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Canadian politics (zzzzzz)
August 30, 2006 10:35 PM   Subscribe

Is Canada ready for a gay prime minister? How about a hockey player? Or a former Harvard professor? After Paul Martin flamed out and took the Liberal Party with him, the Liberals have to choose a new party leader in December from a rather eccentric list of candidates. Place your bets, eh?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste (47 comments total)

 
I was unaware of any debate within the Canadian public regarding the sexual orientation of Liberal party leaders. Is this really an issue?
posted by Jairus at 10:40 PM on August 30, 2006


I guess we'll find out, won't we?

What I'm wondering is why the Liberals don't have any women candidates? Or minorities. They're all mature white men.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:44 PM on August 30, 2006


Of the ten candidates, three are women and one is black.
posted by leftoverboy at 10:47 PM on August 30, 2006


I don't really see how this is a big deal.
Also the link doesn't seem to work.
posted by nightchrome at 10:49 PM on August 30, 2006


CalgaryGrit has been providing good coverage of the Liberal leadership race.
posted by russilwvong at 10:51 PM on August 30, 2006


Funny how it was a $100,000 financial scandal that layed the Liberals low, an amount that the Republican are wasting /every minute/ in Iraq.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:53 PM on August 30, 2006



posted by loquacious at 11:23 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Bob Rae is da man. Mark my words.
posted by persona non grata at 11:28 PM on August 30, 2006


Vote for Scott - he's gay!

Vote for Ken - he won Stanley Cups!

Vote for Michael - he was a famous Harvard prof!

Personally, Bob Rae is the best candidate... he will could unite the left and rid the country of the baby eating American lapdogs currently in power. He's brilliant.

America will most likely elect a Democrat next time around. Time for Canada and the US to get into one of those Liberal/Democrat grooves that seems to bode well for both countries.

Elect Bob Rae!
posted by crowman at 11:29 PM on August 30, 2006


Wait, wasn't Bob Rae that premiere of Ontario everyone hated like 10 years ago? How the hell did he suddenly become a favored candidate for this?
posted by nightchrome at 11:33 PM on August 30, 2006


No, the premiere of Ontario was, like 1967 or something.
Rae suddenly became a favoured candidate when Steve Harper impregnated himself as Prime Minister last January.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:44 PM on August 30, 2006


Wait, wasn't Bob Rae that premiere of Ontario everyone hated like 10 years ago? How the hell did he suddenly become a favored candidate for this?

Well, he made exactly two mistakes during his tenure in power. Just two and only two.

One, his oppenents painted him as a hard-core socialist. Then he went and brought down a big deficit budget right after gaining office. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck... nuff said.

Second, to prove he's really a centrist, he took on public sector unions. This didn't win him significant support on the right, and killed him on the left.

He's older and wiser now. He's sharp as a tack, politically centrist, good heart, solid intellect. I would vote for him in a heartbeat. He is really head and shoulders above the rest if you ask me.
posted by crowman at 11:47 PM on August 30, 2006


Yup. Bob is going to be the next PM, I think. Look out John McCain!
posted by persona non grata at 11:55 PM on August 30, 2006


I don't think Rae's being somewhat unpopular in Ontario (once upon a time) matters at all. He'll look positively gold to the province compared to the guy from Alberta killing our soldiers in Afghanistan and pushing the neocon social agenda. I think Ontario will get behind Rae, given that Harper was mainly voted in out of a desire to get rid of Martin rather than his own merits. As they say, we didn't so much vote him in as vote the last guy out. There was no solid alternative.

Oh, and being Jewish is quirky? What?
posted by jimmythefish at 12:19 AM on August 31, 2006


The choice probably depends on wether they think they can win Quebec so soon after the sponsorship scandal. If they think they can it'll be Dione, othewise it'll probably be Rae. The Liberals are nothing if not pragmatic in my experience.

Iganatieff is going to get butchered with his own pro US stance. The Liberals have positioned themselves as essentially the Canadian Nationalist party and I don't think they're going to do an about face on that by making Iggy the leader, no matter how clever and charming he is.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:51 AM on August 31, 2006


My first vote was for Bob Rae in 1990, probably my second too. He's been in the public eye and politics for all of my adult life, but until this minute I had no idea he was Jewish. Yet another reason to love Canada - that this has never been made into a stupid 'issue'.
posted by Flashman at 1:37 AM on August 31, 2006


Oh, and being Jewish is quirky? What?

