Monday, September 05, 2011

On domino effects

Olivia Chow's announcement that she doesn't intend to run for the NDP's leadership looks to bring the race into much sharper focus.

With Chow deciding not to run, there's a wide open space for a candidate from the greater Toronto area. And while Peggy Nash looks like the most obvious prospect, there are all kinds of possibilities awaiting from inside and outside the NDP's current caucus - including some going beyond my current candidate lists if Nash too takes a pass.

Or alternatively, a gap in Toronto-area candidates would allow a contender from elsewhere a better chance to serve as the voice of urban voters - which might offer a particularly important opening for a candidate like Megan Leslie to expand beyond her current geographic base.

Finally, Chow was also the prospective candidate with the most obvious chance to both harness and influence Jack Layton's legacy in the course of the leadership race. And her choice to stay out of the fray means that a number of different candidates will instead have better chances to highlight different parts of Layton's leadership within their own campaign - while ensuring that Layton's personal reputation won't get tied as tightly to what happens in the leadership race and beyond.

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