No more Dr. Prof. Keith Martin

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Stockholm
No more Dr. Prof. Keith Martin

At long last the great day we have all been waiting for has arrived. DOCTOR PROFESSOR Keith Martin the unctuous, sanctimonious, grating champion of privatized health care - is retiring!!

http://www.cfax1070.com/newsstory.php?newsId=16027

With him out of the picture, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca has to move up to the top of the list of potential NDP pick-ups in BC - that area is heavily NDP at the provincial level and I think that with him out of the picture - winning the seat for the NDP will be like taking candy from a baby.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Should this get merged with the who will replace Campbell thread?Wink

 

Stockholm

The BC Liberals would have to have a real suicide wish - to even consider being led by someone with as MASSIVE a set of political liabilities as Martin. My sense is that he is bowing out of politics completely.

bekayne

It wouldn't be a good idea to count your chickens too soon. The question is how many of those who voted for Martin as a Liberal voted for him when he was with Reform? Where would they go now? Also remember that the old riding of Esquimalt-Saanich was a Tory stronghold from 1953 to 1988, with only the loss to David Anderson in 1968.

Stockholm

The old riding of Esquimalt-Saanich was a Tory stronghold because of the Saanich part of the riding. Esquimalt has always been a very NDP blue collar town. In 1988 when the riding was first split in two the NDP won it with Bave Barrett by a massive margin. Then it went to Dr. Prof. Martin in 1993 and he has had it ever since and I think that when he became a Liberal he started being the beneficiary of strategic voting by people who didn't want a Tory to win. But, I think there is a very strong NDP undercurrent in that riding that has been masked by Martin's presence. In the 2005 and 2009 election in the two provincial ridings that make up Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (Esquimalt and Juan de Fuca - fancy that!!) both went NDP by huge margins. Nothing is ever a slam dunk, but its as a good an indicator as anything of the underlying left/right split in the riding.

Polunatic2

Martin defeated the Con candidate by 78 votes in 2008. How does that make it a sure thing for the NDP who came in 3rd with 23%? You can bet dollars to doughnuts that this ridings was already on the Con's priority list. 

Stockholm

The Tories came within 78 votes of winning that seat in 2008 when they took almost 46% of the vote in BC - polls show they will be lucky to get more than 35% in BC next time. They had their one big chance to win that seat last time and they missed and now they have no where to go but down. In the 2004 and 2006 elections the NDP came a very close second to Martin - then they fell way back in 2008 when they nominated a weaker candidate, the NDP got a lot of local bad publicity over its candidate dropping out in Saanich-Gulf Islands and the anti-Conservative vote consolidated behind DOCTOR PROFESSOR Martin. But I think that if you look at the riding demographics and the provincial voting patterns - its clear that it is a left-leaning riding with a much stronger "latent NDP vote" than the results of the 2008 election would suggest.

Its not a sure thing - but it has to be one of the top NDP targets in Canada with today's news.

wage zombie

Maybe this would be the time for Elizabeth May to make a bold tactical move and switch her riding again.

Centrist

It's a riding that can go either Con/Lib/ or NDP. The Libs had their lowest BC provincial vote total in 2008 at 19% having never fallen below 20% since 1984. That was due to the Dion factor and his Green Shift carbon tax policy loathed by the voters. Martin and the rest of his cohorts were lucky to hang on. So they still have some urban growth potential from last time with the ditching of Dion and the Green Shift.

The Cons won't be as close this time as they will not have a 44% share total provincally. That blue tide flowed into urban areas and is now receding. They will be lucky to reach 40% provincially. And they will have their 2006/2008 dud candidate Troy DeSouza run again.

The NDP will have to show some growth from their 25% standing provincially and can win on a three way split. 2006 was relatively close. Randall Garrison, who ran in 2004 and 2006, will also run again. And then the Greens, who seem to poll high federally, is another factor to throw into the mix.

The future demographics in EJDF are also changing esp. with the elephant in the room - Bear Mountain.

edmundoconnor

wage zombie wrote:

Maybe this would be the time for Elizabeth May to make a bold tactical move and switch her riding again.

Isn't there a limit on how many GP candidates EMay can bounce out of the running in a riding before it becomes more than vaguely undemocratic? And these are the people who harp on and on about PR … Strewth. /threaddrift

Pogo Pogo's picture

Doesn't the provincial Green leader run in Esquimalt?  Also I agree with Centrist that the riding is rapidly changing its character.  I don't know if past history is a great measure (either for or against the NDP)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Don't forget the navy. I believe the riding has a significant military vote.  At least as large as the influence of Comox on Van Is North.  Not traditionally fertile ground for NDP votes.

