Labrador By-Election

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kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So is Site C a "green" energy plan as well?

http://paddleforthepeace.ca/about-site-c/

Debater

There's another angle for Mulcair though - his primary allegiance is to his Quebec base.  And he will always support Quebec over Newfoundland when it comes to issues that involve the Hydro disputes between the 2 provinces.  This has even surfaced as an issue in the upcoming Nova Scotia election with the provincial NDP taking hits as a result of the federal NDP's position.

Debater

One more interesting point to make about Newfoundland, and indeed the entire Maritimes is the importance of incumbency and name recognition.  While these things count in all regions of the country, they probably count more in the Maritimes than they do in Ontario, Quebec or the West.

For example, a little known fact about the 2011 Election is that the Liberals actually held the majority of their seats in the Maritimes, whereas this was not the case anywhere else in the country.  The Liberals lost seats in the Maritimes, but most were re-elected.  In fact, the Liberals actually hold the majority of seats in both Newfoundland and PEI despite the disastrous results in the rest of the country.  The Liberals also kept seats in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick.  Perhaps most impressive was the fact that new Liberal MP Sean Casey was able to get elected in Charlottetown, despite not even being an incumbent, so strong is the voting loyalty in particular ridings.

This is why name recognition and connection to the community will be pivotal in the upcoming byelection and why history favours well-known Liberal names in Labrador.  However, it also means that Penashue may still be in a strong position as the current incumbent and someone who is well-known.  Would be unwise to write him off.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

On P&P just now: "Penashue is the best Captain the Titanic has ever had". Laughing

Debater

Ex-Conservative MP Inky Mark:  Harper Wants A Candidate He Can Control

03/19/2013

OTTAWA — A former Conservative MP says Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t call an open nomination meeting in Labrador because he feared party members would pick a candidate whom he cannot control.

Retired MP Inky Mark told The Huffington Post Canada that he thinks the party chose to protect former Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue’s nomination because they were “scared of losing the seat to a more prominent and honest person ... (to) someone you can’t control.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/19/peter-penashue-byelection_n_2909...

Debater
Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Is Mulair's so-called "allegience to Quebec" real, the better question I would say. I don't think  he is so unaware that he is running for national office to put the interests of anyone over anyone. Really, to whom is this an issue, and is it an issue? I think its pretty early to say that we know much about this either way. I think looking at how this is raised will say a lot about whether this is an issue. And, not really sure what this has to do with THIS by-election unless its about muddying the waters for political gain. If that happens, it would be very unfortunate. But really, it also opens a can of worms. If Mulcair's past history is open to consideration, then that must mean this applies just as equally going the other way. And from my standpoint, if we start getting into discussions about party past history, that will only work to the NDP's advantage. They are the OO, and can contrast what people will get and this time the NDP is a postion the deal by virtue of the fact that people could see that electing a NDP government is a very real possibility. I not so sure opening up cans of worms would necessarily work the way people think. On top of that, I am certain the NDP would welcome the chance to have a real debate on the issues with Mulcair as leader.

As to what Macleans says about Penashue one way or the other, my answer is its Macleans, who cares? If the sun is still rising in the east, Macleans is still right wing. I don't think it matters what Macleans thinks, and I and think most people feel the same way.

Debater

Arthur, all John Geddes is saying in Maclean's is that since Harper is claiming Penashue is the best MP in Labrador's history, it makes sense to compare him to other MP's, such as the one who brought it into Confederation in the first place.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater, and I still say I could care less what you can read in Macleans, and outside of the echo chamber, the majority of Candians say "Malceans, is that some kind of smoke, or maybe a chocolate, carmel and nut candy"?

adma

Policywonk wrote:
Historical trends aside, the NDP did finish second in 2008 and 1997 (the latter was was due to the split between the PCs and Reform).

Actually, the latter was due more to 1997-style Alexa-mania boosting a strong, competitive campaign by Randy Collins.  (And even if Collins has since been disgraced, it remains a race to learn from.)

Debater

Arthur Cramer wrote:

Debater, and I still say I could care less what you can read in Macleans, and outside of the echo chamber, the majority of Candians say "Malceans, is that some kind of smoke, or maybe a chocolate, carmel and nut candy"?

AC, you can ignore the Maclean's link if you wish.  It's just one of many articles on this thread that deals with the Labrador by-election.  It's not meant to have any particualr significance.

