Friday, July 25, 2008

Guelph By-election called

The state of "apprehended campaigning" is over - bring on the full assault!

The Guelph by-election has been called for September 8th. Alas, this is too early for me to urge my new crop of undergraduate students to get out and vote - which is perhaps the point of the call. An early election call is not great for the left-leaning parties in Guelph, who would benefit from having the university in full swing during the campaign.

From my current vantage point, I think it's far too early to call what should be a very interesting election. The Conservatives are clearly hoping that their candidate, city councillor Gloria Kovach, has had enough time to overcome the stigma of the party turfing their initial candidate. Her team has been hitting the phones hard - we've had two phone calls already asking if we'd vote for her.

The Liberals are running Frank Valeriote, a long standing school board member. I suspect that the party is hoping to duplicate Brenda Chamberlain's winning formula by running to the centre-right to win the suburbs and the Italian-Canadian community. I've seen many an ad for Valeriote.

The "third parties" are clearly going to be a major factor here. NDP candidate Tom King is a high profile CBC personality, author and university professor. We've already recieved no less than four pieces of literature at our door, a visit from the candidate, and a pre-recorded message that Ed Broadbent supports him. According to his campaign literature, so does children's author Robert Munsch!

The Greens could play an interesting spoiler role in this community. I don't think that Mike Nagy is likely to have a real shot at winning, but he could throw a major wrinkle into the campaign, much like Ben Polley did in the last provincial election, where he finished in third place.

And so, after my brief hiatus, I'm back in blogging form. Keep tuned for more updates on the campaign! I'm off to the Hillside festival this weekend, and expect to see at least three of the candidates. I'll be curious to see whether they are in full campaign mode, or if they keep a lower-key profile.

Updated to get the correct election date - thanks Scott!

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At 11:06 am, Blogger Scott Tribe said...


Newspaper article you're quoting says Sept 8th.

I've had an email from a Liberal insider who also says Sept 8th.

At 11:13 am, Blogger Matt said...

Thanks Scott - I misread the article headline which referred to "3 September byelections" as the date of the by-elections, rather than the number of them. D'oh!

At 8:22 pm, Blogger adawn said...

Well, the liberals are certainly smart. Guelph has a very strong italian base, and you can't get any better than running the name Valeriote. And I'm not just saying that because my grandma is one ;) The Valeriote's are a strong force in the Italian community in Guelph, and I'd say that Frank's got it tied up in that regard. Particularly with the older crowd.


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