Sunday, December 03, 2006

The day after the race

I won't bore you with talk of the weather or the state of the roads, though there is indeed a funny and lengthy tale to tell involving the airport, my dad on public transit late at night, and the continuation of the stupid mess that is my SFU experience. Suffice it to say that I got into the Social Policy issues program, but can't get into any classes, my father did not get to fly out to Edmonton last weekend, and there are some DAMN super vistas when it snows in the Lower Mainland.

But I will bore you with an analysis of the results of the Liberal leadership vote. You see, being a history buffette, I know all about the 1968 Liberal Leadership Convention, the last great Convention. I know how the 'flash in the pan' Pierre Elliott Trudeau was polling at 4th place going into the convention among a field of candidates that ironically included Paul Martin, Sr., in a race that little resembled Paul Martin Jr.'s coronation mere months ago. I know that Trudeau won on the fourth ballot. And I know that the average Canadian greatly distrusts intellectual political leaders, preferring to go with the street smart candidate or the smooth operator.

So knowing all of this, I had this hunch back in July that Stephane Dion was going to come out on top. I knew Bob Rae wasn't viable because he can't deliver Ontario, which you have to do to win an election in Canada. I knew Michael Ignatieff was too polarizing, and I was actually surprised how his support basically flatlined as long as it did. I knew the rest of the candidates weren't viable because they either lacked name recognition or were, to put it politely, questionable figures. I'm well aware of Dion's trouble with Federalism in Quebec, but I think when it came down to crunch time, he was more palatable to newly disappointed Bob Rae supporters, and with no love lost between Rae and Iggy, it was a done deal regardless of Dion's questionable Quebec prospects.

I'll admit, I was not at all dazzled by the field of candidates this time out. None of the heavy hitters in the party stepped up to the Frank McKenna, who was to be the Liberal Party's second Allan Rock with his shrewdly cunning political sense...not a peep from the super-ambitious Belinda Stronach...not even an attempt to coax Captain Canada aka. Brian Tobin back into the fray. It was a race that lacked inspiration. There were no radicals, no steady hands to pick up the reins, no visionaries, there was no charisma. But obviously Harpertron 2000 proves that you can be a visionless lacklustre attempt of a human being and still lead Canada (seriously Conservative can do better for a leader).

I wish Dion all success in his new endeavors, and I'll pony up and support him because I do believe he's an intelligent, capable and driven man, and because I can't stomach the idea of more years of Harpertron 2000, but let's just say I'll be watching Dion with a pragmatic eye and a hopeful heart.


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