Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Little Green Riding Hoods

Vidcap of Elizabeth May in 1978 from the CBC Archives.

Note:: If you cannot see the entire table with your monitor's current resolution, try decreasing the text size. If that doesn't work for you, try your luck with this massive PDF of this page. Unfortunately, the hyperlinks in the PDF don't work.

Several blogs {below} have discussed the Green Party of Canada's leader's possibilities for looking for a new 'hood, as Elizabeth May's investigating switching ridings. In the 2008 general election, she lost to Peter MacKay in Central Nova 46.6% to 32.24%. I've pulled the 2008 results from CBC {below} for many of the ridings discussed, but not all of them, and tried to summarize bloggers' analyses, colour-coded like a traffic signal.

The Greens now are making it a priority to get May elected, but the question is where?


30 June

29 June

9 June

3 July
Guelph:: Liberal

Newly elected Liberal MP, Valeriote,
should not be underestimated. Has roots there, is likable, and will likely benefit from anti-
conservative tide.
Least daunting. Would have to defeat a Liberal and the Greens-Libs. Might split the vote, allowing a Tory to get in.

Bastion of progressive support, but won't try to unseat a Liberal. Some Greens see her mission as unseating a high-profile PC MP.
Saanich-Gulf Islands:: Conservative
Can exploit Lunn's weaknesses with her strengths. Has been critical of Lunn in the past.Critical of Lunn in the past.Best Green result in 2004, but local voting history might be troublesome.Estimated a Green vote shortfall that must come from PC.Strategic voting hurt Green candidate and local voter's may have misgivings about national party's role.
Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound:: Conservative

Miller might be an easier target than Lunn. Strong showing by Hibma for Greens.Highest vote count for greens in 2008. Miller, a backbencher in the Harper government, received almost 50% of the vote. May might not be able to increase votes by 20%+ to close gap. Greens have increased support, while Liberals and NDP have faded. Getting requisite votes from Miller would require a negative campaign, which wouldn't serve the leader well.
Large margin for Conservatives. Doubtful Greens can overcome deficit in rural Ontario riding.
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley:: Independent

Wildcard riding. Might go for May, but no organization in place. Retiring incumbent Casey is a progressive conservative. Close to May's 2008 riding of Central Nova.No incumbent. Fits her close-to-home intent. Can differentiate herself with respect to Liberal and Conservative candidates. Organization in place down the road from Central Nova.Likely location is 'too close to home' to justify changing ridings.
Welland:: NDP

Tight three-way race won by NDP in 2008. Limited Green organization. Might be opportunity for another Green candidate.

I think there are compelling arguments made for these various ridings, but the ones that caught my eye were Saanich-Gulf Islands and Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

While my armchair punditry for the 2008 US Presidential election over on ThickCulture was fairly close at 16 electorals off {I must admit I wavered on North Carolina w/15 electorals, which threw my math off quite a bit}, I'm still getting accustomed to Canadian elections. Last fall, I examined regions of states and local news and demographics to gain insights into which way a state might go. Similarly, I started to look at the two ridings I mentioned above, although I realize that there are key differences between federal and provincial elections.

I went through the CBC coverage of the Nova Scotia and British Columbia elections in order to try to get some better insights into these ridings {See below}. In the spring, the BC Liberals held on to their majority and Nova Scotia elected a majority NDP government just last month.

The Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley {CCMV} federal riding is adjacent to Nova Central and comprised of 5 provincial ridings. The region is predominantly conservative and the NDP wins in the province may well be a rejection of the PC's handling of the economy and Harper's neo-con politics. While close to her old riding, I think a Green platform might be a tough sell in a heavily rural area with a job base tied to farming, natural resources, and light manufacturing.

Saanich and Gulf Islands consists of roughly two BC provincial ridings:: Saanich South and Saanich North and Islands. Both ridings were hotly contested in the 2009 BC election in May. The federal riding is just outside of Victoria and home to the University of Victoria. I can see the Green message resonating more in Saanich than CCMV. Briony Penn's 39.4% to 43.4% challenge of 4-time incumbent Lunn in the 2008 federal election and Popham's victory in this spring's BC election show the viability of candidates in the environmental/sustainable realm.

I actually feel that challenging Lunn would energize May who would like to take down a Conservative MP and galvanize support for the Greens, if the NDP doesn't pose a challenge. In 2006, Lunn won with 37% of the vote, with the Liberals and the NDP both receiving around 26% and the Greens getting just under 10%.

The Saanich-Gulf Islands riding was full of controversy last fall. One lingering issue brought up last fall has to do with possible improprieties regarding third-party advertising monies. In March, The Globe & Mail reported::
"At issue are five groups that registered during the campaign as third parties and supported Mr. Lunn's campaign, largely through radio and newspaper ads. The groups raised eyebrows last fall, because they appeared to have been created purely for the campaign and would not comment to the media about their activities. Recently released Elections Canada records show four of the groups - Citizens Against Higher Taxes, Economic Advisory Council of Saanich, Dean Park Advocacy Association and Saanich Peninsula Citizens Council - all used the same financial agent and provided the same postal address."
In light of this, this seems like an ideal opportunity for May to go after Lunn, emphasizing political integrity and a green message that should resonate in the suburban and rural Victoria area. The question is if she runs, whether the Liberals, NDP, and Greens will get on the same page.

