I nominate Conrad Black for leader of the Liberal party.
First, he's available. Back in Canada again, and ensconced behind the walls of his Bridle Path mansion, Black will soon tire of overseeing the groundskeeping staff and letting the dogs out. He'll be looking for new battles to fight, and the Liberals are battling for survival.
Second, he's already known far and wide, possessing a strong "personal brand" in the current jargon. No need to go through a long and expensive process of creating a public identity for the candidate.
Third, he has the gravitas to pull it off, with the stereotypical craggy, shaggy-maned, look of a statesman, and the presence to dominate a room. He's a man with considered opinions on many topics, the desire to push them forward forcefully, and the vocabulary to do so. Party leader material, without doubt.
Fourth, he appears to have acquired some liberal inclinations while in prison. The news media are reporting that he is dead against the mandatory minimum sentences so beloved by the Tories, and has become an advocate for educating prisoners, preparing them for release, and providing alternatives to incarceration for many offenders.
Fifth, Question Period would be so much more entertaining. Imagine Conrad bombastically ripping into ministers of the crown over some tomfoolery or breach of protocol. Riveting stuff. It could even be televised in prime time as a reality TV show, a welcome source of revenue for deficit reduction.
Sixth, he's already in tight with Elizabeth II and her circle, so royal visits would be like old home week for his lordship and the missus.
Seventh, speaking of the missus, the Baroness Black of Crossharbour, having had the experience of renovating the London mansion, would be well-suited to remedying oversights in the original designs of Stornoway or 24 Sussex --- fur lockers, additional evening gown storage rooms, jewellery vaults, and the like.
Eighth, he has built on the Ignatieff precedent of spending a few preparatory years in American institutions in order to add depth and breadth to his world view.
He may need some coaching prior to embarking on the campaign trail --- backyard burger flipping, shopping mall small talk, baby kissing, that sort of thing. And, there is the matter of Canadian citizenship (lack of), but I'm sure that can be worked out without too much difficulty, given that the Conservatives would likely see his candidacy to be a guarantee of their majority government for another term.
From the Big House to the House of Commons --- it has the ring of a campaign slogan, don't you think?
Do I feel a groundswell building?