Thursday, April 06, 2006


How Rae got his groove back

The worst kept secret in Southwestern Ontario is slowly inching towards truth - Bob Rae to contest Liberal leadership.

Former Ontario Premier Bob Rae has taken the first step by applying to become a member of the federal Liberal Party.

Rae is suddenly the IT guy among the chattering classes of Toronto and has taken on a statesmen persona since he was unceremoniously dumped by the voters of Ontario. He has successfully conducted work for both the Ontario government (post-secondary education review) and for the federal government (Iraq election, Air India, etc.)

Rae, a former New Democrat, gave up his NDP membership in 1998 and hasn't been a card-carrying member of any party since then.

Full story.

Rae is a bright man who performed poorly as Premier through a combination of poor politics (he governed more from the centre than from the left, so the left felt abandoned and the centre never trusted him because he was NDP) and poor luck (his time in government was during a big recession in Ontario, most of it due to the business cycle rather than policies of his government.) If he has better timing and has learned from his mistakes in Ontario, he could be a political force. However my gut tells me that Rae has a bit too much Joe Clark in him to succeed at the top level; being nice and honourable are qualities we should want in our leaders, but the reality is we don't and we vote for other people instead.
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