|08 10 03
|While it was noted that Pratt took an unusual amount of time to put out his election signs, I must also point out that I have not yet received a single information pamphlet or seen any canvassers for Pratt.
On the other hand, I have received correspondence from Baird on numerous occasions already in the campaign, spoken to a canvasser who knocked on my door and overall have been made very aware of John Baird's contribution in the 39th parliament and to Ottawa West-Nepean.
For this reason, I am convinced that Baird will win this riding again. People don't vote for ghosts.
|08 10 01
|A Compas Poll taken by the Ottawa Citizen over the weekend and published today showed John Baird leading David Pratt by a crushing 54-30% margin with the NDP at 10% and Greens at 6%. The Citizen noted the large margin of error, given the small number polled, but the lead greatly exceeds this margin.
This is suggestive that the Conservatives are running well enough in the Ottawa area and should be encouraging for the Conservatives as well in Ottawa-Orleans and Ottawa South, both of which are suburban ridings resembling Ottawa West-Nepean.
|08 10 01
|Keep in mind that this is a very small sample size of 200 people, but it shows a healthy lead of Mr. Baird over Mr. Pratt:
|08 10 01
|Well, actually, the Ottawa Citizen released a Compass poll today 01 Oct that gives Baird a 24 point lead over Pratt (54% - 30%) There are the usual large margins of error etc etc but it looks as though the NDP/Green vote is diminishing as voters pick either Blue or Red.
|08 09 30
|The race here got a little more interesting after dion visited the riding but liberal wishful thinking aside. I think David Pratt was nominated too late and a little out of the blue here. John Bairds increased profile and fact he is one of conservatives most high profile mps from Ottawa is sure to help his chances here. The liberal also seems to have had to resort to critising minor issues like mp mail outs here and seems to lack a reason as to why he decided to return to politics anyways on such short notice. Although both are somewhat well known in Ottawa I still think Baird has the edge here as conservative government and its policy more popular in this part of Ottawa than the liberals under dion and green shift is not going to help here either.
|08 09 28
|I do not belong to a political party. I voted Green (elsewhere) last time.
The issue here, (in the riding with the highest proportion of seniors in the country - I'm told) is, by far & away, the controversial local M.P. himself.
I would NOT overly-rely (or rely at all) on postures adopted at an all-candidates meeting. The challenger HAS to attack - which is what David Pratt did -effectively, on Baird's record -exclusively. Interestingly, a well-controlled John Baird never rose to the bait, a good incumbent tactic. These guys demonstrated they are both experienced, well-schooled pros at their trade.
I've been in this riding less than a year. While the M.P. seems to have a loyal following, no-one seems indifferent to Mr. Baird. Amid such volatility, perhaps only a seasoned veteran like David Pratt (Lib.) 'could' engineer a win - particularly if the Greens and NDP remain invisible (on voting day). History suggests only a Liberal could do it here. He just might.
|08 09 25
|Oh man - I was at the debate the other night and what a gong show. Now I'm no Conservative, but based on Pratt's performance, they are in trouble.
First of all, some crazy woman on the floor tried to hijack the debate when the time limit was up and ended up trying to wrestle the floor mic away from the newspaper hosts - turns out the woman was David Pratt's SISTER! It was on cbc the next day. Man, his campaign must be tanking if his sister has to stand up for him.
Pratt was also unprepared for the debate. He constantly attacked Baird and got all mean and nasty while Baird just sat there with a cheshire cat grin and shockingly was the one taking the high road, talking about his positive record. Pratt also got cut off on almost every answer going over time.
