Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hudak failing to attract female candidates

Taken from the "Team" section of the PC website, behold the diversity of Tim Hudak's PC Party

While the Ontario Liberals have done a pretty enviable job of attracting female candidates to run for office (something that I'm pretty personally passionate about), for example, having more women in cabinet than the opposition parties have MPP's, combined. The Ontario Liberals have also done a solid job of promoting policies that help women and families across the province, such as full day kindergarten.

However, while Tim Hudak and the PC's continue to attack such policies, he has also failed at attracting female candidates for his party for the next election. In a caucus that already has a lack of women (only 6 of his 25 MPP's are women) a look at the numbers of who has declared to run for PC nominations/have been nominated shows a distinct lack of women.

As far as I can tell from doing research from sources like the PC nomination thread on the Blogging Tories forum, here are the numbers by my count, so these might not be the exact numbers, but the trends are still visible:

Number of unheld ridings in which nomination meetings have already happened, or candidates have declared for the nomination: 27

Number of candidates who ran/are running for aforementioned nomination meetings: 51

Number of women who have run, or have declared to run, for a PC nomination: 13

Only 25% of the candidates who have taken a chance at running to be a candidate for the PC's have been women.

Number of unheld ridings in which no women have ran or declared for a nomination: 19

70% of unheld riding nominations have featured absolutely no women in the race.

Number of unheld ridings in which PC's have nominated a candidate so far: 17

Number of those ridings in which a woman has been nominated as the candidate: 3

Only 18% of unheld ridings have nominated a female candidate. It's worth noting that this 18% figure is significantly lower than the 24% of female representation Hudak's caucus currently has.

Number of contested nomination meetings which have featured a female candidate (so discounting appointments): 4

Number of women actually winning contested nomination meetings: 1

In only 25% of ridings in which PC voters had a chance to vote for a female candidate did they actually elect one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lots of nomination news for all!

Solid candidate recruitment for the Liberals in Eastern Ontario, with Peter Tinsley,
former chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, who will seek the Liberal nomination (and will almost certainly be the candidate) in Prince Edward-Hastings. Tinsley failed to be reappointed as chair after his investigations into the Afghan detainee file.

And a contested nomination is in the works in ADFW, with longtime municipal councilor and environmental activist Dave Braden seeking the Liberal nomination, alongside former Ancaster councillor Bryan Kerman, and Maple Leaf Foods vice-president for environmental affairs Anne Tennier of Waterdown.

Interesting race shaping up in North Vancouver for the Liberals, with municipal councilor Roger Bassam now facing Kevin O'Brien, a veteran MLA and former speaker of the assembly in Nunavut. No word on former Green candidate Jim Stepehenson, who seemed to have declared a run, possibly dropped out, and maybe jumped back in.

Read more:

This article on the Conservative nomination for Simcoe-Grey mentions a name I haven't seen mentioned before, Paul Throop, a longtime Tory activist and staffer to Peter MacKay, who will face off against Collingwood mayor Chris Carrier and the star candidate who seems heavily favoured by the party establishment,orthopedic surgeon Kellie Leitch.

The Kootenay-Columbia Tory nomination has gained a new contestant, Dale Shudra, a local businessman.

Rounding thing up, county councillor David Parker is looking for the NDP nomination for Central Nova. David is the brother of a local NDP MLA.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tim Hudak faces PC civil war

The Landowners are getting loud. The Randy Hillier and Landowner backed Jack MacLaren failed in his attempt to take over the Carleton-Mississipi Mills (where MacLaren is going to be running for the nomination against party stalwart Norm Sterling, with MacLaren apparently dramatically outselling Sterling in membership) but the war of words continues.

Ed Kennedy, a higher-up in the Landowners movement and an exec on Hillier's riding association says:

This all goes to demonstrate that there are red tories in the party pulling strings, in my estimation. The left knows and fears that the landowner movement is and will effect changes for the better that embody rural rights and Conservative values but due to the success of Randy Hillier, they failed to stop his entry. They fear two honest men in the party and the more in line to come.

