For those interested in the "inside politics" side of things, Steve Kukucha won the VP-English position, and Joan Bourassa was re-elected Policy Chair. Pierre-Luc Lacoste won the Young Liberals Policy Chair position by 11 votes, with Tom Cervinsky taking VP External. The big drama was, of course, the YLC Presidential race which ended in a dead heat (193-193, with 4 spoiled ballots). The John Lennard scrutineer picked "7", earning the right to call the coin flip, but foolishly went with tails - when the coin came up heads, Sam Lavoie became YLC President. My sources have, as of yet, been unable to confirm what type of coin it was that was flipped.
And, oh yeah, there was the leadership vote. 2023 votes were cast (by my count, that means about 80% of the delegates bothered to vote), with 59 ballots being spoiled. Among those were 4 Bob Rae write-in votes and 3 each for Belinda Stronach and Stephane Dion. Do that math, and that gives Ignatieff a solid 97% in the one-man race.
As for the event itself on Saturay, the party showed it learned its lesson from the way Sheila Copps was treated in 2003, and let Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc give nominating speeches. Both speeches were solid, but it was new party president Alf Apps who got the best line off: "We have 3 former Liberal Prime Ministers here which is great. To get 2 Tory Prime Ministers in the same room these days, you'd have to issue a subpoena."
So, this brings us to Michael's speech. To be honest, the introductory video didn't really do it for me - the "our own 2 hands" song has a certain "sing a song for Jim" sound to it, and the 6 pictures in a row with Michael and Obama (followed by Iggy in front of Air Force One) were a little to anvily.
The speech itself was good. My one knock would be that it was a tad generic - Bob Rae or Dominic LeBlanc could have given the exact same speech, the Liberal leader 10 years ago could have given the exact same speech, and the Liberal leader 10 years from now could give the exact same one.
But, at the same time, a long time Liberal told me at the after party that he liked that very thing about it, as it showed Michael was a true grit, and not just a tourist in the party or a conservative with a red scarf. And, thinking it over, he did eloquently manage to explain what the Liberal Party stands for. More importantly, he fired up the crowd - a job whose importance should not be under-estimated, as the individuals in the room will be counted on to give their time and money to the party in the coming years.
So, in the end, the Seinfeld convention served its purpose. Delegates had a good time, and were left with smiles on their faces. But fans will recall that the 9:30 slot after Seinfeld was not usually must-see-TV. The real challenge will be the next few months.