The Conservatives announced the date Sunday for a by-election to replace the NDP’s late leader Jack Layton in his old riding of Toronto-Danforth. Only one major party candidate—the NDP’s Craig Scott—is so far confirmed for the race, which is set to end March 12. If no one else steps forward, an anonymous group of bureaucrats will be tasked to stand in for the rest. (Reader quiz: How long can I keep flogging this joke? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rumours of a ‘star’ Liberal candidate continue to swirl. And it’s not impossible that a Grit could take the seat. But in a by-election, where turnout matters more than anything, getting a candidate, any candidate, nominated soon is critical. Every extra day Scott, a law professor at Osgoode Hall, has to knock doors unopposed is a gift from the Liberals to the NDP. (According to Postmedia’s Tobi Cohen, George Smitherman and David Miller have ruled out runs for Liberal nod. Other names being bandied about include Gerard Kennedy, Belinda Stronach and Andrew Lang, who was the party’s sacrificial lamb in the riding in the last two elections.)
UPDATE: The vote has been delayed by a week and will now occur on March 19.