I think John Geddes basically wrote it to make fun of Harper's claim that Penashue is the best MP in the history of the universe.

jjuares

I agree with  almost everything Debater is saying about the Liberal's chances. I mean just look at the situation. The Liberals are in a middle of a leadership campaign that is garnering almost unprecedented news copy, they have two strong candidates to choose from, and  history is on their side. Their positives just go on and on. In fact if the Liberals don't win by a massive blowout (70% or better) I would be pretty worried if I was a Liberal. Anything less than that will have to be considered a huge moral defeat for the Liberals and definitely a sign that the Liber-apocalyse is upon us. 

Debater

One of the things I find interesting about the Penashaue controversy is that the media is being tougher on the Conservatives than usual - perhaps the CPC has overplayed its hand this time.  There seems to be almost universal agreement that Harper should not be letting Penashue run before the Elections Canada investigation is completed.

 

Dirty Politics

March 20, 2013 

http://www.thetelegram.com/Opinion/Editorial/2013-03-20/article-3203688/...

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

jjaures, I hear what you are saying. My reply is, or, maybe not. 2015 is a long way away and other things may be at play as well. I have no illusions about how hard its going to be, but I also don't belive for example, that Quebec is suddenly going to revert to voting LPC as it always had. I believe something changed, and I don't believe that the LPC is at least for the foreseeable future going to figure in Quebec they way they did in the past. If they want a majority, they are going to have to look elsewhere.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Evan Solomon basically eviscerated the Conservatives last night over Penashue. Columnist Don Martin was on the all-party panel, and he said it is just totally unacceptable for Penashue to be able to run again before an investigation into his last campaign is conducted and finished.

I hope people in Labrador are paying attention.

jjuares

Arthur Cramer wrote:

jjaures, I hear what you are saying. My reply is, or, maybe not. 2015 is a long way away and other things may be at play as well. I have no illusions about how hard its going to be, but I also don't belive for example, that Quebec is suddenly going to revert to voting LPC as it always had. I believe something changed, and I don't believe that the LPC is at least for the foreseeable future going to figure in Quebec they way they did in the past. If they want a majority, they are going to have to look elsewhere.

.

Arthur, I was oly talking about the byelection. As the leadership race has unfolded in the last few days I find that the whole thing is beginning to look more like a sham with countless double entries in the Liberal number. This supporter category with 100 000 names without an email address looks embarassing for the LIbs.

Debater

Let's try to keep the focus on the Labrador by-election in this thread since there are other threads for the Liberal leadership.

But to answer a couple of points that were raised above:  the current registration process has definitely had some administrative hiccups along the way, but the number of people voting is still expected to be larger than the number who voted in the NDP race last year or in the last Conservative race.  And remember that the NDP had a delay of several hours last year on voting day which delayed the final ballot results until late in the evening.  These things are a work in progress and while it is certainly true that parts of the registration process need to be ironed out, there has definitely been an increased voter's database that can be helpeful to the LPC in the next election.

Remember also that as Martin Patriquin of Maclean's has reported, Liberal fundraising has outpaced that of the NDP in Quebec over the past year.  Of course the LPC isn't going to sweep Quebec in the next election and it can't take anything for granted.  But as Chantal Hebert wrote recently, there won't be many safe NDP seats there either.  There could be a revival of the BQ vote or an increase in the Liberal vote.  No party can take anything for granted.

Anyway, back to Labrador . . . 

Stockholm

Chnatal Hebert wrote that there won't be any "safe" seats in Quebec for the NDP OR FOR ANYONE ELSE  (I guess that includes the Liberals)...and I agree - the era of "safe seats" is coming to an end and the public's trust has to be earned every election. The Liberals thought Labrador was a "safe seat" in 2011 because they won it with 70% of the vote in 2008 - turned out it wasn't so safe.

According to the latest Leger poll when Quebecers are asked who would make the best PM of canada Mulcair or Trudeau - Mulcair wins 47% to 29% - with numbers like that the 7 Liberal MPs in Quebec better watch their backs since the orange crush in Quebec may have only begun in 2011 and could get rid of the last bits of Liberal flotsam in 2015.

