Martha Hall Findlay does Babel.

Babel Liberals got 50 minutes with leadership contender, former MP Martha Hall Findlay yesterday. That was fair. If you had to choose between a dozen Babel Liberals and a chance to appear live on CTV2 and do a remote to CTV’s National News, you would also rush the local Liberals.

Have we ever told you that Martha Hall Findlay is smart, sophisticated and sexy?  We have met before. She has a dominant presence and is a glib and knowledgeable speaker. She is just not our kind of Liberal. She is right wing, likes oil-sands pipelines, dislikes farm marketing boards and she lost our favourite electoral district of Willowdale to the Conservatives in the last election. Martha can be a bit controversial.

Yet those few Liberals she met in Babel yesterday were impressed. She got her slip in the debate Saturday out of the way first and everyone was happy that she had apologized to MP Justin Trudeau for the unintentional insult. She did her set piece in a rush and even included a statement on why she is running for the leadership. It seems she wants to revitalize the Liberal Party and she feels this can happen best by her leading it.

Martha became a bit testy when challenged on her appointment to Willowdale riding. She did win it twice. And at no time did she say anything about the party leaders’ ability to appoint candidates in electoral districts. Other candidates are now making it very clear that they will return authority over nominations to the local Liberal Party associations.

There did not seem to be any reason to question Martha on her opinion about cooperating with the NDP. She might have reached across the table and strangled the questioner.

In Martha’s right-wing world, she seems to see the Liberal Party as the responsible managers of the economy and the guardians of Canada’s reputation around the world as peacekeepers and honest brokers. She also seems to see the party as firmly in the camp of free traders, building an economy based on supplying the world with Canada’s resources.

While small in numbers, the meeting with Babel Liberals will do her some good. There were more than a few second votes landed for her in the preferential balloting. And the Liberals she met can influence more votes than were present. This Liberal, not so much.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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