It’s now official: ex-Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) premier Bob Rae is a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party. He joins fellow Liberal MPs Dominic LeBlanc and Michael Ignatieff in the race to replace Stéphane Dion.
A Toronto MP, Mr. Rae was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and comes from a family of diplomats and politicians. Including his time in provincial politics, he has held elected office for some 18 years. He is currently the Liberal Party’s foreign affairs spokesman.
Facing his biggest political failure head-on, Mr. Rae has said that he is proud of his performance as Ontario premier (1990 to 1995). During that time his socialist NDP ran record deficits and saw welfare rolls swell. He says he has learned from that experience and won’t try to hide it. However, polls suggest Mr. Rae will have considerable trouble shaking the legacy of those deficit-ridden years as Ontario premier.
Mr. Ignatieff is the current frontrunner in the race that will conclude at the leadership convention in Vancouver next May. I personally think the race is pretty well over over and Ignatieff will win handily. I also predict that Bob Rae will not stand for re-election in the next federal campaign.