Murray an early scratch in the Liberal Stakes.

You sure know that MPP Glen Murray is from another province. He upset everything by dropping out of the Ontario Liberal leadership. When this blog reported his standing in the morning line last week, we lamented that he did not have an easy way to drop out.

But he dropped out anyway. And why he would think that his support would help Kathleen Wynne’s campaign is a good question. The reality is that he has shortened the balloting on January 26 and turned what might have been an interesting road race between Gerard Kennedy and Sandra Pupatello into a hit and run. There are no longer enough ballots for Kennedy to accumulate a majority.

MPP Charles Sousa can pretty well decide the race when he now has to drop off after the second ballot. MPP Harinder Takhar will have been dropped after the first ballot and his support will hardly put Sandra Pupatello over the top. It is Sousa’s support for Pupatello that can help her win.

Even if Gerard Kennedy could get ahead of Wynne by the third ballot, the field will have lost the ability to shift enough votes to him to turn it into a Kennedy vs. Pupatello race. It was Murray’s position on the second ballot that was going to let Kennedy pass Wynne. Her support would have split leading to an interesting Kennedy-Pupatello fourth ballot.

But Murray failed to understand that. There is no protocol that says a gay guy should support a lesbian. Wynne has no better chance of winning the province than he did. For the Ontario Liberals to make a statement such as that would be bold. It would also be futile. Murray and Wynne were just window dressing in this campaign.

And why, after spending time making Murray look bad, has his campaign chair now gone to Sandra Pupatello? What has Sandra done to deserve another millstone? Is Dwight Duncan not enough of a handicap for her?

We can no longer refer to the candidates as the magnificent seven. They are now the silly six. All the wheels are greased for Pupatello and there are few obstacles. There is no fourth ballot resurrection for anybody else. Gerard Kennedy failed to grab the brass ring when it came by for the last time. Kathleen Wynne is no progressive and too old. Eric Hoskins went from a self-deprecating humour to desperation. Charles Sousa has learned that nice guys finish last. And Harinder Takhar was playing a different game.

But, most annoying of all, in this fiasco, Glen Murray’s supporters will now be lumped in with independent candidates for delegate positions. Where does that leave those liberals who really are independent and are worried about the party?

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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