In Labrador obviously a lot depends on candidates. i have heard nothing more about whether Todd Russell plans to run against yvonne Jones for the Liberal nomination. I hear there is a lot of i nterest in the NDP nomination there. Its worth noting that the NDP has quite a bit of success in winning northern/remote ridings across Canada what with holding northern manitoba, western Arctic, Skeena in BC, all of northern Ontario and all of northern Quebec. The Liberals in contrast have zero seats in northern or remote regions. The NDP knows how to win in places like Labrador. the Liberals don't anymore.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater wrote:

Let's try to keep the focus on the Labrador by-election in this thread since there are other threads for the Liberal leadership.

But to answer a couple of points that were raised above:  the current registration process has definitely had some administrative hiccups along the way, but the number of people voting is still expected to be larger than the number who voted in the NDP race last year or in the last Conservative race.  And remember that the NDP had a delay of several hours last year on voting day which delayed the final ballot results until late in the evening.  These things are a work in progress and while it is certainly true that parts of the registration process need to be ironed out, there has definitely been an increased voter's database that can be helpeful to the LPC in the next election.

Remember also that as Martin Patriquin of Maclean's has reported, Liberal fundraising has outpaced that of the NDP in Quebec over the past year.  Of course the LPC isn't going to sweep Quebec in the next election and it can't take anything for granted.  But as Chantal Hebert wrote recently, there won't be many safe NDP seats there either.  There could be a revival of the BQ vote or an increase in the Liberal vote.  No party can take anything for granted.

Anyway, back to Labrador . . . 

Nope, back to the Lib Leadership race for amoment.  Everything you say may in fact be true, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything, but thanks for bringing it up, NOW back to Labrador.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

From what I've seen on the news this week it looks like the Conservatives will pour everything they've got into getting Penashue  re-elected. I hope he gets massive media scrutiny - well, as much as possible as can be brought to bear in remote Labrador - because it's more than likely that there will be lying, cheating, and stealing all over again, with the hope they don't get caught.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

From what I've seen on the news this week it looks like the Conservatives will pour everything they've got into getting Penashue  re-elected. I hope he gets massive media scrutiny - well, as much as possible as can be brought to bear in remote Labrador - because it's more than likely that there will be lying, cheating, and stealing all over again, with the hope they don't get caught.

Yep!

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

Chnatal Hebert wrote that there won't be any "safe" seats in Quebec for the NDP OR FOR ANYONE ELSE  (I guess that includes the Liberals)...and I agree - the era of "safe seats" is coming to an end and the public's trust has to be earned every election. The Liberals thought Labrador was a "safe seat" in 2011 because they won it with 70% of the vote in 2008 - turned out it wasn't so safe.

According to the latest Leger poll when Quebecers are asked who would make the best PM of canada Mulcair or Trudeau - Mulcair wins 47% to 29% - with numbers like that the 7 Liberal MPs in Quebec better watch their backs since the orange crush in Quebec may have only begun in 2011 and could get rid of the last bits of Liberal flotsam in 2015.

In Labrador obviously a lot depends on candidates. i have heard nothing more about whether Todd Russell plans to run against yvonne Jones for the Liberal nomination. I hear there is a lot of i nterest in the NDP nomination there. Its worth noting that the NDP has quite a bit of success in winning northern/remote ridings across Canada what with holding northern manitoba, western Arctic, Skeena in BC, all of northern Ontario and all of northern Quebec. The Liberals in contrast have zero seats in northern or remote regions. The NDP knows how to win in places like Labrador. the Liberals don't anymore.

Stockholm, the Leger poll gets quoted here the most because NDP supporters like it best.  I notice you don't quote the CROP poll several months ago which showed Trudeau would beat Mulcair.  So there's some cherry-picking going on.  And the Leger poll only refers to who would make the best PM - not voting INTENTION.  Also important to realize is that Mulcair should probably be farther ahead than that compared to someone who has much less experience than he does and who will be leading the 3rd Party rather than the Official Opposition.  You also don't seem to have an explanation as to why the NDP is behind the Liberals in fundraising.

Btw, whether we like it or not, the Conservatives hold some of Northern Ontario right now - the NDP don't hold all of it.  And the Liberals only lost Nipissing by about 30 votes, one of the ridings where there were Voter Suppression Robocalls.

As for Labrador, yes it depends on the candidates.  As I mentioned earlier, incumbency & name recognition probably count in the Maritimes more than any other region, which is one reason that the majority of Liberal MP's won there in 2011.  But unless the NDP can find a candidate who has the name recognition of Yvonne Jones, Todd Russell or Peter Penashue, it is more likely to play the spolier that helps gets the Conservatives re-elected, rather than become the victor.

