Prediction Changed
6:35 PM 24/03/2007

Election Prediction Project

Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Kadis, Susan
Kent, Peter
Koehl, Norbert
New Democratic
Strelchik, Simon

Susan Kadis

2006 Result:
Susan Kadis **
Anthony Reale
Simon Strelchik
Lloyd Helferty
Mark Abramowitz

Previous Prediction/result
06 Prediction/04 Result
04 Prediction/00 Result

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08 10 09 Dan
The sign war may not be the best indicator in this riding. Although there are more blue lawn signs, the condos and apartments around the riding are the highest density of Liberal support. Also, people who predict the outcome based on results along Bathurst or Yonge Street fail to take into account that this riding stretches out to the east all the way to the 404, and east Thornhill is strongly Liberal.
The only reason it went blue provincially was the *very* unpopular incumbent Mario Racco caused most Liberals (particularly Jewish Liberals) to stay home. This time it is the Conservatives who have upset the Jewish population, by calling the election on a holiday.
I expect that although the 10,000 vote gap from 2006 will narrow substantially, it will still go Liberal by about 3000 votes.
08 10 08 Initials
Although this riding appears to vote Liberal consistently in federal elections, the likelihood the Conservatives are elected in this riding may be higher than in the past. This is because the population of Thornhill has experienced high growth since the last election and because the Conservative campaign is significantly stronger than the Liberal campaign, here.
The current Conservative candidate, Kent, appears to be better organized and has a higher profile than the Liberal incumbent, Kadis, since Kent is a high profile television journalist and news anchor. The Kent campaign contacted my household and carried on a lengthy discussion about policy with my wife, whereas the Kadis campaign has not returned any of our calls from three weeks ago to do so, telling us only that their office is ‘still being set up.’ As of today, the Kent campaign has significantly more signage in my neighborhood than does the Kadis campaign. As well, I have received campaign literature from the Kent campaign but none from the Kadis campaign.
The density of the neighborhood has increased with the completion of new high-rise condominium projects. It is my impression that: the new occupants are either senior citizens or young professionals with families; and, their ethnicities are diverse, but there is a large minority of Orthodox Jewish, Russian and Russian Jewish people. It is my impression from conversations with neighbors that they tend either to vote conservative or to be disinterested in the election. What an awful thing to stereotype people!
Who am I? I am a graduate PhD student. I have lived in York Region for most of my life. I live in a high-rise condominium building, in a medium-density middle-class neighborhood of the riding. I will likely vote Liberal in the current election.
Hope this helps.
08 10 06 Johnny Quest
Just talked to a buddy working on Kent campaign and they suggest Peter wins by 1000. I can believe it because: 1) my neighbour,the street's biggest lib, just took a Kent sign 2) drove around Clark on Vaughan side today and he is beating Kadis 20 to 1 on signage between yonge and bathurst 3) similar results on Markham side but not as high ratio. I believe it will be a 1000 votes but Kadis could still pull it off, but big drop for Red team compared to Caplan days.
08 10 03 BB in T.O
Wait just a second here, this one is going to be close. At this point in time I will have to give this one to the conservatives. With the Conservatives with a 10% lead over Liberals in Ontario, this will be one of the 905 ridings that swing Blue. Couple this with the fact that this riding swung blue provincially when the PCs lost seats all over, Peter Kent is somewhat a star candidate and the sign war is very close; we have a tight race on our hands folks.
08 10 01 full name
I still think that the conservatives have a real chance here, and i think they'll get this seat.
Peter Kent's people are very organized, he's been out knocking on doors for two weekends straight now.
Stockwell Day was in the riding last Saturday which indicates that the CPC really think they can get it.
Peter Kent's name and the fact that he'll be on the governments side and not the opposition may give him the advantage over Kadis. Kadis has been a backbencher for a while, and one would think that while Kent will not be a minister he'll have more say within the conservatives than she has with the liberals, especially if he becomes the only conservative MP from the GTA.
08 10 01 jeffrey
conservatives in the 2006 election also said susan's supporters were sticking this one out and she won by 11000 votes. Peter Kent lives in toronto on Wellesley street and moved into the house his wife bought for the election two weeks ago. On September 15 I;m sure the his election sign in front of the thornhill house will be replaced with a for sale sign.
08 09 30 JF
It's very interesting to see how Jeffrey came to the conclusions he did in his earlier post. Peter Kent was front and centre at the Festival and has been immersed in the community for nearly two years.
