Monday, December 04, 2006

Good Ole Politicking

So Saturday was supposed to be a day to watch a little college football... yeah my Cougs are out of it but still college football is hard to beat in my book.

As guys tend to do I picked up the remote control during a commercial and checked out what else was on. And there it was...Live coverage of Canada's Liberal Party convention from Montreal. Issues aside I was hooked, unlike the modern day US political convention where very little is actually decided on scene, our neighbors to the north showcased a fasinating display of old fashioned politics.

Eight candidates came in with the hope of becoming the leader of their party. Fifty percent plus one vote of the valid votes cast is necessary to gain the victory. Delegates vote and after each ballot the candidate with the lowest tally is dropped and then they can endorse another candidate or release their followers to vote how they see fit.

What I loved were the deals and the negotiating that were taking place on the fly. If your candidate wasn't going to go as far as you hoped then you "swam to the next closest island". Such deals won the nomination for St├ęphane Dion who came from the middle of the pack to finish first on the fourth and final ballot. As candidates fell off or dropped themselves most got behind Dion, what started as a ripple quickly became a tidal wave.... very impressive to see.

Having watched the American version of political conventions it was refreshing, less rehearsed and full of genuine emotion as politics were meant to be.


At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched a good deal of the convention and was impressed with the event as well. I'm very pleased that Dion won - he's a quiet, thoughtful, intelligent man who can do a lot for Canada. I was especially impressed with his inclusion of all candidates in the "liberal dream team" in his final speech - he's a class act and will no doubt bring the feuding liberal party together.

Good to hear that our neighbours to the south take an interest in our far less publicized political events!

At 4:07 PM, Blogger William A. Smith said...

I didn't have a grasp on the candidates before seeing the convention, but I tend to agree with your assessment of Dion based on my observations. I thought Bob Rae was a little too much of a politician for my taste (granted I have zero say in the matter).

I caught part of the behind the scene coverage last night on CBC's Sunday Night and that was impressive as well. I loved seeing the Kennedy supporter and him watching wait to see what side of the Dion/Kennedy deal they fell on. When Dion overtook Kennedy that was a real moment and his reaction was real and heartfelt, have to respect that passion.

I truly think if the US system was a bit more like what I witnessed more of us Americans might feel more a part of the political system.

Thanks for chiming in from the north!


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