Thursday, October 05, 2006

Of Tories and bye-elections

I have to note the rebuttal from Responsible Government League here. Leaving the irony of RGL calling me "reactionary" for this post aside, I appreciate the main part of my posts being described as thoughtful.

I'm not sure the nature of the response except that it proves my point that the main source of complaints over the Liberal party withdrawal are the Tories who only show their reluctance at the prospect of a 1 on 1 bye-election.

As for thinking think in terms of "government" and "anti-government", it's pretty clear that this administration sees the world in terms of the syncophants versus the enemies of the people. You can guess which are which. That's not my preference but that seems to be the environment we live in right now.

It looks like official Progressive Conservative candidate for the upcoming bye-election in Signal Hill Quidi Vidi will be prominent local lawyer Jerome Kennedy. He received the nomination unopposed by any other potential candidate.

You would think that in a healthy democracy, when one party is so far ahead as the Tories are in this province, you would have wannabe MHA's lined up around the block for a chance to be the official candidate of the dominant party.

But no.

There were a few names kicking around in the last few weeks like Ian Carter and Mary Carroll who fought out the nomination last time as well as Ms. Valerie Marshall. A few days ago there was an official announcement that Derek Winsor, a school board trustee, would be seeking the nomination. And then just as quickly he withdrew.

I guess he just didn't get the memo that Jerome was the annoited one until recently.

There has been much public grumbling, in the meantime, that there's no Liberal candidate in the race and there isn't going to be. But if you listen closely you'll notice that the loudest and most persistent grumblings of "disenfranchisement" and similar such nonense* have been coming from Tories who never had any intention of voting Liberal anyways.

I can't help but wonder if the real source of discontent has to do with the bye-election now becoming a 2-way race where to win you now need a majority of the votes. It's a lot easier to win when you face multiple oppostion parties which can split the anti-government vote between them.

That doesn't mean the Kennedy won't win; it just makes that job harder.

* It's nonsense because giving a party leader a bye is not unheard of with many historical precedents to point to.

In any case, disenfranchisement has to do with either not being able to cast your vote at all or not being able to cast a vote for a particular party or candidate because a party or person is prevented from running - you force a person or party to run. Just because none of the Greens or the NL First or the Natural Law parties choose not to run candidates disenfranchises no one and insults those who are truly disenfranchised.

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