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RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Federal by-elections stick to script but Tories, NDP come on strong in Ontario


Lee Berthiaume


OTTAWA — The Canadian Press


Published Monday, Apr. 03, 2017 7:51AM EDT


Upstart Conservative and New Democrat candidates gave their heavily favoured Liberal rivals a bit of a scare Monday in a pair of byelections in Ontario where some of Justin Trudeau’s policies and promises played a central role.

In the Toronto-area riding of Markham-Thornhill, Liberal candidate and former PMO staffer Mary Ng pulled away from Ragavan Paranchothy by a margin of more than 2,000 votes after her Conservative rival made a strong early showing.

A strong performance in the riding — long a Liberal stronghold held by ex-cabinet minister John McCallum — was critical for the Liberals, given the importance of holding Toronto if they want to form government in 2019.

It was also important for Ng, who is currently on a leave of absence from her job in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and seen by some as a strong candidate for cabinet.

“The Liberal future is in Ontario,” said political analyst Tim Powers, vice-president of Summa Strategies. “If the Liberal vote goes down in Markham-Thornhill, then they will want to spend a lot of time diagnosing what went wrong.”

That did indeed appear to be the case: with nearly 90 per cent of polls reporting, Ng had claimed just 51.4 per cent of the vote, compared with 55.72 per cent in 2015. The Tory share of the vote was more than five per cent higher.

And in Ottawa-Vanier, where the New Democrats campaigned aggressively against the Liberals for breaking a promise to abandon the oft-maligned first-past-the-post electoral system, the NDP’s Emilie Taman gathered nearly 30 per cent of the vote.

It was nowhere near enough to challenge Liberal candidate Mona Fortier, however, who had about 50 per cent of the vote and nearly 4,000 votes on Taman with about three-quarters of polls reporting.

Greg MacEachern, a former Liberal strategist now at lobby firm Environics Communications, said significant inroads in Ottawa-Vanier for the NDP suggest a surprising degree of anger over the abandonment of electoral reform.

Three other byelections took place Monday, and their results were hardly a surprise.

In the Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent, with 70 per cent of polls reporting, Liberal candidate Emmanuella Lambropoulos had 57.3 per cent of the vote, compared with Conservative rival Jimmy Yu, a distant second at just 20.4 per cent.

Lambropoulos, a 26-year-old high school teacher, stunned many when she won the Liberal nomination contest in Saint-Laurent, defeating former Quebec cabinet minister Yolande James.

“I’m sure it will hit me a little later,” she said after her victory speech late Monday.

James had been considered the Liberal party favourite to replace Stephane Dion, the former Liberal leader who resigned his seat to become ambassador to Germany and the European Union.

“I looked up to him,” said Lambropoulos, who worked in Dion’s office in the riding, which has been held by the Liberals since it was created in the late 1980s.

“I didn’t let anything stop me. I worked really, really hard; I didn’t stop.”

The Alberta ridings of Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore, formerly held by Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney, respectively, were no contest.

In Calgary Heritage, Bob Benzen was leading with about 70 per cent of the vote, well clear of the Liberals’ Scott Forsyth at 22.6 per cent.

In Calgary Midnapore, Conservative Stephanie Kusie cruised to an easy win, posting 76.5 per cent of the vote with just over half of polls reporting, leaving her closest rival Liberal candidate Haley Brown at 17.6 per cent.

Conservative supporters in Calgary were in an upbeat mood as the polls closed Monday. Voters are angry, especially about the economy, said Sarah Watson, who worked on Kusie’s campaign.

“The voter’s we’ve talked to are pretty fired up. There’s a strong sense of really wanting to communicate that Alberta matters,” Watson said.

“I think you’ve had a chance to try on Mr. Trudeau for a year and a half to kind of see. Maybe people were willing to see if he was any different and I think that’s worn off.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e34559276/
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No seats change hands in byelections


Lee Berthiaume, THE CANADIAN PRESS

First posted: Monday, April 03, 2017 10:16 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, April 04, 2017 12:18 AM EDT



Liberal Candidate Mary Ng
Liberal Candidate Mary Ng turns to a supporter after speaking with the media following her victory in the Markham-Thornhill federal byelection in Markham, Ontario, on Monday April 3, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)



OTTAWA — Upstart Conservative and New Democrat candidates gave their heavily favoured Liberal rivals a bit of a scare Monday in a pair of byelections in Ontario where some of Justin Trudeau’s policies and promises played a central role.

In the Toronto-area riding of Markham-Thornhill, Liberal candidate and former PMO staffer Mary Ng defeated Ragavan Paranchothy by a margin of nearly 2,500 votes after her Conservative rival made a strong early showing.

