Tuesday, November 27, 2012

By-election winners and losers

In the late hours of Monday evening, when the results from yesterday’s by-elections were trickling in, the immediate judgment from certain pundits and journalists on Twitter was that “nobody won” or that it was a “wake up call” for the major parties.

I don’t buy it.

In fact, in the cold light of day, it seems clear  the Conservative Party of Canada was the clear winner and that the real loser was media expectations for Trudeaumania.

Why are the Conservatives winners? It’s obvious: they won two out of three by-elections, one in Durham, one in Calgary-Centre.

Yes, Calgary-Centre victory was relatively tight, but the Tories still won by more than 1,000 votes and that aint bad.

More interesting is the failure of Trudeaumania.

Recall, how the media keeps telling us that Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau is a new breed of politician, whose idealism, charisma and charm will energize vast throngs of apathetic Canadians into obedient Liberal-voting legions.

He’s being sold, in other words, as the messiah who will smite the evil Harperites.

Yet we didn’t see much evidence of Trudeau’s divine magic on by-election night.

In fact, in two ridings, Durham and Victoria, the Liberals got crushed.

But what about Calgary Centre, you ask? The Liberals finished with 33 percent of the vote. Isn’t that the best result they’ve had in a long time?

Yes, it is.

But remember, Calgary-Centre was a riding the Liberals could win. By Alberta standards it’s centre-left/Red Toryish, the Conservatives were hampered by infighting between the Wildrose tribe and the Progressive Conservatives and, of course, Trudeau was making personal appearances in the riding.

And by-elections are wild-cards where anything can happen.

Yet the Liberals still lost. And voter turnout was low – less than 30 percent of eligible voters in the riding cast ballots.

And so the highly vaunted Trudeaumania didn't excite voters enough to get them to vote Liberal in sufficient quantities nor did it even get them off the couch!

Indeed, if anything, Trudeau The Great might have cost the Liberals a win in Calgary, thanks to his highly publicized anti-Alberta comments.

The bottom line is that while Trudeaumania may have smitten the media, voters  in general are not yet truly engaged in federal politics.

Remember that the next time you see a poll showing Trudeau will win a majority government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You make a fair bit of sense here.

YYC Centre was really a fight between Wildrose and PC'ers.

Dissafected PC'ers went to Libs...and lost.

Those believing in Menshi's mystical power were also...well wrong.