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Ottawa Centre

Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

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31/03/04 Somebody in Ottawa
Email: [hidden]
As someone who's lived in Ottawa for 17 years and been active on local political campaigns across the city, I have to tell you that the mood in this town is funny right now. People are angry with the Liberals today.
Between the sponsorship scandal, threats to the civil service, broken provincial promises and the recent wild debate over taxes & services at City Hall... people are wearing their frustrations with the status quo on their shirtsleaves.
I work in Ottawa South, have lived here and know its neighbourhoods well. It is not the same "old suburban" soup it was a decade ago. It's ethnic and economic diversity has widened. There are many new voters and voter turn out in OS has been low (only 62% last federal election).
Between the public mood, Liberal infighting, a weak Conservative candidate, and the potential the NDP can have with Mazigh, Ottawa South is a pundit's paradise right now.
Watch this riding. It will swing away from the Liberals if that's what Ontario decides to do. And regardless of that swing's direction, history suggests that if the Liberals lose this one, it will be to the Conservatives.
30/03/04 Mike Wakefield
Email: [hidden]
Since the wage offer on the table is 1.75, 1.25 and 1.25, all those civil servants won't likely be in a great rush to vote Liberal either.
30/03/04 Dean
Email: deansherratt@rogers.com
There are a number of factors at work here that could set the stage for a Conservative upset. First, Alan Ruiddell is an outstanding candidate...fluidly bilingual, high powered lawyer, young and attractive, with a good and enthusiastic organization behind him. he should have a base in the riding of 40%+, based on adding the PC and Alliance votes last time. Will it happen that way? Well, the Ottawa South PC riding association voted 80% in favour of merger and living in the riding, I don't see many PCs taking this election for the chance of voting Liberal. Monia Nazigh, if nominated as the NDP candidate, should pull the party back into double digits, like they achieved prior to 1993...Manley, who ran at least 5% ahead of his party, is gone. Civil servants are not happy with the current governemnt and should not be counted on to vote en masse for the Liberals again...
29/03/04 Andrew Cox
Email: Andrewcox101@hotmail.com
Liberal Hold. Reasons: 1)Ottawa South is a stable, middle-class community with some french and recent immigration. It is a typical "old" suburb, similar to North York in Toronto or Westdale in Hamilton. Its main demographic oddity is the high number of civil servantsThese types of communities are bedrock Liberal seats only lost in debacles ala 1984. Barring a complete collapse of the Liberals across Ontario, this seat should be held by the grits. 2) David McGuinty is the brother of the Premier. Expect the Premier to send some of the hundreds of political organizers at his disposal to help his brother. 3) I'm not really all that familiar with Monia Mazigh and unsure that she carries much weight locally. The coverage may be more considerable in Ottawa than where I am in Toronto, but it always struck me as a very "inside politics" story that didn't create much buzz outside South of the Queensway. She's one of those candidates who is a "star" only in a dim field. 4)! The NDP's showing in this riding is always low and I don't expect them to threaten in any serious way. The Grits held this seat provincially in 1990 against an NDP sweeep with a rookie candidate in Dalton McGuinty. It isn't a seat the NDP would win. 5) There may be some added Liberal vote loyalty to the McGuinty name, but I don't expect that to exceed the loyalty to John Manley. 6) The real key here is the Conservatives. The combined PC/Alliance vote is certainly close enough to be threatening. 7) To win, the Conservatives will need to assure the electorate here that Stephen Harper will not slash and burn the federal government to pieces. All those civil servants aren't going to cut their throats and vote for layoffs. However, that isn't going to be an easy sell. 8) The Conservative candidate is low-profile, so don't expect for him to add a lot to the ticket. 9) To sum up, the Liberals could only lose this seat to a surging Conservative Party, not the NDP, and its unlikely that will happen.
26/03/04 Somebody in Ottawa
Email: [hidden]
Things are certainly fluid in Ottawa South. The NDP have staged a coup with the recruitment of Mazigh, a true "hero" in a riding which now has one of the largest concentration of Islamic voters in the country. She'll cut deeply into the Liberals, whose candidate (Dalton McGuinty's brother) has fallen flat with voters and whose nomination browned off many of John Manley's old supporters (McGuinty is a Martin candidate).
Mazigh's already picked up the support of the guy who placed third for the Liberal nomination and is rumoured to have the quiet support of Diane Deans, the local city councillor who got screwed out of the Liberal nomination by Martin's henchmen inside the LPC(O).