Debater

Boom Boom wrote:

From what I've seen on the news this week it looks like the Conservatives will pour everything they've got into getting Penashue  re-elected. I hope he gets massive media scrutiny - well, as much as possible as can be brought to bear in remote Labrador - because it's more than likely that there will be lying, cheating, and stealing all over again, with the hope they don't get caught.

Absolutely.  I agree with you Boom Boom.  We don't like to admit this very often, but Stephen Harper is a brilliant man - one of the smartest in modern Canadian politics.  There are very few who know how to compete with him.  Pierre Trudeau could have beaten him if he was here, but he's not.  Harper is an incredible chess player and tactician.  He always goes all out and plays it to the max.  Instead of being ashamed of the scandal Penashue is in, Harper is defending him, paying his election bills, setting up a website for him in advance of the by-election, and is even timing the call in order to benefit Penashue to the max.  They are giving Penashue a head start by campaigning for him before the Liberals or NDP knew it was coming and by spending in the pre-writ period to avoid the restrictions that come with election spending time.

Stockholm

FYI, in Newfoundland the pattern seems to be for the NDP to gain from the Conservatives. If you look at what happened in St. John's East and St. John's South-Mount Pearl from 2006 to 2011 it was like the old red Tory PC vote shifted en masse from PC to NDP and bypassed the Liberals altogether...

The NDP is much better at winning remote and northern ridings than the Liberals because the NDP has a more populist blue collar image, while the Liberals are still stuck as the party of the sherry sipping Laurentian elites.

David Young

There is another way of looking at Harper's plan for this by-election.

Harper desperately needs the Liberals to be a factor in the next election to split the anti-Conservative vote with the NDP, so he needs Justin (It For Me!) Trudeau to get a quick victory after his coronation to, at least, appear compitent.

How better than to toss out a cabinet dead-weight in Penashue, with the promise of some patronage post after he loses the by-election, but then gain by keeping the Liberals relevant enough for 2015?

If the Conservatives lose the seat, they hope to end up winning in the long run.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Debater, you wrote "But unless the NDP can find a candidate who has the name recognition of Yvonne Jones, Todd Russell or Peter Penashue, it is more likely to play the spolier that helps gets the Conservatives re-elected, rather than become the victor." You do realize that what you are saying is that the NDP shouldn't run a candidate. How does that serve democracy? What do you want people who only vote NDP to do, like me for example? Are you saying my vote is worth less then a Liberal vote? I understand you think its always better to elect Libs. You are entitled to your opinion. But how does that serve democracy? Also, how do you think those who oppose the Libs are going to respond if you are elected? Do you think the opposition to the inevitable right wing LPC governance will dissapear because we need to elect Libs? I think this is a fair question, and I think you should answer it.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Stockholm wrote:

FYI, in Newfoundland the pattern seems to be for the NDP to gain from the Conservatives. If you look at what happened in St. John's East and St. John's South-Mount Pearl from 2006 to 2011 it was like the old red Tory PC vote shifted en masse from PC to NDP and bypassed the Liberals altogether...

The NDP is much better at winning remote and northern ridings than the Liberals because the NDP has a more populist blue collar image, while the Liberals are still stuck as the party of the sherry sipping Laurentian elites.

Love it! Thanks Stock!

KenS

Mrdia scrutiny, and the MSM as a whole being put off by the stink around Penashue, is only going to have an indeirect effect in Labrador.

It's only going to matter a small fraction as much as all of this does in the national media, or even St. John's.

KenS

I don't think the Cons really bargained for the damage this is having to the accumulation of hits on the 'brand'.

Coming on the heels of the Senators' affairs, and right before a slashing budget.... the timing could only possibly be worse if charges and legal action against P. landed close before the election. And those charges are still going to come! So they've doubled the damage on the national level.

All so that maybe they can save Penashue's seat.

[And by the way, those of you who think Harper is throwing Penashue to the wolves and/or using him as a sacrifice: that makes sense in a lefty script. But it ain't true. I think they have misjudged the 'capital' they will expend on this- and of course it's for the [misguided] attempt to protect the brand. But they are doing their damnest to rescue him. Compare to the Del Maestro case, where all they have done for him is help stonewall.]

clockwise

We don't like to admit this very often, but Stephen Harper is a brilliant man - one of the smartest in modern Canadian politics.

