I’ve been at the convention going on 12 hours – tired feet, hungry, etc. – but no one’s going home yet.
After the second ballot results were announced, in which Sandra’s lead began to widen, a couple of surprising events happened.
Sousa went to Wynne, without discussing it with his supporters first. Many of them moved to Sandra. Then Kennedy took himself off the ballot and went to Wynne, too.
We need 220 more votes on this round, which is still possible. Sandra’s a fighter and so are the people behind her.
It ain’t over till it’s over.
Third ballot results expects around 9ish, I’m guessing.
Eric Hoskins went to Kathleen Wynne. Many of Eric’s delegates came to Sandra – I helped greet them – and were happy to be there!
Minutes later, Harinder Takhar moved his team to Sandra Pupatello. I’m told Harinder missed, by a single minute, the deadline to take his name of his ballot. He decided to come to Sandra before the next ballot regardless.
Being a blogger, and an alternate delegate, I don’t get to vote but being on the convention floor is more fun. No line ups!
Team Wynne, for the last several days, has been insisting at every opportunity that she should be Premier because she a) has a seat and b) would reopen the Legislature right away.
Political conventions tend to bring out the best of its party members – renewal, camaraderie, etc. But some of the worst, too.
Like what happened last night.
You may know there was a huge 80 vehicle pile up on the 401 late yesterday afternoon. Many people were stuck in it, including my friends, John and Linda Fraser. John has worked for Premier McGuinty for 14 years. Some delegates were part of the accident, and I hope all are ok.
Because of this, there was a concern that they’d miss the registration deadline and not be able to vote today. Some campaigns quickly petitioned the party to extend registration hours to ensure no delegates were disenfranchised. One other, Kathleen Wynne’s team, actively tried to prevent this.
So worried are they about delegates from other teams – particularly Sandra’s – voting, they did everything they could to ensure cut off remained at 11 pm.
And they will lose today.
Sometimes there are no words.
I’ve been proudly volunteering on Sandra Pupatello’s campaign from the very beginning – which seems much longer ago than it actually is – and what I can tell you about her is that she is the rarest of politicians: whip-smart, fun and genuine. In a way that cannot be faked. She and I have discussed everything from the economy to canning jam (yes, we both know how to do this).
What I like about her best is that’s she’s a fighter. She fights for what is right. She fights for the underdog. And she fights in, and wins, elections.
Windsor mayor Eddie Francis thinks so, too. She’s a winner. Full stop. Her husband thinks so, too.
Today’s a busy day! I was at MLG earlier to register for the Ontario Liberal Party convention and pick up some Sandra swag. Ran into Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan and Grit MPP Michael Gravelle and had a few minutes to chat with both. Convention weekends are like old home week for all political types – most you are happy to see. Excitement is high! As we were leaving, Charles Sousa and his team arrived – I don’t know what his name is but the kid who was leading the charge was great!
Later this afternoon I’ll be stopping in at Sun News Network to talk with Caryn Lieberman about what to expect over the next day or so. SNN will be broadcasting from MLG on Saturday so I’ll be checking in with them on site, too. And much later tonight, Warren and I will be heading over to the Sound Academy for the sold-out Soundgarden show.
Hard to believe that in just a bit more than 24 hours Ontario will have a new Premier but first, we say good-bye to Dalton McGuinty, which takes place tonight. There will be few dry eyes at MLG. Dalton is one class act and he will be missed. Check out his farewell video below. Thank you, Premier.
If you’re a member of the Ontario Liberal Party, you have been bombarded in recent weeks with emails, campaign literature and phone calls. It’s a part of every campaign, however, and it’s here to stay. But some campaigns have been more mindful of not cluttering up your inbox or not subjecting you to nonstop robocalls. But others have gone way too far.
Like Kathleen Wynne.
This week, some Liberal party members received one letter in particular that has some people very upset. This letter was translated into different languages based on a kind of assumed ethnicity based on the member’s name. Yes, name.
Remember back when the Harper Cons sent Rosh Hashanah messages to Jewish Canadians? People were outraged. What the Wynne campaign has done this week is similar, and it has offended a number of Liberal party members.
Young Liberal, Tahiya Bakht received a letter in Punjabi. She is Bangledeshi but an assumption was made that she was Indian or Pakistani based on her name. She wrote about how she felt about it on Facebook last night:
Another Ontario Liberal Party member got something similar. Hani El Masry received a letter from the Wynne campaign identifying him as Muslim and was then added to an email list serv for “Muslim delegates for Wynne”. Hani is Arab, but not Muslim. You can read about it here.
On many levels, this is a big mistake. Huge. I come from a diverse ethnic background and could not imagine receiving political literature based on a guess as to what that background is. A candidate who preaches social justice and tolerance should never, ever be as insensitive as this.
Hard to believe that in three days we will have a new Ontario Premier. I was a huge fan of Dalton McGuinty – and will continue to be – but am excited about this next chapter of the Liberal government. As you know, my choice for Premier is Sandra Pupatello. She is dynamic, engaging and a proven winner. The Toronto Star said, under Pupatello, we would see “a frugal government with a social conscience.” I like that. I think most Ontarians would agree.
I learned last night that I – along with some blogging friends, Big City Lib and Scott Tribe, among others – have been given accredited blogger status for the convention. I may likely tweet more than post throughout the weekend, so if you’re interested in following me, my handle is @LisaKirbie. I will do my best to be entertaining.