|Progressive Conservative Party:|
||Hon. Isabell Bassett MPP|
|New Demorcratic Party:|
|Natural Law Party:|
Incumbent (old riding composition):
|St. Andrew-St. Patrick (46%):|
||Hon. Isabe Bassett|
|St. George-St. David (11%):|
||Hon. Al Leach|
Member of Parliament:
Don Valley West
|Avg Household Income
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|This affluent Toronto riding is really mad about amalgamation. It's also a traditional swing riding so it's far from a Tory stronghold. Bassett is toast.|
|The St. Paul's riding could be a riding to watch in the next election. While many in the Toronto area are upset with the Tories on health care, education, and the mega-city, St. Paul's has all the dynamics of an ideal Tory riding. Isebelle Bassett is well known in the community and well liked. St. Paul's at the federal level has generally voted for the Progressive Conservatives, and has been represented by high profile Tories such as well respected former Mulroney cabinet minister Barbara McDougall. Because Isebelle Bassett is a popular MPP and cabinet minister running in a seat that generally votes for the Progressive Conservatives, and because of the fact that the Liberals always go into an election campaign with good standings in the polls, and collapse in the middle of the campaign is why I fell confident that St. Paul's will return Isebelle Bassett back to Queens Park.|
|Tho' I know nothing of Mr. Bryant, I would anticipate a brown bag defeating Ms. Bassett in this riding. |
|I really shouldn't be doing this, but I'm still willing to give Bassett a mild benefit of the doubt, despite Toronto's anti-Tory climate and her narrowed 1995 margin over the Liberals. As far as PC dead zones go, what redistribution taketh away (the Annex), it giveth (the westernmost Toronto-York polls; Humewood, Hillcrest, et al). Thus, St. Pauls is not as "safe" for the Tories as its upscale/yupscale midtown Toronto fulcrum might suggest. But Bassett still fits the area well--at least, as well as any Harris Tory can hope--and she's lent a palpable gravitas to her cabinet position. If she served Davis rather than Harris, Isabel Bassett would be a cinch for a second term. Another interesting factor in St. Pauls is that two erstwhile "broadcasting personalities" are in the running; Bassett, and Toronto talk-radio legend Larry Solway running for the NDP.|
|I've seen Bryant on t.v. quite a bit, and he seems to be one of the Liberals' stronger candidates. The Tories are unpopular in downtown Toronto because of their policies on issues like rent control, and the amalgamation issue may have calmed down, but voters still have a bad taste in their mouths. Plus, Bassett's a lousy constituency MP - I've spoken to a lot of people who've found both her and her office to be very unresponsive.
Assuming Bryant runs a strong campaign, I'm pretty sure this one will go Liberal.|
|Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo|
|Citizenship minister Isabel Bassett has a few things going for her in this upscale riding, chief among them the fact that the new configuration includes half her former St. Andrew-St. Patrick constituency.
Next to Rosedale, however, this may be the most anti-amalgamation riding in the city. The backlash will be pronounced, with anti-amalgamation heavy Kathleen Wynne backing Grit candidate Michael Bryant.
Bassett's performance as citizenship minister hasn't been anything to write home about. Her Forest Hill credentials have also taken a few hits recently among the 70 per cent of tenants in the riding, many of them elderly, who're feeling the financial pinch of Tory rental policy and being dislocated by condo development.
Former radio talk-show host and NDP candidate Larry Solway should add some punch to the bash-Bassett brigade.
But Bassett's worst enemy may prove to be Bassett herself. She's not very quick on her feet and has shown a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time at community meetings, a decided disadvantage in a heated election battle in a riding with the highest proportion of residents with a post-secondary education (40 per cent) in the province.
|I wouldn't forget about NDP candidate Larry Solway. He is a big celebrity and the large over 30 demographic in the riding all grew up listening to him on the radio. He is the only Jewish candidate in a largely Jewish neighbourhood. St. Paul's has also taken in some of Tony Silipo's old area which gets big NDP support.
The Liberals are in trouble because many of the anti-megacity activists will vote NDP because they are mad about Kathleen Wynne losing the Liberal nomination to a right-wing Liberal. Also, the riding is made up of a majority of tenants who are angry about Harris stopping rent control. They will likely vote NDP if they vote.
