Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Rae and Ignatieff Looking More & More "Prime-Ministerial"
Wow! What a difference a few weeks and a poll or two make. We currently have two very strong contenders atop the Liberal Leadership race. Both offer something different in the way of style, but I think it is fair and safe to say that both approach the party equation from Center or Center Left. People think of Rae as the NDP Premier of a 1980s Ontario. I think we all forget that as Liberal democracies mature, their denizens tend to become more "liberal democratic" over time. Rae is probably a lot closer to Center today than he ever was. Michael Ignatieff is Center-Left, regardless of what detractors say.
Michael Ignatieff has really developed through this race, and we see his stage presence become better and better each week. It really does look like the final contest/ballot (Dion/Kennedy supporters, please don't hate) will come down to a contest between the two. I think as responsible Liberals we need to stop the "mud-slinging" between all the camps. One of these four will be our leader, and we need to ensure we don't saddle them with any baggage coming out of the convention. Ignatieff is well-spoken, a commanding figure, a statesman, and has no reason to have to prove that he stands for global human rights - he does. Bob Rae could prove to be popular in Ontario (especially urban Ontario). Stephane Dion does have the cajones to be "tough", and can speak English well. GK - well, he IS still popular in some parts of the West (we can at least give him that can't we?). Let's really chose NICE things to say, and debate the candidates strengths and weaknesses in a frank and open manner - without twisting things and taking public shots...
I think a lot of people (even some Liberals who support him) had the little fear in the back of our minds about Ontario seats if Bob Rae were to become leader. Certainly the Cons will try to paint him as a "big spender" who spent the Ontario economy into the ground. However, have we ever thought what the urban Ontario voters may be thinking now? Let's see: Ontario economy not doing as well as usual. New Harper gov't basically "hates" Ontario (especially urban/905 Ontario). Harper is not willing to spend anything on social programs, infrastructure, education, women, minorities, etc. Yes, he makes shallow platitudes and miniscule spending announcements in areas where neo-Cons can make concessions, but basically he refuses to spend anything on the social programs Ontario really needs right now. Perhaps what Ontarians really WANT right now is a "spender" as a PM. A spender FROM Ontario, who actually LIKES the province? Hmmm... Makes me wonder.
Now I don't want this to sound like an "endorsement" of Bobby - because it is most certainly not... It is just an observation on why the recent Globe poll may have found Rae to be Ontarian's favorite choice among our leadership hopefuls. One needs to keep in mind that the spread from 1 to 4 was less than 10 percent, so Rae just may be a name everyone is familiar with...
Since we all know that one of these 4 will be leader (and by default, PM), let's try to be a little more civil - even on these blogs... Peace out.
Posted by WesternGrit at 10:21 am