Toronto Centre by-election: The Exciting Conclusion

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aka Mycroft

Ottawa West-Nepean is a riding the Tories should be able to win. If they don't at least make it a close race it doesn't say much for Hudak's chances in 2011.

Lord Palmerston

OK now you're beginning to sound ridiculous.  The Tories took a whopping 18% of the vote in TC in the last federal election.  The NDP just got 33% in the byelection and was able to get 24% with Shapcott twice.  The Tories have zero chance of taking the riding provincially or federally any time soon.

adma

Or conversely, if they're "emerging as the rival"...well, so what else is new, until the late 90s they *were* the nominal rival, and vestiges of the old order naturally remain, esp. when the NDP is weak or otherwise burdened...

adma

Stockholm wrote:
Even in 1990 when the stars all aligned almost perfectly for the NDP - the Liberals still held on to Toronto Centre by a narrow margin.

Though keep in mind, too, that the Liberals had the advantage of a respected incumbent with a prominent cabinet position: Ian Scott.  Which is by way of stating that had the Grits had a lesser incumbent a la neighbouring Ron Kanter or even Scott's successor Tim Murphy--let alone no incumbent at all--the NDP all but certainly would have nabbed this one, too, perhaps rather decisively.

And by extension, imagine how Cathy Crowe might have done had the Grits run a Tim Murphy-like hack this time rather than Glen Murray...

Lord Palmerston

Also St. George-St. David was more "Rosedale-centric" than its federal counterpart.  On today's boundaries, the NDP would have taken it (and come in second in '95).

 

Stockholm

That's true - but there are also wayyyy more luxury condos in the riding than there were back in 1990 when the old riding of St. George-St. David consisted of Rosedale, Cabbagetown, the gay ghetto and some coops near the St. Laurence Market - period.

With regard to the PCs - no one expects them to win in places like St. Paul's or Toronto Centre (though they won both in 1995 under Harris) - but to actually see their vote share DECLINE in a byelection when they are running against a supposedly unpopular Liberal government and when the previous data point was the 2007 election which was widely viewed as having been a disaster for them.

Lord Palmerston

It certainly suggests that the Conservative "brand" doesn't go over too well in central-city Toronto with Hudak at the helm.  But I think the upcoming byelection in Ottawa West-Nepean is much more significant.

KingofthePaupers KingofthePaupers's picture

edmundoconnor: "John Turmel: The fight goes on. Someday soon, all the other candidates will keel over, and he shall win with his handful of votes. THEN we'll all be sorry."
Jct: Edmund O'Connor is the only person I've ever read who thinks he'll be sorry for getting an interest-free credit card from the Bank of Canada. Maybe he'll be able to not use it and find someone to loanshark to him in the manner he's used to.

edmundoconnor

KingofthePaupers wrote:

edmundoconnor: "John Turmel: The fight goes on. Someday soon, all the other candidates will keel over, and he shall win with his handful of votes. THEN we'll all be sorry."
Jct: Edmund O'Connor is the only person I've ever read who thinks he'll be sorry for getting an interest-free credit card from the Bank of Canada. Maybe he'll be able to not use it and find someone to loanshark to him in the manner he's used to.

Hi, John. Could you explain to me quite how an independent MPP could prevail on the federal government to introduce an old SoCred standby? Send me a private message, because if we discuss it here we're liable to race away from the point of this thread.

Also, please explain in said message quite what your last sentence means.

Stockholm

In analysing the results of this byelection - one additional thing occurred to me. In the 2007 election the NDP candidate got 18% and the Green got 9%. In this byelection, the NDP got 33% and the Green got 3%. There may be a number of explanations for this apparent mass shift from the Greens to the NDP (could it be "Horwath-mania"??). But what i find interesting is what is NOT an explanation.

