Sunday, September 24, 2006

Playing to Win

I got a call from Michael Ignatieff a few minutes ago. It was one of those mechanical voice recording calls, which I dislike... but I can see the efficacy of them. Ignatieff's first sentence was, "Hi, I'm Michael Ignatieff and I've been a Liberal my whole life."

My first reaction was Whoa baby - you're attacking my guy Rae.

My second reaction was: And why not? It's a fair comment. My main concern about Ignatieff has been whether he has sufficient political savvy, so I can't fault him for making an effective hit on a legitimate target.

I can see how third and fourth spot candidates tend to come up the middle and win leadership races, because it's the nature of the beast that the front runners have to attack each other. ("Attack" is too strong a word, but you know what I mean.) Then supporters of the front-runners, if they're too touchy, get mad and refuse to throw their late-ballot support behind the other front runners - people who they probably originally thought were pretty good. The candidates who are behind the front runners might manage to avoid the scrum and so piss off fewer convention delegates.

So I'm going to try to avoid defensiveness. As Keith Davey says, the best outcome for a leadership race is for all the candidates' weaknesses to be aired, considered, and dealt with. My late-ballot support (if I get to the convention, and if Rae drops out) is going to stay with Ignatieff and Dion unless I learn something new that's substantive, and not because they ran an effective campaign against Bob Rae.

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1 comment:

Matt said...

Well put, they are all strong leaders.