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Calgary Grit: Lessons Learned

Goodbye Minister of Finance Takhar. Hello Minister Responsible for Seniors Takhar.

You win some, you lose some. Or so I hear.

Regardless, win or lose, we can all take home valuable lessons from the OLP leadership race – and with no fewer than 5 other Liberal leadership races ongoing in Canada, these are rules all Liberals should heed.

1. Play Nice: It likely shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of the defeated candidates and delegates went to Wynne over Pupatello, considering the latter had spent much of the race belittling them and, just days before the convention, proclaimed “

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Calgary Grit: As Good as Being There

The mainstream media coverage of this weekend’s OLP leadership convention has focused on backroom deals and electoral implications – but this misses the very human element of leadership conventions, which is where blogs still hold a certain degree of relevance.

I therefore encourage everyone to read the following accounts – Misters Goldenberg and Hopkins, especially, provide powerful illustrations of just how meaningful Kathleen’s win was for many.

Adam Goldenberg: Why Wynne’s Win Matters

Matt Hopkins: Kathleen Won

Jeff Jedras: Day 2 a Wynning Day at #olpldr

Jamie Callingham: The Great OLP Leadership Convention of 2013

Calgary Grit: Convention Math

On Saturday, Maple Leaf Gardens was a cauldron of emotions. There were tears, broken promises, dashed dreams, and shrieks of pure unadulterated joy. That’s to be expected when you bring 2,000 people with very different motivations and beliefs together, and ask them to figure out who will govern a province of over 12 million people.

Yet despite all of that, in the end, what mattered more than the signs and scarves and speeches were the cold hard numbers. So it’s worth pausing to study the math behind Kathleen Wynne’s historic victory:

The First Ballot

The big story of the first

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Calgary Grit: #Wynning

I’ll post a recap of the weekend that was and thoughts on the road ahead tomorrow, but for now let me take a moment to congratulate Kathleen Wynne on her well deserved victory. She’s a likable candidate with an impressive record who ran a great campaign, and I was proud to vote for Ontario’s first female and first openly gay Premier on the final ballot.

Calgary Grit: Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Calgary Grit: The Case For Kennedy

This weekend, Liberals from across Ontario will gather at Maple Leaf Gardens for what is likely to be one of the last grand old leadership conventions in Canada. Having 2,000 delegates decide who governs a province of 13 million doesn’t scream “grassroots”, but it makes for one heck of a show. There will be signs, there will be noise makers, there will be t-shirts, there will carefully orchestrated spontaneous outpourings of enthusiasm.

Rumours will fly, candidates will lead their delegates across the floor, and the TV cameras will scramble to find a heartbroken teenager in tears. Whether or not you

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Case For Kennedy

Calgary Grit: Down to the Wire

We’re now down to the stretch drive in the OLP leadership sprint, with the following (still unofficial) delegate count after this weekend’s round of voting:

Pupatello 506 Wynne 468 Kennedy 259 Takhar 244 Sousa 204 Hoskins 104 Independent 67

It’s a fractured field, and that becomes even more apparent when you consider no candidate received over 22% of the actual votes cast. It will come down to the convention, at which point delegates will be free to jump any which way after the first ballot. As history has shown, delegated conventions are unpredictable beasts, so it’s anybody’s guess who exits

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

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Calgary Grit: How They Stand

It’s been hard to get any kind of quantitative read on how the candidates stack up in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race to date. Gerard Kennedy may be leading the polls among Ontarians, Sandra Pupatello may be winning the endorsement race, and Kathleen Wynne may have raised more money dough than anyone else, but none of those numbers give us anything more than a hint of how rank and file Liberals will vote at the delegate selection meetings this weekend.

What may provide more insight into how much support the contenders actually have are the number

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Calgary Grit: Leadership for Change

Yesterday, Steve V blogged about why he’s running as a delegate for Gerard Kennedy in the OLP leadership race, and the point he circled back to was that, for better or worse, Gerard is more genuinely committed to changing the way politics is done in this country than any politician you will ever meet. Kennedy was talking about renewal long before it became an empty buzzword, and he has walked the walk by engaging and empowering grassroots Liberals and constituents throughout his entire political career.

So it should come as no surprise that he has released a substantive party renewal

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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

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Calgary Grit: OLP News Roundup

Bits and pieces of news from the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race, in advance of tonight’s debate in Ottawa.

