I know what you are thinking, when did the Contextless Links return? Well, right now. I am going to be using them again as a place to empty out my notebook every day as a way to give some life to the site. If I post them here, I can also find them again when I need them. Still undecided if I will use Windows Live Writer or have delicious dump them here once a day.
- My wife endorsed Cam Broten for Saskatoon Massey Place. Camâ€™s election website is here. Personally on our block, NDP MLA Frank Quennell is running even harder than Cam so I may endorse him (our street is on the border for both ridings and Canada Post has issues with boundaries). Perhaps the ultimate endorsement for Cam is from the Saskatchewan Party who does not look to be running a serious campaign in the riding.
- 27.4% of US renters & 15% of those with mortgages spend more than HALF their income on housing
- Brian Toppâ€™s emphasis on political strategy makes him sound a lot like the political back room strategist he is. Of course Brian Toppâ€™s campaign makes we wonder how long it will be until we see Warren Kinsella declare for the federal Liberal leadership. If this happens, I wonder if Stephen Harper will be joining SFH on stage for the Liberal caucus Christmas party.
- Dave Hutton says that both Pat Atkinson and Henry Dayday are thinking of running for Saskatoon mayor in 2012. He also has this, â€œThe 2012 election, which is 13 months away, is shaping up to be interesting. There are rumours some prominent members of the business community are discussing running a slate of candidates. Former candidates Mike Bzowey, Ainsley Robertson, Mark Horseman,and Sean Shaw, all indicated theyâ€™re running for council seats.â€ I have heard the rumors of a business slate being run and I wonder if my sources are the same as Daveâ€™s. Of course the Mayor has alluded to the same thing as well.
- Putin says that Arctic shipping will soon rival the Suez Canal. In anticipation of this move, both England and France are preparing an invasion force.
Last week I got an invitation from Pat Atkinson to meet NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp at Amigoâ€™s Cantina last night. I have always been fascinated by NDP leadership races, partly because they make absolutely no sense to me and I never know what is going to happen on the convention floor. (yeah I just admitted that I watch leadership conventions for a hobby)
Since Topp was speaking to a partisan NDP crowd (I was on the only non-New Democrat there) I wonâ€™t go into the details but here are some observations.
- Topp can give a good speech to a small group of people. I donâ€™t know if he will be electrifying in a convention hall or if he can do it in the House of Commons but I was impressed by his speech last night. He was humble while articulated why he wants to become both NDP leader and Prime Minister of Canada.
- I expected him to know his policy but I was impressed by how quickly and clearly he articulated it. He was sharp in the Q & A. I didnâ€™t ask him any questions as I am not a card carrying NDP and the questions I would have asked him would have probably upset some people there and would have put him in an awkward position. It wasnâ€™t the place or time.
- Topp classily distances himself from Layton and was open in giving permission to look at other leadership candidates. He pointed out that he was not Jackâ€™s heir apparent and that Jack wanted others to run for leadership as well.
- Topp reminded me a lot of both Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow. If you are an NDP leadership candidate, this is a good thing.
- I know itâ€™s early but there wasnâ€™t any campaign material left by him and I find that his website is quite devoid of content and compelling reasons to vote for him. While I found him last night to have a compelling story and a pretty good vision of the country, his website doesnâ€™t communicate any of that.
- I wonder if he ever wakes up and looks at a selection of orange-ish ties and realizes, â€œIâ€™ll be wearing a tie with orange in it for the rest of my life.â€ For me, that would be enough to discourage me from ever running for NDP leader.
- In light of this post by Wendy, I will point out that it was not a Sunday, I donâ€™t think Topp is a Baptist, and there was not a single inappropriate joke told which means my grandfather could vote for him.
- Unlike my previous attempts to chill out with a party leader, this one went really well. Pat Atkinson had a nice crowd out and it was nice to chat with Nettie Wiebe for a couple of minutes.
In the end he has a really, really tough job ahead of him. He spoke of forming government but even holding on to the seats the NDP have in Quebec is going to be tough without functioning constituency organizations and has less then 1700 members in Quebec. While the road ahead is tough in Quebec, the NDP has stalled in itâ€™s traditional heartland of the prairies. Many blame electoral boundaries but the NDP message does not resonate in rural Saskatchewan, Alberta, or Manitoba like it used to. Topp will have to change that if he hopes on growing the federal party out west.
Will he become Prime Minister? Too early to tell and a lot can change over the next three years but more than any other NDP candidate on the horizon, I think he gives them their best shot. It will be interesting to watch.