Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mulcair does better the morning after....

Okay, while Thomas Mulcair disappointed me with his uninspiring victory speech last night at the NDP convention in Toronto, his subsequent interviews with the CBC's Peter Mansbridge and with Craig Oliver this morning on CTV's Question Period restored confidence.

In politics as we know, giving a 10-minute barn burner of a speech is less important than overall ability to communicate in interviews, on panels, in question period in the House of Commons and elsewhere. Most Canadians won't ever watch a 10-minute speech; if they did, Michael Ignatieff would've done much better in 2011 after his series of great speeches on the campaign trail. Over time, Canadians will make up their minds about Mulcair's performance based mostly on short clips and moments they witness.

Mulcair thus far in interviews has been very well-spoken, mild-mannered, straight-forward, intelligent, and impressive. His skills as a communicator will work their wonders, I'm sure, over time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Federal Tories take just 5% in Toronto-Danforth byelection that elects newest openly gay MP!

The Conservatives are a fringe party in downtown Toronto. Even at their lowest popularity, the federal Liberals always did much, much better in opposition riding by-elections than tonight's pathetic 5% Tory result in Toronto-Danforth.

Yep. They fought with the Greens for third place. The Tory vote has shrunk from 14% to 5% in that riding in less than a year. Hmmm...It's true they didn't even try. But neglecting to campaign or even show up for debates as the Tories did again in this by-election shows Stephen Harper's continued disdain for public engagement. This kind of treatment of voters has been standard practice for the Conservative Party for every election since Harper took over, even in Tory strongholds, with candidates frequently hidden from the media and most of the public.

The final results in Toronto-Danforth:

NDP Craig Scott wins 19,210 votes or 59.4%
Liberal Grant Gordon earns 9,215 or 28.5%
Conservative Andrew Keyes gets a paltry 1,736 or 5.4%
and Green Party rep Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu gets 1,517 or 4.7%
Total number of valid votes: 32,318

Congrats to the NDP! Nice to see another openly gay MP in the House of Commons with Craig Scott. The Grits did much better too with a decent candidate and strong effort by Grant Gordon, but it was not to be.

Interim leader Bob Rae campaigned heavily in the riding, and the Grit vote went up from just 18% to a more respectable 29%. But the Liberal gain needed to be more impressive for this to truly bolster Rae's campaign for the permanent leadership. Ho hum. I'm still not believing Rae is the saviour he thinks he is.