Little Red Island is unimpressed:
This is absolutely not the kind of thing the Party needs. Candidates like MacIsaac detract from the race and make it look like amateur hour, when what we need is smart guys like Stephane Dion, John Godfrey, and Michael Ignatieff front and center. MacIsaac is just a distraction.
Revelation 22.22 is actually quite happy to see MacIsaac corner the crucial drug-addled sexual deviant vote:
Yes, he is a former crack-baser and he is into some very different sexual practices, but hey if you want to open the field you might as well consider it wide open now.
Ron Maheu fears that lowering the leadership entry fee to $50,000 might encourage too many of the wrong sort of people to run. People with agendas, ideas, ulterior motives and all sorts of other embarrassing things that might get in the way of a civilized coronation of the next prime minister by divine right:
For $50,000, almost anyone can now buy their 15-minutes of fame. If you're a business person looking for an ego boost, running for Leader of the Liberal Party is cheaper than buying a professional sports franchise. If you're a comedian looking for an unending supply of material for a dozen or more CBC specials, running for Leader of the Liberal Party is cheaper than hiring a team of joke writers (et tu Mercer).....I don't believe that our leadership race being perceived as a free-for-all helps our cause but, unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure that we didn't invite one with the low entry fee.
Well Ron, you all thought it was a big laugh to have a transvestite run for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance. Now the joke's on you. But I can still think of better things to do with $50,000 to make a name for myself than run for the Liberal leadership.
Stop Harper is also having fits at the possibility of an open race:
at first i thought it would be awesome to have lots of candidates with a variety of backgrounds and ideas. unfortunately an individual from cape breton has changed my mind. after watching what can only be described as a ‘shock and aw’ interview on ctv with this blundering fellow, i am convinced more then ever that we need to preserve the leadership for those with a tiny bit of political elitism.
herby I am asking that you raise the entry fee substantially so that this leadership doesn’t turn into a parade of losers.
The Liberals have not had recent experience with a genuinely contested leadership race since Trudeau won in 1968. Its last three leaders have arisen by stealth campaigns against the incumbent ending in coronation: Turner against Trudeau, Chretien against Turner, and Martin against Chretien.
They seem to fear having to choose from among a host of contenders, front-runners, also-rans, single-issue men, regional bosses, interest brokers and fringe nuts alike.
How much easier it was for them when the party elites tipped the scales so far in advance that everyone knew who was going to win, and the convention was just a mere formality.
You can't bridge the national democratic deficit if you can't cross the one within your own party.
The Liberals are going to have to learn that intra-party democracy is messy, but it works.