Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On warning signs

It may be that upwards of 70% of the NDP's leadership votes are already in before the convention this weekend. But here's another suggestion as to why it's worth being in the minority who wait for all the available information before casting a ballot - as well as a cautionary tale in what to look for from the convention presentations.

Much of Stephane Dion's tenure as leader of the Libs was defined by a basic inability to handle even relatively basic planning and message coordination when it counted - ranging from his campaign interview false-start, to the late-delivered and poor-quality video that did so much to undermine the 2008 coalition. But less noted is that Libs had an obvious hint as to his difficulties in the area: at the leadership convention where he was elected, Dion had the plug pulled on a convention speech which seemed to bear little relationship to the time allotted. (Of course, that seemed to be forgotten by the next day as Dion made his way up the middle of the Ignatieff/Rae divide.)

So while it'll be worth watching how much the candidates can inspire the crowd on Friday, we should also pay close attention to whether anybody's campaign shows signs of disorganization on the biggest stage the leadership candidates will face. And while I suspect there shouldn't be much problem with the NDP's field of contenders, I'll be especially wary of any candidate who fails that test.

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