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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday morning roundup

A few thoughts...
  • Highlights from the Decima poll: Bob Rae holds a national lead in the number of people who say they will vote Liberal or would consider voting Liberal if he were leader. In Ontario, Rae leads Michael Ignatieff, with 11% more Ontario voters saying they would vote Liberal or consider voting Liberal if Rae were leader as opposed to Ignatieff. Gerard Kennedy has the broadest appeal among Liberal voters, with Ignatieff, Brison, Dion and Rae slightly behind. Michael Ignatieff appeals the most to Conservative voters nationally. Scott Brison does surprisingly well among NDP voters, tying with Kennedy among this group. Bob Rae comes on strong in this segment as well. Stephane Dion and Bob Rae have seen tremendous growth in their potential voting pools in Quebec (+9% and +7% respectively) although they both slightly trail Ignatieff, who appeals the most to separatist voters in Quebec.
  • Decima concludes with the following: "[B]elow the surface, there are some interesting story lines. Mr. Kennedy's numbers being stalled suggests he is making less of an impact than the others. Mr. Ignatieff, despite being the perceived front runner and having considerable media attention, has not been able to put real distance between himself and the others, when it comes to voter impressions. Bob Rae has significantly increased his potential to draw soft NDP support, which is arguably the most promising segment of voters for the Liberal Party to focus on. Scott Brison is showing increasing potential among soft BQ and soft NDP voters, and is competitive when it comes to holding Liberals and drawing soft Conservatives."
  • This is a good piece. Did he make mistakes? Admittedly, yes. Did he have successes as well? Unquestionably, yes. Should we highlight his mistakes, ignore his successes and disqualify him from the Liberal leadership? In my opinion, no, but that's for the convention delegates to judge. But a word of caution to everyone: Any candidate who can't point to his/her record and say "Yeah, I've made mistakes in politics; I've learned lessons on what works and what doesn't work, what can be done and what cannot be done" is either inexperienced or a liar. In either case, s/he is not qualified to be leader.
  • Another study in contrasts: "Ignatieff, a former academic and now MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, spoke in a lecture hall to 150 to 200 students and supporters. Rae, a former NDP premier of Ontario, spoke in a smaller classroom, to about 100 students, one floor above. Rae took students' questions, Ignatieff did not." (And then Denis Coderre goes on to call Rae's team "childish" for holding an event at the same venue, even though it was booked weeks in advance. Childish? Childish is shying away from students' questions. Well, perhaps not childish. Amateurish is the better term.)
  • My local MP and former federal Health Minister, the Honourable Diane Marleau, has endorsed Bob Rae for the Liberal leadership. This, in addition to Bob's support from former Health Ministers Ujjal Dosanjh and Monique Begin (who introduced the Canada Health Act), should solidify my guy as the best candidate to defend Canada's universally accessible, publically funded health care system.
  • Speaking of health and health care, we finally have someone talking about the issue. For years, it's been the top priority for Canadians, but throughout this leadership race, health care has been noticeably absent from the discussion. Here's a surprise: I like Bob Rae's plan, particularly his push for a national catastrophic drug programme called The Maple Leaf Drug Plan. I personally hope this will be the first step in the direction of a national pharmacare plan so that, as Bob puts it, no Canadian has to choose between their health and their personal finances.
  • Are you anyone's "biggest blog crush"? I am! But I'm not gonna tell you who (because a true blogger would never kiss and tell, right?)... All I can say is I'm flattered.