What is really interesting is how many Susan supporters are ‘sitting this one out’. It seems she's plagued by the same problem her dear, close friend Mario Racco faced. And they will be dealt the same fate.
08 09 21 jeffrey
If putting signs on boulevards are an indication of how well a candidate is doing then Anthony Reale and Josh Cooper would have handily won in previous elections. If you look a signs on residents properties as an indication of support then the Liberal candidate is winning. If you look at the unbelievable support Susan Kadis received at the Thornhill Village Festival, that might also give you an indication.
08 09 20 R.O.
From what I saw first hand in thornhill this riding should be moved to too close to call and is not a safe liberal seat. There is Peter Kent signs like everywhere and I could not drive along a major road without seeing them. He even has 2 different versions of large signs being used. One features his name and is blue the other a big picture of him and his name but conservative logo small. The liberal mp Susan Kadis had some signs up but was being out signed by Peter Kent along major intersections and such. When passing thru this riding you get the feel Peter Kent is running a very strong campaign and intends to actually win this riding even though many critics feel he cannot. Well I admit signs are only one of many indicators they were very noticeable here. Myself I have not came to a solid prediction here yet but consider it to be too close to call at this time.
08 09 19 King of Kensington
MB: Thornhill does not have anywhere close to 40% of all Canadian Jews - more like 10%. There are something like 350,000 Jews in Canada - are you trying to tell me that there are close to 150,000 Jews in Thornhill riding alone (i.e. over 100%)?? Keep in mind that even in Thornhill the majority of voters are not Jewish (perhaps 40%) and only about 20-25% of the Jews in the GTA live in Thornhill. I do however agree with your prediction that this should stay Liberal, but by a reduced margin. Harper's stance on Israel and Peter Kent's candidacy will probably help the Tories a little, but not enough to win, then again the Sukkot election and New Year's cards could hurt them (though I think the effect will be slight). It will also be harder to say the Liberals have been ‘anti-Israel’ (and by implication anti-Jewish) when the Liberal MP is Jewish and the Tory candidate is not.
08 09 19 MB
Kadis will win here. despite the fact that 40% of canadian jews live in this one riding support for Israel is not an issue here. education, health, environment are. jews and non jews alike in thornhill support Israeli people but not their government policies.
08 09 17 Marco Ricci
One of the things I wonder is just how well known Peter Kent actually is - he has been retired as Global News Anchor for a number of years now and he does not have the as high a profile as say Peter Mansbridge or Lloyd Robertson. I suspect that some people, particularly younger voters, don't know who he is.
Also, considering that Carolyn Bennett received twice as many votes as he did in 2006 in St. Paul's, that may indicate that he is not the strongest campaigner. It will also be interesting to see whether playing musical chairs by running in a new riding this year will be viewed positively or negatively by voters.
08 09 15
Every election in Thornhill the conservatives predict victory only to lose to the Liberals. Watching Peter Kent on Cpac a couple of days ago I've come to the conclusion he needs a teleprompter if he goes canvassing door to door.
08 09 15 Always Right
You guys are going to have egg on your face if you don't take this and put it in the TCTC column soon. True, Susan Kadis is popular among certain elements of the riding, but many here will be (and are) attracted to the CPC's strong support for Israel. Combine this with the fact that Harper is polling better than ever before in urban areas, the CPC is dropping huge amounts of money into the riding, and that Peter Kent is one of the strongest candidates that the Tories have, and we have here the makings of the first domino to fall in the Lib's fortress GTA.
08 09 14 DB
Let's face it. There are four holidays for Jews in the span of one month around this time. It's virtually impossible to schedule an election outside of one if the election is to happen around now. Comparing Sukkos to Easter or Christmas is a joke. It's a holiday that most Jews work on and don't take as seriously compare to Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur. If the election was on one of those dates, I'd be up in arms. But it's not.
This will not decide the riding. I call it a Liberal hold but a much closer margin given Peter Kent's credentials and Harper's strong pro-Israel stances.
08 09 14 Stevo
Bear & Ape: I think you should relax. I am Jewish. I was not offended by the election timing. As I said in my previous post, Sukkot is a MINOR Jewish holiday (not even close to being the Jewish equivalent of Christmas or Easter), and most Jewish Canadians barely celebrate it or even know when it takes place. We live in a secular country and I think most people of faith (whatever their faith may be) understand that national affairs will occasionally coincide with religious events. I don't think Steven Brooks was being inconsiderate, but was merely pointing out that those who have conflicts on election day (religious or otherwise) can vote in advance polls. If the Conservatives don't win Thornhill, it won't be due to any alleged hypersensitivity over election timing.