Let me explain. The "conventional wisdom" among some people is that if the NDP wants to attract votes from the greens - the NDP has to talk "environment, environment, environment, environment..." and totally revamp its policies on environmental issues blah blah blah. Now, if a case could be made that in 2007 the NDP candidate had said NOTHING about the envronment and that this time the NDP candidate was an environmental superstar who would be far more attractive to people concerned about the environment - there might be some validity to this theory. But, the fact is that Cathy Crowe is a star candidate 100% because of her awesome work on social issues around poverty and homelessness and health care. While I'm sure she can give you the "party line" about the environment - she has no particular "green credentials" and there is nothing in her resume that one would think would make her particularly attractive to "green voters" in comparison to the NDP candidate in the 2007 election. Yet she managed to annhilate the Green party in the byelection and scooped most of the support that they got before.

What is the lesson in this? My analysis is that most people who vote Green don't know or care all that much about environmental issues and would be hard pressed to explain what the Green Party's specific policies are in any environmental area compared to the NDP (or the Liberals for that matter). Its largely a "none of the above" vote. I conclude that it's a total waste of time for people in the NDP to think that the NDP will win votes away from the Green party as a result of new concrete policy proposals that are meant to "outbid" the greens on the policy front. We don't need to propose making vegetarianism compulsory, nor do we have to propose a 50% carbon tax, nor do we have to propose eliminating all manufacturing and primary industry in Ontario. Instead the way to attract these people is simply to have a really dynamic candidate and a campaign that appears active and to have momentum.

Sunday Hat

... and ideals.

I think people are attracted to the Greens because they're cynical about politics and the Greens seem selfless. They're not (Elizabeth May!!) but people see that in them. An NDP campaign that seems dynamic, idealistic, different, activist appeals to urban Green voters.

In rural Ontario I think they're after Tory vote.

Bookish Agrarian

With the greatest respect Sunday Hat I would suggest that your closing line is  wrong.  I would argue that those are the same criteria regardless of location.  The particulars differ of course, such as what the activism is centred around, but I think the point Stockholm makes and you expanded on are well placed irrespective of an urban-rural split.

Lord Palmerston

There might be a bit of a difference between the provincial Greens and federal Greens in terms of their ability to appeal to Tory voters.  Elizabeth May's shtick about how she thought the old PC's were wonderful and how she can appeal to "Progressive Conservatives" who are now appalled by Harper being a Republican clone, etc. I don't think has done anything for her.  I don't think going around say how Harper is basically evil and saying things like how his climate change policy is akin to Chamberlain appeasing the Nazis convinces even the softest CPC voter.  I think the Greens federally take from the NDP and Liberals and barely effect the Tories at all.  I know some have pointed the Greens do well in Tory ridings like Dufferin-Caledon and Bruce-Grey but it appears that the Greens just take a lot of the anti-Tory vote there because it's not as if the Libs or NDP have a chance anyway.

Bookish Agrarian

I can only really speak about BGOS as I know it very well. 

I would suggest the observations of Stockholm and Sunday Hat are key to understanding the Green vote there.  As well, the Liberals finally have a strong Liberal candidate there federally.  I am expecting to see a large drop in the Green numbers and a steep rise in Liberal numbers.  

One of the keys to rural ridings in the personal following individuals candidates can acheive.  It is far more pronounced in my experience in rural ridings than in urban ridings - although that can be overstated and an hasty generalization.  That certainly has a lot to do with the Green growth in BGOS and has a lot to do with current Conservative strength there too. 

Sunday Hat

I was thinking about two things.

1) The Ontario Greens commitment to get rid of Catholic Schools - which resonated hugely with old Orange Ontario (likely not intentionally)

2) The Greens campaign in Leeds-Grenville which seems to be courting the Landowners. See here.

Bookish Agrarian

Uh Sunday Hat the issues of slaughterhouse regulations and industrial assessments on farm value adding attempts- such as sugar shacks are broadly a concern in rural Ontario.  The National Famers Union has been very outspoken on these issues.  And you can hardly claim that the NFU and the OLA sing from the same hand book. Pointing out the failures of a regualtory regime that makes no sense and penalizes family farmers is not right wing.

 

Here is some background on why the processor issue is suddenly a big one in rural Ontario right now-

 

http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2435099

 

http://nfuontario.ca/%E2%80%9Crules-are-not-necessarily-sacred-principles-are%E2%80%9D

 

 

Sunday Hat

Goes to show what I know.

