Wednesday, December 06, 2006
What happened to Iggy and Rae?
Before the Liberal leadership race becomes a distant memory, I thought I'd briefly analyze the reasons why the two front-runners collapsed.
For Iggy, the entire justification for his bid had crumbled. He was supposed to be the guy who could lead the party to victory, yet his ongoing gaffes contradicted that premise. It also didn't help that he was too far right on too many issues for too many Liberals. When Iggy's first ballot support came in at under 30%, he was in big trouble. It meant that he not only had no momentum going into the convention, but that he was going backwards in support. His candidacy hit a brick wall and was never able to recover.
For Rae, there were many things. One was his refusal to run a campaign of ideas that would inspire people. He ran like a front-runner, but he didn't have the support of one. It's also clear that too many Liberals had long memories that refused to accept Rae as anything but a premier who once stuck it to Liberals and a province. However, perhaps most importantly, Rae was unable to get Kennedy or his supporters to come over, or prevent them from going to Dion. That single fact gave the race to Dion, and Rae had no answer.
This was a race where one front-runner stalled, while the other didn't work hard enough to build bridges and break barriers. Instead, the guy who did both those things won. His name is Stephane Dion.