Van Kesteren, Dave
|Dave Van Kesteren
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|08 10 07
|I still think the Conservatives will win here, but it's going to be closer than the last time. Unions are throwing support behind Liberal Daudlin. Also, the last few days have seen a shift in sentiment away from the Conservatives.
|08 10 06
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|Was in Tilbury and the Leamington area this weekend and couldn't help but noticing numerous lawn signs for the Liberal candidate. More so than for the CPC incumbant. In a better year for the Liberals, this one could flip to them. As for this year watch for a solid CPC win with a relatively strong Liberal showing.
|08 10 04
|This past week, both the CAW Local 127 and Local 1941 threw their support behing Liberal candidate Matt Gaudlin. This is part of strategic voting and feel that Mr. Gaudlin has the best chance of defeating the local Conservative to prevent the dreaded Harper majority. Also, Michael Ignatieff visited Mr. Gaudlin's office yesterday morning, so obviously the big boys at the Liberal Party feel this is a riding that they can win. The economy is not strong in this riding and there is a growing feeling that Mr. Harper has done nothing to help the situation, and that the local Con MP has ‘ignored everything we've asked him to support and that's workers in this community and jobs.’ This could be a very interesting riding on election day.
|08 09 14
|I grew up in this riding so I like to think that I know a little about the people in the riding. This is a very strongly rural riding and a very conservative riding. (I can recall during one election even the NDP candidate claiming that he was against abortion) It was a big surprise that van Kesteren lost the first time around here, but that can be chalked up to the incumbency factor. Now that he is the incumbent this is a shoo-in for sure.
People who think that the tons of the rural farmers in this area upset at Harper are kidding themselves. Sure there may be some, but things have been bad for a long time for farmers here and there is a sense of resignation about things in my opinion. Things like the ethanol plant (built by the Grits) which was supposed to help local farmers, didn't (and it stunk up the place.. peee ew!!). Now, with the price of corn as high as it is many farmers are finally getting their heads above the water so to speak.
The Carbon Tax would be killer to farmers who already are paying an arm and a leg for fuel and don't think they know it! As for the listeriosis and such.. they don't even register with most voters here. Walkerton was a big thing when it happened but the age of boil-water advisories is long past here.
The city's (Chatham) economic situation hasn't been great for a long time and again this is nothing different. Whether its the Grits or the Tories things aren't so great. Health care has been bad for a long time here as well, in fact it was under the Grits that Chatham's two hospitals merged into one and that Chatham lost some specialized care to London. Not that this hurt the Grits at all during the federal elections, so reasonably its not going to hurt the Tories now when things are marginally better with respect to health care.
Easy Tory hold.
|08 09 14
|As I write this the Conservatives are ahead in the polls but don't count the Liberals out in this riding. Provincially, Liberal Pat Hoy won in '95 against the Tory tide and in '99 he beat out the incumbant Tory in the re-configured riding. So it can be done and don't forget that Harris's right wing agenda did a lot of damage here so a federal Conservative platform to cut taxes and do little else may not play well.
Van Kesteren is a nice guy. BUT as a politician he has a lot of weaknesses. He's quiet and seems uncomfortable as MP. He hasn't said much and when he does talk he appears to be parroting briefing notes from the PMO. He is in his 3rd election in 4 years but obviously dislikes campaigning. Conservatives have not adressed the problems that exist in this riding. The GST cut helps buyers of big ticket items but saves only pennies for most in this depressed area. Farmers are still hurting, especially in this riding where Harper promised to scrap the hated CAIS program, the lack of a new and effective farm safety net program is going to hurt the Conservatives now that the livestock farmers are hurting like grain growers. Cuts to food safety and listeriosis remind voters of Walkerton.
On the other hand, Liberal Matt Daudlin grew up in a political family and likes politics. He's young, energetic, sincere, hard working and, trained as a teacher, is a good speaker. He's been working very hard for 2 years to get the nomination and then to connect with the people and the issues that are important here. He will easily point to Conservative failings in the auto industry and health care / wait times / doctor shortage. Recent changes to The Green Shift show that Daudlin can team up with other candidates effectively to sway policy in favour of his riding.
Hoy has won this riding 4 times, out working his competition each time. Daudlin is the best campaigner so unless Harper opens the purse strings towards issues affecting this riding or Dion commits a huge gaff, Daudlin can win.
|08 04 11
|The last election saw a strong swing from the Liberals to the NDP in this riding, partly as a result of a particularly strong and moderate NDP candidate who is not running again in this riding. We can expect to see at least part of this swing reversed, as well as many of the protest votes and abstentions due to the sponsorship scandal return to their traditional alignments.
Any Conservative victory here would be contingent upon the success of the NDP in once again attracting traditionally Liberal and undecided voters, rather than on their own efforts - the Conservative base will come out whether they work hard or not, and no amount of hard work on the part of Conservative activists is going to do much to expand beyond it.
|07 04 04
|Actually, Leamington's not to blame for the outsize NDP result; it may be geographically in Essex County, but it's also what ensured Remo Mancini to be 1990's only surviving provincial Liberal W of Bob Nixon and S of Murray Elston. Rather, it's more of a 401-corridor auto-industry spillover thing (also remember the election-eve Ford cutbacks which, accounting for the St. Thomas plant, practically ?bookended? CKE); also, with no Liberal incumbent running, voters might have felt freer to vote with their conscience, and then there was the possible Grit damage caused by Buzz Hargrove's Bloc-support musings in nearby Strathroy, etc. etc. In fact, before the camouflaging effect of the 90s NDP collapse, CKE was an inherently above-average base for NDP support anyway, albeit more provincially than federally--also bear in mind that Chatham-Kent's 1990-95 NDP MPP Randy Hope is now mayor of the county-municipality of Chatham-Kent. What it all meant, anyway, was a ?solid? win for Van Kesteren; but when all is said and done, his share didn't advance far, it's just that the opposition was split, and it looks to be split again. So he may appear safe-ish, but given the lukewarm Tory history here pre-2004, it's a very soft safe-ish...
|07 04 02
|In 2004, the Tories came within 400 votes of knocking off a Liberal incumbent so despite the past history of this going Liberal, I suspect the next election will be more about closing the gap and then trying to re-take this the election after. The NDP would have to completely collapse and go overwhelmingly Liberal to reclaim this one.
|07 03 30
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|We were not surprised to see this riding go CPC in 2006, but we were surprised how well the NDP did, with numbers similar to neighbouring Essex. Probably a spill-over effect from Leamington. Regardless, the CPC was sufficiently ahead of the Liberals to ensure the Grits won't retake this unless Tory support collapses. NDP support would need to almost collapse completely and all go to the Liberals in order for them to retake it. Tory hold.