BY RATTAN MALL
LET’s face it, no matter what lies and distortions and even true negative stuff that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives as well as the federal NDP keep desperately hurling at federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, his juggernaut keeps rolling on as Monday’s by-elections so graphically proved.
The Liberals won the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina, which was formerly held by NDP MP Olivia Chow, held on to their Toronto riding of Scarborough-Agincourt, and gave the Conservatives a good fight in the Alberta riding of Fort McMurray-Athabasca.
All this in spite of another apparent dirty trick by Harper: he chose a day between a weekend and Canada Day to ensure a low voter turnout.
The Liberals’ Adam Vaughan easily beat the NDP’s Joe Cressy in Trinity-Spadina with 53 per cent of the total vote, delivering the NDP a tremendous blow. The Liberals’ Scarborough-Agincourt candidate Arnold Chan won with 59 per cent of the vote – in spite of the dirty tricks by Harper and his Conservatives.
And in the Conservative heartland of Alberta, the Liberals’ Kyle Harrietha won 35 per cent of the total vote in Fort McMurray-Athabasca compared to 43 per cent of the victorious Conservative candidate David Yurdiga. The Conservatives had won this riding by a huge margin of 59 per cent three years ago.
The Conservatives also retained their Alberta riding of Macleod with John Barlow winning 68 per cent of the total votes.
And as the Toronto Star noted: “In nine trips to the polls under Justin Trudeau, Liberal voting percentages have grown nine times, in ridings as diverse as Labrador, downtown Toronto and Montreal, rural Manitoba and rural and northern Alberta.” And they have won two new seats – Labrador and Trinity-Spadina.
The writing on the wall is loud and clear!
TWO weeks ago in this column I wrote aboutHarper and his Conservatives’ filthy approach to politics that was in blatant evidence at the by-election campaign in Toronto’s Scarborough-Agincourt federal riding.
The Globe and Mail newspaper reported that the Conservatives had plastered the riding with a flyer that featured a photo of former Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis and a quote from him: “This is not the same Liberal party we knew. The party has changed.”
The quote was attributed to Karygiannis and explained why he resigned last April, because of which a by-election had to be held.
On the other side of the flyer was an unflattering photo of Trudeau with a goatee that was superimposed on a picture of young boy lighting up a joint.
The flyer read: “Trudeau wants marijuana in local stores, just like alcohol and cigarettes.”
But the fact is, as the Globe and Mail report pointed out, “Trudeau argues that legalizing, regulating and taxing pot would help keep it out of the hands of children and starve organized crime of its lucrative marijuana trade.”
Small print showed that the flyer was “authorized by the registered agent of the Conservative Party of Canada.”
However, it quite obviously gave the impression that Karygiannis was behind it.
The former MP told the newspaper: “This is an all-time low for the Conservatives.” He said the flyer was a “very low and distasteful attack” that misrepresented him and his reason for leaving federal politics.
In fact, Karygiannis is still a member of the Liberal party and he had endorsed the Liberal candidate, Chan.
The Globe and Mail also reported that the Conservatives ran radio and television ads on the same theme of Trudeau’s plan making pot more accessible to kids.
But the flyer went as far as directly accusing Trudeau of wanting to sell marijuana in local stores.
Nevertheless, the Scarborough-Agincourt riding constituents gave Harper and his Conservatives a resounding response: Take a walk!
It should be quite clear to Harper and his Conservayives that American right-wing-style negative advertising with lies and distortionswon’t work anymore with decent Canadians – at least not in the case of Trudeau.
This is not the United States with its wacko rightwing Tea Party types!
INTERESTINGLY, the Nanos weekly federal party power index completed prior to these by-elections showed that on the preferred Prime Minister front Trudeau stood at 30.9 per cent, Harper at 28.3 per cent and Mulcair at 16.8 percent.
Nanos also noted: “Of note, there has been a four-week erosion in the proportion of Canadians who think Stephen Harper has the qualities of a good leader (57 percent to 52 percent in the current wave). Similar questions for both Trudeau and Mulcair have had only minor fluctuations over the same period.”
All this shows that Canadians are REALLY fed up with Harper and his Conservatives and at the same time they do not think that Mulcair and his NDP are the alternative.
They want to go for a fresh and young face – even if Trudeau lacks the intellectual capabilities of Harper or Mulcair or even his own dad.
They just trust him – and are hoping for the best.
And you know, HOPE can work miracles.