Monday, January 23, 2006

Its deja vu time, with another Canadian federal minority government. The Conservatives and the Liberals switch positions, the NDP gains seats, the Bloc Quebecois loses them, and the Green Party comes up short. My condolences to the Greens. Although I didn't vote for you I would have liked to see you win at least one seat.

Several minutes ago Paul Martin announced he will not lead the Liberals in the next election. So the obvious question becomes when will the Liberal leadership campaign begin? Who will be willing to take the risk this time of leading the party with the electoral future uncertain? It will probably have to be held as soon as possible, since there's no way of knowing how long the new Conservative minority government will last.

Long serving former MP Svend Robinson of the NDP was defeated tonight in Vancouver-Centre by Liberal incombent Hedy Fry. Given some of what has happened in his life in recent years perhaps he's been in politics too long and should try something else for a change. NDP veteran Lorne Nystrom lost tonight in his attempt to take Regina-Qu'appelle. He might do well to follow a similar course and do something else.

I would have liked to see at least one NDP member elected in Saskatchewan. However I suspect that the unpopularity of the provincial NDP government doesn't help the federal party's chances here, and that this won't change until there is a change of government in Saskatchewan.

Brad Trost was reelected in my riding, Saskatoon-Humboldt, with a bigger majority than last time. If political signs were any firm indication of electoral success Andrew Mason of the NDP should have won, as he seemed to have the most signs, and had his signs out the earliest. However it should be noted that part of this riding is rural, which skews things when considering subjective evidence like lawn signs.

As I predicted a while back Gerry Ritz of the Conservatives won the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding handily. Jim Pankiw, the notorious former Reform MP, didn't have a chance, despite a boast a few days before the election that he was going to win.

I can't help but wonder about Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott, who retained his seat in Saskatoon-Wanuskewin by almost 9,000 votes. He didn't behave of late like someone with a firm hold on his riding, most noteably his attempt to get the Christian Heritage Party candidate Dale Sanders to step aside to avoid splitting the "Christian" vote. Sanders got 307 votes and was thus far from being a decisive factor in the riding. Last week he also announced his intent to sue a website calling on people not to vote for him, another example of behaviour which to me at least made him seem very insecure.

Soon to be former Finance Minister Ralph Goodale of the Liberals won his Wascana riding without much trouble. Talk of his involvement in a Liberal scandal that came out mid-campaign had no apparent effect on his vote count. Apparently the folks in Wascana see the value having a major Liberal as their MP.

It will be interesting to see if Saskatchewan gets any members in the new Conservative cabinet. It will also be interesting to see how long it takes for the new government to have its first scandal. Given some of the loudmouths in the party I doubt it will take too long.

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