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Guelph voters: take a good hard look at your Conservative candidate Marty Burke’s views.

I have a rather keen interest in the Guelph riding for this election, because I graduated from the U of G and lived there for a time… not to mention I was helping out a (minuscule) bit in the Liberal nomination race and the by-election-turned general election in 2008, which got Frank Valeriote for the Liberals elected against a candidate whose main strategy was to avoid as much media and general voter contact as possible.

This time around, the Conservatives have nominated a candidate by the name of Marty Burke. Marty was a very prominent letter writer to the Guelph Mercury and Kitchener-Waterloo Record, and it’s where we discover […]

A Green Guelph?

It’s a little quiet out there today so far, so let me say I’m also going to place my money on the Guelph riding as being the riding where Green Party leader Elizabeth May will run for Parliament in the next election. There are several factors why this riding would be her best shot at winning;

– Mark Taylor has a list of reasons at his blog (he’s a Green Party supporter).

– Dan Arnold (known better by his CalgaryGrit blog and handle) also put out a list of ridings where Guelph ranked #1 in criteria (though interestingly, Dan figured she’d rather run in the Saanich-Gulf Islands Islands riding […]

PPS – Kudos to Frank Valeriote in Guelph, and his team.

I’m pleased to see in a sea of 519 blue that in the riding of Guelph, which is where I went to University, Frank Valeriote held off Gloria Kovach and kept Guelph Liberal. There were fears that the Greens might split the vote, and allow the Cons to go up the middle and Mike Nagy did well, but I’ve seen Frank’s organization and ground game,  and i know some of the people on it..and it ultimately was them and a very hard working and enthusiaqstic candidate in Mr Valeriote that got the job done there.

Vandalism in Toronto to Liberal supporters mirrors exactly what occurred in Guelph

Well, we have another story in today’s Toronto Star over vandalism targeting Liberal supporters in that city:

Toronto police patrolled a midtown area overnight, after vandals cut brake lines on at least 10 cars parked at homes with Liberal election signs on their lawns. Affected residents live in the riding of St. Paul’s, in a swath of the city around Eglinton Ave. between Bathurst St. and Mount Pleasant Rd., and had Carolyn Bennett signs on their property. The cars were also damaged in other ways; some were scratched and keyed with L signs. Phone and cable lines of some homes were cut.

This is chilling, because this is EXACTLY what was done to Guelph Liberal supporters during the Guelph byelection campaign. Here are some pictures in the Guelph vandalism blogpost I did on that particular story.

This appears to be a concerted campaign of intimidation tactics aimed at Liberal voters. Call me paranoid, but I find it highly suspicious that the tactics would be almost the same in both cities (no spray-painting of houses was done in Toronto apparently). Do I blame any formal organized political party for actively doing this? Of course not, but it appears some folks are taking things into their own hands. I also mirror what Impolitical said at her blogsite; these disgusting criminal acts will not work at intimidation of those of us proud to call ourselves Liberals.

UPDATE @ 11:00 am: A press release sent to me from the Carolyn Bennett campaign indicates there was graffiti spray-painted at the Toronto homes as well. One of Ms Bennett’s campaign workers informs me that one house had spray-painted on it “B.Rae lies” and another said “McGuinty lies”.

Apparently, we’ve got people who can’t tell the difference between federal and provincial levels of government or the people running in them.

UPDATE 2 @ 11:50 am: The official Carolyn Bennett press release posted at the Liberal website talking about this despicable incident.

UPDATE 3 @ 12:38 pm: David Graham, who is a Guelph blogger, notes another similarity in this pattern:

To add to the “coincidence,” the Guelph attack took place exactly eleven days before by-election voting day, and the Toronto attack took place exactly eleven days before the general election voting day

UPDATE 4 @ 5:46pm: Impolitical now has a blog up that says Parkdale-High Park Liberal supporters were also targeted. This is getting ugly.

“Ye reap what ye sow”

Christian Conservative, better known now as Andrew Prescott, riding president of the Guelph Conservative Party, has finally resurfaced a week or so after his cover was blown, with a blogpost bemoaning “gotcha politics”.

I find it rather ironic he’s moaning about gotcha politics when he engaged in it first. You might remember he got ticked off at a post done at Far and Wide and decided to blurt across the internet Steve V’s identity. Actually, let me change my first sentence: I find him extremely hypocritical.

Not only that; he’s missing the point entirely. First, he hid or tried to hide his association with the Guelph Conservative Party. Even on […]

KLRvu polling methodology update

Well, we’ve had quite a few of blogposts on the KLRvu pollsters and their polling numbers for Guelph throughout the blogosphere (including yours truly), and even one by David Akin looking at them. All this publicity no doubt thrills Allan Bruinooge, the head of the polling company, to no end.

