Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Race for Stornoway 2

A preliminary look at the field...


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.


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 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?


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?

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  • The Iggy supporters are already getting a wee bit touchy, check out:

    They are going to need much better answers for Iggy gaffes than this!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 p.m.  

  • How about BC Premier Gordon Campbell?

    Once upon a time I'd have said David Emerson but he kinda screwed that one up now, didn't he?

    French language is/would have been a problem for either.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:53 p.m.  

  • Anonymous 10:17 - Conservative troll, I think, based on (1) attacking a frontrunner and (2) the glee with which he or she muckrakes.

    By Blogger Yappa, at 10:54 p.m.  

  • How about Jane Stewart? Libs don't hold Brant anymore, so she could run -- and likely win back -- that rural Ontario seat.

    I'd love to see Jane there, and so would a lot of good Liberals who were revolted by how she was treated by the Opposition when she was in Parliament.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 p.m.  

  • My bet would normally be Coderre, Dosanjh, Leblanc, Rae, Ignatieff, Manley. But I'll limit it to the last three owing to the limited pool of dough the candidates will be able to tap into, and the discouragement the former three will face. This will be a quick and dirty race. I suspect that the lowered expectations now that the Libs have lost again and dispelled the "penalty box" notion may make the race attractive to the heavies - the Rocks and Manleys of the world.

    By Blogger matt, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • LeBlanc is unlikely because his personal style is problematic. Ujjal Dosanjh may be a BC candidate (better than Hedy Fry). He would help revive the BC base of support. I am impressed by his sincerity and maturity. Hopefully, he survives the recount.

    I've decided to back whoever can win the next general elections (Rae looks best), and the most promising newcomer (Kennedy).

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:21 p.m.  

  • Goodness if everyone mentioned here decided to run.they would never get finished.
    We need someone in their forties, and full of pep, can speak well, people notice and listen to and is centre left

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 p.m.  

  • I guess that puts those Reid Scott rumours to bed...

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 11:37 p.m.  

  • I disagree with you that Rae and Ignatieff have somehow "improved" since 2006.
    I think it is very sad that the Liberal Party is going to choose a Leader that only joined the Liberal Party in 2006 when a Leadership vacancy was going to be available.
    We need real renewal, not power hungry Party tourists.
    What exactly are Rae and Ignatieff offering to renew the Party??
    The race desperately needs a 3rd candidate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:38 p.m.  

  • Both Rae and Ignatieff are missing a key ingredient to winning where it counts... neither of them have any sort of supporter base/connection to Quebec.

    Remind me who the last Liberal leader who won even a minority without a Quebec connection?


    Rae will not take Ontario, Iggy can't take Quebec.

    If Manley, Tobin, Cauchon, McKenna or Rock become leader I'll just cancel my Victory Fund membership and never speak to this party again.

    Over Rae and Iggy, a member of the Chretien cabinet c. 1998 would be the WORST possible outcome.

    By Blogger Lori, at 11:48 p.m.  

  • None of the "young guns" or anyone from the "rest" would win, so I hope they stay out just so this can be less of a 12-way snoozefest.
    I think Brison would have an alright shot at things, though it would probably be smarter for him to stay out.

    The best outcome, for the party itself, would undoubtedly be one of the more liked 90s figures... Tobin, Rock, McKenna, Manley, in that order of preference, though it would have to be adjusted based on their French ability, which I don't really know off the top of my head.

    Christy Clark would be a nice addition but I'm sure she's happy to stay in BC.

    Rae would probably do better than Ignatieff in an election. For this reason I predict the Liberals will go with Ignatieff. Prepare yourself for lots of cringe-inducing five-o-clock-shadow academic mumbling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:18 a.m.  

  • Am I the only one saddened by the fact that we will have a "Liberal" leadership race without a (serious) female candidate?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 a.m.  


    There's your answer, there's the leader.

    Support growing everywhere fast. You'll see.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:43 a.m.  

  • Toby,

    A serious female candidate would be nice but none of the names mentioned qualify. One day, it will happen.
    I am more saddened by the fact that the choice will come down to Rae or Iggy-this is not progress and we are back at square one.

    As for Dominic Leblanc, he is too unknown and inexperienced to win. He might make a nice showdown candidate with Gerard Kennedy in the future.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 a.m.  

  • DLF - Check the results from the last go where Iggy took quebec by a huge margin.

    As for Anon at 10:17PM...That was Antonio...acting out as always.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 a.m.  

