Listening to Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie the other day was a surprise political event. It was the first time I had seen her give a speech to an audience. She was working without notes and she had that audience of liberals in the palm of her hand. This lady is an entertainer.
And her audience of Barrie, Ontario liberals loved her. It was the largest gathering of liberals I had seen in one place in Barrie in the last eight years. Ms. Crombie reminded me of the Cinderella character who greets visitors at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. That was probably because she worked in communications with the Disney Company at one time while she was married. That Disney experience is golden.
But she also reminded me of the late Bill Davis. The former conservative premier was a politician who could hold an audience with charm and humour. Since the time of J.J. (Joe) Greene, who was prime minister Lester Pearson’s Minister of Agriculture, from Renfrew, Ontario, we have seen few liberal politicians who can enthrall an audience. Bonnie Crombie might just be one of those elite.
Bonnie had a simple message: The Ontario liberals are back. People are proud to be liberal again. She is particularly reaching out to all the small towns in Ontario, telling them that they no longer need to feel isolated and neglected by liberals. It was a very smart pitch as the liberal backroom boys and girls on the executive of the party had decided that all electoral districts are created equal and each would only have 100 votes no matter what their real membership might be. That means that a rural riding with a few liberal diehards could have 10 to 20 times the voting strength of a liberal in a riding with a thousand or more members.
It was also impressive that Ms. Crombie wasted little of her time on the incumbent conservative government. Her comments on the way the conservative government is trying to fix our healthcare were amusing and very much to the point. She has no good words for their opening up clinics that are hoping to make money with their additions to Medicare costs.
I can see now why my old friend Hazel McCallion endorsed Bonnie Crombie to replace her in the mayor’s chair in Mississauga. This lady has the skills.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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