I mentioned on Friday that I’d written the polling firm asking them of the 3396 households they polled in Guelph, how many of those refused to answer, hung up, etc. I received this response in email from Mr Bruinooge, and to be fair to him, I’ll quote his reply in full. He explains that the 3396 figure is the final […]

Friday bits and bytes

Bit:

David Akin has done a pretty good investigative piece on the KLR Vu Guelph poll that caused some interest and controversy a couple of days ago when it was released. I’ll note here as I did over there at David’s site that I did send an email to the polling firm asking them how many of the 3396 respondents they polled refused to answer or hung up. I’ve yet to receive an answer back from the firm.

Byte:

I was told by StageLeft that he had heard on Ottawa Radio CFRA this AM a Conservative-sympathetic host responding to Stephane Dion challenging Harper to state what his views on abortion […]

An encouraging poll result in Guelph, but the race is far from over.

Byelections normally don’t get polled, so there’s been some question as to how the races in these 3 byelections have been developing. I noted a column today from Thomas Walkom in the Star where he said Guelph was one of those ridings that theoretically, the Conservatives should be able to win because of its demographics and economic situation. So, this first poll I’ve seen on the Guelph byelection if accurate will be a bit of a downer for the Cons. in this riding. On the other hand, its very encouraging news for the Liberals and Frank Valeriote’s campaign in Guelph:

Frank Valeriote looks to become the next Member of Parliament […]

Bridge watching

So if you’ve been reading around the news and the blogs, you know that the Conservative government and Lawrence Cannon conveniently announced that they’d be soon building a new bridge in the St Lambert riding, which by the way has a byelection in a couple of weeks.

St. Lambert is a BQ held riding from 2004, but was held by the Liberals for seven years prior. Perhaps they’re hoping that this will somehow allow them to peel votes off of both potential Liberal and BQ voters. There is of course also the danger that they’ll be seen as naked opportunists in promising this for political gain.

It would also be […]

Dianne Haskett redux in Guelph: Gloria going 0 for 2 on candidates meeting?

We’ll see on  Tuesday/Wednesday if this is indeed confirmed what happened, but it appears Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach is already saying she won’t be at this Tuesday’s all-candidates meeting/debate.  Apparently, she feels her time is better spent at attending a “We Love Stephen Harper” rally in Kitchener, which last I looked isn’t in the Guelph riding.

However, what’s more amusing is that she’s trying to cover all bases in saying why she has to skip out on this meeting.  As Accidental Deliberations points out from the front-page article in the Guelph Mercury, Gloria isn’t sure what the exact excuse… er..  reason it is she won’t be able to attend this one:

Kovach said she will be campaigning in Guelph before attending the Kitchener rally with Harper that day, but was unaware of which plans would conflict with the candidates’ meeting.

The Jurist acidly comments at his blog: “Presumably Kovach’s staff is hard at work brainstorming and polling what kind of conflict will play best to explain her once again hiding from voters and the media.”  As a followup to that, I wanted to note something else: Gloria is saying in this newest newspaper article that she was at a previously scheduled appearance with seniors which is why she couldn’t make the first debate.  Her office initially released a press release last week saying the reason was because she was out campaigning/canvassing with Conservative MP Gary Lunn. So I’m wondering exactly which excuse reason she’s using now for that: Lunn’s appearance, or this meeting with seniors, or if the 2 are one and the same. The message at the very least is confusing coming from her campaign on that.

The Jurist also said at his blog that this appears to be a continuing pattern of Conservatives hiding away their own candidates to expose them to as little public exposure to themselves and other political party candidates as possible. Again, I can’t help but thinking how this resembles the strategy employed in the Dianne Haskett Conservative candidacy in London-Centre a couple of years ago.

The folks in the local press are noting these absences of Kovach as well.  In a blogpiece title (which I wish I’d have thought up first) called ‘Any time, any place . . . except Thursday, and Tuesday’, Guelph Mercury columnist Brad Needham posts a blog critical of Gloria and comes up with this classic line:

I think Gloria Kovach would be a great debater. I hope we get to see it at some point.

Again, I wish I’d have thought of that line first.  Some more from that blog entry of his:

If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Kovach has been quoted saying she’s willing to debate Frank Valeriote on issues at “any time and place.”..But don’t throw down the gauntlet of any time and any place, unless you qualify it with “that fits into my schedule.”

As I said near the top of this article, this story made Page 1 coverage of the Mercury. That’s not particularly good coverage for a candidate who already has had 1 round of less-then-flattering headlines in the Mercury over her absence from the first debate last week.

If she indeed misses Tuesday’s meeting/debate, expect a lot of the news and blog coverage to rightfully focus on her absence, and don’t be surprised if the other candidates bring that up to voters at the meeting and to the media  to emphasize that this appears to be the DIanne Haskett “peek-a-boo” strategy that Gloria and the national Conservative Party is currently employing.

When she does decide to show up at a debate (which the Merc article says will be the one held on Aug 20, in a setting where  I imagine she’s presuming she’ll have good voter support),  I expect there may be some in the audience and up on the podium  who question her on these absences, and whether we will expect more Dianne Haskett-like behaviour from her and the Conservatives.

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