Several people have asked why I haven't written about the Liberal leadership race. Oh, a lot of reasons. I'm not into critiquing campaigns and theorizing on what might happen. It's just not my thing.
Of course, just because I don't blog about something doesn't mean I'm not paying attention to it. But at this point, my thoughts on the leadership race and the next election are pretty brief.
First, I recall how, after the last election, so many people were absolutely convinced that Harper's Conservatives would win the next election with a strong majority. Many acted as if it were an absolute certainty. But there are no certainties in politics, especially before a government even has a record.
I fully appreciate how important it is to prevent a Conservative majority government. I think it looks pretty unlikely at this point, and, at the same time, I'm anxious to see the Liberals run a strong candidate and a strong campaign.
I was pleased to see a recent survey showing Bob Rae as having the best chance against Harper. Of the four remaining leadership candidates, Rae would be my pick. (I say that with the understanding that when I can vote, I won't vote Liberal, but NDP.)
I'm aware that many people dislike Rae based on his record as premier of Ontario, but having heard such mixed things about his term, I have to put aside those opinions and base my judgments on what he says right now. He seems to me clearly the most progressive candidate, as well as the strongest campaigner.
On the other hand, if the Liberals choose Michael Ignatieff to lead their party, they will confirm my beliefs of how very un-progressive they are. I've been reading Ignatieff's writing in the US for many years, and he disgusts me. I see him as an apologist for US foreign policy. If you want that, you might as well stay with Harper.
I hope the Liberals will realize, in a way the Democrats never have, that their best shot against Conservatives isn't playing Conservative Lite. Faced with real Republicans or fake Republicans, people take the real thing every time.
I also think Ignatieff is open to criticism in that he seems to have returned to Canada solely to try to take the helm of the Liberal party. The accusation of being out of touch with Canada and more American than Canadian is a pretty big Achilles heel.
Those are my thoughts, however mundane. I'll expect to hear yours as well.