  • The Iggy supporters are already getting a wee bit touchy, check out

    Umm, I think everyone is getting a bit touchy.

    Iggy can't take Quebec

    Are you kidding me? "Quebec is a nation"?

    Ignatieff positioned himself as the Quebec candidate during 2006, and had a near complete totality of all Quebec delegates on the final round. La Presse and the Quebec elite were giving him positive press and he was getting great coverage in the province. Outside of Quebec though, was another story.

    LeBlanc is unlikely because his personal style is problematic.M

    Have you actually met the guy? He is amazing in small room situations. He is a great orator, and down to earth, and would be able to easily connect with the type of suburban votes the LPC needs to pickup. His major liability out west, unfortunately, is that he has a french last name I hate to say.

    This guy is the future, and I envision a 2010-2020 leadership race between him and Trudeau. He is not ready yet though.

    By Blogger In_The_Centre, at 1:51 a.m.  

  • "Have you actually met the guy? He is amazing in small room situations."

    Yes, I have. That's exactly what I mean.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:53 a.m.  

  • Just to throw out a serious possibility for a female candidate: how about Louise Arbour.

    She's just finished a term at the UN which Harper refused to renew. I expect she's ticked enough to take his head off in any debate.

    Was a Supreme Court Judge, resigned go to the International Court of Justice then to the UN.

    By Blogger Deb Prothero, at 7:25 a.m.  

  • I think we should let Rae and Ignatieff and one fantastic female candidate have it for a couple of debates and then choose. When the woman wins Rae and Ignatieff can sit on the bench or leave.

    Three women to choose from : Martha Hall Findlay, Carolyn Bennett and Louise Arbour

    By Blogger Deb Prothero, at 7:28 a.m.  

  • Leblanc will be the surprise - and he will get a lot of admiring media attention -- and I'd almost be willing to bet a certain media-savvy reborn Liberal is going to be backing young Dom in a big way. That's why he is coming back -- do you think either of the Rae/Iggy teams will have any room for him at this time?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:52 a.m.  

  • take away ALL the names of those who are not bilingual, take two aspirins and call us after the bloodbath is over.

    Fighting over the remains is such an inter family feud.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:04 a.m.  

  • 8:52 anonymous,

    I may be wrong, but I would think WK is more likely to be behind David McGuinty than Dominic LeBlanc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:13 a.m.  

  • DAVID there's an interesting proposition!
    That's would shake things up a bit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 a.m.  

  • JANE STEWART - serious female leadership contender. Strong Chretien-era Cabinet Minister. From a rural riding.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 a.m.  

  • Not that I expect him to enter the race - he's sat out two elections and has never been an MP - but does Montreal-born, Toronto resident Glen Murray still count as a western candidate?

    I really hope this race consists of two or three candidates with a serious chance of winning, without people running to make a name for themselves or because of a perceived need for a candidate who fits into this or that demographic slot. A cabinet needs to be balanced. A leadership race does not, and I don't think the party can afford to indulge people's fantasies.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 10:39 a.m.  

  • Tequila Sheila!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 10:46 a.m.  

  • According to Ray Heard, McKenna, Belinda, and Dalton McGuinty are all going to jump in.

    Why hasn't anyone started the Ray Heard for LPC leader facebook group yet?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:41 p.m.  

  • even if many of his former
    supporters are now old enough to vote.

    Hilarious. Thanks for that laugh, CG.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 12:55 p.m.  

  • With Volpe, are you referring to the donations from kids, or from his older group who died off, joining up with the "zombies for Volpe" group.

    By Blogger UWHabs, at 1:47 p.m.  

  • Danny Williams did more the Liberals in election 2008.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:59 p.m.  

  • uwhabs, the undead can't die off, they are undead.

    anonymous 9:59: trouble with Jane Stewart is that the one thing people remember about her is the HRDC boondoggle (which was Pettigrew's fault).

    anonymous 9:54: I agree that David Orchard may well run. Can he make a difference? Yes. There are a lot of ridings with little Liberal support he can swamp with his zombie-like supporters (stealing a core Volpe constituency). He probably won't get 20% but would also be able to move into the void of Liberal support in the west.

