Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leadership leaderboard updates

Martha Hall-Findlay is out:

Martha Hall Findlay, the appealing underdog candidate for the national Liberal leadership in 2006, announced Tuesday she won't be running for the office when the party holds its next leadership convention in Vancouver in May.

Denis Coderre is out:
Il y a longuement et sérieusement réfléchi, mais Denis Coderre a finalement pris une décision. Le député de Bourassa ne se portera pas candidat à la direction du Parti libéral du Canada (PLC). Son heure, croit-il, n'est pas venue, et il est en outre déçu que sa formation n'ait pas osé moderniser la formule de sélection du leader.

Gerard Kennedy is probably out:
Kennedy will issue an official statement later today, CTV's Roger Smith reported Wednesday. Although he is well known within the party, Smith reported the Liberals may not want a "third choice" contender after selecting current leader Stephane Dion the last time. Dion came from behind to beat out frontrunners Ignatieff and Bob Rae in 2006.

"I think Mr. Kennedy would face questions about his judgment considering how Mr. Dion performed as leader," Smith said. Dion led the Liberals to one of the biggest defeats in party history, after losing nearly 20 seats following last month's federal election.

And Michael Ignatieff will be in shortly:
Michael Ignatieff is poised to formally announce Thursday that he will run for the leadership of the federal Liberal party.

And, of course, Bob Rae and Dominic Leblanc have already signaled their intent to run.

It’s disappointing that Martha and Gerard are not running. I’m sure they have their reasons for making their decisions, which I respect. They’re bright lights in the Liberal Party though, and definitely leaders of the future. At the least, it will be good to have them in the House of Commons with Stephane Dion in the coming months, holding the Harper Conservatives to account. With Iggy and Bob out on the trail, it will be a chance for Gerard in particular to take a leading role in Question Period and on the Hill, and I look forward to seeing grow into the role and nail it.

The suspense has been killing me, so it’s good to see Ignatieff confirming he actually does intend to run. I was beginning to wonder if he has going to sit this one out…ok, not really.

It’s shaping up to be a very interesting race, with three strong candidates so far. Ignatieff is a charismatic orator with an inspiring vision that has learned a lot about retail politics since 2006. Rae is a veteran and skilled politician that is one of the best campaigners in the game. And Leblanc marries generational change with strong Liberal roots and a compelling focus on party renewal.

We’ll see if anyone else gets in, but that’s not a bad field at all.

P.S. I think Roger Smith is full of it on Kennedy and Dion. No one “blames” Kennedy for Dion, not that there’s any need for blame. Liberals voted for Dion for a variety of reasons I needn’t rehash here and now. WE voted for him. If someone wants to question judgment, they should question their own. Anyway, anyone who seeks to gain leadership support by attacking former supporters of Gerard Kennedy or Stephane Dion will find themselves up shit creek pretty quickly.

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6 comments:

knb said...

I think Roger Smith is full of it on Kennedy and Dion. No one “blames” Kennedy for Dion, not that there’s any need for blame.

Here, here!

calgarygrit said...

The way the lore has spread, it's like Kennedy himself single handedly brought 55% of the Liberal delegates over to Dion on the final ballot. With control like that over the party it's amazing he didn't run this time!

Gauntlet said...

Yes, individuals who supported Dion have to wear it, but Kennedy was proportionately more important than the delegates and the members. And if Dion had been good for the party, they would probably expect credit.

I don't think saying so is the same thing as attacking Kennedy or his supporters. Certainly, the fact that we have a leadership selection process that gives Kennedy the ability to push delegates around like chips on a poker table is a flaw that we all need to take responsibility for. And Kennedy may still be one of the best candidates. He was my second choice last time around.

But if you're looking for an example of someone who thinks that Kennedy wears the failures of the Dion leadership, I'm your example.

to the Future said...

Gauntlet,
As a Kennedy delegate in the last vote, I am sick and tired of posts like yours referring to us as "chips on a poker table" and the like.
I voted for the only viable choice left for me. I don't care how Kennedy would have voted and HE DID NOT ASK US TO VOTE FOR ANYONE. Enough of this garbage. There is a large constituency in the Liberal Party that did not want Rae or Ignatieff to be the Leader. We were not pawns of Kennedy or anyone. We deserve a lot more respect and we are a strong voice in the Party.

Deb Prothero said...

Having no women in the race is a detriment.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Come on Dan, how did Gerard do it? Implant behind the ear tied into the brain stem? Did it leave a scar?

Well Jason, you do the math and let me know what per centage we Dion supporters should be tarred and feathered (Kennedy more so, of course), or how long our stints in purgatory should be, and we'll go from there. Parole, at least, by May I'm hoping.

You say you're not attacking Kennedy supporters, but by calling them "chips on a poker table" you imply they're mindless drones incapable of making their own decisions.

By your logic here, I should be more upset and Michael and Bob, and everyone that supported him, for not being good enough to defeat such a clearly inferior candidate as Dion.

I got a chance to meet Dominic Leblanc at a meet and greet over beers last week, and he said something that struck home with me. I'm paraphrasing here: "I don't give a shit whose slate did what at the LPC Manitoba conference in 1998, who bussed in who or did what with insta-Liberals."

Exactly. Move the hell on. You want to know what is wrong with the Liberal Party? Turner/Chretien, Chretien/Martin. He's a Chretien guy. She was a Martintie. I am so tired of that nonsense.