Two of four ain’t bad

It almost goes without saying that voters tend to punishment governments during byelections.

It almost goes without saying that voters tend to punishment governments during byelections.

Shifting a seat to the opposition during a byelection is a way of sending a message to the government without risking turning the whole shooting match over to someone new.

On Monday, the federal Conservatives won two of four byelections.

The Tories upset the Bloc Québécois in eastern Quebec and cruised to an easy victory in Nova Scotia; however, the Bloc retained the riding of Hochelaga in Montreal’s east end, while the New Democrats easily held onto a seat in British Columbia.

Had Canadians been exceptionally angry with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, they likely would have saw to it that his party lost all four byelection races. And, in fairness, had Canadians been overwhelmingly happy with the Conservatives, then the Tories might have won all four races.

But, the way it turned out, it was something of a split decision. And the federal government has to be happy with that. And now they have two more seats. Any government that can win half of its byelections must be doing something right.

The Liberals, on the other hand, must be rather disappointed not to have chalked up any victories on Monday. Similarly, the Green Party must be starting to realize that they may have little future in Canada with their candidate placing last in the B.C. riding of New Westminster-Coquitlam — a province that the Greens have long viewed as their best prospect.

Monday’s byelection results may discourage the Liberals and the Bloc from forcing a federal election.

New Democrats, on the other hand, likely feel a bit encouraged at managing to keep the seat in B.C.

Most Canadians, no matter which political party they support, likely don’t want a general election just yet. And, if the Tories continue to do reasonably well in byelections, the electorate as a whole may not have to go to the polls for some time yet.

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read