Sunday, 27 January 2013

Liberal leadership: Wasn't it a party?

I have a slight political hangover this morning, kind of like the feeling you get just after Christmas when the presents are delivered and you realize that you have no idea  how you will pay for them.
I've always been a convention junkie from the time I worked at the Tory leadership way back in the mid-seventies as a volunteer VIP security officer. It was the weekend Joe Clark got elected when we first saw the evil genius that was Brian Mulroney who was paying delegates off with hooch, hot pizza and hookers, with a side of Ginette Reno.
Since then, I have travelled the country in search of serious political tail. I have eaten from lavious seafood buffets while being screeched in by John Crosbie. I have taken the bus with life-sized cardboard cutouts of my favorite political characters.
There are convention memories I hold dear, and some I'd rather forget.
I often found myself fighting off, or succumbing to, the advances of men twice my age. I once got into a near fist fight with my husband's mistress who actually left her fingerprints in the flesh of my right arm.
Memories, good and bad, but vivid still.
The list of leaderships is a long, non-partian one and includes victories by Brian Mulroney, John Turner, David Peterson, Jean Chretien, Paul Martin.
I gave up the live party long ago, but I still enjoy watching these bloodsports on various couches, with long hours wasted and tables littered with empty bottles and half eaten snacks.
It's really not the same.
It's always better to be there, in the halls filled with people smelling like a mixture of stale beer, cigarettes and other disturbing odors. But even on television, they're a hoot.
Leaderships are always exciting, filled with hope and larceny, half-truths, outright lies and tired old political banter.
And yesterday's Ontario Liberal leadership did not disappoint.
It was a white knuckler, and in the end, it seemed Kathleen Wynne's victory was well deserved. Wynne will be the nice premier, the one with a social conscience, the one who is a role model for children growing up gay or, at least, different. Wynne will be the peacemaker in a time of terrible unrest in the province
At least that's the spin Liberals will give it.
I must admit that I'm relieved she won.
Thank goodness, the Liberals didn't elect that awful Sandra Pupatello, the mannish bully who seemed to take a page from her Italian ancestors, or the Godfather, when she menaced the crowd in her 80s blowout, promising to "bring the opposition to its knees" and go to the mattresses in defence of the sometimes indefensible Liberal Party of Ontario.
She was vile.
So the Wynne win left me pretty happy last night. I finished the evening with a hefty curry, washed down with some red and a bad comedy.
This morning, I don't feel so great.
I woke up feeling uneasy about the future.
How does Wynne, as great as she seems to be, undo 10 years of the liar McGuinty?
All I can say is good luck to you, Kathleen Wynne.
Thanks for a great party, but be wary.
You know the old saying.
Be careful of what you want, young lady, for you will surely get it.

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