Friday, August 22, 2008

BBQ'ing with Stephane and Iggy, but what about Bob?

After nearly three years of living in Toronto (my god, has it really been that long? i'm getting depressed) I made my first trip on the ferry over to Centre Island yesterday evening, for a BBQ with some 400 Liberals.

The occasion was a reception for supporters of The Victory Fund, the Liberal Party’s answer to the riddle of raising money in small amounts. Contributors sign-up for monthly donations to a riding and to the party, starting at $10/month ($5 to the riding association of their choice, $5 to the party). My riding $5 is going to my old riding of Vancouver Island North, where we have an energetic young candidate in Geoff Fliescher ready to take on NDP incumbent Catherine Bell and ex-Conservative MP John Duncan. It's a great program, if you're a Liberal and you haven't joined yet, do it today.

As I said some 400 Victory Fund members were in attendance for the BBQ (hamburgers and hot dogs, most opted for the latter) and organizers indicated the fund already has some 1000 members in Ontario alone. A very good start, hopefully we’re turning a corner in this department.

A lot of the Liberal heavyweights were in attendance, including a lot of MPs and candidates from the Greater Toronto Area. Bonnie Crombrie was the MC, she’s our candidate chasing Wajid Khan ‘round the moons of Nibia in Mississauga-Streetsville. Gerard Kennedy and Martha Hall-Findlay were there too, and Michael Ignatieff gave a really good speech in introduction of Stephane Dion. Dion looked confident and relaxed, and gave a good, short speech toughing a range of topics from the Green Shift to the economy and why we need to take the fight to Stephen Harper.

Noticeably absent from the event was Bob Rae, particularly as I thought it was his riding although I was told later it was actually Trinity-Spadina, which Tony Ianno will fight to claw back from Olivia Chow. According to Bob’s Facebook status he’s in B.C. at the moment. Last night though I was speculating on his absence, and came up with two possible theories:

*Ryan Sparrow called, he said Bob’s not here because he doesn’t like the Green Shift.

*He was standing beside Ignatieff on the ferry ride over to the island, and Iggy pushed him over the side. I was hoping to see a soaking-wet Rae emerge from the waters of Lake Ontario, breathing fire.

All in all a fun night, despite the very expensive bar prices. Very strong blogger turnout as well, including The World According to CDLU, A View From the Left, Calgary Grit, Jason Chernaik, The Wingnuterer (who let me guest-live blog via is mini-laptop) and The Liberal Bag.

Proof below that Stephane Dion talks to bloggers, as he poses for a photo surounded by bloggers. Of course, I have my eyes closed. No metaphor there, I assure you.

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