The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Prince Edward Island - predictions


There are some ridings in Canada where one can almost put individual names to any shift in the results. Prince Edward Island would have to rank right at the top of these. There might now be a bridge linking the sandbar to the mainland, but the Islander psyche remains distinctly, uniquely Island -- and nothing, not even a hurricane, will stop Islanders from turning out in traditionally high numbers to vote ... well, pretty much the way they always have. It might be this inertia alone which ends up keeping the island red despite a growing general malaise: sharply right-wing politics are simply not popular here (in general anyway, although they are starting to enjoy some regional following in rural areas). There might well be space once again in the future (if not in this election) for a Red Tory. In large part due to the small size of this political unit, both Liberal and (old) Conservative political families tend to be very tight-knit: the same names will tend to come up again and again, wandering from federal to provincial to appointment and back again to federal.

11001 Cardigan

Perhaps there might have been an ethics issue over a possible conflict of interest, shadow of the earlier Wilson report: but the results of the 2004 election crushed it utterly. Nor are there any current storm clouds over Lawrence MacAulay's bid for a sixth term, making as safe a Liberal riding as it gets.

(Lawrence MacAulay, Liberal: 65-70%)

11002 Charlottetown

An uphill battle for Conservative Tom DeBlois and an expected win by Liberal incumbent Shawn Murphy is starting to sound like a broken record, so instead I note as a point of interest that the Marijuana Party has newly fielded a candidate in this riding. Will they get more or fewer votes than the less-than-one-percent scored by the Christian Heritage candidate in the previous campaign?Otherwise, while I leave to Islanders to best judge the personal relevance of this single conflict of interest over public transit contracts, I do mention that outside the single link cited here, I have seen of this issue almost nothing elsewhere, nor does it seem to be particularly new information. As a general media rule of thumb, unreported tends to translate as "not seen as important". Again, Islanders may feel differently.

(Shawn Murphy, Liberal: 40-45%)

11003 Egmont

Hmm, an independent running here, Michael Nesbitt: so let's take a closer look at what he represents, starting with his on-line resumé. Apparently self-financed (like so many other frustrated non-affiliates and independent types, this election): so we are limited to pamphlets and to a website. Uniquely among all the candidates, he has taken the time to address a survey distributed by the Prince Edward Island Council of the Disabled. (Since the time of writing, NDP candidate Regena Russell has also added her responses.) Another edited addition since the time of initial writing is this solid outline of Nesbitt's priorities. Still, once again we have a low-profile Liberal cabinet minister seeking re-election in a two-decade-plus tradition of Liberal voting.

(Joe McGuire, Liberal: 50-55%)

11004 Malpeque

With a different Conservative candidate, this election might have gone a different way: unemployment and general unhappiness with federal representation is becoming a significant issue. Liberal incumbent Wayne Easter has lost considerable popularity in the most rural sectors of this rural riding, but Conservative candidate George Noble just doesn't have the name recognition necessary to overturn him.

(Wayne Easter, Liberal: 35-40%)

PREDICTION: 4 seats out of 4 Liberal, two of them more closely contested than the Liberals might like.

Running Total
Conservative: 2
Liberal: 9


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