"That's how Dalton McGuinty won," huffs Milton Chan, policy vice-president of the Young Liberals.
Although McGuinty improved over time and eventually won the premier's job, Chan says he was seen in 1996 as "the epitome of mediocrity."
"The reason he was elected is because no one had a goddamn clue who he was. Personally, I don't want my leader to be the bland, inoffensive guy. I want my leader to stand for something."
Chan supports acclaimed Harvard academic and rookie Toronto MP Michael Ignatieff, who is among the so-called first tier of putative candidates - including glamorous Tory defector Belinda Stronach and former Ontario NDP premier Bob Rae - deemed to have the highest profiles, most money and best campaign machines.