Roundup: Near upsets

There were almost a couple of surprising upsets in last night’s trio of by-elections. Almost, but not quite. The Greens were running a surprising close second in Victoria, while the Liberals were very competitive with the Conservatives in Calgary Centre, until finally the Conservatives pulled ahead. But while it was a hold in all three ridings, it did signal that there are rumblings in the political realm across the country. The Conservatives and the NDP did poorly in two of the ridings where they were incumbents, and nearly lost them. In Calgary Centre, the NDP were virtually non-existent, running a distant fourth to the Greens, who had strong showings in two of the three ridings. And for the Liberals to run a close second in Calgary, their best result in 44 years, is a signal that the Conservatives aren’t tending to their base, and that the Red Tories in the party are restless. And throughout it all, there will be the weird paradox of Justin Trudeau being both blamed for the loss in Calgary Centre, and praised for energising the voters and getting them that best-in-44-years result.

The big news from yesterday morning was that Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney has accepted the position as governor of the Bank of England to start in July. He’ll remain in his current post until June in order to ensure a stable transition. John Geddes sees the inevitability of the decision. Paul Wells looks at the growing phenomenon of the “international mandarin class.” Andrew Coyne looks at Carney’s ambition, and notes that when he returns to Canada five-and-a-half years hence, he’ll be far enough away from his old job that any political ambitions he may have will be more palatable. Stephen Gordon looks at some possible successors at the Bank of Canada. And here’s a look at what the British press is saying about Carney’s appointment.

The other, other big story from yesterday was the Court decision that ousted Toronto Mayor Rob Ford from his position after being found guilty of a conflict of interest and breach of public trust. And as much as his supporters try to decry judicial activism or that it was somehow undemocratic, a) the judge simply applied the law as written and had no real discretion, and b) the people who passed said law were elected democratically. Ivor Tossell muses about how Ford basically fired himself after two years of increasingly bizarre behaviour.

Over in the House, the NDP and Liberals are looking to procedural tactics to try and delay passage of Omnibus Budget Bill 2: The Revenge.

Ever wonder what happens to the change thrown in the Centennial Flame fountain on Parliament Hill? About $6000 per year goes towards disability-related charities.

Economist Stephen Gordon looks at some of the bigger picture aspects of the oil sands development.

Joyce Murray is now officially in the Liberal leadership race, and she’s positioning herself as the progressive, pro-cooperation candidate, proposing “run-off elections” between the Liberals, NDP and Greens to field a single candidate against the Conservatives – but she’s not proposing a merger.

Aww, Pat Martin is staying out of the limelight while he faces that defamation lawsuit, and letting Charlie Angus take all of the more-ethical-than-thou glory in the spotlight.

And here is your recap of last night’s political shows, which was all about Carney, Ford, and those by-elections.