08 09 13 Dr Bear without Prof Ape
I got two words for Steven Brook: IN CONSIDERATE
As a practicing Catholic I can only think about how I would feel if an unnecessary election (Every single person here knows this is unnecessary, we have fixed election dates, there was no vote of no confidence and Harper choose an election now because he knew he was up in the polls! As much as I enjoy the ‘sport’ of election predictioneering, I know that the reasoning for an election are just wrong) was called for Christmas or Easter! I would be angry. Especially if it was from a party that is actively trying to woo my vote. Unless I had some strong predisposition for that party I would vote against them out of spite. I think that might the advanced polls.
08 09 12 R.O.
Think this one might be a bit closer than some of the posts claim as Peter Kent is a good candidate for the conservatives and high profile as well. Many still remember him from his days as a news anchor and his run in Toronto last election. Have been to this riding before and noticed it is more urban than the york region ridings to the north of it but do not think that is enough to guarantee a liberal win here. Sure the liberals won the willowdale by-election which is just south of thornhill but the liberals were polling much better than and seem to be losing momentum even in Ontario. So unless the liberal numbers improve Peter Kent has a chance here.
08 09 10 Steven Brook
I have two words for people unable to vote on October 14 due to the Jewish Holiday : Advance Polls (Oct 3,4 & 6).
08 09 08 Stevo
Peter Kent would make for a fantastic MP, I believe, but he probably won't succeed in eliminating the 10,000+ vote gap from the 2006 election, although who knows. If the polls showing the Tories in the low-40s nationwide hold up, Thornhill would certainly be one of the first 905 ridings to flip. Kent's cerebral nature (a stark contrast to the somewhat flaky Susan Kadis) should play well here.
One note about Sukkot: It is not a major holiday and is celebrated only marginally or not at all by most Jews. I think most Jewish Canadians - including those who are Orthodox - understand that national matters cannot be put on hold for simply any random holiday from any faith group. If the election had been called for Yom Kippur - the most holy day on the Jewish calendar - then I think it would be reasonable for the Jewish community to be upset. But Sukkot? I don't think so, and I can't see many Jews being so angry by it as to switch their votes away from the Conservatives (if they were indeed leaning in that direction).
08 09 08 St. Paul's Progressive
There is a very large religious Jewish community in Thornhill. I am told that most of the Orthodox community in the GTA now lives in Thornhill and certainly the times I have visited Thornhill it feels like an Orthodox community.
I already think the Liberals have an advantage regardless, given that Susan Kadis is much more personally popular than the former Liberal MPP was. But with Harper calling an election on Sukkot, he will certainly lose some credibility among his most solid supporters in the Jewish community, who tend to be more religious - many of whom not vote or vote Liberal in the advanced polls instead.
08 09 07 Marco Ricci
As others have said, the fact that the Liberals won this by a comfortable margin last time probably means they will again this time. If the Liberals were to go down in the polls from where they are now, that could change. Peter Kent may also not be able to improve Conservative fortunes here since he may be viewed as a weak candidate having lost in St. Paul's last time and now having to run here instead.
Another possible factor against the Conservatives may be that Harper is probably not going to pick up many new Jewish votes this year after Jewish groups asked Harper not to call the election on the Jewish holiday of October 14 and he has done so anyway:
08 05 06 T.V.
This is definitely Susan Kadis' seat. If she decided to retire, I think that the conservative element of the Jewish community would swing a lot of votes over to the Tories. It's only her personal popularity that is holding them for the Liberals, and they make up an exceptionally large voting bloc in this riding. If the Tories ran a strong Jewish candidate like Peter Shurman, they'd have a good chance of a pick-up.
08 03 21 jeffrey
Thornhill has been a liberal stronghold since it;s inception in 1997. At no time has conservative support exceeded 33% and the liberal vote has always been in excess of 50%. It doesn’t matter what candidate the conservatives have running in Thornhill this election in the GTA will be a referendum on Stephen Harper and all polls show he isn’t doing too well in the greater toronto area.
08 03 18 R.O.