Wilf Day

"Keith Martin plans to retire from politics in time for the next federal election so he can get some actual work done" says the Toronto Star.

A remarkably mischievous statement -- not a direct quote -- for The Star. Doesn't it imply that Liberal MPs will once again have no real work to do after the next election?

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

I suspect that with Martin out of the picture, this riding reverts to being an NDP/Conservatie race - as it was before Martin crossed the floor to the Liberals.  I see little evidence that the Liberals have any strength in this seat without him. Perhaps if they recruit a star candidate, but otherwise - forget it.

The NDP is strong in the riding provincially, but it's far from a slam dunk.  A strong Tory candidate backed up with a good central campaign would be tough to beat.

Still - Stockholm is correct - this has to be a top target for team Layton now.

Stockholm

Pogo wrote:

Doesn't the provincial Green leader run in Esquimalt?  Also I agree with Centrist that the riding is rapidly changing its character.  I don't know if past history is a great measure (either for or against the NDP)

But the political trend in the area is getting MORE NDP not less. Look at the results in the 2009 provincial election (just a year ago)

Esquimalt-Royal Roads

NDP - 53%

Libs - 30%

Greens - 17% (this was their leader Jane Sterk - that probably inflated their vote a lot and kept the NDP from winning even bigger!)

Juan de Fuca

NDP - 57%

Libs - 34%

Greens - 8%

This is clearly an area that about 11% MORE NDP than the province as a whole.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

So did Keith Martin fall afoul of Michael Ignatieff? It's not like he's that old. Is it because he started talking sh*t about health care privatization?

ottawaobserver

I suspect so, Laine.  I believe he wants freer reign to promote those ideas, and within the Liberal caucus he was getting slapped down (not for having them, but for saying so out loud).  I think there was also bad feeling about the way the gun registry vote was whipped.

Remember as well that he's travelled from Vancouver Island to Ottawa for 17 years now.  That can be a brutal commute with a 3-hour time difference, and I think he just realized that he's never getting back into cabinet (and probably also that the Liberals are not getting back into power on their own with a majority, and he'd never make cabinet in a coalition).

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Good points ottawaobserver. Yes, I never doubted that Ignatieff was more pissed off with Martin letting the cat out of the bag than the actual policy position of looking into privatizing health care. Based on his long tenure in the UK and US, Ignatieff is probably very comfortable with the idea of private medical services.

Centrist

From Keith Martin, in May, 2008, prior to the last 2008 election:

Quote:
"Unless the system changes, unless it becomes more efficient and productive, if it continues in this death spiral, this will be my last election. The whole machinery of Parliament has ground to a halt."

 

http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/003297.html

 

Looks like he's also bowing out like Jay Hill and Jim Abbott who were also from the Class of '93.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Don't forget the navy. I believe the riding has a significant military vote.  At least as large as the influence of Comox on Van Is North.  Not traditionally fertile ground for NDP votes.

That explains why candidate Randall Garrisson is from the more militaristic wing of the NDP.

Mind you, Halifax is also a navy town and that didn't stop Alexa McDonnough from winning.

adma

And remember, too, that a lot of that erstwhile Tory vote was *Red* Tory vote--and even Keith Martin's idiosyncratic-by-ReformAlliance-standards-even approach dovetailed into the Red Tory framework...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Don't forget the navy. I believe the riding has a significant military vote.  At least as large as the influence of Comox on Van Is North.  Not traditionally fertile ground for NDP votes.

That explains why candidate Randall Garrisson is from the more militaristic wing of the NDP.

Mind you, Halifax is also a navy town and that didn't stop Alexa McDonnough from winning.

It also didn't stop Catherine Bell from winning Van Island N and she has a great chance of winning it back.  Veterans benefits, especially access to real services for PTSD is a great issue for the party.  No one goes into a killing zone and comes out unscathed especially if you start to doubt the morality of what you are doing. Our government sent them there and we have a responsibility to the families and communities that these soldiers are returning to to repair the damage for everyone's safety.

Pogo Pogo's picture

A lot of veterans are not as excited about our foreign policy as they were when they enlisted. 

Wilf Day

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Don't forget the navy. I believe the riding has a significant military vote.  At least as large as the influence of Comox on Van Is North.  Not traditionally fertile ground for NDP votes.

