Monday, November 27, 2006

Leadership Convention Questions: Pt. 3

As promised, here is part three of my thrilling four part series. Today we look at questions relating to the top four contenders.

10. Does Stephane Dion have enough momentum to get ahead of Gerard Kennedy?

Dion may be the media's current darling (remember how they fawned over Michael Ignatieff six months ago?), but he still finds himself about sixty delegates away from being able to get into the top three. Dion's campaign will undoubtedly be focused on nothing else between now and the time of that crucial ballot with the top four candidates. The easiest way would be to get an endorsement from candidates 5, 6 or 7 (Martha's endorsement most likely doesn't do him any good). There are about 630 delegates available from Dryden, Volpe and Brison and all Dion needs is sixty more than Kennedy gets. Can he do it? Sure. It is possible that he receives endorsements from any one or more of the three candidates. This is one of those things that are impossible to predict. So I'm not going to try to guess if it happens. Too many variables.

9. Was Stephane Dion too negative?

Dion's path to leadership goes through a final ballot with Michael Ignatieff. There is a big question whether he can get enough support from the Rae and Kennedy camps to win the leadership. While there seems to be an ideological synergy between camps 2,3 and 4, Dion may be regretting his aggressive debating strategy on the last ballot. In the debates Dion went after everyone. If people can't forgive him for his attacks he may find himself going down to defeat on a last ballot. It is conceivable for Dion to get the endorsement of every other candidate and still lose. People don't like being attacked by their friends. I'm not saying this a likely scenario, but if it happens, the Dion camp should watch the debates to learn where they went wrong.

8. Is Gerard Kennedy more or less credible in Quebec?

Kennedy made a very bold move today. My comments are below. Whether or not this pays off with Quebec or Western delegates remains to be seen. Kennedy is going to need more than the 1.7% of Quebec delegates he currently has if he wants to win the leadership. The endorsement by Justin Trudeau may assuage some fears, but there are still a lot of questions. My take? Gerard is more credible in Quebec. I'm not sure if he's credible enough. He needs to go to every French delegate he can find and start a conversation in French. He needs to rehearse the French part of his speech ten times more than he does the English part. He needs to prove he can win in Quebec and this is his last shot.

7. Was Gerard Kennedy too positive?

Gerard Kennedy prided himself on staying away from the mud. If he loses, does he regret not getting his hands dirty? After all, sharp attacks would have been a great way to get more media coverage, something the Kennedy campaign needed desperately. Did he let his opponents get away with too many mistakes? Should he have made the differences more clear? If he loses, the questions will be asked. Frankly, I don't care. I think it's great that Kennedy ran a positive campaign. I hope that he runs a positive and issues based campaign if he wins. About the only thing I will say I like about Ontario PC leader John Tory is that he's stayed away from the mud. It makes him look Premierial (not a word, I know). We need more of it in Canadian politics. We aren't Americans; we shouldn't act like Americans. Kudos to Kennedy for staying clean.

6. Which Bob Rae is on the minds of delegates?

The key to Bob Rae's run to leadership is this question. Are voters looking at the man who ran one of the worst governments in Ontario history or the man who did good work on higher education and Air India. If the former is in the minds of voters, Bob could be done. On a last ballot Rae is going to be looking to appeal to over 800 Ontario delegates from defeated candidates. Can Rae overcome the gut reaction many of them have to his name? If Rae wants to win this weekend he needs to be talking about the future. Future, future, future. Rae has been short on ideas about what he would do as leader. He needs to outline a vision this weekend. He needs a vision that will make people forget about five years of Rae Days.

Tomorrow, the last five questions!

Side note: Dryden has now come out against the nation resolution. If the nation question becomes the question of the convention, does Dryden go to Kennedy? Just asking.

1 comment:

grace said...

As an undeclared delegate, I met with Mr. Dion and he has my vote so make that 59 more votes he needs to get.

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