The Federal Liberals are chosing their leader this weekend. Though I was mysteriously left off the Edmonton Strathcona ballot during the delegate selection meetings, I had decided months ago that I would sit out this Liberal leadership convention.
Though I support Gerard Kennedy for the Federal Liberal leadership, finances and interest level had a lot to do with my lack of Montreal presence this December weekend. I think Kennedy would do well as leader. When I met Kennedy this summer I wasn’t overly impressed by the speech he delivered, but when I was able to talk with him one-on-one I was very impressed at the types of ideas we talked about. He is a fresh face for the Federal Liberals with actual elected political experience in government and in opposition. Something that will benefit the Liberals greatly in the next election.
Of the other candidates, I don’t mind Stephane Dion.
Michael Ignatieff is interesting, but hasn’t impressed me during this campaign (or when I met him), and continues to rub me the wrong way.
I find the Bob Rae phenomenon to be the most interesting though. He has a train car worth of political luggage, but continued to surprise me with high level quality supporters such as Ralph Goodale. So, I’m puzzled. He’s intellegent and articulate, but what would happen if he won? Would the Liberals implode and lose all their seats in Ontario? Probably not. The unpopularity of Mike Harris‘ Government is fresher in the mind of Ontarians and former Harris-era Ministers Jim Flaherty and John Baird cruised to Federal victory in January 2006. Could Rae do the same?
This said, I think there is potential for it to be a while before I again become actively involved with the Federal Liberals.
Hopefully whoever is chosen as Leader will do their best to bring the Liberal Party of Canada back to Canadians. Hopefully they can pose a compeditive challenge to the Conservative minority in what will most likely be a Spring 2007 election.
As I do have many friends at this convention, I will direct you to their blogs for their on-site commentary: Gauntlet, CalgaryGrit, and Nic.