Well it will be an interesting race in thornhill , even though its on the edge of Toronto its still an area where the conservatives are completive. The provincial riding even went pc last election but it was an odd election and faith based funding was major issue in this riding. But federally the conservatives have a strong candidate Peter Kent who ran in the tough Toronto riding of St Pauls last election and ran a good campaign considering the riding is a liberal stronghold. But this is a tough riding and Susan Kadis has been mp for a couple of years as well. One thing for sure it will be a much different campaign here then the last election as Peter Kent is making a serious run.
08 01 26 Anthony Soprano, Jr.
Mario Racco lost because he was an idiot. This is normally a very Liberal area. Susan Kadis is reasonably popular and I don't see how a carpetbagger like Peter Kent is going to take the riding for the Conservatives.
Just to let people know of my biases, in the last election I voted Green in protest because I was disgusted with both major parties.
07 10 18 Vote Bob Rae
I understand that the Conservatives are pretty confident about taking this but I agree with Jeffrey. I believe Susan Kadis will be re-elected, for the following reasons:
1. Mario Racco wasn't just any old dreadful MPP. Even so Peter Shurman barely beat the worst possible opponent. Someone of the caliber of Susan Kadis or Elinor Caplan would have wiped the floor with Shurman.
2. John Tory is a very Red Tory who was pretty indistinguishable from McGuinty on the issues besides school funding. If a rightwinger like Jim Flaherty was the leader, there is no way the PC's would have taken Thornhill, regardless of the school funding issue.
3. Stephen Harper and the federal Conservatives are seen as more hard-right and clearly ideologically different from the federal Liberals.
4. Israel will be less of an issue than school funding was. And it's not a simple yes or no question, and there is not only one way of being pro-Israel. Besides, Kadis is very pro-Israel and having Bob Rae as foreign affairs critic will appeal to pro-Israel voters as well.
5. Susan Kadis took this riding by 11,000 votes last time - a landslide victory. She is a thousand times more respected than Racco.
6. Peter Kent is a strong, articulate candidate and generally regarded as a Red Tory. In contrast, Josh Cooper and Anthony Reale were very weak candidates. Still, he has no connection to Thornhill whatsoever and it's going to be hard for him to close the 11,000 vote gap to win.
07 10 15 Jeffrey
I feel it's wrong to suggest the provincial election results in Thornhill will have a bearing on the Federal results. Shurman received 45.9% of the vote and in 2003 Tina Molinari received about the same at 45.3%. Many Liberals in the Jewish community did not want to vote for Mario Racco for obvious reasons and parked their vote with the NDP and Green party as a protest. These same Jewish liberal voters will support Susan Kadis in the upcoming Federal Election.
07 10 11 Stevo
An island of blue in a sea of red indeed - Thornhill bucked the McGuinty landslide in the provincial election and replaced the Liberal incumbent with a new Conservative MPP. This certainly warrants a closer look at Thornhill as a possible swing riding in the next federal election. No, I am not so naive to think that the provincial result will automatically make Thornhill competitive for the federal Tories. By all accounts, Mario Rocco was a pretty dreadful MPP, whereas Susan Kadis has much higher ratings in her performance as MP. That said, to discount the results of yesterday's provincial vote would be foolish. I believe Thornhill will flip into the Tory column federally if Harper nears majority territory, and may even flip in the event of a stronger minority (145-150 seats). Don't kid yourself - expect a real battle here.
07 08 21 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Same old, same old! Jewish voters will run to the conservatives because of their pro-Israel stance and star candidate will magically win over thousands upon thousands of voters despite his party doing no better in the polls than they did in election '06. Some Jews will vote CPC based on their pro-Israel stance, we admitted that in an earlier post, but Jewish voters tend to favour the Liberals on most other issues. If the CPC was resonating with the Jewish voters we'd be seeing a shift to the CPC in places like Mount Royal (not happening!). As for a star candidate, yeah Peter Kent will win over some voters to the CPC. But there is over a 10K gap between the CPC and Libs to over come. Star candidacy or not, that is one friggin' huge gap and it won't be closed very much with poll numbers as they are now! Bottom line, CPC will do better in Thornhill than they did in 2006 but not enough for it to matter.
07 08 14 Shelly K.
I believe Peter will win by a margin of 2000-3000 votes.
