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Calgary Grit: Trudeau’s Win by the Numbers

Over the past year, there have been thousands of articles written about Justin Trudeau, his father, and his leadership campaign. Since it hasn’t been a big secret he was going to come out on top, we’ve also seen thousands of articles about what his win means.

So rather than rehash what has already been written, allow me to provide the cold hard numbers behind his victory. NUMBER OF VOTES: 104,552

That’s more than voted in the most recent NDP (65,108) or Conservative (97,397) leadership races – indeed, it might very well be the most Canadians to ever vote directly for

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Trudeau’s Win by the Numbers

Calgary Grit: How I’m Voting

Unlike past leadership contests where I’ve been fighting on the front lines for my candidate, I’ve watched the federal race largely as a spectator. Being away from a campaign offers a different vantage point, and I’ve enjoyed blogging my opinions candidly, as I slowly made up my mind who to support.

With voting now open (this is your cue hackers!), it’s time to take stock of the race…or “jog”, or “victory march”, or whatever you want to call it.

I wouldn’t consider this post an endorsement – as Allan Rock, Sheila Copps, John Manley, Gerard Kennedy (twice), and Dominic

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: How I’m Voting

Calgary Grit: Final Power Rankings

There isn’t a lot of suspense surrounding Sunday’s Liberal leadership vote. Pick the metric of your choice – fundraising, endorsements, hair volume – and Trudeau leads his nearest challenger by at least a 4:1 ratio. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in Twitter support, but Justin has 10 times more followers than the rest of the field combined.

The following table provides an overview of what little quantitative data we have on the race and offers a Power Rank, based on how these variables have translated to votes in past contests (methodology here).

Fundraising Endorsement Media Facebook Twitter . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Final Power Rankings

Calgary Grit: Showcase Showdown

It doesn’t compare to the high stakes floor crossings and backroom deals that define delegated conventions, but yesterday’s Liberal Showcase still offered the speeches, signs, buttons, and hospitality suites politicos have come to expect at these gatherings. Justin Trudeau had cowbells. Martin Cauchon made swag history, handing out Liberal-red socks. Joyce Murray brought in a west coast hippie fusion marimba band.

And just like “real” leadership conventions, the program started with a tribute to the outgoing leader featuring, among other things, the clip of Bob Rae skinny dipping with Rick Mercer. That left the candidates with the unenviable task of

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Showcase Showdown

Calgary Grit: Updated Power Rankings Show Trudeau in Control

Karen McCrimmon recognizes the odds she’s facing

When I released my first set of LPC Power Rankings in early February, I was a bit surprised to see Justin Trudeau up at 66%. These rankings aren’t intended to be a first ballot predictor, but they came pretty close to the mark in the NDP contest and it was still a bit of shock to see Trudeau 54 points above his nearest competitor. But wouldn’t you know it, Marc Garneau’s mystery poll was essentially spot on my numbers. So maybe there’s something to this.

And if there is, we are heading to

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Updated Power Rankings Show Trudeau in Control

Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Power Rankings

Justin Trudeau is head and shoulders ahead of his closest competitors

During the NDP leadership race, I got into the habit of tabulating “Power Rankings” of how the different candidates fared on fundraising, Facebook, Twitter, polls, and any other shred of quantitative data I could claw my hands onto. The exercise wasn’t intended to predict the first ballot vote, but it actually came surprisingly close to the mark.

After measuring how closely correlated those various metrics were to candidate support in seven recent races (including the NDP contest), I’m ready to launch the Liberal Leadership Power

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Power Rankings

Calgary Grit: Liberals One-on-One

The moderator failed to ask the tough questions, such as “Mr. Bertschi, why on earth are you wearing that scarf?“

My mind has been on the Ontario Liberal leadership race the past few months, so I’ll admit to not having paid close attention to the federal contest. Not wanting to feel left out the next time a lively debate over Karen McCrimmon’s proposals on income tax reform breaks out at a dinner party, I decided to tie myself down and watch the second Liberal Leadership Debate this weekend.

Of course “debate” is a charitable way to describe what

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberals One-on-One

Calgary Grit: Cast Your Vote

The always insightful Pundits Guide reviews the federal Liberal Leadership rules and deadlines here, and suggests someone take it upon themselves to set up a sample ballot for the people of the Internet to stuff.

