Politcal pundits are watching today’s by-election in Calgary Centre where polls show a three way race.
A three way race in the Conservative heartland is big news. Bigger news yet the official opposition is not amongst the contenders. The race is between the Grits, the Greens and the Conservatives.
It is not like Alberta is a wasteland for the New Democrats. Edmonton–Strathcona is the only non-Conservative seat in the province. It is represented by New Democrat Linda Duncan.
The hang-over from the recent provincial campaign had some provincial Progressive Conservatives supporting the Liberals. The Conservatives had supported the Wildrose in the provincial election leading red Tories to support the Liberals in this by-election.. The family feud between the reds and the blues had created a major opportunity to the Liberals.
The Liberals were doing fine until MP David McGuinty did the Conservatives a favor by making anti-Alberta comments. McGuinty ‘s cock-up allowed those diligent Conservative permanent campaigners to drag federal Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau into the mess over some perceived “anti-Alberta comments The future Liberal leader had said Canada suffers from having Albertans in charge, asserting that Quebecers make the best prime ministers.
If there is one thing Albertans do not need, it is another reason to dislike the Federal Liberal Party. Linking the son of the architect of the National Energy Program into anti-Alberta sentiments was manna from heaven for the Conservatives. Is it any wonder that "Liberal" is a four letter word in the Wild Rose Province!
The pair of comments might well cost the Liberals a rare prize, a seat in Alberta. That said perhaps it did some good in Quebec where Trudeau has his eyes on 78 seats.
More than one Liberal has pointed out to me that in-roads in Alberta are not a big deal, what matters is Ontario and Quebec - provinces that Trudeau will win seats in. Sure that may be true, but Canada needs a party with representation from all walks of life and all provinces. Trudeau's inner circle might want to follow the Conservative lead and keeping an eye on the potential leaders past comments.
I am sure the pair of Liberal MP’s can expect a bottle of wine in thanks from the Conservatives.