The 'Buzz' about Liberal candidates
Last night, CTV's Mike Duffy floated a rumour that the Liberals were recruiting Toronto Mayor David Miller and Buzz Hargrove of the CAW to run in the GTA in the next election. The same rumour is being circulated over at the National Newswatch website.
The official word from the Liberals is this: "If only it were true," a spokesperson from Liberal leader Stephane Dion's circle told us last night.
The rumour seems to have its origins in the final paragraphs of a March 23 column in the Toronto Sun by Angelo Persichilli.
Persichilli, in blue-sky mode, so to speak, is reminding readers how Hargrove enraged his old pals in the NDP during the last couple of elections by urging New Democrat-leaning voters to cast ballots for the Liberals if that's what it took to defeat the Conservatives. And so, he writes:
The NDP leader should be very worried about the erosion of support for his party towards the Liberals. Rae's victory brings the "strategic vote" notion of Buzz Hargrove to a higher level. Now not just votes, but also leaders, are marching from the NDP toward the Liberals. Many New Democrats might be tired of seeing their party being the conscience of Canadians between elections who then send the Liberals or Conservatives into power when the actual election comes.
The only thing missing to close the circle would be an announcement from two former NDP bigwigs that they were running for the Liberals: CAW president Buzz Hargrove in Toronto-Danforth, challenging Layton, and the mayor of Toronto, David Miller, as a Liberal candidate in Trinity-Spadina (against Olivia Chow).
And then, bingo, the takeover of the Liberal Party is a done deal.
So, that's all it takes these days, it seems to start rumours on Parliament Hill: the last couple of paragraphs in a Toronto Sun column. Nonetheless, I'm sure we'll be checking them out more today, just in case, with Hargrove and Miller themselves.
Update: A senior Liberal has also this morning pointed out another flaw in the Persichilli scenario. There is already a nominated Liberal candidate in Trinity-Spadina. His name is Tony Ianno, the man who held that riding from 1993 to 2006 and the former minister of state for families and caregivers.