Someone previously mentioned he has only a slightly better chance than he did in St. Paul's. This is a ridiculous notion considering the gap that has to be closed from the previous election is about 10,000 votes smaller in Thornhill than it was in Thornhill. This also ignores the events of summer 2006 when the Conservative Party emerged as THE pro-Israel party above and beyond the Liberal party. While Jews might not jump ship from the Liberals all at once, everyone knows we will definitely see some kind of significant shift. Also, a number of important Liberal EDA members, donors and fundraisers have jumped ship to support Peter Kent. Also, we know how terribly the national Liberal party has been doing with their fundraising. Without large corporate donations which they’ve relied on in the past, the Liberal party will not succeed.
07 07 08 Stan
I think the Conservative Party led in Thornhill by Peter Kent will win in the next election. Susan Kadis, the incumbent Liberal MP for Thornhill is a backbencher MP whereas Peter Kent is a star candidate and would surely be given a PS or Ministerial position in Cabinet. As well, the Liberals have failed on a number of key issues for Thornhill voters including support for Israel, public safety/terrorism and corruption. As well, fair funding for faith-based schools will be a major issue in the upcoming provincial election which will help rally support for Conservatives.
07 04 20 Steve L.
Thornhill has become slightly more interesting now that Peter Kent, who may be rivalling David Haggard (of Coquitlam-New Westminster and Vancouver East non-fame) for the enviable title of Mr. Suicide Run, threw his hat in the ring.
not because i think he has a realistic chance of winning. this riding is marginally more winnable than St. Paul's, but... not much more. i simply think that the campaign may become more interesting.
the Jewish community here is as significant for the Conservatives as the rich people in Toronto's Don Valley. they'll all vote Liberal, essentially. but i expect the Conservatives to place a stronger second here. by the way Noam Chomsky is Jewish himself. goes to show the solidarity of Jewish opinions worldwide.
07 04 16 H.A.
I think Peter Kent will defeat Susan Kadis in the next federal election for the Thornhill riding for a few reasons: First, the Conservative Party's pro-Israel position during last summer's war in Lebanon (alongside the Liberal's anti-Israel positions) will show voters on the fence who care about Israel that the Conservative Party is the only party at the federal level that supports Israel....Third, Peter Kent's personal recognition as an honourable journalist will help sway many Liberal voters. He has moderate positions on social issues that combined with the Conservative positions on the economy will be able to reach a wide range of Thornhill voters.
07 04 15 J.F.
With an election still a while away, I truly feel this one is going to be closely contested but not an easy win for the Liberals or Conservatives. But there are a few factors on both sides that need to be addressed. First, Susan Kadis was a very active member of City Council for many years, where she was the voice and the face of many initiatives. She suffers now from being in a ‘bigger pool’ where her work is harder to be viewed. No disrespect, just a matter of fact. I may not agree with the party, but as a politician, she's made her mark.
With Peter Kent, you have someone who has very little local affiliation with the riding and its residents. It’s the same old star candidate syndrome that seems to afflict Thornhill. It is becoming bothersome that the political parties can't find local residents to contest for the seat in this riding. We had it with Caplan and we have it with Kent. And there were others in between. Bottom line, as a card carrying Tory, I never knew about Kent being acclaimed until the media covered it. So while the Association may be tightly knit, its members are left out in the cold. I'm likely not the only one and I hope that this resonates into the mainstream media.
Bottom line, you have two candidates who can do the job, saddled with two local associations that hinder more than they help.
07 04 13 St. Paul's Progressive
I don't believe Thornhill will be a blue island in a sea of red. The Jewish community of Canada remains very committed to small-l liberal values. The Tory vote has always been low; historically around 85% of Canadian Jews vote Liberal or NDP. Mulroney was as pro-Israel as Harper is and that didn't get him the Jewish vote. People who have studied Jewish political behaviour - pollsters Michael Marzolini and Martin Goldfarb; academics Jean Lapance, Morton Weinfeld and Nelson Wiseman - have demonstrated the clear liberalism of the community. They are not going to suddenly vote for Harper en masse. And of course there's plenty of data from the US which shows they're about as likely to vote Republican as gays and lesbians.
