Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Marc Garneau Quits Liberal Leadership Race

The final obstacle for Justin Trudeau to become the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada has dropped out of the race, less than a month before ballots are to be cast. Marc Garneau was the only candidate with even a slim chance of upsetting JT, and the only one to really call him out for soft policy positions during the leadership debates. Today's withdrawal paves the way for Justin to win in a landslide, or as Garneau said; "Let’s give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar". I'm not sure if comparing Trudeau to a Roman despot is a genuine compliment, or a thinly veiled departing punch.

It probably would have been better for the party had Garneau stayed in the race until the new leader was announced, to at least give the appearance of a real competition. Without the astronaut, the "race" is essentially just another coronation. Yes, Martha Hall Findlay is still slugging away, but that hardly counts for anything. The only one who could have presented JT with a real challenge is Bob Rae, but Party brass made sure that wasn't going to happen. It would have been interesting (if not entertaining) to see Bobby debate Justin with both fighting to become Prime Minister, but that's not going to happen.

Trudeau's victory was all but certain even before today's news, with polling continuing to show that if he were the leader, the Liberals would be in a position to win a majority government. Many of those new votes would be coming at the expense of the NDP. Granted, this is polling done before Trudeau has sat even a day as party leader. His fortunes might not be so bright when he's finally put under a microscope. We're talking about somebody with a temper who has had some entertaining outbursts on Parliament Hill, which you can bet we'll be watching over and over again on television commercials over the next 2 years.

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds. The interesting part will be what strategy Tom Mulcair adopts to keep all those old Bloc seats in Quebec. If they are not careful, the NDP is at risk of getting decimated in the next general election, which would be embarrassing for Mulcair. Good luck Tom, you're going to need it!


  1. I am not a Tory supporter, but was interested in the Tory view point on this, and I agree with you. Trudeau was going to win, but this make April 14th a coronation and not a vote. A couple things I'd add is that it continues the liberal tradition of not articulating policy clearly (the Red book was really the last complete and articulated policy the Libs had), and sets up a fight in Quebec, while the CPC will likely be in fine shape in 8 or 9 other provinces.

  2. I too am disappointed. I am centre-right but like to have more than one option to choose from come election time and both Garneau and MHF are ones I would have considered voting for, whereas I would never vote for Justin Trudeau. I think after the Martin-Chretien fights many Liberals are afraid of having any kind of debate when that is what they need to do. They need to realize you don't just become the governing party by having a leader with good looks and a famous father. You need good policies and a strong ground organization and no having a lot of twitter fans doesn't count, I mean actual riding associations with volunteers.