Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Robert Chisholm drops out of the race

It is important in Canada for a national leader to be able to speak English and French, so I was surprised when Robert Chisholm decided to enter the race given that he does not speak French.   You can not run a serious leadership race and learn to speak French at the same time.

Chisholm has not yet endorsed anyone in the race but I suspect his stature will matter, especially if it brings with it the endorsement of Nova Scotia premier Darryl Dexter and former Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton.

Why was he running in the first place?  He could not have ever thought he had any realistic chance of winning or even doing well in the race.  He is like five of the other candidates in the race, without any hope of doing well.

The race has two candidates that seem to have any chance of winning and one dark horse.   I have to ask why are the others running?  What do they expect to accomplish by being in the race at all?  The time has come for the bottom five to consider why they are in the race and also consider dropping out.

For someone like Niki Ashton, given that she is so young, running and doing badly will not harm her political future.   She can try to use this as a platform to build her political career.   I am not a fan of people that do this because a leadership race should not be about doing something for a personal benefit.

Nathan Cullen clearly has not chance of winning, so why is he running?   The one issue that sets him apart is his plank that the NDP and Liberals should only nominate one candidate to oppose the Conservatives in which the Conservatives won by less than a majority.   He is young enough that he should still be around for the next leadership race, but I get no sense he will do well at all.   You have to ask why no members of caucus are backing him.

Paul Dewar has some experience and skills but has little traction to his campaign.   What is his goal in running?   He certainly knows he has no chance.   He has more or less no support from Ontario MPPs and not a single MP is backing him.   It says something when not a single caucus colleague will back you.

Romeo Saganash should consider dropping out because I think he is headed towards being embarrassed in the vote.  

Martin Singh - really, why is he running?   What is his goal out of the exercise?

If this was an old style delegate convention, there are benefits to being able to deliver your candidates as you drop off of the ballot.   In this race the leadership candidate has no direct influence over what their supports do with their second and third choice.   I doubt any candidate will come out and publicly declare how they want their supporters to vote for second and third choices.

If, as I suspect, the bottom five will manage a collective 15% of the vote, they will all have very publicly failed.    Getting something as low as 2-5% in an election is not only a rejection, but a fundamental failure of your campaign.
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