Go back to sleep everyone: another Tory win in Calgary

Joan Crockatt, the first pest past the post, flanked by Calgary MPs Rob Anders and Jason Kenney, gives her victory speech in Calgary last night. Actual victorious Alberta Conservatives may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The unsuccessful Liberal, Green and NDP candidates; the real Ms. Crockatt.

Oh, how very depressing.

Progressive voters outnumbered Conservatives, Big-P Progressive and otherwise, by a largish margin in Calgary Centre – and split their vote in last night’s by-election so tidily between the Liberals and the Greens, with a smattering to the NDP, that Joan Crockatt, one of the weakest Conservative candidates in a generation, managed a comfortable victory.

Just over a quarter of the eligible electors voted.

So after all the Calgary Centre hype, here in a nutshell is the Harper Conservative election strategy for 2015. It seems to have worked just fine in Calgary last night.

Indeed, if I were a true-blue Tory, I’d be thinking of opening up my wallet right now with a generous donation to the Greens!

Of course your blogger is personally disappointed by this outcome in that he predicted a Green victory in the by-election, and thus was double-skunked, seeing as the Liberals’ Harvey Locke had considerably outdone the Greens’ Chris Turner and in turn been outdone by the Tories’ Ms. Crockatt by the time the dust had settled. No matter, though, he’ll just remind readers that he originally bet on Ms. Crockatt, who when the closing bell had rung was indeed the winner.

At any rate, the progressive vote split, so convenient to the Conservatives, allowed Ms. Crockatt, a tiny but apparently sufficiently perfect neoconservative for Calgary’s tastes, to hang on to a victory that while close enough to make the evening exciting at times was nevertheless convincing enough, and grew more convincing as the night went on.

And that was in the Calgary riding that had the best chance of electing someone other than another Harper Tory.

The Harper Conservatives and Ms. Crockatt’s supporters in particular must be thanking the first electoral god past the pantheonic post for the undemocratic vagaries of Canada’s electoral system.

Ah well, no point moaning. That’s the way the system was designed to work, and it stood the challenge of democracy once again, so everyone can go back to sleep for the moment.

If there are lessons in this, they are Delphic, more auguries than axioms.

But if anything is clear from the opposition standpoint, it’s that notwithstanding hoked-up allegations of anti-Albertanism, even in Cowtown’s hotbed of Conservatism, it sure doesn’t hurt to have Justin Trudeau come out and campaign for a fellow.

Presumably this has been duly noted by the Tory slime machine, and as this is written they are no doubt topping up the tanks of sticky psycho-reactive goop for the 2015 election campaign. Mr. Trudeau had best be braced for icy jets of psychomagnotheric slime from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unsavoury gang of Gritbusters.

The Greens too can take comfort that their support is wide, even if it is not satisfactorily deep, which is always a problem in our unbeloved system of single-member plurality, otherwise known as the first pest past the post.

The news is not really all that good for the Harperites either of course, despite two comforting by-election victories, unless progressives can be induced again to split their vote – as happened last night in Calgary and Victoria. In that case, the outcome may be happy enough for the W.L. Mackenzie King of the 21st Century.

As for my New Democrats, I am hard pressed to spin this their way, unless it was simply the better part of valour that led to their uninspired and unenthusiastic campaign in Calgary Centre. One can only hope.

Which leaves us where exactly? Well, pretty much where we were yesterday, as a matter of fact, only without the bracing tonic of an impending by-election.

As predicted here before, Ms. Crockatt has the right attitudes to do well in the Harper Tory caucus, and will soon be a key player by the PM’s inner circle.

17 Comments on "Go back to sleep everyone: another Tory win in Calgary"

  1. Canada Joe says:

    Ready to eat some crow? Wow, not only were you wrong, but man not even remotely close. And look at those NDP numbers, eh? What a party! What a leader!

  2. fred says:

    I thought they would circle the wagons, and circle they did (it is stampede country, after all, and you folks do a lot of wagon circling out there, don’t you?).