I've always thought of this as one of the most over-stated (and poorly reasoned) myths of the Canadian political scene.  The guy is able to win elections, but someone who can't muster more than 39 percent of the vote can hardly be described as "one of the smartest in Canadian politics."  He only managed two and a half points more than Paul Martin's highwater mark.

KenS

He's not brilliant. That is stupid mythology.

But he knows what he is doing, and is very methodical. He has ten times Paul Martin's political instincts.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

KenS wrote:

He's not brilliant. That is stupid mythology.

But he knows what he is doing, and is very methodical. He has ten times Paul Martin's political instincts.

Yep, and it makes him formidable. But it also makes him beatable.

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

FYI, in Newfoundland the pattern seems to be for the NDP to gain from the Conservatives. If you look at what happened in St. John's East and St. John's South-Mount Pearl from 2006 to 2011 it was like the old red Tory PC vote shifted en masse from PC to NDP and bypassed the Liberals altogether...

The NDP is much better at winning remote and northern ridings than the Liberals because the NDP has a more populist blue collar image, while the Liberals are still stuck as the party of the sherry sipping Laurentian elites.

Stockholm, I understand that you like to advocate on behalf of the NDP, but you do realize that the Liberals won 4 out of 7 seats in Newfoundland in 2011, right?  The LPC holds the majority of seats in the province, and a couple of those MP's - Scott Simms & Gerry Byrne - won by huge margins.  Judy Foote won by a respectable margin too, and Scott Andrews beat a Conservative Senator.

And of course the LPC almost won Labrador too, and probably would have had it not been for the CPC fraud.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Yeah and the Libs have been tumbling in the polls ever since

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/newfoundland-ndp-surges-to-...

Debater

David Young wrote:

There is another way of looking at Harper's plan for this by-election.

Harper desperately needs the Liberals to be a factor in the next election to split the anti-Conservative vote with the NDP, so he needs Justin (It For Me!) Trudeau to get a quick victory after his coronation to, at least, appear compitent.

How better than to toss out a cabinet dead-weight in Penashue, with the promise of some patronage post after he loses the by-election, but then gain by keeping the Liberals relevant enough for 2015?

If the Conservatives lose the seat, they hope to end up winning in the long run.

 

Interesting theory, but I don't think that's what Harper is doing.  I don't think he wants the Liberals to win Labrador.  Losing a by-election under these circumstances would be seen as a referendum on Harper's tolerance of corruption and a blow to his winning streak.  It would set in motion a narrative that voters are reacting against the CPC and its corrupt Ministers.

The CPC is down in the polls and is already well below the level of support they got in 2011.  They are currently in the mid to low 30's rather than the high 30's.  I don't think they want to see much more erosion.  The LPC may seem weak after 2011, but it is on the upswing right now and I don't think Harper wants to revive it.

And if they want Penashue to lose, why give him a head start by setting up his website for him, paying back his bills & spending for him in the pre-writ period before the Liberals & NDP have their candidates in place?

Debater

knownothing wrote:

Yeah and the Libs have been tumbling in the polls ever since

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/newfoundland-ndp-surges-to-...

Isn't that the provincial NDP?  The federal NDP is behind the LPC in the polls right now.

And the link above is from nearly a year ago (June/July 2012), so it's hard to know what to make of it.

What are the current federal numbers for March 2013? 

knownothing knownothing's picture

Well there was this one

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/20/liberals-fail-to-connect-with-yo...

 

"Over the past three elections, the Liberal party’s base has shrunk steadily, concentrated in Toronto with pockets of support in Atlantic Canada, Vancouver and Montreal."

Debater

Uh, that's not a poll.  That's a National Post piece trying to minimize the LPC registration numbers for the Leadership race.

 

Question:  what are the current federal numbers for the province of Newfoundland & Labrador as of March 2013?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Good since we already have a gazillion threads about polls.

Debater

The LPC has the names of about 300,000 supporters & members that can be used as the launchpad for its new voters database for 2015.

But you are right that a lot of people haven't registered to vote.  Some people have had trouble registering because of the central LPC admin problems (if Justin T becomes leader he needs to hire a new generation tech team to take over from the old boys), and some are still planning to vote in the next election but decided not to bother registering for leader after Garneau announced last week that the race was over.  Garneau kind of decreased our registration numbers by taking the air out of the balloon as to the final result.

