The provincial candidate is a traveller.

One of our first experiences in party leadership activities was driving the candidate to riding meetings around Ontario. At first we spent the time on these journeys discussing policies and people. The candidate’s wife, who we had to take along, quickly tired of our discussions and, to keep her happy, we sometimes invited Bob Nixon and his wife to join us. The candidate was Charles Templeton and this was the 1964 provincial leadership.

The point of this is the emphasis on candidates getting out to meet potential voters. That has not changed in the past 50 years. Facebook does not replace physically meeting the candidates. In this Ontario race we find that Sandra Pupatello has been to Kitchener and Ottawa and that seems to indicate that she is serious about the race. Most agree that she is one of the leading candidates but Toronto Star writer Bob Hepburn thinks that she will win the contest anyway because she is not from Toronto or the GTA.

Meanwhile, the other leading candidate, former Toronto MPP and MP Gerard Kennedy, announced his candidacy in London, Ontario and has shown that he knows the way to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls to press the flesh and win some endorsements. It was good to see that he picked up the endorsement of Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor. An MPP since 2003, Craitor was frank about how he wanted more say for members in the Legislature and in decisions that are supposedly made by the Liberal government.

We have five also-rans in the race as the nominations close. The early birds, MPP’s Kathleen Wynne and Glenn Murray are fighting for the same votes in downtown Toronto. They are probably wasting their time. MPP Eric Hoskin’s seems out of his depth in the race and maybe needs more time in the Legislature to be taken seriously. MPP Charles Sousa from Mississauga is likely to be mistaken for a Torontonian but will also carry the can for the cancelled gas plant in Mississauga. He can also forget it. Last but not least is MPP Harinder Takhar, also from Mississauga. He is probably the best educated member of the Legislature and should know better than to go after McGuinty’s job.

Our advice to all these candidates is to rent a bus, paste some signs on it, get a few good advance people ahead of you and start driving this province. If you work really hard, you can take Christmas Day off to visit the family. If the family complains, tell them to get used to it!


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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