A strong performance in the riding — long a Liberal stronghold held by ex-cabinet minister John McCallum — was critical for the Liberals, given the importance of holding Toronto if they want to form government in 2019.

It was also important for Ng, who is currently on a leave of absence from her job in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office and seen by some as a strong candidate for cabinet.

“The Liberal future is in Ontario,” said political analyst Tim Powers, vice-president of Summa Strategies. “If the Liberal vote goes down in Markham-Thornhill, then they will want to spend a lot of time diagnosing what went wrong.”

That did indeed appear to be the case: with all polls reporting, Ng had claimed just 51.3 per cent of the vote, compared with 55.72 per cent in 2015. The Tory share of the vote was more than five per cent higher.

And in Ottawa-Vanier, where the New Democrats campaigned aggressively against the Liberals for breaking a promise to abandon the oft-maligned first-past-the-post electoral system, the NDP’s Emilie Taman gathered nearly 30 per cent of the vote.

It was nowhere near enough to challenge Liberal candidate Mona Fortier, however, who had about 50 per cent of the vote and nearly 4,000 votes on Taman with about three-quarters of polls reporting.

“I’m feeling really good. We had a great showing. I’m proud of what we achieved,” Taman said in an interview afterward.

“The government is going to take notice that the people of Ottawa-Vanier have their concerns.... I think it was an overall disappointment that I was hearing from people, that they didn’t really get the government they thought they were getting.”

Liberal party spokesman Braeden Caley was having none of it, calling the outcome a “phenomenal result,” also noting that the government would be getting three new female MPs.

“They’re going to be tireless champions for their communities in Parliament,” he said.

Add in Conservative Stephanie Kusie, who cruised to victory in Calgary Midnapore, and the byelections are sending four women to Parliament Hill, noted the advocacy group Equal Voice, which is committed to electing more female MPs.

That brings to 92 the total number of women in the House of Commons, representing 27 per cent of the available seats, up from 26 per cent, said spokesperson Catherine Fortin LeFaivre.

“It shows that Canadians will vote for women when their names are on the ballot, which is another reason why parties must play a key role in attracting and securing a greater number of female candidates moving forward,” she said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that tonight’s results will inspire even more women to seriously consider running for political office - Canada needs them.”

Greg MacEachern, a former Liberal strategist now at lobby firm Environics Communications, said significant inroads in Ottawa-Vanier for the NDP suggest a surprising degree of anger over the abandonment of electoral reform.

“Electoral reform came up a lot in the course of the campaign — a lot,” Taman said. “Even people for whom it was not their No. 1 priority were really, really disappointed in the way the prime minister went about breaking the promise.”

Three other byelections took place Monday, and their results were hardly a surprise.

In the Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent, with 70 per cent of polls reporting, Liberal candidate Emmanuella Lambropoulos had 57.3 per cent of the vote, compared with Conservative rival Jimmy Yu, a distant second at just 20.4 per cent.

Lambropoulos, a 26-year-old high school teacher, stunned many when she won the Liberal nomination contest in Saint-Laurent, defeating former Quebec cabinet minister Yolande James.

“I’m sure it will hit me a little later,” she said after her victory speech late Monday.

James had been considered the Liberal party favourite to replace Stephane Dion, the former Liberal leader who resigned his seat to become ambassador to Germany and the European Union.

“I looked up to him,” said Lambropoulos, who worked in Dion’s office in the riding, which has been held by the Liberals since it was created in the late 1980s.

“I didn’t let anything stop me. I worked really, really hard; I didn’t stop.”

The Alberta ridings of Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore, formerly held by Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney, respectively, were no contest.

In Calgary Heritage, Bob Benzen claimed about 71.3 per cent of the vote with 87 per cent of polls reporting, well clear of the Liberals’ Scott Forsyth at 21.8 per cent.

In Calgary Midnapore, Kusie cruised to an easy win, posting 76.6 per cent of the vote with just over 90 per cent of polls reporting, leaving her closest rival Liberal candidate Haley Brown at 17.4 per cent.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017.....g-underway
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were in the Liberal brain trust, I would read the results as discouraging. Thornhill, particularly, was worrying, because the Liberals lost about a 5% share of the vote. Some of this might be explained away as the effect of a by-election -- low turnout, and no national campaign.

But, on the other hand, it is a prosperous 905 riding. If the results are any indication, it means that suburbanites are waking up to what a turkey the junior Trudeau is. The Liberal plan seems to be failing, but the big failures are still in the future. The economy is not becoming more dynamic as a result of their free-spending. Jobs are not being created in an obvious way, and they've had the bad fortune to see Alberta go into turmoil.

