Monday, February 20, 2006

Follow the Leader

SES has a poll out today, asking Ontarians who they want as the next Liberal leader. While these polls are fun, keep in mind:

a) It includes Brian Tobin and Frank McKenna.
b) It's missing the names of a lot of people who will run.
c) It only polls people in Ontario, which one imagines works in favour of Dryden, Stronach, Ignatieff, and Rae. (And, I guess, Volpe too...although you wouldn't know it by the results)
d) Most importantly, it's a poll of everyone in Ontario, regardless of political affiliation. Just as my choice to be the next CPC leader would be Stockwell Day, I'm sure a lot of Tories would be salivating at the prospect of seeing Belinda as their opponent.

All we can really read into this poll is that average Canadians have no overwhelming favourite.

In other news, the Hill Times is floating Domic LeBlanc's name for leadership. Wikipedia also has him on their very thorough list of candidates. They've also got Cotler and Ianno listed but until I see their names somewhere else, I'll leave 'em off my list.

With the National Executive laying down the timeline and rules for the leadership contest on March 18th, I suspect we won't see many more candidates officially declare until then. But anyone who's serious about building a credible organization will have to announce their intentions in the last half of March. Until then, we can only speculate:

Martha Hall Findlay

Likely To Run
Frank McKenna
John Manley
Michael Ignatieff
Belinda Stronach
Scott Brison
Joe Volpe
Maurizio Bevilacqua

Possible Candidates
Ken Dryden
Martin Cauchon
Gerard Kennedy
Bob Rae
Brian Tobin
Allan Rock
Stephane Dion
Ujjal Dosanjh
John Godfrey
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Denis Coderre
Carolyn Bennett

Wild Speculation
Glen Murray
Jane Stewart
Sheila Copps
George Smitherman
Anne McLellan
Christy Clark
Clyde Wells
Dennis Mills
Hedy Fry
David McGuinty
John Parisella
Paddy Torsney
Joe Fontana
Ruby Dhalla
Louise Arbour
Paul Zed
Dominic LeBlanc


  • From everything I've heard, Leblanc is serious about running. Not sure why but I think he'll run. Not sure if he'll make it to the convention.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 p.m.  

  • You are right dr_dog,

    If the Ontario poll had included Gerard it would have found him with 3X the support of any other choice, and none of the other choices would have been in the double digits.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 p.m.  

  • Peter,

    I like Kennedy as much as the next guy, I really do. In fact, if he runs, I'd probably support him with my time, money and vote. You need to calm it down a bit though. The SES poll was all name recognition and while Kennedy is known in Ontario, he isn't quite the celebrity of Dryden.

    Of course, at least Gerard can give a 20 minute speech that doesn't take 20 hours to deliver (unlike Dryden)...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 p.m.  

  • I would choose Hedy :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 p.m.  

  • Carolyn Bennett?!? Are you kidding me with this... she's crazy... and can barely talk. no thanks... i wouldn't let her run a donut shop let alone a Party or a country... ditto Hedy Fry...

    I'm still pulling for Tobin.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:59 p.m.  

  • I support Justin Trudeau.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 p.m.  

  • I have what may seem to be a stupid question:

    There are 102 elected Liberal MP's.

    Many are new and at this point unknown but there must be some great talent there as they managed to get elected in their communities despite the scandals.

    Is there a site where the bios of all of the Liberal MP's are listed. Maybe we can identify some potential candidates who already have seats in the house.

    Just a thought - instead of going for the old dogs maybe there are a few new dogs who can teach the party some new tricks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:23 p.m.  

  • This month, could Stronach, Dryden, or Brison do this:

    The Liberal's true bilinqual candidate!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 p.m.  

  • Ken Dryden: 14%, Bob Rae: 12%, Michael Ignatieff: 12%, Belinda Stronach: 11%.

    Paul Martin did not go off to a favourite Liberal retreat, the Turks and Caocos islands as far as I know. One must take anything this brilliant and stealthy politician says with a big pinch of salt.

    Brilliant, not because I like him at all, but because he won 103 seats when pundits that he would be lucky to win 45 to 55 seats in the face of some 218 scams {list Toronto Sun Jan 22/06]. He’s the best card the Liberals ever had.

    Only Michael in the short list above has any potential of leading the party. However when the next election rolls around, the Ipod, Xbox voting public will have no idea who Ignatieff is unless he can do miracles to gain gobs of editorial mention between now and then.

    Martin will remain the main contender., especially if the Harper team does some profound stumbling.. If conservatives are able to govern effectively and get important business done, then it is quite likely that Martin will defer to someone else. TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 5:52 p.m.  

  • nope... i was talking about Bennett... if you see her once or twice you leave thinking she's great... try working on her re-election campaign though and seeing her up close... can you say "not ready for primetime"?... seriously, horrendous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 p.m.  

