A political shockwave of earth shattering proportions exploded through the country on Monday afternoon as Liberal starlet-darling (starling?) Zach Paikin, the son of the decidedly unremarkable anchor Steve Paikin, announced that he intends to withdraw from the Liberal nomination race for Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas.
That’s right. He no longer intends to run for the chance to be able to run for the currently-non-existent-but-soon-to-exist riding of Hamilton West – Ancaster – Dundas.
In a fiery and scathing written statement, Paikin said, “Justin Trudeau broke a key promise to hold open nominations in every riding by blocking the candidacy of Christine Innes in downtown Toronto”.
I don’t doubt that the good people of Hamilton West poured into the streets holding an impromptu vigil-memorial immediately after his statement. Presumably with his half-complete nomination papers scattered around to ground haphazardly in some sort of a sacrilegious shrine-like situation, the locals must have wept openly. “What are we supposed to do now ?! Find an actual candidate?” they surely cried.
For opposition parties, the announcement was likely treated as a godsend. The fall of a juggernaut like Paikin has both the Conservative Party and the NDP breathing a sigh of relief. At NDP headquarters, staffers most likely received the day off in light of the game-changing announcement. A senior New Democrat strategist, hurriedly preparing for the evening’s Hawaiian Luau themed “Paikin withdrawal party” probably gushed, “Oh man, what can I say. You work for months for a day like this! It’s hard to describe really.”
Conservatives are most likely also breathing a sigh of relief. Well aware of Paikin’s mastery and command on issues of foreign policy, this fortunate turn of events will give the Prime Minister some breathing room on how he handles the situation unfolding in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Young Liberals of Canada have been dealt a massive blow. Many Young Liberals touted Paikin as a shoe-in for Trudeau’s future cabinet, perhaps even Trudeau’s successor, or, at the very least, on the shortlist as nominee for the next governor general.
Twitter also lamented the loss. Moments after Paikin dropped the “W” word (withdraw), a flurry of tweets began to comment on the strategy behind the move:
So was the Zach Paikin "candidacy" just a stunt to help with grad school applications? Why didn't I think of that? #cdnpoli
— Ben Diepeveen (@BenDiepeveen) March 17, 2014
They Questioned why he was even trending:
Comment about Zach Paikin from a ex-classmate: "I don't know why he's trending, he's the most annoying kid I've ever met in my life."
— zeina (@znsmy) March 17, 2014
And they wondered about his national clout:
Does anyone outside of Ontario even know who Zach Paikin is? #cdnpoli
— Adam Stirling (@Adam_Stirling) March 17, 2014
In the end, a hero has fallen. Where we go from here remains a question shrouded in mystery. In the interim, a nation mourns.