Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Liberal Leadership Race

Liberal Leadership Race
I didn't attend the debate at the Metropolitan Theatre having had to work that day. I was interested in what was to be discussed but the format sounded fluffy.

There are some interesting ideas some candidates are proposing but this wasn't a debate and it should have been. The party does need to thrash out ideas amongst themselves and to distinguish themselves from the other parties.

A very small Idle No More protest occurred. Not surprisingly, it led the news stories. However, if the protest was an attempt to embarrass the Liberals or help increase support for the movement, it failed.

By all accounts, the Idle No More campaign needed the Opposition including the Liberals through interim leader Bob Rae to help end a hunger strike that may have ended in someone dying only a number of weeks before.

As some political panels have noted, all the leaders have called for change in First Nations relations and they have all said talks must happen and action to take place.

One column by the bright and interesting writer Ethan Cabel suggests that protestors revealed the irrelevance of the Liberals. The inference being that it is a polarized world out there and one can't reason with such an angry person.

We don't know who this protestor is. We don't know if he represented the movement at all. It might have helped to find out. Many people are now far too cynical to not ask these questions. The penchant for mischief is too strong to ignore and politics runs through everything including opposing First Nations factions.

I do have to correct one item from that column that states the Metropolitan Theatre sits on Treaty 1 land. The land where the theater sits was ceded to to the crown "forever" if my understanding is correct.

I'll be the first to say that treaty obligations have been poorly fulfilled but the land the theater sits on is not reserve land as per treaty agreement.

Also, I don't know if I agree that the Liberals are turning to the right. On economic policy, they have staked that ground since the 1990s.

I wish the Liberal leadership race was more interesting. I have donated money and support Marc Garneu. I like his character, his work and political experience and like his policies on economics and democratic reform.

I don't think he is irrelevant.

And while the leadership race lacks the substance that I would like to see, it should be noted that the NDP race was also a little lite on grit and ideas. And yet the NDP have been solid in second since Tom Mulcair took over.

Canadian might have their own ideas about relevance.

In a poll this weekend, conducted to see where Justin Trudeau was thus far in the race.
If a federal election were held in Canada today and Justin Trudeau were at the helm of the Liberal Party, they’d win a strong majority in the House of Commons, says a Forum Poll for the National Post
Forty-one per cent of poll respondents said they’d vote Liberal in this scenario, granting the party 164 of the 308 seats in the house. The Tories would get 30% of the vote and 93 seats, and the NDP would get 20% of the vote and 45 seats.
With six per cent of the vote, the Bloc Quebecois would get five seats. Two per cent of the vote would go to the Green Party, which would retain its single seat.
Surprisingly, much of the new support for the Trudeau-led Liberals came from other parties: 35% from the Greens, 25% from the NDP and even 10% from the Conservatives.
To recap: Liberals elect Trudeau leader:

Liberals 41%
Tories 30%
NDP 20%
Bloq 6%
Greens 2%

Likable leaders seems to be what Canadian want, what they really, really want.

And that isn't irrelevant.

1 comment:

Graham said...

Disagree on the last is 100% irrelevant.

Yes, Canadians might respond favourably to a poll of "if Justin was leader of the Liberal Party would you..."

However, that is a poll taken before any attacks by the Conservative Party to undermine him, and most importantly, before any Canadian has had a chance to hear or see Justin speak, or debate (hint: he's atrocious).

Polls like this are not indicative of anything other than who Canadians would LIKE to vote for..a Liberal party with an identity. Justin for the time being, fulfills that fantasy.