There's a strong Conservative base in this riding and it's going to stay put, if not grow because of local disgust over the sponsorship scandal and Martin's opening shots at the public service within days of taking over the reigns of power. They've nominated a weak candidate who faired poorly in last year's municipal elections... but I'm still giving it to them.
However keep an eye on Mazigh. She's going to surprize a lot of people.
25/03/04 JGH
Email: [hidden]
Folks, I know Monia Mazigh is going to be a good candidate for the NDP. No question there. But here are the percentages of the vote received by the NDP over the last two federal and provincial elections: 8.14%, 5.8%, 6.7%, 9.0%. The question is whether Dr. Mazigh is going to be such a great candidate that she quintuples the NDP support in the riding, which is what she will have to do to have a chance of beating both the Liberals and Tories. Double it - probably. Triple it, maybe. Win this seat - not believeable without an absolutely seismic shift in voter preferences. This seat is almost certainly going to be a two-way Tory-Liberal battle. Mazigh could end up spoiling the riding for the Liberals, but won't win.
25/03/04 Funky Chicken
Email: [hidden]
Has Monia Mazigh even won her nomination yet? She is enjoying a two-week buzz, and the typical wishful thinking displayed by NDP pundits on electionprediction.com is exemplified here once again so far. I think, in Laytonesque fashion, Mazigh has been used for a short term media opportuinty. Real, sustained campaign politics will not suit her, IF she wins that nomination at all. She lives in Ottawa West -- Nepean, but incumbent (and unopposed for nomination) MP Catterall was very helpful for her cause, so she did not take on the NDP suicide mission there. Ottawa South is not a fertile ground for the NDP. Mazigh did not do the homework on this, I think she is running to continue her media platform, not to win. [I doubt the NDP ever really can run to win in Ottawa South] This riding does not even have any actual NDP enclaves, an urban downtown, a college or university, though it may have a zone or two where the demographics are conducive to an NDP vote.
Liberals in this riding, meanwhile, have proven over the recent years that they know how to organize. Supporting a Party Leader (Dalton McGuinty) in 2003 and 1999 and a touring Minister (1997 amd 2000) has meant that a great team has been needed at home. The wheels are well-oiled here, and a strong nomination battle has uncovered new talent, too.
The Liberals have a top quality candidate in David McGuinty. A previous writer illustrates his credentials as President of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. He is also a graduate of the London School of Economics, and just as importantly, a "hockey Dad" of 4 in Ottawa South, with deep roots in the community, eloquently bilingual, and very well suited to federal issues such as sustainable development, new deal for cities, and even immigration and foreign affairs. The Roundtable is a think tank at the forefront of the urban environmental agenda and sustainable development issues in Canada. McGuinty will fare well even if those NDP-ish issues catch fire in this campaign. As a new federal grit, he can't be easily pegged with any stench of sponsorship corruption (which as a Lib I feel is beig overblown by a press feeling guilty about the free ride to the top accorded Paul Martin in 2003) and his predecessor, the departing Hon. John Manl! ey, was the King of Clean.
This riding appreciates good representation and a good voice in government, and it will recognize that David McGuinty can provide that eloquently and intelligently. He'll have a special bonus collaborative ear of the Premier of Ontario, too, and voters may recognize a special significance of that unique opportunity. David McGuinty will help to embody a new era of good collaboration between federal, provincial and municipal governments that voters are interested in. (and Dalton McGuinty and Paul Martin have been talking about) Voters hate finger-pointing. They want creative solutions to provide results that they need. They are not so worried about what percentage is funded by what level.
Those taking gratuitous shots at David McGuinty because they don't care for the policies of his older brother Premier Dalton McGuinty are doing it because David McGuinty is a top quality federal candidate, and there is not much else to assail him on.
As for the united right theory, well, I don't think it matters here much either. Look at the provincial elections of 2003, 1999 (strong incumbent Harris vs. rookie Dalton McGuinty) and 1995 (Harris surges and takes out Lyn McLeod in a pendulum reaaction effect to Bob Rae NDP government in Ontario)... Dalton McGuinty still won all three of these elections.
John Manley ran strongly federally in Ottawa South on some occasions in spite of Jean Chretien, and Paul Martin has the same good, overall, fiscal credibility and popularity in this riding that he generally enjoys across the country.
A superstar conservative candidate might have made this a good fight, but,
I don't know who Riddell is, and I am over-tuned to politics compared to most voters. I kow he is a lawyer, and that he defeated the previous (pathetic) Alliance candidate, Darbyson, 200 votes to 15 in that nomintion, and, er, that's it. Thanks for engaging in the public process and thanks for coming out.
