Monday, June 18, 2012
Why does anyone listen to franky? PARLIAMENT HILL—The Liberal leadership would be a slam-dunk for “Papineau Pugilist” Liberal MP Justin Trudeau if he decides to toss his hat into a bigger ring, says veteran political analyst and pollster Frank Graves. The Liberal leadership contest that effectively began when interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Ont.) announced last week that he would not run for the permanent leadership post could be a life-or-death decision for the Liberal Party, still barely alive following its historic drubbing at the polls in the 2011 federal election, Mr. Graves told The Hill Times. He agreed the party could be finished if it does not elect a leader who can not only lure Quebec voters away from the NDP, but also regain ground the party lost to the Conservatives in and around vote-rich Toronto. “That’s obviously an apocalyptic scenario, but it’s certainly highly possible. That would have been unthinkable five years ago, but, yeah, absolutely,” Mr. Graves said. But, even though Mr. Graves agreed Liberals may believe Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) is best poised to lead them out of the wilderness in Quebec while boosting prospects in Ontario and perhaps even Western Canada, the core forces of Conservative support behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) on the right, combined with a fractured scene on the centre left where votes are split by four parties, suggest even if Mr. Trudeau became leader and boosted Liberal support, it might only help Mr. Harper win the next election in 2015.