Monday, October 26, 2009

Seadoo v. Snowboard

That's the race shaping up in Okanagan -- Coquihalla with Ross Rebagliati seeking the Liberal nomination in the riding currently held by Stockwell Day. I am supportive of anyone who wants to seek public office, regardless of their political affiliation. I am certainly supportive of Ross Rebagliati ambition if that's what he wants to do. My questions here are for the LPC or I guess or more accurately the LPC-BC who have decided to ask Rebagliati to run in Okanagan -- Coquihalla. Let me paint the picture with my current projection for the riding:

CPC (Stockwell Day): 54.2%
NDP (TBA): 16.72%
GPC (Dan Bouchard) 15.01%
LPC (Rebagliati?): 14.28%

Okay, statistically, to paraphrase Joe Lieberman, it's probably a three way tie for second. The problem is it's a distant second. If Rebagliati can rally the anti-Day vote to his banner, all the power to him. It's probably still going to leave him 20 points back. When you have candidates with name recognition, you want them to do well. This doesn't mean flying star candidates into safe seats all the time but it does mean avoiding embarrassing defeats. It hurts the narrative during elections, especially at the regional level when your star candidate is going down to defeat and going down hard. If you're looking for a happy middle ground think about Justin Trudeau running in Papineau. Papineau was a winnable unheld seat which is exactly what you want for a star candidate.

If you are going to run Rebagliati in a no-hope riding in central British Columbia, at least run him in his current home town of Kelowna where at least he could claim to be the local guy. There's no current candidate for the Grits (according to Pundits' Guide) and the Liberal odds are actually a little better (35 point margin with the LPC leading the three way tie for second). I'm all for three hundred and eight strong candidates, but we can be selective where we run the candidates with national name recognition.

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