| ||07 10 09
|This riding will go Liberal with a larger (albeit slightly) margin of victory than 2003. The key issue in this riding, obviously, will be faith based schooling.|
Voting population in the riding (according to Racco's office) is 92,000. The 37% figure that is widely quoted as the Jewish population is likely vastly overstated for the voting population, likely about half of that (approx 17K). While it's a significant voting block, it's vote distribution will likely not change given its support for the tax credits for private schools in the previous provincial election.
The real question is how this affects the traditional PC voters. There is still a significant WASP population in Thornhill that has always voted conservative. The faith based schooling issue has not sat well with them as all. There are a large number of homes in the community that I can remember having Conservative lawn signs on them as far back as 1985 that either do not have lawn signs or have switched party allegiances and have Liberal signs. Combine that with the voters who were leaning Conservative in this election but have been turned off by the faith based schooling issue, I believe that this riding will remain Liberal for another four years
| ||07 10 09
|Another seat that should have gone PC but probably wont. Again most likely due to faith based schools issue and how it has played out. Despite the fact that it is very close I have to call it Liberal. Another minor point is there was no FCP candidate here last time and although they will probably only take 1-2%, that could just rob the PCs of this seat. Also there is a Freedom party candidate that will take most of their votes from the PCs too probably 0.5%.|
| ||07 10 08
||I'm Never Wrong|
|What Tory shills like JF fail to recognize is that John Tory's great big flip flop on the private schools issue means he has no credibility in the Jewish community. Peter Shurman knows this issue is killing his campaign. He keeps saying he wishes the private school plank was never in the platform. This riding stays Liberal by 1000 votes.|
| ||07 10 08
|JF I disagree with your prediction and have given my reasons in detail hereunder. I also think calling peoples opinions ‘outright lies’ is a bit over the top. The fact is Mario is not the sharpest tool in the shed so I think you need to avoid taking his comments personally. I know you honestly think that its a no brainer that everyone who is Jewish is going straight to the ballot box to vote for Shurman but as the old saying goes ask 2 jews a question and get 3 opinions and I think you are falling into the trap that the community will vote as a block (you can't even get that in Isreal) I think Oct 11th its more likely the community starts to push elimination of the funding for the seperate school board as the solution and the only question is where will McGunity come down on that. Also very few grits are losing this time around (sure a few switches back and forth with PC and NDP) but it looks like 63-64 Liberals 12 NDP and 31-32 PCs and I do not believe Shurman will be among them. John Tory will fall on his sword election eve|
| ||07 10 08
||King of Kensington|
|I'm going to give a slight edge to the Liberals here but a Tory victory is certainly possible. My feeling is the Orthodox Jewish vote around Bathurst and Clark may vote as a bloc for the Tories but they already did last time and the riding was still won by the Liberals (though some may feel betrayed). In other areas this is far less of an issue. Any comments from the Tory candidate saying Jews are flocking in support of him because of the religious schools issue ought to be taken with a grain of salt. |
To JF: Thornhill doesn't necessarily vote for the candidate taking the position of so-called ‘Jewish leaders.’ Remember that in '99 the Liberals ran a CJC official here - and lost. Organizations like CJC and Bnai Brith, etc. may claim to speak on behalf of the Jewish community as a whole and certainly the most committed people in Jewish affairs are avid supporters of so-called ‘fair funding.’ But the moderately affiliated and unaffiliated majority don't pay much attention to this stuff and certainly don't vote as a bloc. I doubt a majority of Jews in Ontario support public funding for parochial schools and I believe a lot that do because of ‘fairness’ are pretty pragmatic and would be willing to go for the far more popular idea of abolishing funding for separate schools.
