Already we've reached the final month of 2006. This year has been quite a whirlwind; has it really been 11 months since we started it? A lot has happened already, and there's still 30 days for memorable moments left to mark 2006.
While it's been a fast-paced 11 months, it's now been slightly more than 3 years since Liberal Leadership Convention 2003. Who, back in those euphoric-filled days, would have believed that it would take less than a full five-year term to deliver the final eulogy on Prime Minister Paul Martin? Certainly not this blogger. So fallen from grace is Martin that "his" evening at the '06 Convention barely elicits a mention from political pundits and former supporters; I didn't even watch the tribute, a far cry from Jean Chretien's send-off. I had a little chuckle the next day when I saw the news showing a "Chretien" towel being held up at the ACC, if only because it was me holding the towel. I think I still have it at home somewhere. That send-off was one of reverence for an able party manager and master politician, a man that had dedicated 40 years of his life to public service. I read today that people barely even mentioned Martin's term as PM, sticking only to "he was the greatest finance minister Canada's ever had."
While it will be a long time before I consider a return to the Liberal Party, I do admit that I miss the excitement and feeling of involvement that comes with attending a big convention. Seeing people that you see only when there's a big party party going on, shooting the political breeze, getting handed free swag like it's going out of style (which, of course, it does; anybody want a Paul Martin scarf? Ha!), moving to the front of the stage to show the enthusiastic support for the party leader, all that stuff. It's fun times. I hear that work even gets done at these things (though not always good work).
I do get a kick out of seeing familiar names, folks that most people have never heard of unless you're "on the inside," still working hard within the party. Alexander Swann was once Ann McLellan's top guy, now he's supporting Bob Rae. Sebastien Theberge used to work for Pierre Pettigrew, now he writes communiques for Michael Ignatieff. I wonder what David Brodie, who was Paul Martin's operations director while Martin a backbencher-plotting-his-coup, is up to these days. He was always really good to me and the other Kelowna Young Liberals, even taking me on a personalized tour of Parliament. Wiki says that he's supporting Gerard Kennedy in this race.
Anyways, that's my reminiscing of days gone by. Now the fun part: Bob Rae is my prediction to win this Leadership race. I would prefer just about anybody else (except Volpe or Brison), but I think that's where it's going to end up. Iggy or Dion would be my top two choices, FWIW. Enjoy the weekend, Liberals, but don't think that whomever you pick is automatically going to be the guy that topples Harper.