Saturday, November 25, 2006

Liberal Leadership Convention: 20 Questions pt. 1

In one week, Liberals will be gathered in Montreal and voting on who they want to be leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. For your consideration, here are twenty questions which will help determine who leads the party into the next election and back into government:

20. Is there a sympathy vote for Martha Hall Findlay on the first ballot?
Ex-officio delegates have the opportunity to make Martha's defeat a little less embarrassing. If they do so, we may not see the strength of the top four candidates as clearly as we'd like on the first ballot.

19. Who does Martha endorse?
She may not have that many delegates to take with her, but her endorsement will likely come first and may demonstrate who has the big Mo at the convention. In a recent interview on The Agenda with Steve Paikin she identified the environment and finding a solution in Afghanistan as her top two issues. The former appears to favour Stephane Dion while the latter would favour Gerard Kennedy. However, she really could go to any of the top four candidates.

18. Who makes the speech of the convention?
The person who is able to make the best speech might not win but it will do a lot for momentum going into the vote. If its Martha or Scott Brison, it would position them very well for a future run.

17. Do all eight candidates last to the first ballot?
It often occurs in conventions that people use their speech to bow out of the race. Conceivably, any of the bottom four candidates could drop off but I'd say Martha and Brison are the most likely. If Volpe wanted to do something for the good of the party he would have left a long time ago and Dryden figures to play a significant role in deciding who ends up on the last ballot. Martha and Brison who are possible future contenders would also be inclined to do something to ingratiate themselves to Liberal bosses who don't want this thing ending at 4am.

16. How loyal are the delegates?
This question could very well shape the nature of the convention. This applies not only to retention capabilities of the top four but also how much an endorsement by a bottom four candidate will mean. If Brison endorses Ignatieff but his youth delegates go to Kennedy, his endorsement isn't worth quite as much. This is just one scenario, although I think a likely one. His right of centre base may like Iggy but the whole new generation of politicians group may take Kennedy. This question leads perfectly into number 15 which is....

15. Who does Scott Brison endorse?
The assumption seems to be that the right of centre Brison will endorse the most right leaning candidate, Michael Ignatieff. It's a decent assumption. There are a couple of other possibilities. He goes to Dion because he sees him as the most pro-business. He goes to Kennedy because he sees him as the next youngest and the one most likely to provide a new generation of leadership. Still, I think odds are Brison goes to Iggy. Then the question is how loyal are his delegates? Do his youth delegates go to Iggy? What about his Quebec delegates? Surely, they knew about Iggy when they chose to support Brison, maybe they wanted someone else?

No comments:

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page