Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pantomime in Montreal

Think about this Liberal leadership gong show for a moment.

Bob Rae, who I have met and is a very decent man, used to a Provincial NDP Premier. That is, a left leaning liberal. He didn’t do a great job as Premier, though he has done “a Nixon since” – major rehabilitation.

Michael Ignatieff was, until recently, an academic – Harvard and Oxford. A bright, arrogant and ignorant (as most academics are) man who has been out of the country for some 30 years. He says that if he looses the Liberal Leadership he will return to his academic work – showing his ignorance. He retracted after a negative reaction (showing his ignorance), but I think we know what he will do. He’s basically a manipulative, opportunist smart-arse.

Ken Dryden is a newcomer to politics – ex professional sportsman (a respected hockey player), he entered politics at the last but one election. Decent guy, but not the sharpest chisel in the bag of hammers.

These are three of the people in the race for the Liberal leadership – the other is Gerard Kennedy, former director of the Food Bank in Edmonton. He has done very well indeed here, positioning himself for the race after this one. He’s young enough, not arrogant and is smart. He is also in for the long haul, unlike Rae or Ignagtieff.

Commenting on these three (and the others in the race) is multimillionaire (family money) Belinda Stronach, who once ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party (lost), crossed the floor to join the Liberals in exchange for a cabinet position.

It’s an odd country. The second ballot for the leadership results just came out. They are:

Michael Ignatieff (Lazy Academicals) - 1,481 (up 2%)

Bob Rae (Switcheroo) - 1,132 (up 3%)

Stephan Dion (Lost in Translation) – 974 (up 2.8%)

Ken Dryden (The Puck Stops Here) - 219

Gerard Kennedy (Chippaquiddick) - 884

John Volpe (who had dead people on his campaign team as well as children under 10 – now with Bob Rae), Martha Hall Findlay (Dion) and Scott Brison (Rae) have all switched. Speculation is that Dryden will go to Rae and Dion will get Kennedy.

So it looks like it will be a long day. I for one will be glad when it is all over. I can’t take this pantomime much longer, and pantomime is what it is.

Stephen Harper, our Conservative Prime Minister, must be looking at all of this and smiling, after all – it does show an opposition party confused, split ideologically and electing someone who is not likely to find Ontario easy to carry.


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