Candidate Falcon … the Knight of the Iguanas

Looking through the photos of my recent holiday in Mexico I came across this shot of me and my new pals the iguanas.

Having just reviewed the latest Ipsos Reid polling results for the Liberal leadership candidates I could not resist the metaphorical mental image of Kevin Falcon as the Liberal’s Knight of the Iguanas … compelling to behold, but going nowhere in a hurry.

The poll indicates that Falcon has the highest negative rating of all the candidates in the leadership race. This is despite major new endorsements this week by Prince George cabinet ministers Pat Bell and Shirley Bond to add to a long list of caucus and cabinet support and a who’s who list of multi-millionaire corporate support from the Greater Vancouver business community.

Surprise, surprise, the online survey tells us that Christy Clark leads the pack by a wide margin, a lead she has held from the moment she entered the race. George Abbott, the nice guy is this contest, is second.

Clearly, the optics of the Falcon campaign are those of growth and momentum, but the reality is otherwise. My sources tell me that the Falcon team is signing up new members at a rate of about 50 a day, compared to roughly 600 for Christy and 400 for the dark horse in this race Mike De Jong.

With respect to Falcon’s dismal polling I think it is fair to speculate that in the context of “one member, one vote” individual Liberals are rejecting the party establishment and perhaps bristling at the notion that Falcon has dedicated himself to political and business power brokers.

Could this be Falcon’s Bon Fire of the Vanities? Is a wave of individualism sweeping through Liberal ranks and leaving Falcon in its wake? That would be refreshing.

Like a political game of paper, scissors, rock we are finding that “people” trump “elites” in this race. We saw a perfect example of this recently when Rob Ford stole the Toronto mayoralty by campaigning actively against the elite and making the point that it was up to individual voters to decide.

In BC, candidate Falcon has had the wrong political power posture from the get go. Abbott did a mid-campaign correction with his new slogan “The People are Coming.” And, Clark nailed it from the start with her “all about families” pitch.

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