Monday, May 22, 2006

Bevilacqua The King Maker.

We welcome ourselves back from our self imposed exile with the following hypothetical scenario. A Five ballot victory for Ken Dryden with Maurizio Bevilacqua as the King Maker. Sound crazy? This is one Next Face post you might want to read...

It's December 2, 2006 and the convention has begun. Tomorrow the ballots will be cast and the Next Face of the Liberal Party will be selected. The clear front runners are Michael Ignatieff, Ken Dryden and Bob Rae. But the real story is the story behind the story...

The year came and went quickly with Stephen Harper gaining in popularity. After making good on his 5 promises and his GST rebate the $1,200 cheques were issued and promptly blown on iPods, beer and tickets to the Springsteen concert. Canadians are not unhappy with their government and their Prime Minister who managed to avoid any significant domestic policy. The Mulroney machine is well oiled and slick. Harper spends a weekend in October in the outback planning his next steps with John Howard. Things are going so well that Stephen Harper returns and sends out a message that he will send Canadians to the polls in January of 2007 and ask for a majority. His hope is to capitalize on his focused government and catch the Liberals off guard with little time to organize after their leadership convention.

The Liberal leadership bid was fractious. It did not result in the purification and unification that the dinner for Ms. Copps in March intended to promote. Too many leadership contenders - feeling they had a divine right to the position - fought for their slice of the support from the left.

1st Ballot :
Kennedy / Dion

On December 3rd, as the first ballots were counted, Ignatieff and Rae were in a dead heat with Dryden in third , Kennedy in fourth. Bevilacqua finishes in fifth surprising most with his mandate from the right; his excellent organizational skills paying off. Brison, disappointed in his 6th place finish scurries to support Ignatieff, hoping to throw momentum to the odds on favorite and secure his future. Fry, Bennett, and Findlay drop off the ballot and scatter their support with little consequence. Volpe makes a tough decision but stays on to fight.

2nd Ballot :
Kennedy / Dion

On the second ballot it is Dryden that gains ground and momentum. He benefits from his albiet shallow roots in the party. A rookie MP he ironically holds more seniority with the Liberals than Igantieff or Rae put together. The delegates formerly supporting those now off the ballot seem to gravitate to him as a safe Liberal position. He widens his lead on Kennedy but it is still a three way race for the leadership. Dion is the first of the major candidates to concede and he motions towards Ignatieff but does not deliver all his delegates. Volpe is forced to withdraw. Deciding not to endorse a candidate he sets his delegates free for the third vote.

3rd Ballot :

The third ballot is more of the same but Ignatieff improves on his lead. Dryden and Rae now virtually tied for second. Kennedy's hopes fade. In a dramatic move, he crosses the floor to Rae's camp, making good television with his emotional support of Rae's bid and sets up the fourth vote.

4th Ballot

The fourth ballot sees Rae pull ahead, Igantieff and Dryden now tied for second. Bevilacqua, the only other candidate still on the ballot has spent the last several hours organizing an "anybody but Rae campaign". He rallies the troups from several different camps and also solidifies the support from the right, moving them to Dryden's corner in a counter move to the Kennedy / Rae alliance. Bevilacqua is forced off the ballot but not before delivering this critical blow to Rae setting up the dramatic 5th vote.

5th Ballot

The fifth ballot is the deciding one. Dryden - with Bevilacqua as a king maker - wins enough support to overtake Rae with Ignatieff finishing in third.

But the elation is short lived. Harper's government wins a majority late in January of 2007 and the Liberals are forced into a two election strategy. Dryden hones his craft, settles in for the long haul, and waits while the public grows tired of the Tory's who are hell bent on reversing the decision on same sex marriage and engaging Quebec yet again on the constitution.

In November of 2011, Ken Dryden becomes the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.


Anonymous said...

Not a chance that Bevelacqua finishes ahead of Brison on the first ballot. Brison comes out of Atlantic Canada with 250-350 delegates, picks up as more than Bevelacqua can hope to in Quebec and with a strong Ontario Campaign is way ahead of Bevelacqua heading into the West. They tie in Manitoba but Brison cleans his clock in ALberta. BC is a toss up, but with Don Ross heading Brison's Saskatchewan campaign and Aboriginal vote, Bevelacqua folds in the heat. (BTW, Same is true for Kennedy who has zero going in Alberta or Quebec).

DC said...

I was in Alberta last week and Kennedy has the strongest organisation of any of the candidates (in fact, I. Davey was calling all of Kennedy's organisers in Alberta last week saying that Iggy has zero organisation on the ground in the province and that he hopes to see them on the second ballot). Really strong in both the south and the north with a great group of both young and old. Rae will get some delegates thanks to Raj but he's having a tough time on the ground. Brison will also get 5-10%. Nobody else is playing there.

I think as of today, Iggy will go into the convention in first. Rae and Kennedy will be in 2/3rd in some order to be determined. Which one of them is ahead on the 2/3/4th ballot will be key - one of them will cross the floor to the other at some point and that candidate will win.