And this is just their own popularity sagging. Neither of the opposition parties have a leader to press the government in a public way. The Liberals are trying to protect their leader, and themselves, by changing the rules of Parliament. Given the lame media we have, it'll probably work for awhile.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my take on the 5 by elections


St Laurent - 11,461 / 59 % liberal , 3784 / 19 % cpc , 1548 / 8 % green , 1511 / 7.8 % ndp , 951 / 5 % bloc

no surprise a safe liberal seat with rather low turnout , somehow the cpc managed to come second in a montreal riding , ndp continue to drop from there high 2011 quebec numbers

Ottawa Vanier - 15190 / 51 % liberal , 8523 / 28 % ndp , 4578 / 15 % cpc , 987 / 3 % green

another safe liberal seat , outcome no surprise . ndp did do better than expected and maybe the ndp still has life in some ridings if they work hard , cpc vote continues to decline in urban Ottawa for some reason ? very low amount of votes compared to other elections in this riding . had got 27 % of the vote between 2006 and 2011 in Ottawa Vanier

Markham Thornhill - 9856 / 51 % liberal , 7501 / 39 % cpc , 671/ 3 % ndp , 566 / 2.9 % pc party , 426 / 2 % green

outcome maybe no surprise as it had been a liberal riding , but rather low amount of liberal votes cast as turnout plunged , to not even pass the 10,000 mark seems low for a 905 riding ( Ng only managed to get less than half the votes Mccallum got in 2015 ) . I still get the feeling a higher profile and more prepared cpc campaign could of done better here . but the plunging ndp vote , down from 10 % to only 3 % makes things challenging . also 3 % of voters choose dorian baxter or " singing elvis "


Calgary Midnapore - 22,454 / 77 % cpc , 4950 / 17 % liberal , 735 / 2.5 % ndp , 625 / 2 % green

outcome no surprise but cpc vote is crazy high , turnout high among cpc voters but plunged among others . ndp also continue to slide in alberta and have not had any electoral success wince winning provincial election 2 years ago

Calgary Heritage - 19398 / 71 % cpc , 5889 / 21 % liberal , 784 / 3 % ndp , 484 / 2 % green

outcome no surprise but cpc getting 70 % is really high , hard to believe the hill times actually wrote a " credible " article at one point about how the liberals were going to win this riding , I never believed it at the time and now we have proof it was total nonsense
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The results in Calgary are to be expected;
Its a good sign that Conservative voters have shaken off their apathy in Western Canada and come out to vote.

It a good sign that the CPC can secure the four seats the Liberals have in the Province (two in Calgary) in the next election.

Had the CPC won Markham Thornhill with no leader and without a star candidaite it would have been incredible but it was never going to happen.

The party at present is too preoccupied with whose face will be on the side of the bus in 2019 that there was no real energy put into that riding.
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
The results in Calgary are to be expected;
Its a good sign that Conservative voters have shaken off their apathy in Western Canada and come out to vote.

It a good sign that the CPC can secure the four seats the Liberals have in the Province (two in Calgary) in the next election.

Had the CPC won Markham Thornhill with no leader and without a star candidaite it would have been incredible but it was never going to happen.

The party at present is too preoccupied with whose face will be on the side of the bus in 2019 that there was no real energy put into that riding.


the results in Calgary if transferable to other ridings , would seem to indicate all 5 non- cpc ridings in alberta could be in play . also have to consider the fact , all 5 have had conservative mp's at some point in recent political history . although the Edmonton area has been somewhat more favourable to the liberals and ndp when compared to Calgary .
the liberals will clearly have a hard time holding onto Calgary Centre and Calgary Skyview based on these results , after a short period of gains for the left of centre parties . it appears alberta is turning against the left big time


clearly the Markham Thornhill by election was rushed for the liberals own advantage , they've choose to play games as to the timing of by elections . they delayed the 2 in Calgary until they legally had to call them cause they knew they'd lose both . but rushed the one in markham so opposition didn't have time to prepare or launch a serious campaign . and clearly the cpc and ndp are more focused with leadership races than worrying about by elections in core liberal ridings
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another thing I wanted to mention was the turnout , it dropped big time when compared to 2015 . although that wasn't unexpected as by elections always have lower turnout

but it does lead me to suspect interest in federal politics among a certain % of the population is starting to fade for whatever reasons

if you look thru the numbers , the left isn't getting the kind of votes they used to . the ndp and green parties are having a hard time even getting people out to vote anymore . some of there supporters seem to have lost interest , in ridings where the green party used to easily get 6% or even close to 10% , now all they can get is 3 %

well the liberals did win 3 of the by elections , if you compare the numbers from 2015 to by elections , they were not able to get a lot of the people who voted in 2015 to come back to the polls

