Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Nominations present and future...

Well, in meta-nomination news Jeffrey Simpson goes on an extended muse on the possibility of - several years down the road, mind you - Bernard Lord and Frank McKenna both taking their act to the federal stage. (Whether Canadians are ready for the low wage, race to the bottom economy that either would bring is a different question altogether...)

The interesting (though highly speculative)question is where these fine sons of Canada's most... well, most New Brunswicky province would run? Speculation in recent years was that Frank McKenna was draped like a vulture over Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Claudette Bradshaw's shoulder, waiting for her to decide that she liked the colour red and wouldn't mind the sleepy life of a Senator. Well, to date, Bradshaw shows no sign of desiring assisted living, and seems happy in the Commons.

That leaves McKenna trying to clip the wings of that no-longer-so-young man in a hurry, Domenic LeBlanc, Liberal MP for Beausejour-Peticodiac - who is presently riding out the lean Martin years (at least for his relatively non-Martinized self) in a secure and undisclosed location.

The only other option would be for McKenna to wing his way across the province to the federal riding of Miramichi (part of which he represented provincially) and thereby end the political career of Liberal MP Charlie Hubbard. Of the three, waiting for Claudette would clearly be the most viable option - leaving aside all questions of timing, diplomatic commitments and the fact that the job of Liberal leader is presently occupied.

As for Lord, pickings are thinner and further afield. Lord is very much a son 0f Moncton, which would be an easy, but ultimately fruitless Conservative nomination to win. Though Lord would do far better than any other possible Conservative candidate, you still wouldn't want to bank your leader's future on it. What does that leave him? Fundy is a good Conservative seat not too far from Moncton, but it has a sharp young Conservative MP - Rob Moore. (And aren't all sharp young Conservative MPs named Rob Moore? Or something very similar, in any event...) Perhaps, a la Mulroney in Central Nova or Tommy Douglas in Nanaimo, Lord would be shipped off to some far flung part of the country to find his fortune.

But perhaps we're just getting a little ahead of ourselves. On to the straight gossip, rumour and invective.

Though our back still hurts when we hear this word (Tilsonburg), the Tilsonburg News reports that Villa Nova Ontario's gift to national politics, Bob Speller is trying to create some sort of groundswell for... himself, in his bid to return as Liberal MP for Haldimand-Norfolk. But that he's still playing coy, though not very. When asked why the good people of Haldimand-Norfolk opted for Conservative Diane Finlay and not Speller, their MP of 16 years, Speller graciously blamed NDP voters and Dalton McGuinty.

And just like The Who's endless series of final concerts, (never-ending, with an outcome already known) the Thunder Bay-Rainy River NDP is starting its great schlep across northwestern Ontario, where it will nominate 2004 candidate John Rafferty at three seperate nomination meetings. Democracy can be exhausting sometimes, can't it? That might be why local Conservatives have indefinitely postponed their nomination process. Or perhaps somebody's playing for some sort of advantage...?

Oh, and Timmins lawyer Robert Riopelle beat local councillor Yves Mallette and will be the Liberal candidate against Timmins-James Bay NDP MP (and rockstar) Charlie Angus. Really, he's a rockstar. Look it up.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Back... with a vengeance

Ok, so here we all are then. And what have we learned?

Well, a couple of things. The front page of the G&M seems to have caught up with the story that the Conservative Party does seem to be nominating a hell of a lot of (so to speak) social conservatives. That would mean that the approximate time of a story leaving Halifax and arriving in Ottawa is approximately one week. The follow-up stories come along faster, though.

The article does note that Cindy Silver, who will run for the Tories in North Vancouver, was the executive director of the Christian Legal Fellowship for two years in the 1990s, Marc Dalton, who will run in New Westminster-Burnaby has been the pastor of a community church in Burnaby and from our "blast from the past" column, former Ontario MP Rene Soetens was defeated in his bid for electoral redemption by Dr. Rondo Thomas, a top official with the Canada Christian College.

(While we don't have a dog in the fight between social conservatives and the Globe and Mail, we are strongly of the mind that Canada needs more parliamentarians who answer to the name "Dr. Rondo".)

Other broad trends we've picked up on? Well there seems to be a growing consensus that a whole whack of candidates, Conservative and otherwise will be replaced between now and the eventual election date. This will consist of an easy to imagine cull of no-hoper candidates who find something better to do with their free time over the next 8-10 months, but may also include a smattering of profile-challenged nominated candidates being tossed aside in favour of higher-type profile candidates. Expect the air to be rich with invective in such ridings, making our job far easier.

But on to the gossip, lies and - tossed like grit amongst all this chicken feed - some smatterings of truth...

The friends of Susan Coyne have started to come through with a little press. She is apparantly in like Flynn for a Grit nomination - though this piece doesn't specify which one...

Is there really a seething war going on within Richmond's Conservatives in the wake of the nomination of super-social conservative Darrel Reid? Or does the Richmond Review just hate Reid like poison? And does he really spell his first name that way?

Speaking of local papers with an agenda, would the Hamilton Mountain News like to run the news that Conservative Hamilton Mountain candidate Don Graves has no public profile again? They've printed that story so often Graves can now be said to have a high profile as a no-profile candidate. Still, it's the only thing we know about him. Oh, and in actual news, Hamilton Mountain New Democrats have nominated Chris Charlton as their candidate.

Diane Lloyd is the Liberal candidate in Peterborough, succeeding retiring Liberal Peter Adams, according to Peterborough This Week.

The Chronicle-Herald (who despite its many failings, seldom misses even the goofiest Nova Scotia nomination story) says that Liberals nave nominated Truro lawyer Gary Richard in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, where he will face longtime Conservative MP Bill Casey.

After much hemming and hawing - and after getting turfed from the provincial Tory caucus for hemming and hawing - amongst other things - Conservative MHA Fabian Manning will not be running for the Conservatives in Avalon.

"Well-known" strategist (and 1997 candidate) Jamey Heath will seek the NDP nomination in Ottawa Centre - joining a race already occupied by Paul Dewar and Ottawa lawyer Tiffani Mackenzie.

Notes from the Orangey part of Redmonton - the NDP has nominated Donna Martyn in Edmonton Centre. She is an activist for the disabled, and she recently ran for the party provincially in Edmonton Riverview. In a donnybrook in Edmonton East, Arlene Chapman, the former executive director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council beat 2004 candidate Janina Strudwick and serial nomination-loser Mimi Williams.

Back from the Dead

We're not dead, we're not trapped under something heavy, and we haven't despaired at the thought of a full year's nomination watching.

We just got completely buried in a great deal of real life.

Consider normal service resumed.