Toronto-Danforth byelection - 4

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howeird beale

Didnt know about the billboard. I think it's a good slogan. The campaign office, which I walked by a couple of weeks ago, is definiely prominent.

Of course they'll hope people vote for the brand (Libs/ Bob) rather than the lightweight candidate. One could even get a uniligual anglo elected in a francophone riding in Quebec with such a strategy, non?

So, they're putting an effort in. Let's not let their vote rise.

One other thing that gets to me is the hockey spot. He mentions a kid with an unusual name, who's not a very good player, by name, publicly, in the video, as being a crummy player.

That's shitty judgment. I felt bad for the kid.

Michelle

Yeah, actually, that bothered me too, the mention of the kid's name - I forgot about that until you mentioned it.  It's not like his name was "John" or something.  Everyone would know exactly who he was talking about, and that kind of stuff gets around schools too once one kid hears it and passes it along.

Michelle

Well, I'm not nice enough to want the underdog to win, even if I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt... ;)

That's interesting, about the campaign office!  That's not what it looks like from the outside, and of course I've never ventured inside nor even peeked - just noticed it when going past it recently in a cab! :)

Anyhow, the point isn't that he's running a high-budget campaign filled with volunteers.  The point is that he's NOT, which is why he has to do some oddball things to get attention. 

I see your point about the "We want you back" campaign - but I'm sure you also realize that it's not aimed at you.  They know they're not getting you "back" because you were never "theirs" to begin with.  They want the swing voters "back".  They want current Dippers who were formerly Liberals "back".  It's supposed to speak to them, not you. :)

I didn't live in the riding when Dennis Mills was in office - in fact, I had just barely moved back to Toronto when Jack won it, so I don't know much about those things you mention.  But I've heard from at least one other person who lived in the riding for years that Mills won the riding and held it by being extremely good at constituency work - in fact, even opening up a shadow constituency office before getting elected. 

I'm not sure that I've ever met Andrew Lang.  I got some "missed you" flyers from him in the last election when they were canvassing, so I never got to judge his personality for myself.  And I don't think we attended an all-candidates debate either, come to think of it.  We had a Jack sign on our lawn the last time around, and currently we have a ginormous Craig sign.  I did manage to meet a canvasser for the Conservative candidate yesterday though!  I couldn't believe it - first, that they were bothering to campaign, and secondly, that they'd bother knocking on our door with that huge honking orange sign there.  The kid was nice and good natured about it when I told him I wouldn't be supporting the Conservatives.

Howard

These odd balls tactics shouldn't be discounted. They get Hedy Fry elected in Vancouver Centre and certainly didn't hurt Keith Martin in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. They don't injure Rob Anders in Calgary. Kevin Lamoureux's McDonald's hour is not a problem for him. Denis Coderre has not lost office despite his unflattering guignol on Laflaque. They helped Myron Thompson in Wildrose and Deborah Grey to become the first Alliance MP. Elsie Wayne dominated Saint John. In short, real characters can win real elections. They get people's attention and if quirks are not negatives and the other stuff is positives, it gets people elected.

As for Grant Gordon, I think his greatest flaw (tactic wise) is talking about being losers. Most voters hate a loser. The Liberals use to run whole campaigns on being "winners." It's damn tough spot to be in. Anyways, Grant is succeeding in getting noticed, and as an ad exec, he knows that's much of the battle, especially in a race the media (and others) want to ignore because the result is so dialed in.

Another place the result was supposed to be dialed in= Winnipeg North. Don't let this guy get anymore attention.

Howard

Needs a sound guy ;)

Craig Scott has a professional-looking video.

adma

Howard wrote:

These odd balls tactics shouldn't be discounted. They get Hedy Fry elected in Vancouver Centre and certainly didn't hurt Keith Martin in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. They don't injure Rob Anders in Calgary. Kevin Lamoureux's McDonald's hour is not a problem for him. Denis Coderre has not lost office despite his unflattering guignol on Laflaque. They helped Myron Thompson in Wildrose and Deborah Grey to become the first Alliance MP. Elsie Wayne dominated Saint John. In short, real characters can win real elections. They get people's attention and if quirks are not negatives and the other stuff is positives, it gets people elected.

