London area ridings prep for election...

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Farmpunk
London area ridings prep for election...

From the London Free Press:

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2009/09/08/10783791-sun.html

Clearly the biggest news here is Roger Caranci hoping to be the Liberal in London-Fanshawe and Jim Chahbar being nominated for the Cons in L-F. Neither is good news for Irene Mathyssen. Caranci is definitely a right leaning Liberal and Chahbar's brother, Ab, has long been active in London political circles. Ab was a city councillor and is chair of the police services board.

Ryan Dolby is the candidate again in Elgin-Middlesex-London, but no Lib has been named.

Oddly, from the article, there's no clear Liberal candidate in London-West yet and no Con candidate in London-North-Center. I thought Monica Jarabek, a former Green, was going to run in London-West.

Farmpunk

And not really a London riding, but Bob Speller is back again for the Libs in Haldimand-Norfok, going against incumbent Diane Finley, wife of recently appointed Senator Doug.  That will be a very tight race, since Finley has not addressed in any meaningful way the many issues in this riding.  Lucky for her the useless local media hasn't been able to pin her down on anything, ever.

Have to check and see who the NDP is running here.  Odds favour no candidate as of yet. 

Stockholm

How is it "bad news" for Irene Mathyssen for the Liberals to nominate a right-leaning candidate. If i were Irene my dream Liberal candidate would be a rightwing business Liberal who would turn-off left-leaning Liberals and i'd be waiting with a catcher's mitt to scoop them up.

Tommy_Paine

I figured Irene would have lost last time-- it's a ridding where there's a three way split so a few votes off one column and onto another really matter.  But, she proved tougher than that.  

She's seen as a good  constiuency person, and that counts for much.

Life, the unive...

Any word on whether Grant Robertson, head of the National Farmers Union in Ontario is running in Huron-Bruce.  Which should fall into the London orbit given how close it gets eh? Scuttlebutt at Keady Market on Tuesday was that he should and that he was even considering it.  I can't see it because he is doing such a good job with the NFU and seems happy there.  Any chance the NDP is actually planning on taking a run at the riding by putting money into it/him?  I do know they raised something like $30,000 for his last campaign having made a contribution myself- which is amazing given the riding.  But I can't see him quiting the NFU just to wave the flag a bit.  You'd have to think a guy like that would have to have some input into the platform too - which would be a good thing for the NDP in southwestern Ontario ridings with a rural component.  It would be practical and speak to issues farmers are actually facing rather than lets all be organic and sing kumbya together.  Still having trouble seeing it, but it sure is a rumour.

If he did run that would sure make for one interesting race though.

Farmpunk

Caranci is a Pat O'Brien clone and is active on the ground in the riding.  He's known.  Councillor since 2000, I think. 

It's in no way a smear against Mathyssen - who does work really hard - to suggest she could be facing strong competition for a seat both Libs and Cons see as winnable.

I can't see Robertson running, either, but that's his choice.   

Tommy_Paine

 

The thing about Caranci is that for every person he's pleased, he pisses off two in the process.

Looking at the 2006 and 2008 results, it seems that no one really benifitted from the Liberal vote that tanked.  The Liberals just stayed home.   Even if Caranci manages to get out the vote, I don't think there's enough without taking a couple thousand from Mathyssen in the process.  That's probably the strategy; and it's a strategy that even if done well could see the conservative become the winner.

My counter strategy against Caranci would be to bait him with questions until he screams at someone or punches something.

Lord Palmerston

I remember how people were predicting Irene Mathyssen's demise with "laptop-gate" but she increased her margin quite a bit.  Dion's leadership was much more scandalous.

adma

Caranci was also the provincial standard-bearer versus Cunningham and Boyd in '99, wasn't he?

Farmpunk

Hmm, good questions, adma.  Not sure. 

Caranci is a bit of a grandstander.  He's aligned himself with the conservatives on council, Gosnell, Van Meerbergen, etc.  He has voted for progressive social policy on municple issues but he's also voted with the fiscal conservative lot.  He strikes me more as a red tory than a Liberal, if that's not splitting hairs too much.

He wouldn't be able to debate with Mathyssen, but open debates are not her strength.  She literally does not, or cannot, speak loudly.  Caranci's strategy will be quite simple, I imagine: why waste your votes on an NDP party that has no chance of forming the government?  In a riding that has no doubt seen high job losses, and litte local action from the Cons (or the moronic city, but that's another matter) and little improvement from having a NDP member in Ottowa, that's a line that could give the voters pause before marking a ballot.

The so-called laptop gate is simply not an issue whatsoever in the riding.  It's something the local media and political geeks mention from time to time, but it has been utterly dwarfed by Mathyssen's endless work on the ground.

Back to Caranci.  Having watched him in action on occasion, I'll be interested to see how he copes with federal issues vs municple-provincial. 

Life, the unive...

Farmpunk wrote:

I can't see Robertson running, either, but that's his choice.   