This post is not intended on being the last word on the subject, but a resource for analyses.

Twitterversion:: Overvw.of blogs examining @ElizabethMay riding poss. Lunn on the run? #NDP ? @impolitical #cdnpoli #Rhizomicomm #Greens @Prof_K

Song:: West - Lucinda Williams

British Columbia 2009 Provincial Election {CBC}

Saanich South::
Suburban Victoria riding that has gone back and forth between BC Liberal and NDP.
NDP's Lana Popham won with 11,141 votes {47.11%}
BC Liberal Robin Adair had 10,728 votes {45.37%}
Green candidate Brian Gordon had 1,551 votes {6.56%}

Winner Popham is an organic farmer {Barking Dog vineyard} who initiated the "Think Outside the Bag" campaign to get citizens to use reusable bags and ban plastic bags in the Capital Regional District.

Saanich North & the Islands::
Island riding which including Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney as well as the islands in the Strait of Georgia including Galiano, Mayne, Pender (North and South), Salt Spring and Saturna.

BC Liberal Murray Coell won by only 395 votes.

Murray Coell-BC Lib 12,513 {45.26%}
Gary Holman-NDP 12,118 {45.83%}
Tom Bradfield-Green 3,016 {10.91%}

Coell, in office in Saanich North since 1996 won four elections in 1996, 2001, 2005, and 2009. In 2005, he won by only 1,939 votes. Holman lamented the NDP-Green split on the left.

Nova Scotia 2009 Provincial Election {CBC}
The federal riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley roughly consists of 5 provincial ridings, three going to the NDP and 2 going to the progressive conservatives.

Truro-Bible Hill is an urban area home to Nova Scotia Ag. College and Nova Scotia Community College-Truro campus. Truro, known as the hub of Nova Scotia is a retail and trade centre. The riding has many residents employed in manufacturing. The riding which was a PC stronghold for the last 30 years went NDP.

Lenore Zann-NDP 4,147 {48.4%}
Hughie MacIsaac-PC 2,607 {30.42%}
Bob Hagell -Liberal 1,651 {19.27%}
Kaleigh Brinkhurst-Green 164 {1.91%}

Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is largely rural, dependent on farming, lumber, and light manufacturing with many commuters to Truro and Halifax. Riding has gone PC with Brooke Taylor since its inception in 1993.

Gary Burrill-NDP 3,568 {48.09%}
Steve Streatch-PC 2,151 {28.99%}
Willy Versteeg-LIB 1,529 {20.61%}
Margaret Witney-GRN 172 {2.32%}

Cumberland North is a conservative riding, voting NDP for the first time in 2009. Conservative Ernie Fage ran as an independent after being expelled from the PC caucus.

Brian Skabar-NDP 3,170 {40.16%}
Ernest Fage-IND 2,164 {27.42%}
Keith Hunter-PC 1,359 {17.22%}
Brent Noiles-LIB 1,073 {13.59%}
Aviva Silburt-GRN 127 {1.61%}

Cumberland South is a rural riding with service industry and some manufacturing, with tourism being increasingly important. Personality tends to matter more than party.

Murray Scott-PC 4,353 {67.94%}
Don Tabor-NDP 1,641 {25.61%}
Joey Archibald-LIB 325 {5.07%}
Daniel Melvin-GRN 88 {1.37%}

Once a Liberal stronghold in the 1990s with Ed Lorainne, Colchester North has gone PC since 1999. Fishing, farming and forestry are the cornerstones of the local economy, while many commute to Truro to work in factories and offices. Summer tourism is increasing.

Karen Casey-PC 3,784 {50.16%}
Arthur Hartlen-NDP 2,354 {31.20%}
Lorenda Ebbett-LIB 1,243 {16.48%}
Judy Davis-Green 163 {2.16%}


Anonymous said...

It's spelled "Saanich".

Anonymous said...

Your table falls off the right-hand side of the screen. I've tested in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, and both fail. It's too bad, because it makes the Saanich-Gulf Islands column (and who knows how many others to its right) impossible to read.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

Ah, the joys of Blogger and html tables. The columns are not ridings, but actually are bloggers who posted entries on the topic over the past month or so I came across. Strictly unscientific. From left to right there's impolitical, CalgaryGrit, ReportonGreens, bluegreenblogger, and DigitalJournal. Something wonky is going on with the formatting, as edits and resizing aren't taking and I just don't have the time to edit the HTML. Soooo, the only workaround I can see is to shrink the text in your browser, but that might not be tenable if your resolution makes it impossible to read.

Ha! Well, Saanich was indeed misspelled half the time. Probably because I had "Sammitch" on my mind and was thinking of Mr. Sub.

Kenneth M. Kambara said...

Ah, a friend of mine just sent me this bit of tid.