Thursday, October 16, 2008

As Predicted...

Presidential debate recap coming up. It's just a lot of reading. I did watch the whole thing, but as always, the transcript makes for interesting reading. In the mean time, Canadian politics.

Reports are that Stephane Dion is planning to quit as Liberal leader. He'll stick around until they elect a replacement, but after leading the party to their worst showing ever, he really has no choice. The Daily Show covered the Canadian election briefly last night, mocking Dion's French accent. Not in the way we mock a French accent (ie.- we mock terrible ones), just that he had one. Then again, saying our Conservatives were the equivalent to the "Gay Nader Fans for Peace" party in the States was pretty damned funny.

Which of couse has everyone clamouring to Rae and Ignatieff, neither of whom SHOULD be leading the party, but one of whom likely will. See, Rae led the Ontario NDP party when they ran the province... and ran the province into the ground. I like Bob Rae, but I hated that party. He was always a Liberal in NDP clothing. He's a smart guy, a good speaker, but a bit of a dork. His time as Premier of Ontario would likely hurt the party in this province, and provide tons of ammunition for opponents. Ignatieff just comes off as skeezy, and is still seen as an ivory-tower douche who was dropped into a "safe" Liberal riding as a celebrity candidate. He's a smart guy, but screams elitist and alienates a lot of people - he would likely destroy the party's chances in the west, and possibly the east as well. Either of them could out-debate Harper though and would be less likely to have the gaffes of Dion.

Then there's Gerard Kennedy, but he won his riding by such a slim margin, even after the exposure of his last leadership run, that I doubt he'll have enough support.

As I said in my comments yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ken Dryden take a run, and I think he'd be a decent choice. A bona fide celebrity here in Canada (hall of fame goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, former president of the Toronto Maple Leafs), who has a reputation of having a functioning brain and wouldn't be an embarrassment when speaking in public. Whoever it is will just be keeping the seat warm for Justin Trudeau, but his stint as leader is probably round 8-10 years off, as 36 is a bit young, and just winning his first election makes him a touch inexperienced, despite the Trudeau pedigree.

If I was the Liberals (and the NDP for that matter), I'd spend the next 4 years making life difficult, but not impossible for the Harper Conservatives. People don't believe your campaign if you've never done anything to back up your claims or promises. As Jack Layton pointed out repeatedly, Dion's Liberals balked at every opportunity to stand up to Harper, and talked a lot of talk without so much as taking a step of the walk. That needs to change. They need to be willing to make Harper back down, with the NDP at their side (it's the only way to be effective with how few seats they have). They need to be vocal, and less worried about politics than the people the represent. They need to fight as if they have nothing to lose, instead of desperately holding on to what little they have left. They need to shame the Bloc into not voting with Harper simply because he promises more money for Quebec. Hell, they need to shame Harper into not bribing the Bloc with money for Quebec, since it's obviously done nothing for his standing in that province.

And I don't even like the Liberals.

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