Saturday, June 6, 2009

Exhilarating disappointment

The convention was today.

In one sense, the convention itself was of possibly limited relevance. Of the nearly 9500 votes cast, most had been advance votes by mail, by phone or online. There were apparently only 700ish votes cast live today.

Our principle opponent's people had been confidently predicting a first ballot victory in the order of 55 - 60%, which would be the most decisive victory in our party's history (apart, arguably, from the 1987 convention where Roy Romanow was acclaimed).

So much for those predictions.

Ryan finished a quite respectable 25% on the first ballot, but Dwain Lingenfelter (Link) fell short of a majority at only 46%. See the complete results here. The fourth place candidate was dropped and the third place candidate withdrew. Both subsequently endorsed Ryan.

Problem was, we basically needed to take 90% of their votes on the second ballot to stage an upset - a pretty tall order.

It was not to be. Link beat Ryan, clearly but not massively, 55 - 45% on the second and final ballot.

Three months ago, people used to describe the race as "former Deputy Premier Dwain Lingenfelter, MLA Deb Higgins, former party president Yens Pedersen and that doctor from Saskatoon none of us had heard of."

I am exhilarated that I was part of a team that took a virtual unknown and turned him into a serious contender. But, of course, I'm disappointed we couldn't get across the finish line.

Ryan's concession speech hit just the right note, calling on those disappointed in the result to stay and to help build the party. None of this self-indulgent PUMA stupidity here.

I had been up editing speeches until 3:00 am. I'm exhausted. But I know I've been part of something worthwhile.

(I'll be away at the Canadian Public Relations Society Conference and the Change of Command of HMCS REGINA over the coming week. Don't expect me to resume blogging until sometime after June 14. Then I promise to get back to covering the Anglican skirmishes from my own curmudgeonly perspective.)

1 comment:

Country Parson said...

Sometime and somewhere this last winter I picked up an old book recounting the history of the Canadian Navy during WWII with an emphasis on the North Atlantic Patrol. Not especially well written, but the story was riveting. The great battles were not so much against German U-boats as against the sea itself under on board conditions so brutal and crews so green that mere survival was miraculous.