    I am, by family tradition, a Marxist-Leninist, but I’m thinking that for the next election I’ll back Trudeau. Just a one time effort to rid the country of the slime.

  3. Bobbie Saga says:

    Same in Victoria, only it was a two-way race (not a photo finish) between the Orange, coming in first and the Green coming in second. The blue and reds, well behind the front runners, ran neck and neck to the finish.
    In other words, nothing happened last night. It’s a Canadian classic – a patheic display of democratic inaction, and a split vote with FPP. Nothing like stating the obvious!
    I won’t loose any sleep either.

  4. ABobserver says:

    Greens did exceptionally well in Victoria, leading for much of the evening, and losing in the end by about 1200 votes. And who would of thought that the Christian Heritage Party still even existed, never mind get any votes in that election.

  5. salamander says:

    I’m sorry.. (for Canada, Alberta and Democracy..)

    I must bone up on exactly what Ms Crockatt stood for, promised (if anything) such that she collected enough of a minority of votes, to ‘win’ her riding by-election. Will she ably represent the needs and wishes of a majority of her riding rather than a minority?

    Surely you are not implying she stands and won an election by embracing-promising any or all of our current government policies of secrecy, obstruction, environmental destruction, military adventurism, torture, electoral fraud & suppression, deceit, bluster, foreign mining interests, disregard for women’s rights, habitat destruction, unregulated fracking, F-35′s and Asian ‘Theatre of War’ bases, tar sands tailings ponds as fresh water for Canadians, the Rapture of Israel, wild salmon fisheries destruction and any related food chains, boreal forest caribou habitat stripping, and selling our resources to China ?

  6. fubar says:

    Never underestimate the core authoritarian vote. And the diversity of the progressive side. My riding went through this for a number of cycles, resulting in an entitled Tory who abused the trust. If Calgary centre wants to turf Crockatt the progressives will have to come together. Looks like they have a couple of decent candidates.

  7. Knit One says:

    This sounds like a better system.
    “Farmers who ran the elections for Canadian Wheat Board Directors had a better way. They voted by ranking each of the candidates in a district on a “Preferential Ballot.”

  8. Filostrato says:

    Sorry to hear that the voters in Calgary lost out again to a candidate that only managed to scrape together 37% of the vote. Just like the rest of Canada, the government is made up of people that most people didn’t want and would never vote for. It’s pretty sad.

    In Ontario, the “safe” seat of Durham elected another Con. They obviously couldn’t get enough of the likes of Bev Oda, she of the crude-oil-priced orange juice, the “no luxury hotel is good enough for me but I’ll stay in the most expensive because I’m worth it” and the altering of documents after they’re signed (^NOT legal in any jurisdiction I’ve ever heard of). They just had to have another one. (Bet you can’t elect just one…). The hot-dog-on-a-stick-as-long-as-it’s-wearing-a-C strategy worked again.

    Most newspapers were giving the shrinking support of the Con brand in Con heaven (Harper, Anders, Kenney – the unholy trinity) quite a bit of column space, even the Reuters site. Crockatt’s declaration the the Con brand was strong and growing was obviously – ahem – a crock, but I think they and their supporters have lost touch with truth in communication a long time ago. They just say what they like and the base cheers. Sad.

    After a pleasant lull, the local Harper representative has started sending out his Dispatches from the Borders of Insanity (TM) again. One was a mass mail out perpetrating the lie of an NDP carbon tax and how the poor Cons were going to freeze to death with the rise in heating oil prices this would bring. A satisfying pile of that junk was left on the post office lobby window sill again. (It happens all the time.)

    The other was a personalized appeal – using my first name, no less – saying it’s been a long time since he was last in touch (yes – it was great) and how changes to the Indian Act were going to make a more equal Canada (yes, by destroying a traditional communal way of life) and filling it with cherry picked bits of the Act. Funny that the changes that the First Nations want and the changes that the Cons wish to impose hardly ever coincide.