As a farmer though, and I assume with a name like Farmpunk you are, wouldn't you be thrilled to have him doing a bit of a$$ kicking in Ottawa on our behalf?  I sure hope people close to him are trying to talk him into running.  I expect he would also drag the NDP towards much more down to earth policies that have a day to day impact on farmers.  And that would be a very good thing.

He never tries to take credit for it, but I have heard from NFU people, that behind the scenes he was instrumental in getting the NFU Cattle Sector report started when no one wanted to touch it.  Someone with that kind of vision and drive is exactly what farmers need.

Farmpunk

I was of the understanding that Robertson believes he can do more effective work outside political circles, an a advocate, etc.  Perhaps he's changed his mind.

Sure, I'd like to see\hear\watch him in Ottowa.  If nothing else perhaps he'd be able to investigate the true pork problem in the federal ministry of Ag. 

Life, the unive...

janfromthebruce seemed to be hinting at it, but I have no sense Grant himself is considering.  I guess I am just hoping and dreaming.  I have this image of some Ottawa bscrat trying to feed him the same lines they have been feeding MPs without his background and him turning around and blasting them.  It would be fun.  Although I heard him on the radio today and he sounded like hell in the clip they played.  Articulate but like he was ill. 

If, and it is likely a big if, as you say he did run it would signal a real change for the NDP though because you have to think he would only do it with some pretty strong commitments from the party and up til now I haven't seen much to indicate they truly get rural issues, at least in southern Ontario.

madmax

From what I gather, the Rural Southern Ontario Farming community has no interest in the NDP.  The do with the LPC and the CPC, but the NDP catches the interest of rural community and farmers in Northern Ontario.  Old habits are hard to break, and quite frankly, even if the NDP were to present the rural community with answers to their liking and policies that were a perfect fit, it is unlikely that rural farmers would even attend one meeting put on by the NDP.

IIRC correctly the Haldimand NDP had the Agricultural Critic, Alex (Alphabetname), go do an open forum for input from farmers in the Haldimand/Norfolk/Brant region, and few showed up. But according to media sources, those who did show up, were pleasantly surprised by his handling of the file and knowledge.

That said, unless one of their own gets involved with the NDP, little is going to happen in Southern Ontario.

And for those in Haldimand, as mentioned above Speller is back again for the Liberals.

 

Life, the unive...

No actually there were quite a few at the meeting.  My brother was one of them and reported how impressed he was with Alex Atamanenko (you spell it exactly like it sounds).

As well things are changing in agriculture fast.  In Ontario we are seeing the collapse of the pork industry, beef is following close behind with dramatic reductions in the Ontario herd and horticulture is in trouble too.  Cash croppers are making a bit more money than they once were, but it is still poor.  In short all the things people associated with the NDP were talking about a decade ago are coming to pass and old alliances are changing.

Still an uphill battle, but if not now than never.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I don't think Caranci has much of a chance. He is not so much a red tory or Liberal as an opportunist. He has not supported the progressives on social issues at all. If he has, I haven't heard of it. His campaign manager is a development lawyer and it is in that camp where Caranci is firmly rooted. He would be the champion of sprawl and deforestation in Ottawa. He would fit well within an Ignatieff caucus.

Farmpunk

Shit, I missed Atamanenko.  I would have gone, if I'd known. 

Grant Roberston speaks well of Atamanenko, and that's a solid reference in my books. And I imagine Ataman would be able to talk ag policy circles around me, as would Robertson (and PC Ernie Hardeman).  But two of the three are politicians, not full time farmers.

If an NDP candidate came to visit me on my farm - this is generally the harvest season in many, many ag fields, hence a lack of time all around - I would have been more impressed.  Finley does it.  Speller does it.  They also get votes.  Six or seven well placed farm visits would have done Ataman more good in word of mouth farming circles, I think. 

Finley could probably have had the ag portfolio.  She doesn't want it, and I can't blame her, because it's a series of scandals waiting to happen.  Speller had the file for a while and, frankly, seemed overwhelmed. 

FM, there's little doubt Caranci is involved in local business.  But he has had voted and spoke for libraries and publically funded municple programs that help young people.  It's hard to be a politician without being a least partially an opproutunist or public person.  I doubt he'll be able to beat Mathyssen, too.   

I do tend to agree with Madmax that farmers tend to be anti-NDP, and generally anti-government.  But there ain't many farmers left in The Southern Ontario Farming Community (or SOFC for short) to sway a big enough number of votes towards the NDP to defeat the Libs and Cons.  And that's presuming that a SOFC farmer votes for anybody but the NDP currently.  Still, a valid point.

adma

madmax wrote:

From what I gather, the Rural Southern Ontario Farming community has no interest in the NDP.  The do with the LPC and the CPC, but the NDP catches the interest of rural community and farmers in Northern Ontario. 

If someone like Charlie Angus became federal NDP leader, would he have pull in the south?

janfromthebruce

Life, the universe, everything wrote:

Although I heard him on the radio today and he sounded like hell in the clip they played.  Articulate but like he was ill. 

