Double history is made with Wynne winning #olpldr


5 years ago, the Democratic Party made history by picking an African-American as their Presidential nominee, and the American people made history by electing him their first African-American president. It is no hyperbole to say that tonight, Ontario Liberals made their own bit of history by a) choosing a woman Premier, and b) choosing an openly gay woman as Premier.

It will only be historic in the same vein as Barack Obama if the people of Ontario elect her back to the Premiership when the next election comes up. That will not be easy; I feel the hard part is not what Wynne’s sexual orientation will be viewed as (potentially in a negative light in rural conservative Ontario), but the fact she inherits a government that is extremely unpopular in the polls and in certain segments of Ontario – which just happens to be rural Ontario. Wynne will need to show that despite being a Cabinet Minister in that government, she can put forth a fresh face and bring forth the policies and change to prove that

On a separate note, I’d like to see Premier Wynne become involved with reaching out to the netroots/grassroots. She had a bloggers conference call during her campaign – the only candidate to do that I might add, and Liberal bloggers who listened – even ones that had declared for other candidates – were suitably impressed with her demeanor and frank answers. We’d like to see some sort of outreach like that continue, when it seems to have been stifled in the past couple of years, when inquiries on that were put forth. (It doesn’t necessarily have to be her, but even if we heard from those in Cabinet or in the Comms Department that were involved in explaining crucial policies, who were willing to hear some feedback, even if it might not be always positive feedback). There’s at least one campaign organizer in Wynne’s camp who knows what I am referring to when I discuss this. I hope that person (who treated us bloggers well with getting us info and Wynne campaign stuff) is involved with that sort of thing and can explain the concept/ideas behind it to Wynne and her team. (UPDATE: BigCityLib says the same thing in his last paragraph or 2 here)

Sandra Pupatello and the other candidates are also to be congratulated, and I hope all of them – Sandra and Gerard Kennedy in particular – will help Wynne in her new job to succeed.

Some personal notes on this Convention, which I’ve made on Twitter, but some of which can be repeated here:

-great to see old friends and meet new ones who read this blog and Progressive Bloggers (and meet some blog affiliates of Prog BLog – both former and current – at the Convention.

– A thank you to the Ontario Liberal Party – particularly Christine Mcmillan and Dave Bradley Hammond – for inviting us bloggers to observe this and be accredited with the same privileges for the most part as the media. We’d have liked more of us to be there, and with some more ideological diversity (I really thought a couple of NDP or yes, even Conservative bloggers should have been invited) but thank you nonetheless. Your hospitality of all of you was well done.

– I’m still not an Ontario Liberal Party member; (you can read where I became disenchanted with the OLP); I want to see how Wynne decides to change the Party. I’ll keep an open mind about it though.

– Delegated Conventions are great for drama.. but they suck for democratic picking of leaders. I’d like to see the OLP move to more direct voting for their leader – a la One Member One Vote, or Supporters such as the Federal Liberals are trying, or something else that brings about more direct democracy for the leader to be picked.


A brief… LULL #olpldr

We’re in the middle of a lull while we await 2nd round results for the OLP Leadership Convention. The two front runners are neck and neck (Wynne and Pupatello), with Eric Hoskins having declared for Wynne and Takar Harinder having moved to Pupatello (despite not actually dropping off the 2nd ballot in time).

That leaves Sousa, Kennedy, Wynne and Pupatello. I’ve heard several people in the political and media arena now say they dont think it will go beyond 3 ballots.. meaning they think both Sousa and Kennedy will drop off and we may have a result by 7 pm (and again, I’ll be on my way home when a result is declared, a la the NDP 2012).

Stay tuned.


Bets on when the #olpldr Convention will declare a winner?

I’m about to head off to the train station to catch my ride back into the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention, and my first musing of the day (on my blog anyhow) is pondering when we might have a declared winner.

I was talking informally with some of the candidates campaign teams who I know, and they informally predicted a long day. One said midnight; another just said “late”. At the beginning of this, we were told to prepare for a Convention still being in session on Sunday (which is why I bought a train ticket tomorrow; if there isn’t one, perhaps I’ll still try and visit people I know – both political or otherwise).

I was willing to bet that between my train departure this evening (7:05 pm) and midnight was when things would get settled. However, there’s a complicating factor; you may have read about that bad 70 car pileup west of Toronto yesterday afternoon in a snow squall; some people hurt, and some delegates who were coming to register were involved.

The hours were extended on registration.. so now I’m at 50/50 odds in my own mind on whether we’re here tomorrow AM or not..maybe us bloggers should start a pool on that.

Oh.. and as a sidenote, today is supposed to be big protest day outside of MLG, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some photos of that taken that will pop up on Twitter or at our Progressive Blogger photostream/OLP leadership coverage section for those bloggers who are of that affiliation and sending those in.


More impressions of the #olpldr (Ontario Liberal Leadership) convention

In brief, since I’m typing on a Via Rail train headed home (back tomorrow AM for 2nd round voting):

-Wynne’s team is very media-savvy; five different volunteers spotted my “media/blogger badge” and handed me her media guide (I have 5 of them, + a button).

– Kennedy was next most prominent with his team.. we spotted him a couple of times in the AM checking things out with his team and delegates. Also, a thumbs up to one of his media relations folks Denise Brundson, (who I know from her federal associations and also when she blogged) for inviting me as a blogger to his open house.. but I unfortunately had to pass as it was past my train time.

– Not to say Sousa and Pupatello weren’t, or the other teams, but the first two were making sure that the voting delegates saw and heard them.. ALL of these folks will be selling out the local pharmacies throat lozenge section

– May I just put in a plug that if any of the Liberal candidates media relations folks have their candidate available for a blogger chat, we wouldnt complain (cough)

All in all, an enjoyable day: looking forward to returning Saturday to watch the voting rounds


In Toronto at the #olpldr (Ontario Liberal Party) Convention

So I’m in Toronto at Maple Leafs Gardens, (or at Mickey Flynn’s eating lunch at the moment using the free wi-fi) with Jim Calder of The Progressive Right. Seen a few friends and acquaintances here, and the Bloggers Table Vantage Point is pretty sweet.

We’ve seen a Kathleen Wynne press conference here in the foyer; where she interestingly made the point she doesnt have to have a by-election; she’s already elected as an MPP, and she will reconvene the Legislature Fe 19, so she obviously thinks that’s a big issue, trying to distinguish herself from Pupatello

Outside, we have some protesters from the Farmers and Horses First group – “Farmers an Horses Firt, Casions 2nd” is on their logo. Jim took a picture of the folks (very friendly and those pics are up at the Prog Blog flickr site (here –

For accredited bloggers (those covering and not here as delegates or alternates) we have: myself, Jim Calder (Progressive Right), Nancy Leblanc (Impolitical), Matt Guerin (Queer Liberal), Omar-Ha Redeye (formerly of Law is Cool, but doing it under his own blog), BigCityLib, Lisa Kirbie, and a blogger I’ve not met yet by the name of Dave Meslin (MeZ dispenser – very cool name)

Keep on eye on their blogs, this blog, Progressive Bloggers for pic and stories from others not there but also writing, as well as the twitter accounts of these folks and the others already mentioned