The four by elections yesterday provided little drama and no upsets.
No seats changed hands with the Liberals holding Winnipeg South-Centre and the Montreal riding of Notre Dame de Grâce - Westmount. The Conservatives held Portage-Lisgar (Manitoba) and Oxford (Ontario).
The provisional results are here.
The right-wing People’s Party leader, Maxime Bernier, drove up the turnout in Portage-Lisgar (Manitoba) to 45.12% but he still trailed the Conservative winner, losing badly.
Turnout in Oxford (Ontario) was 38.19%; Winnipeg South Centre (Manitoba) 36.63% and Notre Dame de Grâce – Westmount (Quebec) 29.69%. Here is the CBC take on it all.
In Winnipeg South Centre there were an astonishing 48 candidates – a record in a Federal election.
We are told a group called the Longest Ballot Committee signed them up as a way of drawing attention to Justin Trudeau’s broken pledge in 2015 to get rid of first-past-the-post and bring in a fairer voting system. Proportional representation was mentioned as one of a number of possibilities.
They all appeared on the ballot paper as “Independents”. Voters, predictability, went for the devil they know - the candidates from the main political parties.
In the Toronto Mayoral election on 26 June 2023 there will be 102 candidates and a truly gigantic ballot paper. Preposterously, they will all be running as independents as political parties are banned by law from fielding candidates in municipal elections – even in Canada’s biggest city with a budget to match.
In 2020 Doug Ford scuppered plans to allow municipalities to use a preferentail system of voting, the ranked ballot.
Under first-past-the-post Toronto’s new Mayor is likely to be elected by a minority of voters. Just how small we wait to see.