It's certainly possible the Tories may take Thornhill by a small margin but if Jews were taking the cue of the CJC/BB and voting as a bloc not only would we see a large swing in Thornhill but big shifts toward the Tories in St. Paul, Eglinton-Lawrence, York Center and Willowdale as well - and I don't see that happening.
| ||07 10 07
|I think Mario Racco has a good chance of winning if all Liberal supporters vote and if he can get some of the NDP vote from last election. The present NDP candidate is a weak one (she rarely showed up to any public events - debates, etc.) compared to the NDP candidate from the previous election. The incumbent has strong roots in the community (unlike the PC candidate who doesn't even live in the riding). |
| ||07 10 07
|It's important to clarify the inaccuracies and outright lies that are part of ‘I'm Never Wrong’'s recent message. You must have clearly missed the memo that most if not ALL of the Jewish leaders and organizations have been in full support of the faith-based issue even as it stands TODAY. They have been front and centre in Jewish media and their comments have also been seen in mainstream media. What has been categorically ignored is Mario Racco's borderline racist comments - referring to public schools as NORMAL schools. That's a pretty bold statement (regardless of his command of the language, or lack thereof) and has left a bad taste with many Jews on both sides of this issue. |
| ||07 10 07
||I'm Never Wrong|
|Tory candidate Peter Shurman has been telling people he wished that faith-based school issue had never been part of the Tory platform. I don't see how that wins him any votes with the big Jewish population in the riding.|
The John Tory flip-flop on this issue took away the only edge Shurman had here. Look at the record folks. Thornhill, no matter how it's boundaries change, always votes with the party that wins the election. It's one of those ridings where people understand it's better to have an MPP sitting on the government side of the legislature if they want things done. The Tories are sliding fast in the polls and won't actually hit their minimum base number of around 32 per cent until election day. With the Liberals headed for another majority government, look for Mario Racco to win here by 2000 votes.
| ||07 10 07
|JT MCM had in his last post the following ‘..He adds that some of his supporters in the Jewish community are feeling ‘pressure’ from their neighbours and are more reluctant to put up his signs on their lawns.|
Shurman is clearly winning the sign war in Thornhill, especially in the Jewish neighbourhoods east of Bathurst St. But Racco is hoping the homes without signs contain closet Liberals..’ That comment is very telling indeed. It first and foremost makes it clear that those supporting Rocco are NOT displaying that support because of Pressure. Now call me naive but if your neighbours try this when you get to the secrecy of the ballot box are you going to take kindly to this? Honestly JT MCM has provided us all a very valuable piece of information and take a moment to think about how you might react in a similiar situation! As I have said earlier everyone I have talked to in that corridor just north of steeles is going Liberal and Shurman's supporters may be driving it in a way they had never imagined
| ||07 10 06
|Only way the Liberals win is if people in the riding realize there is no way faith-based funding will pass in a free-vote. |
I don't think Liberal supporters are running to the ballot box to vote with the same eagerness as the ones voting Conservative.
I'm pretty sure PCs have this one - but I don't think it would be that shocking if they lost.
| ||07 10 06
|JT MCM carefully read your post here and the reason I disagree with your submission is that I know 12 people who live just north of steeles between Yonge & Bathurst -Arnold Ave/Pondview and the likes. All are very affluent they range from secular high holiday types to Orthodox and ALL 12 have told me they will vote Liberal. Frankly I found it shocking and the reason is that contrary to popular myth NO community votes monothically for ‘its own’. Also the spin I get from them -including 2 who went to CHAT - is they dont like the policy and in fact they would PREFER the Catholics to loose funding (I think I saw a poll saying the general population is also running 2 to 1 on this for 1 public board and no seperate funding) and have a single Secular Board of eduction. Now what has really shocked me is in the past 20 years I cannot remember more than 6 agree with each other at anytime. So I am going to go with my gut and say the liberals hold 500-1000 votes. If the idea was such a winner why did Tory drop it. Also if you are in favour and he pulled that ‘FREE VOTE’ stunt I do not think you will look kindly on Shurman's boss and a good number will simply NOT vote. One PC vote staying home is a 1/2 vote for the Liberal remember! So THat is my 2 cents worth|
| ||07 10 06
|Liberal hold -not the strongest Liberal MPP -if not fall to PC - will then be seen as clear result of PC's terrible campaign - should have been easy PC victory due to strong PC candidate – since lates poll shows bigger Liberal majority than what was expected should be enough to pull weak Liberal MPP over the top|
| ||07 10 05
|The previous posters have not seen the Urquhart article from today where Racco pretty much concedes the riding:|
--But this time the Jewish community has ‘really banded together’ in favour of the Conservative policy, says Shurman. (That's an assessment that is not disputed by the Liberals.)
