01.17.2012 01:10 AM

In today’s Sun: not dead yet

OTTAWA — Hey! The Liberal party isn’t dead!

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.

15 Comments

  1. Jordan says:

    They may still die if no strong alternative to Rae comes forward for leader.

  2. Carolyn says:

    Great weekend! I saw you around and wanted to say hi but succumbed to shyness…

  3. dave says:

    I watched, off and on, a little of the policy debate and voting on CPAC. I saw a lot of people from Ontario at the microphones. I saw one person from North Van, and a couple of people from Quebec. Maybe I just watched at the wrong times, but I had the impression I was watching an Ontario event.

    • The Doctor says:

      Hey, have a look at a current electoral map of Canada — that’s sort of what the Liberal Party of Canada is these days — “an Ontario event.”

      • Inge says:

        There were 400 delegates from BC

        • dave says:

          Encouraging!
          Many from the prairies?

        • Philip says:

          Don’t go wrecking the Doctor’s favourite script with facts, Inge. He tends to get grumbly about that sort of thing.

          • The Doctor says:

            I was talking about the electoral map. In case you haven’t noticed, in BC the LPC has 0 MPs outside of the City of Vancouver. It has 0 MPs in Alberta. And so on.

            I agree it’s a good sign for the party that 400 delegates from BC showed up.

            I would be interested to know how many delegates there were from Alberta.

            Philip, it’s evident from you post that you know dick about my actual political views.

  4. Michael Radan says:

    Are you telling us the Conservative party is rife with VDs?

  5. Tiger says:

    In Toronto EDAs for the CPC (and the PCPO), these meetings tend to be acclamations. Haven’t had to give a real delegate speech yet, other than to introduce myself.

    Friend of mine on the board of one of the Liberal EDAs in Toronto was acclaimed, too, so it might be a Toronto thing — we’re an apathetic lot.

    • Philip says:

      Thanks for clearing that up Mr. Tulk. One CPC convention delegate is equal to seven normal people, due entirely to the concentrated awesomeness of The Conservative Party.

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