Marc Garneau to run for interim leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This news is from yesterday, and I was ready to write about it the moment it happened but as it turned out Blogger was completely down, an outage that lasted until the next afternoon and made quite a bit of news as well. Now that it's over, I'm happy to participate in sharing the news. Marc Garneau, Canada's first astronaut and former head of the Canadian Space Agency (and MP for Westmount Ville-Marie), is the first Liberal so far to announce a bid for interim leadership of the party. Yay!

Technically the interim leader is not supposed to be the permanent leader (due to getting an unfair advantage for the real convention or some silly reason like that), but the Liberal Party seems to bend its rules whenever it wants so who knows what will happen if Garneau becomes the leader and a year or two later there is a convention to determine the permanent one. In the meantime, there has been a bit of a stir over the announcement and plenty of space jokes on Twitter, that you can read about here. As soon as the announcement happened people began coming up with negative slogans to use on him like "Marc Garneau: he's looked down on everyone in the past", "Garneau didn't come back to Earth for you", "Garneau hates Canada so much he left the planet to get away from it" and so on. Great fun.

In addition to the extra PR for space and science, I do also think that he would make a great leader. He's an engineer, was in the military, perfectly bilingual, lacks melodrama and is big on consensus, has no negative baggage, and managed to win his seat in spite of the huge flood of NDP support in the election this time around - a political battle scar that now makes him more than just a star candidate in an easy riding.

After his announcement his Twitter followers jumped from about 600 to over 2000. He also mentioned that he was ready for all the space jokes, which was part of the reason why there were so many.


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