The Canadian Imagination

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

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ontario - Toronto predictions

Quick bird's eye estimate, in case I don't get to the slightly-more-detailed riding-by-riding analysis. Commentary forthcoming for all races, just as soon as I find time to transcribe it!

I don't see the point of approaching Ontario alphabetically. So instead, starting first with the tail that wags the dog:


Er -- I don't really know where to begin. The one thing consistent about Toronto is its diversity ... but last Boxing Day's downtown shooting spotlighted an increasing problem with urban violence that until that moment had been delegated to "out there somewhere", an issue of a specific suburb. Suddenly crime reduction, law enforcement, and gun laws are among the major relevant issues: except that Toronto is far from united in how to approach them. This leaves it and will continue to leave it one of the major political battlefields of the scene. Some politicians will be able to make political hay out of the unfolding tragedy, some will be left in the chaff: but I haven't heard a single promise out there yet that is not more than a band-aid solution. What I write below is based on expected reaction to those promises, with absolutely no further commentary on their value.

I note in passing also that if Toronto's heavily immigrant population does choose to abandon the Liberals in large numbers, a Conservative majority is almost certain. However, I don't think they will. Harper's immigration policies are among the more active and focused I have yet seen: but their substance falls outside federal jurisdiction, and thus cannot be effected.

35001 Ajax - Pickering

Why this one will turn out to be fought almost solely over social values, I will never know: but when the Conservative party selected Rondo Thomas to be its local candidate, it became a virtual guarantee. In rural Ontario, it might have been a winning tactic. Here, it hands Mark Holland on a platter an otherwise very uncertain victory: something very much to appreciate, in this election.

(Mark Holland, Liberal: 35-40%)

35003 Ancaster - Dundas - Flamborough - Westdale

After a fairly close battle last election, Liberal incumbent Russ Powers and Conservative David Sweet meet again: but this time the mid/left-wing vote will be split among five candidates instead of three, leaving David all alone in the mid-right. By itself this will be more than enough to pull away the 2000-odd votes needed for a Conservative win. Another independent in this riding, Ben Cowie: hoping to draw focus toward youth issues. Unfortunately for him, the Greens have a candidate in every riding, and additionally this is one of the ridings where the Marxist-Leninist party has chosen to field a candidate. Odd echo from the previous election: where on the first return (although not in this riding), the M-L candidate very briefly led all the others. That made everyone blink.

(David Sweet, Conservative: 35-40%)

35005 Beaches — East York

A six-way race here, broadly covering the political spectrum and giving no single candidate an inherent edge (as in Ancaster): one of the few where the major battle is not between Liberal and Conservative. Multi-term Liberal incumbent Maria Minna is established enough, however, to probably be able to fend off an NDP surge, even if strategic voting turns out to take less of a toll on the NDP than expected and with a further expected drop in Liberal support. Most of the difference will probably go to Jim Harris of the Greens, who is running in this riding: he may well hit 6% support.

(Maria Minna, Liberal: 40-45%)

35006 Bramalea — Gore — Malton

Same party breakdown as in the previous election, but newcomers all except the incumbent Liberal MP Gurbax S. Malhi and the Marxist-Leninist candidate Frank Chilelli. Conservative candidate John Sprovieri has, however, given us such entertaining moments as this quote, lifted from his website (as plagerised from fellow Conservative Nina Grewal) and reported by Sean Holman: "As your representative in Ottawa, my opinion doesn't matter. If you want to know my opinion, I am a woman, end of discussion." For that alone, it was worth reading.

(Gurbax S. Malhi, Liberal: 50-55%)

35007 Brampton - Springdale

Liberal incumbent Ruby Dhalla has the unfortunate burden of having been thrust upon the local riding association by Paul Martin in the previous election, overruling the local party nomination. Even with the transferred-to-NDP protest vote, she still pulled more votes in total than the Conservatives and NDP results combined: and she has done as fairly by her riding as any, and perhaps more than most. There won't be another protest vote transfer this election, and this Liberal seat is very safe.

(Ruby Dhalla, Liberal: 55-60%)

35008 Brampton West

While people who pay attention to the individual person seem to think that Liberal incumbent Colleen Beaumier has been doing a satisfactory job, I would have to be sticking my head in the sand not to realise that there is a Conservative backlash building on a national scale ... and this is one of the ridings where hatred of Paul Martin/all things Liberal might win out over individual competence. Bal Gosal is a figure of some controversy, not least because his proficiency in English is less than ideal: but he has drawn the Conservative nomination at a time and place where it might be important just to be Conservative. The only thing that could save Beaumier's seat would be consistent strategic voting by the NDP in this specific riding: but I don't think it will suffice.

(Bal Gosal, Conservative: 40-45%)

35010 Burlington

Liberal incumbent Paddy Torsney and Conservative candidate Mike Wallace will be fiercely battling this one out: within the federal context, I don't go by polls, but this one is much, much closer than the 2004 results would suggest. Tornsey's noted absences during votes will end up costing her the seat.