You forgot the most obvious/immediate example of all: Dennis Mills.

But as Lloyd Bentsen would say, Grant Gordon's no Dennis Mills.

Michelle

Hey, we just found a flyer dropped by the Conservative candidate when we got home from Labour Council tonight.  It's a total attack on - get this - Bob Rae!

So weird.  Do they think the Liberals are in the lead here or something?

Very, very strange.

radiorahim's conspiracy theory is that the Cons want the NDP to win this riding.  But I have no idea why they would want that.

Paul Gross

The Cons don't expect to win Danforth but they want to get as many votes as possible. They presumably seek to attract some centrist voters who will choose between voting Con and Lib. Voters who switched from the Libs to the Cons gave the Cons their majority in 2011. The Cons need to keep these "Blue Liberal" voters and would like to gain some more. Running against Rae seems like a good strategy. The by-election is a chance to field test anti-Rae messaging.

Howard

Paul Gross wrote:

The Cons don't expect to win Danforth but they want to get as many votes as possible. They presumably seek to attract some centrist voters who will choose between voting Con and Lib. Voters who switched from the Libs to the Cons gave the Cons their majority in 2011. The Cons need to keep these "Blue Liberal" voters and would like to gain some more. Running against Rae seems like a good strategy. The by-election is a chance to field test anti-Rae messaging.

The CPC would also squeal with delight if the Liberals finished 3rd in Toronto Danforth, because it would be embarassing and the CPC competes with the Liberals in the 905.

Stockholm

The Tories were actually only a couple of percentage points behind the liberals in the may election in T-D - its not inconceivable that they could come in second.

Howard

The Liberals have been campaigning on Bob Rae, so if they finish third, I'd say it is a judgment on him.

howeird beale

Howard wrote:

 Grant is succeeding in getting noticed, and as an ad exec, he knows that's much of the battle,

 

Ad exec? Where? As far as i can tell he ran a one-man-band "agency" / ego trip that didnt make any money and didnt have any clients

theleftyinvestor

adma wrote:

 I wonder if the media's trying to spin Mulcair into being the Real Caouette of the NDP, i.e. the kind of leader that'd turn the party into a Quebec ghetto...

I'm surprised we haven't seen more people writing about lessons to be learned from the experience of Social Credit.

That being said, the NDP has a culture of being a coalition of mutual interests, where everybody agrees to stick up for each other as long as it's for a good and compatible cause. The SoCreds were forebearers of western Reform and Quebec ADQ types, and their reactionary political culture did not lend itself to that kind of mutual support. We are not necessarily doomed to go down that road.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Grant Gordon had his "telephone town hall" this afternoon with Bob Rae and Judy Sgro...with Bob Rae doing most of the talking.

It was pretty normal Liberal campaign stuff...campaign from the left and govern from the right.

However the one issue that discussed that had me puzzled was housing.  I am curious as to how Bob Rae was able to talk about the Liberal housing plan without losing his breakfast, lunch and between meal snacks.

The Chretien/Martin Liberal government spent over a dozen years in office and made "re-announcing" a national housing programme over and over again without ever delivering one into an art form.

Even more hypocritical was Judy Sgro also raising the issue of housing.  I mean Rae might be forgiven...he had another job at the time.   But Judy Sgro was a cabinet minister in that government.

ctrl190

This morning I was sipping a pretentious beverage at The Only Cafe when Gordon and Bob Rae walked in from mainstreeting. I shook Bob's hand and he passed me a Gordon flyer.

I can definitely see Gordon doing well at the door. He is soft-spoken and quite personable.

Still, the clientele, of largely writers, post-docs and neighbourhood bohos, was uninterested. The former premier in particular did not resonate with the locals, as he stood around awkwardly, remarked about the eclectic decor, and proceeded to walk out with Gordon.

60 very strange seconds of my life. To add to the drama, the young Liberal handler introduced Rae as the "Leader" of the Liberal Party. Hmmmmm.