Depends how far back your traditions go. In 1945 in the UK and Canada, masses of returning veterans organized the unions and voted Labour and CCF. And there have been other times when lots of rank and file soldiers have voted NDP, as one would expect. No reason to write them off. 

Stockholm

I was under the impression that troops stationed at a base have their votes sent to their home ridings as opposed to voting in the riding where the base is located?

There are about 100,000 eligible voters in EDJ, I wonder if anyone can estimate how many of them would have any connection at all to the military? In any case, if you buy into the theory that there is this huge military vote in that riding and that people in the military invariably vote for whichever party is the most rightwing (which I don't) - how do you explain the fact that in the BC election a year ago - the riding of Esquimalt-Royal Roads gave 70% of its votes to the NDP or the Green party and only 30% to the BC Liberals who are the provincial equivalent of the federal Tories?

bekayne

Stockholm wrote:

Esquimalt-Royal Roads

NDP - 53%

Libs - 30%

Greens - 17% (this was their leader Jane Sterk - that probably inflated their vote a lot and kept the NDP from winning even bigger!)

Juan de Fuca

NDP - 57%

Libs - 34%

Greens - 8%

This is clearly an area that about 11% MORE NDP than the province as a whole.

But if it is 11% more NDP than the province as a whole federally then it would be in the mid to high 30s. 

Lord Palmerston

I think it's kind of bizarre that Keith Martin was a member of the Reform Party all the way through but then quit the new Conservative Party because it was too socially conservative.

ottawaobserver

Lord Palmerston wrote:

I think it's kind of bizarre that Keith Martin was a member of the Reform Party all the way through but then quit the new Conservative Party because it was too socially conservative.

It is only bizarre if you view the Reform Party the way the central canadian consensus did/does, which is as a right-wing party.

What they were (to their supporters at least) was a populist party, anti-elite, anti-central canadian, and certainly anti-Quebec and anti-native in their constitutional outlook.

They were born at a time when the country's elites were viewed as having cooperated/conspired to exclude the masses from amending our constitution, and forcing "special status for Quebec and the natives" down people's throats.  In the resource communities of BC and the prairies, they were also seen as the champions of the workers whose jobs were disappearing due (in their analysis) to the "special rights being given to the natives" and meddling of urban environmentalists.

If any of this sounds familiar in the current political context, we shouldn't be surprised to see the current leadership of the NDP (many of whose advisors came through 1993 the hard way, i.e., losing lots of traditional NDP votes to either the Reform Party or the ranks of non-voters) trying to apply the lessons learned back then: namely, to keep an eye on the populist issues, and don't get lumped in with the apparently deaf urban elites in the eyes of the folks who are just struggling to get by, and being jostled by forces far far out of their control.

Centrist

I just checked the federal results for Vancouver Island North and most polls in Comox (military base) were won by the Cons with considerable margins.

As for the provincial ridings comprising EJDF, from 2005 to 2009 the results changed as follows (forgetting about any boundary changes):

Esquimalt Royal Roads:

NDP: 53% (+3%)

Lib: 30% (-8%)

Green: 17% (+6%)

Juan De Fuca:

NDP: 57% (+11%)

Lib: 34% (-5%)

Green: 8% (-2%)

DBRC (Lib): 0% (-5%)

In ALL 15 provincial Vancouver Island ridings the NDP increased their vote share in 2009, but the overall provincial NDP vote share stayed the same in 2009. Vancouver Island has been neglected by the Libs and there was an anti-Gordo/anti-Lib vote in that mix, not necessarily a pro-NDP vote.

Just 7 months earlier in October, 2008 the Cons took away Vancouver Island North and also substantially increased their vote share in Nanaimo-Alberni. So federally Vancouver Island went stronger Con but stronger NDP provincially? Something is wrong with that equation. It's not always as simple trying to mix the provincial NDP vote with the federal vote within the same boundaries.

If that was the case, the NDP would win Cariboo-Prince George federally because it holds the two provincial seats. But the Cons won by huge margins in virtually every poll in the 2 ridings that the NDP holds provincially (I'm including Cariboo South for argument sake since we lost it by a few votes).

The point is that it's not as simple as transposing the provincial vote onto a federal seat. That said, EJDF has lost it's incumbent and resources should be focused on recapturing it for the NDP as it's now a more winnable seat.

