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Conservative Reign Continues In Canada: Joan Crockatt Wins

"Joan Crockatt Wins Calgary Centre Byelection Seat, Conservative Reign Continues"

OTTAWA - It shouldn't be news that the Conservatives have won a federal byelection in Calgary Centre — but Joan Crockatt made this one interesting.

In a night of byelection drama, Crockatt squeaked out a win in the riding right next to that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in what should be a Tory fortress.

The Conservatives also won the Ontario riding of Durham, with Erin O'Toole easily reclaiming the seat vacated by former cabinet minister Bev Oda.

And on the Pacific coast, New Democrat Murray Rankin pulled clear of a robust challenge from Donald Galloway of the Greens after a long night in which the lead changed hands half a dozen times.

"We knew this would be a tough fight," said federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who was on hand in Victoria to congratulate the newest member of his caucus.

The NDP is a party at the centre of Canadian life, and one that is on the move, Rankin said. "I see the faces of a great national party, steadfast in our determination to build a better Canada."

But it was Calgary — a city that's seen its share of political drama of late — that attracted all the attention as establishment candidate Crockatt ran neck-and-neck with Liberal challenger Harvey Locke for most of the evening, eventually edging ahead for a margin of just over a thousand votes.

The former journalist wound up winning with about 37 per cent of the popular vote, the lowest for an MP-elect in Calgary Centre since the riding was created in 1968.

"Conservative support in Calgary Centre remains strong and growing," the beaming victor maintained after arriving to a cheering throng at her campaign headquarters.

"It was a nail biting evening but I'm a new candidate, I'm not an incumbent and byelections are always challenging for a majority government."

Running in a bedrock small-c conservative seat, Crockatt ran a safe, low-key campaign that had the Liberal and Green contenders nipping at her Conservative heels.

Locke finished the night with almost 33 per cent of the popular vote — matching the Liberal party's 1993 high-water mark in Calgary Centre, while Chris Turner of the Greens had more than 25 per cent.

"I've always said that you either have a victory party or a wake," Locke said after popping a bottle of champagne. "So let's have a good wake."

Quoting a line from the Leonard Cohen song "Anthem" — "There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in" — Locke said, "I think we made a crack."

Byelections do tend to be hard on sitting governments, but Calgary Centre wasn't supposed to be a problem for the Harper Conservatives.

The riding hadn't seen a three-way race since Reformers and Progressive Conservatives were fighting for the right to roast a Liberal in the early 1990s. The combined conservative vote Calgary Centre hadn't fallen below 50 per cent since 1972.

But Crockatt's vocal support for the upstart Wildrose party in the last Alberta election appeared to divide the local conservative base, with some openly defecting to support Locke.

"More than 33 per cent of the people didn't want to rally to my standard, so I lost," said Locke.

"I think that the question for me as a Liberal that has been answered tonight is can a Liberal run competitively in Calgary and the answer is unquestionably, yes."

Turner also ran a strong campaign that may have been aided in the final stretch by Liberal gaffes elsewhere.

First, Liberal MP David McGuinty was quoted calling Alberta MPs "shills" for the oil industry and suggesting they "go home" and run for town council if they want to be so parochial.

Then a November 2010, French-language interview by Justin Trudeau, the Liberal leadership heir apparent, surfaced in which he stated that "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda."

Trudeau apologized but not before federal Conservatives had a field day, stalling Liberal momentum in Calgary Centre and making the Green option — and a welcome Liberal-Green vote split for Crockatt — more viable.

It all served to make a routine byelection electric.

The seat was made vacant when veteran MP Lee Richardson resigned to take a post as chief of staff to Alberta Premier Alison Redford.

Martha Hall Findlay, another Liberal leadership hopeful who, like Trudeau, spent time in the riding during the byelection, said Monday that perceptions of Calgary's political uniformity are changing.

"I've been involved with Calgary long enough to know it's not something that's all of a sudden changed," she said.

"I think what has changed is that there is a sense that maybe there's an opportunity for a representation that actually reflects who Calgarians are."