 

Anywho, out and about in the riding, the Grits are definitely putting up a fight. I have received more Grit lit at the door than NDP. The signs, on the other hand, are about 2:1 in favour of Scott, and in some areas of East York 3:1. I have also seen the first trace of the Cons who have a few signs up near Mortimer. A stronger Con campaign than the virtually non existant campaign by the Tories in '11 should probably help the NDP.

Still, I hope the Scott campaign isn't on cruise control.

 

Michelle

ctrl190, radiorahim and I were a little further east, eating a delicious brunch at Morgan's, probably around the time you were sipping your pretentious beverage at The Only. ;)  So we missed them.

We had the telephone town hall radiorahim mentions above on speakerphone (on mute of course), so we were both howling at the phone at intervals, especially when that thing about the national housing strategy came up - or, indeed, any issue they mentioned that they had 12 or 13 years to do something about while they were in government and didn't bother, but really, they're going to do it this time, honest!

Rae did talk, however, about wanting to make it so people could buy into CPP more than they do already, in order to have a pension plan.  Not bad, for a Liberal. But, like a Liberal, they'll promise it and not bother delivering.

He also critiqued the NDP plan to remove the GST from home heating in order to provide relief to people with low incomes, and while he made a good point, he kind of missed the overall issue.  The good point he made is that such a plan would give more relief to people who can afford bigger homes, and he's right.  He also made the point that if you want to help people with lower incomes, then it should be through personal income taxes - lower rates for people with lower incomes and higher rates for people with higher incomes.  And I think he also said something about how he would increase the GIS.

However, the overall issue that I think he missed in his analysis is that when it comes to the GST, if, as he is arguing, it would be regressive to remove it because people with larger houses will get larger savings and if progressive taxation is better, then why not make that leap to considering sales taxes regressive, period?  (Although I do realize that the GST/HST is less regressive than if it was simply a flat tax on everything, since people with lower incomes get GST/HST rebates, and they spend a higher percentage of their income on necessities that are GST/HST exempt.)

I would personally just rather have much more progressive taxation and no sales tax at all.  But what the NDP is proposing (cutting the sales tax on home heating) probably isn't going to help anyone that much, including the environment.  People with comfortable incomes aren't going to care about the five bucks they're going to save on their gas bill.  Not to mention that people who are renting places with utilities included aren't going to see any savings at all since there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that landlords are going to pass the savings along, and most people who have low incomes rent.  So people with low incomes will either never see a gas or electricity bill because they're renting places with utilities included, or they pay utilities on very small places they either rent or own, and it will only be a couple of bucks per month for them too, which isn't going to help their situation that much.  Progressive taxation would help them much more.

David Young

I saw a profile of the Toronto-Danforth by-election on C-PAC this afternoon, and had to laugh at the fact that Bob Rae was featured almost as much as the Liberal candidate, even showing one of the billboards with Rae's picture, but not the actual Liberal candidate in the by-election.

'Congratulations, Captain Smith!  You've been selected to command our newest ship on her maiden voyage...the R.M.S. Titanic.  What could go wrong?!'

 

janfromthebruce

Liberals so think Canadians are stupid - a national housing strategy - ha ha ha. I remember when my first child was a toddler and the libs were promising national child care and I actually wrote the liberal govt of the day to really encourage them to do it and how expensive childcare was - ha ha ha - so out of it - we'll be lucky if that adult-child now gets national childcare for her child - which she doesn't have at (but of now child bearing age).

Stockholm

Let's keep in mind that Toronto-Danforth  is the LITMUS TEST for Bob Rae's interim leadership. He was once MP for the riding and it is right next door to his current riding. The whole Liberal campaign there has been all Rae all the time. If the Liberals can't win Toronto-Danforth, then its proof that they cannot win anywhere and that Bob Rae does nothing for them.

