Saturday, October 28, 2006
Bob Rae is looking like a convention floor favourite
It's interesting to see Bob Rae picking up most of the defectors in the Liberals leadership race. He's getting the endorsement of candidates who are dropping out as well as officials who have left the camps of other candidates.
What does this say?
Well, the Liberal leadership convention is now all about convincing delegates — behind the scenes — to consider who to support once the first ballot is over.
What Bob Rae is doing — convincing former candidates and their supporters to come over to him — is a similar process.
There's something the newfound Rae supporters are seeing that's convincing them to swing over to Rae. If delegates do the same thing in December, Rae's prospects in this race might be better than David Peterson admirers might suggest.
Since I think Gerard Kennedy has no chance of winning, Stephane Dion might be looking at some of this and wondering why he can't convince more people to switch over to him. If he can't do it now, will he be able to do it on the convention floor?
Some people use the Ontario Liberal leadership race in 1996 in order to make comparisons. However, given that this current race has already undergone part of a first ballot process, some of the convention floor machinations are underway right now. That Dion seems to be losing to Rae in wooing swing supporters might suggest that Dion's attempt at trying to pull what McGuinty did in '96 might be that much harder. Back then, McGuinty came from fourth place on the first ballot to win the contest. Right now, Dion doesn't appear to be making the same kind of move — at least not yet.