But from what I can tell, there are still expected to be more people voting for leader than in the NDP race last year.

Anyway, this is kind of getting off topic from the Labrador by-election.  So to get back on topic . . .

 

One of the problems right now is none of us knows who the Liberal & NDP nominees will be.  The Liberal nominee could be Yvonne Jones, but Todd Russell has not made his decision yet as to whether to run.  So the Liberal equation is unknown.  And we know nothing yet about who the NDP nominee will be.

Once the names are in the race for each party, we will have a better idea of how they may stack up.  Right now both the Liberal & NDP side are throwing competing poll numbers back and forth on this thread but voters will probably make their decision based on who the candidates are.  And we don't have enough to go on yet! Smile

knownothing knownothing's picture

Yeah I was just bugging you

 

But in all fairness, the Globe and Mail had a headline about the 300,000 memberships the Liberals had until they were pressured to change their headline to "supporters". Now it has come out that they don't even have 40% of the 300,000.

 

I couldnt find any recent polls

adma

Y'know, I'd recommend being very cautious aboput projecting *anything* upon Labrador based upon past and/or national and/or provincial patterns.  So the Cons are incumbent and have the aggressive Harper machine behind it--big deal.  So the Liberals have the overwhelmingly predominant pre-Penashue elected record here--big deal.  So the Liberals may or may not be in decline, may or may not be behind the NDP federally or provincially--big deal.  Whatever the case, I'd rather see this as latently three-way competitive--is there anything wrong with saying that?  And let's can the "Penashue might win, we absolutely need a unified opposition" bullroar--in fact, I'm one to agree that he might indeed finish third when all is said and done.  And--this is Newf + Lab we're talking about.  Politics is, uh, "idiosyncratic" here.

But it's up to the NDP whether they want to foot a serious campaign (and I mean, *serious* serious, not mouthing-words serious a la Calgary Centre), or if they want to "throw" it for another time.

But I'll grant you this: even if it's just a drop in the bucket against the bigger national picture, the Liberals *are* prepared for a serious campaign, as all the Russell-versus-Jones talk proves...

NorthReport

With the right candidate the NDP can win here.

Debater

adma wrote:

But it's up to the NDP whether they want to foot a serious campaign (and I mean, *serious* serious, not mouthing-words serious a la Calgary Centre), or if they want to "throw" it for another time.

But I'll grant you this: even if it's just a drop in the bucket against the bigger national picture, the Liberals *are* prepared for a serious campaign, as all the Russell-versus-Jones talk proves...

Adma, you are right that by-elections can have their own characteristics, and we saw that last year.

The Calgary Centre by-election was odd.  I was surprised the Liberals were able to run such a strong 2nd in a riding they haven't won since 1968 and had done so badly in during 2011.  Also surprised that the NDP fell to single digits and that the Green Party ended up finishing 3rd.  It appears that Harvey Locke was a strong candidate for the Liberals, Joan Crockatt was a weak candidate for the Cons, and that the Green Party took a lot of votes away from the NDP.  The Victoria by-election was also odd as most people did not expect the Green Party to almost beat the NDP.  The only by-election that wasn't surprising was the easy Conservative hold in Durham.

As for Labrador, I agree that one cannot predict how this will turn out.  That is why I am not predicting a Liberal win there.  I have no idea how it will shake down.  All I'm saying is that I think the NDP is likely to finish 3rd *unless* it runs a big Labrador name or something implodes in the Liberal or Conservative campaigns.

I don't know Yvonne Jones other than by reputation because I've never met her.  But a former provincial PC Minister admits she will be a strong candidate:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2013/03/16/nl-...

Of course we don't yet know whether Todd Russell will challenge her for the nomination.  He said last week that he has been asked by some of his constituents to run again, but is taking time to determine whether he can leave his position as President of Nunatukavut. 

 

Sean in Ottawa

I'll say something controversial.

If I were Mulcair, I'd suggest the NDP sit this by-election out. On one condition: the guy who should have won it in 2011 (had there been no cheating) agree to run.

My reasons are not because I agree with a merger or per-election conspiracy. This is different. There was a race already and it was to create a result that would last until 2015. That race was decided apparently with the help of cheating -- but it was very close.

