Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Coulon Wins Outremont!!!

That's what the headlines should read on Monday morning in Montreal. As many of you know, I am heading to Montreal to help Jocelyn in any way I can this weekend.

It's all hands on deck there, so if anyone wants to join us in our cause, don't hesitate to drop me an email with your co-ordinates.

The NDP have been doing some serious talking over in Outremont, often times sounding as though they've won the riding. The fact is they have 7,300 votes to make up to beat the Liberals and 4,800 to beat the Bloc. Even a 20% swing doesn't get them there.


Steve V said...

James, probably right with the title, but the "all hands on deck" rallying cry does support the notion that potential trouble brews, as does the need to drive ten hours when "even a 20% swing doesn't get them there". That said, kudos for the urgency :)

James Curran said...

It's not really the NDP I fear. We only beat the Bloc by 2500 votes in that riding. 1 hour 13 minutes by plane. Air Canada has huge specials right now. ;-). $49 each way.

Steve V said...

Wow, can I come? ;) Good luck, it would be nice for some posts from the ground to get a sense.

Dave said...

Signs point to Dion by-election disaster

Sep 14, 2007 04:30 AM
Chantal Hébert


With three crucial by-elections only weeks away, the bulk of Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's brain trust, including the Quebec co-chair of his national election readiness committee Lucie Santoro, signed up for a trip to Israel sponsored by the Canada-Israel Committee earlier this month.

A charitable explanation for the decision of some of Dion's top strategists to micromanage his first electoral test from the Middle East at a critical juncture of the campaign would be that all was satisfactorily taken care of on the home front.

But that explanation does not sustain the test of reality. Earlier this summer, Marc Lavigne – the chief Quebec organizer on the Dion leadership campaign – quietly handed in his resignation as deputy national director of the party.

According to Liberal sources, the resignation stated that he "was unable to implement organizational plans."

That sentence may be a polite euphemism for a disaster-in-the-making in the three ridings that go to the polls on Monday.

By all indications, Dion's candidates in Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot and Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean are not even in contention for second place.

But it is the creaky wheels of the campaign in the Liberal fortress of Outremont that should really send alarms bells ringing throughout the party.

Three days to the vote, a Liberal cakewalk has turned into a cliffhanger with the NDP emerging as the party to beat in Outremont.

In the final sprint to the vote, Liberal campaign literature has yet to land on most of the riding's doorsteps.

With the NDP working hard to get its recently recruited Quebec star, former provincial environment minister Thomas Mulcair, into Parliament, local Liberals complain it has never been so difficult to recruit volunteers, even in the dark days of the sponsorship affair.

That should be a sobering wake-up call for the many Liberal strategists who continue to put the party's 2006 demise in Quebec down to a circumstantial backlash triggered by the scandal. It should also serve as shock treatment for the widespread delusion that the native-son syndrome will do the trick for the Dion-led party in Quebec.

There is no denying that the neophyte leader drags much unity baggage in his home province, but certainly no more than Jean Chrétien. He was on the wrong side of the Meech constitutional debate in Quebec when he became leader in 1990 but still had no trouble hanging on to staunchly federalist ridings such as Outremont.

Chrétien used to be as popular in Ontario as he was vilified in Quebec; Dion seems to inspire the same tepid feelings in both provinces.

At a time when sovereignist parties are undergoing a crisis of relevance, the Bloc Québécois is bracing to lose votes to its federalist foes on Monday, but not to the Liberals.

The NDP is poised to benefit from a slippage of the anti-war Bloc vote in Outremont while, in Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe's candidate is locked in two-way fight with his Conservative opponent.

If the Liberals do poorly on Monday, they will not necessarily be alone in their predicament. Duceppe, Stephen Harper and Jack Layton are all playing for high stakes. But if his party underperforms, Dion – as an untested leader – will take the biggest hit.

Of the main federal leaders, he alone has to convince an increasingly dubious party that there is not a better person for his job looming on the sidelines.

James Curran said...

More proof Hebert will go to great lengths to forward her sickeningly biased disdain of Dion and Chretien. She is quickly becoming a joke in the eyes of many other journalists with her outright hate for Dion.

For the record, the other two ridings were never mentioned as Liberal strongholds. There not held by Liberals now. She makes it sound as though we'll be losing ground there.

She's a joke.