Thursday, November 4, 2010

The next leader of the Liberals

There are two ways I will look at this, first of what are the qualities that would make for a good leader that would benefit the party and second who is most likely able to win.

They need to:

  • be someone that can hold a wide spread of political views together in one party
  • be from outside of the current cabinet - the HST is a killer for anyone in the current cabinet
  • bring some new energy to the party, a new set of people
  • have the experience, skills and team needed to run the government, not someone like Bill Vander Zalm who was not able to govern after he took over as Socred leader
  • be able to bridge urban and rural BC
  • have a new vision and program for the government - current people in cabinet will be hardest pressed to do that
  • young enough to be able to realistically run not only in 2013, but 2017 and 2021 - ideally they should be born after 1960

These values are what I see as being important for the benefit of the Liberal party.   A healthy party has a chance to win again in 2013 or will be well placed to be a government in waiting, the right leader could leave the party there.   A bad choice for leader could leave the Liberals a moribund third place party after the 2013 election.   No one should underestimate the potential of the rise of the BC Conservatives in the next election.

Who is most likely to win?

This campaign will be all about who can sign up the most members of the party.  This means anyone that has a strong network through out the ridings is most likely to win.   Leadership races are not about convincing people who is best, it is about who can sign up the most members, that is it.   If Bill Vander Zalm could sign up enough members he could win the leadership.   Gordon Wilson lost the leadership of the party because he could not be bothered to sign up members.

Top of my list of people that can sign up members is Kevin Falcon.    Second is Rich Coleman.  After than I am not sure who is likely able to put the team together that can sign up the people.  If some good people got behind Diane Watts I think her team would have an easier time getting people to sign up.

As much as I like Mike de Jong and George Abbott, I am not sure either one has the connections to be able to put a team together to win the race.   I also not sure either one will run.

Christy Clark is married to a man that might be able to put a team together for her and get the memberships, but I am not sure they have the network in the province to be able to get it done fast enough.

If some one were to get Keith Martin to run, I think he could get a lot of non-Liberals to sign up to the party just to support him to become leader.  

Sukh Dhaliwal has a strong and cohesive team of supporters, they have the network of people that could sign up a lot of members very quickly.

None of these people address all of the values that I think are important for the next leader of the Liberals though some of the 'long shots' certainly are closer than the favorite.

The number of candidates will decide if the voting is done in one round or more.   Unless one of the candidates is certain of 50% +1 in the first round, the favorites will need to consider how to attract the supporters of the candidates that fall off of the ballot.
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