To give Shurman a boost, Tory has touched down in the riding three times, including a visit to a Jewish day school (where he got ensnared in an exchange with the media about creationism).
As for Premier Dalton McGuinty, he has yet to visit Thornhill.
‘I think when the decision was made to spin up the faith-based schools issue,’ says Shurman, ‘the McGuinty strategists said, `Better to keep him the hell out of Thornhill,' and the casualty of war was Mario Racco.’
That would be the Liberal incumbent, who won the riding by 796 votes in 2003 (making it the eighth closest race in the province).
Racco, who immigrated to Canada from Italy as a teenager, is a career politician. He served as a municipal councillor for 18 years before taking out a Conservative incumbent in the 2003 provincial election. But Racco acknowledges it is tougher slogging this time, particularly among Jewish voters.
‘We're getting fair support from the Jewish community, but not as well as we did in the past, quite frankly,’ says Racco.
He adds that some of his supporters in the Jewish community are feeling ‘pressure’ from their neighbours and are more reluctant to put up his signs on their lawns.
Shurman is clearly winning the sign war in Thornhill, especially in the Jewish neighbourhoods east of Bathurst St. But Racco is hoping the homes without signs contain closet Liberals. --
It's pretty easy to do the tally sheet on this one:
-Visits from Tory, none from McGuinty
-Shurman clearly winning the sign war
-Racco admitting that basically Jews aren't supporting him and have banded together to support Shurman - ahem, the riding is MORE than 37% Jewish
-Racco is a career politician - who likes career politicians?
-It tougher slogging this time - if it's tougher slogging and he won by only 800 or so votes - that means he's done
-Lastly - from the latest Ipsos poll shows that even with McGuinty winning by 11 pts says -- The PCs also saw gains in the surrounding 905 area, raising their support to 42 per cent - just one percentage point behind the Liberals. -- Last time it was a much wider margin - it looks like people in the 905 don't like McGuinty - big surprise
This is going to be one of the few Tory bright spots on election night.
| ||07 10 05
||Vote Bob Rae|
|The election here is OVER. Mario Racco will be re-elected. Carpetbagger Peter Shurman's campaign is finished given that the religious schools issue was what motivated people to work on his campaign in the first place and no matter what he tells you otherwise, the issue is DEAD. |
The reason why it was so close last time was that the traditionally Liberal Jewish and Italian voters split. Jewish parochial school supporters (who don't represent the community as a whole, far from it) voted as a bloc and that won't happen again because of Tory's reversal. Italian Canadians voted in significant numbers for Tina Molinari but a lot will come back to the Liberals this time.
