Thomas J. Mulcair, elected today in a by-election to represent the federal riding of Outremont for the New Democratic Party, only the second person to do so in the NDP's history (Phil Edmonston was the first in a 1990 by-election). He replaces Liberal Jean Lapierre, who resigned from the House of Commons on January 28 to
escape the shame return to broadcasting as a political analyst.
Local NDP supporters are naturally taking the news with mature, thoughtful self-congratulation.
Interesting media meta-side-story: CTV Newsnet is covering a speech by Liberal leader Stéphane Dion (in French), while RDI is covering a speech by NDP leader Jack Layton (in English), introducing the winner Thomas Mulcair. Considering Mulcair won the election, doesn't that give him priority in TV time?
(In real elections, you wait for the losing candidate to finish his concession speech before starting your victory speech. But the NDP isn't used to winning elections here, so we'll give them a break.)
Now that CTV is getting Mike Duffy analyzing, I'm wondering if maybe the network doesn't have a camera crew at Mulcair HQ. TVA/LCN isn't any better, covering post-game analysis of a Canadiens pre-season exhibition game. Because that's more important than a potentially historic by-election.
And while we're on the topic of analysis, everyone seems to be saying that Outremont is a "Liberal stronghold" to underscore the significance of this victory. While it certainly used to be that way, and the riding has been won by the Liberals all but one time in its history, the most recent election was a slim victory, with Jean Lapierre only taking 35% of the vote. How is that considered a stronghold?
The third riding up for grabs, in Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, is a BQ hold.