Friday, September 15, 2006

Decency prevails in Parkdale-High Park by-election

Congratulations to NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo, the winner of yesterday's provincial by-election in the riding of Parkdale-High Park. It was a tough and dirty campaign.

A lot was riding on this by-election for Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. Too much it seems. The decision to play dirty cost his government dearly.

Fortunately, Parkdale-High Park voters rejected the desperate attempt by the Liberals to reverse their slide with a campaign of obloquy and innuendo. Instead, the decision to play dirty vaulted DiNovo into the limelight. Disgusted by Liberal tactics, many voters stayed home or switched their vote to the NDP. Curiously, the 25 percentage point drop in the Liberal share of the vote from the previous election was precisely matched by a 25 point increase in the NDP's share.

Against this wave of sympathy, all the other parties could do was hold on. David Hutcheon, the PC candidate, eked out a 1 point increase in support from the previous election, while the Green Party flagbearer, Frank de Jong, slipped slightly.

In the end, the election was about decency, not about issues. Ultimately, though, decency did prevail.