Ottawa Vanier - 2015 - 36,474 - by election - 15190

St Laurent - 2015 - 24,832 - by election - 11,461

Markham Thornhill - 2015 - 23,878 - by election - 9856

Calgary Heritage - 2015 - 15,172 - by election - 5889

Calgary Midnapore - 2015 - 14,396 - by election - 4950


it all leads me to suspect 2015 was the high water mark for the liberals and some of those numbers are not going to be easily repeated in 2019
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In byelection results, Trudeau should not wear loss in support alone: Hébert


In Monday’s byelections, the Conservative base was more motivated than that of the Liberals.Prime ministers do not routinely campaign in byelections. Justin Trudeau did. Was it worth it ?


Liberal Candidate Mary Ng won the Markham-Thornhill federal byelection on Monday with just 51.3 per cent of the vote.


By Chantal HébertNational Affairs Columnist

Tues., April 4, 2017


Gender parity was the hands-down winner of Monday’s five federal byelections. The Conservative brand was a close second, but not necessarily for reasons related to the continuing federal leadership campaign.

Where there were five male MPs on election night 2015, there are now four women and one man. Mona Fortier, Mary Ng and Emmanuella Lambropoulos are Liberals from Ontario and Quebec. Stephanie Kusie is a Conservative from Alberta. (Stephen Harper’s successor as MP for Calgary Heritage is Bob Benzen.)

It will take many more election nights, such as Monday’s, before women are no longer under-represented in the House of Commons.

In Canadian politics, the slow walk to gender parity is best measured in inches.

For those unfamiliar with the imperial system, there are 63,360 inches to a mile.


And miles to go before the House reaches parity.

In the wake of Monday’s votes there are 246 men to 92 women in the Commons.

The five ridings in play were all considered safe Liberal and Conservative seats and they lived up to their reputation.

The Liberals kept Saint-Laurent, Ottawa-Vanier and Markham-Thornhill with more than 50 per cent of the vote, as did the Conservatives Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore. Party standings in the House of Commons are unchanged.

But the Conservative base was more motivated than that of the Liberals.

Prime ministers do not routinely campaign in byelections.

Justin Trudeau did.

Liberal strategists will have to ponder whether it was worth putting some of the prime minister’s political capital on the line only to see the party’s share of the vote go down in every riding.

Mind you, whether Trudeau should alone wear the loss in support is debatable.

The two Ontario ridings saw the largest increase in opposition support. In Ottawa-Vanier the NDP gained almost 10 points from the last election. In Markham-Thornhill, Conservative support rose from 32 per cent to 39 per cent.

This comes when the provincial Liberals are struggling in the polls in voting intentions. Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne is the least popular premier in the country. Some prominent members of her party are openly predicting that the Ontario Liberals cannot be re-elected to government next year unless they replace her.

There are fewer than six degrees of separation between the federal and provincial Liberals in Ontario.

A leadership malaise at Queen’s Park could have found its way into Monday’s federal byelection mix.

Local infighting over coveted party nominations and the perception that the Prime Minister’s Office was meddling in the process probably did not help. Lambropoulos, who was anything but the establishment’s choice for Saint-Laurent, finished the night with the best score of the three Liberal byelection winners.

For the NDP, Ottawa-Vanier was the only bright spot in a depressing picture. The party ran fourth in Montreal behind the Green Party. No New Democrat should be in a hurry to test how the party would do in Outremont if departing leader Thomas Mulcair relinquishes his seat after his successor is chosen next fall.

NDP support hovered around 3 per cent in the other three ridings. Like premier Wynne in Ontario, New Democrat premier Rachel Notley will find nothing to celebrate in her federal cousins’ results in Alberta on Monday.

Calgary Heritage used to be Harper’s seat. Jason Kenney represented Calgary Midnapore until he made the jump to provincial politics. Between them, they dominated the federal Conservative party in Alberta and beyond. And yet their successors increased the party’s share of the vote to more than 70 per cent in their former ridings on Monday.

By all indications, the provincial and federal carbon-pricing plans have given the Conservatives a rationale to rally Alberta voters to their flag and a greater incentive to reconcile the province’s two feuding conservative parties to defeat Notley’s government.

The good news for Trudeau coming out of Monday’s vote is that the NDP, for now, is in no shape to do his party serious damage.

