Sunday, November 28, 2010

Battleground Vaughan

Three ridings will elect new MPs tomorrow, but all eyes are on Vaughan. Yeah, in the scheme of things one seat won't change anything in Ottawa, but this one has been hyped to the point where the outcome will certainly define the media narrative for the remainder of 2010.

As such, the Liberals are running ads on TV - my Italian vocabulary doesn't extend past pasta dishes but, from the planes buzzing around Harper's head and the price tags flashing on screen, it's safe to classify this as an attack ad.

The Liberals have also put out a video with Justin Trudeau (sporting his Movember stach) slagging Fantino over past comments he's made about the Charter.

Of course, this is now and the Tories are alleging the Liberals thought a lot more of Fantino back when they were courting him to run. This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - Fantino is a star candidate, and few can resist the siren's call of a star.

Which is why Fantino's disappearing act is so perplexing. Maybe the Tories are confident they have it in the bag. Maybe they're worried about what he'll say. Maybe he's not as impressive in the flesh as on a pamphlet. But for whatever reason, it's certainly counter intuitive to hide your best asset - after all, if the Tories take this riding they haven't held for 22 years, it won't be because of the Conservative brand, it will be because of the candidate.

But even if Fantino is nowhere to be seen, there are stars to be found. Don Cherry has endorsed Fantino, and high profile MPs have dropped in for all parties - I was out canvassing yesterday and saw both Martha Hall Findlay and Gerard Kennedy in the Genco campaign office.

So tune in tomorrow night - it's gonna be a close one. I won't even try to make a prediction because it could very much go either way.

UPDATE: I still think it's too close to call, but those always reliable "anonynous Liberals strategists" have already admited defeat.

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  • You're optimistic. On CJAD, in Montreal, Tommy Schnurmacher's Friday Political panel of strategists all predicted a Fantino landslide, including the Liberal, Jennifer Crane.

    ON Question Period this morning, They all predicted the same thing. Apparently, these seniors all like the tough on crime agenda.

    You may well be right about the Fantino win being about his notoriety and not the Conservative brand. That said,that is hardly relavent now. From what I hear, Vaughan has an aging population which, according to my observations, look upon cops as heroes and are scared of their own shadows, thus, would buy the whole "Liberals soft on crime; hug a thug" slogans and "the tough on crime" cons who will make sure that even unreported criminals are locke up for even blinking the wrong way.

    As for Fantino not debating on TV, if I may play devil's advocate here, that probably works in his favour. Remember the tea-party candidates who won in the US mid-terms were those who stayed away and kept their mouths shut; not those who kept flapping their gums like Angle, O'Donnell and Paladino. The thinking here is sometimes less is more. Besides, how many suburban blue collar types tune into televised political debates?

    What I'm worried about now, as Jim Travers wrote in his column last night is (assuming Fantino wins) now Harper will probably go to the GG and ask for an election early in the new year as he will be on a roll, now and the Liberals on thin ice? Liberal party in shambles and breaking in the GTA; A potential recipe for Harper's coveted majority. To dismiss that would be naive.

    By Anonymous ck, at 2:06 p.m.  

  • Well, if the Tories are way ahead, that would explain why Fantino has been playing peekaboo this campaign.

    I think in my first post on the contest, I handicapped Fantino as a slight favourite and, gun to my head, that's likely where my money would still go. But by elections are so tough to call and there are a lot of ID'd Liberal votes in that riding. So I have a hard time seeing a Fantino landslide.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:25 p.m.  

  • I hope Harper doesn't intend to inflict this man on the rest of the people in the country by making him a cabinet minister.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:14 p.m.  

  • I think the big issue in Vaughn is whether or not Liberals will use it as a ballot on Ignatieff's leadership. Are there many who want to sink him? Or are they worried a loss will make fund-raising results worse, and will Liberals go all out for a win?

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 11:50 a.m.  

  • Wow you may just get me to watch TV tonight, CG... terrific post.

    Cool link update. BTW I wish you posted in French once or twice a month. :D

    By Anonymous Jason Bo Green, at 4:03 p.m.  

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