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OPINION: Is Toews the Ignatieff of the UCP Leadership Race?

Former Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff (Left) and UCP Leadership Candidate Travis Toews

Lets take a moment here and go back to 2006, Micheal Ignatieff was the perceived frontrunner for the 2006 Liberal Leadership Race. He had the support of the majority of caucus and was expected to win as he was the heir apparent to former Prime Minsiter Paul Martin.

Sounds familiar to the current UCP leadership race doesn't it.

Former Finance Minsiter Travis Toews, the heir apparent to Jason Kenney is leading in caucus endorsements, and he was the perceived frontrunner heading into the race.

Ignatieff ended up placing second in the 2006 Liberal leadership race, to a candidate from Quebec who was known for one thing, the Clarity Act.

Toews is on the path to place second in the 2022 UCP leadership race, to a candidate for southern Alberta who is known for one thing, the Sovereignty Act.

While the similarities end there for the winner of the 2006 Liberal Leadership Race Stephane Dion, and UCP frontrunner and former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith. The runners up are looking more and more similar each day.

Toews has been lacking something that Smith has brought to the race, Charisma. Toews seems like a decent man, he as his strong points. Balancing the provincial budget, able to speak on a range of issues in rural and urban Alberta, and is releasing policy that looks good on paper.

The heir apparent to Jason Kenney is just not connecting with voters though. Like Ignatieff, Toews is looking like the University professor that is coming to lecture you on the issues of Alberta. The only big difference between the two is, Toews looks comfortable in a cowboy hat, while Ignatieff looked awkward and out of place anywhere near a horse and cowboy hat.

Looking at the Toews campaign, it seems as though they are trying to brand the campaign about the candidate himself and not the issues of the day. His campaign videos are being branded as "I'm in this race because...." while Smith, his main opponent, is branding her campaign videos as, "Lets Put Alberta First..."

Ignaiteff had this issue as well. He looked at the race as I'm here to save the Liberal Party, and forgot about the thing the Liberals did well - back in the day - which is connect with the every day Canadian and fight for the issues they wanted addressed. The Toews campaign is falling into rut and if they continue to talk about him and not what the people are wanting to talk about he is going to end up on the wrong side of that podium come October 6th.

If Toews wants to win this race, and become the next Premier of the Province of Alberta. Maybe its time for the frontrunner and potential next Michael Ignatieff to ditch the 'Campaign of Me' and start campaigning for that infamous couple, 'Martha and Henry'.

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