Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2003

NDP horserace review. Political hacks only.

So, what's going to happen on the 25th? Let's start by reviewing my own favourites:

1. Lorne Nystrom (and his site here)

2. Joe Comartin (and his site here)

3. Bill Blaikie (and his site here)

4. Pierre Ducasse (and his site here)

5. Jack Layton (and his site here)

6. Bev Meslo (and her site here)

So, one difficulty I have is being isolated here in Alberta. No matter how closely I keep my ear to the ground, it's tough to know how the long-time members around the country are thinking. And unlike some parties' leadership races, this one will be determined by long-time members, not memberships sold during the race and evaporating like smoke afterward.

But for all that, I'm willing to guess. First ballot will see Layton and Blaikie pretty even in the 30% range. Nystrom will be behind in the range of 25%. Comartin will get something in the 15% range, and Ducasse and Meslo will get a few hundred votes each. The others candidates will be lobbying for Ducasse and Meslo to support them on ballot two for the sake of appearing to have momentum, but the truth is that many of Ducasse's first ballot votes will go wherever they intended beforehand (much of Ducasse's campaign has been "support me on the first ballot, and go back to your candidate on the second"). Meslo will likely have much more control over her votes, and will likely take them to Layton. But this begs a question... how many ballots were pre-cast? How much control will any candidate have over her or his delegates? The process is all new... we just don't know.

The real game will be getting Comartin's delegates. Presuming that Joe will have some influence on most of the people who voted for him, he's the kingmaker, and I don't know where he'll go. If he goes to Layton, Nystrom will drop and head for Blaikie (I suspect, again, the candidates don't know any better how the prevoting will influence matters than I do. He may stick it out for a second ballot to see how much control Joe actually has, and how much of that support he picks up), and Layton and Blaikie have a close second ballot count, but I think with the edge to Layton. If Joe goes to Nystrom, Lorne could pull into first on ballot two, and so long as Layton comes second, Blaikie will drop and head for Nystrom... 60% or more for Lorne on the last ballot. And if Comartin heads for Blaikie, so will Nystrom, perhaps on the same ballot, and Bill has the same sort of 60%+.

I don't know any of this for certain, of course. And the big maybe, I think, is Layton. If he's significantly behind where I've put him, I think his campaign is over, because I don't think he has the same potential for growth of his vote as the others do. But because the convention is in Toronto, he might have a lot of live vortes to control on the convention floor, so his endorsement will win it for any candidate still on the ballot. And if Layton is way ahead, the forces that might have conspired against him will rally around him ,instead, and if there's a second ballot, it'll be a formality.

Better print this out, because if I'm horribly, horribly wrong, I might have to come back and delete this.

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