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Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

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Authorized by the Official Agent for the Toronto Danforth Federal NDP
29/04/04 mpilling
Email: [hidden]
This will be a close and interesting race. Three "progressive" candidates, all trying to out-green each other, debates should be fun. The municipal election in the south end of the riding (where Jack will have to excel, given that Mills will poll strongly in the more conservative East York) demonstrated that the NDP vote is fragmenting between the old guard and the younger generaltion, and some voters resent the way in which non-residents like Layton and Paula Fletcher keep using this riding as a safe place to be a lefty. A solid showing by Green Party Leader Jim Harris, a professional speaker who is a very capable debater, may tip the balance, with the "real wild" card being his possible inclusion in the national debates.
29/04/04 C. Hubley
Email: [hidden]
This and Beaches-East-York are the only two ridings in Ontario that make their choice *primarily* based on how the candidate handles environment issues. They are not "left wing", they are both "ecologically concious".
The Greens are "not left wing, and their supporters do not typically come from one party than any other." This is correct. In an interview on CBC, Jim Harris is quoted as saying their support comes now 30% from those who voted NDP in 2000, 40% from those who voted Liberal, 30% from those who voted for what is now the Conservative Party (probably mostly former PCs, but keep in mind only the Greens and the Alliance actually have/had a genuinely member-authored platform and provisions for direct democracy, and that attracted a lot of votes from union members to the Alliance).
I'm predicting this for Layton, but, it's not going to be a nice standup fight. For one thing the NDP has a long history of lying and breaching ethics to win in East Toronto: in 2001 Howard Hampton, Marilyn Churley and Michael Prue (amazingly given his integrity on most issues) literally libelled Bob Hunter, founder of Greenpeace, the Liberal candidate in Beaches East York. By the standards they applied, no artist would ever be able to run for office. Previously, in 2000, the NDP were calling people with Green signs on their lawns and literally telling them they had no right to not support Layton if they were "really green". And in 2003 the NDP council candidate, Paula Fletcher, consistently lied about (a) being the only candidate supporting Miller for Mayor, in fact Greg Bonser and Chris Tibbs also strongly supported Miller (b) being the only candidate opposing the incinerator - in fact all Council candidates had opposed it.
And here is another NDP lie:
[The Greens] "are only ever mentioned in Ipsos-Reid polls, I'm told, because they pay to be included (sometimes)." This is absolutely false. Ipsos-Reid includes any party that demonstrates consistently over 5% support.

"If they thought they had a chance, they'd run their leader in a safer riding." That's true. But the "chance" is to raise issues in debates, and get sufficient votes to fund the party for many more seats in the next election, not so much to win the seat. Also to "nader" Layton if he's not absolutely agreeable on all platform points. Also to attract Red Tories by offering a clear alternative to the unethical Liberals and sleazy NDP, as they see it. Harris vs. Layton in all-candidates meetings may be the only chance Harris gets to differentiate the Greens from the NDP this election, as it seems unlikely that he'll get into the Leaders' debate.

26/04/04 NDP Newbie
Email: [hidden]
In 1997, Dennis Mills did beat Jack Layton by 9%.
A few things have happened sinced though:
1. Jack Layton has been the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
2. Jack Layton is now the leader of the federal New Democratic Party.
3. The federal NDP is at its highest level of popularity since the late 1980s, thanks in large part to Layton.
4. Toronto now has a mayor affiliated with the NDP (Dennis Miller) who narrowly beat a candidate affiliated with the Ontario PCs (John Tory). There's no dobut that Miller's support came heavily from the area close to downtown Toronto. Furthermore, Layton now has a huge municipal machine on his side.
Face it, Liberal diehards. Mills' days in Parliament are numbered, even if Martin offers him a cabinet post.
24/04/04 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Battle of the grandstanders; for the usual Turner/Clark/Alexa reasons, I'd give this to Layton. (Who BTW isn't nearly as electorally "unlikeable" or "scary" as he once might have seemed; who would have thought, back when Layton lost the former-city-of-Toronto mayoralty in 1991, that an NDPer could be elected *Megacity* mayor in 2003. Consider that point.)
On the other hand, if the Greens want to be viewed as a serious force rather than as the same old unelectably fringey cranks, it ought to know better than to pit its leader against another party leader--let alone against Jack Layton. (Just as they might have done better in Ontario in 2003, had leader Frank De Jong not opposed Ernie Eves. That silly tactic is worthy of a party at 0.5%, not one at 5%.)
24/04/04 Pink
Email: [hidden]
Oh please! Too close to call???
According to today's poll, the NDP is at 19%, that's more than double what they got in the last election, and you have them at fewer seats than they won last time (9 predicted vs. 14 incumbent ridings).
The NDP hold this seat provincially, they are going to throw mondo resources into it, Layton will be on the news every night during the campaign.
Bet the mortgage, slam dunk NDP seat!
Get real.