Being gay is quirky? Being from Italy is quirky? Being a professor is quirky? It's just a bad label. Calm down.
posted by imperium at 2:00 AM on August 31, 2006


you hosers should just nominate Matthew Good and be done with it.
posted by tsarfan at 2:54 AM on August 31, 2006


The guy I keep hearing about out here in BC is Kennedy. But BC doesn't really matter in national politics.
posted by futureproof at 3:09 AM on August 31, 2006


Is Canada ready for a closet bisexual King?
posted by riotgrrl69 at 5:01 AM on August 31, 2006


As long as Bob Rae doesn't try to bring in photo radar nationally, he'll do fine. As far as I'm concerned, that was how he lost Ontario the last time... the PCs said "Vote for us, we'll get rid of photo radar" - sure enough, they got voted in, and photo radar was out. I'm not really sure how the Liberals would do with him as a leader though...
posted by antifuse at 6:11 AM on August 31, 2006


Rae was an absolute disaster in Ontario. He's in no small part responsible for Ontario voting for Harris after he left. If he becomes leader there's frankly no point in the Liberals having a campaign at all (so, basically, they can do what they did last time...).

I think it's going to be between Dryden and Ignatieff. Stronach could have run, but she's still politically much too vulnerable after crossing the floor last year. The funny thing about Dion is how reviled he is in most of Quebec while not really being able to speak English intelligibly (granted, neither was Chretien, but that's besides the point) or being known outside of the same province.
posted by clevershark at 6:31 AM on August 31, 2006


Rae was hated, yes. People still grumble about 'Rae days' here (days worked without pay). Anyways, it's a pretty sorry selection, and I think Rae is the best of the candidates, for the reasons Crowman stipulated. After Harper, people'll want to swing a little left, if experience is any guide.

And I too had no idea he was Jewish until I read this thread. Guess that sort of thing really doesn't matter up here, eh?
posted by stinkycheese at 6:55 AM on August 31, 2006


Rae has a creepy little mouth.

Anyway, I remember the NDP ads that ran before he got elected (ah, the late 80s...). They seemed to make a big deal about Ontario's no-fault auto insurance laws, and how they were a "ripoff" (to quote Rae himself in those ads). I didn't stick around to see if he'd actually managed to change that. Did he?

Leftist government don't tend to fare well, and (ironically?) unions are usually their downfall. Maybe they assume that they'll have a buddy-buddy relationship and come to the table completely unprepared.
posted by clevershark at 7:03 AM on August 31, 2006


Jairus writes "I was unaware of any debate within the Canadian public regarding the sexual orientation of Liberal party leaders. Is this really an issue?"

Nope, the people who care are already voting Refo Conservative anyways.
posted by Mitheral at 7:29 AM on August 31, 2006


In fairness, let's remember that a pretty terrible recession hit Ontario right about the time Rae got elected. So he was sort of screwed from the get-go. Guilt by association.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:36 AM on August 31, 2006


Quebec is having a gay prime minister soon. and he's bound to be a new country leader not too long after that.. :D
posted by zenzizi at 7:49 AM on August 31, 2006


I suppose if Dryden gets elected party leader, we'll at least get some nice pork around here. Perhaps that subway extension'll actually get built and stuff.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2006


He's in no small part responsible for Ontario voting for Harris after he left.

So... Bob Rae is Ontarians' cowardly and myopic ignorance?

That's like killing yourself and blaming your ex-girlfriend in your note.
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:44 AM on August 31, 2006


Zenzizi, he would be a gay premiere. Unless of course you were speaking as a Quebec sovereignist.
posted by dobie at 9:08 AM on August 31, 2006


I say Dryden because he has the fewest sharp edges.
In Canada you're quirky if you don't play hockey.
Tim Horton would win hands down.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:10 AM on August 31, 2006


Despite the Liberals being the closest thing Canada has to a domestic monarchy, I can't be bothered to care much about who wins. But I do know that Ignatieff simply must not.

