It’s election day, especially if you live in Alberta. As I write this I’m sitting on the floor of my in-law’s house, tapped haphazardly into a network connection, and watching the live television broadcast of the federal Liberal leadership race. Whoever the winner is going to be (Peter Mansbridge says probably Stephane Dion) it’s going to be a bit of a 180 for the party. I can’t help but wonder how that will be perceived down South. Our American neighbors tend to have difficulty with our leadership on a good day, so I can’t imagine how the man with a bit of girlie-name and a name-link-relationship with CÃƒÂ©line will fare on, say, The Daily Show.
While I wait for the talking heads to get to the big numbers, I’ll just throw it out there that I actually bit the bullet, bought a membership, and became a Two-Minute-Torie so I could cast a ballot in the only election that matters in Alberta in my lifetime: the replacement of one RK. For the record, I was third in line at the polling station this morning for the second ballot, and I was the second to actually cast in my riding (one guy in front of me needed to buy his membership first.)
Back in Montreal, there is that drum roll moment where the Liberals wait for the announcement, the two remaining candidates looking both tense, excited, and glum all at the same moment. The questions racking the commentators: do they already know the results? Will they play nice if they lose? How will the new leader perform as a PM? Is that even a possibility?
“Get it over with!”
There are recaps. There are long moments of anticipation. The heads seem to think there is a force at work timing the announcement for some prime-time reality-tv ratings grab. It’s just nearly four o’clock here, but live this will be a supper-hour blast.
Dion nods his head, smiling.
Ignatieff looks constipated.
The producers have relied far too heavily up a soundtrack of pumping metal, retro-disco chops, and some poorly chosen U2 riffs.
And they are talking. Speakers on stage. Clapping. Retrospecting. Stalling. Thanking.
The final results are about to be revealed. Pause. Stall.
Here they are — bilingually, (but not here)… they fill more time:
As total of 4625 ballots were cast…
Spoiled: 20 Ballots.
Required to win: 2304 Ballots.
They are reading the results in alphabetical order… and Stephane Dion… WINS with a majority.
So now I ask: does live-blogging a political leadership race make me a geek or a political junkie? Too bad I’ll be too busy to bother with the local PC vote tonight. I’m sure, dear readers, you are very disappointed.