In my whirlwind tour last night, I first saw Paul Dewar before racing downtown to catch Peggy Nash’s meet and greet at the Railway Club.
While Dewar’s event was held in a large condo meeting room, a slightly larger crowd packed into the small backroom of the Railway Club (where Skeptics in the Pub downtown meets) to meet Nash. While Dewar’s event had pop, chips, veggies, cookies, and some leftover Halloween candy, Nash’s event had veggies and mini-sandwiches – a happy sight since I hadn’t had time to find dinner. Sadly it was still a cash bar, but I wouldn’t hold that against any candidate.
Venues and snacks aside, I still didn’t walk away from Nash’s event as impressed as I was with Dewar. I met a friend there and we were both a little underwhelmed with the buzz and feel-good fluff that composed most of her speech.
I re-listened to it again this morning and I think the above characterization is a bit harsh, but listen yourself:
I think she planned on taking more questions later in the evening, but I was getting a bit tired and the room was hot, noisy, and crowded, so I snuck off, had a beer, and went home.
Her speech focussed a lot on what we need to differently than Harper, specifically focussing on the economy, becoming the greenest country, and working together as a country. Proposals may come later, but after witnessing the winning policy-heavy campaigns of Naheed Nenshi and Alison Redford, it makes me long for something more substantive.
The final thing I’ll say about her event is that while she attracted an enthusiastic crowd of all ages, it was a very heterogeneous crowd – predominantly Caucasian. Perhaps this was due to the venue and location difference, but it was a bit striking.
Regardless, I haven’t written her off after last night, but I was much more impressed with Paul Dewar last night.