    Louise Arbour would make a poor candidate, and yet she keeps being brought up. Here is why:
    1. Her comments regarding the Israel-Lebanon conflict would swing Jewish voters even further away from the Liberal party.
    2. Euthanasia. She ruled on the Latimer case in favour of the view that the trial was fairly conducted. So she pisses off pro-euthanasia folks.
    3. On child pornography in R v. Sharpe she voted with the majority upholding that the violation of Sharpe's freedom of expression was proportional to the harm of exploitation of children. But they added that existing laws were too broad, and should not apply to those for strictly personal use or those that do not depict unlawful sexual activity.
    4. Her ruling in auton v. British Columbia would piss off the parents of autistic children.
    5. She was one of two dissenting judges in Canadian Foundation for Youth and the Law v. Canada, a decision that upheld the right of parents to spank their children.
    6. In Chamberlain v. Surrey School District she ruled that books Asha's mums were a-okay.
    7. She ruled in the dissent of a Quebec law that withheld social assistance from folks under 30.

    It isn't necessarily fair to gauge Ms. Arbour's political views from her judicial decisions (I just went over a few I looked up on wikipedia), but it is going to happen. Many decisions made for reasons of jurisprudence are going to be debated in the political arena if she is a candidate. Not only would this decimate the independence of the courts, but would tie the Liberal party to a lot of judicial decisions unlikely to go over well with the voters.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:30 p.m.  

  • I think WK rhymed off a list the other day of Liberal Faithful over at CTV. I wouldn't count out one of them making a run for the roses.

    By Blogger Paul, at 5:04 p.m.  

  • Hey, isn't anyone taking Chantal seriously? What about Elizabeth May?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:38 p.m.  

  • I can't imagine Volpe wanting to give it another go, even if many of his former
    supporters are now old enough to vote.

    Oh, sure. When I made that joke here a while ago, some humourless LPC sychophant took me to task for it!

    The only candidate listed that might frighten the CPC (in my opinion as a former Lib voter, now CPC) is John Manley. No personality, but at least some political instinct. MHF is at least interesting. Wouldn't know Leblanc if he walked up to me and asked directions.

    Being semi-serious, the one's I'd most like to see win (as a conservative): Dosanjh, Coderre, Fry, Stronach, or Volpe, if he would do a favour and run. Holland would be a bonus.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 7:52 p.m.  

  • "Hey, isn't anyone taking Chantal seriously? What about Elizabeth May?"

    I was surprised myself - since Chantal Hebert tends to make safe pronouncements and is usually decidedly behind the curve. However, I think she is right that May is a contender.

    She has the profile, the organization, the connections (Bill Clinton on her rolodex), and for all her lousy French, she could presumably succeed where Dion failed, in uniting the Liberals and Greens.

    Then again, she means a continued commitment to the green shift, a rapid withdrawal strategy on Afghanistan, some pro-life leanings (against a woman's "frivolous right to choose") and she lost her seat.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 8:00 p.m.  

  • She also annoys the hell out of me, on a visceral basis.

    By Blogger Möbius, at 8:02 p.m.  

  • Picking Elizabeth May would be a hail mary that would make even John McCain blush.

    Why not Gary Doer? He is pretty much a mainstream liberal in NDP clothing, he'll help in the west big-time

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 p.m.  

  • "Why not Gary Doer? He is pretty much a mainstream liberal in NDP clothing, he'll help in the west big-time"

    The problem is that he probably doesn't want the job since he already has a better one.

    One name I have not heard discussed is Jim Dinning. He is sufficiently centrist to be a right-wing Liberal, was a good treasurer with credibility on the economy, is a good fundraiser (raised 2 million for his Alberta run) and would help the Liberals out west. Yes he lost a leadership to Stelmach, but if losing leadership races disqualified you, Rae and Iggy wouldn't be running again.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 7:55 a.m.  

  • PS: if the Alberta Liberals are smart the will nab Dinning before the federal Liberals do.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 8:00 a.m.  

  • Is Dinning bilingual? Even if he is, being unelectable (as a Liberal) in his home province is a big problem.

    Certainly his candidacy would end any further talk about Rae and Iggy not being committed to the party!

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 10:01 a.m.  

  • Its sad the contenders would all be pushing McCain's age if they become pm. We need someone who an inspire youth and put a new face on teh apry

    No one could spice up the race like Ruby Dhalla could

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:59 p.m.  

  • [Jim Dinning] is a good fundraiser (raised 2 million for his Alberta run)

    That won't do him much good in the Accountability Act world of federal politics, since he raised that money in a leadership race that had absolutely zero restrictions on campaign financing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 a.m.  

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