The one routine byelection of the night took place in central Ontario.

O'Toole — a former air force pilot and navy captain turned corporate lawyer — made it a quick night in Durham.

A cheer went up from his supporters when O'Toole hit 50 per cent of the popular vote, leaving NDP candidate Larry O'Connor with 26.8 per cent — an improvement for the party over 2011, but still far from enough.

"That's what you need," one O'Toole supporter enthused as his candidate broke the magical 50 per cent barrier.

The Liberal candidate Grant Hume, incidentally, managed to attract just 17 per cent of the vote.

The seat was vacated when Oda resigned following a series of spending and expense controversies that tarnished the Conservative brand as tight-fisted managers.

A beaming O'Toole stood with his wife and young daughter and thanked all the supporters packed into the legion hall, including his former hockey coach.

O'Toole said Oda's spending controversies weren't a major concern for voters he met while campaigning.

"That came up less and less as we got our message out and as people got to know me as a candidate and realized I'm from this community," said O'Toole, whose father John is a member of the Ontario legislature.

The House of Commons standings prior to Monday's byelections had the Conservatives safely in majority territory with 163 of a possible 308 seats. The NDP was next at 100 seats, followed by the Liberals at 35.

The Bloc Quebecois has four seats, while three others are held individually by Elizabeth May of the Green party, Conservative Independent Peter Goldring and Independent Bruce Hyer.

— With files from Lauren Krugel and Bill Graveland in Calgary, Will Campbell in Bowmanville, Ont., and Dirk Meissner in Victoria

by Anonymousreply 4111/28/2012

Canada sure loves electing assholes.

by Anonymousreply 111/27/2012

Canada is now politically right of the USA.

The Canadian PM does not support full gay equality.

The President of the USA does, as does the Conservative PM of England.

I guess James Dobson, Pat Buchanan, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Anne Coulter are relocating to Canada now.

by Anonymousreply 211/27/2012

Hyberbole much, R2?

It's no surprise a Conservative won in Calgary - look at the province. Albertans don't vote in favor of Conservatives, they vote against the East.

by Anonymousreply 311/27/2012

Joan Crockatt won that riding by a much smaller margin than previous Conservative MPs have. The tide may be turning.

by Anonymousreply 411/27/2012

The Cons won 2 out of 3. There's no end in sight for Right wing control of the country. The Libs can make all the excuses they want. Trudeau proves that they still have no intention of trying to win. I love how they try to paint that elitist asshole not an elitist asshole.

by Anonymousreply 511/27/2012

R2, gay marriage has been legal in Canada for many years.

by Anonymousreply 611/27/2012

r6 = idiot

They're pointing out the type of leadership Canada has now.

by Anonymousreply 711/27/2012

I put this on the Trudeau thread, but I don't think anyone saw it, so I will include it here.

The results for Calgary: Conservative - 10,201; Liberal 9,034; NDP 1,063; Independent 141, Libertarian 121; Green 7,090.

Who thought it was a good time to vote Green? What stupid vote-splitting between the liberal/left parties. Together they could have beat Reform ("Conservatives") easily. This happens in BC, too, and I feel sick when I look at election results.

by Anonymousreply 811/27/2012

Talk is talk, law is another thing entirely.

by Anonymousreply 911/27/2012

Canadians are continuing to re-elect MPs who represent a party, whos official policy line is Gays should NOT have equal rights and women would NOT have abortions.

Case closed!

by Anonymousreply 1011/27/2012

Just what we need. A bunch of right wing, Fox News watching douchebags to the north.

by Anonymousreply 1111/27/2012

Saying those things in Canada are empty threats.

The PM cannot actually repeal gay marriage or the right to abortion. Those things are now part of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms and any attempt to repeal them would be violating that Charter.

If Harper, or any PM tried to violate that Charter, they would be thrown out of office.

