Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ontario Liberal leadership race continues to take shape...

I was on this mailing list from George Smitherman (see email below), glad to say. I think George has made the right decision to stay out of the Ontario Liberal leadership race. He's damaged goods, associated with the major scandals of the McGuinty government (E-health, Ornge, etc.) His baggage cost him the 2010 mayoralty race and elected Rob Ford. I've supported George in the past but no longer think he should be seeking elected office. It's time to move on.

I've got to say I'm excited by the prospect of Sandra Pupatello leading the Liberals and becoming Premier. If she wins, I think she'll be quite popular with the public as a personality. The first female premier of Ontario would be historic. And the first Italian-Canadian as premier would appeal greatly to the Liberal base in and around the GTA - plus perhaps signal recovery in southwestern Ontario where Pupatello has her home base (Windsor). Her absence the last year or so has allowed her to be detached from the scandals surrounding Ornge and the cancelled Mississauga gas power station. I think with Sandra as leader the Ontario Liberals will be quite competitive again.

I'm anxious to hear the main messages she puts forth to define her leadership. An emphasis on economic growth and prosperity and building on the McGuinty government's successes in education and health care would be nice to hear too, I quite agree...

I met Deb Matthews when I worked at Queen's Park. She struck me as an entirely partisan, empty individual. I'll take Sandra over Deb any day.

Kathleen Wynne, as the Toronto lesbian candidate, will put forth a decent message of change and she'll probably launch the strongest competition to Pupatello. But the Ontario Liberals have an aversion to picking Toronto leaders, and you don't get any more Toronto than Wynne. Wynne will inspire a lot of people, I'll probably be highly tempted to vote for her. But the party will ultimately take the slightly younger firebrand from Windsor. We'll see...

----- Forwarded Message ----- From: George Smitherman Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 4:02:11 PM Subject: Smitherman Bows out of Liberal Leadership Race

Hi, just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in hearing from George Smitherman.

Smitherman Bows out of Liberal Leadership Race

Former Ontario Deputy Premier George Smitherman has bowed out of the race to succeed Dalton McGuinty as the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and as Premier of Ontario.

"On many levels the challenge excites and energizes me, but a return to active politics at this time isn't compatible with my personal objectives", Smitherman said. "With two kids under age four and 3 new businesses it wouldn't be fair to anyone for me to pursue my love of politics at this time" he added.

Smitherman thanked friends, family and loyal supporters for the encouragement they offered over the past two weeks, "Politics is a tough road and it's hardest on the people who love you the most. Christopher remains unwavering and unselfish in his willingness to support me in active politics which means everything to me" added Smitherman.

The greatest motivation for a run at this time would have been the chance to bring ideas forward. "Over the past two weeks I have thought long and hard about the challenges and about the boldness of the solutions that are needed for Ontario" Smitherman said.

"I am excited that new projects such as a collaboration to create an Interactive Talk TV format will provide an outlet for ideas and a vehicle for an animated conversation about topical issue" he added. The first such Forum will focus on Gaming in Toronto and will take place in late November.

In exiting the race Smitherman took the opportunity to offer one piece of advice to candidates vying to replace McGuinty. "To date, every prospective candidate is playing to the opposition's narrative about the McGuinty Government. It's time to show some pride for the accomplishments as a foundation for new ideas and opportunities".

Contact:

George Smitherman 416 816 7118 gsmitherman@rogers.com georgesmitherman.com George Smitherman 120 Front Street East, Suite 208 Toronto, Ontario M5A 4L9

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