||20 01 06
|Talk about self-destruction. Getting a party hack to call in to a live broadcast and accuse the Tory candidate of sexual impropriety is as low as one can go. If Axworthy had any chance he is totally toast now. I mean Vellacout had this in the bag to begin with but shamelessly making pointed accusations is a bit much. And to do it from your own headquarters! Is this how desperate the Grits are to hold on to power?|
||19 01 06
|With Chris Axworthys campaign false accusation against Maurice Vellacott on a serious issue, expect the voters of Saskatoon-Wanuskewin to rally behind their MP.|
||19 01 06
|Mr. Axworthy's chances this time are almost nil given the current state of the Liberal party and the bad press he has generated as of late.|
He had the perfect storm last election (unknown NDP candidate, heavy strategic voting) and still fell 5,000 votes short, something that definitely hasn't happened this time around.
Mr. Maddin, for better or worse, is a name candidate and will help to shore up a good deal of soft NDP support that left to the Liberals in 2004. The constant negative press for both Mr. Vellacott and Mr. Axworthy can't but help his chances as well. He will be hard pressed to beat Mr. Vellacott, but should beat out Mr. Axworthy by a good number of votes.
Most people, when gauging the outcome for 2006, take the short sighted view of only the 2004 results where the NDP did uncommonly poor in the riding. Historically this riding or other incarnations of this riding have had fairly good NDP support, however, the support is extremely volatile and has swung wildly over the past 20 years.
The reason Mr. Vellacott will win is the overwhelming support of the rural population for the Conservatives (apparently regardless of how big of a bigot/racist/sexists the candidate is) and the extremely low turnout of the urban vote (around 55%, compared to over 80% rurally).
||17 01 06
|A grassroots "Vote Out Vellacott" campaign is starting to get a lot of press in the media (both local and nationally online) which may cause voters in the riding to think twice about voting for the party (rather than for the individual). Much like the Vote Out Anders campaign in Calgary-West, but the difference here is that the riding is a little less conservative than Calgary and the Liberal candidate was much closer to winning in the last election.|
||13 01 06
|David Orchard has endorsed the Liberals and his friend and candidate in Saskatoon-Wanuskewin Chris Axworthy. Since Orchard supports Axworthy, also look for Orchard's supporters to vote for Axworthy. Look for a close race between Vellacott and Axworthy.|
||11 01 06
|My parents' riding. While I was visiting over the holidays, I was amazed by the proliferation of Maddin-NDP signs - not the best mayor Saskatoon's ever had, but he seems to be resonating with constituents in the suburbs and along the river. That's probably due to an emerging sense of "anyone but Vellacott" in the urban portion of this riding. Unfortunately, Maddin's name recognition will likely serve to split the vote between him and Axworthy, thus sending one of the most socially conservative MPs in the country back to Ottawa.|
||10 01 06
|I'm sure that most of the urban voters are embarrassed to have Vellacott for an MP, but the large, right-wing rural vote should put one of the worst members back for another term. It is unfortunate that urban and rural areas are combined, when they have little in common. George Bush would like to have this guy with him in the USA.|
||30 12 05
|Vellacourt was written off by many pundits in 2004 and won by over 4500 votes. With the CPC high in the polls in this providence I don't see this seat changing hands.|
||26 12 05
|Could Axworthy pull off a big upset here? Not outisde the realm of possibility, but like previous poster noted, Madden is a strong candidate who won't bleed NDP votes easily. Vellancourt is feeling fairly confident, his ground troops have been working overtime for nearly 3 months preparing for this fight. I can't call this safe, but expect the Tory to win by smaller margin.|
||14 12 05
|I sadly don't think Chris Axworthy has a very good winning record of late either. Ran for the NDP Leadership lost to Lorne Calvert, ran in this riding in 2004 and lost. The chance for Chris Axworthy to be an MP ended in 1998. Maurice Vellacott has a strong enough base that he will be re-elected.|
||13 12 05
|Saskatoon-Wanuskewin will go Conservative. Social conservatives are the majority in the large rural area of this riding and will vote heavily in favor of Vellacott. He also grew up in Hague and does a good job of promoting himself in the Valley area. This coupled with a split between two strong candidates, Axworthy and former mayor Jim Madden will amount to a Vellacott win. If Axworthy wouldn't have emigrated to the Liberals and if the NDP were not running such a high profile candidate, Axworthy may have had a chance, but as it is this riding is going Conservative.|
||05 12 05
|Jim Madden a star candidate for the NDP? Please!|
He was such an unpopular mayor, that he was booted out of office after his 1st term, and came in 4th (behind even Jim Pankiw). Then he ran for the NDP nomination last time around and lost - and smartly remarked afterwards in the StarPhoniex that it was time to reflect on if the people of Saskatoon wanted him involved in public life. Perhaps he should have taken the hint.
The ONLY thing he will be able to do is hold onto enough NDP votes to deny the opportunity to vote out Vellacott.
