The Race for Stornoway 2
Rae and Ignatieff are the two names on everyone's lips, yet again. Both are better candidates than they were last time, when Iggy's newness to politics and Bob's newness to the Liberal Party were major turn-offs. Still, the anybody but Ragnatieff sentiment carried the day two years ago and it remains to be seen if opinions towards these two polarizing figures has shifted.
THE CLASS OF 2003
I'm going to predict none of the other candidates from the last "Race for Stornoway" run this time. Kennedy and Hall Findlay are both young and have made names for themselves in the party - unless they win, there's nothing to be gained for either of them. Brison has already said he won't run and I can't imagine Volpe wanting to give it another go, even if many of his former
supporters are now old enough to vote. Dryden might be tempted to run in an effort to raise issues, but he still has debts to pay off. Bevilacqua, Bennett, and Fry couldn't find enough support to make it to Montreal last time, so unless Carolyn Bennett wants to be the token female, I doubt any of them will make it to Vancouver.
THE 90S GANG
The early focus of the last leadership race was on the big names who took a pass - McKenna, Manley, Cauchon, Rock, Tobin... It would surprise me to see anyone in this crowd jump in when they skipped the more winnable race, but if McKenna or Manley do enter, the entire dynamic of this leadership race would change.
Dominic Leblanc seems like a lock to run at this point - worst case, he positions himself for "next time" and best case he comes up the middle to win. Justin Trudeau has wisely taken a pass...with his age and the speed the Liberals are chewing through leaders, he can likely sit out the next 4 or 5 leadership races. Will Ruby Dhalla toss her hat in or will she once again take a prominent role on the Ignatieff campaign? Will David McGuinty try and one up his brother?
AND ALL THE REST
Denis Coderre is musing about running as the voice out of Quebec, with Ujjal Dosanjh's name being tossed around as a Western candidate. If you want to wildly toss out other long-shot names from the west, I suppose there's always Goodale, Christy Clark, Carole Taylor, Anne McLellan, Glen Murray, Tina Keeper, or David Orchard. Of course, who knows which of the 75 current MPs think they have the right stuff...or which defeated MPs want to get back in the game. And, heck, Martha turned her run into a safe Toronto seat so perhaps someone else will try and turn that trick.
One thing is for certain - the speculation will be fierce. When the dust settles, I'm gonna say we have 5 candidates, with only three having a legit shot at the crown. But I wouldn't at all be surprised to be surprised. Nunziata anyone?