Wednesday, April 05, 2006

GERARD KENNEDY IS RUNNING: LIB RACE IS ON

Well it's been a big past couple of days in Canadian politics. I gotta say, if you're a political junkie life is great.

Parliament's back, Ralph Klein has stepped down as Alberta premier, and now the Liberal leadership contenders are throwing their hats into the ring.

Today, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty held a cabinet shuffle to replace Education Minister Gerard Kennedy, who has quit his post to run federally for the Liberal leadership.

Kennedy ran the Toronto food bank and has Western roots, and is bilingual. He's seen as a rising star in the party but he's also on the left of the party as well. Still, he's seen as someone who could be a contender in the race.

Kennedy joins Don Valley West MP John Godfrey and former Liberal candidate Martha Hall Findlay in the leadership race. Another potential candidate, Michael Ignatieff, is expected to announce on Friday.

Meanwhile, former NDP Ontario premier Bob Rae has officially applied for membership in the Liberal Party, presumably in advance of a leadership run. Story from CBC.

Already he's facing opposition from the likes of David Peterson, as this story indicates. Rae certainly has plenty of baggage from his NDP days. A lot of conservatives out there are salivating over the prospect of Rae leading the Liberals. Then they can run against his disasterous record as Premier.

All in all, I have to say the Liberals have so far attracted an utterly unimpressive group of leadership candidates. I even read a report that David Orchard is thinking of running for the leadership, too, of all people, and all I have to say is he'll fit right in with Belinda and Scott Brison and the rest of them. The Liberals seem hell-bent on replacing the old Progressive Conservatives as the greatest collection of losers ever assembled.

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