The Morning Line: Harinder Takhar at 20 – 1.

Somebody has to come last. The one thing that stands out about the Mississauga-Erindale MPP’s campaign for the leadership is that it seems to be a parody of everything that is wrong with the McGuinty Liberal government in Ontario. It is as simple as Dalton Mcguinty and his treasurer saying that the provincial deficit must be brought under control. So, good Liberal Harinder makes the deficit his job one!

There is a propaganda sheet e-mailed frequently from the Liberal Party to Liberals across the province called the Daily Wire. You get the impression that Harinder reads it instead of the Globe and Mail.

To be fair, Harinder’s recent suggestion of using provincial bonds to fund infrastructure needs in the province is a better approach to an old problem and it is worth some study.

When the Liberal Party started to have trouble with ethnic groups taking over riding associations back in the late 1980s, the unimaginative solution was to concentrate more power around the party leadership. It has produced a steady downhill slide of the quality of politicians in this country and the highly centralized party structures that are, in turn, destroying the value of parliament and legislatures. It is also close to destroying the last vestiges of democracy in Canada’s political parties.

While Harinder is obviously highly regarded among those with roots in the Indian Sub-continent, he has to realize that is hardly a sufficient base for a try at the Premier’s job. He is going to gather between 100 and 150 votes on the first ballot and then be dropped from the voting.

But that, in itself, is helpful because the first ballot does not often determine the winner in this type of controlled convention. The second ballot is more meaningful as it really shows where the support lies. Harinder’s loyal followers will be welcome in any of the other camps should he be able to take them with him to support one of the other candidates. We suspect that Harinder already knows he is going to advise his supporters to back Sandra Pupatello.

And there you have it: Windsor’s Sandra Pupatello the early favourite at 5 – 2 odds; Gerard Kennedy the favourite of the party progressives at 4 – 1; Kathleen Wynne MPP, surprisingly in the third place money at 6 – 1; Eric Hoskins MPP, a future threat at 9 – 2; Charles Sousa MPP, badly prepared in the race at 9 – 1; an ill-advised Glen Murray MPP, back in the pack at 15 – 1,  and: Harinder Takhar MPP, bringing up the rear at 20 – 1.

With the convoluted voting procedures and the shaky mathematics involved, we have no idea who will be the elected delegates to the convention in Toronto on January 25 and 26. All we know is that the party executive who agreed to this arrangement should be ashamed of themselves. This is not the way to select a leader for a modern political party.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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