at 10:32 AM  

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