|08 10 09
|Another riding I lived in once that I know a bit about. Ethnicity is not going to win anybody this riding. The Germans in this riding are mostly 3rd generation or more and vote based on other reasons. As for the Portuguese, they are not a large enough group to make the difference and the Liberals would do well not to take them for granted.
Ultimately this is a riding filled with people who choose to live in the suburbs or chose to live in the relative countryside of the surrounding townships compared to the big bad city of Kitchener. Its never been a natural left of centre riding. With the Tories falling in Ontario, any soft Tory votes only go to the Libs. This one might be in play if the election went on another 2 weeks. But, it doesn't.
|08 10 07
|The breakdown of the riding is roughly 60% Kitchener and 40% surrounding rural areas with the rural areas usually voting at a rate of at least 5% over Kitchener South. Orlando Da Silva may be a ‘star’ candidate but he left the community after high school graduation and is perceived as being parachuted in. Albrecht has had a very high visibility factor in this riding to the point where, by contrast, the local MPP (Liberal) has been criticized for a lack of presence. The Portuguese community may be strong but do not forget that Albrecht is a German name and this is the home of Oktoberfest. Look for Albrecht to win overwhelmingly in the rural areas and to win the urban by slimmer margin.
|08 10 04
|I have to agree with the previous post. The NDP campaign was slow to get going and hasn't had much of an impact. The Green Party was quick off the mark and may surprise as the 3rd place party in this riding. Jamie Kropf spends a lot of time making himself known(even if it is just standing on the side of the road waving at cars).
Also on a trip up Katherine St. and along RR 21 I saw many Green signs along with Libeal and Conservatives(but no NDP). I say the Greens will be able to draw votes away from areas that typically have voted Conservative.
|08 10 02
|Orlando Da Silva has an extraordinary opportunity this time since the NDP isn't running any discernable campaign. I didn't see a single sign for them until a couple days ago. That's a huge turnaround from last time, when they ran an outstanding campaign and got 15% of the vote. If Da Silva can pick up some of those votes as well as support from all the new housing in South Kitchener, he'll win. He's also got the large Portuguese community sewn up. Kropf the Green is also running a good campaign and will pick up some of the loose NDP votes.
|08 10 01
|This riding is at least, a too close to call. Last nights debates was clearly an indicator for that. In 2006, Harold owned the entire room and then MP Myers dealth with a quiet crowd. Orlando Da Silva did very well and it appears his lawn signs are growing in numbers all over the riding, even with Farmers. I called this riding to go Liberal last fall, despite the Conservative prediction, and i am going to do so again. Also worth noting that last fall, despite the Conservative prediction, the Liberal candidate won by 4000+ votes. Da Silva is going to walk away the winner here in Kitchener-Conestoga by a close margin.
|08 09 11
|Last election, a week before the vote, one of Harold's campaign workers said it was going to be a slam dunk. Not quite. I expect it will be much the same this time. Harold will win the rural areas by a big enough margin to overcome Liberal strength in the suburbs by a slightly increased margin.
|08 06 02
|Actually, the significant majority of voters in the riding live in urban South Kitchener, and that segment of the population is growing every day. With a strong candidate in Orlando Da Silva, the Liberals have an excellent chance of taking this urbanizing seat.
|08 05 24
|Curley Larry and Moe
|It's ridings like Kitchener-Conestoga where the real battles happen in today's politics. This is one of those ridings where urban sprawl has brought more centre/left voters into areas where the rural voters tend to be more right wing in their voting patterns. Having been in this riding recently, we can report that although there are subdivisions popping up all over the place, the majority of the people in Kitchener-Conestoga are still living in a rural setting. For that reason we give Harold Albrecht the edge going into the next election. He will repeat his large victory in the traditional part of this riding and will get enough votes in the suburbs to hold on. Four years from now, this riding will look more like Halton where a housing explosion has turned a Conservative stronghold into a Liberal leaning riding. It will be interesting to see what re-distribution does with Kitchener-Conestoga when that comes up.
|08 05 09
|Doug The Slug
|While there have been some new subdivisions built in suburban Kitchener in the last few years, there's also been quite a few of these new mega Christian churches built as well. These churches have thousands of born again Christians in them and we all know how strongly the bible belt votes for the Conservatives. The Conservatives were smart when they nominated Albrecht as their candidate. Harold is an old fashioned bible belter himself and will clean up this vote.