Todd Russell (himself Aboriginal btw) should have won that and obviously would have without the unfair advantage used against him. So it would look good on the NDP to admit that -- not oppose him now. Let him have the seat until 2015 and then work like hell to replace him with an NDP MP.

If the NDP did this I think it would be in the party's interest anyway-- it would underline in a historic way the electoral cheating the Conservatives have employed. It would return the person who would have won. If the riding had not been stolen from Russell unfairly he would have been MP and there would have been no by-election. The NDP would gain respect by taking this position.

Again-- I'll repeat I do not support the NDP in a general or normal by-election walking away from a seat but this is a situation where it is clear who would have won without the advantage the Conservatives used. I'd like the NDP to acknowledge that.

This by-election is about restitution nothing more.

Brachina

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

I'll say something controversial.

If I were Mulcair, I'd suggest the NDP sit this by-election out. On one condition: the guy who should have won it in 2011 (had there been no cheating) agree to run.

My reasons are not because I agree with a merger or per-election conspiracy. This is different. There was a race already and it was to create a result that would last until 2015. That race was decided apparently with the help of cheating -- but it was very close.

Todd Russell (himself Aboriginal btw) should have won that and obviously would have without the unfair advantage used against him. So it would look good on the NDP to admit that -- not oppose him now. Let him have the seat until 2015 and then work like hell to replace him with an NDP MP.

If the NDP did this I think it would be in the party's interest anyway-- it would underline in a historic way the electoral cheating the Conservatives have employed. It would return the person who would have won. If the riding had not been stolen from Russell unfairly he would have been MP and there would have been no by-election. The NDP would gain respect by taking this position.

Again-- I'll repeat I do not support the NDP in a general or normal by-election walking away from a seat but this is a situation where it is clear who would have won without the advantage the Conservatives used. I'd like the NDP to acknowledge that.

This by-election is about restitution nothing more.

No, absolutely fucking no. Doing that would be a betrayal of NDP voters in the riding and an attack on democracy itself by taking the choice away from the voters, and forcing someone down thier throats. If the people in the riding agree that the Liberal should have it, then they can vote that way, they don't need the NDP to step aside to force them to make that decision.

Sean in Ottawa

Not true. This is not a normal election this is an in-between election held because the result of the last one was stolen. It was stolen from the Liberals not the New Democrats. I would never take the choice from any voter in a standard election but this is an extra election only because of the cheating and the regular election in 2015 will not be delayed or changed because of it.

To use an analogy when you hold a race in sports and the winner cheats the runner up gets the win--

If you think the voters would be cheated-- cheated out of what? An election that would never have happened? They had the opportunity in 2011 and they were not close. If it had been close between the NDP and the Liberals then an argument could have been made that the NDP rather than the Liberals could have won had the cheating not happened-- that is not the case here.

The voters will get the chance to replace that person at the next scheduled election.

Now I said this was on one condition -- the runner up that the voters almost chose but did not due to cheating must want to stand because there can be no substitution.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Perhaps cheaters would think twice if when caught they would not just have to do over and use whatever advantage they had and instead the next highest candidate automatically become MP until the next scheduled election. I would be fine if there were a law that made it that the candidate with the highest number of votes who was not cheating automatically got the seat until the next election except where the difference between the second and third place was less than a some reasonable amount. This is respectful of the voters: it increases the penalty of cheating and the certain loss, it maintains representation without some period before an election campaign ends. It returns the vote to a regular schedule. Again this only works if the second place candidate is willing because there could be no party substitutions. I think voters are cheated by having Peneshue even have a shot at all. It should go to court and if he is found to have cheated he should have his votes removed and the next candidate should have the seat as if he did not exist. If that person does not want the seat then the seat should be contested as it would be in a regular resignation.

Given that some resignations are just before the cheater gets caught (as is this case) then the opposition parties can themselves look at the facts and determine if that is the case (resignation for personal reasons in which case contest it or resignation because he is caught cheating in which case the opposition could effectively choose to acclaim the person who would otherwise have won.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

NorthReport wrote:

With the right candidate the NDP can win here.

You can say that in any party.

With the right candidate, the Liberals can win here. Ditto for the Cons, Greens, whomever.

A "miracle" candidate with funding and organization can do wonders.

NorthReport

Mulcair should make a visit to the riding soon, get the ground troops fired up, and meet with possible candidates. The NDP could win this riding.

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