Friday, October 24, 2008

Liberals up one in Quebec, and Dosanjh is back in

Good news for the Liberal Party on the election recount front today on both ends of the country.

We've gained one seat in Quebec that was originally in the Bloc column, with a judicial recount today awarding the suburban Montreal riding of Brossard-La Prairie to the Liberals:

Liberal candidate Alexandra Mendes has unseated Bloc Québécois incumbent Marcel Lussier in the riding of Brossard- La Prairie, according to a recount conducted by a Quebec Superior Court judge.

Mendes defeated Lussier by 69 votes, boosting the Liberals' national seat count to 77 and dropping the Bloc's to 49.

Lussier, an engineer and environmental specialist who has held the riding since 2006, originally thought he had won the riding by 102 votes in the Oct. 14 election.

And on the left coast, although a judicial recount lowered his margin of victory to a bare 22 votes, Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh has been upheld as the winner in Vancouver South.

Ujjal Dosanjh, the federal Liberal incumbent, said Friday he was humbled by a recount victory in his Vancouver South riding that gave him a win by only 22 votes instead of the 33-vote margin on election night.

We're not out of the woods yet in BC. Liberal Keith Martin in Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca is facing a judicial recount on Monday. Election night numbers gave him a 68-vote margin over Conservative Troy De Souza.

In other recounts still outstanding, Kitchener-Waterloo (where the Conservatives upset Liberal Andrew Telegdi) will go Wednesday, and a recont in Brampton-West, which Liberal Andrew Kania took by 223 votes, has yet to be scheduled. Earlier, a Conservative victory was upheld in PEI.

I've got my fingers crossed for Keith Martin, but very relieved for Ujjal Dosanjh. He's a good man, and we'll need his experience and his energy for the rebuilding exercise facing the Liberal Party in British Columbia and across Canada.

And the tightness of his race should be a wake-up call. This was thought by most to be one of the safer Liberal ridings in the province. That it was so close -- 22 votes! -- underscores the rebuilding job we face as a party, and the challenge ahead of us. It also underscores the inroads the Conservative Party has made with its strategy to woo ethnic voters, a strategy the Liberals have yet to effectivly counter.

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9 comments:

penlan said...

Jeff,

I copied this from an article at CBC on the recount:

"Tory candidate Wai Young said she was disappointed because Associate Chief Justice Partrick Dohm, who was in charge of the recount, elected not to open all the ballot boxes."

I don't quite understand that. Does that mean that not all of ballots were counted? And if so why not?

Dr.Dawg said...

"Ujjal Dosanjh, the federal Liberal incumbent, said Friday he was humbled..."

Dosanjh humbled? I don't believe it.

A BCer in Toronto said...

penlan, I don't know.

RuralSandi said...

Hardly a rousing endorsement....by a few votes.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Hardly a rousing endorsement....by a few votes.

Indeed, very troubling.

Saskboy said...

Dosanjh getting in without all of the ballots being recounted is not just. I don't understand why they would only recount some boxes, and after finding errors in the count they'd stop. It completely undermines confidence in the count.

I'd assume they could only recount boxes where there were protests by candidate representatives or errors on the Statement of the Vote by the DRO. When it's that close though, it should be required that every vote is recounted.

A BCer in Toronto said...

saskboy, it would seem to be the judge's decision. From a news story:

The Canada Elections Act gives the judge presiding over a recount the option of recounting votes from some or all of the ballot boxes, along with spoiled and rejected ballots - 259 of them in the case of Vancouver South. The results of the recount are considered final.

I haven't seen a report of the judge's reasoning for not opening all of the boxes, and I don't know if it is normal to do so or not. At some point, I'm sure, the judge's written reasonings will be available. I'd be interested in reading them.

Rick Barnes said...

Ujjal is a fighter and I imagine his partner can be thanked for doing a lot to get him re-elected. Remi is a god when it comes to organizing! She is awesome!

Möbius said...

Congrats to the Quebec Lib candidate in taking a riding from a BQ'ist.