So, the results are in. And....I'm not worried. :)
What you hear from the Liberal cheering section on Twitter, underneath all the false concern and outrage, is a massive sigh of relief. They think this will make their job easier. Easier to direct the people's attention away from their miserable record.
You can't blame them. Up until recently, all the Liberals had to do was find a bunch of scary quotes to demonize their opponents and coast to a majority. Never mind how effective or professional the Liberals actually were. Never mind if they actually delivered on their promises of a better world for everyone. No sir. What mattered was that a Conservative said something controversial, and that just wouldn't do.
But then something funny happened: A guy named Stephen Harper won the federal election. All the Liberals screamed about how right wing he was. The trouble was though....it didn't work. That didn't mean the Liberals changed their strategy, though. They kept right on trying to scare people into voting Liberal before those people stopped to think whether the Liberals were actually interested in protecting anyone.
They still have occasional success. But it's getting less and less effective. Not because people don't recoil in horror at scary quotes, but because people are starting to realize that the Liberals are not as progressive as they say they are. Pointing to the Jack MacLarens and Mike Harrises of this world has become a means to an end. It has become an easy way for Liberals to win government without doing what they say they will do.
What happened in Carleton-Mississippi Mills was simple: People (so it seems to me) got tired of someone who they thought wasn't representing them effectively and voted him out. In October, the same thing could happen. Only if it does happen, I doubt the Liberals will be so happy.
Oh, and in case people think I'm going easy on MacLaren? The onus is on him to prove he can stand up to the Liberal fear tsunami that is about to wash over this province. Because if he doesn't, it'll matter a lot less who is and who isn't a "real conservative."