I think that all of you, when you put your pundit hat on, think that the Conservatives are destined to come out victorious in the upcoming get-out-the-vote battle, this spring. What with sky high polling for the PC’s, the Liberals eating NDP votes for lunch, and an unloved administration that has been on the throne since I was one, the whiff of change is in the air. But if you are not confident in your prediction, I am.
I became sure the New Democrats were doomed when I went to the Southdale NDP nomination meeting. Southdale last elected Erin Selby, the undistinguished Cabinet minister who distinguished herself last year by calling for the resignation of the premier. Which made the party bulldogs show her the door. If the Old Autocratic Gang governing this province wants to have a shot at winning the fight for chairs in the legislature, they need to hold Southdale.
So good news when I show up at the selection meeting! 250 to 300 hundred people are there- a huge turn out. And more good news- there is an excellent candidate running, Titi Tigany. She speaks passionately and clearly. She looks good, and most of the attendees are her fans. The other candidate, Dashi Zargani, isn’t bad, he looks friendly and has a good political demeanor. His one flaw is his speaking, his accent is hard to decipher and he can’t even glance up from his written speech. He doesn’t seem campaign ready. And all he gets is the occasional awkward clap when he is making his pitch. But when voting begins, the weakness of the nomination process is acutely evident. Only forty of the people there are paid up party members and therefore able to vote. And you guessed it- they choose Dashi. A big mistake. If the party thinks that going with the lesser of two choices is best, they will find that the people won’t put them first on April 19.