Well, I am trying to follow the Ontario PC leadership vote today, but it has proven to be an even more impossible task than it was following the Saskatchewan NDP leadership race a few weekends ago. Beyond a few updates on the radio there's just nothing going on media-wise.
Keep in mind, the 2002 Ontario PC race got a ton of coverage and there was considerable coverage of the 2004 race. But it's been a chore finding any wall-to-wall coverage of this. Right now I'm tuning in to 680 News on the Internet and they just have the sports report on. And there's no video anywhere at all, not even on CPAC. So I'm absolutely having no fun at all.
Of course, another reason this convention is no fun is because all the voting took place earlier this week, and instead of counting the votes all at once, party officials are dragging it out with a big convention today where they bid a final farewell to John Tory and all the rest of it. So it really is a very weird sort of convention going on in Markham today.
By the way the first ballot results are in and it is kind of a surprise that Frank Klees is running second, ahead of Christine Elliott. But you don't want to count out a guy like Klees, he's got a lot of fans in the party. I notice a few people I knew from politics in Ontario have backed Klees, and it's well known that he sold a lot of memberships. So I don't think people should really be surprised. What people should be surprised with, though, is if Tim Hudak doesn't ultimately win this contest in the end.
From the sounds of it, Hudak stands to pick up on the second and third ballots and is well positioned to win. The results of the first ballot are as follows:
Tim Hudak 3512
Frank Klees 3094
Christine Elliott 2729
Randy Hillier 1014
Here's what Stephen Taylor, ace Conservative blogger, is saying from the convention floor and I gotta say, it's really sad when you have to turn to the bloggers for good political coverage. Not that they don't do a good job -- it's just sad that the mainstream media have dropped the ball so thoroughly in this instance. Here's Taylor's interview with leading candidate Hudak below, courtesy of his website, proving he has the radio and TV guys all beat:
I notice that the tribute is going on at the convention to John Tory right at the moment and all I gotta say is: talk about a sad, sad situation. I understand there are people who are arm-twisting him to run for mayor of Toronto again next year, and frankly no one could blame him if he decided to chuck politics completely after what he's gone through this year -- but there's no question he'd be much, much better as Toronto mayor than the fool who currently occupies the office - David "Garbage Strike" Miller. That man has been a disaster.
UPDATE: Here's CTV News with the story of Tim Hudak's victory on the third ballot.