David Young

Stockholm wrote:

Let's keep in mind that Toronto-Danforth  is the LITMUS TEST for Bob Rae's interim leadership. He was once MP for the riding and it is right next door to his current riding. The whole Liberal campaign there has been all Rae all the time. If the Liberals can't win Toronto-Danforth, then its proof that they cannot win anywhere and that Bob Rae does nothing for them.

Amen!

 

Michelle

Jan, I still remember the letter I wrote to the Globe, which got published, during the 2004 election.  I wrote that the children who would have benefitted from a child care program back when the Liberals started promising it are just about approaching drinking age.  I think my last line was, "You had your chance.  I'm voting NDP."

Michelle

I don't think so, Stockholm.  I don't think the Liberals consider winning T-D to be a litmus test for Rae.  They know it will be just about impossible to win it this time out.  They didn't start early enough.  Mills won it because he had been campaigning in it and setting up a shadow constituency office for a year beforehand.  And I've also heard that the incumbent he won against was a bit slack (or perceived to be, anyhow) on the constituency work, so he capitalized on this (perceived?) weakness.  I didn't live here at the time so I don't know firsthand the details.

And don't forget, Rae won this riding when he was NDP.

I think the Liberals will consider it a victory if they just greatly improve the vote share, and I think they'll probably be successful at that.  I don't think there will be any 60% wins this time out, although I do think the NDP will win the by-election.

janfromthebruce

You know Michelle, I was a young mom, my husband went back to school and I was returning to work at the Y. We were obviously not rich and so the cost of childcare and good childcare for a toddler was very very expensive.

So you would be right on in your timing of your letter and the approx. age of those kids born when th elibs made the 1st promise. Ha Ha Ha - can't believe they are still using that "speech" to get elected. What do they think Canadians are - stupid!

flight from kamakura

Stockholm wrote:

I knew the Liberals were in bad shape in this riding - but this is really sad. Is it just me or is this video by the Liberal candidate totaly bizarre and quixotic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AC86iUenZes

wow, that's really strange.

KenS

Evidence that Ottawa is just letting the Liberal candidate's buddies do what they will, since they weren't going to throw anything into the pot.

I keep seeing this across the country- when a Liberal candidate happens to bring in their own cracker jack organization with them, they can win. They've beat us at out own game in the last few years a few times. But most of the time in any party, where there is no incumbent, the glue for a good campaign, and at least a lot of the resources, has to come from the party. And the Liberals just do not have that any more.

Their horizons shrink as their incumbents inevitably go down. And they have very, very few new recruits that bring their own gas with them. The Lamoreux's manage some pretty slick successes. But you cant [re]build a party on 2 or 3 of those.

And they obviously drew a fool for T-D.

Howard

T-9, how goes it?

Uncle John

Tories in places like Toronto Danforth are just as happy to vote NDP if it means putting the boots to a Liberal.

janfromthebruce

You know Uncle John, many people who aren't really politically engaged don't understand that. Now if the conservative voter believes that the lib is so weak that they may be able to boost their con candidate to 2nd place finish they will vote for their candidate but if not, they will vote NDP because they want to humiliate the libs.

David Young

When are the advance polls?

Would a large turn-out there indicate a high voter interest, or just people getting their voting out of the way ahead of time?

 

toaster

janfromthebruce wrote:

You know Uncle John, many people who aren't really politically engaged don't understand that. Now if the conservative voter believes that the lib is so weak that they may be able to boost their con candidate to 2nd place finish they will vote for their candidate but if not, they will vote NDP because they want to humiliate the libs.

Seriously does anybody vote like that?  I hope to god no.  I'd be enticed to switch my vote to Liberal, in a place like Ottawa-Orleans or Ajax-Pickering where it would actually make a difference, but voting for a party who is completely against my beliefs to make another party lose by a larger margin is shameful.  Canadian's are not that bad.

janfromthebruce

Well Toaster, it happens in in say BC where most races are between NDP and conservatives. So conservatives will vote NDP over throwing their vote to a liberal. You might think that odd but they actually see the "closer to them" in position to their beliefs/values. So they see the NDP candidate as having basic values/principles but have distain for liberal politics.

theleftyinvestor

Having grown up in Ontario and moved to BC - I can say that the Conservative/NDP dynamic is very interesting here and totally foreign to a large portion of Ontario. In much of Ontario there seems to be some sort of fluid middle, such that most Conservative and NDP ridings have Liberals coming second, and most Liberal ridings have in second place whichever party represents the side of the spectrum the riding leans towards from the centre. In BC the federal Liberals are truly persona non grata in most ridings. You also get these places like Burnaby and Surrey that attract a very polarized mix of right-leaning SUV suburban types and left-leaning bike/transit city types.

