Her announcement leaves no doubt that her reasons have little to do with preferring to serve as a backbench MP and everything to do with not being able to buy the leadership as she has become accustomed to buying everything else:
"I could have raised the money, I was working on my French, but I realized that I was not going to be free to speak my mind on party renewal," said the member of Parliament for the Toronto-area riding of Newmarket-Aurora.
She said that renewal would involve giving all party members a direct vote on its direction and leadership, among other things.
"If there was a one-member, one-vote system, I would run," she said.
Currently, she added, "It's about the politics of winning, not winning with ideas."
Daddy could have just written a cheque to buy up thousands of memberships under a OMOV system; delegates are a little more expensive to buy and higher maintenance to keep.
The press gallery must have had a hard time keeping a straight face at that last statement, though. If there is anything Belinda could not bring to the race--besides the ability to order a hot dog in French--it was ideas. Drs. Ignatieff, Dion and Godfrey would have run rings around her intellectually in both official languages while she stumbled with explaining how she'd cuirer une tarte economique.
A Stronach campaign would have been a media sideshow; a Stronach victory would have been a disaster for the Liberal Party, as it would have shown that the Liberal Party had no idea how to fix its public image and no intention of doing so, hoping that their reputation as the Natural Governing Party By Divine Right would have gulled enough Canadians into accepting a spoiled heiress with no ideas and acheivements of her own as prime minister.
Every Conservative should be thankful that she is where she is right now, and not leading our party. Paul Martin would be sitting on his 200 seat majority right now.