In any case, if the debate is any indication, it'll be a cakewalk for Baird.
|08 09 23
|Another snoozer. The heavyweight clash has yet to happen. The City of Ottawa released its Light Rail Train plan/proposals and we are looking at 'Option #4' being the form horse at just $4B+ over 30 years. This has straight away taken the sting out of the local issue (West) as the first phases would now likely be on the opposite side of town (East) Baird is now wisely telling anyone who will listen that it is up the City to figure it out! McGuinty took on Baird on TV over the Green Shift, as Environment critic fair enough, but he's in the riding next door (Ottawa South) Pratt was nowhere to be seen or heard. No doubt lack of time for preparation on the Big Issue. However, Pratt has complained about Baird's MP mailings being anti-Liberal and hence 'unethical' which got a few laughs and that was about it. Bizarrely, Bob Rae has now rolled into town for week #3 to drone on about vote-splitting on the left which most observers believe will now just send the don't knows to the Tories. All Baird has to do is keep his hands in his pockets and the mouth zipped and he's a winner.
|08 09 16
|I have lived in this riding since 2003, and every house which has a David Pratt sign in the lawn has had a Liberal sign in their lawns for the 2003 and 2007 Ontario elections and the 2004 and 2006 Federal elections. Conversely, I have seen John Baird signs in lawns that have never had Tory signs in them before, showing, in my mind, that Baird and the Tories are reaching out and attracting new voters, while the Liberal support is stagnant. Baird will have no problem keeping this riding Tory Blue come election day.
|08 09 15
|I would NOT call this riding for the Conservatives yet for a few simple reasons...
Yes Baird got off to a quick start, and had his big signs out on major intersections almost before the Liberals had chosen a candidate, but I have been blown away by the support I'm seeing for David Pratt in this riding. In about 3 days, he has gone from no signs, to signs everywhere - and I don't just mean big signs on public property, but the small ones on people's private property that they have to request - ie strong supporters.
I know it's just the sign war... but Pratt is a well-known strong candidate, who seems to be very well organised - he is a giant compared to the last Liberal candidate. Baird has been an extremely contraversial MP, a global embaressment of an enviro minister, and someone who has messed with the local city politics in arguable bad ways. In short...he's made few friends since taking office.
Anyway, I'm not saying this riding won't go Conservative again... just that, with such a strong, well organised Liberal candidate, it's way too close to call at this point.
|08 09 14
|Pratt is indeed up and running. Spotted him on walkabout with MPP Jim Watson at the weekend. On the west side of the riding I can't say that any candidate has staked out more than the major intersections with the odd smattering of lawn signs here and there. One thing about John Baird's big signs. They have an extra 2’ x 1’ stay at the feet. Very solidly built to withstand a good kicking.
|08 09 13
|A lot is being made about the quick start that Baird has in this campaign. Sure he had a full compliment of volunteers and a mountain of signs available on day one....but he knew EXACTLY when the election would be called.
The Liberals didn't even have a candidate in this riding on the day that the writ was dropped, and the choice of a heavy-hitter like David Pratt should have JB quaking in his boots. If Baird feels the need to advertise that he is abrasive but the electorate needs to overlook that, then maybe he needs to take another look at himself.
I drove up Meadowlands today and Liberal signs outnumbered conservative ones by at least 2 to one on private property. I think that JB will have a much harder time getting elected this year and if he does manage it, the difference will not be 5000 votes like it was last time!
|08 09 11
|Eastern Ontario Values
|Just to keep everyone updated, we're 4 days into the campaign now, and there are tons of John Baird signs, as well as signs for the Green Party and the NDP. No sign of of a Liberal campaign yet - No literature, no signage. It's not exactly a battle of the heavyweights when one person doesn't show up...
|08 09 08
|Sounds familiar? When Pratt got humiliated in 2004 by Pierre Poilievre next door in Nepean-Carleton (Cabinet Defense Minister vs. 25 year old staffer) there was much talk on this very forum that Pratt got caught cold at the starting pistol and never caught up. He just didn't have the stormtroopers on the ground, and ran a very ragged campaign. I noticed by about 2pm on Sunday the ‘re-elect’ John Baird signs were all over the major road intersections well in time to be seen in daylight and ready for the Monday morning commute along some of Ottawa's busiest roads.