(Mike Wallace, Conservative: 40-45%)

35015 Davenport
35016 Don Valley East

Heavily immigrant, with a candidate roster as diverse as its ethnicity, Davenport will still be a safe Liberal seat, albeit by a smaller margin. In Don Valley East, otherwise very similar in profile, fewer parties means that Liberal incumbent Yasmin Ratansi will have a much tighter race of it.

(Mario Silva and Yasmin Ratansi, Liberal: 35-40%)

35017 Don Valley West

Ah, how much difference a river makes: all the difference in the world when it comes to "money and the ethnic vote". Don Valley East is among the poorest ridings in Canada; Don Valley West, among its richest (on average): but both count half or more of its inhabitants as immigrants. Every indication is that Don Valley West "ought" to go Liberal: but I expect it to act as a bellwether, and thus to shift to Conservative in this election. Sorry, John Godfrey.

(John Carmichael, Conservative: 35-40%)

35018 Dufferin - Caledon

Conservative incumbent David Tilson should have no problem winning this riding.

(David Tilson, Conservative: 50-55%)

35014 Durham

Previously tightly contested, now almost certainly Conservative.

35019 Eglinton—Lawrence - Liberals (50-55%)

35022 Etobicoke Centre - Liberal (45-50%)

35023 Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Parachuting Michael Ignatieff into this -- or any -- Canadian riding might even have been swallowed (painfully) had he only demonstrated some real commitment to Canada. As it stands, with his blunt statement that, should he lose, he would return to Harvard and continue to live in the United States: the Liberal campaign in this riding was lost before it opened. No disrespect to John Capobianco, but I suspect the Conservatives could have run their most non-viable candidate in this riding and still won: such is the perceived arrogance of this choice. Don't the Liberals have enough Canadians willing to commit to Canada who are already demonstrating such commitment by living in Canada? (Nor are we any longer a colonial nation that we should draw upon the example of Sir John A. et al.) Nothing against Michael Ignatieff, the person, either: but I will be cheering the loss.

(John Capobianco, Conservative: 45-50%)

35024 Etobicoke North - Liberal (45-50%)
35031 Hamilton Centre - NDP (35-40%, Liberals second)
35032 Hamilton East — Stoney Creek - Liberals (30-35%, NDP very close second)
35033 Hamilton Mountain - Liberals (30% - but three-way recount Conservatives and NDP)
35045 Markham - Unionville - Liberals (50-55%)
35047 Mississauga - Brampton South - Liberals (40-45%)
35048 Mississauga East - Cooksville - Liberals (40-45%)
35049 Mississauga - Erindale - Conservatives (40-45%, Liberals very close second)
35050 Mississauga South - Liberals (40-45%, Conservatives close second)
35051 Mississauga - Streetsville - Liberals (35-40%, Conservatives very close second)
35053 Newmarket - Aurora - Liberals (35-40%, Conservatives very close second -- but this is one I wouldn't like to place money on)
35059 Oak Ridges - Markham - Liberals (40-45%)
35060 Oakville - Liberals (40-45%)
35061 Oshawa - NDP (35-40%, Conservatives very close second)
35068 Parkdale - High Park - Liberals (35-40%, NDP very close second)
35072 Pickering - Scarborough East - Liberals (50-55%)
35075 Richmond Hill - Liberals (45-50%)
35080 Scarborough - Agincourt - Liberals (55-60%)
35081 Scarborough Centre - Liberals (50-55%)
35082 Scarborough - Guildwood - Liberals (50-55%)
35083 Scarborough - Rouge River - Liberals (55-60%)
35084 Scarborough Southwest - Liberals (40-45%)
35076 St. Catharines - Conservatives (35-40%, Liberals close second)
35077 St. Paul's - Liberals (45-50%)
35087 Stormont - Dundas - South Glengarry - Conservatives (50-55%)
35093 Toronto Centre - Liberals (45-50%)
35094 Toronto - Danforth - NDP (50-55%)
35095 Trinity - Spadina - Liberals (40-45%, NDP very close second)
35096 Vaughan - Liberals (50-55%)
35097 Welland - Liberals (30-35%, NDP AND Conservatives very close second - a mess :) )
35098 Wellington - Halton Hills - Conservatives (45-50%)
35099 Whitby - Oshawa - Conservatives (45-50%)
35100 Willowdale - Liberals (50-55%)
35103 York Centre - Liberals (40-45%)
35104 York - Simcoe - Conservatives (50-55%)
35105 York South - Weston - Liberals (45-50%)
35106 York West - Liberals (50-55%)

Running totals for later, or if someone wants to add them into the comments? :)


At Tue Jan 24, 05:23:00 PM, Blogger Tenebris said...

I was very wrong about how acceptable Ignatieff was to the community, and obviously was speaking more out of hope than out of observation. I still don't agree with this parachuting: but if the people of Etobicoke-Lakeshore find it acceptable, obviously I accept it as well.

Although his possible bid for future Liberal leadership may have gone down in flames along with Paul Martin.


Post a Comment

<< Home