He was ill. Stay tuned in

janfromthebruce

You know, I think that farmers in our area are frustrated with the lack of of focus on agricultural issues. But Grant is more than about farming issues but also environmental. He also has labour roots. He is a very attractive rural candidate with a high profile.

Stockholm

The only thing about agriculture we ever hear from the Tories is that they want to scrap the Wheat Board - and that seems to be enough for them to sweep the farm vote.

Life, the unive...

That is a huge over-simplification of why and how farmers vote.  Not only that but farmers out side of the West aren't affected by, and don't care one little bit by the Canadian Wheat Board.

 

And thanks Jan.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see.  And yes he is far more than a one issue candidate.

madmax

Farmpunk wrote:

Shit, I missed Atamanenko.  I would have gone, if I'd known. 

Grant Roberston speaks well of Atamanenko, and that's a solid reference in my books. And I imagine Ataman would be able to talk ag policy circles around me, as would Robertson (and PC Ernie Hardeman).  But two of the three are politicians, not full time farmers.

If an NDP candidate came to visit me on my farm - this is generally the harvest season in many, many ag fields, hence a lack of time all around - I would have been more impressed.  Finley does it.  Speller does it.  They also get votes.  Six or seven well placed farm visits would have done Ataman more good in word of mouth farming circles, I think. 

No doubt your right about the visits.  I believe the Haldimand NDP have to be doing what they can to catch the Attention of the farming circles.  The LPC and the CPC have a stranglehold on the file, and the NDP need people on the inside to help shape local policy and to highlight the state of the industry.

In Nova Scotia, Pork became a huge issue in the Provincial election.  Somehow the NDP hit the right note on the file. (follow through has yet to be demonstrated, but the file was going nowhere with the PCs)

I see the CPC now attempting to address the Pork industry, basically telling those to provide a viable business plan and they will help.

I had no idea that Speller was overburdened/whelmed with the AG file. 

Regardless, someone has to carry the ball forward or will be importing everything.

Another voice helps, especially if it gets everyone rowing in the right direction. Is there any reason Farmpunk couldn't arrange a meeting in the off season, to put the NDP in contact with most of the players in the region, and the surronding countys?  Obviously they are a little better received, then I first gave credit for above. But I still believe that, few as you are, you have to speak out to as many orgs/parties/candidates that are open and willing to listen.

 

 

 

Tommy_Paine

 

Being a city boy, I guess I am straying from my field (hmm, sidewalk?)  of  experience, but it seems to me that the tories betrayed farmers by allowing the U.S. embargo over Mad Cow persist untill it  was beyond  obvious it was a trade embargo.  And for the sloppy (intentional, no doubt) aid to cattle farmers that just ended up in (mostly American owned) meat packer's pockets. 

Now, we have the near treasonous capitulation of the  tories on pork, where we are reducing our capacity, and the Americans are dragging their feet-- obviously, the U.S. has no intention of hitting their pork production reduction targets, so it boils down to eliminating our pork industry in favour of the U.S. industry.

Now, that may not meet the criminal code definition of treason, (you betcha I looked it up) but I bet it meets the barnyard deffinition of the word.

Can't tell me an NDP candidate couldn't make hay out of that.

Farmpunk

Haha, me know and be able to introduce anyone to local players is a little funny.  My intro may do more damage than good with players, haha.

Farm policy should reflect the public money put into it.  I've yet to see a political party address what needs to be a systemic change. 

My take on pork is gleaned from local knowlege, so the situation might be different in other locales.

The pork industry seemed to be in trouble before "swine flue".  It was Ontario pork and livestock producers who freaked out when Ontario suggested putting an import duty of subsidized US grain.  The same cheap grain that produces big pork operations.  So grain prices rise and whammo, the bills are harder to pay and suddenly pork farming doesn't seem like such a good investment.  Time for a little public love.

Just wait, pork isn't anything compared to dairy and poultry in Ontario.  The supply managed sector is going to eventually lose in a world market, and DOHA is really all about agricultural imports\exports.  I believe that Ontario is now more open to imported poultry.  And I, a non-quota holding farmer, can only raise 300 birds a year.  Neat trick.  Dairy is another protected industry with problems looming.

Anyhow, that's all not far from London.  And food processing should be a core strength of that city. 

 

 

Tommy_Paine

The pork industry seemed to be in trouble before "swine flue".

That seems to be cyclical.  I remember when I was a teen, pork prices went up, that kind of farming became attractive, lots of farmers here converted to hogs, then the over supply saw prices tumble.  And a bunch got out.  I  think, in fact, that's happened a few times since I was a teen.

Heck, I remember news stories of some farmers getting into the market and finding dead piglets in their mailboxes.  Not sure if that was a market share issue, or "you're gonna stink up the place"  issue, though.

But this time, we're clearly losing yet another sector of food production to U.S. interests, with aiding and abetting going on from the tories.