23/04/04 Full Name
Email: [hidden]
While I think Jack gonna win this riding. He have good chances1) He is at 18%(NDP) anever seen before Broadpent, in the poll. 2)He is a city concelor in this sector and maybe the mayor David Miller, a NDP friend will help him 3) If Jack make a good campain and a good performance at the debate he could win this seat, people prefers a party leader rather than a backbencher
22/04/04 AlanSmithee
Email: [hidden]
Dennis Mills is probably my favourite Liberal MP, but I think Layton will take it. Party leaders are usually good picks for a win, Layton is popular, and if Joe Clark can win in High River in 2000, then anything is possible. NDP win here.
19/04/04 Not Non-Partisan
Email: [hidden]
Jack, Yak, Yak. Dennis Mills trashed him in '97 and he'll do it again. I campaigned with the guy and I'm a Tory. I'll do it again. No-name candidates usually get about half as many votes as Jack has got for council -- because at least that many people can't stand the guy! Dennis is no no-name.
There are a whole generation of kids who think Dennis brought the Stones to town -- he did. The Pope too! And if he didn't, he would have taken credit for it anyway. Greeks love him. Any he's nutty enough to be on the campaign trail 24-7. It could be closer than '97 because of all of Jack's free publicity but its Dennis' to lose. I think Olivia's chances are a lot better!
14/04/04 JR
Email: [hidden]
I drive through this riding every day and all that I see anywhere I go is Jack Layton's face both on billboards and in the flesh. The insider polls I have seen show him way ahead. I know that he will have an army of election workers to find every vote. Voters always like the idea of having a national leader as their MPP. He was a long time municipal councillor in this area. The riding was one of only 7 ridings to go NDP in the last provincial and it did so in solid numbers. The NDP is running at 19% support in Ontario (these are Ed Broadbent type numbers). With the exception on Dennis Mills this riding has gone to the NDP in every federal election since 1960 (John Brewin, Bob Rae, Lynn Macdonald). For me its time to call this seat for the NDP.
14/04/04 RP.
Email: [hidden]
That this riding is still in the too close to call category is hard to understand. The Green Party is a non-factor. They explicitly say they are not left wing, and their supporters do not typically come from one party than any other. They are only ever mentioned in Ipsos-Reid polls, I'm told, because they pay to be included (sometimes). If they thought they had a chance, they'd run their leader in a safer riding. That is, presuming that they take themselves seriously, and have a disciplined approach to their campaign.
14/04/04 Alex
Email: [hidden]
It'll be a squeaker, but I'm betting on Layton. Despite the fact that he chose to go up against about the hardest guy he could possibly have found, he's a party leader(with the mountain of publicity that generates), and he's in a party that, if they're rational, will be concentrating on half a dozen seats at most in the GTA, as compared to the Liberals who can't flood individual ridings because they're competitive in all of them.
13/04/04 Scott G.
Email: [hidden]
History is on Jack Layton's side here. It's typical for new party leaders who aren't already in Parliament (or who are first elected in a byelection but run in another riding in the next general election) to run against incumbent MPs. In every recent case of this that I can think of, the new party leader won, whether the party was in opposition or government, and whether its popularity was rising or declining. Mulroney and Turner both in '84, Manning in '93 (he had run unsuccessfully in '88 against Joe Clark, but '93 was the first general election when Reform won any seats), McDonough in '97, and Clark in 2000 -- all won against incumbent MPs. Turner won against a four-term Tory incumbent in the year the Tories won a landslide, although Turner was the only one of the leaders above who was prime minister at the time.
If Layton is as incompetent a politician as some people posting here have claimed, wouldn't that provide all the more incentive for Tories and Liberals to vote for him, to make sure that we in the NDP have to pay the full price for our stupidity? Layton lost against Mills in 1997, and that was also an election when the NDP's popularity was on the rise, so he should have been able to win then. But a lot of things have changed since 1997, when the memory of Bob Rae's provincial NDP government was still fresh in peoples' minds.
Paul Martin may be talking more about helping out cities than Chretien did, and he did give a billion dollars to the city of Toronto last month, to be used by the Toronto Transit Commission. But Torontonians are skeptical about how much of the money will actually reach the TTC, and whether it'll make much of a difference for the city's strained transit system. For people who care about this, the NDP is the best strategic vote. They have the best chance of beating the Liberals in several downtown Toronto ridings, and Paul Martin would probably rely on NDP support in a minority situation, and thus be more sympathetic to the concerns of urban residents, concerns the NDP has been most vocal in addressing.
In '97, Alexa McDonough led an NDP breakthrough in the Maritimes, winning several Liberal-held ridings there, and the Liberals won a narrow majority of seats across the country. Now the NDP have a leader from Canada's largest city, another of the Liberals' main bases of support in recent years. I predict that this election won't result in any dramatic changes in most parts of Canada. The Liberals may pick up some seats in the Maritimes and Quebec, but this isn't a sure thing. They will likely lose individual seats here and there, particularly to the Tories in Northern Ontario. If elsewhere the Liberals lose 15-20 seats more than they pick up, the Layton factor in Toronto could make the difference between a Liberal majority and a Liberal minority.
