Friday, 31 August 2007

Jack's Been Around This Week, but Stéphane Was In Newfoundland: the Outremont By Election

The Federal Liberals just finished their pre-Parliament caucus session in Newfoundland yesterday, while the New Democratic Party MPs were in Montreal earlier in the week doing the same thing. Interesting choice of meeting locations, given that Montreal is the site of a very interesting Federal by election in the multi-ethnic but largely Francophone riding of Outremont.

Jack Layton had already gone door to door with NDP candidate Thomas Mulcair in Outremont several times, but on Monday about 10 NDP MPs (the ones who speak good French, mainly) joined him and about 60 volunteers to canvass. The reaction was warm by all accounts: certainly it looks like the NDP has chance here this time. While NDP candidates have frequently done well, getting as much as 20 per cent of the vote in a three way race, Outremont has always elected a Liberal with one exception. That was in 1988 when outgoing Liberal Lucie Pépin and the NDP’s Louise O’Neill split the left and left-centre vote and allowed PC Jean-Pierre Hogue to slip through and win.

Liberal leader Stéphane Dion has been campaigning here too for his hand-picked candidate, historian and journalist Jocelyn Coulon. But he hasn’t been as visible as Jack Layton, which may be a strategic choice on the part of the Liberal party campaigners. Dion doesn’t fly as high as Layton does around here, which is perhaps a major reason why the Liberal MPs caught flights to St. John’s.

1 comment:

Red Snapper said...

Hi Mary - Thanks for the mention of Monday night's canvass with the NDP MPs - just wanted to let you know that there were actually 22 MPs out with the volunteers. It was a reat time and the energy was amazing!