Sunday, October 30, 2011

Too many NDP candidates?

I saw this idea thrown around on a CBC panel and it is common sentiment displayed by the numourous conbot trolls on CBC comment threads.

But I don't see it.

One arguement is that it didn't work very well for the Liberals. But then again- I don't think much would have worked for the Liberals at that points and I think their problems extended well beyond having 8 leadership candidates.

But I was reviewing the 2006 Liberal candidates and fully six of then were (or became) Toronto-area MPs (Hall-Findlay, Volpe, Rae, Ignatieff, Dryden, and Kennedy). The only other two was a Montreal academic (Dion) and Brison the NS MP who was the only rural MP.

My point is that this was part of the Liberal Party's problem- they were far too focused on getting support from urban/acdemic/business elite in Toronto rather then trying to build support across Canada.

The eight (soon to be nine with Ashton) NDP candidates are very representative of the geographic and social diversity across this country.

There is good representation of rural Canada among the leadership candidates:
Saganash- North Quebec
Cullen- Northwestern BC
Ashton (probably)- Northern Manitoba
Singh- Nova Scotia
Chisholm- MP of a NS urban riding with rural portions.

There is also strong urban representation from the media preceived frontrunners:
Topp- Toronto (Peggy Nash is his MP)
Nash- Toronto
Muclair- Montreal
Dewar- Ottawa

Vancouver is left out but not for the lack of a strong candidate in Peter Julian.

The other quirk of the race is the language skills of the candidates- other then the unilingual Chisholm or perhaps Dewar, the contenders are quite gifted in that department.

There are seven fleuently biliinugal candidates.

Two trilinguals: Peggy Nash (English, French, Spanish), and Nathan Cullen (English French, Spanish).

Two quadlinguals: Romeo Saganash (English, French, Spanish, Cree), and Niki Ashton (English, French, Spanish, Greek- though reportedly she is working on her Cree).

That must be some sort of record in Canada.

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