Here’s my straight-up views on the by-elections in Vaughan and Kitchener-Waterloo.
- Liberals: We won huge in Vaughan, in a seat that is comfortably Conservative federally. I didn’t expect we’d win as big as we did. In Kitchener-Waterloo, we got clobbered in a seat held by the Conservatives for a generation. I didn’t ever expect to win, but I certainly didn’t expect we’d get clobbered, either. We got the message, however. We have work to do.
- New Democrats: Their win in K-W was significant. Hats off to them. In Vaughan, they were a distant, distant third. They can dismiss that if they like. They probably will, because they’re insufferably pious and pompous. They also have a genetic tendency to equate by-elections with general elections. I like it when they do that.
- Conservatives: They lost, badly, in Vaughan, when they should have been much more competitive. They were humiliated in K-W, a riding that has been theirs, as noted, for a quarter-century. My biggest concern, now, is that we will lose Tim Hudak, who – as Jacques Parizeau did after the 1995 referendum, blamed voters, sneering in a prepared official statement that they’d been “bought,” quote unquote. Like Rob Ford, Hudak is a major Liberal asset. I will pray again, tonight, that his party shrugs off the by-elections and sticks with him. Please, God.
We, however, won’t shrug off the results. By-elections aren’t general elections, as every sensible person knows. We got a sent a message in K-W, however, and we intend to heed it. And act on it.