Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 1 is for Dalton at #olpldr

I'm increasingly of the belief that the way to cover a political convention, social media-wise, is to Tweet during the day, and provide a more thought-out perspective at night. So that's what I'm going to try to do for my coverage of the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race this weekend, where I'm a Gerard Kennedy alternate and unofficial blogger at large.

Below you'll find a Storify of my tweets during this first, short day of #olpldr. And I do mean short. All that was on the agenda was the official opening and a tribute to outgoing leader Dalton McGuinty. At a federal Liberal convention, that would be five hours at least. The provincial party knocked it out in about an hour-and-a-half.

It was nice enough. Two of his children MC'd the entertainment portion, with brief performances covering every musical genre except opera. There was the video of Dalton with famous people. And then a speech from the man himself. It was touching for the personal notes -- his wish his father could have lived to see him enter politics, his love for his mother and her influence on his life. He reflected more on what he'd accomplished than where he thinks we should go -- natural enough for the setting and occasion  but I'd like to have seen a nod to his view of the path forward.

And then suddenly, and surprisingly, it was over. Not with a bang, seemingly, but with a whimper. And as the delegates began to file from the hall before 9pm, I sat there for a moment with a "is that really it?" feeling. Really, though, it was business like, and so was Dalton. When time has softened the edges of recent dramas, I think history will look well on his tenure.

Otherwise, today was about registering, and connecting with our respective campaigns. And, of course, the hospitality suites. As mentioned, I'm a Kennedy alternate. I'm told our full slate from my riding will be coming, so my chances for promotion are slim to none. I'm still proud to cheer Gerard on though, as he truly is the best choice for Premier, and, as the polls show, to lead the OLP into the next election.

The challenge for Gerard will be to show strong enough on ballot two that a Wynne/Pupatello showdown isn't seen as inevitable. If he can gain enough delegates to get into striking range, he's in the battle and will have a shot at winning his fair share of delegates as ballots continue. But I think he needs to make an early move. He needs someone to come to him early. Otherwise, people will see it as Wynne or Pupatello and they'll pick their horse. We'll see what happens Saturday morning.

Hospitality suite report: lots of food at Charles Sousa's, which was down the street away from the others and was quite spacious. Also, wine and Martinis. Kennedy's was wall-to-wall-packed and had a line to get in. I'm told there was micro brew on tap -- I couldn't get close enough to the bar. All the others had suites as well, but I had to get back to Scarborough.

Day One at #olpldr

Picking Ontario's next premier at the Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention in Toronto.

Storified by Jeff Jedras· Fri, Jan 25 2013 21:50:22

On my way downtown for #olpldr. Looking forward to my first #olp conference; think I picked a good one for my debut. Go @GKennedyOLP!Jeff Jedras
Kind of detracts from your message when your protest leaves a pile of trash on the street. #olpldr #onpoli Jedras
Just received a brown envelope from #TeamGK. Wonder what's inside... #olpldr Jedras
#olpldr swag bag includes mini-cans 3 different kinds of coke. These people are clearly convention vets. Jedras
No bullying? Bold leadership. #olpldr MT @l_stone: Wynne said her camp will not be bullying delegates but reaching out to consider her...Jeff Jedras
Wynne Now is kind of direct. Wynne Soon, Please? would be more modestly Canadian. Still, Wynne won name lotto Jedras
Spoke to @calgarygrit and he's guaranteeing first ballot Kennedy victory. I was skeptical, but he's a mathematician. #olpldr #MayTakeLongerJeff Jedras
Waiting for the doors of MLG to open. GK all the way! #olpldr Jedras
Steve Del Duca is one of the #olpldr convention chairs. Took me a minute to remember whose keester he kicked. Is Turncoat Tony NDP now?Jeff Jedras
GK! All the way! #olpldr Jedras
Good to see Kristy Duncan on Team GK as @GKennedyOLP pays tribute to @Dalton_McGuinty at #olpldrJeff Jedras
I think Charles Sousa used the same scarf vendor as Iggy. Wynne's look warmer. #olpldrJeff Jedras
I think Team Sousa brought their own led board. Impressive. Trust me, looks good in the room. #olpldr Jedras
Hip hop dancers performing and the stage is literally rocking. This seems a bit dangerous. #olpldrJeff Jedras
Last #olpldr was my first year at Carleton. I recall thinking Dalton reminded me of William Shatner. 60s Shatner, not aging Shatner #olpldrJeff Jedras
Emerging from the smoke, it's @Dalton_McGuinty. #olpldr Jedras
Most packed suite I've seen so far is next Premier's, @GKennedyOLP. Off to drink someone else's wine. #olpldr Jedras

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