Well, the by-election for Outrement (Montreal’s tony Westmount riding) is set for September 17, and the Conservatives are looking for a bellweather victory there that could indicate the country is ready for a Harper majority. They have recruited a very respectable candidate – and a brawler, to boot! A lawyer, father of seven, and a career diplomat who has lived around the world, Gilles Duguay has stepped into politics for the first time with both guns blazing. Here’s his take on Stephane Dion (from CBC News):
“I’m telling you, if you read his CV, the man has been in cabinet since 1995, and if this university professor, descendant of a famous university professor, didn’t know anything about the sponsorship scandal, I suggest you ask him whether he knew anything or not,” he said.
Good point – and one that Liberal kool-aid drinkers certainly don’t like to hear. Blogger “Queer-Liberal” (Torontonian Matt Guerin) wrote a bizarre defense of Dion and attack on Duguay, which I directly challenged him on last Saturday afternoon. You can read the exchange here on Matt’s blog.
In the end, I issued a wager challenge, which he accepted: if Liberal Jocelyn Coulon – in typical Dion-era fashion, a far-left University professor with a history of throwing dirt on America and Israel in the press – wins the Outremont by-election, I will turn Flaggman’s Canada over to “Queer-Liberal” for a guest posting on gay rights. If Duguay and the Conservatives win, I get to take over “Queer-Liberal” for a guest posting on the Islamist threat.
My reason for optimism here in this traditional Liberal stronghold? Both the left-leaning Jewish secular elite, and the right-leaning Jewish orthodox community, are heavily represented in Westmount, and both are thrilled with Stephen Harper’s performance so far. The B’nai Brith of Montreal has already called for Coulon’s removal as the Liberal candidate – something which simply isn’t going to happen, leaving the Jewish community free to leave the fold – and the only alternative is the Conservatives (the Bloc and NDP are even worse on Israel). And, the linking of Dion to the sponsorship scandal is Harper’s ace-in-the-hole which the Conservatives believe – rightly so – will destroy Dion’s chances in the province of Quebec.
That being said, it’s a longshot – so if you see an out-of-character post promoting gay rights and bashing conservatives on September 18, you’ll know why…