Wilf Day

theleftyinvestor wrote:
In BC the federal Liberals are truly persona non grata in most ridings.

Some Ontario folks may be surprised at the list of BC ridings where the Liberal ran behind the Green last May: Kootenay-Columbia, British Columbia Southern Interior, Okanagan-Shuswap, Cariboo-Prince George, Prince George-Peace River, Nanaimo-Cowichan, and (of course) Saanich-Gulf Islands.

The Liberals fell below 10% in 17 of BC's 36 ridings, including six in the Lower Mainland. They got 3.5% in Kootenay-Columbia, and 3.6% in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

janfromthebruce

Which is why Nathan Cullen being from BC and putting forth a "coop pact" with NDP/lib candidate may a no-brainer in BC, and even out west in general but a no go in Ontario. I'd think ditto in the Maritimes too!

Howard

janfromthebruce wrote:

Which is why Nathan Cullen being from BC and putting forth a "coop pact" with NDP/lib candidate may a no-brainer in BC, and even out west in general but a no go in Ontario. I'd think ditto in the Maritimes too!

When I think of Nathan's plan and I think of BC, I think of Blair Wilson and how Nathan's plan may have allowed him to stay in office. Or how people in Vancouver Centre should vote for Hedy "crossing burning on lawns as I speak" Fry, or how Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca NDPers should have heeded the Liberals and Reformers in their riding and stood down in favour of Keith "privatization of medicare is the cause of my life" Martin, or how NDPers in Vancouver Quadra should cede to Joyce "I presided over the elimination of the ministry of the environment as minister" Murray, or how Ujjal "BC NDP" Dosanjh should not have had to run against his former party in Vancouver South, etc etc. I also remember the disappointment NDPers in Saanich-Gulf Islands felt when in 2008 they had no candidate. Jack got asked repeatedly about who Saanich Gulf Island NDPers could vote for as he traveled BC. Saanich-Gulf Islands was ably represented by the NDP previous to the Conservatives.

My sense is that if anyone tries to dictate to the majority of BCers how they have to vote, they are probably going to vote the otherway. BC is a place where a different democratic reform party seems to spring up every couple of elections with the same theme: greater democracy in the system.

I feel like *some* of the supporters of Nathan Cullen want to have it multiple ways. They want to be able to vote for the Liberals and the NDP too. Or they want to be able to vote for the Greens and the NDP. They can have it both ways, but only if we introduce a ranked ballot, not if minorities impose restrictions on the majority's voting options.

janfromthebruce

I completely agree with you Howard. I don't believe 1 plus 1 equals 2 and that when I look various Lib MPs who lost last time - well many of them were not progressive and to suggest otherwise, is to be played a fool.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

(self-delete.  Had the by-election date wrong.  Thought it was today but it's NEXT Monday.)

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I live on a major street in T-D and so it's a street where the parties are trying hard to get signs up.

Still, on my street NDP signs outnumber Liberal signs by about a three to on margin.  There are no Tory or Green signs.

Am off this week and just had a knock on my door from the Liberal campaign and the canvasser asked me if I wanted to "balance" my NDP sign with a Liberal sign.    I just smiled and shook my head no.

But, interesting to hear what the "line of the day" is at the door.

lil.Tommy

Nice little write up on Craig, they have been doing an interview with all three main candidates...

http://www.thegridto.com/city/politics/craig-scott-following-in-jack-lay...

David Young

I would hope that there is a victory party planned for Mr. Scott on Monday evening.

