Fresh from his breezy win in the federal election, Burnaby-New West MP Peter Julian is making political observers take notice. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has hinted he thinks Julian is leadership material, and now even a Liberal campaign worker for Julian’s recent rival Gerry Lenoski says he can picture him running for Premier.
For any candidate to increase their margin of victory from 329 votes in the election of 2004 to 13,151 votes in 2008 is politically noteworthy. And to hit 46.4 per cent of the popular vote is equally noteworthy when one considers there were five other candidates running in the race.
I have to admit that Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan’s view that Mr. Julian has the makings of a party leader are not just bravado or bluster.
I saw Mr. Julian perform at a couple of all-candidates meetings, and he is already ready for prime time. Good oratorical skills and personable – it’s a hard combination to beat. But since there is no realistic reason to believe Mr. Layton is apt to step aside anytime soon, the mayor’s assertion suggests to me that he dropped one of those oblique political hints one so often sees in politics, that the leadership to which he was actually referring was that of the provincial NDP.