Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Whither Gerard Kennedy?

I made no secret on this blog that I was a keen supporter of Gerard Kennedy during the recent Liberal leadership campaign.

Since that time, I have been disappointed that he chose to run in Parkdale-High Park which was my third choice in terms of ridings he should have chosen. He took the relatively easy choice of chosing the riding he represented provincially and already has a base, organization and proven electoral record. I think this decision will badly damage, if not totally sink, any future ambitions he has to run for leader.

In any event, he seems to be getting really screwed now. There were three candidates for leader who did not have seats in the House of Commons. Kennedy, Bob Rae and Martha Hall Findlay. Kennedy had the balls to stand up and run in a riding held by an opposition party (Parkdale-High Park is held by NDP MP Peggy Nash) and in a riding to which he has a personal connection.

Rae, on the other hand, who lives in Parkdale-High Park, chose to run in the ultra-safe, Liberal held seat of Toronto Centre. He lives in Parkdale-High Park and previously represented what is now Toronto-Danforth (Jack Layton's riding) in the House of Commons and what is now York South-Weston in the Ontario parliament.

Hall Findlay, who I am not sure where she lives and my apologies if she lives in Willowdale, is running in Willowdale another safe seat held since 1988 by Jim Peterson.

To add insult to injury, yesterday Bill Graham, the incumbent from Toronto Centre announced he was resigning and today, I am told Jim Peterson will be resigning too. Thus, assuming an election in 2008, Rae and Hall Findlay will be getting free, advanced passes to the House of Commons. Kennedy gets to sit on the sidelines as his reward for not parachuting into an ultra safe riding and for having the nerve to take on an opposition MP. Funny how life works sometimes eh?

15 comments:

NB taxpayer said...

Good post.

However, I hate to break this to you nbp, but no seat is safe for the libs (in Ontario and Quebec) under the leadership of Dion.

Moreover, there is still a three-way split on the left, no? Many used to think that Toronto-Danforth would never leave the hands of Mills and it did. So anything can happen now that the Greens and the NDP have matured over the years and the environment remains a top issue.

That's unless there is a new incarnation of the Reform party (which puts its name on the official ballot in the next election). But as you know, they were never that popular in the GTA to start with so they probably won't hurt the tories in that region of the country anyway.

Bailey said...

I think Rae moved to Toronto Centre recently. I thought I read somewhere that he moved into his uncle's old house.

Jay said...

Bailey, I am in Bill Graham's riding and can say with confidence that Rae lives in his new riding.

As for NB Taxpayers claim no libs are safe. Ha ha ha. Trust me, there will be just as much if not more liberal representation in the GTA. The conservatives are the opposite of what people here want and the NDP has no shot in hell at forming government so why would they vote to be useless?

ALW said...

With respect, I don't think that GK choosing to take the high road is going to sink his leadership chances. There won't be a leadership race until after a general election at earliest; by then Kennedy will also be in the House.

Cerberus said...

Rae lives in the riding and has some history in the riding.

Hall Findlay chose Willowdale back when Stronach was still the MP for her home riding.

Kennedy chose to run in Parkdale on his own for some of the reasons you mentioned.

So how is it he is getting "really screwed now"?

nbpolitico said...

With respect, I don't think that GK choosing to take the high road is going to sink his leadership chances. There won't be a leadership race until after a general election at earliest; by then Kennedy will also be in the House.

I didn't say that, I said his not running in the West hurt his chances.

So how is it he is getting "really screwed now"?

My argument was that he chose the riding to which he had the strongest personal connection and a riding where he faced an incumbent opposition MP. And his "reward" is that he will likely be out of the House of Commons longer than two others who took more opportunistic seats to run in. I am not suggesting any conspiracy, just an irony.

Hall Findlay chose Willowdale back when Stronach was still the MP for her home riding.

Newmarket-Aurora is not actually her home riding, I believe one of the Don Valley seats is. She was a parachute into Newmarket-Aurora in 2004, though she may have moved there when she intended to challenge Belinda before the party switch.

Anonymous said...

Until the next election well YES GK does get a bit screwed as he will continue to sit on the sidelines as the newcomers bask in the spotlight.
As for no safe Liberal seats - you obviously know nothing about Quebec. Ever been to the west island of Montreal, honey?

Anonymous said...

Kennedy should have run in the west as he claimed to be a western candidate in the leadership contest and promised to do so at the time. Parkdale Highpark is a fairly Liberal seat that went NDP last time because liberals stayed home. He chose to take out a female candidate, the former MP, and not run in the west as he had promised, certainly not the high road. And he will never be leader for lots of reasons, not just these examples of his conduct.

Anonymous said...

"NB_taxpayer"...dont talk crap if you dont know about ontario (esp toronto) politics. Willowdale and Toronto Centre are as safe as it can get. As for Parkdale Highpark...Gerrard Kennedy has a good name in the riding and he hold that riding provincially. Torontonians can probably relate to Dion more than anyone else because majority of Torontonian's first language is not english.

Anonymous said...

I bet nb taxpayer was one of the same guys you said it was impossible for sean graham to form gov. Bottom line is that if a leader has a great team behind him, he can afford to not have sky high personal numbers. With Rae, Kennedy Dryden et al behind Dion, his team will sink Conservative chances!

Rob said...

I also believed Sean Graham would never form a government in New Brunswick, and probably never will. Even his homophone, Shawn Graham, was unable to convince New Brunswickers that he would do better than a tired Conservative government. Our 19th century voting system assured him victory, however. No wonder he got rid of the democratic reform referendum as soon as he got in.

As far as Gerald Kennedy is concerned, I have a feeling he won't be waiting too long to get into Parliament.

NB taxpayer said...

Ahhh, the drivel coming from all sides lately. Play on.

NB taxpayer said...

Oh, and another thing, as for Willowdale and Toronto Centre, you second team Liberals should start getting used to substituting "are safe seats" with "were safe seats", especially since you guys can barely hold your own with the dippers these days. just sayin'.

Kit said...

Anon - 11:29 said "Bottom line is that if a leader has a great team behind him, he can afford to not have sky high personal numbers. With Rae, Kennedy Dryden et al behind Dion, his team will sink Conservative chances!"

Jeepers! The Liberals better hope so!
So when are they gonna start building this great team to make up for the basement numbers of their leader, and get rid of the socialist retreads like Rae,(Anon obviously didn't live in Ontario when he trashed that province)? And Ken Dryden? Give us a break.

Still you have to wonder if NBP has a point with JK and all this ridings musical chairs stuff that going on in the big TO...

Dan McKenzie said...

I thought the same thing when I read about the resignations. But not much you can do about it, and certainly not a big deal.