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A BCer in Toronto: Kyle Harrietha nominated as Liberal byelection candidate for Fort McMurray-Athabasca

Big news out of Northern Alberta, where on Saturday evening in a contested nomination, my friend Kyle Harrietha was nominated as the Liberal Party of Canada’s candidate for the upcoming by-election in Fort McMurray-Athabasca.

The vacancy was created when Conservative MP Brian Jean decided to call it quits early after a period of thoroughly uninspiring representation in Ottawa (remember the crosswords?). For all the talk of supporting the oil sands we get out of the Conservatives, there are huge pressing infrastructure issues in the region that the feds have ignored, and the concerns of local indigenous populations have (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: An Epidemic of Stupidity

Starting with Tim Hudak and then progressing stateside, this post will attempt to merely display the range of prodigious stupidity that North America seems to be cursed with.

First, to young Tim. It seems that each time the beleaguered leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives opens his mouth, one of his bipedal extremities fills the gap. His latest example of reflexive and profound ineptitude came almost immediately after the two byelections held on Thursday. Losing to the NDP in Niagara, Hudak, in what apparently passes for smart strategy in his mind, saw fit to insult the voters in that area, essentially (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: No gays in Sochi, and apparently no one on minimum wage in Thornhill

The statement yesterday by Sochi’s mayor that there were no gay people in Sochi was idiotic.

The statement today by Thornhill Progressive Conservative candidate, Gila Martow, is nearly as idiotic:

Thornhill provincial Progressive Conservative byelection candidate Gila Martow called the move to raise the minimum wage this week “a vote-buying, feel-good kind of message,” in an interview. “If you think about it, what does it mean? I don’t think that, especially in the Thornhill riding, there’s too many families… that are working ­— the parents ­— at real minimum-wage jobs,”… I would like you to show me a few families (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: A major test for both Hudak and Wynne; Byelections called

This wasn’t unexpected, but here is the official news:

Premier Kathleen Wynne has called byelections for Feb. 13 in Thornhill and Niagara Falls…The riding of Niagara Falls became vacant after Liberal MPP Kim Craitor resigned. Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman stepped down after a very public dispute with PC Leader Tim Hudak.

This will not only be a test for Premier Wynne, to see what incumbent voters think of her and how she’s handled things, approximately a year after she was chosen as Premier by the OLP, but a major look to see whether Tim Hudak, who hasn’t exactly caught fire (Read more…)

Scott's DiaTribes: Can someone pay a pollster other then Forum to re-poll the Mayor Ford approval rating?

I’m rather skeptical of those numbers – or any numbers – that Forum polls after last night. The Manitoba ridings were way off, as you might have seen. The Ontario #’s were slightly better; they can claim to be within the MOE at least in those races, though not as close as they’d like, I’m sure, but their polls performed erratically and inconsistently, and I’m looking forward to Forum’s post-mortem analysis (if there is any).

Anyhow.. I’d be posting a detailed analysis of how they did, but Eric Grenier has already done it for me.. so go read him there.

(Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: By-elections give Liberals more hope – and a lot more hard work

Hope and Hard Work has become the oft-repeated Liberal mantra under Justin Trudeau. And it can also be used to describe where the Liberals find themselves after Monday’s by-elections: with a little more hope, and a lot more hard work ahead of them. The hope: with significant gains in vote and margin across the board in four ridings, including two where the Liberals weren’t on the map in 2011, it’s clear the Liberal momentum under Trudeau is for real. The hard work: to the extent they may have been holding their powder, the gloves are going to come off now (Read more…)

A BCer in Toronto: Taking stock of yesterday’s by-elections

The media love a good narrative, and once they decide on a narrative they’ll do anything to force events into their box, whether the events fit inside that box. Right now, one of their favourite narratives is that the Liberal Party is dying. Sadly for them, we refuse to go.

They said our fundraising would dry up; it hasn’t. They said we’d stay down in the polls; not lately we haven’t. They said no one would run for our leadership; there’s more potential contenders than you can shake a good-sized stick at. They said it will be a coronation; the (Read more…)

Slap Upside The Head: Canada’s Newest Gay MP

Canada has a new, openly gay MP this week after a byelection on Monday filled Jack Layton’s old seat with the NDP’s Craig Scott. Congratulations, Craig!