Monday, March 17, 2008

“Don’t trust that Lando guy! Darth Vader’s in there!” (or why keeping four seats Liberal isn't momentum)

So this is a bit ridiculous.

We are talking about four by-elections in incumbent Liberal seats – seats Liberals won with votes in some cases near or over 50 percent only 26 months ago.

Liberals are virtually assured of winning all four of these seats. Trying to make a big deal out of them now is like rooting for the hero of a movie you just saw last night. It is at best insincere, and at worst delusional.

The NDP candidates in all four are truly amazing people. El Farouk Khaki, an accomplished human rights lawyer. Brian Morin, a municipal leader and respected aboriginal activist. Rini Ghosh and Rebecca Coad are both the kind of young women with impressive backgrounds in student politics you would want to have as your MP.

But in the end, Liberals can’t be expected to lose four Liberal seats. And for this same reason, it’s implausible to call keeping seats you won "momentum."

When it comes to by-elections, not losing is not the same as winning. Keeping a seat you’ve held for 2 years or 26 years is not the same as picking up in new territory. One elicits elation, the other relief.

But relief is what Liberals are desperate for. After months and months of keeping the right-wing Stephen Harper government alive, on the war, on his budget and on his environmental neglect, not loosing has become Dion's surrogate for winning.


Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Apparently he expects us to behave as he himself on the night of the Outremont byelection. I think we can read polls better than he can, though.

northwestern_lad said...

Well, apparently he thinks that NDP bloggers don't work on campaigns. I've been too busy helping with the El-Farouk Khaki campaign to write about it. I've got plenty to say about it after the election, like coming across Bob Rae trying to break election laws. Hmmm... people who are going to glide to victory don't need to do that, do they???