We might have to ask the Roman Church for help on this. It seems the liberal party in Ontario is stalled in some phase of existence that might take strong prayers to bring it through.
But just where it will end up is a good question. What the party leaders suggest is simply a leaderless phase, it still needs to get through. It could easily turn out to be terminal. I, for one, would be sorry to see that happen.
It was over 60 years ago that I joined the combined federal and Ontario provincial liberal parties. There was a liberal government in Ottawa and a conservative government in Ontario. The attitude was that all the party needed was a good leader in Ontario and all would come together.
I found out that it was not that simple. While Ontario voters do not always differentiate between the federal and provincial levels of politics, they are known to show different attitudes depending on many factors.
I was deeply involved in leadership contests in my early days with the party and later on I organized a few. They were always delegated conventions in those days. There were more than 75,000 paid-up Ontario members and there was no venue that could hold that number. We had to settle for delegated conventions.
The largest of those conventions was the federal party convention in Ottawa that ultimately chose Pierre Trudeau in 1968. Of course, in my usual contrariness, I was working for second place candidate Robert Winters. I spent two months working in the labyrinth under the old Skyline Hotel.
Today it is possible to have every party member vote. Hopefully not in a ranked ballot. We need to think between ballots. We need the best candidate to win, not just the least offensive. The Ontario liberals need strong leadership and there are some good possibilities in the offing.
And we have time to choose a new federal leader. Justin Trudeau’s day is done. It is time for him to wipe off the grease paint and retire to the back benches.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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