| ||07 10 02
|I have read most of the comments here and I think the King of Kensington and others do have some good points. I also think as proven by John Tory's about face that the issue of religion will prove a negative to the PC's. Most people in this province are secular. I know about 12 jews who range from Orthodox to I'll see you at shul on the holidays all of which live in the Thornhill area. 12 for 12 they say religion has no business in schools that is what the shul is for. I should add 2 went to CHAT and sent their kids to CHAT and say that the issue will not get them to vote PC and they will vote Liberal. So based upon empirical evidence I think the issue is not a help to the PC's here and will damage them in other parts of this riding. It was pointed out by several people to me that they actually DO NOT pay for these costs as they can deduct it from their taxes. Based on my actual conversations in the community the Jewish community in the Corridor between Yonge and Bathurst just north of Steeles is going to stay Liberal and those are the votes that the PC's needed to sway. This still might be close however and I dont think it will be more that 3 or 4% either way|
| ||07 09 30
||King of Kensington|
|Stevo, compliments appreciated. My earlier response was rather lengthy and may have been ‘lost’ by the moderators. |
I think this riding can go either way. To some extent you're right that the Orthodox presence isn't the main question. Most of them voted as a bloc for the Conservatives in '03 (the first appearance of what A.S. calls the ‘Asper Tory’ phenonomenon) and will certainly do so again. The question is whether the Jewish vote for religious school funding maxed out last time and whether there's more to be had. And also to what extent the PC's lose other groups because of the funding issue. Then there's finally the question of Mario Racco himself. He is widely regarded as an extremely weak MPP and that is an issue that has nothing to do with religion and/or ethnicity.
I especially take issue with your claim that Jews are united behind this so-called ‘fair funding’ movement. McGuinty may driven a miniscule number of voters to the Tories over his hypocritical ‘segregationist’ comments, but most people are certainly smart enough to know that McGuinty isn't to blame for the archaic separate school system. Most Jews think it's unfair Catholics get funding and other religions don't. But they're far from united in what the solution is. Alan Borovoy (a highly respected Jewish Canadian) and Noa Mendelsohn Aviv of the CCLA have called for one secular system (polls show majorities of Ontarians support this) and other signatories include people like Hesh Troper, Michael Marrus and Eddie Greenspan. Steve Paiken on his blog (Sept. 23) reported that only half the members of a synagogue he addressed supported Tory's plan and I imagine the 50% of Jews in the GTA who don't belong to synagogues are overwhelmingly opposed.
| ||07 09 30
|While this riding will be close, it will return to the Tory fold this time around. Mario Racco, long known for his election tactics has been almost invisible. But the most telling example of all was Mario's performance at a recent debate.|
The Jewish Tribune told the story very well when he characterized public schools as ‘normal’ schools. What a great way to alienate your electorate. Add to that Mario is the one fighting on a one issue platform by trying to say he's ‘more Thornhill’ than his opponents.
| ||07 09 28
||King of Kensington|
|Stevo, first of all your compliments are appreciated.|
That being said, I think the well-known phrase two Jews, three opinions really comes into play here. The Jewish community is anything but united on the question of school funding! First of all while the CJC and UJA are very vocal proponents of funding for so-called ‘faith-based schools’ (is there something wrong with the word religious?), the most prominent opponents of funding for religious schools (including the archaic Catholic system) are Alan Borovoy and Noa Mendelsohn Aviv of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association! Borovoy is certainly a VERY respected Jewish Torontonian. About half of the people who signed one of the CCLA's statement are Jewish, and includes figures such as Professor Hesh Troper (who is co-author of None Is Too Many), Professor Michael Marrus (world-renowned historian of the Holocaust), Syd Goldenberg from the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Eddie Greenspan and Clayton Ruby. Steve Paikin also reported from a mixed crowd of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform synagogue members they were evenly split on the question of Tory's plan (which he found striking) - and when you take into account that half of Toronto Jews aren't synagogue members at all, it's very difficult to argue that the majority of the community supports it. There may be a few people who decide to vote Tory because they found McGuinty's ‘segregationist’ comments offensive, but considering McGuinty really isn't to blame for the archaic system we have in Ontario, it really can't be that many people! There are much better reasons to vote against McGuinty than that.
I agree that most Jews - ranging from atheist to Orthodox - agree that there is something wrong with funding Catholic schools. But they're not all united in terms of what can be done. Some just accept it as an unfortunate accident of history, some support extending funding for religious schools and others support one secular system (which polls have shown most Ontarians supporting). I'll bet a good chunk would actually abandon extending funding to one secular system if they were given the option. I don't see why Jews wouldn't be just as supportive of the idea, if not more so.