There was a Star Article, ‘Jewish Voters: A Liberal Casualty?’ last summer. It noted that the Jewish Liberal vote in 2006 had declined from its 1980s level. The implication seemed to be that they have been warming to the Tories. I spoke to Marzolini who conducted polls in heavily Jewish ridings in the GTA that was able to provide breakdowns for Jewish voters. It turned out that the decline in Jewish support for the Tories was even more pronounced and the main beneficiary was the NDP, which had long enjoyed above-average Jewish support and whose vote went up even further. Marzolini suggested that this had to do with their degree of integration in Canada - the greater the integration, the less likelihood of Liberal voting and more independence in terms of political choice (and thus less likelihood of bloc voting). This obviously had nothing to do with Israel policy but it makes sense that a heavily small-l liberal community that is increasingly independent politically would see the drop in Liberal support go the NDP. Similarly Italian Canadians are also less Liberal than they used to be although this has benefited the Tories and the NDP. It appears that Maurizio's big victories in neighbouring Vaughan may have quite a bit to do with personal popularity and that the Italian Tory in other 905 ridings like Richmond Hill and Thornhill may be quite high.
Granted the NDP is not a player in Thornhill so that's neither here nor there - I suspect the Jewish NDP vote is stronger in St. Paul's and the Annex where there are a lot of intelligentsia and chattering class types. And Thornhill's Jewish community is probably more small-c conservative than elsewhere in the GTA. But this idea that Thornhill Jews are Conservative-leaning strikes me as ridiculous.
One can say ‘this time it's different’ all the old election results don't matter but I've been hearing this Jews will go conservative argument since the 1970s!
07 04 12 E.K.
My reason for predicting the Conservatives will win this time aren't so much based on the policy positions of either party or Candidate (although certainly the pro-Israel conservatives will help sway the Jewish vote, and people still have a bad taste left in their mouths from the Liberal scandals) ... but the general talk is pretty much ‘Woa Peter Kent is running in Thornhill?!? I'm voting for him!’
Susan, while perhaps not really being involved in any scandals or public controversies, is a very low-profile and quiet MP... we don't often hear her stand up and speak in the house.
Peter on the other hand has a great reputation as a journalist and broadcaster.
Come election time, I think people will ask themselves what Susan can do for us as an MP, and what Peter could do for us as an MP.. and considering everyone seems to think Peter would be ushered right into Cabinet, I think people will tend to give him their support.
07 04 11 A.S.
I'm not sure if ‘not many Jews in Parliament right now’ is something really worth pointing out or even noticing (and besides, within the Liberal caucus alone, someone of Irwin Cotler's stature is worth a score of Jewish backbenchers); but yes, Jewishness and, even more so, the kind of localism that an ex-municipal councillor can bring works to Kadis's favour, even if she's lower-profile than Elinor Caplan--but, perhaps, with fresh brownie-points-on-conscientious-principle for withdrawing from Iggy's leadership bid. As for Peter Kent, he's neither local nor Jewish, but I guess the whole illustrious Asper affiliation makes up for that--and, being both 905 and reasonably affluent, the seat better fits the more general Flaherty-budget Tory-target framework, anyway. Let's just say, Kent's got twice the chance of winning here with half the publicity he got in St. Paul's. Not that he will win, but for sanity's sake, let's downplay the middle-eastern politics angle the best we can, huh? (It's tough. And as I indicated last time, too, unless there's a big Italian-Asian shift as well, the demos help explain why Thornhill could wind up an isle of blue in a sea of red...)
07 04 10 King of Kensington
People ought to look back at the absurd postings here in 2000 when half the people were predicting an Alliance victory here, due to Stockwell Day's supposed popularity in the Jewish community. We may laugh at it now, but these posts were made with as much zeal as we're seeing now, probably more. I recall the Alliance faring very poorly in that race and Elinor Caplan winning by a huge landslide. Again we heard in 2004 and 2006 how the Jewish community has swung to the right and this will result in a Conservative upset in Thornhill, only to see Susan Kadis win by 11,000 votes. Yes these victories were smaller than Caplan's but this had more to do with the PCs and Alliance merging and a declining Liberal vote nationally than any demonstrable shift to the right in the Jewish community.
The fact is Jewish support for the Conservatives has always been very low. Only Orthodox Jews vote Tory in large numbers and they're a small proportion of the community overall. A common refrain I'm sure we'll hear again is how younger secular Jews are more independent thinkers than their parents but of course that ‘independence’ seems to mean (ironically) voting Conservative like sheep based on one issue, not also considering the NDP or Greens. The Orthodox/non-Orthodox cleavage is much greater than the generational one.
Granted Thornhill Jews are not as progressive as Jews in St. Paul's or the Annex where the Jewish Tory vote is very, very low, but still most are Liberal voters. There may be a slight shift to the Conservatives but it will be slight in its overall impact - it's not as if it will double or triple over one issue.
