|Hon. Carolyn Bennett
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|08 10 09
|At the candidates discussion panel the Green Party Canadidate and Libertarian Canadidates didn't show. Agrawal quoted Wikipedia to explain cap-and-trade; while I'm a fan of Wikipedia, you shouldn't be consulting it to understand the platform of the party you're standing for election as a member of! Jewell and Bennett were both a little uneven, but I think Bennett came off much better - if only because her party's platform wasn't ‘more of the same’. Not exactly an unbiased crowd, though.
|08 10 05
|The campaign took a nasty turn in St. Paul's on the night from Friday to Saturday, as more than a dozen people with Carolyn Bennett signs on their lawns had their cars keyed and brake lines cut, or suffered other property damage (Toronto Star, Sunday edition). The cutting of brake lines, of course, is a serious crime and suggests anti-Liberal malice well beyond the ordinary. There was a similar outbreak in Guelph late last August during what was then the by-election campaign:
The motive? The desire to intimidate and punish those who don't think the way you do? In human history that desire is only too well known. The immediate effect will be to lead some people to take Bennett signs off their lawn, which will make the scarcity of signs supporting the CPC, NDP and Green candidates somewhat less obvious than it has been the last few weeks. It's unlikely to affect the election outcome. Weak as the Liberal party is in large parts of Canada, it is dominant in St. Paul's and most of Toronto. The apparent decision of the Conservatives and NDP to run sacrificial lambs in St. Paul's in 2008 bears this out. Both parties targeted Bennett in 2006, using star candidates Peter Kent and Paul Summerville, and were beaten badly.
|08 09 25
|I live in the riding, and believe me, no matter how poorly the Liberals are doing on e-night (and I think that it will be a rout), Carolyn Bennett is not going down here. The Tories might have had a shot, but they nominated an incredibly weak candidate in Heather Jewell who doesn't live in the riding and has zero chance of capitalizing on any national Conservative sentiment. A missed opportunity for the party, frankly
|08 09 22
|Marshall Howard Bader
|Bennet is very strong here. The Conservatives are running a no-name candidate this time. The NDP is running an Anti-Catholic member of the loony left Socialist Caucus who will alienate the Catholic base in the western part of the riding.
|08 09 13
|The campaign is in its seventh day, and if the signs that have appeared are any indication, Carolyn Bennett will take the seat with ease. In 2006 the Conservatives had a star candidate and got hammered. This time they are probably on their way to a majority, but I have the impression that they are ignoring St. Paul's. Let's face it: they don't need it, so why waste the money and time? There are other Toronto seats, such as adjacent Don Valley West, where their chances look better. Once St. Paul's was a bellwether riding; now it is one of the safest Liberal seats in the country.
|07 10 27
|King of Kensington
|A left-leaning Liberal, Carolyn Bennett fits this riding very well full of affluent small-’l’ liberal urban voters and has trended away for the Conservatives over the past 15 years. There is no star candidate for the Tories this time and Peter Kent didn't make much of a dent so their vote will stay about the same. Tory strategists have preferred to target middle and high income suburban and exurban demographics and have written off ‘silk stocking’ ridings like this. As far as I know the NDP doesn't have a candidate yet.
The riding has a large Jewish population but one that is more progressive than further north. Even in the extremely unlikely event that the ‘Asper Tory’ phenomenon breaks out of its Orthodox orbit St. Paul's will not be affected.
|07 10 05
|To everyone who points out that this was historically a swing riding: It was contested between the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. The party that sometimes defeated the Liberals no longer exists, and the likes of Ron Atkey and Barbara McDougall are not the kind of Tory associated with the new Conservative Party. That is why it is now a solidly Liberal riding. It's too urban for the Conservatives to establish a strong base and too bourgeois for the NDP, so it will remain Liberal for the foreseeable future.
|07 10 04
|The Conservatives and NDP both ran very strong candidates in St. Paul's in 2006, and for a while it was held to be TCTC. I never bought that. Since 1993 this has been one of the safest Liberal constituencies in Ontario, and it continues to be so. Whenever the election may be held, this will stay in the Liberal camp.
|07 08 15
|The right wing here is out in full force. I laughed pretty hard i must admit. Its quite obvious that more NDP voters would have their second choice as Liberal over the Conservatives so if their vote declines, it wont help the Conservatives. Not to mention a star candidate for the CPC last time and a relatively poor campaign by Paul Martin. Another easy win for the Liberals with at least a 10 000 vote plurality and near 50% or higher.