I've heard nothing from Bryant, but have already had Solway knock on my door and I saw his campaign at the Subway station. It looks like all conservatives in Toronto might be in trouble so it could turn into a race between the Liberals and the NDP in this riding.
|Candidates of the quality of Michael Bryant are few and far between. I've met him several times, and have come away even more convinced that he should be in Queen's Park. He's personable, he's progressive, and his academic credentials should go over well very with the yuppie set in the 95-Tory, Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhoods. He will benefit from the fact that St. Paul's contains about one fifth of Tony Silipo's former riding. Unless voters there decided they'd rather hand St. Paul's to Isabel on a silver platter, he'll receive a good share of those votes. Bryant has also put together a terrific campaign team, so he'll win St. Paul's, in a squeaker.|
|My present MPP but not my present riding, Ms. Bassett has done little for the riding, except show up well attired at the odd public relations function. She was completely silent during the megacity debacle and was complicit in the closing of hospitals throughout the city. I can only hope that she is given the electoral thrashing she so richly deserves. Go Liberals! or anyone else who knocks her back to her cushy life in the private sector.|
|This area has been a long time Tory stronghold, and this will continue as this area has benifited well by Mike Harris' tax cuts.|
|I just wanted to make my message short and sweet. Although, my immediate area (NW of St.Clair and Vaughan) is hardly the whole riding, the unofficial sign poll is overwhelmingly Liberal - about 100:1 (no kidding!), Lib vs.PC, with a smattering of NDPers. Guaranteed accurate 9 times out of 10, with a margin of error of 3%!|
|Re VI's post: don't judge a book by its cover, for west of Bathurst, SW of the Cedarvale Ravine has *always* been a PC dead zone. In the '88 Federal election, where 2 high-profile incumbents (B McDougall and A Nicholson) faced off in St. Paul's and each got 40-50% to the NDP's 10%, this was absolute Liberal turf, where even the NDP surpassed (the victorious) PC in more than a few polls. Same provincially in '95--PC in definite third here. Also, NW of St Clair-Vaughan is home base for Mike Colle (now running next door), and not too far from Liberal BBQ king Joe Foti. It's east of here, Forest Hill and beyond, that'll make or break Bassett. And actually, when going through the west recently I was surprised by the volume of Solway support, despite the fact that the NDP's not strategically favoured in St. Paul's--whether that's a Silipo hangover, or the novelty of an old talk-radio dude catching on, I don't know. But whoever wins (and I still give Bassett a chance, despite everything), we might be seeing a less-than-40% victory here...|
|This one shouldn't be close. The east half of the riding will split Liberal/Tory. The West half will be a Liberal/NDP split. Despite calls to vote strategically for the Liberals in this riding, Michael Bryant wont need it - he will win in a landslide. |
|Well, Isabel certainly won't win the arts vote. She's been almost as absent and bad a Minister of Culture as her predecessor, Marilyn Mushinski. And too busy running to answer the request of the Ontario Arts Report for response to their questions (see http://webhome.idirect.com/~pact/election.htm). Not impressive.|
|Liberals should win here - if rent controls are an issue- Liberals should benefit if not a high voter turnout- benefit Tory|
||K - St. Paul's
|Six observations that do not bode well for Ms. Bassett:
First, I noticed about five Bryant signs up in my immediate vicinity in St. Paul's on the very day the election was called - a sure indication of an excellent organizing team. Second, the newspaper excerpts on the all-candidates meetings in my riding noted how at the first meeting, Bassett was slammed by a disabilities advocacy group for her inaction as Disabled Persons Minister, despite Common Sense Revolution promises. She also received heat on the rent control issue (and 70 percent in her riding are tenants). Bassett furthered these perceptions when she skipped the second meeting, which was specifically on tenant issues. Third, I suspect that many of the Forest Hill types could face significant increases in their property taxes as a result of CVA. Fourth, I wonder whether the well-do-do Jewish vote along the Bathurst strip is annoyed over Harris' supposed flip-flop on Jewish separate school funding. This all spells serious trouble for Bassett, as she can't even be guaranteed the well-off vote in the riding. Lastly, the sign war leans significantly in Bryant's favour. The only Bassett signs I've seen are at the base of apartment buildings - even if the landlords live in our riding, they've only one vote. Residual anti-megacity sentiment in this riding is alive and well. The former "City of York" part of the riding was one of the few which strongly supported Barbara Hall in the Toronto election. Prediction - Bryant will not only clean up, he may win a majority and not just a plurality of the votes.
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Last Updated 2nd June 1999
© 1999 Milton Chan, University of Waterloo
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