Friday, November 25, 2005

20 Ridings, Redux

A bit of an electoral preview post to mull over while Ahab flies from Atlantic to Pacific in a spontaneous journey wholly inconceivable a century ago. Yet no such progress in the world of politics - you apologize. No, you apologize. Such a shame of a way to begin. After Monday, the Tories need to cool their jets, release their plan, and forget the word "Gomery" until the new year when the Libs go hard negative. On the other side, my dad has never voted anything other than Liberal or Tory, yet mentioned today that he is finding Layton more and more impressive. Here's hoping he avoids the hystrionics and keeps his eye on the prize. Keep criticism within reasoned limits.

Anyway - back in May, before Belinda slipped the two swords lengths and one foot across the House, I pulled out 20 Ridings of especial interest. It's a post worth revisiting 6 months later, and not just for nostalgia's sake. Many of the comments still apply, others have been o'ertaken by the tide of events.

I still think that Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, Saint John, and Fredericton will be the real Maritime seats to watch for early trends. And the numbers out of King's Hants will also be revealing. As for Quebec, Lawrence Cannon's attempt at Pontiac will show just how much work the CPC needs to put into winning in la belle Province again. The key question in Quebec is really how many Ministers Martin will lose? And will anyone in English Canada shed much of a tear if the Bloc win Outremont?

Can the Conservatives win anything in Ontario? Can Layton? Lots of fun races to handicap here. Belinda's flip-flop has ensured her a massive win, but some of those other races highlighted remain compelling. Dewar also faces a winnable, if uphill fight to hold Ottawa Centre against Mahoney. How much help can Broadbent provide? Will Tonys Valeri and Ianno hold off an Orange wave? What riding has Ignatieff secured? And though Carolyn Bennett likely wins St. Paul's, that might be the riding of the election in terms of quality candidates. We need more challengers of this calibre.

Looking West - Layton's command on the balance of power might well hinge on some prairie CPC-NDP matchups, particularly Palliser and Regina Qu'Appelle. Add Bev Desjarlais' open seat to the mix. In Alberta, the only question mark is Edmonton Centre, where all eyes will be, again, on landslide Annie. As for B.C., sadly Cadman's riding falls off the radar following his untimely passing. Vancouver Centre sure looks even more fascinating now with the news of "the people's jeweler" possible comeback. And despite Reynolds retirement, his riding should still make for good viewing. Hands down the best name - "West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country". Love it.

Any other intriguing contests I have missed? I said in May that I felt opportunity existed for many voters to cast different ballots than 2004, and remain convinced of this possibility. While not the most likely outcome, there is a chance that the mid-January Parliament will look much different than the current one. 36 + days is a long time.


Blogger Declan said...

I think Saanich - Gulf Islands could be interesting.

Last time it was 35% CPC, 27% LIB, NDP 22%, Green 17%.

I'd say it's anybody's guess who'll win this time. It's a naturally Conservative riding but it's not Alberta or the Interior, and I don't think it is all that *socially* conservative, and Lunn isn't a strong MP, and with Campbell re-elected provincially people may be leaning more left for the federal election.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

I'll be interested to see if the 2 Tory ridings in Newfoundland stay Tory - their MP's took a lot of heat for refusing to vote for the Atlatic Accord.. and I think Newfoundlanders have long memories - particularly on MP's that would have defeated a government back then and scuttled the bill

9:40 PM  
Blogger buckets said...

Two of the most interesting BC seats for me will be Newton-North Delta and Fleetwood-Port Kells. But then, I have a vested interest.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Jason Cherniak said...

Halifax is one to watch.

I think you're only catching the seats to watch if the Conservatives gain. If the Liberals are heading for majority, you are missing a whole bunch in BC, Ontario and the prairies.

5:49 PM  

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