I am not a happy camper today.
But, this post was originally supposed to be a bit of a rant against Garneau, and how his reasoning is a tad faulty. I still believe that. The "fait accompli" reasoning, whereby Garneau drops out because Trudeau is a shoe-in to win, is not one I want to propagate. Its not a philosophically valid one to me. I would have been glad to have stuck with Garneau's campaign through to the very end, instead of giving up and giving in to the larger movement. Maybe that isn't a popular choice when you make a political decision, as Garneau definitely has by backing out, but its one that the Liberals continue to make. Our independence as a Party - one espoused by the Trudeau camp - relies on us maintaining that no matter what the popular opinion is these days, our Party is the better one because we've got the right ideas. No need for a merger or for co-operation, right?
Many people would say in that case that co-operation or merger is "fait accompli" as well. They're wrong, but that's their argument, and it can be an effective one. Here we see why this reasoning is a problem.
However, I wanted to point out the poll Garneau referenced during his press conference, as told by Quito Maggi:
Today Liberal Leadership contender Marc Garneau withdrew and endorsed Justin Trudeau for leader. During his Press Conference he referenced a survey that was done of members and party supporters, the results he cited were as follows.
Justin Trudeau - 72%
Marc Garneau - 15%Holy crap, that's a lead. The rest of Quito's post is very interesting so give it a read, but those first numbers are very frightening. A 57-point lead is nothing to scoff at, and in my haste to call shenanigans against Garneau for dropping out, I really looked over those numbers.
Joyce Murray - 7%
Martha Hall Findlay - 5%
As someone who constantly touts the viability of polls, I can't help but come around to the idea that Garneau had good reason to drop out.
So, I get it. Trudeau is pretty much unbeatable at this point, and in a race where there is only one position up for grabs and seemingly no way to become a kingmaker, your motivation for staying in is hard. I can no longer simply blame Garneau for giving up - he has a good reason to.
That doesn't mean I agree with the decision, nor am I satisfied with it. But I can see why the decision was made. If someone gave me a poll(s) showing that co-operation had the same popularity, I would say the same thing.
So, what now? Do I back another candidate or go with Trudeau?
I'll have to admit right off the bat that I'm likely going to go with Trudeau. He was my second choice long before I saw this poll, and I stick by that. He has good ideas and a great style. He's intelligent and quick on his feet, and would make a great Liberal leader. I'll be proud to follow his leadership, just as I would have followed Garneau's.
Going forward, we need to try to change the current narrative that will dominate this race, which was definitely helped by Garneau's dropping out to support Trudeau. The idea of another Liberal coronation will be the biggest handicap coming out of this race. You and I know that there was a competition, but the broader media narrative is that we Liberals are just looking for another savoir, that we're only interested in the candidate that will lead us back to power, rather than someone substantive. Honestly, that may be true for a lot of people. It'll be up to us to ensure that it doesn't stick, by ensuring that Trudeau and his future team show that, yes, they've got ideas and they've got a plan for bringing the Liberals out of the dark.