Thursday, June 15, 2006

Enough media spin...(nearly) all these candidates are great

It's a beautiful, warm sunny Thursday in Toronto, and I've taken the day off work to take in the Jays/Orioles afternoon game at Skydome. But before I head downtown, I wanted to say I’m getting really annoyed with the opposition spin on the quality of the candidates in the leadership race.

The same, old tired line was parroted again this morning in an editorial in the Edmonton Sun. Yes, I know, reading the Sun Media chain papers is bad for my blood pressure, but a certain news site had linked to it. Here’s a taste:

If a retreaded NDP ex-premier and an alleged Harvard intellectual with minimal connections with the party he wants to lead are the pick of the litter in the federal Liberal leadership race, then all of Stephen Harper's problems are little ones.

And the revitalized and re-energized Conservative party's term in office should be a long and fruitful one.

As I read this “alleged” editorial I thought at first they had called Rae retarded. They didn’t, but that was about the intellectual level this piece of verbal diarrhea strived for. And who says Ignatieff and Rae are the frontrunners, pray tell? Anyway, I’m so sad that our leadership race hasn’t inspired the ultra-Conservative editorial writers at the Edmonton Sun to rush out and get Pierre Trudeau tattoos.

I think Liberals feel a little differently though. While there are definitely tiers of candidates, and Volpe can take off, I think we’ve got a great crop of candidates here. I’m looking forward to the next election campaign.

And you know, perspective tends to change over time. Let’s rewind back to the Conservative leadership race in 2004, and how their three leadership candidates were viewed at the time:

Stephen Harper: Been the Alliance leader for a short while, before that headed a ring-wing lobby group. Boring, uncharismatic, angry, an alleged academic and economist. Can an Albertan break the party into Ontario?

Tony Clement: Was the health minister in the oh-so popular Mike Harris government in Ontario, at which time he did not own any stock in pharmaceutical companies. Has some support in Ontario, but lacks charisma and can’t excite anyone.

Belinda Stronach: Auto parts magnate and heiress, a political novice that helped bring the Alliance and PCs together. Good friend of Bill Clinton. Brings excitement and glamour, but questions if she has the intellectual heft, and some question her true commitment to Conservatism.

Because wow, aren’t those just the three most fantastic candidates you could ever imagine? You can see why that exciting leadership race captured the imagination of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Their debates were riveting TV watched by millions. Allegedly.

And today, one of those unassuming candidates is…the Prime Minister of Canada. And now you know…the rest, of the story.

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Red Tory said...

Nice Paul Harvey touch at the end. ;-)

A BCer in Toronto said...

He's the man.