Saturday, October 07, 2006

Briefly, on Quebec

Since SuperWeekend I’ve been reading posts around the blogsphere from supporters of Gerard Kennedy trying to justify, minimize or explain away his 1.7 per cent performance in Quebec, particularly after the early talk from them about how well he’d do there.

Well, Dion only got 10 per cent in Ontario was one of the original lines. Then, it was Kennedy started late and all the organizers were working for other people. The second half of that one sounds correct, I don’t think he started much later than anyone else but he indeed did not have an organization in Quebec. Some say he decided not to focus much on organizing Quebec, but I don’t know.

In the latter half of the week though the new focus has been on low turnout in Quebec delegitimizing the performance of those that did well. If turnout is indeed low compared to national numbers then that is unfortunate, and I have no doubt the LPC has work to do in Quebec. I hear it was rather low in B.C. as well, where he finished a strong second. From what I’ve seen, there’s work to be done across the country,

However, that still doesn’t change the fact that those people that DID come out STILL only voted 1.7 per cent for Gerard. For me, this is what it all boils down to: Is it the fault of Quebecers that they didn’t come out and vote for Gerard, or is it the fault of Gerard and his campaign that he didn’t win more Quebecers and get them out to vote for him?

I like Gerard and I like many of his supporters, but to me there’s something vaguely insulting about this whole line of rationalization. To his credit, Gerard himself seems to recognize what happened in Quebec, and is not blaming Quebecers for his showing but rather acknowledging he has work to do in Quebec and pledging to work even harder from here on out.

That’s the right course to take, I hope his supporters will follow his lead.

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Anonymous said...

This post of yours is insulting to all GK supporters. Notice how GK bloggers have not done separate posts on your candidate or other candidates. Maybe, it is time to take the gloves off since you like to play at a low level. None of the GK supporters are blaming anyone for his performance in Quebec, they are discussing factors that contributed to it. That is not blame, these are explanations, and some of them very good ones.

Quebec did have the lowest turnout-that is a fact. GK is unknown in Quebec-that is a fact.

Dion got 10% in Ontario and that has nothing to do with Kennedy. WHY DID DION ONLY GET 10% IN ONTARIO???? LET'S HEAR AN EXPLANATION. I guess it is time for a separate post just on that.
WHY IS DION'D ENGLISH SO POOR? I guess it is time for a separate post on that too.

Your drive by smear will only hurt your candidate.

burlivespipe said...

Having seen most of the numbers from the BC ridings not affected by mail-in votes, voter turnout was just below 30% -- which is on par with a municipal election. And while that isn't great, I would not go so far as to say it is quite low, but quite comparable to other provinces (besides Quebec).
What has become obvious is that the leadership race has not quite captured the interest and energy of the average liberal, who could be preoccupied, may be disaffected by the lengthy process, perhaps remains aloof from the party after the last election, or is disengaged from politics completely after 2 elections in the past 2-1/2 years.

Kyle Carruthers said...

I dont think bloggers from other camps really gave Kennedy supporters much choice but to point out as many explanations as possible for the poor showing in Quebec, and positive signs for second ballot growth. You guys (not you in particular Jeff, but the universl "you guys") spun them your own way (for your own candidates interests) and declared Gerard unofficially finished in this leadership race. Spin, counterspin. All spin really is when it comes down to it is offering another perspective to some situation.

I dont think anyone from the Kennedy campaign doesnt acknowledge that the Quebec numbers have, and will continue to cause major problems for the campaign.

Kyle Carruthers said...

... and yes, I do recognize my poor english in my previous post manifested in the use of double negatives.

DivaRachel said...

ACBer, thank you for your thoughts. Although I do not agree, I don't start name calling or anything like that. I acutally like your guy, Dion, as well. I hope both our camps can WORK TOGETHER to defeat Ignatieff.

calgarygrit said...

I think Kennedy and everyone who supports him agrees the Quebec results were bad and that something needs to be done to address the situation. And it does sound like the campaign will be trying to improve his standing in Quebec.

However, I think it's ridiculous to say that because Gerard had bad numbers with the 0.1% of Quebecers who voted this weekend that he'd bomb with the population as a whole. Because bloggers and the media have been dwelling on this for the past week, it's important to put things into context.

Steve V said...

Maybe, the whole point is supporters of other camps can't use the Quebec results as some evidence of wider support, that they would win back seats in the province. Nobody should be happy with these numbers, and they serve as proof that the Liberals are still in trouble in Quebec. If the question is "who can win Quebec?", you are hard pressed to draw any conclusions from these results. From the Kennedy perspective, I don't think people find any validation in extrapolating these numbers to assume he wouldn't do relatively well in Quebec. Kennedy is an unknown, who has garned ZERO coverage, so he is a blank slate, with all the good and bad entailed.

Jeremy Kirouac said...

The first poster is particularly hostile and that is not helpful at all.

We need to work together and as a team. The three men (Dion, Kennedy and Rae) will decide amongst themselves who will be the candidate to run against Ignatieff on the fiinal ballot. I think a perfect analogy for the next couple months is a hockey game. It's all about team work and we have to work together to beat Ignatieff. We cannot be sniping at eachother like poster #1.

Listen, the right wing is rallying around Ignatieff. While I am not particularly anti-right wing, I am particularly anti-Ignatieff and I have very good reasons for it. If the right wing rallied around Brison I would not have very much to say against him. It's strange though that the right wing feels it needs to rally around the worst kinds of representatives.

For the sake of a renewed liberal party, let's quit insulting eachother and let's start playing politics to win.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Just to be clear, I have no issue with a discussion of the Quebec support and its importance to the campaign. I think it may well be an insurmountable challenge for Gerard in the short term, but there's plenty of room for debate there.

The only narrow point I take issue with is on turnout, and the contention that a low Quebec turnout delegitimizes the performance of the other candidates in the province, and therefore minimizes the importance of Gerard's showing there. That path seems to almost blame people not for coming out to vote, rather than us for not inspiring them. It's the fault of ALL campaigns that turnout wasn't higher. Still, the fact remains substantially more of the people that DID come out voted for the other top three, so in my view that would seem to render the turnout debate moot.

Now, does the Kennedy showing mean that he would do as poorly as leader in Quebec in a general election? No, not at all. Not any more than, say, his Alberta numbers necesarily mean he would have a breakthrough there. An election is a whole other matter. Everyone does have their areas of stength tough, and at the least its a wakeup call that Gerard has more work to do there.

As I said, I think there's plenty of room for great debate here. I just became uncomfortable with the path it appeared to be taking.

Lolly said...

I think the real debate here is within the Liberal Party. A scant 30% of the Liberal party voted at all as per a municipal election. On the surface I think it a legitimate comment, except here we are a political party and although I do not expect 100% of the membership voting within the party for their choice of leader/delegates. I do think that given these people have membership in a political party the turnout should be closer to 50 % or better. Given that only 2% of the population ever join any political party, I would have expected more responsibility from our membership.

Is it a responsibility of Leadership or the Party?