The latest SES poll puts the Liberals up by 7(43-36) in Ontario and the NDP down to 12% with the Greens up to 9%. That spells disaster for the NDP in a few of their seats and Liberal gains, while the Liberals could pick up a few from the Conservatives. That same poll puts the CPC ahead by 3 nationally but the way the support is for the Liberals, ahead of the CPC in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic and at 30% in the West, (they never even got 30% in any individual western province last time) that would give the Liberals a minority government easily.
Now i feel like i wasted these last few minutes responding to these people because its so obvious that the Liberals will win in a cakewalk here.
|07 08 09
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|Every electionprediction-go-round (Thanks AS for that great term!) we have people making absurd postings. Whether these people are trolls (people who blog sites only to get a rise out of people who frequent that site) or actually believe what they write is not always clear but in either case, no one who actually follows politics objectively is the least bit fooled by these postings. To compare Liberal votes vs non-Liberal votes makes no sense what so ever! You have to look at how ALL the parties have done. With 3 parties running against them, they still took over 50% of the vote. A majority! Not just a plurality but a majority! (Even still, in a first-past-the-post system, all you need is a plurality) The vote spread did decrease from 9,000+ in 2004 to ~300 in 2006, but where did the votes go/come from? First there was a greater turnout (3,000 more voters in 2006). These people were more likely to be Conservatives since, having a star candidate and good polling numbers nationally, thought they had a chance at taking this riding. Second, there was the Liberals bad campaign, where they lost votes to the CPC, but here's the kicker, they lost ALMOST AS MANY to the NDP. These new NDP votes a mix of disenfranchised NDP supporters who stayed home previously, people who gave the NDP a good second look since Layton was appealing to many urbanites and the Liberals-lend-us-your-vote crowd. These people are not going to jump to the CPC; they will stay with the NDP or go back to the Liberals. As well, many center-right voters, who were star-struck by Peter Kent, will go back to the Liberals. There really is no momentum for the CPC nor is there momentum against the Liberals. Dion is doing as well (or as badly) as Martin did, but Harper is down compared to 2006. Layton is about the same as 2006. What this means is that there will be some drift back to the Liberals (the lend-us-your-vote crowd and the star-struck center-right crowd) unless something big happens. And you can not just add up all the non-liberal votes from both the right and the left and pretend that this means anything, please give all of us a little more credit than that.
|07 08 02
|Compare the spread between Bennett votes vs. non-Liberal votes in the 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2006 elections. In 1997 and 2000, the spread was 4,142 and 4,012 respectively. The spread jumps way up in 2004 (Liberal fear Harper ads I suspect) to a whopping 9,247 votes. In the 2006 election however, the spread drops to a mere 300 votes. These 2006 numbers indicate a massive shift away from the Liberals overall and this was with Paul Martin as the Liberal leader. With Stephan as Liberal Leader this momentum will increase enough for their to be a change in St. Pauls.
|07 08 01
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|To cite something that has happened 40 years ago as an ascetation that it will happen again in this election, without any situational comparisons, is beyond meaningless! In 1968 our parents were not even old enough to vote. Riding boundaries change, demographics change, party platforms change, issues of importance change and the St Paul's of 1968 is not the St Paul's of 2007. Back to the hear and now; what has happened in the last year and a half to make 14,000 vote plurality disappear? Has Bennett done something to really honk people off? No. Has Dion or the Liberal party as a whole done something to honk off the voters in St. Paul? No, they certainly have not gained new support but neither have they lost any. Has Harper and the Conservatives done anything to make them appear absolutly wonderful? According to the polls the answer again is no, as they are down compared to the last election. There is absolutly no indication what so ever, to suggest that this riding will switch. The upcomming election is going to be fought and won (or lost) in ridings that were close. This is not one of those ridings!
|07 07 30
|Looking at the recent polls, $100,000+ income voters (traditionally the Liberals' strongest demographic in the Chretien/Martin era) are deserting the Tories in droves. They're way down from their 2006 results. Combined with Bennett's lock on left-leaning St. Paul's residents who know the NDP can never win there and presumably less high-profile opponents, she should be able to pull off an even more impressive plurality.
|07 07 30
|St. Paul?s Liberal MP Ian Wahn won 4 consecutive elections, hammering his closest challenger in 1968 by 10,000 votes ? he then went on to lose the very next election.
