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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: 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: 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

Calgary Grit: The Race Is On

Justin Trudeau and Martha Hall Findlay appear ready to roll

The Liberal Party has released the rules for its leadership race, effectively sounding the starting pistol.

The finish line will be April 14th in Ottawa, when the leader is announced. There’s still no word on exactly how that vote will be conducted, though I assume there will be a mail/online/phone option for those who don’t travel to the convention.

The first draft of the rules made reference to a “leadership showcase and debate” to be held on April 6th in Toronto. Although that line has been deleted, I hope

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Race Is On

The Equivocator: David Merner and the Conversation the Liberal Party Needs to Have

David Merner (left) and Alberta Liberal Party president Todd Van Vliet (right.)

“It’s funny, I thought I would be running as a pro-business, pro-environment West-coast Liberal but it looks like I’ve become the ‘cooperation candidate.‘” That was former LPC(BC) President David Merner’s reaction when I told him that I had read Gloria Galloway’s article in the Globe and Mail and I had some questions for him about Liberal/NDP cooperation.

Mr. Merner held a meet-and-greet in Toronto at the Duke of York on Friday (it was the second of these type of events that I had attended in

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: David Merner and the Conversation the Liberal Party Needs to Have

CuriosityCat: Why the Liberal Party rules for choosing a new leader favour David Merner

David Merner has a long history with the Liberal Party; was president of one of the few hot spots of political life and ferment in the Party; is a fighter by training by virtue of being a litigating lawyer, and by intrinsic genetic disposition. And now he plans to run for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and has started off the bat supporting pre-election electoral ceasefire between the NDP, LPC and Greens in the next election. With two major tweaks to his announced platform, Merner could cobble together a winning platform, as I suggested in an earlier post . . . → Read More: CuriosityCat: Why the Liberal Party rules for choosing a new leader favour David Merner

The Equivocator: In Defense of “Second Tier” Candidates

On July 4th Bob Hepburn wrote this silly article: “Warning to Liberals: Beware delusional no-hope leadership candidates.” I would like to defend these so-called “no-hope” candidates.

The next Liberal leader is unlikely to be elected Prime Minister in 2015. We must have a 2 election strategy. The Liberal Party cannot keep jettisoning our leaders or the media’s wish that we cease to exist will come true. If you look at Thomas Mulcair’s name recognition at the beginning of the NDP leadership race it was extremely low outside of Quebec. So far, there have been more articles on the

. . . → Read More: The Equivocator: In Defense of “Second Tier” Candidates

A BCer in Toronto: A Coyne (not that one) enters the race and a BCer (not me) comes close

With summer underway the Liberal  Party of Canada leadership race is starting to heat up (yes, I do feel horrible for writing that) with a few recent developments to report.

For one, a Coyne has declared (no, not Andrew). It’s Deborah Coyne, who will have to remind the media that she does indeed have a first name, and isn’t just “Justin Trudeau’s half-sister’s mother” as one media outlet akwardly put it this morning. Or just Andrew’s cousin.

…she says she’s running because she believes Canadians are fed up with polarizing partisanship and that gives the Liberal party a

. . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: A Coyne (not that one) enters the race and a BCer (not me) comes close

Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Wednesdays: Coyne4Leader

Future CPC attack ad: “Deborah Coyne climbed Mount Kilimanjaro – were the Rockies not good enough for her?”

It’s worth noting that at this stage in the Liberal Leadership Race, the line between a “declared” and “undeclared” candidate is a thin one. Until the rules and entry fees are set, there’s no way of knowing how many of the lesser known contenders will actually follow through and run. I remember there were 16 candidates on stage for a Liberal Leadership Debate at the LPCA convention in 2006 – this included Roby Dhalla, Joe Fontana, Paul Zed, John McCallum, and

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Liberal Leadership Wednesdays: Coyne4Leader

Impolitical: Liberal leadership movement

A few developments to note. First up, word came last night of LPCBC President David Merner’s announcement that he is leaving that position in order to run for leader. I spoke with David on the weekend while he was at the LPCA meeting in Edmonton. Merner is a native Albertan, living in Victoria, who has worked in Ottawa at the Department of Justice. Is fluently bilingual. So fluent that he played on French hockey teams while living in Ottawa. And wrote the Ontario Bar in French. That’s pretty darned bilingual.

Also notable about Merner, he sits on the advisory board

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Calgary Grit: An update on all the people MAYBE running for Liberal leadership

The expectation is that rules for the Liberal leadership race will come down in June, setting the stage for a summer of getting to know the men and women wanting to lead Canada’s third party.

But while we won’t know the rules of the race for another month or two, that hasn’t limited speculation in the interim…or speculation about the interim leader, for that matter.

Back in January, I looked at the ten most commonly rumoured Liberal leadership candidates…and 18 fun longshots – the Naheed Nenshis and Amanda Langs of the world. Today, an update on the

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: An update on all the people MAYBE running for Liberal leadership