Returning to Thornhill, while certainly not rightwing, the Jewish community is more small-c conservative than its southern counterparts. It's TCTC for me, with a slight edge to the Liberals. It's likely the Jewish vote for extending religious school funding maxed out last time and Peter Shurman is less likely to appeal to Italian Canadians than Tina Molinari did (remember the majority of Thornhill residents are NOT Jewish). OTOH, Mario Racco is widely regarded as a grade-Z MPP and the Liberal margin of victory would likely have been larger if Susan Kadis had run provincially in '03. Peter Shurman isn't as big a media star as Peter Kent but he stands a much better chance because 1) the PC's have a bigger 905 reach than the federal Conservatives and 2)Kadis is far more respected than Racco!
| ||07 09 28
|Although I generally like reading King of Kensington's comments, I think here he seriously misses the point. Look, it isn't about how many Jews actually send their kids to parochial schools or how many Jews in Thornhill are Orthodox versus secular. The fact is that Premier McGuinty and Mario Rocco have more or less insulted Jewish, Muslim, and other religious minority communities in their attitude towards religious schools funding. McGuinty had no problem sending his own kids to publicly-funded Catholic schools and he himself attended one as a child as well. That's all well and good for the Premier - but should Jews and Muslims ask for the same thing, that will lead some sort of societal collapse? You are correct that most Jews are supporters of the public school system, but it is also true that many can spot discrimination a mile away. Even Jewish parents who don't send their kids to Jewish day school will recognize the inherent unfairness in the Liberal position. Will this issue ALONE drive them to vote Tory? No, of course not. But don't assume that secular Jews won't give it some weight, and I predict that when they do it will be to the Tories' advantage.|
As for giving a firm prediction on this riding, it was simply far too close the past two provincial elections to call this one out. My gut tells me the Liberals will barely hang on here, but we shall see.
| ||07 09 26
|Too Close to Call.|
I'm pulling back my declaration that this will be a PC gain until I see more polling data in October.
I agree with AS that the gains from funding private schools was probably maxed out in the riding last time. However, it is a big GOTV (get out the vote) generator in an election that hasn't exactly lit the sky on fire for media attention.
The reasons for rescinding the prediction is my increasing suspicion that the private school funding issue will be an equally large GOTV generator on the opposite side. All through this election, the ONLY question I have gotten is ‘what the hell is with John Tory funding private schools??? That's crazy!’ (This is only partly true. I also got a question about smart meters from my neighbour. But you get my point.) This question is so dominating the electoral landscape that even in a riding with a big chunk of supporters of private schools, those opposed are becoming highly motivated to vote against.
| ||07 09 18
|What might truly embarrass the Tories is if this is the *only* riding swung their way by the religious-schools issue--or if even that backfires through an still greater number of erstwhile Tories swinging *the other way*! Perhaps the problem here is that Orthodox Jewish voters might *already* have maxed out on the PCs in '03 (the first election in which the 'Asper Tory' element unveiled itself in full glory), i.e. relative to last time, there's very little ground (other than other ethnicities) left to gain. And while relative to said voting bloc, Shurman has one up on Tina Molinari by way of ethnicity, that might actually be a double-edged sword by making him appear ?one-issue? (a problem that also potentially plagues Bernie Tanz in Eglinton-Lawrence). And, really, in terms of 2007, being a CFRB radio personality makes for a pretty chintzy excuse for ?media profile? (esp. compared to federal candidacy counterpart Peter Kent). Mario Racco's no prize, but he might wind up winning by default just as Tina Molinari almost did last time...|
| ||07 09 15
|PC Pick up.|
1) This is one of two or three ridings where the private school funding issue will work in John Tory's favour. It may cost him 20 seats, the election and his leadership of the party, but - damn it - at least he will win Thornhill, which he probably could have won without that dumb bunny policy.
