In war, said Napoleon, the moral is to the physical three to one.
In other words, psychological effects are three times greater than physical ones.
The recent by-election loss seems to have had a profound psychological impact on some of the most ardent supporters of the Blue Cause.
Tony the Tory – he of Open Line fame – was left so profoundly distraught by the loss that he wrote the editor of the province’s largest daily to assure the world that all had not been lost and that his beloved party was not dead.
No one said it was.
But Tony evidently was afraid of such a thought.
Now it’s hardly surprising that Tony’s emotional reaction is so extreme. The fellow is a fervent believer in The cause. Tony worships Hisself as fervently as any.
So it is not surprising Tony is full of fear, disquiet and unease since, you see, his idol attacked the by-election with the same manic intensity out of all proportion to what was actually involved.
As such, the psychological impact of the defeat is equally out of proportion.
labradore, it turns out, has made much the same point.
Tony rattles off a bit of history to bolster his case, but only a bit and he conveniently forgets much.
In 1987, for example, his beloved Blue Cause was so afraid of a by-election - so petrified of the newly chosen Liberal leader at the time - that they delayed calling it as long as they could.
Months rolled by.
In those days there was no law requiring a by-election to be called with a fixed period. The Liberals introduced such a law setting the maximum delay after a vacancy at 90 days.
Then in 1988, the Tories called a by-election in the old configuration of Waterford- Kenmount but only when they thought they could win it.
But all of that has no larger meaning just as Tony’s list of by-elections has no such larger meaning.
But Tony’s letter itself does.
It just doesn’t have the meaning he thought it would have.