Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thoughts on Recent Doin's

Heartened as I was by the Decima poll showing Bob Rae as the popular leader of the Liberal leadership candidates, it means little. Polls between elections are like asking people what they want for lunch next March.

It's interesting though that the Globe & Mail is being pissy about Rae. The Globe powers-that-be (bless their pointy little heads) get really slanted sometimes, and it looks like they see a threat in Mr. Rae. Their article today, "No apologies, few regrets from candidate Rae" is a subtle but very effective smear. Another article, "Poll sees close race", doesn't even mention Rae until the end of the third paragraph, and then doesn't mention that he's in the lead till paragraph 5.

Fourteen months ago the Globe published a Bob Rae love-fest; now that he's a front-runner in the leadership race they seem to have dropped the line that he's "a respected and superbly talented elder... whose stature in the public square seems equalled only by that of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter."

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Globe pulling some anti-Rae stunts in the next few months. Bob's in good company if he's in the Globe's black book. It got to be hilarious how much they hated Pierre Trudeau. In totally inappropriate places they used to use a photo of him taken while he was on a canoe trip, unshaven and in grotty clothes, as if that was his normal workaday look.

On a related issue, I don't get the big hoo-ha about whether leadership candidates will run for office if they aren't elected leader. Rae said he'd run; Ignatieff said he wouldn't and then said he would. The only thing that bothers me is that Ignatieff's lack of political experience seems to be coming through again. I don't think any of the candidates should feel compelled to run for office if they lose the leadership race. Rae and Ignatieff are way too senior with too much to offer to be in the game and not at the top. Also, if a candidate doesn't agree with the new leader they might not want to be in the caucus. And depending on how the race goes, the new leader might not want some of the candidates to be in their caucus. It seems that the candidates have to promise to run no matter what, but I for one hope they don't feel compelled to keep that promise.


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