|08 04 21
|It's important to remember that this isn't a rural riding. The large majority of its residents live in suburban Kitchener. There's a very large Portuguese community in Southwest Kitchener.
|08 04 05
|Some things to consider here that lead me to question the idea it could return to liberals. 1. in nearby Wellington halton hills a very similar riding it first went conservative by a similar small margin yet in last election the mp was able to grow his lead. I have noticed many conservatives ridings are close went they first win them but then lead seems to grow. 2. in the last provincial election when it did go liberal the riding was vacant meaning there was no incumbent advantage a major factor in a rural riding. Also the pc candidates name of Michael Harris maybe did not help him in the end even though he was a good candidate. 3. I?m confused and correct me if I?m wrong but there is a large German and Mennonite population in this ridings small towns. I?m just wondering about The comment on the large Portuguese community and where that is.
|08 03 26
|Of course the Tories have a good chance of hanging on, but this riding is becoming much more suburban than rural, meaning much more Liberal-friendly. Orlando da Silva will campaign hard and win over personal votes, especially in the riding's large Portuguese community. This will be a top swing riding. The winner of the election will win this seat.
|08 03 22
|Curley, Larry and Moe
|The riding of Kitchener-Conestoga is what we in the business call ‘Banjo Country’, meaning the voters here tend to be very rustic. Current MP Harry Albrecht has the kind of rustic roots that easily appeal to voters in this rural riding. Anyone who knows this neck of the woods is aware that there's a world of difference between this riding and urban Kitchener where the Liberals are still quite strong. Harry will run the same traditional, small c conservative campaign and easily hang on for another term. The Liberals we talk to won't be spending any time trying to win Kitchener-Conestoga.
|08 03 20
|Seriously how is it necessary to insult the residents of these ridings when making predictions I don’t see why that is needed in those posts. But that being said I do agree that this riding is a likely conservative hold. For a couple of reasons as former liberal mp Lynn Myers is not going to be running here, he had come close to holding on to the seat but without him as candidate the liberals will not do as good. The riding is more rural and small town which helps and the liberals who tend to do better in the urban ridings in kitchener. Also Harold Albrecht has had a few years as mp to get better known in the riding which usually helps.
|08 03 17
|Peg Leg Pete
|There are a number of large bible belt churches in this rural riding and they carry a lot of weight at election time. Harold Albrecht knows the bible belt folks and plays up his ?family values? for all their worth. The Conservative ?crime bill? that raises the age of consent in Canada is a big vote getter in the bible belts of South West Ontario. Kitchener-Conestoga is just another typical rural, redneck, bible belt riding where the Conservatives are in firm control and the Liberals just can't compete. I predict paster Harold wins by 4500 votes this time.
|08 03 15
|I'm Always Right
|Thirsan F needs to wake up and smell the angry, small town rednecks in this riding that will race to polling stations next time to vote for their man Harold Albrecht. Orlando Da Silva is an average candidate at best and does not bring anything near in the way of new organization or money to make a difference in Kithchener-Conestoga. Albrecht gets the small town vote because he's one of them. Da Silva isn't. The Conservatives hold this riding, easily.
|08 03 06
|Doug The Slug
|This one is easy. Kitchener-Conestoga has the rural rump of the city making it a Conservative riding while the rest of Octoberfest City stays with the Liberals. I disagree with T.V. who says that it's important that Harold Albrecht has to profile so he could lose. In rural ridings like this one, Conservative MPs don't have to have profile. All they need is the Conservative banner to run under. Lyn Myers was a hard working MP but was run over by the rural Conservative vote. The same thing will happen to de Silva at the Conservatives hold this seat.
|07 12 04
|Alright, first of all, Provincial elections have little bearing on Federal elections. There is a vast difference in the image of McGuinty's liberals and Dion's, the same goes with Tory's conservatives and Harpers. Now, finally with the Liberals coming together they are starting to reposition themselves. The newly announced Liberal candidate, Orlando Da Silva is an excellent choice and it will be an interesting race. However, you can't predict who is going to win yet. Things will become clear when the liberal image becomes clear all across the country. On the conservative front, Harold is a strong local member of the community. However, last elections muzzling makes me wonder if he has finally learned to stay silent on issues concerning a choice few of his unpopular morals. It will be interesting to see the reformed Albrecht and Da Silva go head to head. What a great time to be an informed political citizen!
