monsieur mulcair goes to ottawa?

i'm trying to decide whether or not to head to outremont to help out in the final stretch of campaigning frenzy before monday's by-election. insiders and outsiders alike are anticipating a tight race between the ndp and the liberals for that seat. recent polling would substantiate the hype. to steal the riding from the libs who've held it almost steadily for over 70 years would be one thing. at a time when dion is so desperately trying to hang on to credibility in the region would be another. but for the ndp victor to be a former provincial liberal cabinet minister - oh god.

i can't help but wait until the final ballot is counted, though, before letting any giddy seep outta me. the quebec electorate has proven itself - especially lately - to be unpreditable. disappointing. downright daft.

oh sure, the ndp has been able to capitalize on mulcair's reputation, tap into raw sentiment about afghanistan and the environment, and take advantage of the weak opposition campaigns. but in the end, quebec voters could still surprise us. they tend to base their ultimate decision on issues much closer to home, closer to the skin. questions of war and peace surely grab the gut of many savvy urban voters, but will the ndp's position be enough to pull them over to a party that has only ever elected one MP from quebec (nearly 20 years ago) in it's entire history? is the resonance and familiarity of mulcair enough to persuade long-standing liberal supporters to jump ship? is current liberal lackluster (or reverberations of recent liberal error) enough to knock voters off their pattern? quebeckers are, if nothing else, loyalists to party and cause - it's a bit like saskatchewan in that way, here, where political alliances are practically woven into genetic coding.

could now really be the magical moment when enough voters will break with ties and shock the nation... my faith in the quebec electorate needs restoring, so i'd really like to believe. but given my general philosophy is to keep all expectations low, i shall wait until the last second on monday night to exhale, to begin to forgive the very voters who
gutted me with the last provincial election, leaving me wondering where the fuck it is i've decided to plant roots.

my curiosity in all this is just that - curiosity. what with my wavering interest in and unplugging from politics this year, this by-election is something i've been watching, not feeling. no investment. no hope. i haven't felt a single tinge of guilt about not participating in the planning or execution of the campaign. i do think about how refreshing it might have been to work alongside those colleagues in an environment possibly not fraught with negativity and bad behaviour, where we were all finally aligned with our eye on a real prize, for once. but i've been content to stay away.

ok, i may not necessarily WANT to dive into the phone bank on monday or screech around montreal side streets in the choreographed relay of voters' lists. but i'm a political junkie to the core - one on hiatus, yes - but a political junkie nonetheless. can i really resist the adreline rush that is a close and heated e-day campaign? why would i? especially a body-beating e-day that - dare i even whisper it - might end in a win. lord knows i haven't felt that in a long while. our wee ndp project in quebec could use a success of any sort, for chrissakes, never mind a victory this huge. wee hiatus or not, i might just want to be in the room with those colleagues with whom i've been through so much shit ... to savour the moment. that's right, the moment i'm not holding my breath for.


Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist said...

I'd be there if it were within driving distance. It's going to be such a rush this weekend.

1:03 p.m.  

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