In what was Canadians’ first opportunity to give their assessment of the Liberal Party’s choice of leader, last night’s by-elections were a clear repudiation of Michael Ignatieff. Liberals would like to suggest that they had no expectations of success. They did, however, run candidates in all four ridings, Michael Ignatieff personally visited and campaigned in all of them and they finished a distant third in all four by-elections.
Yes, perhaps victories were not expected, but could they have anticipated such a drubbing of what they want us to believe is a “government-in-waiting?”
By-elections seldom provide good news for governments as they rarely win. Add to this the fact that these by-elections came during an economic downturn and after weeks of ferocious attacks by the Grits and their allies in the mainstream media on the government’s integrity and ability to manage the H1N1 crisis. Despite this, the Conservatives finished the night with collective smiles while the Liberals sported glum faces.
Any opposition party that cannot do well in such times, has little to be thankful for and needs an overhaul of its strategies, tactics and perhaps its leadership.
- The Bloc won the Quebec riding of Hochelaga by more than 5,500 votes over the NDP, with the Liberals and Conservatives trailing in third and fourth place, respectively.
- Conservative candidate Bernard Genereux won in Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Riviere-du-Loup by more than 1,400 votes over Bloc candidate Nancy Gagnon, grabbing a riding that’s been held by the BQ since 1993.
- The NDP beat the Conservatives in New Westminster-Coquitlam by more than 3,300 votes, with the Liberals again running a distant third.
- The Conservatives re-claimed the Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley by 4,900 votes over the NDP, with the Liberals third.
Everything considered, a very good outcome for PM Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Return to Main page »
© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.