Lord Palmerston

I understand seeing voting patterns through an elitist vs. populist approach and that does explain the traditional NDP voters going with Reform/Alliance in 1993, 1997 and 2000.   But I recall Keith Martin specifically denouncing the new Conservative Party for being too socially conservative.

melovesproles

I don't think Martin was being sincere for his reasons behind the jump.  At the time Paul Martin was supposed to be an unstoppable political juggernaut, and clearly on the right of the Liberal party and responsible for implementing a lot of the draconian social spending cuts that Reform pushed so hard for.  Harper looked like an incompetent overly preoccupied with opposing same-sex marriage.  I think Keith Martin like Bryson and Stronach just figured he was joining the winning team.

ottawaobserver

On the other hand, I do think he was sincere in opposing the socially conservative aspects of Harper's leadership, as he was the urban socially liberal face of the Reform Party (alongside Jan Brown from Calgary who lasted a single term, if you recall).  Martin has never married, and his own position with respect to the SSM question was always very solid.

On the other hand, I do think that a lot of the jumps at that time were at least in part career-based. Ironically, Bevilacqua is the one who called it wrong.  For all those years he had supported Martin, but then took a junior cabinet role from Chretien, and got frozen out by Martin (Brison got the spot he expected to get), and I think he's been plotting his getaway ever since it became clear that the Martinites are controlling the party again.

Meanwhile, what are we to make tonight of the rumours swirling around Peter MacKay's future?  If both Prentice and MacKay are gone by the new year, it suggests that the whispered-about cabinet split is bigger than we thought.  MacKay is said to have been completely frozen out of the UAE-Camp Mirage negotiations, and also out of the policy move on Afghanistan.  If I were him, I'd be thinking about a move under those circumstances as well.

Methinks Alexis MacDonald better get her nomination campaign in gear PDQ.

Aristotleded24

ottawaobserver wrote:
Lord Palmerston wrote:
I think it's kind of bizarre that Keith Martin was a member of the Reform Party all the way through but then quit the new Conservative Party because it was too socially conservative.
It is only bizarre if you view the Reform Party the way the central canadian consensus did/does, which is as a right-wing party.

What they were (to their supporters at least) was a populist party, anti-elite, anti-central canadian, and certainly anti-Quebec and anti-native in their constitutional outlook.

They were born at a time when the country's elites were viewed as having cooperated/conspired to exclude the masses from amending our constitution, and forcing "special status for Quebec and the natives" down people's throats.  In the resource communities of BC and the prairies, they were also seen as the champions of the workers whose jobs were disappearing due (in their analysis) to the "special rights being given to the natives" and meddling of urban environmentalists.

If any of this sounds familiar in the current political context, we shouldn't be surprised to see the current leadership of the NDP (many of whose advisors came through 1993 the hard way, i.e., losing lots of traditional NDP votes to either the Reform Party or the ranks of non-voters) trying to apply the lessons learned back then: namely, to keep an eye on the populist issues, and don't get lumped in with the apparently deaf urban elites in the eyes of the folks who are just struggling to get by, and being jostled by forces far far out of their control.

Who are you to impose Ottawa's view of things onto Western Canada?! ;)

Anyways, this is excellent analysis, but there is an additional point to be added. An important point of the populist appeal was giving its MPs free votes on every issue (they actually campaigned on MP recall in 1997) playing on the perception that the parties tried to dictate how their members voted. So Martin probably had his issues that motivated him, and while maybe disagreeing with the social conservative aspect, felt he could "agree to disagree" with the party. As the party re-branded, first under the Alliance banner, then the Conservative, there was a hardening of socially conservative ideology, especially when equal marriage came up as an issue.

Stockholm

ottawaobserver wrote:

On the other hand, I do think he was sincere in opposing the socially conservative aspects of Harper's leadership, as he was the urban socially liberal face of the Reform Party (alongside Jan Brown from Calgary who lasted a single term, if you recall).  Martin has never married, and his own position with respect to the SSM question was always very solid.

I find this odd. Keith Martin was an enthusiastic Reform Party/Canadian Alliance member when the party was led by arch-religious conservatives like Preston Manning and Stockwell Day. For all the talk about "free votes" in the old Reform Party - Doctor Professor Keith Martin never took advantage of that right and voted the party line against every single solitary measure to give rights to same sex couples etc... When Harper beat Day for the CA leadership - Harper was seen as the anti-religious candidate who was trying to rid the party of zealots like Day. For some strange reason, Keith Martin was as a happy as a clam in the Reform party when it was led by religious crackpots like Manning and Day and when he had caucus mates like Ringma bragging about how blacks and gays should work in the back of the shop! Then when Harper took over - all of a sudden he decided the party was too "intolerant" for him. Strange, very strange.

