Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Liberals Having Trouble Whipping Up Excitement In Quebec

From the Montreal Gazette:

They are optimistic about winning Trudeau's riding but few predict other gains.

Even in the plain surroundings of a church-basement hall in a working-class neighbourhood on a sultry, late-summer Friday evening, there should have been more excitement in the air.

After all, this meeting was to decide a rare, contested Liberal nomination for the federal election to be called in two days.

And if Stéphane Dion's party has a chance of gaining any seats in Quebec on Oct. 14, then it should have a chance in this riding, Jeanne-Le Ber.

It's in an area of southwest Montreal held by the Liberals in five consecutive elections before they lost it in 2006 to the Bloc Québécois by 3,095 votes.

The 264 chairs in the audience weren't enough to seat all the eligible voters and other interested parties who turned out. And the contest was so close that it was eventually decided, in favour of Christian Feuillette, by a margin of only nine of the 213 valid votes cast.

Yet there were no demonstrations for the candidates before the meeting was called to order, no waving of the red scarves brought by supporters of Feuillette's opponent, Mark Bruneau, and few interruptions of their five-minute speeches for applause.

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