Sunday, October 15, 2006

"There, there dear."

I am watching the Liberal leadership debate. Rae, Ignatieff and Hall Findlay were doing a debate on Foreign Policy.

Rae and Ignatieff got into a big dust up. Ignatieff said Rae's position on Afghanistan was unclear, Rae said that was rich coming from a man who had changed his position 3 times on the Middle East. Hall Findlay cut them off with a stern "GENTLEMEN!!" to applause from the crowd.

In response, Ignatieff walked out from his podium to go over and put his arm around Hall Findlay's shoulder.

I have never seen something so patronizing in my life. If he had said "there, there dear" to her it would have shown more respect.


Brent said...

I watched all of the debate, and quite enjoyed it.

I thought Dion was super, and I agree with Scott Reid on CTV that a traditional federal Liberal would be heartened by his spirited defence of the Chrétien era. He was also able to pull off the pro-environment pitch and combine it with a fiscal responsibility pitch.

Brison had the best sense of humour, and also was the only one to really key on the economy.

Volpé was awful - even trying to work up some tears at the end when he was cut off by the clock.

Hall-Findlay was OK, as was Kennedy. No knockouts there either way. Kennedy's best utility was to keep reminding the party about the need for renewal. An important message, and one completely lost on most of the people in the room, I'm sure.

Rae's French was excellent, and I think he's far and away the best of the bunch in both environments.

Ignatieff was, well, just his creepy self. Clearly his brain is so powerful even he can't keep it under control.

It's a shame.

From where I sit, it looks like everyone will be ganging up on Iggy in an "anybody but" movement, Rae will likely absorb the benefit of most of that, and he will beat Dion into 2nd place on the penultimate ballot, become the next leader, and the Liberal Party will lurch to the left.

Great news for the Conservatives. Reams of tape of the Rae Days, his disasterous economic record, and a liability as a former premier.

In the US former governors seem to do well getting into the White House.

Canadian premiers? Well, name one who has even become a prime minister?

Few have even tried, and fewer have succeeded.

Let's see....

There was Thompson (1892-1894), and ...well...I guess that's about it!

Not that Rae couldn't break the jinx, but I think it's highly unlikely that the most unpopular and ridiculed premier in the modern history of Canada's largest province will be able to inspire enough Canadians to unseat the current government.

The hilight of the afternoon? The dude with the world's smallest bull horn who was eventually ushered out. I'm dying to discover who he was, and what his game was.

My opinion on the top three Liberals ?

Well, none of them is even in this race.

nbpolitico said...

It's funny you seem to be calling Ignatieff, Rae and Dion the "top three Liberals" when Kennedy has the third most delegates, the least baggage and, in my view, the most room to grow.

Anonymous said...

Brent, I agree about Rae but I also believe that Kennedy might pull off. Trouble for Harper. It also helps to be better looking and not fat. TV image very important. Started in the days of another Kennedy- J.F.

Marg said...

The fact that Ignatieff put his arm around Hall-Findlay is absolutely disgusting. Yes, I agree completely with you, how patronizing. How many men would want someone to enter their "personal space"?

This is just one example of what women face every day in the "old boys' club."

Daniel said...

It baffles me how the most organized and well-established party in Canadian politics can only come up with this bunch of C-listers as potential leadership candidates.

Ignatieff seems like he's totally off his rocker. He has uttered sooo many explosive phrases and soundbites in his short political career that he could easily be the subject of hours of blue and orange videotape sent off to networks in the net election. Potential attack ad bites: "Benign American Empire" blah blah blah "Won't lose any sleep over the slaughter of Lebanese people" blah blah blah "Israel commits war crimes" blah blah blah "Ukrainian culture" blah blah blah... I mean, is this guy aware of something called "the media"? Plus, he'll totally bleed votes to the NDP.

Rae, despite somewhat rehabilitating his image, is still pretty much a laughing stock to Joe Ontarian. People (i.e. Liberals) often hear people say how the Harris years were worse, but...Harris was elected to another majority even after his unpopular decisions. Rae dropped from a majority government to 3rd place after his unpopular decisions. Seems to me he still has some rebuilding to, he'll bleed votes to the Tories.

Gerard Kennedy - Ah, the darling of the blogosphere. By all means the least offensive frontrunner; however, he is perceived as a bit of a lightweight, and his French leaves a lot to be desired. Additionally, the McGuinty Liberals aren't exactly polling all-star numbers in Ontario (his former seat was lost to a controversial NDP candidate, not exactly a flattering outcome), so I'm not sure how that would play out federally. However, a "Joe Clark" scenario could play out, and this guy could sweep us off our feet. Who knows?

Stephane Dion - According to the journalist panel on CBC, his English seemed to strain the ears of many delegates at the debate over the weekend. He apparently has lots of good things to say, but if his English is that much of a sticking point (it wasn't for Chretien though), Harper would squash him in the English debate, and Duceppe would hammer him about the clarity act in the French debate. Add to that the Tories' moderately strong popularity in Quebec (and the Liberals' lack thereof), and I just don't think Dion could cut it. Kinda like having a good resume, but flunking the interview.

With regards to the Liberal support gaining slightly in the last poll(albeit within the margin of error, and only recovering to the level it was during the last election): I think the Liberals are benefitting from the lack of a leader. With the wide political scope that all the leadership candidates represent, it's hard to say what direction the Libs will be taking, and therefore hard to disagree with. Iggy and Rae wouldn't exactly start pulling in support on all sides, and if they pulled support in from one side, they'd probably push an equal amount of support out the other side. Kennedy and Dion would probably need a "get-to-know-ya" phase before they could be contenders, and might suffer from "Joe who" syndrome.

So what do I expect from the next election? Either a slightly larger Tory minority or a small majority; that is, unless the new Lib leader does something incredibly stupid - in that case, look for a repeat of 1958 ;) If Harper does something extremely stupid, I think the Libs could squeak out a minority, but the Liberals now seem to be just as gaffe-prone as Harper. This next election could be fun ;)

Brent said...

In order for Kennedy to grow enough to be a player at the end of the race, he'll have to absorb almost all of the bottom-feeders in the first two ballots. At some point it will be Iggy-Rae-Kennedy or Iggy-Dion-Kennedy or Iggy-Rae-Dion.

In the second-to-last ballot I don't see how Kennedy avoids being out of third place and therefore getting automatically spiked.

I could make him the kingmaker, but I think that's as good as it gets for him.

nbpolitico said...

Brent, my view would be that the last ballot will be either Ignatieff-Kennedy or Ignatieff-Dion, it seems likely that Dion would go to Kennedy (he has all but said he would not go to Ignatieff or Rae) and though it is less clear where Kennedy would go, certainly most of his delegates would go to Dion.

Thus, whoever is third on the second ballot - Kennedy or Dion - seems likely to surpass Rae on the third ballot. It seems unlikely that Rae - despite an old friendship - would go to Ignatieff, certainly his delegates would not.

Thus, it is my view that it the best odds are that it will be either Kennedy or Dion who wins this. Though Ignatieff could win in a very divisive and close finish where Kennedy and Rae back Ignatieff but most of their supporters do not and Ignatieff edges out Dion by less than 5% on the final ballot.

Anonymous said...

I will bet on Dion or Kennedy. Dion may be more likely for his roots in Quebec and he has working knowledge of English, not any worse than Chretien. Kennedy on the other hand has difficulty in French and has no experience federally.

Anonymous said...

I would also support Dion or Kennedy. I wish Brison would throw his votes to Kennedy.