Archive for December, 2010

Significant results

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

On Monday, three by-elections were held, two in Manitoba and one in Ontario. The Conservatives won Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette in Manitoba and Vaughan in Ontario. The Liberals won Winnipeg North.
Free Press columnist, Dan Lett said the elections didn’t change anything or prove anything. I disagree.
Close to home, a lot was proven. Inky Mark had held DSRM for 13 years. He increased his vote as the years went on. He had a small but formidable machine. Many thought that DSRM was Inky’s riding. Some even thought that without Inky, the other parties might have a chance. Both thoughts were wrong. DSRM is a conservative riding. Even the NDP supporters provincially vote Conservative federally. The riding vote was well cultivated by Mark but the bedrock is conservative. The other parties didn’t really have a chance. If the conservative organizers have their act together, DSRM votes conservative. Given a good conservative candidate and given a good conservative organization, DSRM will vote conservative.
The other two by-elections also prove something. One went from Liberal to Conservative, that being Vaughan, north of Toronto. The win proves that, after 20 some years as a Liberal riding, the people are shifting to the right, to the Conservatives. The Liberal brand is pretty much hooped right now, except in Toronto. Given the results of the by-election and the recent Toronto mayor election results, the Liberals will also be in for a very rough ride in Toronto. The newly elected mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, won on a very conservative platform. In spite of the media howling protests, Ford won handily.
In Winnipeg North, the Liberals did win a seat. But they took it away from the NDP. That’s significant in that even the voters of Winnipeg North shifted to the right. The NDP ran a good candidate, the whole NDP machine would have been there in full force. (I have seen it in action personally and it’s a formidably effective election team.) The NDP had everything going for them but they lost to a more centrist candidate. Now it certainly helped that the candidate, Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux has a very strong personal following. And it also helped that he really knows how to run a campaign.
All in all, Dan Lett, and any others that write off the Monday results as inconsequential are wrong. They may be “wishful thinking”. Writers like Lett are very begrudging in ever finding praise for things conservative. The results of Monday’s elections are significant. Good candidates do better in elections than poor ones, regardless of party. The country is shifting to the right, especially on economic issues. The Liberal/NDP way of throwing money at every problem instead of applying common sense is wearing really thin with an increasingly upset voting public.
The next two elections will be the true test of where the Canadian and Manitoba electors want to go. There may well be a federal election in early to mid-2011. There will be a provincial election in Manitoba on or before October 2011. If the conservative parties take a lesson from Monday night, they will have clear policies, strong candidates and a good organizations. If they do, they will harness a will to change and win government in majority positions. If they, like Dan Lett, write off the lessons of Monday’s elections, the parties will not seize the opportunity that is laid before them.


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