Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quebec Leadership Candidates

As a Vancouverite who has been in La Belle Province exactly twice in my lifetime, I am at a little bit of a disadvantage in handicapping the candidates from Quebec. The party is in desperate need of polishing its image in Quebec, so a leader from Quebec would be very good for the party.

Martin Couchon: 5:1. It was assumed that Couchon would challenge Paul Martin for the Liberal leadership following Jean Cretien's retirement but, probably sensing the futility of it, he declined to run (although he did endorse John Manley). Couchon has the resume for the job; an MP since 1993, senior cabinet portfolios, a good network, a lawyer, etc., but as high profile opponent of Paul Martin, he has some fences to mend if he intendes to unite the party. At 43 years of age, Couchon is young, intelligent and good looking (so I'm told).

Stephane Dion: 4:1. Another noted accademic (along with Ignatieff) potentially in the race. The difference is that Dion also has a solid political resume and a political organization. Like Couchon, Dion is a Cretien loyalist, however he also served under Paul Martin as Minister of the Environment. He is also a strong federalist from Quebec. If Mr. Dion is a eloquant a speaker and debater as he is a letter writer, the rest of the field should beware.

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