Marc Garneau wakes up an MP again

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I mentioned this in yesterday's post, but I saw a few articles on this and it definitely deserves to be told in more detail. Yesterday night it looked like Marc Garneau (Canada's first astronaut, former head of the Canadian Space Agency and Liberal MP in Montreal) had lost his seat to the NDP. Not all the polls in the ridings had been counted, but at the time it looked like he had definitely lost...and then the seat was declared prematurely for  the NDP candidate Joanne Corbeil. In fact, he even gave a concession speech. Take a look at this long face:

Then he went to bed, and woke up an MP again, ahead by 600+ votes after the final results were in. What a relief.

It admittedly does suck to be Joanne Corbeil on a night like that, first hearing that she'd be going to Ottawa and then having that withdrawn. But the NDP certainly had its share of lucky breaks last night so they could stand to lose a bit here and there.

Also take a look at that second link: Marc Garneau said that he would consider running for leader of the party if the conditions were right. Whether he has party leadership in his blood or not is uncertain (not everybody is suited for it), but a surprise candidate like him could be interesting. The "just visiting" bit the Conservatives did on Ignatieff would of course not work, and now that they have a majority they are certainly not interested in negatively defining their opponents in the near future. If the Liberals simply just shuffle to Bob Rae as leader then we'll know that they haven't learned their lesson yet.

What's the lesson? Enjoy being in opposition, and stop looking for a silver bullet to get back into power. Bob Rae won't save the day, nor will any other leader for that matter, but going with a relative unknown would be a sign that they are going to concentrate on party building and making the most of being in opposition.


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