Sunday, November 08, 2009

Federal by-elections Monday

A few observations before Monday's vote on some of the races...

This should help in that tight Quebec by-election in Riviere du Loup (or whatever you'd prefer to call it given that it has three names all mixed in, Montmagny, L'Islet Kamouraska too). It's close, they're saying, between the Bloc candidate, Nancy Gagnon, and Conservative Bernard Genereux, a local Mayor whose term just ended. Enter Conservative Senator Jacques Demers. He is now featured in a riding robocall, to give Genereux that last minute star power and push:
«Bonjour, ici Jacques Demers (…) Il est très important que vous preniez le temps d’aller voter pour Bernard Généreux, votre candidat conservateur. Cette élection sera très serrée et chaque vote va compter. Comme entraîneur, quand ça compte, c’est sur la glace que je veux avoir mes meilleurs joueurs, pas dans les gradins. En votant pour Bernard, vous donnez enfin le pouvoir d’agir», peut-on entendre dans un message téléphonique enregistré (repris hier par CHOI Radio X) et acheminé aux électeurs du comté.
That's right, when it counts, Demers wants his best players on the ice not in the stands! Demers, as the piece notes, initially expressed reluctance to get fully on board with any politicking that might come with his new job. That's clearly fallen by the wayside as some Conservative Senators these days are so very political.

Throw in the fact that the provincial Liberals in the area are apparently helping Genereux with their GOTV machine and it makes it more interesting. Still unknown, whether the gun registry vote will have an impact on Conservative Genereux's fortunes. The other Quebec riding at stake on Monday is solidly Bloc so it won't be an issue there. Maybe this is why Genereux is floating the notion that he's a "rogue" Conservative:
...he says he doesn't agree with everything the Conservatives stand for. In fact, he says that's why voters should send him to Ottawa, to change the party from the inside and make it better reflect Quebec values.
Later on, while we're sitting in his campaign van (yes, I did use my car troubles to get more face time with the candidate), Généreux won't expand a whole lot about what he meant. He does say that he disagrees with the way the Conservatives are handling environmental issues.
Running against your own party, maybe that'll work given that Conservative numbers in Quebec are poor.

Another little point of interest in the report on the Demers robocalls, Mr. Demers is not enthused about submitting himself to election:
...ajoutant qu’il se sent de plus en plus à l’aise avec sa «nouvelle carrière» et qu’il n’a pas du tout l’intention de se présenter lui-même à une élection. À ce sujet, il ne «changera pas d’idée»…
Hmmm, thought these Conservative appointees were at least supposed to pay lip service to the concept. He clearly hasn't been spending enough time with Duffy.

The other interesting race to watch on Monday is the one out in B.C., New Westminster-Coquitlam. Not too much to say about this one here, just that the Conservative candidate has essentially been MIA with the media. Whether this will help or hurt her, we'll see. Amazingly, you can actually wonder about that these days when normally one would think the voters would be turned off by such contempt. But in the end, that riding result could have more to do with the HST issue. So if she loses, we won't really know. It's another shining democratic moment courtesy of the Harper Conservatives.