Those laws will never be repealed in Canada, and the assholes running around trying to claim it so, seem to have a weird agenda.

btw, I consider Harper an evil fucking asshole for many reasons, and am counting the days until he is out of office, but he can't repeal those law even if he wants to, so stop spreading bullshit around.

The conservatives politicians in Canada like to use the idea to rally their base, but they know it's an empty threat, even if the brain-dead morons who follow them don't

by Anonymousreply 1211/27/2012

The US Neocons have had a hand in what's going on in Canada. Canada gave the US a bunch of their Right wing douchebags.

by Anonymousreply 1311/27/2012

Saying Harper would be thrown out of office for trying to reverse gay equality is semantics. As he has not tried it...... yet, So, we will wait and see if the majority of Canadians really are that bothers by it.

You may be disappointed.

by Anonymousreply 1411/27/2012

The majority of Canadians are still liberal r11. Canada is a parliamentary democracy with many political parties.

5 major ones in fact. 3 out 5, (The Liberal Party, The New Democrat Party, and The Green Party) are left-leaning.

Then there is The Bloc Quebecois (which is a party that looks out for Quebec's interests chiefly, but they too are left-leaning).

And finally there is 1 party that is right-leaning, The Conservative Party.

There is 1 right-leaning party in Canada, and 4 left-leaning ones.

The majority of Canadians are liberal, not right-wingers. Enough fear-mongering.

by Anonymousreply 1511/27/2012

Looks like the Conservatives probably paid the Greens this time around.

by Anonymousreply 1611/27/2012

Honestly, r14 and some other hysterical posts in this thread cannot be from Canadians.

It is mind-boggling to someone who actually lives in Canada and knows that most people are liberal, to see such idiotic bullshit fear-mongering.

by Anonymousreply 1711/27/2012

2 notoriously anti-gay groups in Canada (and in the UK and France) are fast growing. Seniors and New Immigrants.

The GTA went Conservative, giving Harper his majority, because of the flood of new immigrants moving into Toronto.

by Anonymousreply 1811/27/2012

Talk about a misleading headline, OP - the Conservatives almost LOST this riding. It's a Conservative stronghold that hasn't voted Liberal since 1968 but it almost did last night!

by Anonymousreply 1911/27/2012

r14, the only actual way Harper could even think to do what you're afraid he'll do, is if he invoked the nonwithstanding clause in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That clause has NEVER been invoked federally. There is no precedent for it, and most people are unsure of the rules to proceed in the event of one. Though most agree that you would have to have the approval of at least 7 out of the 13 Provinces and Territories, and at least half the national population.

I repeat at least 7 out of the 13 provinces and territories and at least half of the population would have to agree to a federal repeal which has never been done, and which has been wildly unpopular when done at provincial levels.

It will never be repealed in Canada, most polls done in the last few years show the vast majority of Canadians support gay marriage. You will never get half the populace agree to repeal it.

by Anonymousreply 2011/27/2012

[quote]If Harper, or any PM tried to violate that Charter, they would be thrown out of office.

You posted this bullshit months ago, along with saying the Cons would lose. Guess what, they didn't. You live in a fantasy land. You better wake the fuck up, hon!

[quote]the Conservatives almost LOST this riding.

They didn't lose. Keep trying to spin it.

by Anonymousreply 2111/27/2012

The Vast Majority of Canada used to support smoking in restaurants too.

Things change, as populations age and immigrants become a more powerful political force.

by Anonymousreply 2211/27/2012

r21 when I said the Cons would lose I didn't mean in the next election, I meant that their grip over the country will in the very near future, begin to weaken.

The Liberals in Canada need to start strategically voting together to win ridings, as they are the majority.

And racist, xenophobic douchbag at r22, immigrants are not coming for your children. And young immigrant children and teens are actually becoming more liberal as a result of coming to this country. They're rejecting their parents bullshit en masse, i've seen it with my own eyes.

by Anonymousreply 2311/27/2012

[quote]They didn't lose. Keep trying to spin it.

