In this the last of three parts, Mr. Dryden discusses his feelings towards his competition, his strategy for December 3rd, and the reaction to the debates thus far.
Part 3 of 3.
NF. We have written a piece that speculates on dynamics of a multiple ballot scenario (See Bevilacqua The King Maker, May 22, 2006) where there would be benefits to some candidates and pitfalls for others. With three or four of you having a legitimate chance to win, we feel that candidates like yourself and maybe Mr. Dion would benefit from the more polarizing or controversial candidates like Mr. Rae and Mr Ignatieff insomuch as their fringe support could swing your way when the “…anyone but” campaigns emerge. Can you comment on that?
KD. (Pauses) Umm…I could comment on that, but I don’t know that … I mean I think that that is sort of the fun for you to comment on and it is less interesting for me to comment on. The way I look at this campaign is that it is a marathon, well actually it is both a marathon and a sprint, and a marathon and a sprint are tough. Either a Marathon or a sprint, they are easier…but when you put the two together they are harder. But it is something, yes I think that it will absolutely build to December the 3rd. That it is not going to be in any way clear until December the 3rd who the winner will be. But in terms of the strategy of December 3rd, to me it is the strategy of June 27th and everyday until December 3rd. We just keep doing, we just keep going, listening to people. You keep being in as many places as you can. You allow all that experience to fill you up and to come out of you as you talk to people during all of it. There comes to be a general impression of who you are and what you are and what you represent and what (your) Canada is like. (So) those are the strategies that will deliver December the 3rd or won’t…and yes there will be people who work on each campaign who imagine the scenarios of that day and how you could translate what I just talked about into those things, but really that is not something that I think about. It will be delivered on December the 3rd but I really believe it will be won all along the way until that time.
NF. Having said all that, if I was advocating on your behalf or planning your strategy for that day I would certainly suggest to you that the dynamics of who you negotiate with or who you affiliate with, or how you align yourself with other candidates may be as important – or more – than the run up to the 3rd…and my next question which was : Who of the candidates do you think is closest in line with your vision for Canada and for the direction of the party? – the purpose of that question was for me to get a sense of (your strategies) for future affiliation or alignment, because not all 11 or 10 or 9 of you can win this thing
NF. ...and so you have to at some point develop that (plan) for that day where this thing will be won or lost.
KD. I suspect you are right, but that day isn’t today. And yes there may be people in every campaign who are thinking about that and maybe they’re right, but I am just saying that that is not me at this particular stage.
I think I could work with those people who are up on that stage with me, I mean they are a formidable group, a really interesting group. I think that is one of the benefits of having 11 candidates. I mean I have had two reactions from the 4 debates – essentially we have had 4 debates, one at the LPCO, the two formal ones in Winnipeg and Moncton and then we had 9 of the 11 at Kitchener the other night. There have been two reactions. The first was that is was “…good to get acquainted with the candidates to put a voice to a mind…” The second was, “…boy that is a pretty deep group across that stage!”, and that makes me feel good about this … that in any next government, there would be a lot of people that would be at the core of any cabinet, and so I know some better than others, I am slightly more personally comfortable with some more than others, but generally I am pretty comfortable with everybody…and even in terms of the positions that are expressed, each of us has certain areas that are of greater priorities than others, (and we may) say certain things in different ways, but there are only a couple of things where there are great divides there so I don’t think that this is the time to do what you are talking about. It may happen sooner than I think and even if it is later than you think, but for me, that isn’t now.
End of the Interview.
Mr. Dryden and I had an interesting exchange to conclude the discussion where he asked me about the blog and why I started it and how long it took for me to generate this level of interest. I will save the particulars of that discussion for another day.