Federal byelections maintain status quo

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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The Conservatives and Liberals held serve in a quartet of federal byelections Monday night.

Both Liberal seats that were retained were Grit bastions — Toronto Centre and Montreal’s Bourassa riding.

The two seats the Tories held on to were a pair of Conservative strongholds — southeastern Manitoba’s Provencher riding and Brandon-Souris.

Both Liberal victors — Chrystia Freeland in Toronto and Emmanuel Dubourg in Montreal — garnered 49 and 48 per cent of the votes respectively, easily topping their New Democratic Party (NDP) counterparts and lapping the Conservatives vying for those seats.

With 58 per cent of the votes, Tory Provencher winner Ted Falk also collected a sizable win over his closest pursuant — Liberal Terry Hayward.

That is where the evenness ends.

In the Brandon-Souris riding the higher number of votes was harder to come by.

Conservative Larry Maguire and Liberal Rolf Dinsdale went head-to-head for what turned out to be the most contested of the four by-election seats.

Most of the night saw Dinsdale ahead of Maguire, but as the last of the 210 polls reported Maguire took the lead.

He ended up holding off Dinsdale by a mere 391 votes — 12,205 to 11,814 — to keep the seat in the hands of the Tories.

Even though it looked like for most of Monday night that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau would rip a seat away from Stephen’s Harper’s Conservatives, his bid for it through Dinsdale came up a few votes short.

In terms of total votes, political writers and pundits may say Trudeau gained a fraction of traction on Harper during the byelections.

While the Grits received 44,368 votes compared to the Tories’ 29,102 votes over the course of the four by-elections, in the end the only number that mattered was two.

What bearing do the numbers from Monday’s byelection have on Moose Jaw voters?

To be honest, it probably does nothing.

Conservative MP Ray Boughen retained the Palliser electoral district during the last federal election by only 2.27 per cent of the vote.

The runner-up on May 2, 2011 was not in fact a Liberal, but a NDP — Noah Evanchuk. If any party is going to cause Harper to worry about taking Boughen’s seat in the 2015 election, it will not be the Liberals.

As far as the rest of the nation goes, however, Liberals are the party the Conservatives will be worried about in trying to keep the status quo.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: New Democratic Party, Conservatives, Toronto Centre

Geographic location: Montreal, Southeastern Manitoba, Toronto Moose Jaw

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