But the wind in the sails of the Conservatives in Ontario and Alberta does not bode well for key provincial allies at Queen’s Park and in Edmonton.

The impetus for the Conservatives to regroup and focus on both winning Alberta and Ontario and taking on Trudeau at the first ministers table will be even greater, should next month’s federal party leadership vote yield a divisive result.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/04/04/in-byelection-results-trudeau-should-not-wear-loss-in-support-alone-hbert.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the by election may be over but a deeper analysis on the Ottawa Vanier vote from the local newspaper )


Kiff: Here's what the Ottawa-Vanier byelection tells us about Liberals – and voters


Stewart Kiff
More from Stewart Kiff

Published on: April 6, 2017 | Last Updated: April 6, 2017 6:30 AM EDT


Liberal candidate Mona Fortier celebrates after winning the Ottawa-Vanier federal byelection in Ottawa on Monday, April 3, 2017.



On the surface, nothing has changed with Mona Fortier’s win in the federal byelection held Monday in Ottawa-Vanier. A tradition unbroken since the riding was created in 1935 has been maintained: the new MP is both a Liberal and a Franco-Ontarian.

According to unofficial results, Mona Fortier received 51.2 per cent of the votes cast, thus confirming the strong base support the Liberals continue to enjoy in this East Ottawa riding. And clearly Fortier owes part of her decisive majority to the support of Francophones who form approximately 30 per cent of the riding’s population.

But take a deeper look and it becomes evident that under this apparent stability lies a strong undercurrent of change.

Fortier becomes the first woman to represent Ottawa-Vanier at the federal level. Indeed she is one of four women elected to the House of Commons in Monday’s five byelections held in Québec, Ontario and Alberta. Not only that, but her closest contender was also a very strong woman candidate. The NDP’s Emilie Taman garnered some 28 per cent of the votes cast, an honourable showing in this Liberal stronghold and almost double the 15-per-cent support received by the Conservative candidate.

Looking back at the Liberal nomination race held earlier this year, Fortier’s fiercest competition came from three other young, strong and energetic women candidates: Khatera Akbari, Ainsley Malhotra and Véronique Soucy.


Should we conclude that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s efforts in favour of gender parity in the House of Commons are encouraging women to get into politics? Perhaps. But let’s not forget that Ottawa-Vanier has been sending a woman to Queen’s Park since 1999, first electing Claudette Boyer, followed by Madeleine Meilleur and, just recently, law professor Nathalie DesRosiers.

Demographics in Ottawa-Vanier are also changing rapidly. The riding has long been home to a large Francophone population, but since 1992, the size of this linguistic group has fallen by more than half. Francophones now represent only 30 per cent of the riding’s population. Not only has the relative weight of the Franco-Ontarian population gone down, so have their numbers as they choose to spread out across Ottawa rather than remaining concentrated in the eastern part of the city.

Ottawa-Vanier, with it proximity to the downtown area and its supply of affordable housing, has become a magnet for new Canadians. Today, one in four residents has neither English nor French as his or her mother tongue. Traditionally, the Liberal party has been the most successful in rallying new Canadian communities. The late Mauril Bélanger, former MP for the riding and a people person first and foremost, developed deep loyalties in many of these communities.

Similarly, Mona Fortier and her 400-strong team of volunteers built support across the riding by reaching out not only to Francophones, but to all groups in what has become a very diverse riding.

Can a party other than the Liberals hope to someday represent Ottawa-Vanier? The NPD has made a good effort, presenting a fluently bilingual candidate with strong credentials and running a good campaign with the help of a lot of party supporters who work on the Hill. The Conservatives’ Adrian Papara has few roots in Ottawa-Vanier and chose not to participate in some of the debates because of his inability to speak French. (Indeed, Conservative support went down this time compared to the 19 per cent of votes the party mustered in 2015 in spite of the Liberal wave.)

The increasing diversity in many areas of the country is a challenge for political parties. Effective electoral politics has become more and more of a moving target. Success depends a lot on a party’s capacity to adapt. In Ottawa-Vanier, the Liberal party has achieved something quite remarkable by both remaining true to longstanding tradition while adapting to new realities.

As an NDP insider confessed to me, this has made opposing the Liberal juggernaut in Ottawa-Vanier all the more difficult. He found it quite frustrating to be told by many electors that, even though they liked the NDP candidate and thought she could do the job, they would still be voting Liberal. If Monday’s results are an indication, that won’t be changing any time soon.

Stewart Kiff is the President of Solstice Public Affairs and is a registered lobbyist at Queen’s Park for major Franco-Ontarian groups.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opini.....and-voters
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5 Federal By elections called for April 3

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