View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Leadership Races JUNE 8, 2016

View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Leadership Races JUNE 8, 2016

With two political leadership races underway, both of which at this point in time have put everyone to sleep, one can only hope that something happens to inject some life into them.

We have had the first NDP leadership bid if you can call it that with the declared entry of Cheri DiNovo. Declared, but at the same time insisting that she is an unofficial candidate as she won’t pay the $30,000 registration fee. One has to wonder what was gained by this PR stunt other than getting your name in the limelight. DiNovo has a good record at the provincial level, but if this is her attempt to move to the federal scene it leaves a lot to be desired.

Unfortunately, for the NDP; key people such as Brian Topp, Megan Leslie and Nathan Cullen have removed themselves from contention. It would have been interesting to see those three debate the future direction of the party. It is also bad news for the Conservatives as they need a strong NDP to siphon off votes from the Trudeau Liberals.

The Conservative leadership race is almost as dull and uninspiring as the NDP one. At least Kevin O’Leary’s musing about seeking the leadership provided a bit of interest and spark and even if he never runs he did wake the membership up for a couple of hours.

The latest trial balloon from a potential candidate came from Lisa Raitt. It generated a few minutes of interest and even got a couple of paragraphs out of the media. There is no reason for her not to run providing she can put together the financing and organization. She has a good track record both in and out of politics and can certainly hold her own against the present three contenders (Leitch, Chong, Bernier) none of which will or has excited much interest. Certainly at this point they don’t look like they could inspire a nation to vote Conservative. All of them are decent people and hardworking MPs, but does anyone seriously see them with “Prime Minister” in front of their names? Of course in politics you can never say never as upsets do occur. We don’t have to look far back in our political history to see examples of that happening. Joe Clark and Stephane Dion being two recent examples.

There is still a lot of time for both the NDP and Conservative races to pick up speed and interest. With Peter Julian still to be heard from for the NDP and both Jason Kenney and Peter Mackay playing it coy, sooner or later (please make it sooner) the real race will begin. Certainly the Conservatives who are supposed to be “the government in waiting” need some life and political drama injected into their leadership race. They also need someone who is in it for the long haul IE eight years or more. I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to do what will be an incredibly long and tough job of turning both of the parties around.

So until we get some serious contenders out there, maybe the media can keep interviewing O’Leary and that way the voting public will know that there really is a leadership race going on out there-somewhere.

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