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Day 76... 6 to go

We're now up to no fewer than 5 ridings having Liberal supporters' cars intentionally disabled, with Mississauga-Streetsville and Niagara Falls joining in. Yesterday also saw the introduction of the Conservative party's platform, and Guelph's televised candidates' debate, with 9 of our 10 candidates attending.

I read the entire Conservative platform shortly after it came out. It struck me as a slipshod document that the war room threw together after hearing Harper announce that there would be a platform available in a few days. It's not well organised as a document, and offers nothing of substance to a country struggling under the weight of a weakened economy.

The Guelph debate last night was rather bland. As we had so many candidates, only six questions were asked from the floor during the two hours of debate, at least five of which were asked by known partisans, three of those Conservatives. For the first time in this 3-month campaign, and to the chagrin of the Green candidate, the room was not stacked with Green supporters. I had not planned on asking a question, but I drew a number from the hat for kicks and was more than a little surprised to pull out the '1'. So I asked a question that I think should be asked in every riding at all levels of government. I first heard a variation of this question asked by someone else in a debate in the municipal election here in 2006:

Do you live in this riding? If so, do you believe candidates should have the right to run in a riding in which they do not live? If not, why are you running here?

At least three of Guelph's 10 candidates do not live in the riding, and it seems to me with such a requirement our ballot would be somewhat more manageable, aside from my personal disdain for the practice of parachuting candidates. One candidate chose to take it personally, describing me as "Frank's assistant" which is not entirely accurate, though I do volunteer for him and believe he is far and away the best man for the job of the 10 people on our ballot, before saying that he does not live in the riding but has close ties to it, and that he was nominated in Guelph-Wellington before the 2003 redistribution. That's fine, but when Guelph-Wellington was redistributed, it is disingenuous to suggest that he had to run in Guelph, as he still lived in one of the two resulting ridings: Wellington-Halton Hills, and could have run there (perhaps leaving Guelph to his stronger provincial counterpart, Ben Polley). Later, that same candidate declared his opposition to strategic voting, but by this earlier answer admitted that he believes in strategic running. Running in a riding where you believe you can win rather than one in which you live is opportunism, pure and simple.

On the topic of strategic voting, I do believe it makes sense to work within the electoral system you have, and not live in some dreamland where a different system exists in your head, but not on the ballot. Strategic voting in Single Member Plurality is a necessity when the ballot is over-crowded with people with similar values who have abstract reasons for running against, rather than with, eachother. Would I like reform? Ya, I think we should have a preferential ballot and make some other structural changes, but not throw the baby out with the bathwater as proportional representation advocates would like us to do. But that is not the system we have here and now, and we must work within the context of what we do have.

Posted at 08:14 on October 08, 2008

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There is no morning-after pill for federal elections | elections politics | Election post-mortem

shoes writes at Wed Oct 8 15:43:42 EDT 2008...

Hi CDLU, great post as usual. Good piece in the Merc yesterday as well....you 'Liberal assistant' you... Just a typical Nagy / Green inaccurate attempted smear.

On you residency question

Neither Nagy nor Polley (on the provincial front) live in Guelph. Opportunism...you bet.

I was annoyed by Nagy comments about Guelph not needing to elect just another backbencher.

A couple of thoughts...

Harry Warton was a backbencher for years and can you find anyone who will denigrate his service to the constituency?

Frank V will not be a backbencher for long

Just think about what our backbenck MPP has brought/facilitated to Guelph ($% million to Linamar anyone)

Convent money? etc etc

Just what does Nagy or Polley think they can get done in Ottawa / QP sitting alone without party status.

Impotence...in reality

A couple of steers uable to influence anyone or anything except the adoring, cloying press.

Two bucks says the Merc endorses Nagy just so they can a) say Guelph has the first Green MP b) gloat in their backrooms over their influnce in the community, c) capture glib quotes from a member who can (and does) say anything..truth be damned...but it does sell newspapers.

Eg. Ever study the Green platform, Bluer than Gloria (except for 'green shift')

Anyway the biggest lie (but not the only BS) the Greens have told the electorate (over and over and over) is that they are even close to winning this or any seat.

BTW If Ms May is so smart why didn't she pick a winnable seat. Insead of gushing over her debate performance why isn't the press all over her for her flawed (political) judgement. Sure would be if Dion did it....Right? Its ok though, when she tanks Polley or Nagy will be after her job....then the Merc can say Guelph is 'home' of the first party leader...and they would be wrong on two (more) counts...go figure.

shoes writes at Wed Oct 8 23:40:40 EDT 2008...


There we have it.

The Merc endorsed Chong in WHH and the Greens in Guelph.

Par for the course.At least there is some consistency. Both endorsements are for essentially c(C)onservative agendas.

Clearly the editorial board wets their pants over 'big C hunks'. The girls on the editorial board are a least consistent.

BUT and a big but...why not Greens in both ridings?

Well it's clearer now. They are totally out of touch with the two realities, rationality and readership (if there is any rationality)

I suggest that we all cancel our Merc subscriptions when Mr V takes the riding on the 14th.

Remember what happened in the provincial vote.

The Merc endorsed Mr Polley with the same obtuse, naive and wet-pants reasoning.

What happened? The voters were much smarter and politically more astute than the Merc and gave a massive plurality to Ms Sandals.

Expect a similar response on the 14th for the Liberals.

Clearly the Merc does not represent / mirror community values (much as they would like to thinks their ennui is presient .

I predict that ballot counts on the 14th will represent the riding's choice as the best candidate and the community newspaper's worst judgement.

Cancel on the 14th.

If the shoe fits... writes at Fri Oct 10 00:11:56 EDT 2008...


My 2 cents: The fact that the Libs are running on a green shift platform is the direct result of losing support to the growing green movement in Canada. People want quicker and better action on the Envt front and this is represented by growing support for the Greens.

The 2006 election was completely devoid of any envt discussion. Sad. This election is very different and for this the Greens deserve credit.

When you lower the debate to attacking candidates on a personal level, you lower your credibility. David, I can see how a parachuted candidate is not ideal but be realistic and not overly partisan. To suggest Mike is not dedicated to this community and has not been actively working for its betterment is simply untrue.

Hyper-partisanship serves no one.

Ralph Anderson (www.magma.ca/~ralphdsl) writes at Mon Oct 13 14:20:48 EDT 2008...

It's nice to see someone still blogging with an open mind toward the preferential ballot. I encountered a Green party candidate yesterday who said that they would let Canadians decide on a new voting system and refused to give any details. But she was in a hurry. My irritation was with the Green platform in her literature where there was no electoral reform AND on the leaders debate, where the Green Party appears to already know what kind of electoral reform they will do for us ... proportional representation.

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