No matter that Harper just said Parliament was so dysfunctional that he might need to dissolve it, no matter that he and his party is the one solely responsible for any current mess, no matter that he pledged not to call an election until Fall of 2009, no matter that he waited until the very last possible opportunity to call other by-elections when it suited him, Stephen Harper has never cared about good governance, spending taxpayer's money wisely, or even being consistent with his past statements, everything, absolutely everything is about partisanship and putting his party’s interests before those of the country. Harper’s calling of this by-election for Sept. 22 in Don Valley West (DVW) is no different. Of course it’s a fairly safe riding for the Liberals, but I think it’s clear why Harper has called it now: to siphon Liberal resources away from Guelph, St. Lambert and Westmount Ville-Marie. The Conservatives are 100% focused on Guelph and I’m sure Harper has no plans to make much of a push for DVW, but I’m just guessing that in Harper’s eyes taking away any Liberal volunteers that would have otherwise been in the other 3 ridings between now and Sept. 8th works to his benefit. All Harper cares about is pushing up Conservative numbers in Guelph and pushing down Liberal numbers in Guelph, WVM, and St. Lambert (they are banking on the NDP and the Bloc to beat the Liberals in the latter two ridings).
I hope Liberals across the province take that into consideration as they think about where to spend their volunteer hours over the next few weeks/weekends (of course as James suggests you can donate to Rob Oliphant in DVW in the meantime), but everyone I’m sure will do what they believe is best for the party, and regardless of any by-election, I think it would be great of all Liberals who can, to come attend Stephane Dion's Green Shift Town Hall with Rob later this week (Thursday Aug 21 from 12 - 1:30 PM in the Telus Conference Room at the Ontario Science Centre). Personally, I believe that a strong push after Sept. 8th (with lots of help in DVW before then from those that live in the area) would be more than enough to keep DVW red, but I’m not the one that makes strategy so we’ll see what happens. Me I’m spending my free weekends in St. Lambert, where I think a real Liberal good news story for September 8th is shaping up. But despite having just had another great weekend there helping our fabulous candidate Roxane Stanners, I’ve come home to disappointment that our Prime Minister just can’t seem to pass up another opportunity to be an opportunist.
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