|08 09 08
|Eastern Ontario Values
|It's worth reading today's Ottawa Sun story - it references that Baird isn't taking the bait on Pratt's attempt to make it a personality contest. It also goes on about the dozen sign crews putting up signs for Baird on the first day, while Pratt doesn't have signs, literature or even a campaign manager!
|08 09 08
|Might be wishful thinking but Pratt is a much heavier hitter than Farnworth was and won't let Baird's bullying and partisan tactics intimidate him. Baird was obviously prepared for the election being the first out with radio ads and signage but his approach may be too abrasive for this aging riding. Will definitely be an entertaining fight but I suspect Baird will suffer a meltdown with the rhetoric.
|08 09 06
|I have a feeling that M Warren is right based on my own sense that the area is souring on the local presence of Baird/Poilievre/Harper (even if I think the Conservatives will gain seats overall). The civil service is a very large employer in this commuter riding and people were optimistic last election about removing the previous regime and a new era of promised accountability.
Failure to deliver on accountability and the harsh partisan nature has turned many people off. As a right-leaning Liberal and former Defence Minister, David Pratt will find advantage here against Baird who has become a symbol for many of what is wrong in Ottawa.
|08 09 05
|Wow. This riding is going to be the battleground Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, maybe the Province. Its been a busy week for John Baird. The Ottawa River bridge crossing. Water and Sewer. The Congress Centre. Light rail will run and run, but mostly not run. He's getting his retaliation in first. As if he didn't know they were coming after him. The tabloids and blogs are going to have a field day. A lot of this will spin into neighboring ridings. The Congress Centre green light is in Ottawa Centre. There is no bridge crossing to Quebec in his riding (a non-starter to start with, if ever there were an oxymoron) so it is likely going to be in Ottawa-Vanier, which don't you know it is Liberal! Lovely.
|08 09 05
|With the nomination of former Defense Minister David Pratt as Ottawa West-Nepean Liberal candidate, this just became much more of a race than it had been. I'm betting that this time around much of the NDP vote in this riding will go Liberal simply in order to remove Baird from office. He only won by some 4500 votes last time.
|08 09 02
|The Ottawa Citizen is today reporting that Bob Chiarelli is NOT a candidate. Baird is going to be very difficult to dislodge from a 5,000 majority. The only chance the Liberals have got is to finger him, himself, as doing something he shouldn't have done in his broader role as the Minister responsible for ?Ottawa?. In other words, sticking his oar in at the Provincial and City level.
|08 09 01
|With the nomination of Bob Chiarelli as the Liberal candidate, this becomes a much closer race. He's a high-profile figure who will remind people of Baird's disastrous support of Larry O'Brien. Much of the swing to the Conservatives in 2006 came from public servants who were extremely disillusioned with the Martin government. Since most are now even more disillusioned with the Harper government, they're likely to switch back to their old Liberal voting habits.
|08 08 31
|This kills me as a Liberal to say this but I think Baird wins based on the following...divided Lib party in OWN
still no candidate even though election is only a few days away...and Bob Chiarelli is apparently really scared of David Pratt...
One of the OWN board members says that Bob C has personally been asked to be appointed by Dion to be the candidate - and is he mad about David Pratt jumping ahead of him - that's why he's demanding that the OWNFLA board appoint him as the candidate.
But there's another problem since this Ottawa U prof ElKadri has sold quite a few memberships of his own and wants an open nomination. ElKadri has apparently sold 500 memberships and David Pratt also said in the papers the other day that he's also out selling hard.
OWNFLA board is having an emergency meeting this Tuesday (should be a total gongshow...) where Pratt, Chiarelli and ElKadri will have to make a case before a special committee as to why they are the best guy to take on that blowhard Baird. Then the board's recommendation will be sent to Dion, who will appoint the candidate.
Not good timing so close to e day...
|08 08 26
|I am a resident of this riding and I have not made up my mind as obviously no election has been called and no policy books printed yet. However I do think there have been some interesting points made.
