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It is up for fair debate whether or not the Trudeau/McGuinty comments cost the Liberal Party the Calgary Center seat. There is no question Liberals had wind at their back last week, only to hit a brick wall with the damaging quotes. We will never know the true impact, but with such a slight margin of victory- as well as evidence of a Green uptick in the wake- my opinion is that we had the opportunity and blew it. That a Liberal victory would have been historic, potentially recalibrating potentials and assumptions, all the more hard to swallow.
-Newly minted Liberal leadership contender Joyce Murray enjoys powerful practical application to support her call for co-operation between the opposition parties. The Conservatives held Calgary Center by 4.2%, despite the Liberals and Greens combining for 58% of the vote, a fact which should provide sober consideration. If Stephane Dion can give a speech at a Green Party convention, one has to wonder what all the fuss is really about, once we become colour blind. I look forward to Murray interjecting the topic into the Liberal leadership race, and hope we examine without the kneejerk reactions, because Stephen Harper is smiling, a shit kicking grin in fact.
-The Green Party are fast becoming a legitimate option in Canadian politics. In two of the by-elections they were formidable, and came within a whisker of winning another seat. The biggest hurdle for an upstart party is the credibility gap, the Greens should be encouraged with last night, because by any definition they were real players. As an aside, combining all the by-election results, Greens averaged over 21% support, as did the Liberals, and the NDP 23%, a testament to how well the party performed.
-Despite almost unprecedented attention, turnout continues to be an issue in Canadian politics, a fact that should be of grave concern to everyone. Canadians are largely indifferent, apathetic and disengaged, 29% turnout in Calgary, with all the controversy and talk of razor thin results, is downright pathetic and disheartening. Poor turnout works for the Conservatives most of all, as they do better with the dependable, older voter, which becomes more accentuated with dismal turnout.