So, here you go. Cast your vote.

Calgary Grit: Cauchon is in

Considering how long people have talked about Martin Cauchon running for leadership and how long Martin Cauchon has resisted the urge to run for leadership, it was surprising to see him jump into the LPC race mere hours before the deadline to declare.

It will be interesting to see how Cauchon positions himself, but he’s certainly a welcome addition to the contest. Despite being out of the game for a few years, he has nearly as much MP experience as the rest of the field combined. Cauchon will no doubt highlight his record as the Justice Minister who decriminalized pot

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Cauchon is in

Calgary Grit: Getting Dumped

He may have baked you lasagna, but Glen has moved on and found someone new.

Today, Glen Murray bowed out of the Ontario Liberal leadership race and David Merner took a pass at the federal job. The reaction to both announcements has ranged from a shrug to an in-depth analysis on the impact this would have on the other candidates’ chances. Overlooked has been the human element.

It’s never easy for a politician to pull the plug on a leadership campaign. In most cases, it’s something they’ve dreamed about and worked towards for years. Imagine you’d devoted your entire life

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Getting Dumped

Calgary Grit: Rumeur Du Jour

I’m hearing that signature sheets are being circulated for a Martin Cauchon Liberal leadership run. If this is true, he’s cutting it close – the deadline to enter is this Sunday.

To date, 7 candidates have officially declared. Rumour has it David Bertschi will become an official candidate today, and David Merner will take a pass, leaving the final field at 8 or 9, pending Cauchon’s decision.

Calgary Grit: 2013 A Make It Or Break It Year For The Liberal Party

Making predictions in a sport as unpredictable as politics is very much a fool’s errand. I don’t think anyone saw Dalton McGuinty’s retirement or Justin Trudeau’s left hook coming in 2012. Hell, even something as routine as an Alberta PC election victory turned into a whirlwind thriller.

What we do know, however, is that amidst all the political surprises, 2013 is likely to be one of the most important years ever for big “L” Liberalism in Canada.

Most eyes will be on the federal race where, at the risk of brazenly going against my previous disclaimer about the unpredictable nature

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: 2013 A Make It Or Break It Year For The Liberal Party

Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Pool

Who will cross the finish line first?

While a Justin Trudeau cakewalk in the Liberal leadership race doesn’t seem quite as inevitable as it did two weeks ago, most pundits still regard his win as inevitable. However, while discussing the relative strengths of the Coyne and Takach campaigns over drinks last week, it occurred to me there’s a fair amount of intrigue as you move down the ballot. Kind of like betting whether the Marxist-Leninists can beat the Animal Alliance in your riding.

With that in mind, I present the ultimate test for policos – the Calgary Grit Liberal Leadership

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Pool

Calgary Grit: Interview with David Bertschi

After brunch with David Merner and my trip to the George Takach launch, my tour of lesser known Liberal leadership candidates lands on David Bertschi today.

While not an “official” candidate yet, Bertschi has been campaigning longer than most. He was the first candidate to launch a website, and even released a Hollywood-style trailer in March.

The transcript below highlights the majority of my phone interview with David Bertschi a few weeks ago. A few paragraphs were edited out to keep it a reasonable length, but I’ve included all of his major points.

What’s the 20 or 30

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Interview with David Bertschi

Calgary Grit: Rick Mercer on the Liberal Leadership Race

Calgary Grit: George Takach Joins the Field

Last Thursday, George Takach became the…I dunno…54th? 55th? person you’ve never heard of to declare for the federal Liberal leadership race. Takach launched at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery Centre, before flying to Calgary (as all Liberal leadership candidates are constitutionally mandated to do). On paper, Takach is likely the least exciting candidate in the race. He has never run for office, and it’s not like Toronto lawyers are crying out for their voice to be heard in the Liberal Party. However, … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: George Takach Joins the Field

Calgary Grit: Bring on the Astronaut Puns

The moment headline writers have been waiting for all summer has finally arrived, with Marc Garneau set to formally launch his Liberal leadership candidacy this week. Despite having a lengthy string of post-nominal letters after his name, and the most impressive CV of any Member of Parliament, Garneau enters this leadership race as a heavy underdog. Ironically, the astronaut simply lacks the star power to compete with Justin Trudeau. Despite being a genuine Canadian hero and an experienced parliamentarian, Garneau … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Bring on the Astronaut Puns

Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers

Last week, Martha Hall Findlay and Karen McCrimmon declared their candidacies for the Liberal leadership race. This week, George Takach has taken the plunge. I’ve posted one blog interview with David Merner, and will have others with David Bertschi and Alex Burton next week. Deborah Coyne, meanwhile, has already released more fresh ideas than we’ve seen from Stephen Harper during his entire tenure as Prime Minister. These are seven very different candidates with seven very different messages, but the one … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Canada’s Greatest Losers

Calgary Grit: Not Just a Pretty Face

To date, Justin Trudeau has run a safe leadership campaign. He’s smiled, talked about how he loves Canada, and made helping the Middle Class his core theme. That’s a perfectly acceptable way for Justin to introduce himself to voters, but it’s still the most innocuous campaign theme imaginable – even a “pro-sunshine and pro-puppies” message would have forced Justin to answer tough questions about skin cancer and pit bulls. You won’t find anyone who disagrees with helping the middle class. … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Not Just a Pretty Face

Calgary Grit: Liberal Heartland Calgary

Wednesday was not a typical day for Calgary Grits. While leadership candidates must all fly into town, knowing the party’s weighted-by-riding leadership system makes a vote there far more valuable than a vote in Toronto, I have never seen a serious candidate launch their leadership campaign from the heart of Conservative country. But there was Martha Hall Findlay at the Stampede grounds, declaring her intentions to run for Liberal leader. It’s tempting to write off the Calgary launch as a … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberal Heartland Calgary

Calgary Grit: Time To Return Those “Dalton4Leader” T-Shirts

I can’t imagine anyone seriously thought he would run, but Dalton McGuinty has made it official that he will not be entering the Federal Liberal Leadership Race.

While the race will not officially kick off for another 3 weeks, with each passing day it becomes more and more clear that the field will be Justin Trudeau, Marc Garneau (likely), Martha Hall Findlay (maybe), and whoever among the mish-mash of no-names can come up with the $75,000 entry fee.

Calgary Grit: Great Moments in Political Analysis

You’ve got to love anonymous Liberals:

A source in one of the developing campaigns for two Ontario Liberals who have been laying groundwork for a federal leadership bid for several months said initial activity by McGuinty organizers has included extensive public opinion polling.

“I’ve heard from a couple of sources this morning that the McGuinty camp has been polling for over a month, they’ve done two polls,” the source said.

He told The Hill Times that if McGuinty enters the race, with the vast network of organizers he and his campaign teams have built over the past 16 years

Calgary Grit: Ready Or Not, Here He Comes

Xavier Trudeau (left) has quickly emerged as the 2051 Liberal leadership frontrunner.

Today marks the 12 year anniversary of the first time Liberals recognized there was something special about Justin Trudeau. Justin’s moving eulogy of his father brought Liberals to tears but, Liberals being Liberals, it also made many of them wonder if one day Justin was destined to return to 24 Sussex. This was a kid worth keeping an eye on.

Flash forward six years. At the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal, Justin Trudeau became a rock star, with swarms of adoring fans following him wherever he went. By

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Ready Or Not, Here He Comes

Calgary Grit: Trudeau’s Challenging Cakewalk

With victory almost assured, Trudeau can work on his form, rather than swing for the knock-out

Now that we have confirmation about what we’ve known all summer, and now that we’ve exhausted every conceivable boxing-is-politics metaphor, we can begin speculating about what the Justin Trudeau leadership campaign will look like. Names of some key players are beginning to leak out, but it will likely be months before we truly get a sense of the type of campaign Trudeau plans to wage.

What we do know is that it will be a campaign like none before, simply because Justin Trudeau

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Trudeau’s Challenging Cakewalk

Calgary Grit: Meet David Merner

David Merner, or as he will soon be known to Canadians watching Liberal leadership debates – “that guy standing next to Justin Trudeau”

On Sunday, long shot Liberal leadership candidate David Merner sat down for brunch with a few Toronto area bloggers, for an informal chat about the future of the Liberal Party. Merner is best known as one of the “unknown” leadership aspirants, so if you’re looking to better know him, I’ve summarized the highlights of our conversation below.

Merner on Mergers

Merner has been labelled as the “merger candidate” by some, but he quickly dismissed that, preferring the

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Meet David Merner