11/04/04 Al
Email: alnu_cephmiar@yahoo.co.uk
Layton should be able to pull this off... if only for the fact that he can throw his party's resources at the riding in the way that Martin can't afford to do for Mills (it's a choice between hanging onto one riding... or four other ones. Put it another way: a Majority Government or Minority Government).
A similer thing happend in Halifax in 1997 (though I don't know whether the ridings around Toronto-Danforth will mirror what happen around Halifax in '97).
As far as the leader of the Green party goes... to be brutally frank the Greens are a fringe party in Ontario (and most of Canada outside Saanich-Gulf Islands) and I just can't see why people in this riding would waste their votes on what is essentially a vanity candidate.
The effect of Green Parties tends to be exaggerated... sure, Nader cost Gore Florida and New Hampshire, but he *didn't* cost him Minnesota, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin or Maine (which according to the polls, he would have done).
08/04/04 Victor A.
Email: hombresvic@hotmail.com
I know this Toronto neigbourhood well and as far as the overall opinion of people living there goes, there is no way Jack Layton could lose this election. A large part of the usual Liberal party electorate is just simply tired with Mr. Mills, does "the Liberals for Layton" slogan rings a Bell with you guys? Layton is a good, charismatic leader that is aware of the issues of the eastern part of Toronto's downtown while Mills is in my humble opinion too right-wing for this urban, progressive riding to keep this seat. This is one of those ridings that Paul Martin should have intervened in, just as he did in Vancouver by nominating a star cadidatate but somehow probably nobody appropriate was on the horizon. Toronto Danforth will not re-elect this tired MP, so I feel that the Liberal riding assocition made a mistake by nominating Mills which is strange because I don't think Mills has really control over its riding association? By the way, why is this riding still in the too close to call column?
06/04/04 CAC
Email: [hidden]
Jim Harris is a right wing former Tory. This idea that the Green Party is "left wing" is absurd, their economic platform as anti-union and they are quite libertarian on many issues. Just because they make noise about one key issue (the environment) doesn't make them left wing. Besides, Layton will win in a landslide and the tiny handful of votes Harris gets won't make a bit of difference.
03/04/04 Aiden Radcliffe
Email: [hidden]
Jack is gonna take this riding, people are going to look past Mills and his pre-election "waterfront development" publicity stunt, and look at Mills and his record on voting in the House of Commons when it comes to issues like Same Sex Marriage and Same Sex rights (Toronto-Danforth has the 2nd largest gay/lesbian population in Ontario). Not to say it isn't gonna be an interesting battle, but the Toronto Sun recently had an article on the Jack vs. Dennis race, which stated that internal polling says that Jack is leading Mills in the riding by 17%, which is a quite strong lead, especially since Jack's riding campaign isn't even in full throttle yet. Toronto-Danforth is going to go the NDP, and it will be interesting to see how well the NDP does in Davenport, Trinity-Spadina and Beaches-East York.
03/04/04 Pirate Pete
This race reminds me of the 1999 contest known as the battle of the tony's in toronto. Nobody thought Tony Ruprect had a chance to be Tony Silipo but they didn't understand what a hard campaigner Ruprecht is and how he would clobber Silipo on the ground. Dennis Mills is going to do the same thing to Jack Layton. Sorry to say that the NDP will be looking for another new leader after the election.
03/04/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
what else can I say...
there is some information regarding the leader of the Green Party running here.
First of all, as I've been driving home, this is a very left-wing riding.
Second, the former Green Party leader joined the NDP. This has left the Greens angry at the NDP, and hence, I think this is kind of a "revenge" thing against Layton.
Third, the Greens are at 5% in the national polls. While they may not elect a single MP, they will still have an impact.
I always said this was a close race between Layton and Mills, but Layton had the edge. With this news, that edge is eroded, and this riding is too close to call for me...
02/04/04 EP
If party leaders always win, what happen if two left-leaning leaders are running in the same riding? (LOOK AT THE GREEN!!! YIKES!)
01/04/04 National Post (April 1)
Once outside his Toronto home base, however, Mr. Layton's lack of traction is clearly evident in the polls. But still the Layton media myth prevails. There is much speculation that his urban savvy and appeal will help him defeat long-time Liberal maverick Dennis Mills in the next federal election. Don't bet on it.
01/04/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
no change in prediction or reasoning, just more information.
Dennis Mills is the only non-NDPer to hold this riding since 1965. It was Bob Rae's old riding, and the NDP has always finished first or second here. Other then Mills, this riding has only voted liberal ONE other time, being a Conservative stronghold (for some reason) before 1960, going all the way back to Confederation, and my guess, before that even. Even the old neighbouring ridings have similar voting patterns, voting for the NDP and the Conservatives before that.

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