  • Ignatieff is a lock, anyeone who doesn't see this coming has no business considering themselves to be a politico.

    This was sgined, sealed and delivered the day McKenna said no. Everything else is just a spectacle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:20 p.m.  

  • CG,

    I saw Christy Clark on tv here in BC about a week or so ago and she clearly stated that she is not running. She would have made a decent candidate aside from the close ties to the Martin team.

    All the candidates listed near the top of that poll (Stronach, Rae, Ignatieff, and Dryden) would most likely get smoked by Harper in an election.

    As someone who voted Tory last time but is open to voting Liberal, I hope for a decent Liberal contender. I don't think I could vote for any of the aforementioned four candidates (MAYBE Dryden if he doesn't put me to sleep first)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 p.m.  

  • Anonymous,

    See this coming:
    Ignatieff cannot beat Kennedy.

    Stay tuned.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 p.m.  

  • I suspect all the Kennedy buzz will drag him into the race soon. I think we are looking at Kennedy, Dion, Dryden finals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:55 p.m.  

  • Dennis,

    How you figure?

    Gerard vs. Iggy. The last Harvard man - now mayor of Toronto, David Miller (see:

    - who went up against Gerard lost in a byelection in a riding that belonged to Bob Rae and had been NDP for decades.

    Read Winnipeg Red's comments from yesterday on this blog:

    "It appears Mr. Kennedy has the ability to muster support across the board...he's certainly creating a buzz here in his homegrown province of Manitoba.

    From what I've heard, Mr. Kennedy is a tireless and dedicated campaigner and with his strengths, we have a shot of a Team Liberal once again.

    This is definitely a man many will WANT to vote FOR..."

    Iggy may in the future become leader of the Liberals, but after spending most of the past 30 years in the United States, we need a bilingual leader who can relate to the average Canadian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 p.m.  

  • Missisauga Peter,

    Re-read my note.

    It states:

    "Ignatieff CANNOT beat Kennedy."

    I think our viewpoint is the same.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:05 p.m.  

  • someone should whup them dummies in Ontario up side the head real good.

    The next leader of the LPC MUST speak French and English, and speak them well.

    Look at that list . . . take off all the non French speakers and who's left.

    What a waste of a poll.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 p.m.  

  • Interesting list.

    Fred, I agree on your French speaking point. I personally wouldn't mind, but it would definitely cause an unnecessary uproar.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:25 p.m.  

  • Why is it that "Ignatieff cannot beat Kennedy?"

    This business of "Candidate X is unstoppable" is at this stage on intellectual level of PS2/XBox advocacy.

    Let's have some arguments with our opinions, shall we? Having read some of Ignatieff's work, I'm very impressed with him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:11 p.m.  

  • Leblanc should run.

    He needs to establish himself as the political leader/future Minister from New Brunswick, if not Senior Minister from all of Maritime/Atlantic Canada.

    Leaving all of that space to ex-Tory Brison would be a mistake for Leblanc or any other actual Liberal from Atlantic Canada.

    As for Kennedy, he has to have more to offer than he did when he was a candidate provincially. He lost the provincial leadership to a nobody, Dalton McGuinty.

    Unless he can win on the first ballot, there is little room for an Ontario Minister (from Toronto) to grow on the floor.

    It's nice to have roots on the prairies, but it doesn't mean very much.

    Hell, I could get at least half the delegates from Central Alberta. I would still lose.

    And I'm not running.

    By Blogger C4SR, at 11:57 p.m.  

  • cfsr,

    The number of ridings in the Maritimes is half of the number of ridings in the Prairies.

    Based on that logic, your candidate Leblanc, if he got all the Maritimes, would only get half the support Kennedy would get if he got all the Prairies.

    Or restated, Leblanc's getting all support in the Maritimes equals only 50% support for Kennedy in the Prairies.

    The reality is that Alberta, Manitoba, and parts of Saskatchewan will be sown up once/if an announcement is made. However, folks in the Prairies, don't ever expect that Kennedy will take you for granted! Keep the emails/encouragement coming!

    Second ballot support will not be an issue with Kennedy this time!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 a.m.  

  • I have no clue how Kennedy will do on the Prairies but he sure seems to have the Internet vote sewn up...

    Anyone who thinks there's a frontrunner has blinders on. Yeah, Ignatieff and Brison probably have the best organizations now, but no one is going to get over 30% on the first ballot of this thing, so it's going to come down to the delegates at the convention and deals made on the floor. The second Manley and McKenna dropped out, this became anybody's race to win.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:58 a.m.  