Not to mention 60% of the riding population is NOT Jewish. And even among the 40% that are, very few cast their votes based on Israel policy. In fact most of those who do already vote Conservative. It would require a HUGE swing to the Tories to pull off a victory here.
And finally this staffer quitting business is about as relevant as Susan Kadis wrongly endorsing someone in a byelection or holding a meeting on Easter - I'd be surprised if more than 5 people in the riding base their decision based on these things.
07 04 08 Brian Appel
This riding has the largest concentration of Jews of any riding in Canada. That having been said, it shouldn't be assumed that Jews will always vote for the Liberals. They tend to, absolutely, but the Conservative Party has shown a clear pro-Israel bias...several months ago. Provided nothing major happens in Israel, though, I don't see any reason why Susan Kadis will lose this seat. Firstly, she's Jewish and there's definitely not many Jews in Parliament right now; secondly, she's quite popular; thirdly, she's done nothing to warrant her losing her seat. She might not cruise to victory, but she'll hold on here without too much trouble.
07 04 08 Jeremy G.
I believe the tides will change in this election for Thornhill because
a) Growing support within the Jewish community because of anti-Israel statements by Liberal Party leadership and the pro-Israel stance of the Harper government. In response to people who say this is irrelevant because Jews aren't all single-issue voters, etc - while that is true, the fact remains that Israel is a significant factor and a considerable 'ballot question' for Jewish voters. It will not have a 'monolithic' effect, but it will have a potentially significant one.
b) Peter Kent has strong name recognition and tons of support from all corners. He's pro-Israel, and has moderate positions on issues like same-sex marriage and the environment which is a concern many Thornhill voters have about the Conservative Party. I believe he will help alleviate such concerns.
c) Susan Kadis is not the most active MP. She is not currently a critic in Dion's shadow cabinet, and has not made herself extremely vocal/visible as an MP.
d) Rumors about people dropping out of the Liberal Party campaign in Thornhill. A prime example is the fact that the President of their EDA resigned during last summer's war in Lebanon over the Israel foreign policy issue.
07 04 08 Mayor McCheese
While this riding will stay liberal at the provincial level it will go conservative at the federal level. The conservative riding association seems to be well organized and united behind their candidate, Peter Kent, this time around, which is a new concept for this riding association. The only reason Susan Kadis has won by large margins in the past is because of the disorganisation and infighting within the conservative riding association. While it is unquestionable that Kadis would return to the backbench’s if re-elected and the liberals manage to form a gov. Peter Kent on the other hand will get a high profile cabinet position if he is elected.
07 04 05 Stevo
Having grown up nextdoor in Willowdale, I know Thornhill very well and have many friends and family living there.
Two points:
- the Jewish vote: I know it's been stated here already but it bears repeating that Jewish Canadians use the same criteria when deciding who to vote for as other Canadians; that is, it depends mostly on domestic issues rather than foreign policy. And anyway, the Jewish community is far from monolithic in its opinion of Israeli policy or how pro-Israel our government ought to be. There is a wide diversity of opinion from ultra-liberal/atheist to ultra-conservative/orthodox.
- even if the Jewish vote gravitated towards the Conservatives based on Harper's stance on the Middle East (and as I stated above, this cannot be assumed), the other large blocks of voters in the riding - Italian- and Chinese-Canadians - strongly lean Liberal and there is little indication that this will change in 2007.
Assuming the Jewish vote splits fairly evenly between Liberals and Conservatives, but the Italian and Asian vote goes overwhelmingly Liberal, the Liberal candidate will win easily, as she did in 2004 and 2006, Peter Kent's candidacy on the Conservative side notwithstanding.
07 04 04 IA
3) The current government's foreign policy orientations, specificaly towards Israel and the Middle East e.g. the government's positions during last summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah compared to the opposition's positions.
4) The incumbent is a backbencher, she's endorsed failed leadership candidates, and has slowly been losing support in previous elections. Lastly, there have been numerous rumours about people dropping out of her campaign team, including important campaign donors.
This will no doubt be a strongly contested race by both parties, and both parties will surely view Thornhill as a 'target riding' in the upcoming election. Therefore, while I predict the Conservative Party candidate will win, for the purposes of your website, I consider this race 'too close to call'.
