Tag Archives: by-elections

By-election politicians on Facebook

As a follow-up to my overview of the candidates in the Sept. 8 by-election in Westmount Ville-Marie, here’s a quick rundown of the campaigns’ Facebook strategies (sorted by number of supporters):

(UPDATE Aug. 19: Mr. Larivée has joined the club, so I’ve updated the list as of today)

Anne Lagacé-Dowson (NDP)

  • Fan page: YES
  • Supporters: 511
  • Personal page: NO

Marc Garneau (Liberal)

  • Fan page: YES
  • Supporters: 370
  • Personal page: YES
  • Embarrassing personal information on personal page: NO

Claude William Genest (Green)

  • Fan page: YES
  • Supporters: 178
  • Personal page: YES (Though his profile pic is of a chimp hugging a bird)
  • Embarrassing personal information on personal page: Open wall, “flirt” box on his profile page, and photos of him dressed as a pimp. Does that count?

Charles Larivée (Bloc Québécois)

  • Fan page: YES (though it’s actually a group, not a fan page)
  • Supporters: 120
  • Personal page: YES
  • Embarrassing personal information on personal page: Nope, it’s wiped clean

Judith Vienneau (Rhino)

  • Fan page: YES (but no photo)
  • Supporters: 8 (ouch)
  • Personal page: YES
  • Embarrassing personal information on personal page: Plenty of TMI boxes on the profile page. Also, apparently wanted to be leader of the Libertarian Party. Maybe Rhino was her second choice?

Guy Dufort (Conservative)

  • Fan page: NO
  • Personal page: YES (private)

Many politicians have fake “personal” profiles setup, which I think is largely irrelevant since Facebook invented the fan page. So I won’t take any marks away from Lagacé Dowson for that. But Dufort and Larivée not having any Facebook exposure at all? That’s just not right.

The by-election campaign has begun

From Shatnerian

From Shatnerian

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.

By-elections today

Gaétan Legault of Québec solidaire, who is apparently either a communist or a separatist (or a communist-separatist) is just one of 20 candidates running in three by-elections today in Quebec: Hull, Bourget (east-end Montreal) and Pointe-aux-Trembles.

Aside from the Big 3 parties, there are candidates in each riding from Québec solidaire, the left-wing party, the Green Party, which still takes itself seriously despite never winning anything, and the new Parti indépendantiste, which thinks the PQ is too soft on sovereignty. There are also two independents running in Pointe-aux-Trembles.

If you live in one of these ridings and for some reason haven’t been bombarded with information about this vote, check out the by-elections website.

Congratulations, Mr. Mulcair

Thomas Mulcair

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.

CBC needs lesson in Parliament 101

I’m listening to CBC Radio (I oblige myself to do so at least once a year — besides, it’s “So Montreal” according to the marketing bureaucrats in Toronto).

I’m listening to the news, which is mostly about the three by-elections going on today in Quebec, and the possibility that the NDP might win a seat in Outremont. At the end of the report came this line:

“The two other seats are currently held by the Bloc Québécois.”

While I’m sure everyone knows what that means (that they were previously held by BQ members), it’s still technically wrong. The seats are vacant after the resignations of Yvan Loubier (Feb. 21) and Michel Gauthier (July 29).