Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Canadian Byelections

There were three byelections in the Province/Planet of Quebec yesterday, with devastating results for the Liberal Party. The Liberals lost all three byelections handily, and in the riding of Outremont, their star candidate, Jocelyn Coulon, was thrashed by the leftist NDP's candidate, Thomas Mulcair. The other ridings were captured by the governing Conservative Party and the separatist Bloc Quebecois, respectively, though the Bloc was hard-pressed to hold onto its seat: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2007/09/17/qc-byelections0917.html.

The most interesting element to me is the NDP victory. While I agree with virtually nothing for which the party stands, it has always been a mystery to me that the NDP has never done better in Quebec. It is generally soft on Quebec nationalism, and its socialist policies seem to dovetail nicely with the general "weltenschauung" of Quebecers. Yet, every election, the NDP would get shut out (or close to it) in Quebec. Maybe this is the start of something bigger for the party (and let's hope not, given that the NDP's dream scenario is a situation akin to that which exists in France or Sweden.

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