Double history is made with Wynne winning #olpldr

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 – http://www.progressivebloggers.ca/tag/olpldr/)

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

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Last Day to Apply for Ontario Liberal Party Convention Accreditation

A reminder to those who blog (of any political persuasion): today is the last day for you to send in your application to the Ontario Liberal Party to be accredited to cover their Leadership Convention next week. I understand they’ll be letting folks know that they’ve been accepted by Wed the 23rd. (Convention starts on Friday).

A Draft agenda of the OLP Convention is here (and there is no Sunday schedule on it, because they obviously won’t know until later Saturday whether they need to do voting or otherwise on Sunday)

Looking forward to seeing fellow bloggers and party acquaintances there.

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Very pleased to see this Blogger Accreditation thing finally happen for the OLP Convention.

I’m glad to see the money I spent on VIA Rail tickets was not in vain (of course, they have to accept my application as well).

If you’re a blogger – of any political stripe or non-partisan for that matter – send in your application. Your point of contact for this will be Bradley Hammond (email: bhammond@liberal.ola.org) to ask questions, etc. He will also be the liason for bloggers at the convention.

I spoke with him on the phone today and I’m encouraged but what I heard. I’m a little concerned that there may not be as many bloggers there as I’d like to see.. because space is limited, but there’s no firm target # on it.. so just apply and hope for the best they can accommodate the worthy applications (and if you live in the Toronto area and are rejected.. I can come and visit you to have a drink or a visit when I need to get out of there for a break :) )

I have also encouraged again, by the way, that not just Liberal-aligned bloggers be invited. I’ve said that to Christine Mcmillan and I’ve repeated that to Bradley Hammond.. it will show the OLP is able to tolerate alternate points of view. I was given a fair hearing on that, I think.

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Gerard Kennedy answers 5 Q’s on what he’d do if elected Ont Liberal leader/Premier

This took longer then I thought it would initially, but Mr. Kennedy and his team have sent through their response to my 5 questions about his wanting to be Ontario Liberal leader/Premier. I thank them for sending it in. As with the others (Pupatello, Sousa, Wynne, and Hoskins), all answers are his verbatim, with no commentary on my part.

There only remains one outstanding candidate, Harinder Takar (since Murray dropped out), and I’d not known who to reach to send him these questions. He did start following me on Twitter, and I did send him a Twitter message asking him a couple of days ago if he’d like to participate, but no response as of yet. I won’t blame him though for a non-answer with so little time til the convention.

Back to the “no commentary” procedure I’ve been following with all of the candidates who’ve replied, my thoughts on the various answers they’ve sent in you should finally see in a blogpost Pre-Convention, either before or while I’m at it covering it (assuming I’m accepted, and assuming the OLP can actually get the accreditation forms out to the bloggers on time, but that’s another story).

Anyhow, on to Gerard Kennedy’s responses:

Continue reading

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Monday Morning Musings

A couple of items that have caught my attention:

– There has been a rising chorus of folks that have been allied with Chief Teresa Spence publicly saying that they feel she should end her hunger strike; Those now include Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come (he of the Cree in Northern Quebec that took on the Quebec government over hydroelectric development), noted NDP commentator, Gerry Caplan, and now Leader of the Opposition/NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. I agree with these calls, even as I am in sympathy with her. She may not have had the PM and the Governor-General in the same room, but she still got to meet both separately, and got them to move to meet the leaders of the First Nations. Chief Coon Come said it best: “I think if one is to make statements, they have to be credible based on at least some facts, on some knowledge, and hopefully be able to compromise.. when you ask for something in this country, in my experience in negotiations, it’s a give and take. There has to be a save-face, for both sides.”

– We have had delegate elections in Ontario to pick a new Ontario Liberal leader (and by default, Premier) over the weekend. It appears Sandra Pupatello and Kathleen Wynne are the two front-runners. Adam Radwanski of the Globe has posted numbers here, which shows how close it is (these don’t count 400+ votes from Liberal MP’s and officials). I’m predicting 3 ballots before the new Liberal leader is decided (which I should be there to witness, when blogging accreditation comes from the OLP. which should be soon now that this voting is complete).

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Another update re: accreditation process for blogging at the OLP Leadership Convention

I spoke with Christine McMillan by phone today, and I have some more information from her regarding the accreditation process:

– The blogger accreditation form will be up at the main website of the OLP soon (as soon as things settle down there re the weekend events). They will announce when it is up on their Twitter account (@OntLiberal), and probably a website release (and I think she will be firing off an email to me as well, so I can relay it).

– She did not have a number for me as to how many bloggers they are going to be admitting; it will depend primarily upon space. I mentioned I’d heard a number of around eight, but she couldn’t confirm or deny that; she will find that out.

– There will be a registration room for bloggers (as well as the media and delegates) to get their accreditation on Friday. Officially, blogger accreditation is from 9am -11 pm. I mentioned I might have an issue with that, as I hadnt planned to get up there until Saturday; not sure if others were going to hold off on coming til Saturday or not. The problem seems to be from the OLP’s point of view that they’re using the registration room for their voting room on Saturday after the main speeches are done. Something else she will get back to me on if those registration hours can be extended or not.

– There will be a liaison person there from the OLP to deal with any questions bloggers might have and go over any rules and regulations. Again, that person is yet to be determined, but it sounds like it will probably be someone from the media relations team.

– I asked her about the issue of allowing non-Liberal bloggers to also be included in the accreditation process. She said she hadn’t really thought about that, and would have to get back to the organizers. She asked me what I thought, and I strongly encouraged her to pass along they do so – it will show the OLP is not afraid of contrary opinions, and if they treat the bloggers well, they will still get praise for it, regardless of political differences, as we Liberal bloggers did with our treatment at the NDP leadership convention – it was first rate, and they treated us all equally, regardless of political affiliation. I hope that happens here as well.

Oh, and I’ll probably apply as being from “Progressive Bloggers”, rather then my personal blog, since that’s how I seem to be mostly known by… most of those who read blogs know I run both.

UPDATE @ 7:41 pm:- I should mention she had no opinion one way or the other bout folks that might be “dual delegates/bloggers”, something else she will ask about. (I mentioned I knew there were a few bloggers trying to become delegates who would apply for accreditation if they didn’t make it, but what if they wanted to be both?)

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