Election 2008: Winners & Losers

By Royce Koop on Oct 15, 2008

Winner: Stephane Dion. The snide comment he got off at CTV and Roger Smith ("...you understand?") was great, almost as good as Smith and Lloyd Robertson's breathless, wounded indignation afterward.

Loser: CTV. While results were pouring in from B.C., the network cut to a lengthy, chummy interview with Bob Rae, followed up by a simultaneous interview with Michael Ignatieff. I watched the B.C. results at the bottom of the screen while Rae and Ignatieff complimented one another and played coy over their leadership intentions. Lame.

Losers Again: Certain members of the media seem to think that the Canadian public is attuned to internal Liberal politics like it is a partisan version of Coronation Street. No sooner had the polls closed in B.C. that I was subjected to discussion of Liberal leadership politics. Does this sort of politics junkie chatter really attract viewers?

Losers: Hedy Fry and Ujjal Dosanjh. Both re-elected in B.C., they used their post-victory interviews to bitterly complain about how the N.D.P. and Green Party had split the vote and allowed Harper to be re-elected. The ferocity of these attacks really had to be seen to be believed.

Winner: Linda Duncan, who won in an Alberta riding. Did I mention that she was running for the NDP? Whoa.

Winner: Stephen Harper. Watching his speech tonight, I couldn't believe how much he's improved as a public speaker.

Loser: The Kitchen Table. Could we possibly outlaw the use of this term as a slogan in future election campaigns?

Loser: Gilles Duceppe. The standard media narrative this evening was that every party lost except for the Bloc, which cleaned up. Really? The party made significant gains in neither votes nor seats, and Duceppe couldn't match the standard set by Lucien Bouchard in the 1993 federal election. The Bloc couldn't even prevent Justin Trudeau from winning in Papineau.

Losers/Winners: Liberals in B.C.. The party held on to several of its B.C. seats. But three of those - Vancouver South, Esquimalt, and Newton North Delta - were nail-biters and the Liberal incumbents were lucky to have held their seats. A slight shift in the last few daysmight have seen all three of these go to the Tories, and the result would have been a genuine disaster for the party in B.C.. In B.C., Liberal Joyce Murray in Quadra and Conservative Alice Wong in Richmond deserve special congratulations. They were both thought to be in tight races, but ended up running away with their wins.

Loser: Quebec. Harper twisted himself into a pretzel to appeal to the province in the last parliament, and tonight's renewed support for the Bloc was the result. Keep in mind that Harper once wrote that the only viable way to assemble a conservative coalition in Canada was to exclude Quebec. Given that the party has gained in pretty much every region besides Quebec in this election, is it possible that the province has left itself out in the cold?

Winner: Raymond Chan. The long-time Liberal incumbent was defeated in Richmond, but delivered a gracious and moving concession speech where he encouraged other immigrants to run for public office. It's not hard to see why Chan built up a solid support base of loyal Liberal activists in the riding. He'll be missed.

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