The National Board of the Liberal Party is rumored to have decided to allow current interim Leader Bob Rae to run for the permanent leadership. When he was chosen as the party’s interim leader, it was intended that he would not run for the permanent leadership. The Board doesn’t meet officially until June 13, but sources have told the CBC that Rae has been cleared to run. The race will start in July and run for 10 months.
Whether Rae, who has been leading the party through some historically low polling numbers, is the right person to lead remains to be seen.
Postmedia News did a poll online asking people about potential leadership candidates and Justin Trudeau came out above Rae, 34 percent to 18 percent, though Trudeau has consistently said he’s not interested. Marc Garneau, David McGuinty, Gerrard Kennedy and Dominic Leblanc all trailed behind. Rae, Kennedy and Leblanc have all been leadership candidates in the past (though Leblanc stepped aside, along with Rae, to allow Michael Ignatieff to take over in 2008).
Whoever wins the leadership will be charged with bringing the Liberals back to what members believe is their rightful place as the natural governing party. It’s not unlikely that many members of the Liberal Party can foresee the fairy tale of a Trudeau – the son and heir of one of their most popular leaders, Pierre Elliot Trudeau – bringing the party back from the brink of extinction and into government where they belong. Whether Trudeau, who is a fairly new MP (first election in 2008) with a young family, wants the responsibility remains to be seen.
If Trudeau does opt to run he would be heavily favored, and if he won he would be the youngest federal party leader, 15 years younger than the current Prime Minister.
Whoever the Liberals pick, he or she will be the party’s fourth leader in four years.
Photo Credit: Mohammad Jangda