This was not unexpected, the same thing happened to Shawn [ED NOTE: This is in reference to the controversial disqualification of Shawn Carmichael, a Landowner backed candidate in the Leeds-Grenville PC nomination, which I covered extensively:] and is more of the same old, same old. The party had been giving Jack a hard time all along since it was known he was going to run.

The loser of course is the party, choosing bootlickers of questionable character over honest men.

And Norm Sterling has struck back, accusing Randy Hillier of supporting MacLaren out of his office, and going as far to suggest that Hillier, who was a strong supporter of Hudak for PC leadership and shares his goal of attacking human rights in Ontario, should leave the PC Party:

"I believe that (Randy Hillier) should either fish or cut bait," Sterling said Thursday. "He should either be a member of the team or he should step outside the team and run as an Ontario Landowner under his own party label...
He said Hillier's office was helping Mac-Laren sell party memberships, and thus votes in the riding-association election, in the run-up to Wednesday's meeting. "He's very much involved," Sterling said.

Sterling called Hillier and MacLaren "political opportunists."

"They want to use the good name of the Progressive Conservative party to push their very narrow and right-wing agenda into the provincial arena," he said. "They don't believe in conservation authorities, they don't believe in milk marketing boards, they go so far as to say let's abandon our planning laws in the province of Ontario."

Sterling says an "uncomfortable" rift has now opened up within caucus, given Hillier's continued desire to unseat him and others."

Hudak issued a weak statement calling for party unity, which was promptly rebuffed by Sterling:

"I really believe the party has to deal with this issue," Sterling said in an interview Thursday. "You can't be wasting your energies on annual (riding association) meetings. I understand in a nomination meeting, if someone wants to run against you that's fine and dandy. It's part of our process. But to take over our organization when you haven't really been part of it and turn it into the Ontario Landowners Party under the name of PC? That shouldn't take place."

What will Hudak do, support the radical right tendency that he himself has openly played to and had the support of for leader, or his party's longest serving MPP?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NDP loss in Winnipeg North shows Liberals can steal urban seats from NDP

The Liberal victory in Winnipeg North I believes symbolizes a shift in urban politics in this country. Hardworking Liberal teams can knock off the NDP in urban ridings, even ones where they have been in power for most of the last decades. The Harper Conservatives have ignored the economic and social needs of urban Canadians, and the NDP, divided on important issues like the gun registry, can't be counted on to protect the interests of urban Canadians.

The path to a Liberal victory in the next election will go through working hard and knocking off urban NDP MP's in a number of ridings, and the Liberals are well positioned to make gains. Here are just a few of urban ridings held by the NDP that I think the Liberal victory in Winnipeg North exposes a weakness for Team Orange

With Mulcair more interested in talk show apperances, and the Liberals running a star candidate, this will be the top Liberal target in Quebec. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

-Vancouver Kingsway
With an experienced candidate in Wendy Yuan, Liberals in BC will look to take back this seat from the NDP after the floor-crossing David Emerson didn't run again. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

Another riding with a great female Liberal candidate with local roots, Christine Innes, Oliva Chow can only get by on name recognition for so long. Margin of NDP victory: 6%

-Ottawa Centre
Of course, I must mention Ottawa Centre and Scott Bradley. Paul Dewar talks a good game in the House, but doesn't have much in the way to show for 4 years of being an MP for the actual people of Ottawa Centre. The Bradley Team has been working hard knocking on doors and listening to the real concerns of residents of the riding - exactly what helped get Kevin Lamoureux elected in Winnipeg North. NDP margin of victory: 14%

To note the scale of the switch in Winnipeg North, the Liberal campaign managed to raise the Liberal vote from under 10% to 46%, with the NDP vote declining over 20%. Liberals need to keep working hard and offering a positive vision for urban Canadians.