Friday, December 01, 2006

Liberal Leadership Convention

The starter gun for the Liberal Leadership Convention has gone off, and all the media are encamped in Montreal to catch every celebration, every hype, every goof. I have to say though, the pop of the gun startled me. The lead-up to this Convention has been so long, I had lost track of where we were in the process and that it was about to start.

I saw a couple of Global National's leader pieces and one of CBC's, reminding me that if you want to know the full story or get as close to the truth as possible, you need to look at as many media sources as possible. I remain uninspired.

According to the pundits interpreting the latest polls, Bob Rae has the best chance of beating Stephen Harper, but anyone who has a smidgen of memory for old stats courses and who looks at the actual numbers will know that the top four leadership candidates are even. No one has the edge over anyone else. Furthermore, Stephen Harper still outpolls them all, even accounting for the margin of error, but not by much and only because, I believe, he's a known entity as a Federal leader. None of the candidates have been leaders on the national stage, and so the lower polling numbers probably reflect more people's hesitation to pronounce on their abilities until they see them in action in Parliament than their preference for Harper. To the end of trouncing him, the one who already is an MP will be the fastest out the gate; he won't be slowed down by having to find a riding to get elected in, nor made irrelevant by having to sit in the visitor's gallery during Question Period.

I'll probably watch Global National's coverage and listen to CFRB's when not near the telly, but even though whoever is chosen will be the next Prime Minister (I'm assuming the Ontario lemmings will vote accordingly), I don't feel that engaged. What discourages me the most is the enthusiasm with which voters and delegates have embraced a Brit and American as a choice for Prime Minister of Canada. Someone who has lived outside this country for 30 years does not know and understand our recent history well enough to govern with wisdom and unity, even if he was born here. Look at the kerfuffle he started that culminated in the recent nation vote in Parliament. Only someone who had not lived through the upheavals in the 1990s would leap on the issue and bring it into the limelight. He needs at least one term in Parliament or 5 years in Canada, in my mind, to settle back into this country and start to live, breathe, and experience its essence and political history. Otherwise we're asking for trouble.

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