…hangs in the balance.
We won’t know until much later who will be the new leader of Canada’s Natural Governing Party*, the Liberals.
Harvard Prof Michael Ignatieff leads after the first ballot, but without a convincing lead (29.3%). Former Ontario NDP Premiere, Bob Rae (20.3%), my personal fave – Stephan Dion (17.8) and Gerard Kennedy (17.7%) are nipping at Ignatieff’s heels.
The Liberal Convention should make for entertaining TV. It will be much less entertaining if the Liberals regain power any time soon.
(If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Bob Rae. And being completely transparent, in my misspent youth, I worked on Joe Volpe’s very first federal campaign – he lost then – and got 3.2% of the leadership vote today.)
UPDATE 2 (Noon Eastern Time): I must admit I’m a little bit of a political junkie. I’m watching CTV and CBC’s feeds (using Miglia’s TVMiniHD – which is how I’m grabbing the stills) and am getting hooked by the convention. Dryden has just thrown his support behind Rae – giving a little support to my earlier prediction. This is a real horse race.
UPDATE 3: (12:18PM) Only three candidates are left, Dion, Ignatieff and Rae – and Gerrard Kennedy has just walked to Dion. My, my, my.
UPDATE 4: (2:45PM) And then there were two. I’m almost shocked, but Rae is gone. (Actually, I meant to write before the results came in that I thought it would be between Iggy and Dion. I just thought that Iggy would be on top.) And he’s released his delegates to go where they will. Must have been hard for him as he and Iggy were university room mates and are long time friends. And as of 3:30pm, it appears that it may be Dion’s to lose.
My take is that Iggy would be a more formidable challenger to Stephen Harper and that there is still some francophone leadership fatigue on the part of Canadians in the rest of Canada (TROC vs Quebec) – in spite of the fact that Dion is an ardent federalist. But if I was still a Liberal, I’d be voting for Dion.