When Keith Martin was a good faithful, Reform MP who towed the party line on everything - he didn't blink when the party was all about attacking immigration and attacking any negotiation of FN land claims or when Reform ads made racist attacks on Quebec in 1997 - Martin had no problem with any of that.

I think that if an award is ever given out for the MP with the LEAST amount of personal integrity - the gold medal shoudl go to Doctor Professor Keith Martin.

Stockholm

Centrist wrote:

I just checked the federal results for Vancouver Island North and most polls in Comox (military base) were won by the Cons with considerable margins.

My understanding is that Comox tends to vote Conservative (and BC Liberal) because its quite wealthy enclaves full of retirees from Alberta.

melovesproles

CFB Comox plays a role.  Everyone who lives there knows it.  It's like clockwork on election nights, the NDP is always looking golden until they start to count the votes from the Base, absentee and not.

Harper has managed to piss off the Vets though, it does look like there'll be blowback, it'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

ottawaobserver

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Who are you to impose Ottawa's view of things onto Western Canada?! ;)

Anyways, this is excellent analysis, but there is an additional point to be added. An important point of the populist appeal was giving its MPs free votes on every issue (they actually campaigned on MP recall in 1997) playing on the perception that the parties tried to dictate how their members voted. So Martin probably had his issues that motivated him, and while maybe disagreeing with the social conservative aspect, felt he could "agree to disagree" with the party. As the party re-branded, first under the Alliance banner, then the Conservative, there was a hardening of socially conservative ideology, especially when equal marriage came up as an issue.

I worked for a BC politician at the time, and then lived in the Victoria area for awhile as well.  You're completely correct to add in the part about the free votes being a big part of their populist appeal, although Stockholm notes that Martin did not avail himself of that right at the time.  He was viewed as a maverick locally, though, I can report, and did cause a fair bit of grief to Reform party apparatchiks (sp?).

ottawaobserver

melovesproles wrote:

CFB Comox plays a role.  Everyone who lives there knows it.  It's like clockwork on election nights, the NDP is always looking golden until they start to count the votes from the Base, absentee and not.

Harper has managed to piss off the Vets though, it does look like there'll be blowback, it'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Agree with all this too.  But Stockholm's also right about the Alberta retirees up and down the Vancouver Island coast now.

Stockholm

Maybe some with a bigger brain than mine can calculate how many votes are actually cast at CFB Esquimalt - that are actually added to the count in EDJ and not sent to peoples home ridings and what proportion that "military vote" is of the 100,000 eligible voters in that riding.

remind remind's picture

Actually stockholm, most Navy people, that I know, and know of, own homes in the riding of EJDF, and so do PPCLIers. So it is their "home" riding.

Stockholm

Again, how many people are we actually talking about? I looked at the poll-by-poll results from '08 and Tory candidate had his worst results in the polls in Esquimalt itself.

Stockholm

Keep in mind that we are talking about a largely suburban densely populated riding (Esquimalt is a suburb of Victoria) you would probably have some people connected to the base having homes in the Victoria riding or in Saanich-the Islands. All these places are within a 15 minute drive of each other.

Centrist

According to Elections Canada in the 2008 election, there were 89,932 electors in EJDF. According to Canada National Defence, 6,802 are directly employed by CFB Esquimalt representing 7.6% of the riding's electors. (CFB Comox has 1,290 directly employed comparatively)

I don't know whether they reside on base or off base, and if off base, whether in Esquimalt or in the other municipalities within EJDF such as Saanich, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin, the Highlands, Langford or Sooke.

As for how the political parties fared in each area of EJDF, here's a tidbit from Wiki:

Quote:
In 2008, this riding was a tight race between the Liberals and Conservatives, with the NDP making a strong showing as well.

Liberal support was concentrated in the east of the riding, especially in Esquimalt and in the southern end of Saanich. The City of Colwood has some Liberal pockets as does the community of View Royal.

The Liberals also have much support along the southern coast from Metchosin to Jordan River. Lastly, the Liberals had a concentration in the municipality of Highlands.

The NDP also won pockets of support in Esquimalt and Saanich, and won the Esquimalt Nation Indian reserve.

