Monday, October 02, 2006

If Kennedy Is Dead, Then So Is Dion

I can't really blame all the spin from Dion supporters that effectively proclaims Kennedy dead, while Dion sits pretty. The actual numbers suggest both men in relatively the same position- bridesmaids. There are a million possible scenarios, or perfect storm outcomes as I see it, but realistically both men share the same fate.

Dion has "growth" potential. All the polls I have seen show Rae with ample potential as well, so that argument is largely a wash- especially when the Quebec candidates remain in for the long haul. Assume Dion finishes third or fourth on the first ballot, that fact makes an en masse delegate move all the less probable. This hope defies simple psychology in my mind, and lacks practicality. Ignatieff will have his 35% to start with and is bound to pick up some support on subsequent ballots. Does Rae simply die on the vine after the first ballot? I think it reasonable to see Ignatieff around 40% or higher after two ballots, which makes the big move to Dion beyond risky- back a loser and lose out on the spoils? People would have to be pretty certain that everyone would move the same way, which seems counter-intuitive, given the many variables at play, not to mention historical precedent. The only chance to overtake Ignatieff lies with the second place finisher, and even that scenario has pitfalls. No one has gone to Dion to date, why would we expect everyone to walk to his perch.

A candidate can't deliver all his delegates, and the desire to back the winner will have some bearing. If you want to dismiss Kennedy, then it would seem Dion suffers the same fate. Afterall, delegates are delegates and positioning is everything. Two peas in a pod. Delegates and candidates aren't cattle, which makes all the Dion arguments more about passion than reason IMHO. Feel free to disagree.


Anonymous said...

Kennedy and Dion need to act fast and work together somehow to keep the Liberal Party an electable entity.

Rae and Ignatieff will only ensure Harpers neocons win again.

Anonymous said...

kennedy is dead in quebec, therefore dead to most liberals as a leader, unfair maybe but its the truth

Steve V said...

"kennedy is dead in quebec"

True, and yet he has virtually the same support as Dion. What does that say about Dion outside of Quebec? Kind of works both ways.

Scott Tribe said...

The difference is: Dion has at least credible slates of candidates everywhere else in Canada, while Kennedy is a non-entity in Quebec. I fully expect Dion to retake third place after these last 60 ridings are counted because of that, and I think it puts more pressure on Gerard to come to Dion's side then the other way around. IF it came right down to it, I'd see Dion supporting Rae far sooner then I would Kennedy, simply because Rae also has slates of candidates across Canada, and has a very respectable showing in Quebec.

Steve V said...

"I fully expect Dion to retake third place after these last 60 ridings are counted because of that"

I hardly think a decimal point here and there is really relevant now Scott. As an aside, for every pundit I have heard speak about Kennedy in Quebec, I have also heard of Dion's "poor" showing in Ontario.

jeremy kirouac said...

Dion had a pretty good showing in Ontario. All things considered, it was Rae's homeground to lose. And he didn't do too well.

My personal feeling is you are attacking Dion because your candidate has some image problems. Please don't lash out.

I believe that Kennedy will be courted by both Dion and Rae and whatever direction he decides will change the circumstances of this race fundamentally. If he goes to Rae, Dion's out. If he goes to Dion, I think Rae's out. I really really hope that Kennedy and Dion can come together peacefully for the betterment of the Liberal party and Canada as a whole.

A View From The Left said...

Dion had 6 times the showing in Ontario as Kennedy did in Quebec, so the two aren't really comparable. Dion didn't do horribly in any province while Kennedy came in a point and a half behind Volpe in Quebec. Therefore fair to say that he has nowhere near the support he needs in order to win in Quebec - which will be key for the Liberals in the next election.

Steve V said...

"My personal feeling is you are attacking Dion because your candidate has some image problems. Please don't lash out."

Jeremy, I'm not lashing out, but I find it funny that Dion is still in the game and has the same support as Kennedy the dead guy. I like Dion, alot.

Steve V said...

"Dion had 6 times the showing in Ontario as Kennedy did in Quebec"

The fun with numbers. 10% now suddenly seems extraordinary.

The New Liberal Movement said...

That's why the question right now is about momentum. Kennedy and Dion should sit together in the next FEW days and discuss how to take this further.

The reason Kennedy should do that is because he cannot create a Quebec campaign when he had none to begin with, and the other candidates have had theirs for several months.

Dion did too well nationally just to hand Kennedy a Quebec campaign he never bothered building on his own.

There needs to be some serious negotiations between these two.

Steve V said...

Dion is already working. I heard him on Newman's show, referring to Ignatieff's Quebec delegates as "soft", implying he would court them.

Jeremy, as an aside. I posted last week on how I felt Dion was best positioned, so that should speak to "attacking".

knb said...

Congratulations Steve. You're guy did really well and I suspect better than most thought he would.

It's going to be interesting to watch from here on in. Kennedy is so passionate about how he wants to re-shape the party, from the top down, it'll be interestng to see who among the candidates warms to his ideas.

I heard he's heading back to Quebec tonight, so it remains to be seen what support he can raise there. By the same token, it remains to be seen if Rae can increase his fortunes in Ontario, though I'm not seeing that. Dion has work to do as well. All of that said, Ignatieff, cannot rest on his laurels, so I'm looking forward to the next couple of months.

I hope throughout it all, it remains civil.

Steve V said...


"I hope throughout it all, it remains civil."

I suspect it will, the dynamics disallow mean-spirited politics. I'm not sure how much good it will do Kennedy to go to Quebec, but its great to see him make the effort.

Jeremy Kirouac said...

It may remain civil between Rae, Kennedy and Dion but most likely the knives will be out for Iggy.

Steve, I also like Kennedy and it may be that he will be future PM someday. The reason people are saying that Kennedy is dead is his non-performance in Quebec. That is essential to getting elected PM in Canada. Yes he performed remarkably well in the rest of Canada so he IS a person of considerable political clout.

Dion-Kennedy for the betterment of the Liberal party and Canada as a whole.

Steve V said...

"Dion-Kennedy for the betterment of the Liberal party and Canada as a whole."

Seems to be a theme developing. BTW Jeremy, I enjoyed our "geek" conversation the other night :)

Jeremy Kirouac said...

Me too Steve. As one blogger put it, looking at the results of super weekend was like a crack addiction.

Also, I'll be writing a piece later today about liberal party renewal. Seems to me that teams Rae and Iggy are organized by the old guard; and that Dion and Kennedy represent real liberal renewal.

Looks like it's gonna take a fight to get real renewal. The one good thing though is that the old guard is divided into camps Iggy and Rae.

jnpliberal said...


The facts:
1) Dion bombed in Ontario- 10%
2) This is a worse result than Kennedy getting 2% in Quebec because Dion has been well known in Ontario for years, What is his excuse??????
3) Kennedy is not going to Dion

Jeremy Kirouac said...

What is your definition of facts jnpliberal?