Monday, September 21, 2009

Outremont - The Musical

Watching the hubbub over the Liberal party nomination in Outremont - a battle which Ignatieff has now declared in favour of star candidate Nathalie Le Prohon over former justice minister (and Outremont MP) Martin Cauchon, I am taken back to the two years I spent living in that riding.

The Liberals had trouble back then. Unfortunately, while I moved to Outremont when Cauchon was still my MP, I didn't get the chance to vote for him, although I enthusiastically would have done so. Paul Martin, the curse whose legacy still haunts the Liberals, decided to push aside Chrétien loyalists like Cauchon and Sheila Copps, making way for such luminaries as ex-Bloquiste Jean Lapierre. Not only did I not vote for Lapierre, I campaigned for the then no-hoper NDP candidate. Clearly many Outremont Liberals felt the same way about the changing winds in Liberal HQ. Lapierre's share of the vote plummetted, barely holding on to the seat. And as we see now, the Liberal lock on this safe seat was detached, making way for Thomas Mulcair.

I think this should have gone to an open nomination. But of the various opinions that I've seen on this fracas, my favorite, unsurprisingly, is Chantal Hébert's observation on her blogue at La Presse. She observes that "en laissant traîner les choses pendant une semaine, le chef libéral a transformé une bataille entre chats de ruelle en affrontement entre gangs de rue."

I think this is a rather poetic and dramatic image - the alley cat fight transformed into a street gang confrontation. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and Luc Plamondon could make a new bilingual musical out of it, which could play at both Stratford and the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde.

I rather suspect it would have to be a tragedy.

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At 11:11 pm, Blogger Scott in Montreal said...

I was also living there at the time. Cauchon was unbeatable. And many who voted for Lapierre did so rather grudgingly. Mulcair would have a hard time beating Cauchon I think.

At 2:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most troubling, is Ignatieff's preference to run a female candidate for the purpose of capturing a gender quota, in a riding where the Liberals have a chance. He says, (quote from CBC story) "I told him that we have been soliciting female candidates and we not only intend to have women candidates, we want them where they can win." In other words, "we're gonna let women run where a win is easy to pull off". How endearing of Mr. Ignatieff. Ms. Le Prohon is an admirable nominee, but Martin Cauchon is an experienced progressive who could beat Thomas Mulcair. I think it's obvious Ignatieff is just watching his back for potential leadership rivals, and he feels threatened by the former justice minister.

At 11:49 am, Anonymous MS said...

I can't believe Ignatieff is letting that goon Coderre run the show in Quebec...


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