They didn't kick me out, and I even ran into a couple of cousins while at the big Conservative meeting last night. Of course, it's hard for me not to run into a couple of cousins pretty much anywhere I go, there are so many of them.
My first political rally was not exactly what I'd expected, if you can call a large meeting hall 2/3rds filled with people who politely clapped at all three speeches a rally. There was no Koolaid to drink, no blood sacrifices. Just folks, and plenty of them I knew from curling, school or other parts of my life. Also, the median age, I'd say was about 60. Something all political parties might pay attention to.
From what I could see, none of the three candidates hit it out of the park, but none fell flat on their face, either. It's too bad the mics and sound system became such an issue for all of them.
Chris Carrier talked first, with substantial energy, his speech focused on what he believes it will take to win the upcoming vote, considering the situation involving the previous nominee, Helena Guergis. He was the only one to mention her. He said with Guergis running as an independent, the possibility of a split vote among the conservative-minded is a real threat. Carrier also addressed some of the ongoing criticisms he's faced from his very vocal detractors. Frankly, I am surprised he hasn't reacted sooner and stronger to what might be called cyberbullying.
Kellie Leitch opened her remarks talking about the 60,000 kilometres she's put on her car during the campaign. The rest of her speech was similar to the one she gave at the kick-off to her campaign six months ago, stressing that that as an MP, she can help 'millions of kids' rather than just one at a time. That said, she then offered an anecdote about the help she and a team of other doctors provided to a kid who had been hit by a transport truck.
Paul Throop had his elementary school teacher introduce him, which was touching but odd; first, since he's in his mid-60s, and also since neither of the other two candidates was formally introduced. He spoke from the floor, rather than the podium, and did not use his notes, impressive until he lost his train of thought when he spoke about his sister. Prior to that, he had focused on how he has worked behind the scenes in the federal government for years, and knows how to get things done.
Today's the day the Harper Government is expected to fall, with May 2nd the most likely date for the election.
Over six hours of voting today, Simcoe Grey's Conservatives will pick their candidate. It will be very interesting to see whether they offer up the local guy, the surgeon or the Ottawa insider for your consideration on voting day.