A reminder to those of you out there that Monday is Municipal Election Night in Ontario and THE CAIRNS BLOG will continue its death-defying political coverage with blogging of the election. Not that it looks to be such a close race. The polls have David Miller leading Jane Pitfield by a 2-1 margin in the Toronto mayor's race and that is what I expect the result will be on election night.
Meanwhile the Stephen LeDrew campaign has totally tanked with the public. LeDrew is supposed to be a serious candidate and has been treated as such by the media, and has been included in all the debates, but beyond that he hasn't run much of a campaign. One poll has him at 2%. 2%?! That's pretty awful. But what do you expect, he started late and has no campaign organization as far as anyone can tell. You can't expect to win a race for mayor of Toronto if you don't go full-bore from very early on. And he hasn't done that.
Anyway, coming up later on in a matter of weeks is the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal, plus the PC leadership race in Alberta to replace Ralph Klein. Here's what I just found out today: apparently the PCs in Alberta are scheduled to announce their second ballot at the same time that the Liberals crown their leader. Reminds me of what happened in Ontario in 2002. The Canadian Alliance crowned Stephen Harper the leader over Stockwell Day; that same week the Ontario PCs held their big leadership convention and elected Ernie Eves on the second ballot to become Premier of Ontario. But Harper's win came on a Wednesday night while the PC convention in Ontario actually started on Thursday and crowned the leader on Saturday. Which leads me to this question: will the Liberal leadership contest be decided on a Saturday night, as these things usually are? I think it is; I read the Liberal convention program and it says that the voting for the first ballot will begin on Friday night. Then they start with the second ballot on Saturday and will try and finish all the balloting by afternoon. Smart move to try and avoid all-night leadership conventions. I think they're attempting to get it all over with by the time Hockey Night in Canada comes on, because they know there will be a riot if that show gets interrupted with political convention coverage. In the past they were always pretty successful because the Liberal leadership contests were always blowouts, but this race looks like it will probably go four ballots! Well, there better not be any counting delays or voting problems like the ones that have plagued other political conventions (ie. 2004 Ontario PCs--- we weren't out of there until way past 11PM, and that race only took two ballots!). Otherwise, you'll see lots of squirming CBC people wondering how to appease all the hockey fans and political junkies at the same time!
See, this is why most Canadian political parties try and hold their conventions during the summer, when hockey season is over. You avoid this whole problem. Also, there's an article in the Globe about how this is likely to be the end of an era and the last of the old-style delegated conventions. The Liberals have pretty much decided to scrap these delegated conventions, too, and go to the membership with direct elections for leader. So this really is the end of an era in politics.
Anyway, I'll be enjoying (?) (!) watching more political stuff on Monday and throughout this month.