Forgive this ignorant urbanite.

Bookish Agrarian

Embarassed

Actually I think times like this are a really good learning opportunity for everyone.   We talk a lot about local food and those sort of things, but government and the powers that be are working really hard to close down those eater-farmer connections.  The NDP should instead be working to close the divide.

My favourite bit from that second link is the panelling in the office- which is nice wood panelling by the way - is somehow a threat to food saftey.  Think about the cost to pull it all out and then replace it - with no way to recoup that cost through the business.  And then think about how the fact that no food gets processed in the office.  That's why things like this become a progressive issue.

Krago

The poll-by-poll results of the Toronto Centre by-election are now available on the Elections Ontario website.

These are the electoral maps from the 2007 general election and the 2010 by-election.

Here is a breakdown of Toronto Centre by neighbourhood (according to the City of Toronto neighbourhood map).  The population percentages are from the 2006 Census.

Governors Bridge (0%)

2007 GEN: LIB 35%, PC 46%, NDP 2%, GRN 14%

2010 BY: LIB 45%, PC 34%, NDP 15%, GRN 5%

 

Rosedale-Moore Park (14%)

2007 GEN: LIB 43%, PC 39%, NDP 7%, GRN 9%

2010 BY: LIB 46%, PC 36%, NDP 15%, GRN 2%

 

Yorkville (Annex East) (5%)

2007 GEN: LIB 41%, PC 34%, NDP 11%, GRN 9%

2010 BY: LIB 47%, PC 24%, NDP 25%, GRN 2%

 

Queen's Park (8%)

2007 GEN: LIB 46%, PC 23%, NDP 18%, GRN 9%

2010 BY: LIB 47%, PC 21%, NDP 28%, GRN 3%

 

Church-Yonge Corridor (20%)

2007 GEN: LIB 49%, PC 15%, NDP 22%, GRN 11%

2010 BY: LIB 52%, PC 11%, NDP 33%, GRN 3%

 

North St. James Town (14%)

2007 GEN: LIB 50%, PC 12%, NDP 23%, GRN 7%

2010 BY: LIB 44%, PC 9%, NDP 42%, GRN 3%

 

Cabbagetown-South St. James Town (9%)

2007 GEN: LIB 50%, PC 13%, NDP 22%, GRN 12%

2010 BY: LIB 46%, PC 9%, NDP 42%, GRN 3%

 

Regent Park (9%)

2007 GEN: LIB 52%, PC 8%, NDP 28%, GRN 5%

2010 BY: LIB 54%, PC 5%, NDP 38%, GRN 1%

 

Moss Park (13%)

2007 GEN: LIB 46%, PC 16%, NDP 21%, GRN 11%

2010 BY: LIB 42%, PC 12%, NDP 41%, GRN 4%

 

Waterfront Communities (7%)

2007 GEN: LIB 45%, PC 15%, NDP 25%, GRN 10%

2010 BY: LIB 40%, PC 9%, NDP 45%, GRN 5%

edmundoconnor

The NDP got punished in the Church-Yonge Corridor. This was territory that was crucial to them, and to lose so heavily to the Liberals here marks this as where they really have to improve next time around.

Stockholm

Its not that surprising. The Liberals were running an openly gay candidate, with a big name who appealed to yuppie condo dwellers. The NDP was running a wonderful candidate but who is a street nurse, stressing poverty issues and who didn't seem to have been endorsed by a single prominent person in the lesbian or gay community. If you were the average waiter or shop clerk who happened to be gay and who pays attention to politics for about 5 minutes PER WEEK - who do you think would seem like the more appealing candidate?

Lord Palmerston

I'm pretty sure El Farouk Khaki endorsed Cathy Crowe.

Interestingly Cabbagetown (also heavily gay) saw much better results for the NDP.

It's also interesting that the "waterfront communities" of TC are quite good NDP territory, while in Trinity-Spadina it is a weaker area for the NDP.

Stockholm

Considering what flop he was as NDP candidate, I'm not sure that being endorsed by El-Farouk Khaki carries much weight.

