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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Final Choice

Such variety of riches is laid before the Liberal membership this weekend.

Oh but who to chose as leader?

Who best to unseat that evil pretender Stephen Harper and return milquetoast and liberal values to a nation crying out – screaming, really – for safe, comfortable, paternalistic leadership?

There are four noble knights arrayed before us in hues ranging from pinko orange to deep, majestic, federalist blue.

From left to right we survey the contenders – or from top to bottom, if you prefer, after all the Post-Martin Liberals are nothing if not completely flexible in position, as well as principle

First due mostly to his capture of key Ontario seats and the easy scoop of those time-honoured gimme votes from long time party glitterati who mustn’t dirty themselves with something so…democratic….as a delegate selection meeting, is the academic Ignatieff.

Sitting in a hotel room this week, counting and recounting votes, must be a disheartening task for man quite sure that 20 years in the US teaching liberal radicals at Harvard had prepared him for the difficult task of waltzing away with one of the biggest rings in Canadian politics.

Unfortunately, Alberta Liberals (all eight of them) and those in BC felt quite differently. Hence the tough math lesson – similar to the one faced by Preston Manning and Jean Cherest in their quest for leadership glory. Just because you are convinced you are the right choice, doesn’t mean those pesky commoners are going to vote for you.

BC Liberal delegates are strangely attracted to Bob Rae. Not strangely, of course, if you consider our penchant for radical mid-stream conversions on the political road to Damascus.

Forget Bob Rae, the NDPer who brought Ontario to its knees, a la Ujjal Dosanjh. Think, instead, of Bob Rae the underdog battling against the odds of an unlikely comeback and an electorate trying to erase from their minds the sight of his naked knees on national tv diving into frigid waters with Rick Mercer.

Yep. That sounds like great Prime Minister material.

It is hard to place Gerard Kennedy on the winner’s podium. As a good critic, sure, battling it out the House of Commons but Liberals are not as keen to see him caretaker of our great nation.. He might be better, perhaps, as an earnest, geeky science teacher in a crowded middle school classroom..

I’ve held out hope that Stephane Dion will cross the line first. I predicted as such, even up until a month or so ago. But the tide has turned in Liberal Quebec and now I am not so sure. Distinct society, regardless of the name, steels the soul of the Quebecois.

A deal with the devil will be struck. Someone will emerge victorious. Balloons will fall and ringing speeches given. People will kiss – some on both cheeks.

It is hard to imagine any of these men strong enough for the heavy yoke of Canada.

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