|07 07 28
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|To claim that St Paul's will fall to the CPC in the current political climate is either naive or foolish. The ?pegging of Harper as the boogie man? is not what allowed Bennett to win by over 14,000 votes (say that out loud: FOURTEEN THOUSAND VOTES...that's a lot of votes!) against a star candidate. We'd accept that argument if the race was even remotely close, but this wasn't close at all. To further dispell that argument, Harper was not all that frightening in the 2006 election (unlike the 2004 election). Now everyone likes to chime in about how lousy a job Dion is doing as party leader. Maybe so, but with him at the helm the Liberals have not gone down in the polls, but rather stayed the same, since the last election. Conservatives on the other hand are actually lower than what last election (not by too much, but they are the ones fluctuating in the polls). That being said, the Liberals are not goign to lose any ridings where they won by over 5,000 votes, let alone one where they won by over 14,000 votes. The CPC would do better to target Mississauga-like ridings instead.
|07 07 09
|Carolyn Bennett is a successful politician, but not the catalyst behind the recent Liberal success in St. Paul’s. If not for the successful pegging of Harper as the boogie man, the Liberals would have lost at least a seat in Toronto in ’04 or ’06. Now some 13 months a minority government – it’s evident Harper isn’t the boogie. With the Liberal election machine is in re-build mode, the Tories in power, probably winning (at least) another minority – I think a couple of riding in Toronto will fall – St. Paul’s to Heather Jewell, probably in ’09.
|07 04 28
|Last election I predicted a relatively (for the 416) close race here, and ended up with egg on my face. Rather than the 5,000-vote plurality that I projected for Bennett, it was a 14,000-vote blowout over star candidate Peter Kent. I've learned my lesson. Another Liberal landslide here in the heart of affluent limousine liberalism. Not even Barbara McDougall herself would make this one close.
|07 04 12
|I tend to disagree with both of you as the word on the street is contrary to your assessment. McTeague has never faced a tough candidate and has done nothing for his constituency here. He has moved more west each time a realignment has happened. Most people say that his heart is no longer in it as his party has no more use for him. A strong candidate against him will bring his house of cards crashing down.
|07 04 07
|A chattering-class seat like this had the makings of an electoral media bullseye, so, Dr. CB had to face down the overhyped scourge of Sts. Peter & Paul in St. Paul's--and prevailed easily. Now, assuming there are signs of Toronto's affluent folk starting to soften up to the Tories-in-power, it may be interesting to witness the possibility of Heather Jewell doing better (and by how much) than Peter Kent...
|07 03 29
|What was once a bellwether riding is now a very safe Liberal riding. Considering how close it is to the downtown and the fact the Tories have more a rural/suburban agenda, they have no chance at taking this. Most past Tories here were Red Tories and almost all of them no longer support the current CPC.
|07 03 26
|St. Paul's Progressive
|St. Paul's is a Canadian equivalent to Congressional districts in the US that are affluent but elect very liberal Democrats to Congress. Carolyn Bennett is one of the more progressive Liberals and a very respected MP. Even though I'm an NDPer I'll grant Bennett where credit is due. This is a well-to-do, very educated riding that has a strong social conscience and does not vote its pocketbook. David Miller beat John Tory here by a comfortable margin in the mayoral election of 2003. And Peter Kent's poor showing demonstrates that while the Progressive Conservatives may have been competitive here, the Harper Conservatives are not. The NDP vote has also risen to historically high levels in recent elections.
|07 03 25
|King of Kensington
|This riding will definitely stay Liberal. It is an affluent urban riding that is very small-l liberal in its values and would never vote for the Harper Conservatives.
|07 03 22
|Liberal Incumbent Carolyn Bennett took on two star candidates last election and still won against conservative star, Peter Kent, by 14,000 votes. This time around the conservative candidate is Heather Jewell, a parachute candidate with no name recognition in the riding who ran, and lost, against Tom Wappel in 2004. Paul Summerville the former NDP star candidate is running for the Liberals in another riding, so Carolyn should easily take the riding.
|07 03 21
|Carolyn Bennett took this riding by nearly 15,000 votes in 2006, even against Conservative star candidate Peter Kent. Although in the distant past it was referred to as a 'bellwether' riding, St. Paul's has been solidly Liberal since 1993 with no possibility of changing hands while Carolyn is running. A former cabinet minister and briefly a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party, Carolyn is also a doctor who actually delivered many of the young voters in this riding. Once again they will deliver St. Paul's to the Liberals.