Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Thoughts

Well, super weekend is officially over. Only a little bit of counting to do. The results through 409/469 meetings

Iggy: 29.8%
Rae: 19.8%
GK: 16.8%
Dion: 16.6%
Dryden: 4.6%
Volpe: 4.6%
Brison: 3.9%
MHF: 1%
Undeclared: 2.8%

There's great analysis out there in the blogosphere. Cerberus has a fairly solid objective take. I will try to avoid repeating what's already been said. Anyhoo, here are my grades for the candidates after their super weekend exam.

Michael Ignatieff: A-

Iggy probably deserves an A but I really can't stomach it to give it to him. A great performance in winning Quebec. He ran 1st or 2nd in every province in Atlantic Canada. Good showing on the prairies (although hard to judge with so many meetings unreported). Alberta came in strong for him. A bit of weakness in British Columbia. The biggest worry for Ignatieff may be Ontario where he is currently only a little bit ahead of Gerard Kennedy. I think that has to be a disappointment considering the amount of caucus support Iggy has in Ontario and the fact that he should do best in Ontario's Conservative ridings being the only viable right of centre candidate in the province.

Bob Rae: B-

Okay, he might deserve more for coming in a clear second but really there is not that much for him to celebrate. He did really well in BC and the prairies and had a strong showing out east. In Alberta, he failed to reach the 10% mark and currently sits behind Joe Volpe. Finally, he ran third in both Ontario and Quebec. Rae is the former premier of Ontario and his supporters are the Chretien Quebec machine. Being third in the two largest provinces in the country is not a good sign and is certainly a disappointment for the man who was supposed to have all the momentum going into the weekend.

Gerard Kennedy: In Quebec F Everywhere Else B

Kennedy's weekend is really hard to give one grade to. His performance in Quebec is so completely different than his overall result. Less than 2% in Quebec is simply not acceptable for a leadership contender. There are good reasons for the abysmal showing, but that does not change the abysmal showing. Elsewhere, the picture is slightly rosier. Kennedy held his own in most of Atlantic Canada and the Prairies (New Brunswick's result is almost part of the Quebec issue). He is currently winning Alberta (with one meeting left, it looks like he won it), has a chance to win Ontario (20 meetings and only 16 delegates back) and will likely post a strong second in BC. Those results are probably exactly what the campaign was looking for. So, the Kennedy campaign and the rest of the party are left to make sense of his Jekyll and Hyde weekend.

Stephane Dion: B

Here's the thing on Dion. He underperformed everywhere and is still in the race. He lost his home province of Quebec. He had shockingly little support in Ontario, considering his name recognition and platform. He was a non-factor in most of the East. His big Saskatchewan grab of David Orchard currently places him fourth. He had good results in green-friendly BC and should be pleased with his support in Alberta but nothing really jumps out at you. He failed to win a single province and was only 2nd in one, Quebec where he was looking for more. That is probably not the weekend the Dion camp was hoping for. Still he's basically in a tie for third and could still very well win the convention. Go figure.

Ken Dryden: D+

Dryden was widely expected to be up around 10%. Instead he languishes under 5%. His supposed strength in Manitoba currently places him third and only 1 delegate ahead of Kennedy in fourth. He is sixth in his home province of Ontario. He is seventh in Quebec where he spent a good chunk of his life. In other words, his campaign is finished. For being third in Manitoba and for currently holding a slim lead on Joe Volpe he passes but he should not be pleased.

Joe Volpe: F

There are a lot of reasons for failing Joe Volpe. The obvious one being that his scandal plagued campaign has hurt the party. However, I fail him because his vaunted organization disappeared this weekend. He was supposed to be able to run with the big three in Quebec and wreak havoc in Ontario. Instead, he finds himself with only 3% of Quebec delegates and a distant 5th in Ontario. He is currently sixth overall and his endorsement will not be sought by any of the candidates. He has rendered himself and the rest of his delegates irrelevant. Shame on the Liberals who gave him support this weekend.

Scott Brison: In Nova Scotia A; Everywhere Else F

Brison's campaign is the mirror image of Kennedy's. Where Kennedy had 1 bad province, Brison had one good one. He won Nova Scotia. Otherwise, he was invisible this weekend. In Ontario he was 8th. A former cabinet minister and high profile MP finished behind Martha Who-Who. That's just embarassing. He couldn't sell the Atlantic Canada angle outside of Nova Scotia. The less said about his performance out West the better. I like Scott Brison, but this weekend must have been tough for him. He may decide that he wants to give a speech to the convention so that he has a chance next time around but his campaign, like Dryden's is over.

Martha Hall-Findlay: A

Ah, the wonderful burden of low expectations. Yes, Martha Hall-Findlay gets my highest mark this weekend. Why? She didn't finish last in every province. That is a huge victory. She beat Scott Brison in Ontario. She won delegates in other provinces, including one in Quebec. She did well this weekend. No, she won't change the course of this convention, but she has proven that she can fight with the best of them. Well done.

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