2) Mario Racco is a crafty, stubborn, street-fighting politician in the Tony Ruprecht mold. If someone could make this election close, its him. I understand his argument at the doors with Jewish voters is ‘do you really want to have to take anyone who asks to go to your Jewish school, including Muslim kids, because that's Tory's policy.’ With public school parents, its the McGuinty lines about less funding to public schools. And its leaving some voters thinking.
3) Peter Shurman doesn't bring much to the ticket, as the school policy appeals to the same people his candidacy does. An Italian Catholic who could sell the policy as ‘fairness’ would have probably been a smarter choice.
4) That said, the riding feels like John Tory country: affluent, moderate, SUV driving and generally pissed off at something.
5) This will be a close one again, but it will go PC.
| ||07 09 12
|Uh Oh, Shiner's in trouble here after refusing to step down from his cushy job as a city councillor, this is probably going to dog him throughout the campaign.|
| ||07 08 28
|This was very close last time, despite the Tory debacle of 2003. Mario Racco has his supporters, but he is a controversial figure who is not universally liked. He demonstrates not the least bit of understanding and concern for his many Jewish constituents who favour some form of funding for faith based schools. He is facing a high profile opponent, and I predict he will not succeed in his bid for reelection.|
| ||07 08 26
|Interesting to see today's Toronto Sun article by Chrisina Blizzard commenting on the riding. She writes of Racco, Shurman and the riding:|
?Since coming to Queen's Park, however, [Racco] has been almost invisible. He's not in cabinet, speaks infrequently in the House -- and hasn't carved much of a reputation for himself. He didn't respond to a request for an interview for this column.
Racco's being challenged by high-profile CFRB radio host Peter Shurman. And given Racco's lack of Queen's Park presence, this could be a seat the Liberals will lose.?
Interesting the other story about this riding in the past couple of weeks the Returning Officer for the riding - that the Premier personally had to step in to sack - turns out she is Racco's wife's executive assistant. I bet that made Dalton and his staff all warm and fuzzy towards Mario. They love it when MPPs pull stunts like that that they have to step in and intervene in.
I think the press is on to Racco and when you start losing battles like he did over the RO and just generally being called out as being an underperforming MPP then your time is usually up, especially in ridings with high expectations like Thornhill.
| ||07 08 23
|Racco has been raising the point that Shurman hasn't lived in Thornhill for a bit a lot- I don't think this matters all that much. Racco himself was parachuted into Markham in a previous federal election- this clearly isn't a central issue for him. |
I think the bigger and more important question is which way the growing Russian, Korean, and Persian votes will go. While many people assume apathy, these groups get out and vote, by and large, and may well determine the outcome of the election. If I had to hazard a guess, though, I would go with Shurman- Racco is perceived as a total sleezeball (rightly so) and Shurman's campaign started canvassing in early August, indicating a very well-run campaign.
| ||07 08 12
|While I will agree that Racco has many years of experience in the area, that is truly a moot point. So is the residence of any candidate. It was only a few years ago that the federal Liberals parachuted Elinor Caplan into the riding for two victories in this riding. She didn't live here and that had no impact on her victory.|
As the Toronto Star and Thornhill Liberal have evidenced (August 9), Racco's actions are being questioned. Perhaps Mario Racco needs to focus on his campaigning instead of trying to stacking the deck (supporting his wife's executive assistant application to become the riding's Returning Officer).