I find the attempts to build a connection between Baird and O'Brien interesting but ultimately wrong. I do agree that people may associate Baird to O'Brien and yes O'Brien did win the election for mayor. However history has not been kind to the mayor since. The general consensus seems to be that not only was O'Brien incompetent but he is a crook. It appears Baird backed the wrong horse and that may come back to bite him. I think in the long run the O-Train debacle will not shine well on Baird.
I do agree that Baird does a good job of being visible and is clearly a party insider who can bring things to the riding. He will however have to work on his image of being a bit of a sleaze-bag (he seems to have the same bad relationship with the media Harper does) but at least he is not as bad as Pierre Poilevre.
In the end I guess it comes down to who the Liberals are going to run against him. I think they are going to need a very strong candidate to unseat Baird (the idea of Pratt even running against him makes me laugh) but a Jim Watson or Bob Chiarelli could do it. It looks like it's Baird's seat to loose and until we know the Liberal candidate I agree it's too close to call.
|08 08 20
|Has been some news here since my last post that being a potential liberal candidate has been mentioned. David Pratt the former mp for Nepean Carleton and defence minister until he lost his seat in 04 election. Although he hasn’t been nominated yet or is it totally known who else might run for this nomination. But it does look like the liberals will take a serious run at John Baird likely because he is the environment minister and the liberals plan to make the environment a major issue during any campaign likely because of dions and liberal partys weakness in many other areas. We must remember that John Baird has been the mp for this riding for a couple of years now and his possible opponent out of politics completely during this time. So he still has the advantage here for now and fact he is a well known mp and cabinet minister helps.
|08 05 26
|There is no doubt in my mind that this riding will overwhelmingly vote Conservative and re-elect John Baird in the next federal election. Why do I think that?
1) Baird has been visible. It is impossible for anyone to say that John Baird has been invisible during his time in office. If you have not heard of something John Baird has done in this government, then you are living under one large rock. He is in the news a lot, first with Treasury Board and now with the Environment. He is also everywhere around the riding attending events with all sorts of community groups and organizations. He gets visiblity and a lot of media attention, which is very good for selling to the people that you have been working hard on Parliament Hill.
3) O-Train and the aftermath. If you look at the results, Ottawa West and Nepean voted overwhelmingly for Larry O'Brien, so they (in theory) supported his ideas on the O-Train. Since Baird's intervention on the issue helped O'Brien win the election, it may be safe to say that those who voted for O'Brien liked what Baird did. Also, this stuff with Mark Holland filing lawsuits all over the country against Baird, will get him support, as every single suit Holland has filed has been rejected or thrown out. These suits are always in the news, and it makes Baird and his Chief of Staff, Chris Froggat, look victimized and abused by Holland, so look for some sympathy support for Baird come election time.
4) He voted against the re-opening the SSM debate. While a very small thing that almost everyone has forgotten, it will probably get some of the moderate voters in the riding onto Baird's side, as he was just one of a few Tories to vote against re-opening the SSM debate.
|08 03 14
|An interesting race here, but some things come to mind. First John Braid is pretty well known in that area, has been an mpp for nearby Nepean Carleton since 1995 and held a few provincial cabinet posts as well. In his recent few years in Ottawa he has held a few cabinet posts as well such as environment minister. But guess we must remember he is running for job of local mp here. Also not sure who the liberals have planned as a candidate here , most high profile options are not likely Jim Watson a local mpp and cabinet minister provincially is not likely to try federal run, former liberal mp Marlene Catterall has retired , previous liberal candidate Lee Farnworth did poorly so not sure who is left. And whoever they do choose is not going to have nearly as much time to plan a campaign as baird has had.
