Musings —01.17.2012 01:10 AM—
If the vitality of a political party can be measured by bums in seats, then the former Natural Governing Party is the picture of rosy-cheeked health.
More than 3,300 Grits converged here for a policy convention this past weekend. That’s remarkable because policy conventions tend to be pretty dull affairs.
The Lib turnout was remarkable for another reason: The weather. Can you think of any other place you’d rather be than Ottawa — one of the coldest national capitals in the world — in the middle of January? Can you understand why thousands would risk life and limb to travel in the middle of a big winter storm to get there?
I sure couldn’t. About 1,500 delegates would have been a success. But more folks turned out than the governing Conservatives and the official opposition New Democrats got at their most-recent policy conflabs — combined. The Tories and Dippers present this weekend as observers looked shocked by that, and they should be.
Not bad for a party that many gave up for dead back in May 2011, when Michael Ignatieff led it to its worst election showing in history — a third-place rump in the House of Commons.