07 03 30 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Amongst some of our Jewish friends, the Israel policy is a factor in their voting decision, however in most cases it plays a small role and other policies tend sway them towards the Liberals. That's not to say that some in the Jewish community will go hard right based on this issue, it's just that they will be far and few between to make a dent in Kadis' lead. It may play a factor if, and only if, the CPC make major break throughs in the northern 905. We're not holding our breath and we expect Kadis to be re-elected rather easily.
07 03 29 King of Kensington
This is a very safe Liberal riding, Susan Kadis won it by 11,000 votes in a weak year for the Liberals. And frankly this idea that 'Jews like Heather Reisman' are becoming Conservatives is offensive in that it implies that Reisman has any influence whatsoever on how Jews vote. It was big news when Schwartz and Reisman became Tories but two people becoming Tories does not amount to a major realignment.
07 03 29 St. Paul's Progressive
Here we go again. To those who insist that the 'Jewish vote' is mainly determined by Israel policy and thus Harper is going to win Thornhill for his support for Israel, consider this. In 2004, there was more talk about the 'Jewish vote' in the American media than any time I can remember and you heard a great deal about Bush being the most pro-Israel president ever and about how the Democrats were the party of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Then Kerry got something like 78% of the Jewish vote. I don't see Canada being any different.
The fact is Canadian Jews tend to be very small-'l' liberal in their values and vote well to the left of their Gentile counterparts. A few words in support of Israel by Harper isn't going to change that. This point was well put in a letter to the Star last February:
07 03 29 Blue Barry
The Conservatives finally looks like they are taking this riding seriously by getting a real candidate in Peter Kent well in advance to run a proper campaign and this means we should paint this blue. Susan Kadis cannot seem to shake her city council cronies and the corruption at the municipal level in Vaughan. She is now directly involved in a major scandal that has escalated to the Supreme court of Ontario involving Vaughan’s former Mayor.
07 03 28 Angry Ontarian
This is home to a large Jewish population. Stephen Harper has expressed full support for Israel, while the Liberals have not. This caused MP Susan Khadis to resign from Michael Ignatieff's leadership bid over his ‘war crime’ outburst. With high-profile (former) Jewish Grits like Heather Reisman shredding Liberal membership cards left, right, and center, and expressing support for the Tory Government, there's no doubt a Grit backlash will be felt here.
07 03 26 St. Paul's Progressive
I'm happy to see some sensible posts here and not the usual array of ‘Jews have abandoned the Liberals over Israel policy and will now vote Alliance/Conservative’ that we've seen all too often in Election Prediction in recent years, only to see Susan Kadis and Elinor Caplan win by very, very big margins. It doesn't seem a coincidence to me that while the Conservatives do quite well in very affluent 905 ridings that are heavily WASP like Oakville and Halton, but they get clobbered in Thornhill which is similar in terms of affluence. Kent also has no ties to Thornhill whatsoever. Easy Liberal hold.
07 03 26 RZ
With the Conservatives now at 40% in Ontario according to the latest poll, I would not be so quick to call this one for the Liberals. If that level of support holds or grows, the Tories will make big gains in the 905 region. Peter Kent is a much stronger candidate than Anthony Reale. Also worth noting is the sizable Jewish community in Thornhill. Many Jewish Canadians have moved to the Tories since the last election, due to Harper's strong pro-Israel stance and anti-Israel statements made by prominent Liberals.
07 03 21 M. Lunn
Peter Kent will do better here than he did in St. Paul's, but a 20 point margin is probably too much to overcome considering how little (if anything it all) the Conservatives have gained since last election.
07 03 21 Red Robin
Thornhill has elected Liberals to Ottawa for as long as it has been a riding. The last 4 elections have been Liberal landslides by Susan Kadis and Elinor Caplan. The conservatives think they can make a dent in the trend by parachuting in a candidate who has no ties to the community, and no connection to Thornhil, and who lost the last election in his own riding to Carolyn Bennett by nearly 15,000 votes.
Note the vote margin by which the Liberal candidate won in the past 4 elections in Thornhill: (1997: 10789*, 2000: 14171*, 2004: 10584, 2006: 10929). It has never been close, and there is no doubt that regardless of what happens in the rest of the country, Thornhill is painted red again.
(and in the years before this became a riding, when it was composed of parts of Markham-Whichurch-Stouffville and York North, even when those riding went conservative, the portions inside what is now the Thornhill riding were overwhelmingly Liberal.)
*1997 and 2000 numbers reflect vote margin over *combined* PC & Reform candidates. Reference:

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