Back in July, when the three Quebec by-elections were announced, I rabble-roused with a blogger named “Queer-Liberal” over his attack on Outremont Conservative candidate Gilles Duguay. In the end, we made a bet: if Duguay wins, I get to guest-post on his blog about the Islamist threat; if the Liberal candidate wins, he gets to guest-post on my blog about gay rights.
Looks like we’re both going to lose. While Duguay is nowhere to be found and will almost certainly lose, the Liberals are in panic mode this weekend, calling in volunteers from throughout the country to Montreal to help drag voters to the polls monday and vote red. According to polling released today, the NDP is about to take this seat from the Libs.
What’s happening in the other two ridings? In small-town Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Conservatives are poised to rip the seat from the Bloc. In ex-urban/rural Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot, the Bloc is facing a strong challenge from the Conservatives, while the Liberals are sitting BELOW THE GREEN PARTY at 5%.
Meanwhile, the long knives are out. The Iggy/Rae combo is already planting stories speculating on Dion’s future in the case of a Monday bloodbath. From the same CTV story:
Supporters of former leadership rivals Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae are already unhappy with Dion, he said, although a movement to ouster Dion before the next federal election is unlikely.
Translation: they will be working behind the scenes to force Dion to step down.
Meantime, Harper and his team will be working hard to engineer a November election. Dion is a train-wreck of a politician, and the Conservatives know they can win a majority facing off against him in a general election. Watch this interview with Peter Mansbridge, and then try to explain how Steffi could possibly do anything but bleed away voters when put up against the polished and reasoned Harper on TV:
He is, literally, a train wreck. So pathetic and sad, yet you can’t turn away.
For conservative Canadians who still hold out hope for the old small-government NCC-era Harper being unleashed with a majority, the next month leading into and through the new throne speech is the ultimate moment of truth. If he can force Dion to vote against the throne speech and precipitate an election, we could be in for a wild ride and a fun next few years.