March 25th 2004 prediction: LIB 48%, Conservatives in Alliance clothing (but not here in South) 39$ NDP: 10% GREEN: 2% (that's generous... I think the decent Green candidate from provincial 2003 is running in Ottawa Centre) fringe, indies and oddballs: 1%
It's not the type of riding that is a Lib stronghold (that's a myth... it has to be earned every time through hard work) but the circumstances will make this a strong LIB hold.
25/03/04 Funky Chicken
Email: [hidden]
This is further rebuttal to recent NDP prediction:
"It will not be an easy campaign for the very able Dr Masigh, but one in which she has a very fair chance. Liberal percantages have been inflated in recent years by having a senior member of Cabinet who grew up in this area representing them. Without John Manley, it is hard to see how this riding is not up for a real Liberal-NDP showdown."
Sure, the NDP will suddenly gain, what, 40%
This person is obviously spinning lines from an NDP nomination campaign, probably Mazigh's! John Manley came into the riding for 1988. If you've read the major character profiles of him in the national papers (if you can read) while he was running for Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada last year, you may have seen that he grew up in the west end and then Overbrook. Sure, the people probably liked voting for a capable and successful Senior Cabinet Minister, but in 1988, they voted out a Tory for a capable young MP, and in 1993, they voted a capable Transport critic into the government, and he became Industry Minister.
Voters here are informed about the federal government (many of them work for it, of course) and will recognize the leadership credentials of David McGuinty, former chair of a federal agency advising PMO/PCO on sustainable development issues. Stay tuned, and take your cheap, uniformed, rhetoric home, or, better yet, take it to Jack Layton's headquarters, where it belongs.
Please. I'm going to look for this person predicting NDP landslides in Ottawa-Vanier and PEI, next.

20/03/04 JR
Email: [hidden]
Monia Mazigh will be one of the NDP's best known candidates this election, a coup for the party. Ottawa South Liberal support has traditionally depended on low-income, immigrant support, to which Dr Masigh offers a convincing platform, far more articulate and convincing than another McGuinty political lackey. One McGuinty is enough in Ottawa South! It will not be an easy campaign for the very able Dr Masigh, but one in which she has a very fair chance. Liberal percantages have been inflated in recent years by having a senior member of Cabinet who grew up in this area representing them. Without John Manley, it is hard to see how this riding is not up for a real Liberal-NDP showdown.
Dr Masigh is going to have significant media attention around her, as she already has, and her account, in the Globe and Mail, as to what is motivating her to enter politics, is far more compelling than anything than I have seen from a McGuinty. The NDP will be quite keen to capture this seat.
17/03/04 WD
Email: [hidden]
I've seen campaigns like this one, where everyone says the Liberals are safe, and gives Monia a sympathy vote. Overconfidence will kill the Liberals here.
17/03/04 Mike Wakefield
Email: [hidden]
The Liberals will be represented by David McGuinty (brother of Dalton, the Premier, who holds the seat provincially).
One of the three seats in eastern Ontario (along with Ottawa-Vanier and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) that the Liberals don't have to worry about; everything else is up for grabs.
16/03/04 JGH
Email: [hidden]
For the Liberals: David McGuinty, brother of Dalton, and former head of the National Round Table on Economics and the Environment. For the Tories, Allan Riddell, lawyer guy. For the NDP... well here is where it gets interesting. Monia Mazigh is running for the NDP nom (against a copule of other folks). Assuming she gets the nod, this could change the dynamics of the riding somewhat. I don't think she will win the riding outright - Ottawa South is too NDP-unfriendly no matter the candidate, but she would make a terrific candidate and could conceivably draw support from the Liberals allowing the Conservatives to win due to the split.
If the election were strictly decided on party lines, at this point, I would give the riding to the Liberals with perhaps a 10-15% advantage over the Conservatives. Of all of the Liberal-held Ottawa ridings to fall, I would say this would be the fourth, after Ottawa Centre, Nepean-Carleton and Ottawa West-Nepean. I have a feeling the East end of the City is staying Liberal.
16/03/04 RWA
Even with a star candidate, this is too high a mountain for the NDP to climb. Dal-Ton's brother will win.
16/03/04 NDP Newbie
Email: [hidden]
Not even Monia Nazigh will be enough to give the McGuinty Dynasty a much- needed overthrow. Another Lieberal hold.

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