There is a strong "anybody but Iggy" movement starting across the country and I think he will peak at about 30% and have zero room to grow.

Alberta Lib said...

I think dc describes exactly where things are at and where they will go.

Anonymous said...

How About this.

Hedy Fry endorses Iggy before the first ballot.
First Ballot
Iggy gets about 1/3rd ballots
second ballots
Volpe backs Iggy and drops out
Third ballot
Brison backs Iggy and Iggy is the new leader of the party and a deal is cut to make Brison the dy. leader.

Or Remove Brison and Dion there. Another possiblity.

Just a thought

Anonymous said...

you mADE AN OLD lady happier this morning especially after reading the latest lies from Ipsos Reid...I hope for the best for Ken Dryden I just have a feeling he could bring all my home province of Quebec back....surely they know Guite and Brault are bigtime Cons from the Mulroney era and it was started by these two crooks..

s.b. said...

I think Your senario is plausible, with minor variations. Let's just hope that if it is acurate the power of Hockey in Canada is stronger than the power of Rhetoric next winter. I think it may be.

tobias said...

Thank you S.B.

It will be 4 or 5 ballots, and you are right, there may be slight variations to the theme.

With so many vying for the same slice of the left pie, few have considered the implications. I can't remember a race where you had so many high profile frontrunners all on the same side of the political spectrum. This will split the vote and the sooner one of these candidates realizes that, the sooner they will be able to plan for it.

That is where Bevilacqua comes in, and with him could come the right and their support.

We think Dryden is a strategist.
We think he will see this and capitalize.

Jason Cherniak said...

Your error is in thinking that Dion will withdraw early. Assuming you are right about Belivacqua outlasting Volpe, he will be the next one off.

tobias said...


There are no 'errors' in blogging only opinions and
ours is as good as any other.

There will be a king maker and we are on the record early with our suggestion that he or she will not come from the top 4 or 5 candidates as they will all be focused on cannibalizing eachother.

Beware of the split vote. It will make for an unpredictable and highly volatile outcome.

Anonymous said...

1) Iggy MUST win on first ballot. Otherwise, he'll fall prey to an "Anybody But Iggy" movement given that his win would deeply fracture the Party!

2) Rae and Kennedy will contend but not win.

3) Dryden is a smart man that every member could get behind in a general election.

4) Dion will be ahead of Brison but neither will win. If Brison is politically smart, he won't support Iggy or Kennedy.

5) If Dion is smart, he should either gamble and drop very early and support in exchange for a deal OR hold on right to the end and simply jump on the winner's bandwagon, but this might mean he gets no deal out of it.

7) Bennett will drop and support Kennedy

8) Fry will drop and support Dryden

9) There wil not be one "kingmaker". Rather, there will be a series of kingmakers during each ballot. Volpe, not Bevilacqua, will make big waves towards the end.

10) If Iggy or Rae wins, the Party will be fractured and easily be too worn out to fight a good election. Same goes for Kennedy but to a lesser degree (we'd lose because Kennedy is a light-weight). If we do not have a consensus candidate/winner, we're screwed.

s.b. said...

I think I agree with the last anonymous on this one. Many kingmakers and we need a consensus candidate for next winter that is election ready and is not a "light weight" i.e. either Dryden or Dion

bluenoser said...

Just a thought. Why would Brison support Ignatief? Three of his Nova Scotia caucus colleagues are already there. Never forget that geography is the ruling ideology of Candian politics. Always has been. Always will.

Ford Rules Dude in Oakville said...

Your theory has more drama than the film version of the Da Vinci Code. Doesn't beve-lacqua mean drink water? Didn't Dryden skate on frozen water? Coincidence? I think not.

tobias said...

Hey gets better.
Ken Dryden wore number 29.
2 plus 9 equals 11.

There are 11 candidates in this leadership race.

Coincidence? We think not...

Aristo said...

dc Bwahhhh ahhahahahahahhaha

The Iggy ground game in Alberta is consistently held up as the best in the organization.

It is extremly extremly strong.
Not to say that Kennedy is not strong in Alberta, he is and will do well, but anyone claiming that Davey is calling Kennedy people just has no grasp of reality.

burlivespipe said...

Sorry, i see little hope of bevilacqua lasting past the 2nd ballot. His only hope is if Brison drops out before Dec, but he's 4x the candidate that Maurizio is -- a nice guy and all but nothing going on that resume. Dryden could be the custodian candidate, if he polishes hard on that french and gets his sound bytes down over the summer. As much as i like dion, the party won't go quebec this time around. rae's my guy but i do see some potential there for an anti-rae slide, led by volpe. i think you'll be surprised to see Martha HF go to a third ballot, where she'll throw her support to Kennedy. If Rae's support wanes in round 4, expect a huge exodus to kennedy, possibly enough to put him over the top. Of course, there's still that rumour that Manley has changed his mind...

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