YOU keep spinning. The Conservatives almost lost a stronghold in Alberta. That reflects on Stephan Harper.

by Anonymousreply 2411/27/2012

[quote][R21] when I said the Cons would lose I didn't mean in the next election, I meant that their grip over the country will in the very near future, begin to weaken.

Nope.

by Anonymousreply 2511/27/2012

[quote]YOU keep spinning. The Conservatives almost lost a stronghold in Alberta. That reflects on Stephan Harper.

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 2611/27/2012

Oh, dear indeed, idiot at R26.

by Anonymousreply 2711/27/2012

There's only one thing we should do about this!!

by Anonymousreply 2811/27/2012

R2 makes the same moronic post in every Canada thread.

I don't like Harper but Conservatives in Canada = more liberal than Obama's Democrats.

by Anonymousreply 2911/27/2012

The Conservative Party in Canada is not more liberal than the Democratic President in the USA. They are against equal rights for gays and a against a womens right to choose.

The courts in Canada, are more Liberal than in the USA.

Don't confuse the two.

The Conservatives have been staking the Canadian Senate with socially Conservative Senators, for 6 years now. (Nancey Greene, Mike Duffy etc.). Once they have their Senate majority, they can then, overturn Court decisions.

by Anonymousreply 3011/28/2012

R30, you can only overturn Court decisions in Canada using the Notwithstanding Clause, and there are usually political consequences for doing so.

by Anonymousreply 3111/28/2012

The Notwithstanding clause can be canceled by a vote. It is still a law. All laws can been overturned by a vote.

The Conservatives won't do it that way, however, they will slowly modify it until it has no power. Harpers style is back door, not blazen and in your face.

Look to Harpers recent closed door trade agreement with China, as an example of how he does things, the vast majority of Canadians would disagree with.

by Anonymousreply 3211/28/2012

I agree, R32, that is how he does it - it's a piece-by-piece destruction. He started destroying healthcare already, too. That way no one notices, and the cowardly lapdog media feels it doesn't have to report on it, either.

by Anonymousreply 3311/28/2012

Social Conservatism by Stealth.

by Anonymousreply 3411/28/2012

Not only is Prime Minister Harper slowly reversing gay equality, he is slowly making Evangelical Christianity a power in Canada.

The Christians just got an official office in Canada's Foreign Ministry to promote their agenda internationally, at the Canadian tax payers expense.

by Anonymousreply 3511/28/2012

R30, gay marriage is legal in every part of Canada and abortion is obtainable in every part of Canada. Is that true in the United States? Then shut the fuck up.

Do I vote conservative? No. But here's what some of Harper's Cons have done lately.

In September 2012, John Baird introduced an agenda to “stand up to the violent mobs that seek to criminalize homosexuality. Draconian punishment and unspeakable violence are inflicted on people simply for whom they love and for who they are.”

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has been promoting Canada as a refuge for persecuted gays from Iran. Mr. Kenney’s office has fast-tracked 100 gay Iranians into Canada, saving them from possible execution.

by Anonymousreply 3611/28/2012

R36, why is John Baird still afraid to officially come out?

by Anonymousreply 3711/28/2012

[quote]Oh, dear indeed, idiot at [R26].

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 3811/28/2012

R36 either is thick, or is willfully ignorant. See r32/r33

Did you live through Canada's Conservative period decades ago? You sound like some kid that grew up under liberal Canada and now has a false sense of security.

by Anonymousreply 3911/28/2012

conservatives...has Canada lost it's mind?

by Anonymousreply 4011/28/2012

R39...so you are saying that because gay marriage wasn't legal "decades" ago, therefore Canada is in worse shape than the US now? It isn't. Public approval ratings for gay marriage stand at 73% in Canada which is about 20% higher than in the US. How many years do you figure before gays can marry in Mississippi, Texas etc?

R37 Baird hits the bathhouses every time he comes to Toronto - he's hardly hiding. My 60 year old Mom knew he was gay 4 years ago.

If you want to make the point that Harper's a dick, I'll agree with you but to state in any way that Canada is a more conservative country than the US is utter bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 4111/28/2012
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