Originally posted on National Post | News:
Justin Trudeau’s two-year-old mental wardrobe malfunction, in which he said Canada suffers from having Albertans in charge and asserts that Quebecers make the best prime ministers, may well cost the Liberals the by-election prize of Calgary Centre, whose residents go to the polls Monday. At last count, polls were within the statistical margin of error, with Conservative Joan Crockatt holding a small lead.
Then again, Liberal challenger Harvey Locke might have lost anyway. What’s remarkable about the campaign – what has been remarkable about it all along – is that it has been a race at all. As has been noted many times in recent days, Liberals haven’t won the seat since 1968. But Crockatt appears to have been caught up in the boiling internal family spat between Alberta Red Tories – epitomized by Premier Alison Redford – and Blue Reform-leaning Conservatives. Locke had been capitalizing on that rift.
But that was before the Grits’ week of the dunderheads – first Ottawa MP David McGuinty, blurting out that Conservative MPs should go back to Alberta; then, even more spectacularly, Trudeau, in the very act of attempting to seduce Westerners with what he says is a fresh approach to Liberalism, caught with his rhetorical pants down. He apologized in Vancouver Friday, as he should have. Under the circumstances there was little else he could do.