Conventioning

I’m watching the Liberal convention live right now. Currently, we’re waiting for the results of the third ballot. Gerard Kennedy has thrown his support behind Dion, theoretically making the latter the nominal front-runner. This was not entirely unpredicted; I mentioned yesterday that if they vote progresses to 3 or 4 ballots, then Kennedy or Dion have an outside chance.

I also mentioned that if Dion wins, then the Liberals would be set back 20 years. This is not a comment on Dion as a person. Rather, he seems a noble and trustworthy fellow. Unfortunately, Dion is not enough of a high profile leader to take on the Conservatives, and for some reason he has the semblance of the Liberal old guard, which is not a good thing. The advantage of Rae and Ignatieff is that neither of these men has any history with the party.

Because I only get one channel, I’m forced to watch the convention on CanWest Global, whose right wing bias is slowly becoming more evident. They have as a constant commentator John Baird, Conservative bigwig and bulldog, who takes every opportunity to sing the praises of Steven Harper. That is his job, yes, but I wonder why Global feels the need to defer to him every 2 minutes.

I find it interesting that here we are in 2006 watching the selection of a man who might be Canada’s next Prime Minister. And who are our options? Well, if you grew up in the 70s, like me, it’s all rather surreal. Our choices include a man who I used to see in my parents’ working class living room while he beat the pavement for the little guy (Bob Rae), a man whose books of false depth I used to read in the toilet (Michael Ignatieff) and the greatest goaltender the NHL has ever seen (Ken Dryden). Weird weird weird.

Makes me wonder if in 20 years we’ll see a leadership race between Celine Dion, Michael Ondaatje and George Strombolopoulos.