  • I wish you Ontario guys would just stop it. Kennedy is about as credible as Stonach.
    Provincial Cabinet ministers DO NOT succesfully move to federal Politics, it just does not happen, ever.
    Kennedy has no name recognition on the praries and no organization. The praires are sewn up, yeah right, we know who they are sewn up for and it is not for Kennedy. He is not credible, and apart from some commenters on blogs his name is never mentioned. Just drop it allright.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:06 a.m.  

  • I find it amusing that Bob Rae even made the list. I mean, no offence to the guy but he's an awful politician.

    Now sure, you can say all the nasty things you want about Mike Harris and his common cents.. err.. sense revolution, but at least he got re-elected. Bob Rae got obliterated.

    I was pretty young then and even I remember how much we (Ontarioans) LOATHE Bob Rae.

    If the Liberal Party wants to be obliterated in Ontario, please let Bob Rae take the leadership.

    By Blogger Eric, at 12:01 p.m.  

  • Happeningfish,

    You are so wrong about Kennedy. Get ready to eat your words.
    I am part of a large, growing Prairie organization for Kennedy.

    He is our homegrown candidate.

    Go Kennedy Go!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:08 p.m.  

  • All I will say about Kennedy is no one has talked to me about him or asked me to get on board, and just about every other possible contender has had someone sound me out. Comments on blog boards do not a contender or organization make.
    You know if there are 100 people in the west who know who he is I would be shocked.
    Beyond that he will fail as all provincials do when when they try for that leap. Liberals know that and will stay away from him in droves.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 p.m.  

  • "All I will say about Kennedy is no one has talked to me about him or asked me to get on board, and just about every other possible contender has had someone sound me out. Comments on blog boards do not a contender or organization make."

    I just spit up my lunch laughing at this. Thanks for the mid-day chuckle.

    The guy ran the largest food-bank in Edmonton - but I guess he was a hermit the whole time. He has a huge network building up in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta but I guess if you aren't a part of it, it doesn't mean much.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:04 p.m.  

  • happeningfish,

    100 people? Let's see...

    Born in The Pas, Manitoba. Hardworking parents. Dad becomes Mayor. Dad runs for federal Liberals. Gets scholarship to attend high school in Winnipeg.

    Attends U of Alberta in Edmonton. Involved with campus Liberals when unfashionable to be a Liberal in Alberta. Opens first food bank in Canada. Asked to come to Toronto to run Daily Bread Food Bank (when Gerard left in 1996 it was the largest food bank in Canada serving over 150,000 families monthly).

    I met Gerard in Edmonton (I am a former U of A Liberal president myself). He is the most decent, honest politician around. He is also the most charismatic. He has no enemies and no one is or will be ashamed to support him.

    In less than a year after winning a byelection - against Harvard man, now Toronto mayor, David Miller, in a riding held by Bob Rae and an NDP bastion for decades - Gerard's charisma/decency made him the No. 1 choice on the first, second, and third ballots for leader of the Liberals. Old guard was not ready for the 35 year old charismatic candidate so he lost on the fourth ballot at 2:00 a.m. (yes, after midnight).

    In spite of McGuinty losing the next election to Harris, and supporters encouraging him, Gerard did not cause a leadership review. His loyalty/ability was rewarded with the Minister of Education position. Teachers and parents all adore/admire Gerard. Why, because he is committed to doing the right thing (rather than what is politically expedient for himself).

    I am a Calgarian in the GTA, who could phone 100+ people in Edmonton. Each would not need to be pushed to give time and money for a leadership campaign for Gerard. Why? Because they know the true character of the man.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 p.m.  

  • Guys, I really don't want to step on any toes or anything, but this Kennedy hyperbole is getting a bit much. The Prairies have twice as many seats as the Maritimes? Yes, and this is important. Another thing that's important is that Nova Scotia elected more Liberal MPs than the entire prairie provinces combined. The Maritimes' 25 seats yielded 16 Liberal MPs, while the 56 Prairie seats yielded 5 Liberals, 3 NDP and 48 conservatives.

    Now I honour our Prairie Liberals and I don't challenge their important strength in the leadership campaign, but I think there should be a bit of reciprocal respect for the importance of other views within the Party.

    And none of this even addresses whether the Prairie provinces are as 'sewn up' as is being claimed - it would be a remarkable accomplishment if true.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:53 p.m.  

  • Jason,

    You stated previously you are impressed with Iggy's writings. Your comments are noted and accepted and not criticized.

    Why can't you accept that some people are impressed with Gerard? Their comments/feelings are as valid as yours.

    Please do not criticize folks for what they believe/comment/feel.

    Re: Nova Scotia. For the Liberals to gain a majority they will need Nova Scotia (including people who like Iggy) plus growth hopefully in the Prairies, and Quebec, British Columbia...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:20 p.m.  

  • I don't at all take issue with peoples' support for Kennedy; he struck me as a promising candidate and I was disappointed when it appeared, for a time, that he had bowed out.