The Tories strength was concentrated in central Saanich, and in the interior of the remainder of the riding, including parts of Langford and the coastal community of Sooke.

BTW, the massive/under development, higher-end Bear Mountain residential area is situate in Langford. It's something akin to right-wing Westwood Plateau in Coquitlam or right-wing Heritage Mountain in Port Moody.

ottawaobserver

The base itself is in poll 175.  Martin won that poll and the Conservative placed third, but the three parties basically split the vote there. Martin won Esquimalt and West Bay, and the part of Vic West that's in the EJDF federal riding (the rest is in Victoria).  These are areas that would be expected to go NDP otherwise.  Also, until I looked at the map, I didn't realize that EJDF has the part of Victoria west of the Pat Bay Hwy.  I think that would be in Victoria Swan Lake (formerly Hillside), which would also be a more working class area of Victoria, if I'm remembering right; at least the part out as far as Mackenzie.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Comox is not only a retirement centre for Albertans.  It has a very large military retirement community.  People who had served at some point at the base and then returned when they retired.  Towns have character and Comox has always been the conservative/socred/iiberal stronghold and the smaller more rural areas are NDP and for awhile Reform. Bell's competition ran as a reformer in our western precursor to the teabag movement.  

The NDP had given up on electoral reform as a major issue because the conventional wisdom was Canadians didn't care about that kind of reform and it would bore the fuck out them.  The Reform party ran on a take back the government for the people platform and ate the NDP lunch in lunch bucket towns on the coast.  All those old Reform dinosaurs are now very vulnerable since they have become the trained seals of an autocratic undemocratic government.

ottawaobserver

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The NDP had given up on electoral reform as a major issue because the conventional wisdom was Canadians didn't care about that kind of reform and it would bore the fuck out them.

I agree with all the rest of what you wrote.  The characterization above is not quite fair, however.  The NDP was punished for spending much too much time on Meech Lake and Charlottetown in people's eyes (pushing for electoral reform, I might add), whereas the valley-by-valley conflicts were pitting folks working in the forests against "urban environmentalist elites" from Vancouver (or at least that was the spin being sold by the corporate on-side citizens' movements at the time, which was parroted by the IWA locals, especially on the north Island).  The IWA Local 1-71 endorsed the Reform Party if I remember right, and it wasn't because they wanted the NDP to advocate proportional representation more often.

Centrist

BTW, Krago previously prepared colour-coded maps for SGI for 2004/06/08 and a good chunk of EJDF is clearly located in those maps. It provides a good colour-coded overview of inner EJDF.

http://www.rabble.ca/comment/1092756/Here-are-electoral-maps

Stockholm

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Comox is not only a retirement centre for Albertans.  It has a very large military retirement community.  People who had served at some point at the base and then returned when they retired.  Towns have character and Comox has always been the conservative/socred/iiberal stronghold and the smaller more rural areas are NDP and for awhile Reform. Bell's competition ran as a reformer in our western precursor to the teabag movement.  

Further evidence of that would be the fact that while the BC NDP won Esquimalt-Royal Roads and Juan de Fuca by massive margins in may 2009 - they narrowly lost the riding of Comox Valley to the BC Liberals.

ottawaobserver

BTW, I hear that the Comox Valley seat is now the top provincial target for the HST recall referendum campaign.

Centrist

Randall Garrison, the NDP candidate in 2004 and 2006, will be carrying the banner in the next go around.

http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/005673.html

Garrison also won a council seat in Esquimalt during the 2008 civic election taking sixth and last spot.

The Libs now also appear to have their candidate lined up - Lillian Szpak, who is an 8-year councillor in Langford and topped the polls in 2008.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/goldstreamgazette/news...

The Cons will have Troy Desouza returning as their candidate.

2008 result for EJDF:

Lib: 20,042
Con: 19,974
NDP: 13,322

The Libs won the seat by a narrow 68 vote margin over the Cons in 2008 with the NDP ~6,700 votes behind. (albeit EJDF was more of a Keith Martin seat than a Lib seat) 

With that background, the Lib strategy might be to "scare" all the voters to vote Lib in order to prevent the Cons from winning the seat as well as squeeze out the NDP. In that vein, it might be wise to begin thinking how to counteract such a potential Lib strategy prior to the election.

ottawaobserver

I think there are three people running for the Liberal nomination in that riding. There was something on Twitter last night about it. Did you come across any other names, Centrist?

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