John Manley won't run.
Frank McKenna won't run.
Brian Tobin won't run.
Now, Allen Rock won't run either.
The Liberal leadership race is staring to look rather sad. It's like a seventh grade dance, with everyone lined up against the wall, refusing to take to the floor. (Fears of complete social humiliation are appropriate for both settings.) If someone had asked for a list of the top five Liberal leadership candidates a year ago, those names would have been four of the top five, with maybe Sheila Copps rounding out the list. I'm guessing that at least some of these guys actually would like to lead the party (I'm looking at you, Brian) but they want to let the flames of political scandal consume some other sacrificial leader first. They'll come back to "save" the party eventually.
The odd thing is, this has left us with a pack of highly unlikely "frontrunners" right now.
The CBC's website has a list of possible leaders, and three of them are turncoats for other parties. I know the Liberals are supposed to be a "big tent" party, but this is ridiculous. Scott Brison, Belinda Stronach and Bob Rae! The only remainder is Michael Ignatieff, who has spent most of the past two decades in the US and England.
My two pennies?
Stronach hasn't got a hope in hell. In fact, given that she was one of the major behind the scenes people who created the current Conservative Party, which just tossed the Libs onto the Opposition bosses, I'm surprised they even talk to her. Plus, she jumped ship in exchange for a cabinet post and a chance at more power, whatever she claims. I doubt she'll even launch an official leadership campaign.
Ignatieff was in favour of the war in Iraq. In favour of that mess - that sort of damages your credibility. The nasty little apologist for US imperialism is probably the frontrunner just because all those other long-time Libs have already dropped out. Sad. Just sad.
Brison is in a better position than Stronach despite the fact that he also defected from the Tories. He was a red Tory of the old Progressive Conservatives, who refused to join the new Reform/Alliance dominated Tory caucus because of their views on gay rights (as he is a gay man). A principled stand like that is at least better than a naked power grab, but a lot of Liberals are more than a bit homophobic themselves, and so are their voters.
And then there was Rae. Seriously? Bob Rae? What the fuck happened there? I suppose he's my preferred choice to win... Better than the warmonger.