Look to the left of your screen and the results from last time. Axworthy only needs to make up about 4,000 votes. Madden would have to make up almost 10,000. Do the math.
||04 12 05
|So much for the NDP "abandoning" Saskatoon-Wanuskewin for ridings they think they can realistically win. According to the NDP website former Saskatoon mayor ('00-'03), Jim Madden has been named the candidate here making this legitimate hot three-way action and definitely one to watch on election night. Madden was a member of the Saskatoon police during the Neil Stonechild investigation and I'm a bit unclear how he was involved other than that he was called to testify at the inquiry. Still doesn't hurt to have the former mayor as a federal candidate based on name recognition alone. That plus the NDP polling higher than the tories on the prairies, the provincial NDP riding a bit higher than during the last election leads me to believe that in a three way race, there's a good chance that the NDP can squeeze through at thake this riding. Vellacott is a weak MP and an embarrassment to the province - although he'll still bring home the substantial social conservative vote. I think that Chris Axworthy is a spent political force. A turncoat only gets one chance to win and he blew his the last time around, frankly not even coming close to one of the worst MPs in parliament. He seems to have hitched his political horse to the wrong wagon.|
||30 11 05
|I think this riding will go to the Liberals. Axworthy is one of the strongest Liberal candidates in the province (second maybe to Goodale). Not only that, but Vellacott is falling more towards the fringe of the CPC's new moderate-leaning agenda. Vellacott is a one-issue candidate; he's vehemently against same sex marriage. Unfortunately, most Canadians and most people in this constituency have put this issue to rest and would rather focus on issues of greater importance.|
Axworthy has done an excellent job of sticking it out since his defeat in 2004. He's fostered ties with community leaders in all parts of the riding, and he is returning with a veteran campaign staff and a seasoned core of volunteers and fundraisers. I think the people of S-W are looking for more out of their local representative and Axworthy is the one they'll be electing.
||30 10 05
|Vellacott should be re-elected...It is a strongly Socially Conservative riding and memories of the vote on SSM should endure to provide him a big vote in the rural areas of the riding.|
||23 05 05
|Doubling of the votes did help Mr. Axworthy, but I would believe some were from NDP supporters who bought the idea that they need to vote Liberal in order to stop a Conservative win. This time around I cannot see that happening, and NDP supporters might still be angry at Mr. Axworthy for running as a Liberal. Mr. Vellacott will be re-elected.|
||10 05 05
|Axworthy has a really strong chance this go around, regardless of the "conservative" base in the rural parts of the riding. Some thoughts:|
1) The Doubling of the vote helped, and (as already mentioned) a mostly veteran campaign staff will make things a lot better.
2) Not only is Vellacot a do nothing MP, but he is also increasingly on the fringe of his own party policy wise. With the CPC's move to the center, there won't be much room for far-right conservatives in the Party's front benches, especially if the CPC ends up in a minority position again. Axworthy is a bright, experienced guy in keeping with the vision of the party, and more importantly, the urban parts of the riding. It should be an easy sell to nab much of the NDP support in the city.
||05 05 05
|Crazy as this may sound, Axworthy could do it this time. Though naturally this is more likely to stay in Vellacott's court, a few points to consider:|
1) Axworthy virtually doubled the Liberal vote in this riding from 2000, from 16% to 32%. Doesn’t have as far to go this time.
2) After going through a campaign less than a year ago, the Liberals presumably have organizational strength they can call upon DAY 1 that will be far greater than what they had DAY 1 of the 2004 campaign
3) Last Sask poll shows Libs at 29% (this at height of Gomery). They only got 27% last time. So everyone is where they were at, or better, starting. Lots of room for Cons to fumble and voter anger at a Bloc/Tory election costing many dollars for nothing except pure political calculation by Harper.
4) After the NDP getting a distant 3rd last time, and their need to focus energy and dollars in those ridings they can realistically win back (SRB, Palliser, Lumsdon) they will likely abandon Wanuksewin. NDP voters may realize the ONLY way to get rid of arch-conservative, do nothing MP, Vellacott is to vote Liberal
5) Some of the criticism Axworthy had last time as an "opportunist" will be dispelled by him sticking with the Liberals at a difficult time. May turn some skeptics back to him, as on the merits, it is hard to argue that he isn't a far superior candidate to be their local MP than the underwhelming Vellacott.
So all that said, I think this is too close to call right now.
||02 05 05
|The rural areas to the north of Saskatoon are some of the most Conservative areas in the province. With the liberals falling and the NDP coming in third, this adds up to a conservative win even if they do poorly in the urban polls since they will rack up huge enough numbers in the rural portions where people like Maurice Vellacott's socially conservative views and strong "moral values".|
||26 04 05
|Maurice Vellacott will be re-elected as the MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin. This is a riding which has a large rural base which will help Maurice Vellacott get re-elected.|