Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Upcoming elections Liberals should keep an eye on

Though 2010 is not a big electoral season (that's 2011, when 5 provinces will most likely hold elections), there are two upcoming elections that Liberal politicos should watch out for.

The first is of course the expected federal by-election in Winnipeg North, which can be held at the latest by December 2010. This seat, held by former NDP MP turned mayoral candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis, is most likely a safe Dipper seat. What will be interesting, however, is whether the Liberals can a) beat the Tories for second place, and b) make it competitive with either of the candidates who've put their names forward, those candidates being Manitoba Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureaux, and Winnipeg City Councillor Mike Pagtakhan.

a) is a good result, and b) is the best result. c), winning the seat, is asking for too much. But what happens in Winnipeg North will determine the agenda for the Liberals come 2011 and a possible spring election date (assuming we don't have one by this fall).

The second important election is the provincial election in New Brunswick, which must be held on or before Sept. 27, 2010. Liberal Premier Shawn Graham is not doing to well, due to a series of policies, blunders and missteps. The race remains fairly competitive, and Graham is not one to go out quietly. If he can retain his government, which he narrowly won in 2006, it's guaranteed to be a fairly remarkable comeback. Graham is a good Premier by most accounts, so if you're out in NB during election time, lend a hand, eh.

A strong provincial machine also means a strong federal machine as well, since both are formally linked. Keep that in mind. We need to take back a couple of ridings in NB federally, ridings which are square in the heart of provincial Liberal territory.

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