Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it official Friday, announcing that three federal by-elections would be held on Sept. 8 in Westmount-Ville-Marie, St. Lambert and Guelph, Ontario.
Westmount-Ville-Marie features the big race for us Montrealers, as the Liberals and NDP both have star candidates. Perhaps coincidentally, they are the only ones with campaign posters or websites as of this writing.
The candidates are (essentially in order of the likelihood of them getting the seat):
- LIB: Marc Garneau, former astronaut, who failed in a bid for the Vaudreuil riding in the last election. His biggest advantage here is not so much his star quality, but the fact that Westmount used to be a Liberal stronghold.
- NDP: Anne Lagacé Dowson, CBC radio host. I’m not sure if Jack Layton has a CBC Radio fetish he wants to play out or something, as two of the NDP’s three candidates come from the Mother Corp. (Tom King in Guelph is the other). She has some name recognition, but those who recognize her are people who listen religiously to the CBC and are likely to vote NDP anyway. And a lot of people who do listen to her don’t seem to like her. She has a way of presenting herself that makes her seem a tad pretentious and patronizing. Her political credentials are also pretty weak. (Full disclosure: I worked with Anne for about two weeks at CBC Radio – not long enough to develop an opinion, but long enough for her to have paid me off, theoretically)
- CON: Guy Dufort, a lawyer with Heenan Blaikie specializing in labour law. No website. Website still hasn’t been indexed by Google, so a search for “Guy Dufort” won’t get you information about the candidate.
- BQ: Charles Larivée, a former (current?) president of the McGill Political Science Students Association. No website, and no hope. (Top Google hit for the name is my previous post about this race)
- GRN: Claude Genest, deputy Green Party leader and former cast member on TV’s Sirens.