Sunday, August 12, 2007

Geography for Conservatives

I'm not sure if Mr. Harper is aware of this, but Vancouver is actually not in Ontario. I know it's an easy mistake to make; after all, transplanted Torontonians abound in Vancouver. But in actuality, Vancouver is in British Columbia, not Ontario.

I mention this because Harper called a third by-election for the last vacant Quebec riding last week; voters in three Quebec ridings will go to the polls on September 17. There are also vacancies in Willowdale, Toronto-Centre and Vancouver-Quadra, but Harper has again delayed calling by-elections in those ridings.

The stated reason for delaying calling Toronto-Centre and Willowdale, which, with Liberal wins, would bring Bob Rae and Martha Hall Findlay into the HoC, is to avoid conflict with the October provincial election in Ontario. I don’t think having the by-election a month before would be a big deal, but it’s an excuse within the bounds of acceptability.

However, and maybe it’s possible that Harper just isn’t that good at geography, but Vancouver-Quadra is not in Ontario. B.C. has a few years until its next provincial election. So, no excuse not to call that by-election for the same day as the Quebec ones, get those good people some representation and save Elections Canada a few dollars in the process.

No excuse within the bounds of acceptability, that is. Outside the bounds of acceptability there’s a few excuses. For example, there’s the fact the Conservatives don’t yet have a candidate in the riding to take on Liberal Joyce Murray. Indeed, Vancouver-Quadra is turning into a bit of a Conservative family feud.

The old Tory guard, led by Senators Pat Carney and Gerry St. Germain, is lining-up behind Deborah Meredith. The other candidate is Mary McNeill, who is being touted as a star candidate by Harper loyalist and once (and future?) Conservative campaign co-chair John Reynolds. McNeill’s supporters have reportedly even been pushing for a cabinet post in the upcoming shuffle (and presumably an appointment) for McNeill. One wonders how the grassroots in the riding will react if things go down that way.

Nevertheless, Conservative infighting isn’t a good enough reason to avoid calling a by-election for this riding, Mr. Harper.

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Mark Richard Francis said...

Perhaps the calling of by-elections should not be left up to the PM?

{I thought BC was just a bit past Thunder Bay?}

Steve V said...


Decima has a new poll out, with McGuinty pulling ahead in the lower mainland, but Tory doing well in the peace and kootenays. Should be a interesting race, and I'm glad Harper is allowing for no distractions.

Anonymous said...

Note that Merasty leaves on August 31.

Saskatchewan is a nation west of Quebec.