    Another, the old “getting rid of the per-vote subsidy” cheer, uses the lie that taxpayers have to pay to subsidize members of the Bloc. (He neglected to mention that Bloc voters, in his twisted and untruthful logic, would also be subsidizing the Cons.) Nowhere was it mentioned that the per-vote subsidy supported parties in the same proportions as they were voted for. (That would be too truthful – and too democratic.)

    Anti-crime laws – how they’re saving money and making the streets safer. Let’s not mention the fact that crime rates have been declining for years, which resulted in savings. Let’s not also mention that their stupid fiscal policies and high unemployment rate may just reverse that decline. (Then they’d be right again! You just can’t lose with this stuff!)

    Then the guy has a nerve to ask me to fill out the survey. No thanks, buddy, not unless I want to be the victim of a spurious audit or a victim of misleading and devious robocalls.

    Maybe I could use the Riley Climenhaga strategy and sign up my two furry critters. They both have human names – although I never use them. Their formal names are only used when they go to the vet.

    Does everybody in Canada get this same churned out junk in the mail, falsely personalized for each region?

    • Canada Joe says:

      Yeah I do. His name is Randal Garrison, our worthless NDPer out here. Puffed-out self-important fool and his little elves spinning their lies. Pretty much the NDP in a nutshell eg?

      • Anon says:

        Filostrato came up with a well written and witty comment, and this is the best you can do?

        Certainly not up to your genuinely amusing, although irrelevant reply to “fred” re: Martov.

        If you are you part of the tiny tory rage machine you may be jeopardizing your status and your mom may shut off the internet to your basement.

  9. Filostrato says:

    Almost forgot – the two things in the top picture can’t possibly be Anders and Kenney. They’re way too good looking.

  10. Alex P says:

    Filostrato, the HarperCon Election Inc. works like a franchise. Have rural voters? Get out the Liberals will take Elmer Fudd’s guns mailing. Elderly voters? Convicts will drink beer on your couch. I can’t wait to see an NDP carbon tax mailing.

    Oh, and they hates them that party that starts with L.

    • Filostrato says:

      Hi, Alex. I thought it might be something like that. Someone in the riding around Toronto with a Con MP mentioned in a comment (somewhere – forgive me, I can’t remember exactly where) an almost word-for-word copy of a mail-out delivered around here, only it was under the name of his Harper representative. The points are partial truths at best and outright lies at worst. Yet people are actually making decisions based on this stuff because they can’t be bothered to go back to the original documents (e.g. the Indian Act) and find out what else is there.

      I thought the MP might have decided to give up sending his stuff to this area of the riding because we are due to be re-severed from the area we are now in (hurray!) and united to urban areas to the east and west. The last time we were cut off from our urban neighbour to the south and left, basically, with no representation at all.

      Off on another track completely – I hope I’m remembering this correctly, but did you say your son was going to attend a Superhero Camp for kids last summer? Did he get his certificate? We need all the young superheros we can get at the moment. (The image of a Superhero Camp has remained – very pleasantly – in my mind since then.)

      • Alex P says:

        Filostrato, very kind of you to remember. My little superhero has moved on to obsessing about Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. On the one hand, they fight monsters. On the other hand, after watching a few episodes I always make sure I can still calculate a tip.

        I do the same when I see Jason Kinney.

  11. Karen says:

    Your victory picture (which might not be exactly as illustrated) was your best yet. It made me laugh – which after Ms. Crockett’s ‘win’ last night was a welcome emotion.

    I can’t express how disappointed I was with this result. Two quality candidates coming in 2nd and 3rd and the lamest excuse for a Conservative walking away with the MP job. To sit in the back bench and parrot talking points. Way to go Calgary Centre.

    • Knit One says:

      @Karen – the only thing that gives me even a bit of hope is that Calgary Centre – long time bastion of the Cons – split towards more progressive parties so maybe there is a change starting in the West. Durham in Ontario had results for the Conservatives that stereotypically would be expected in Alberta.


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