Okay. So — due to Peter Penashue grossly overspending during the 2011 election, there will now be a by-election in the riding of Labrador. Some things you will want to know:
- In the 2011 election, Mr. Penashue got 4256 votes out of a total of
20,30510,744 votes cast.
- In second place was Liberal Todd Russell, with 4177 votes. The difference — 79 votes — was enough to trigger an official recount.
- In third place was New Democrat Jacob Larkin with 2120 votes.
Now. Let us assume that Mr. Penashue gets to remain the Tory candidate for this by-election. (Since Elections Canada hasn’t finished their probe of Mr. Penashue’s campaign, there’s still the possibility that he could be disqualified from running.)
What we have, here, are the perfect circumstances for Canada’s “progressives” to practice that condition of “unifying the Left” and persuading either the Liberals or the New Democrats to stand down and let one single champion of the Left take down the soiled incumbent.
Who thinks this will happen?
Would the New Democrats argue that, as the Official Opposition, they’re in the better position to take advantage of an addition to their ranks? Would the Liberals argue that, since they came in second, persuading the New Democrats to stand down would equal victory for the Left?
Or will the two main opposition parties reject the “cooperation” option, with each insisting that it, and it alone, is powerful enough to take down Mr. Penashue?
I’ll only say this much. If it turns out that Mr. Penashue manages to win his riding again, you will be hearing a lot of thunderous detonations from the “progressive” end of the spectrum.
Not from the shrieks of indignation and accusations of dirty tricks. No — from various heads exploding in disbelief and dismay.
UPDATE (18h14 19 Mar): My apologies. The earlier figure referred to the number of registered voters. The actual total vote has now been added.