Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More on the suddenly narrowed leadership contest

Today's Free Press has an updated tally, albeit not by riding; this assigns 353 delegates to Ashton, 319 to Selinger, and 105 unaffiliated (including those originally pledged to Swan). I still stand by my prediction that nearly all the Swan supporters will jump to Selinger.

There is also a rather critical column by Dan Lett on Swan's decision to step down. Now I agree that it makes for a less interesting race, but it's a bit harsh to criticize Swan for his choice. I think this comment to the column sums it up admirably:
I think that Andrew Swan should be applauded for his realistic assessment of his situation. It is unlikely he could ever have come up the middle. It is one leadership convention too soon for him. In the process, he has likely curried some serious favour with Mr. Selinger, which isn't a bad thing.
I also doubt that this harms Swan's future prospects as much as Lett thinks it does -- I hardly think he has "closed the book on future leadership bids". We haven't seen the last of Andrew Swan by any means.


Devin Johnston said...

I think Swan did a great job of establishing himself in this race and he's certainly put himself on the radar for any future leadership races that might come up. He's also positioned himself well to take on a senior portfolio in a possible Selinger cabinet.

awum said...

Let's be honest: the case for Swan had very little evidentiary basis. A couple of years in provincial politics plus a few months in a minor ministerial portfolio do not equal a logical successor to the premier's office. The reason he's out is that his status as a contender was baffling to most NDP members. We all knew he must be clever and charming, but what had he done to deserve our vote?

However, he raised his profile, he won a few ridings, and he pulled in some heavy-hitting endorsements. While his campaign revealed some political immaturity, I don't think his early drop-out takes away from any of that stuff. He's just given his political career a huge boost, and rightfully so.