In the news

No, I haven’t joined Gordon Campbell, Jim Prentice, Danny Williams, and Carole James in retirement. Rather, I’ve been off on vacation for the past week, so here’s a few quick hits on what I’ve missed:

1) On my by election numbers post, I said there’s no evidence of a long term decline in by election turnout. Turns out that’s not really true.

2) Welcome to the circus otherwise known as Rob Ford’s mayoralty.

Newly elected politicians will often try to expand their tent, moderate their message, and reach out to those who voted against them. Not Rob Ford.

But hey, Ford was elected with 50% of the vote. Those who dislike him, dislike him a lot. So why change? Expect Ford to be Ford for the next four years – and if he keeps his base happy, he should be able to pick up a second term.

3) Julian Fantino’s muzzle has been removed…and the first thing out of his mouth is comparing the Liberal Party to Hitler.

On their first day in Ottawa, all new MPs should be given an instruction booklet that tells them where the bathrooms are, reminds them not to lose their briefing books when sleeping over at residences frequented by the Hells Angels, and implores them to not compare their opponents to Hitler.

4) Speaking of Fantino, Ottawa is abuzz over Cabinet shuffle speculation. My sense is Fantino will get a spot – he’s a star candidate in a riding the Tories want desperately to hold, after all. But given his raw and untested political skills (see above), I predict he’ll get eased into a junior portfolio.

5) With a flury of polls out, I’ll be sure to update my Poll Soup and Seat Projections sometime over the next week. For now, I’ll say that the “shocking” Star headline of “Liberals need a new leader, poll suggests” is rather un-shocking when you get down to it. These sort of polls come out all the time – there was a Decima survey last month that showed half of Canadians want Stephen Harper replaced as Conservative leader.

If Liberal members want Ignatieff gone, that’s a problem. If his MPs do, that’s a problem. But when people who won’t vote for him or his replacement want something new…that’s just politics.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in by elections

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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