In the wake of the huge Liberal win in Ontario, you have to pity a couple of Johns. Tory and Rapin to be precise. Tory of course lost his own riding. And Rapin, running against John Gerretsen, finished a distant second in Kingston and the Islands. Rapin's optimism prior to the election was admirable, if naive. Kingston, home of Queen's University, has for years been a strong Liberal riding. On October 2nd, after John Tory had flip-flopped on religious school funding, Rapin was duly impressed.
Rapin says changing the party's central platform -- so late in the campaign -- is an act of political courage...."I think it shows leadership, he's willing to take advice and listen and recognize that as much as this is dear to him... that there are a lot of concerned people out there."After the election, Team Rapin was singing a different tune. According to Rapin's campaign office manager:
“If John Tory wasn’t the leader of this party, we would have won this riding. As a matter of fact, if John Tory hadn’t opened his fucking mouth, we would have won this riding.”Umm, ok. Whatever...
And former PM Jean Chretien has released new memoirs in which he comes down hard on his eventual successor Paul Martin. I for one am glad to see the Little Guy come out swinging. Mr. Dither's (not so) behind-the-scenes maneuvering to oust Chretien was nothing short of deplorable. In his zeal to become Prime Minister, Martin fomented a revolution of sorts, and created deep and destructive divisions within the party.
So when Martin's spokesman Jim Pimblett expresses concern that "old divisions are being revisited at a time when the Liberal Party needs to stand unified behind (Liberal leader Stephane) Dion”, the irony is almost unbearable. I wonder if Martin now wishes he had taken Pimblett's advice so many years ago?