| ||07 08 10
|Mario has Vaughan sewn up, given his years of experience as a popular councillor there. Shurman hasn't lived in the area in years, members of the Conservative riding association are upset with his nomination and this is his first venture into politics. The tides of change may be brewing for the McGuinty Liberals, but this is one riding that won't change. Racco wins in a narrow majority (1000 votes, give or take).|
| ||07 07 26
||King of Kensington|
|Can people stop referring to the funding of religious schools facing THE Jewish community. Most Jewish parents send their children to public, not parochial schools. While the Orthodox Jews may vote as a bloc and can tip the result if it's very close, to suggest that somehow most Jews cast their votes based on funding for religious schools is absurd, as is the idea that opposing public funding for religious schools is a sign of ?abandoning? THE Jewish community borders In fact, of all ethno-religious groups in Canada, Jews are just about the LEAST religious although Thornhill is likely more orthodox/religious than the GTA Jewish community as a whole.|
John Tory's reputation as a Red Tory can play well here as this riding totally rejects hard-line social conservatives. It can go either way, but don't expect all the Jews in the riding to run like sheep to the Tories over one issue. People are smarter than that.
| ||07 07 14
|The legend Mario Racco? Seriously folks. This guy could barely win in 2003 (by 796 votes) when the Liberals were stomping all across the inner belt of the 905. Take a look at adjacent riding results. The liberals won by thousands. |
This seat is Tory pick-up target #1 this election, and does anyone seriously think that John Tory is not going to improve over Ernie's result? As it stands now JT is neck-and-neck province wide. That puts Thornhill comfortably in the Tory column.
Then add the faith-based schools issue with the Liberals again turning their backs on the Jewish community. Racco has even been so bold as chide Jewish school supporters by telling them no and ?I hope you are happy with the $15 million we donated for the new Jewish centre in Vaughan.?
Source - School funding controversy stirs again
TheStar.com - comment - School funding controversy stirs again
May 02, 2007
It was like nails on a chalkboard to the vast majority of Jewish voters, who were rightly very insulted.
This has been the major issue in the riding for the past two elections. In 1999 when Liberals Dan Ronen ran largely on the issue and almost denied the riding (the only close one in 905) to the Tories and then in 2003 (again the only close one in the inner belt of the 905) where the Tories almost held on on the issue. It will be back with a vengence this election.
And with all due respect to Norm Gardner, the Tories obviously took candidate search seriously in the riding and pulled a genuinely high profile candidate out of a hat in Peter Shurman, one of Canada's most listened to talk radio hosts. Even the Liberals in the forum admit that when it comes to being able to articulate there positions Shurman wins hands down.
Prediction - firm Tory pick-up.
| ||07 06 27
|McCheese (I can?t believe I am referring to someone as McCheese) has some very good points. With the controversy with the Thornhill PC nomination it looks more and more liberal as the days pass. I heard most of the PC riding association quit over the parachuting of Peter Shurman. Once again the Thornhill Conservative?s shoot themselves in the foot, they would have had a shot with a political legend like Gardner but not with Shurman, keeping in mind Racco himself is a political legend in Thornhill. The well-spoken Shurman may rock Racco in the debates but that does mean more votes. With zero experience Shurman has nothing other than the party platform to run on and will be a John Tory puppet. With Racco?s experience and popularity in this riding he would even have a shot at winning this riding as an independent against Shurman. I predict Racco by at least 5000 votes.|
| ||07 06 05
|I don't see how anyone can call this so decisively for the Liberals, when the redistributed results from the last election (in which the Tories generally fared miserably) only give the Liberals a 1-point lead. With the way the polling numbers have been shaping up (generally showing that the PCs are, at worst, tied with the Liberals), I'd say there's a much stronger likelihood of this going Tory than staying Liberal, friendly incumbent or not.|
| ||07 04 08
|Mario Racco looks like he will be easily re-elected by a larger margin this time. Racco?s wife, Sandra, steamrolled over former PC MPP Tina Molinari in the recent municipal election. Molinari would not stand a chance of winning this riding if she ran again here, however if the PC?s can get a high profile candidate they may stand a chance. Rumour has it that Norm Gardiner will be the PC candidate here, if this it true he may give Racco a run for his money. Anyone else without the personal notability in the community will not stand a chance and I would predict a Racco landslide if this is the case.|