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Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Blue Grit-Here's your daily dose of political wonkdom. There were seven by-elections in Canada, and the ruling Liberals lost two seats they had previously held. The Conservatives (RINOesque) won a seat from the Liberals in Gander, Newfoundland. Thanks to Gander for your hospitality after 9/11 for all the planes you looked after and for sending a slightly-better MP to Ottawa. The New Democrats (Labor-Socialist) won a long-time Liberal seat (Herb Gray held it for four decades before retiring) in the blue-collar Detroit suburb of Windsor. You don't want to read too much into by-elections, but there seems to be dissatisfaction on both the left and center with the Liberals. Your big-government fans are unhappy with the neolib tendancies of the Liberals, while almost everyone is tired of the endemic quid-pro-quoing that seems to be a weekly feature in the news. Alliance (American-style conservative) leader Stephen Harper got into parliament by winning a safe seat in Alberta; the Liberals and Conservatives followed the unwritten rule of giving a new party leader who's not an MP an uncontested by-election. The NDP bucked the rule, holding Harper to 71.6%

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