By-election brouhaha -

By-election brouhaha

McQuaig challenges Freeland and Brandon-Souris is tight


The Prime Minister officially announced four by-elections yesterday with the votes set for November 25 and Linda McQuaig, the NDP candidate in Toronto-Centre, promptly challenged Chrystia Freeland, the Liberal candidate, to a debate on income inequality.

Forum gives the early advantage to Ms. Freeland, as well as fellow Liberal Emmanual Dubourg in Bourassa. Previous to 2011, both of those ridings would’ve been considered safe Liberal holds, now they function as tests of strength between the Liberals and New Democrats.

The real intrigue comes in the already wildly entertaining race for Brandon-Souris, where Forum finds a three-point Liberal advantage. Granted, that poll comes with a five-point margin for error, but even that leaves room for a much closer race than one might have expected in a seemingly safe Conservative riding.


By-election brouhaha

  1. It’s more then a bit strange that LM is pushing for an open debate where she will presumably bring out her tax the rich big guns while Mulcair is distancing himself from same as rapidly as he can. Guess he needs that win more then he needs to appear consistent. Politics is a weird kind of game at times…a game of who’s the least cognitively dissonant, the voter or the voted.

    • She’s down by 15 points, but narrowed it from a 24-point gap pre-candidate selection meetings. So of course she wants a debate.

      And of course Freeland will avoid it.

      • Unless Freeland thinks it’s LM who’s vulnerable. Lots of variables though. You’re probably right – no debate.

        • If you have a 15-point lead, you play it safe.

          But yes, I think the NDP can make a race of it. And from my CPC perch, I want McQuaig to win. Means the CPC has a better shot at University-Rosedale when Toronto Centre splits for 2015.

    • Did you experience any discomfort while writing a comment in which you made an unfounded assumption to support another unfounded assumption and, finally, your conclusion?

      • Not really. LM’s views are pretty much on the record as are Mulcair’s attempts to distance himself from some of them. I just find that aspect of a potential debate incongruous. I don’t agree with LM’s assertions mainly because i simply don’t think you can get blood out of a stone re: taxing the rich much more, besides they’ll just ship their money out elsewhere. It simply isn’t smart. Better to make them think they have a stake in the country too. But have the debate by all means if you think it will help her cause – i doubt it. There’s a chance that Freeland doesn’t know what she’s talking about either i suppose. One way to find out. Politics being what it is she’s likely to dodge that one though unless there’s an upside for her, such as making LM look like a flake herself.

        • Considering Mulcair has said that the NDP’s platform doesn’t include McQuaig’s views on taxation, and that they are not ncluded on her campaign website, your attempt to find inconsistency and “cognitive dissonance” because a candidate has an opinion which differs from a party platform is rather pathetic.

          • Sure it’s assumption on my part. I think it’s a logical one after watching the video. What is she going t debate if not her views on how to fix income inequality? Are you saying she’s repudiating her previous opinions on her website, that she simply isn’t going to go there? I find that hard to believe given her independent streak. I actually like her for that. I just think she’s wrong in the end, it wont work.
            You’ve just said yourself she has an opinion that differs from the party platform. If she can pull that off – debate her views and solutions[ which include bumping marginal taxes for the wealthy] without clashing with the party view, then good luck to her. But she’ll have to be a pretty good politician to pull it off.

          • I really don’t know what you’re trying to say, but this isn’t complicated. She’s running as an NDP candidate on the NDP platform.
            Unless she gets up and says an NDP government will ramp up taxes on the rich, there’s no “cognitive dissonance” or lack of consistency, despite your flailing.

          • Unless was pretty much my point. If the debate happens we’ll get to see wont we.
            I pretty much believe CDs is a pretty well an unavoidable part of being a politician,unless the person is truly remarkable. So if you’re trying to sell me on the idea the ndp are above it, i’m not buying.

          • Accepting aspects of a party platform that you don’t agree with isn’t cognitive dissonance anymore than accepting that the rest of your family wants to go for Thai when you want Korean barbeque, is.
            You’ve overreached and fallen on your face trying to score a blow.


            Oh come on, that’s a ridiculous analogy. If in the worst case Mulcair were to insist LM change or not mention her views on income disparity because the party did not want to get labelled as being in favour of high income taxes that might amount to a trigger for CD for LM or the party.
            I’ll concede there’s likely a point between 1 and 10 that she and Mulcair might agree to compromise on.

          • CD has nothing to do with whatever point you’re trying to score.

          • If her opinions are not relevant to her candidacy, why does she want to debate the topic?

          • No idea where “not relevant” came from.
            I’m addressing the bizarre claims of “cognitive dissonance” and Mulcair not being “consistent” because a candidate differs from party policy on a topic.

    • Or Mulcair could turn this apparent inconsistency into a talking point about the virtue of his caucus tolerating a diversity of opinion, as long as they remain united on policy.

      • Better then shutting her down. Tough sell though if he appears on the hustings with her and she does go for the big bang.

        • Each of them has already acknowledged their divergence of opinion on the issue. If they were to campaign together, they would no doubt have a pre-planned strategy for papering over their differences. She’s already said that, while she intends to remain faithful to her own convictions, she’ll acquiesce to party policy.

          • I can’t see that really working when your opponent is Freeland. How do you go after her as a limousine liberal and not use your best ammo. And remember Freeland gets to ask question too.
            But what do i know. You and Lenny are probably right, that the ndp will have seen this problem and worked out a strategy well before i spotted any problem.

  2. Jack Layton was against this type of debate when he was leader of the NDP, i.e. closed debates between specific parties.

    Someone should ask Mulcair if he agrees with Jack’s stance.