Is tonight really a "test" for the Liberals, or a test to see just how bored the media really is, desperate to find a storyline? Here's some advice- just because a party hack floats a ridiculous narrative, it doesn't mean you have to take it seriously and digest the "implications".
I do believe that by-elections can be indicative, and I don't automatically fluff them off for the respective parties. People may recall my focus on Outremont for the Liberals, because I felt that was a potential watershed moment, that would have long term ramifications. I reference that, because I'm not engaging in the spin game, genuinely I believe these by-elections represent a gigantic YAWNORAMA, in terms of Liberal fortunes or "signs". There are a couple intriguing storylines for other parties, the only items of value.
Why? Well, pardon me if I don't over-analyze results in by-elections where the Liberals are a complete afterthought. There's a reason Harper fast tracked these by-elections, because he knows none of them hold optimism for the Liberals. The hope was, that the media would latch on to results, furthering a negative trendline for Ignatieff. It remains to be seen whether the media will resist the ridiculousness, but the track record doesn't leave me encouraged.
Anyways, in an attempt to pierce through the haze, let's look at these contests. Did you know that in the last election, the Bloc received 2.5 times that of the Liberals in Hochelaga? Did you know that the Bloc received 3 times the vote of the Liberals in Montmagny? Did you know that the Liberals received a paltry 20% and 15% respectively?
It gets worse. Did you know that the NDP received nearly 4 times the Liberal vote in New Westminister. A whopping 11% for the Liberals, only 29% behind the second place Conservatives. I'm cautiously optimistic. Maybe at bit less in Cumberland, where we received a credible 8% of the vote, only 8 times less than the victor.
So, I'll be glued to the results come 10pm, because clearly the Conservatives are right, this is a huge test for Ignatieff, really a referendum on his leadership. The fact these by-elections occur on such fertile Liberal ground, all the more telling. Gods speed Michael.