Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Breaking: Bill Graham won't run again

I'm told on good authority that former interim Liberal leader and Toronto-Centre MP Bill Graham will be announcing tomorrow that he will not be running in the next election, confirming months of speculation about his political future.

Apparently an emergency meeting of the riding association executive has been called to discuss where things go from here, as once Bill makes it official some decisions will need to be made and the executive will want to make its feelings known to the party.

At present, there are at least two people that are public with their intention to seek the Liberal nomination for the riding, Meredith Cartwright and Rob Oliphant. Toronto-Centre has also been speculated as a possible landing-pad for an appointment by the leader, with names like Bob Rae and Martha-Hall Findlay being mentioned regularly. It has all been academic though until Bill announced his intentions, and with that happening formally tomorrow things will now start to get interesting.

For now, though, I'd like to say Bill Graham has been a great MP, has served the people of his riding well, the people of Canada ably in a variety of cabinet portfolios, and he did a yeoman's service to the Liberal Party as our interim leader. He is a class act, and whomever takes his place in Toronto-Centre will have big shoes to fill.

UPDATE: Bob Rae has his eyes on the seat, and Bill Graham may pass him the metaphoric torch.

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12 comments:

knb said...

For now, though, I'd like to say Bill Graham has been a great MP, has served the people of his riding well, the people of Canada ably in a variety of cabinet portfolios, and he did a yeoman's service to the Liberal Party as interim leader

I couldn't agree more, he'll be missed. It'll be interesting to see what he does now.

It'll also be interesting to see who will run. Big shoes to fill is right. He had the trust of the people in that riding and whoever run's, will have to convince them that he/she will look out for them.

I wish him all the best and have even more respect for him today, after how he stood in the House.

knb said...

BTW, congrat's on becoming Liblogs news editor.

s.b. said...

well I'm not sure why the riding association executive needed an emergency meeting. As far as I'm aware they have really no say in who runs and who doesnt run in the riding. That is the job of the elction committee and that decision certainly won't be made in a matter of hours. Nominations haven't even been called although applications can now be submitted. The whole point of the green light committees is to ensure riding executivess don't railroad the nomination process in a backroom manner and the playing field is more unbiased. So, if they think they have much control over this thing they are wrong.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Thanks knb, I hope to give Liberal media bias a good name. ;)

Soshana, no one is talking about deciding who runs or railroad anything. Having been on a riding association in the past it plays an important role in the process, along with the leader and the green light committee. This case is a little different, with the strong possibility of an appointment. While the leader will ultimately decide whether it's appointment or open nom contest, the opinion of the riding association will be an important factor in coming to that decision. Hence, I'd think they may want to come to a opinion.

Road Hammer said...

Put Rae in Graham's old riding and get Hall-Findlay to run against Khan in Mississauga-Streetsville.

Sam said...

Martha I hear is a pain for the party. she has refused to run take any seat outside the 416 area and many insiders are saying it has got into her head. Apparently it is Dion who is asking them to accomodate her. She would have been a great candidate for Wajid's riding, but she doesn't want to be far from home! Somebody needs to talk to Dion and defuse the hot air in her head.

George the Reformer said...

After a series of political failures and bad luck, MTF poured a lot a money and time into a leadership bid for the sole purpose of being able to pick up the safest Toronto seat.

Now she's back where she started, being pushed around by the real players.

Anonymous said...

not certain he will make the announcement this week. I heard from a source that it will be early next week.

Anonymous said...

Liberals parachuting and playing grande pooh bahs with the membership once again.
(real conservative)

Anonymous said...

The fix is in. Although the announcement hasn't been made, George Smitherman has been introducing Rae to some of the riding's power brokers and key people during the last several days.
If there's anyone out there who thinks their psychic told them...
What surprises me is a comment by s b that suggests this process is acceptable and the riding association should have no say...
If the local members have no say, what is their reason in participating? The grass roots have been relegated to working as volunteers for free and giving money to the Party. God forbid they should decide who their candidate should be.
Democracy is dead in the Liberal Party.
The back room boys decide who runs, or who gets appointed as candidate, while the fools give them money and work for them. It's sad that this is the "new normality".
It's sadder to see how meekly is has been accepted.

s]Blank[57 said...

Glad this Toronto Centre Lib. and Montreal lawyer is leaving.He's done enough harm for one lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Just because MHF spent a lot of money, it doesn't give her a right to an secure seat. Nav bains took 250 delegates, Omar 200, tamils 55, Sukh 110 MArtha 41. No big deal.

She should show some humility for the favours done to her and not try and act like the Dy.Leader of the party.So what does she want? kick out a sitting MP to accomodate her laziness. She should run in Missi-streestville or run against Olivia.