Friday, October 13, 2006

Renewal Time

After all has been said and done it is time to make my predictions about who should win the leadership race. I predicate my thoughts on the hope the party truly wants to renew itself rather than just win the next election. I divided the candidates into two tiers.
The first group of Brison, Dryden, Hall-Findlay and Volpe along with the undeclared will grease for the balloting. I think of this group of four that Hall-Findlay is the one who is the best speaker and has add most to the debate of issues and will give the best speech on Friday at the conference just as Green did in 1968. Volpe will have enough votes to go to the second ballot and will stay. After the second vote Volpe will be off the ballot. The honorable thing for Volpe to do would be to say he has given it his all; he is staying neutral and releasing his candidates to go to their second choice.
The second tier of Dion, Ignatieff, Kennedy, and Rae is where the hard decisions need to be made. Each of these candidates has a solid base of delegates their speeches on Friday will be critical to building future support. This is their opportunity to give their vision Canada’s future and how they will achieve it.

. Kennedy’s weakness is his French, lack of support in Quebec and his youth. It is my expectation that these will stop him garnering delegates after the first ballot. His strength is in Ontario where he has a machine in place from his try at the provincial leadership and Alberta his home province. He has the opportunity to be King maker and set himself up for the next leadership contest.

Ignatieff has the most support at this time and is the darling of the English press but he is no Trudeau. He has been out of the country not involved in the governing of the country and is just as conservative on many issues as Harper. The last point will mean it will be hard to have a policy that is truly distinguishable form the Tories. If Ignatieff does not aggressively add to his support on the second ballot he will loose. That could mean an anything but Iggy coalition.

Rae has support across the country. He is bilingual. His weakness is his late conversion to the liberals and the memory in Ontario of his days leading the NDP government. He has a strong platform and would be able to deliver a clear alternative to Harper. He has the potential to show growth after the first ballot..

Dion has support across the country although he was not the winner in any province. He is from Quebec and brings considerable experience to the position. His honesty and integrity have not been questioned. He has good potential to show growth after the first ballot. He also has strong platform with the most clearly articulated platform on the environment which I believe will be a crucial issue in the next election.

I see a coalition between Dion and Rae as the best hope for the Liberal party’s future. They would bring the party back to a policy that is more caring consensus building. A policy that honors civil rights and looks to have a just Canadian society where our institutions and social programmes are honored.

It will depend on whether Dion or Rae shows the most growth on the third ballot and how Kennedy views where to throw his support to best serve his future to see who will be on the run off against Igntieff on the final ballot.

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