|08 02 25
|Baird is a polarizing figure but you could never accuse him of not being WYSIWYG. The Chiarelli ram through cost him because it went North-South only. Anybody in the West-East corridor got nothing and was expected to pay for the other one! That was the end of the Major. This Riding is very well served with the existing Bus transit hubs of Lincoln Fields, Bayshore and Baseline. The whole Light Rail issue is just going to run and run. There are enough un-elected yet self-appointed public lobby groups out there to ruin anyone who goes near them. At the time, Baird was both Treasury Board banker, local MP and Harper's rottweiller to the McGuinty clan. He seems to enjoy a good fight. What did you expect him to do? Such is Ottawa. Yes, this riding used to go Liberal but only because of that Alliance-PC vote splitting thing. The Liberals just sat there and rubbed their hands with glee. Its a tough call, will be one of the tighter races, but I think his 5k majority will still be enough.
|08 02 21
|John Baird is so frightened that he has started running radio ads to improve his image. Ottawa Liberals throughout the city want this scalp and there is little doubt they will enlist a star candidate to do so. The big issue in Ottawa is Baird's interference in the municipal election in 2006. Baird is accused of being in cahoots with mayor Larry O'Brien to induce another mayoralty candidate to drop out. In addition, he is in HUGE trouble due to his misrepresentation during the municipal election. Baird told Ottawa citizens that there would be ‘no penalty’ if the city cancelled the light rail contract which it had signed with Siemens. Under the project, the feds would have provided $200 million and the project would have started to address Ottawa's woeful transportation system. Well, the good folks of Ottawa have been shocked to learn that ‘No penalty’ means a $300 million lawsuit by Siemens which will have to be settled, at huge expense to Ottawa taxpayers, who are already upset about rising property taxes and poor transportation services. And all because Baird misrepresented the consequences of cancelling the project. The Liberals will pin this on Baird, and when they do, it is lights out for Baird. He has too many enemies in this city and has done absolutely nothing in his first two years to change his image as a rabble-rousing, partisan, and ineffective Minister who puts his own interests ahead of the people of Ottawa.
|07 09 11
|Nick J Boragina
|I still see Leadership potential for this MP, and I still see him as being able to win easily. This is indeed a very right-wing riding, partly due to the local franco-catholic brand of Liberalism found in Ottawa.
|07 04 06
|If you're talking about the pre-Chretien era, no kidding about ?swing riding?; this is where Liberal cabmin + Speaker Lloyd Francis used to alternate between ?woo-hoo!? and ?d'oh!? election after election. Baird's as much of an urban progressive as Harper's Ontario caucus gets, which points out his built-in vulnerability; after all the ballyhoo, he added less than 4 points to the '04 Tory percentage in OW-N (meanwhile, the NDP was itself the lend-me-your-vote recipient of slightly over 3 points--not all disillusioned Liberals default Tory, after all) Therefore I wouldn't recommend too much complacency--the right Liberal and the right national mood could swing this one back again. But Rusty's such an overperformer, it seems a more-than-fair likelihood that he'll be the first Conservative ever re-elected in Ottawa West...
|07 04 05
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|Being loud-mouths ourselves, we either really like or really hate other loud-mouths. Baird has shown to be one loud-mouth we particularly like (kinda a conservative, male version of Shiela Copps, whom we also really liked) and it seems his constituents like him too. Couple that with growing CPC fortunes in Ontario and a prominent cabinet position, he will probably be easily re-elected.
|07 04 04
|Baird will easily hold this riding. He has emerged as one of the most prominent members of the Conservative government. Also, despite the fire breathing conservatism of his early days at Queens Park, he seems to have matured into something of a moderate, which will go over well in this swing riding.
|07 03 29
|This riding generally leans Conservative and although John Baird is a controversial figure his high profile cabinet position and never mind the fact he is a potential successor of Stephen Harper should be enough to hold the riding for him. Ottawa-Orleans is probably the Liberals best chance at knocking off a Tory incumbent of the Ottawa ridings.
|07 03 25
|John Baird is one of the highest-profile Cabinet Ministers. With the 'environment' increasing on the media radar, he gets more and more publicity by the day. With CPC up in Ontario/urban support, there's no reason to believe Baird won't win re-election.