Liberals win, Axworthy loses, life goes on
I’m pretty happy tonight. A couple of good things happened. The Conservatives didn’t win. The Liberals have a strong minority. Jim Pankiw, a embarrassment to Saskatoon, lost. Pretty much every party at the national level can look at a bright side. The Conservatives increased their share of seats. The Bloc goes to record highs. The NDP hold the balance of power. The Liberals won a strong minority, when it looked like they were going to lose. For the Conservatives to win they have to cleanse themselves of the extreme elements of their party. They have to really move to the centre as a party.
Despite doubling the vote Axworthy lost. We needed to solidly win the city, but the NDP vote remained fairly strong and the north end of Saskatoon was split. In the city we were probably up about 1 percent, but then the rural polls came in and that was the end. The campaign staff took it pretty hard. In my eyes they did really well even though they were very young. They built an organization out of nothing.
Vellacott, the conservative candidate was complaining about a “dirty” Liberal campaign. I disagreed very strongly with an attack brochure that went out, but what it said was true as far as I could tell. I honestly think we could have won if we and the national campaign had stressed more of Paul Martin’s strengths. We spent some time with trying to entice NDP voters to vote strategically. They didn’t, and if they had we might have won. What is done is done, and I thought our campaign manager did very well considering his age and experience. I imagine we will see more of Ryan Androsoff.
I have a lot of reflections to share about the whole experience. They will be coming soon.