|There is no doubt in my mind that after the 1999 provincial election Parry Sound-Muskoka will remain in the hands of the Tories. Parry Sound-Muskoka federally has had a long Tory past. Provincially the riding of Parry Sound as consistently backed the Tories. Ernie Eves was able to keep the riding for the Tories handily in during the 1987 and 1990 provincial elections. The NDP candidate Dan Waters is known in the riding. He represented Muskoka-Georgian Bay for one term in the early 1990's for the NDP. Despite this I think it would be safe to predict a Tory victory with the NDP coming in a close second.
|Ernie Eves' decision to run again cements this one, though I doubt the PCs would have run a mediocrity in his place. Furthermore, unlike his neighbour and compatriot Mike Harris, Eves holds domain where the long-term leanings, federally and provincially, have been Precambrian-bedrock-blue--indeed, this is where the doomed #1 federal PC star, General Lewis Mackenzie, tried his luck in '97 (while the Muskoka part is home base for the man-in-plaid 80s premier-for-a-day Frank Miller). I doubt that Dan Waters will make it close, but he could be, albeit by default, the strongest NDP opponent Eves has ever had. (NDP's only lost deposit in '90 was in Parry Sound, where a former Liberal leadership candidate running for the Greens stole a lot of the left-wing vote.)
|Although Ernie Eves is a high-profile candidate, he may be in some difficulty. For one thing, the riding is hurting from Tory cutbacks. For another, Eves's personal life is bound to be an issue. He is currently going through a divorce from his wife, who is a well-known and popular woman in the town of Parry Sound. The publicity he has received in Toronto newspapers concerning his relationship with Isabel Basset has turned many people away from him. Whether Dan Waters or Isabel Doxey could carry the riding is difficult to predict. While Doxey, the Liberal, seems to have considerable support, she is not as well-known as Waters, who was Muskoka-Georgian Bay MPP from 1990 to 1995. He is best known in Muskoka which has the majority population in this riding.
|Paul Davey must be related to Shirley Davey, a former Federal NDP candidate, to believe that Dan Waters has a chance of getting back in. Most of the people I know in Parry Sound-Muskoka dred the notion of sending another free spending socialist to Queen's Park. Most people also recognize that the Eves family has lived through some difficult times. For Paul Dvaey to suggest that Ernie Eves will have difficulti in this campaign because of his 'personal' life is shameful! Ernie Eves all the way!
|Ernie Eves has not made his presence felt in this riding since he became Minister of Finance. He has not be available to, nor supported his constituents especially during the uproar in this area over school closings. My focus in this election is on the education system. Eves supposedly represents us and should stand up and recognize that northern Ontario had different needs than the G.T.A.! We require different solutions for educating our youth and for providing health care for our communities. The issue of school closures has caused a lot of concern here due to the fact that some students as young as four years old on a bus for more than 45 minutes to get to a new school should their current school close. Furthermore, the funding formula for the ratio of teacher to pupil will staff one school in the riding with three teachers to teach nine grades! I am predicting a close race between Liberal and Conservative, as there is a strong feeling of resentment here left over from the Social Contract.
|The latest Angus Reid poll shows the Liberals way, way ahead in the North. This coudl well have implications for both Harris and Ernie Eves.
|Dan Waters was the clear winner at the Parry Sound all-candidates. Although many Ernie Eves supporters turned out, his performance alternated between a baffling recitation of numbers and petulant remarks on those who disagreed with him. He certainly has supporters but he didn't give them anything to cheer for. He was sweating heavily.
Dan Waters clear, simple and direct. The NDP table did brisk business handing out brochures and buttons.
Isabel Doxey represented the Liberal party but failed to make much of an impression. She speaks well in public but seemed sometimes to miss the point in answering audience questions. Her mentions of her cat and dog and Tai Chi exercises were not relevant. She would do better to focus on issues.
Ernie Eves has been around as MPP for eighteen years, but looks like yesterday's news. His plastered hair and odd-looking bottle tan (so it appears)give him a strange look...one not too wholesome.
|There is a bad thing happening in this election here and all across the provinc. The Liberal fear mongering about "splitting the vote" has taken the place of good Liberal candidates (which we don't have in Parry Sound-Muskoka) and a credible Liberal leader. This is causing a lot of cognitive dissonance to (especially) young people who have been coerced into "strategic voting", but know who they'd rather vote for.
In Parry Sound-Muskoka it it the Liberals who are splitting the vote. Go to you All Candidates Meetings and find out for yourself.
|Robert L. Stupka
|Parry Sound had been Tory since 1948. In the District of Muskoka no provincial Liberal had ever carried it since the Liberal's won Muskoka-Ontario in 1937. The New Democrats won Muskoka-Georgian Bay in 1991 but carried the Muskoka District by 18 votes. I would guess that Eves should carry between 52%-55% of the voted; The Liberal will get 33%-36% and Waters of the New Democrats will get between 13%-15% of the vote. Over all in the province the PC 62: Lib 33: ND 8:
|Liberal seems to have the right idea about keeping our economy together. It is also just too obvious that Harris just started hiring again instead of firing. Do you think he figured "maybe ill rehire the people I laided off just so ill get re-elected?" Sorry Harris, not this time.