|07 12 03
|The Liberals have nominated a hell of a candidate here in Orlando da Silva. A very successful lawyer and a member of the very large Portuguese community in the riding, he'll put up a very strong fight. He was even once named one of Reader's Digest's Everyday Heroes. Albrecht's by far the lowest-profile member in the region with Goodyear the Ontario caucus chair, Redman the whip, and Telegdi the maverick. He's going to run behind his party, and the party's polling below its vote last election.
|07 10 31
|Hold on a minute here, but let's actually looked at what happened on the group in the provincial election; the Liberals did run a poor campaign but John Tory was effective at alienating both the suburbans who didn't like his school plans AND the socon element who felt betrayed when he turned back on that promise a week before the election (outside of Ancaster, this riding has to have the most private Christian schools per capta). Add into this that Michael Harris, the PC candidate, was too cowardly to express how he'd vote even to his own campaign team and this lead to the Liberal win that we saw on the 10th. Harold isn't so stupid though and has been a very proactive MP, very visible in the area and gets his name in the local papers a lot as he is the only government MP in the Kitchener ridings. Plus, I can appreciate Bear & Ape's assessment back in August when the Tories were a little meh in the polls but if we have an election this fall, it's hard to believe that Mississauga-Erindale will go CPC but Kitchener Conestoga will trade hands back and go back to the Liberals. Someone please explain that logic to me...
|07 10 15
|The recent provincial election showed that this riding is changing as a result of all the suburban growth. Despite a fairly weak campaign, the Liberal candidate won. There are only going to be more suburbs by the time the federal election rolls around and turnout will be higher, all of which helps the Liberals. They're also having a vibrant nomination fight that will produce a strong and dedicated candidate.
|07 08 06
|Agreed about the ‘suburban vote’ point; those in the southern reaches of Kitchener do tend to vote Tory more out of incumbency or quasi-incumbency default than out of conviction. But, we *are* now speaking of incumbency--and as Albrecht's victory proves, when it comes to CPC SoCon-nery, it's better to be covert than overt; still, it might be better if he were a Witmer/Arnott moderate. So, I'm oh-so-barely reluctant to call this for the Tories once again.
|07 08 02
|Dr Bear & Prof Ape
|We have to agree that placing this in the CPC column is a little premature. The poll numbers still show the Torys down from the last election and the Liberals slightly up. In a close race this one could flip. Advantage though is to the CPC since Lynn Myers will not be running for the Liberals.
|07 07 30
|It's crazy to call this riding for the Tories so early. It has vast and fast-growing suburban areas which are rapidly diluting the rural vote, while Albrecht has certainly not made a name for himself in the riding. The last Liberal campaign wasn't aggressive in courting the new residents of the riding who might not have recognized Lynn Myers' name. It's likely that this will be a bellwether riding, with an advantage to the Liberals if they nominate a strong candidate.
|07 05 28
|This riding is very much a conservative one. Lynn Myers managed to hold the seat for a number of years through hardwork and a popular Chretien government. Harold won the seat from Lynn in 2005 in my opinion strictly because of the sponsorship scandal. This election is a tough call. Harold has done absolutely nothing for Kitchener-Conestoga, but at the same time, the Liberals don’t have a candidate picked yet and the Green and NDP candidates dont seem to act like real politicians. Depending on the liberal candidate selected, and an appropriate strategy on Harolds record, the Liberals could win the riding back, but it will be very difficult.
|07 03 27
|The last election made for a close race in this riding. Unfortunately for the Liberals, former MP Lynn Myers nearly died in a car accident back in January and faces a long road to recovery, so unless they can find a good candidate, it will be hard to knock off Harold Albrecht.
Albrecht is a polished, gentlemanly politician who is socially conservative and tows the party line. He hasn't really presented too much for the local needs in Ottawa, but he hasn't hurt himself either. This is more to do with how the Conservatives have presented themselves much more like PCs than anyone could have guessed, prior to the 2007 budget.
Expect him to be returned to the back bench where he won't say much.