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?
Meanwhile, the Tories have taken Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean from the Bloc Québécois, adding to their growing Quebec caucus.
The third riding up for grabs, in Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, is a BQ hold.
I was just at Les Bobards where NDP supporters were celebrating their victory. The atmosphere was positively giddy. Olivia Chow knows my girlfriend so she came up to speak with us; she was practically jumping up and down with excitement.
Amusingly, when Jack Layton came over to shake our hands, he mistook my girlfriend for a campaign worker and was thanking her profusely. Olivia had to pry him away. I think he’d had a bit too much to drink. Of course, if I was in his situation, I’d be drunk too. What a breakthrough for the NDP!
I too have been mistaken for a campaign worker in Jack Layton’s presence. But he looks so happy, it’s a shame to bring him down.
Yes, congratulations to Mr. Mulcair and his truly irritating campaign workers: during the campaign/popularity contest, we received 3 automated messages at our house courtesy of the NDP, as well as 3 real-person calls.
I’ve never been interested in telling strangers (or anyone, really) who I’m voting for. I wish they hadn’t been so persistent. But I guess it paid off in other households.
NONE of the other candidates called us or threw any propaganda into our mailbox, but the NDP sure was on top of things.
Perhaps they won simply through irritation tactics? Mulcair’s campaign was definitely the most visible.
Now, if only they would win more seats and get into power so Canada can get involved in Darfur. Because Afghanistan has worked out so smashingly.