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Elizabeth May to run in London, but not Bob Rae?

Elizabeth May, the charismatic and cheerful new leader of the Green party, is going to run in London North Centre, the riding recently vacated by Liberal Joe Fontana to run for Mayor of London. But where's Bob Rae? This is his chance to prove a few points.

May has managed to make Jack Layton look like he can't find a camera, lately. Every time I turn on any kind of political program, there is Elizabeth May's big smile from Question Period (the CTV one) between John Godfrey and Nathan Cullen, to cutting a tree down on the Rick Mercer Report. Now it appears that she is running in the riding of London North Centre. I doubt any of the other parties will decline to run in the riding to honour the long-standing tradition of not opposing an out-of-House leader coming in through a by-election, but you've got to hand it to her for trying.

Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, and to a lesser extent Martha Hall Findlay... where are they? This is the opportunity of a life time, especially for Bob Rae.

His two greatest weaknesses are that 1) he doesn't have a seat in the House, and 2) people do not trust his ability to win in Ontario.

Why, then, is he passing up this opportunity to change both? Imagine the strength of his position at the convention were he to show up, freshly elected with a seat, and not only that, but one in Ontario!

I have to assume that the risk of failure is too great for him. The by-election is just two days before the start of the convention in Montreal. The strength he would gain by coming to the convention with a seat would be just as strong as a negative if he were to show up having just lost the by-election, especially to Elizabeth May. But if he can not win, should we not all know that now, before the leadership vote? Is it not in Bob Rae's own interest, the man who has told us he will work for the party whether he wins or loses, to either prove or disprove his capabilities as an individual politician in this party before his potential ascension to the leadership?

I therefore put the challenge out to all three un-elected leadership contenders, but particularly Bob Rae, who has both the most to gain and the most to lose, to run in London-North Centre and prove that your commitment to the Liberal party's parliamentary success spans beyond your aspirations as its leader: run in London North Centre.

Posted at 16:59 on October 22, 2006

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

Debate #2,871: Montreal | leadership | Dion unleashes his letter writing capability on unsuspecting rival

Joseph writes at Sun Oct 22 19:56:32 2006...

What an interesting challenge! Of course, he won't rise to it, but if he did, the Liberal Party would be the real winner, whatever the results. If he chooses not to run at all rather than to run and lose, then the Liberal Party could be the one that underwrites his loss with him as leader. It is Ontario that we need to know about. Too bad for all of us that he won't do it. He would be unstoppable if he won.

Lord kitchener%27s Own writes at Sun Oct 22 23:26:11 2006...

Wouldn't having Rae, or any prominent Liberal, fight for this seat be a boone to the Conservatives?

Presumably, Elizabeth May, as a national political leader, has a reasonable shot at this seat, given the profile her candidacy will receive. Doesn't having a big name Liberal fighting May for the non-right wing vote work right in to the Tories hands.

Personally, I'd like to see the Liberals and NDP politley decline to run candidates against May (never hapen of course, but it's what I'd like to see). Let the Conservatives try to take the seat from a combined NDP/Liberal/Green base (if their dumb enough to want to look like boobs by fighting May after the Grits and Dippers decline).

Rae, Kennedy or Findlay could each possibly win the seat. They could also quite possibly split the vote, and hand it to the Tories.

I'd say discretion is the better part of valour here. Better ANYONE than another Tory (there's an election slogan in there somewhere).

Besides, it's about time the Green party had some representation in Parliament. Even if it is only one seat.

Youppi1981 writes at Mon Oct 23 08:14:57 2006...

Why would Bob or any candidate agree to spend the last 5 weeks of the campaign in London? Wouldn't that kind of hobble his leadership bid? Or isn't that your point?

LondonResident writes at Wed Oct 25 22:32:41 2006...

I live in this riding and I do not think that Bob Rae could get elected. There are many people who lean conservative in the area, and if the Liberals do not have a strong candidate then they will lose. The vote will be split on the left, especially with all the UWO students in town voting for the NDP and the Greens. The seat is not as safe as many assume it to be.

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