Does anyone know where it might be?

 

ctrl190

Give the office a shout. I know in the past they have been at the Fox and the Fiddle on the Danforth or the Estonian House on Broadview.

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I'm gonna predict that the MSM line on Monday night will be that the result will be a "setback" for the NDP if Scott falls anywhere at all short of Jack's 2011 vote percentage.  

janfromthebruce

You are right Ken - spin will know no bounds in bashing of the NDP!

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

How much for "Elvis Priestley", though?

Michelle

I'm positive that Scott WILL fall well short of Jack's vote percentage.  It's almost a sure thing.  Scott is not the leader of the party and is brand new so doesn't have anywhere near Jack's profile in the riding.  And even Jack didn't get 50% of the votes in the election previous to 2011 - he only got about 45% of the vote in 2008.

Gordon is campaigning heavily, and has some hard-hitting, excellent literature at the door.  The latest leaflet we've received continues on the theme of his original nomination leaflet where he appeals to voters from every party, in bright primary party colours.  Bob Rae has been campaigning heavily with him in this riding as well. 

The orange machine is hard at work here, and radiorahim tells me that most of the NDP leadership candidates have shown up to volunteer on the campaign.  But the red machine is hard at work here too, and it will make a difference to the outcome.  It's a completely different race than 2011.

The number of red signs on our street (a main street) is way, way up from last election, and they're ginormous red signs, not those piddly little ones that no-hope campaigns usually use, so they're pushing really hard here.  And I'm seeing red signs on the side streets too, although as RR says, a lot more orange signs overall (including the gigantic one on our tiny little postage-stamp front lawn).

Here's my bold prediction, which of course will be wildly inaccurate because I'm so bad at this:

NDP: 45%

Liberal: 35%

Conservative: 13%

Green: 7%

Howard

Michelle wrote:

I'm positive that Scott WILL fall well short of Jack's vote percentage.  It's almost a sure thing.  Scott is not the leader of the party and is brand new so doesn't have anywhere near Jack's profile in the riding.  And even Jack didn't get 50% of the votes in the election previous to 2011 - he only got about 45% of the vote in 2008.

Gordon is campaigning heavily, and has some hard-hitting, excellent literature at the door.  The latest leaflet we've received continues on the theme of his original nomination leaflet where he appeals to voters from every party, in bright primary party colours.  Bob Rae has been campaigning heavily with him in this riding as well. 

The orange machine is hard at work here, and radiorahim tells me that most of the NDP leadership candidates have shown up to volunteer on the campaign.  But the red machine is hard at work here too, and it will make a difference to the outcome.  It's a completely different race than 2011.

The number of red signs on our street (a main street) is way, way up from last election, and they're ginormous red signs, not those piddly little ones that no-hope campaigns usually use, so they're pushing really hard here.  And I'm seeing red signs on the side streets too, although as RR says, a lot more orange signs overall (including the gigantic one on our tiny little postage-stamp front lawn).

Here's my bold prediction, which of course will be wildly inaccurate because I'm so bad at this:

NDP: 45%

Liberal: 35%

Conservative: 13%

Green: 7%

That's scary close in terms of the gap you project between the Liberals and the NDP. Such a shame if it happens because Craig Scott is an amazing candidate and Grant Gordon...well I'll be nice.

janfromthebruce

It is a shame but personally I have no idea why someone would vote for Grant Gordon. We got to make sure to get our vote out.

Howard

janfromthebruce wrote:

It is a shame but personally I have no idea why someone would vote for Grant Gordon. We got to make sure to get our vote out.

Agreed!

ctrl190

Keep in mind Peter Tabuns won a plurality of votes back in October, just a few votes shy of 20,000.

There is no doubt the Liberals have put on a stronger fight this time around, but so too have the Cons, whose anti-crime literature is aimed at Rae. I still think Scott could squeak in at 50%+ if they don't rest on their laurels the next couple of days.

Stockholm

...and what if Craig Scott actually manages to match or even exceed Jack Layton's 60% vote last May? What will the spin/reaction be to that?

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