    I said I was impressed with Ignatieff; for the record, I am interested in getting involved as a result. But what I'm not doing is saying things like "Kennedy can't beat Ignatieff!" or that he has x y and z stiched up, either - and I think speculating on a "sure thing" leadership strategy based on a sectional bloc of the party that doesn't have a lot of seats risks sending the wrong message to other parts of the party.

    HOWEVER, I have re-read the thread and realized that you and the other Kennedy supporters have been provoked by the some of the people scoffing at Gerard's prospects, so I should have phrased my objections more evenhandedly for pro- and anti- Kennedy types.

    But there's no point in reacting with the same sort of 'sure thing' discourse. We could yet all be left gawping by Dryden, Dion, Stronach or Brison, as much as the last two candidates are objectionable to most of our sensibilities.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 p.m.  

  • Until more candidates surface, I'm trying to listen and observe more policy information than leadership aspirations. I was plugging for Lloyd Axworthy but since he said no, I will follow the leadership race (with only one candidate so far, it's not quite a race, eh?) with an open mind. I like the enthusiasm of the Kennedy backers, and am listening and reading great things about Ignatieff. There are half a dozen other top-notch possibilities that grab my eye. But I'm not going to start shooting down possible choices because, although they may not seem ideal from my west coast point of view, they certainly could bring something positive to the race. I find it strange that the passions of some seem to be directed at knocking down others...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:00 p.m.  

  • OK OK I get it
    dr dog
    the west for Kennedy
    and one of the anonymous all have the same IP and I am fairly confident it is in an office in Queens Park, probably in the education department maybe even the ministers office.
    OK OK
    I realize I am being goofed on, Sorry I notice CG did'nt take it seriously, why am I. I am a sucker.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:02 p.m.  

  • Fish, that's trolling for flames. You're checking IPs on someone else's blogger page?

    This is one of the most pressing issues in Canadian politics, and it shouldn't be an occasion for divisive mockery and flame-war antics.

    I have a suggestion: how about anyone wanting to tear people down and start fights posts using their blogger profiles, or lists their sites, lays down their cards?

    At least that we'll be able to tell when it's just Blogging Tories trying to pick fights between skilled and worthy leadership candidates.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:10 p.m.  

  • I'll be cheering for Bob Rae or Belinda Stronach.

    I can't wait.

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 9:34 p.m.  

  • CalgaryGrit,

    Can you please tell happeningfish that my IP is not the same as the mentioned

    dr dog
    the west for Kennedy
    or any other anonymous writer

    I do not try to represent anyone except myself and do not sign anonymous.

    It appears that happeningfish has not been called and is now offended he is not in the loop.

    Anyways, I know members of Gerard's staff and they are too busy dealing with Education issues. And he wouldn't tolerate it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 p.m.  

  • Happeningfish,

    Your statement implying that supportive comments for Mr. Kennedy are from his office is really absurd. I live in Alberta and I do not know the other bloggers. You seem to be the only one coming on this blog to blatantly discredit a leading candidate and you have made it clear that your target is Mr.Kennedy.
    As Liberals, we can disagree on our favourite candidate but we should try to support the entry of as many outstanding candidates as possible into the leadership race. Minister Kennedy and all of the other candidates deserve some respect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:05 a.m.  

  • The IP comment was lighthearted sorry if it was taken as fact, I did not check nor do I know it was a joke.
    That said, I have nothing actually against Kennedy but nothing for him either.
    Nor, do I suspect have the VAST majority of Liberals across Canada. Including the ones who have heard of him.
    He is a provincial politician of some repute I gather, but cmon guys, he is not a "leading candidate" I was joking because I finally realized all this Kennedy suppot was actually just peaple joking and I was laughing at myself for taking this Kennedy support as serious. Now that I realize it is just people joking around fine, I will ignore it as well

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 p.m.  

  • Everyone should check out the draft Ignatieff website:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:11 p.m.  

  • As someone who often, but not always, votes Liberal I'm very interested in the candidacy of Dominic Leblanc, a francophone from outside Quebec.

    I NEED the Liberals to get rid of the reform party (whatever they call themselves these days).

    On paper, Leblanc looks very good. But I haven't heard much about what people think of his "charisma" ie. his electability. And I don't remember ever seeing him interviewed on television. Is he the real potential saviour of the Liberal Party or just a false messiah.

    In any case I wish them well. I hope the membership takes a less provincial view and looks to who can actually WIN a majority government. That's ultimately the only thing I care about, provided the person is generally a centre-left politician.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 a.m.  

  • Almost liberal party got the majority votes.

    By Anonymous tuxedo shirt, at 8:58 a.m.  

  • Here, I do not actually imagine it may work.

    By Anonymous shop tienda erotica, at 1:38 p.m.  

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