I just read an interview with him in yesterday's Toronto Star (the link expires after seven days):

Toronto MP Michael Ignatieff won't commit to running in the next election if he loses his bid to become leader of the federal Liberal party.

"Depends who's leader," Ignatieff said...


The guy moved here from the States to save us poor unenlightened Canadians by leading the Liberals - a party he supposedly loves, but doesn't want to do any work for if he's not the leader.

"When I go into rooms people are glad I'm in the room because they've read stuff I wrote..."

People wouldn't just be voting for him - they'd be voting for his sense of entitlement as well, a sense which dwarfs even that of other prominent grits.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:29 AM on August 31, 2006


Stephen Harper's gay?
posted by mazola at 9:56 AM on August 31, 2006


Yep, Ignatieff makes my skin crawl.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:10 AM on August 31, 2006


zenzizi writes "Quebec is having a gay prime minister soon."

That's far from sure. You'll note that Charest and the (provincial) libs have been surging in the polls since Boisclair was elected PQ leader. The problem isn't that he's gay -- it's that he's already admitted to using cocaine *while he was a provincial minister in a former cabinet* and gets defensive and aggressive whenever he's asked about it. He's just not going to look good come campaign time.

It should be noted that in French the expression for "Premier" and "Prime Minister" is the same.
posted by clevershark at 10:19 AM on August 31, 2006


weapons-grade pandemonium writes "Tim Horton would win hands down."

Good thing he's dead, they'd have to shutter a bunch of Tim Horton's to avoid running afoul of campaign advertising laws and then where would be? Huge swaths of the country would shut down.
posted by Mitheral at 10:47 AM on August 31, 2006


Another SLOE from Den Beste. Way to go, mods.
posted by bardic at 11:01 AM on August 31, 2006


"It should be noted that in French the expression for "Premier" and "Prime Minister" is the same."

Technically, I think Dalton was the first in Ontario to change the "Prime Minister" on his office door to "Premier," though nobody said Prime Minister anyway.
posted by maledictory at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2006


Michael Ignatieff will win the leadership race, and if the Liberals form the government, they will be a few votes shy of a clear majority. Then they will (again) get support from the NDP, and Jack Layton will continue to criticize them, yet support them.
posted by ArunK at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2006


yes i do speak as a sovereignist. and PQ is still leading over PLQ in today's poll (37% vs. 32%).
and i guess Boisclair would become a President in an eventual republic.
(will we have a First Gentleman if he's in a couple by then? hehehe)
posted by zenzizi at 11:04 AM on August 31, 2006


What I'm wondering is why the Liberals don't have any women candidates? Or minorities. They're all mature white men.

You don't do a lot of research when you have an axe to grind, do you?
posted by cardboard at 1:47 PM on August 31, 2006


People still grumble about 'Rae days' here (days worked without pay).

I also grumble about the peculiar taste of the cheese the moon is made of. What do these things have in common? Their level of accuracy. Rae Days were unpaid days of leave. Not your insane idea of days worked without pay. Nobody who was conscious then would get this wrong. Which campaign did say you represent?
posted by srboisvert at 2:44 PM on August 31, 2006


Nobody who was conscious then would get this wrong.

You are correct in as much as Rae Days were unpaid days of leave, not unpaid days of employment.

Your are incorrect however, in asserting that no one who was conscious during this period would get this wrong.

So we're both wrong ultimately.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:01 PM on August 31, 2006


Steven C., why rag on Canadian politics in the post title. As far as I'm concerned, it's the most exciting political scene on the planet, from a spectatorial perspective.
posted by Kattullus at 10:44 PM on August 31, 2006


CONS: unknown outside of Ontario

Snark from British Columbia: Like that's going to matter ...

Another SLOE from Den Beste.

Would someone mind translating that into something the acronym challenged can understand? TIA.
posted by squeak at 11:19 PM on August 31, 2006


Single-Link Op-Ed?
posted by ParsonWreck at 5:02 AM on September 1, 2006


Ahh that makes sense, thanks.
posted by squeak at 9:46 AM on September 1, 2006


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