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Swan's song

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Amid the bedlam of last night's delegate selection meeting, there were a couple of neat things. At first, one neat thing was the informality of it all. It was kind of earthy and grassrootsy -- which can degenerate into anarchy pretty fast.

Another surprise was Andrew Swan -- he gave the best speech of the three leadership contenders. He was focused and practical and upbeat and he didn't sweat at all, unlike his campaign kick-off press conference. How did he not pick up a single delegate? The room certainly was Selinger's, who had a gaggle of staffers busy pulling the vote and milling about looking well-organized. But in ridings like Tuxedo and Charleswood that tend to be a bit more conservative, you'd think there would be at least a little love for a more centrist embodiment of the NDP like Swan.

One very not neat thing was the photo-radar flash I saw at Portage and Westwood as I lead-footed it home to file what sketchy results I had before deadline. It will be interesting to see if the delegate selection meetings run more smoothly and swiftly after last night's test run. Or if the next premier has a mandate based only on mass confusion? Already, there are rumblings that the delegate system is unworkable -- imagine counting 1,000 ballots each with 360 names on them? That's what could happen in The Pas.

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