The Policy Candidate: Glen Murray has released the most detailled policy proposals and routinely peppers his speeches with more facts and figures than you’ll see in a fourth year economics class. For you wonks, be sure to check out his plans for tax reform, party renewal, and Northern Ontario.

The Blog-Friendly Candidate: I got tied up and wasn’t able to make the call, but props to Kathleen Wynne for fielding questions from bloggers last night. Scott Tribe offers

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Calgary Grit: The Air War Begins

The Ontario Liberal Party’s leadership race has been largely fought on the ground until now. With such a tight timeline, the campaigns were forced to focus almost exclusively on signing up new members until November 23rd. There have been polls, endorsements, and a few policies rushed out the door, but most of the race has taken place outside of the public eye. Heck, Harinder Takhar didn’t even declare until after the membership deadline. With that deadline passed, today’s debate in … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Air War Begins

Calgary Grit: Make a Difference

I recognize that most readers of this blog either: a) Don’t live in Ontario or b) Have pretty strong political beliefs So any pitch to join the Ontario Liberal Party is either a case of preaching to the choir, or preaching to atheists. However, if you are an unaffiliated Ontarian and want to make a difference, the deadline to sign up as an OLP member to vote for the next Premier of Ontario is midnight Friday. All Ontario residents 14 … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Make a Difference

Calgary Grit: Kennedy for Ontario

After some bleating about how no one wanted the “poisoned chalice”, an impressive field of six candidates has declared for the OLP leadership race: Glen Murray, Sandra Pupatello, Eric Hoskins, Kathleen Wynne, Charles Sousa, and Gerard Kennedy. All have Cabinet experience, and all are ready to step into the Premier’s chair. I have nothing negative to say about any of the six and will gladly campaign for whichever one of them scrambles across the finish line first in this race. … . . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Kennedy for Ontario

Calgary Grit: Your Weekly OLP Leadership Update: Can Kennedy Restore a Liberal Camelot?

With the membership cut-off fast approaching, it seems likely we’ll have a good idea of the field of candidates to replace Dalton McGuinty within a few days. This week, Laurel Broten, Brad Duguid, and George Smitherman added their names to the list of those taking a pass, prompting a round of “no one wants this job” headlines.

The reality of the situation is far different. It seems almost certain the race will have between 4-6 viable candidates, with a couple more along for the ride. That’s as competitive as any leadership contest in recent memory, and you can be

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Your Weekly OLP Leadership Update: Can Kennedy Restore a Liberal Camelot?

Calgary Grit: OLP Leadership Update

While Federal Liberal leadership aspirants are free to subject their candidacy to a year-long striptease before declaring, Ontario Liberals do not have the luxury of time. With the membership cut-off in just four weeks, there’s little time to play coy.

Yasir Naqvi mulled it over for a few days before deciding to bide his time for a future bid. This week, Dwight Duncan and Chris Bentley both announced they would not be candidates for the leadership – or the next election. Both decisions are understandable given the amount of time these men have spent in politics, and the baggage they

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Calgary Grit: OLP Leadership Mad Dash

While the federal Liberals chose a lengthy marathon to replace Michael Ignatieff, their provincial cousins sounded the starter’s pistol on a mad sprint this past weekend. Heck, maybe “roller derby” is the more apt sports analogy.

The next Premier of Ontario will be selected on January 25th, but the date that matters is November 23rd – that’s the deadline to become a member to vote or run in the leadership race.

That may seem like a rush, but the party’s Executive Council had little choice. With the minority government teetering in prorogation purgatory, the Liberals need a leader quick.

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Calgary Grit: After 16 Years of McGuinty, What’s Next for OLP?

Sixteen years ago, Dalton McGuinty won the Ontario Liberal leadership race at 4:30 am, after 5 rounds of voting. Always one to defy expectations, McGuinty worked his way up from 4th place over the course of 9 hours in what was truly one of the wildest leadership conventions in Canadian history.

Although it’s almost impossible to read a leadership race’s ultrasound just a few days after conception,the early snapshot points to another unpredictable contest.

While many high profile names have shied away from the federal Liberal race, the OLP offers a more attractive prize and a higher probability of success.

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: After 16 Years of McGuinty, What’s Next for OLP?