Monday, September 21, 2009

Iggy Blows Off Another Progressive

In my best Iago-the-Parrot voice:

"Oh there's a big surprise! That's an incredible - I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die of not surprise!"

For those Americans who may not be familiar with Canadian candidate nominations, there are no primaries. Instead there are private members' nomination meetings. But, critically, candidates can be appointed by the leadership. Yes, the people who nominally choose the leader can be chosen in turn by the leader.

(Yes, I said "Canada". Not "Iran". Though I can appreciate the confusion.)

Now, this is generally a tremendously bad idea. If the people on the ground don't get to choose their candidate, they have no stake in the candidate...and if they have no stake in the candidate, they aren't going to do the heavy lifting that turns a candidate into a parliamentarian. So this was kind of an extreme move.

So who, exactly, was so odious that he got turfed aside by the leadership?

Martin Cauchon, the former justice minister who made history with same-sex marriage and his effort to decriminalize marijuana, has apparently lost in his bid to re-enter politics.

The Liberal Party is expected to run a prominent businesswoman in Montreal's Outremont riding, a onetime Liberal fortress Mr. Cauchon once held for 11 years.
And from a relatively prominent Canadian blogger, Adam Radwanski:

On one side, you've got a former justice minister who was at the forefront of his party's socially liberal agenda earlier this decade, and who's taken time off from his law career to contribute thoughtful essays on the future of federalism. On the other, you've got a former immigration minister best remembered for the Shane Doan idiocy, who's managed to veer off-course even as an opposition critic.

If Ignatieff were to choose the latter to the exclusion of the former, it would say a great deal about what he looks for in people, and what he wants his party to look like.
Well, I think it's pretty clear what he wants his Liberal party to look like: "not terribly liberal".

Yep, Iago, heart attacks all 'round.

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