I think that the "waterfront communities" in TC include a number of co-op developments like the Margaret Laurence Co-Op near St. Lawrence market etc... and those tend to vote heavily NDP.

Maysie Maysie's picture

edmundoconnor wrote:
 That would be a nice scalp to add to York-South Weston on election night.

WTF?

edmund you need to not post racist bullshit on babble.

edmundoconnor

El Farouk Khaki did endorse Cathy Crowe. I was at the campaign acclamation, and Cathy and El Farouk hugged. But I think that was the first and last time he was involved with the Crowe campaign. I was there from start to finish, and don't recall seeing him in the office. But I was working down in the basement, and am more than happy to be corrected on this point.

The by-election has a lot of positives for the NDP, and they did amazingly based on their starting position. But this is always a borderline riding for the NDP, simply because of Rosedale. The party will always need the stars to align here (relatively weak Liberal showing, strong-ish PC, and the best NDP vote they can get). While 1 and 3 was in place, the PCs completely imploded, and handed victory to the Liberals. The PCs are, on the basis of this showing, irrelevant to the voters in the south of the riding. While the PCs were certainly not expecting to win the Waterfront or Cabbagetown, they at least hoped to get into the mid-20s to have any sort of hopes next time.

The NDP needs to reinforce their strongholds in 2011, and start seriously working on the Church-Yonge corridor. If they can win that area, then the Liberals are in serious trouble. I would not bet against Murray going down with the ship next time. A weaker still Liberal vote, stronger PC showing and the NDP may not even have to add one vote to win (although of course they should to ensure victory). That would be a nice addition to a win in York-South Weston on election night. Oh yes, Cathy needs to be re-nominated tout suite.

edmundoconnor

Changed. Heartfelt apologies.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, scalping occurred in Europe as well as North America, and there is some evidence that Europeans may have taught First Peoples the practice.  So the usage may not have been all that racist.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

Europeans actually demanded that their tribal allies produce the scalps of people that they killed because they didn't trust them. Then they used the fact that scalping was occurring to villify the original people as savages.

So, yes, I'm going to have to insist that its usage is racist. That's why I flagged the post as offensive last night and am glad that Maysie (and Edmund) recognized the problem.

BTW, thanks to Krago for posting the data. Very interesting.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Thanks for the additinal info on that.

edmundoconnor

I am not defending my usage in the slightest, but I would point out that the term is used (unthinkingly) in the British media, especially in political parlance. It shouldn't be, but it is. Given I have spent a good portion of my life in the UK, it's perhaps unsurprising that I also imbued it unthinkingly. I would suspect that if there were any sort of FN community in the UK, the media would cut it out sharpish. But since no-one has complained (to my knowledge), I think they think, no harm, no foul.

I want to thank Maysie (and Scott) for pointing that out. I like to think that I'm a progressive sort of chap, and that I confront my prejudices, rather than cosset them. This incident shows how subtle and unthinking these sorts of things can be. Now, if only Jim Pankiw could muster even a shred of reflection on his views of FNs …

KingofthePaupers KingofthePaupers's picture

edmundoconnor wrote:

KingofthePaupers wrote:

edmundoconnor: "John Turmel: The fight goes on. Someday soon, all the other candidates will keel over, and he shall win with his handful of votes. THEN we'll all be sorry."
Jct: Edmund O'Connor is the only person I've ever read who thinks he'll be sorry for getting an interest-free credit card from the Bank of Canada. Maybe he'll be able to not use it and find someone to loanshark to him in the manner he's used to.

Hi, John. Could you explain to me quite how an independent MPP could prevail on the federal government to introduce an old SoCred standby? Send me a private message, because if we discuss it here we're liable to race away from the point of this thread. Also, please explain in said message quite what your last sentence means.

Jct: How can an MPP prevail on the FEDs to upgrade their bank software? Keep offering the LETS diskette?
The last sentence means that even if we reprogram the banks' computers to offer interest-free loans,
we won't be stopping you from finding someone to charge you interest like you're used to. If you're the
only one wanting to pay interest, someone will accommodate you.

 

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