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I think it'll be, umm... Dion!

Those wacky Liberals are gathering in Montreal this week to pick the new leader. I haven't been following the race as closely as most political watchers, but hey: I scan the headlines every day and have a blog! That makes me extremely qualified to throw my two cents in.

In my opinion, the choices are pretty meagre. Michael Ignatieff is the only one who has the makings of someone who could last at the job for more than a couple of years, but his image has crashed and burned in the past couple of months. Even though he's got the most delegates going in, he's lost the big Mo and doesn't have a chance. All of the others, except Rae perhaps, will be unable to win the next general election and will have the distinction of being the first party-chosen Liberal leader that never became Prime Minister.

So with Iggy out of it, there's only three candidates that have any hope of taking the prize: Stéphane Dion, Bob Rae, and Gerard Kennedy. Kennedy can be dropped from those three immediately. His weak French and lack of support in Québec (except from Justin Trudeau -- an albatross) disqualify him. He won't be the second pick of too many delegates' because of this liability. So it's down to Rae and Dion.

Rae has been riding the Mo for some time now and I think it's about to shake him off. He's still got some baggage from his bad old days of running Ontario into the ground, plus there's the fact he's a new Liberal. Charming delegates onto the second ballot will be a lot harder with that background.

That leaves Dion. He's got a reputation for being squeaky clean and nice -- not great attributes for a party leader, but people are not always thinking with their heads at a convention. And he's from Quebec, which is always an obsession with the Liberals. So what if he can't speak English? Neither could Chretien. My prediction is that he'll come out ahead in a squeaker over Rae.

Paving the way for a Conservative majority.


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