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Despite the end result, a good night in Whitby-Oshawa

IMG_0392I’ve sufficiently recovered from lack of sleep Monday night to comment on the byelections Monday evening and specifically the Oshawa-Whitby byelection, where LPC candidate  Celina Caesar-Chanvannes came up just a bit short in her efforts to win the seat.  Still, it should be considered a good night for Liberals.  Their vote total jumped from 14% in 2011 against Jim Flaherty to 41% – a 3x increase in votes (in the Yellowhead Alberta riding, they went from 3% to 20%). If we get a uniform increase of those types of numbers in targeted and priority ridings in 2015, combined with a collapse in NDP vote, which has a couple of pundits saying the NDP and Mulcair are in trouble, the LPC will be doing well as a party for winning seats and power, I daresay.

As for Whitby-Oshawa, considering we had a first time political candidate in Celina against the former mayor of Whitby, this is a great achievement. It will set up Celina well for name recognition in the riding if she chooses to return as a candidate in 2015. I got to briefly chat with her at the after-election party at her HQ, and while she was a bit emotionally drained, it sounded like to me she would return – and that’s good news for the LPC in this riding.

I’ll just say on a personal note, I was up there not only to observe and blog about it, but I got put to work as well helping to canvass potential Liberal voters and also scrutineer 1 of the polling stations poll booth counts.  It was interesting to see how that operation is run.  The one thing I am a bit discouraged about (tho I suppose I should have expected this) was the very low disappointing turnout – only 32% of eligible voters bothered to show up at the polls to vote. I judged the Liberal ground game to be very good here – both a couple of weeks ago when they were canvassing and on the day of the by-election trying to pull the Liberal vote. I really don’t know if the LPC ground game could be any better – if people can’t be bothered to vote, there’s not much more they could have done (it will however give them an idea for this riding in 2015 who voted and who didn’t and what polls in the riding they need to improve their vote totals)

I’ll also say  it was a good lesson  to see how a ground game on the day of an election works.  I was up there again with Danielle Takacs and some other folks from Brantford-Brant, and I think everyone got a good eyeful as to how things operate.

I’ve included some photos from the night. You’ll see among others Celina, Dr Kirsty Duncan, the MC for the night and MP from Etobicoke-North, Justin Trudeau, several LPC candidates, (including Danielle, Jennifer Stebbing for Flamborough-Glanbrook and Salma Zahid, candidate for Scarborough-Centre), and yours truly.

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