Tuesday, September 18, 2007


There's enough doom and gloom out in the world without us Liberals creating our own.
So the MainStream Media has forgotten that we're kindred spirits, and a large chunk of Montrealers ignored their inalienable right to vote for us.
These by-elections, while being defined as 'a test of leadership', in fact are tests of a hundred straws. Unlike a federal election, the local candidates truly create different battles -- Mulcair pushing for men's grooming (not lemon) aids; Lebel riding the wave of his 80s sexy songs; Thi Lac demonstrating that rural Quebecers are not all ignorant zealots; even Coulon brought to the surface something that I never knew -- stuffy professorial nerds can't preach charisma.
Buck up, fellow Grit. The lessons to be learned are numerous, and the sting will disappear along with the swelling. But study some of the ashes -- notice how Harper continued to show his colours, first by using the 'veil issue' to sow some ethno-angst among rural Quebecers, and in Outremont, even with a respectably known candidate, he gave him few resources in which to make a dent; in effect, Harper tore out Dion's page from the Green party pact -- waving a white flag just to embarrass his rival. Of course, it's fitting that this doofus is now living in a NdP riding. Maybe his new MP can finally get some action on ridding us of the senate.
But was this a by-election ballot on leadership? Perhaps to a small minority of voters, but the popularity of the winners is fairly understandable. Lebel, a local mayor, surfs on the Dumont wave; Mulcair a liberal in orange clothe, who's own personality complex likely means a short shelf life on that team.
Was last year's London Centre by-election a vote on leadership? We didn't have one and we won. Harper had a large hole to climb but had a somewhat popular mayor (quickly, define 'popular') wearing the blue-coloured gag.
There's plenty of excellent ideas on what to do next here and here.
Does the team need work? You betcha. Do I trust this guy -- he was an ardent Ignatieff supporter during the leadership race, now part of the leaking bags over our portside.
The CONs love creating mischief like tossing around fake 'Bob the Red' buttons at the convention and giving phoney 'tips' to lazy reporters. And they no doubt have time to create numerous fake blog IDs or just repeat anonymous comments across the ethernet.
I'm not suggesting we cross into their territory, but we've got to toughen up. Put aside the Queensborough rulebook and give them a punch at the beltline. They've demonstrated a completely incompetent knowledge of things economical and ethical, breaking promises to some of their core supporters, while demonstrating an amazing skill at hypocrisy, so let's trumpet these things, while also launching some of those whiz-bang policy ideas that are in the bank. And most of all, we can't go about propping them up just because we lost a by-election.
That's the NdP's game. Because if you want Kyoto, Kelowna, universal childcare, you aren't going to get it with Harper at the helm.
And we've got to get out there and remind those soft NdPers and soft PCers all these facts.
And Monday's by-election results? Frankly Scarlet, I don't give a damn.

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