|David Christopherson is the incumbent. He is among the top ten in riding membership and is in excellent financial shape with a healthy amount in the kitty and an even healthier amount pledged. He will be returned.|
|This riding is too close to call right now. David Christopherson is a formidable candidate no doubt. However, he only won his riding by about 100 votes last time to the Liberals. I would suggest this riding could go anyway right now. The reason is that the Liberals and NDP could split the vote and allow Lillian Ross to be re-elected. So this riding is certainly not a lock for any party.|
|Ross' chances of re-election are minimal. It's basically between Christopherson and D'Amico. Don't underestimate Christopherson. He took the only Hamilton riding the NDP *didn't* win in '87, and turned it into the only Hamilton riding the NDP *did* win in '95.|
|Christopherson has a lot of solid labour support in this blue collar riding and will get a lot of help from labour in the way of canvassers and campaign workers... don't forget Christopherson was virtually offered the OFL Presidency on a platter if he had wanted it.|
|And of course, keep in mind that as Solicitor-General, Christopherson gained a good enough rep to win over some of the "law & order" types who might otherwise have gone ReformaTory. Meanwhile, in Ross's turf of Hamilton West, the NDP's Richard Allen not only held on to second place ahead of the Libs, but he was in first place not just in the "obvious" innermost polls but in the relatively mid-upscale Westdale neighbourhood. Thus, the Libs go into this in third place overall against two incumbents, and the NDP's bolstered by an urbane "Lankin leftist" undercurrent akin to downtown Toronto. The tactical anti-Tory money's on Xtopherson by a long shot, and with enough labour support to stun an elephant, this is his to lose. (But careful; the Tories still would have been on top in '95.)|
|Christopherson is the ultimate coalition builder - a UAW/CAW leader who has consistently been elected to municipal and provincial offices in a Steelworker town. It was largely Christopherson's machine that helped Andrea Horwath win a seat on Hamilton Council in 1997 - defeating an incumbent.|
|Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo|
|A reputation for constituency work stands Tory incumbent Lillian Ross in good stead in Hamilton West.
But economic numbers and history, among other things, say there won't be a Tory repeat here, where, before Ross arrived on the scene, the battles were fought almost exclusively between Grits and NDPers.
Tory welfare policies have not helped this working-class riding, which has seen a declining population and ranks next to last in the province in median household income ($32,351).
With riding redistribution bringing two-term NDP stalwart MPP Dave Christopherson, a former solicitor-general, into the race, Ross's chances become even slimmer.
Add Grit Frank D'Amico, who currently represents part of the riding as city councillor and should be able to make a dent in the 12-per-cent Italian base, and you've got Ross in a tight spot.
|Tories might have a strong showing here last time, but it might be an anomalie. Safe money is on either the NDP or Liberals winning the seat with PC's in a respectable 3rd.|
|The tories don't have much of a shot here, except a SLIM and that's a very slim chance of comming up the middle, but they'll probably place a distant third. This is an NDP/LIB race and the Liberals have the advantage by picking up some of the swelled support that went PC last time..|
|This is not a swing riding. D'Amico is no match for Christopherson. The NDP will win this riding hands down, not even really a race. D'Amico should stick to municipal politics. Christopherson will definitely run a better campaign than D'Amico and the NDP will focus all their attention to this riding, which is, the only one they really have a chance at winning in Hamilton. Definitely NDP, not a swing. Don't even need to watch this one of election night.|
|Frank D'Amico has done a very good job as a city councilor in Hamilton and the people in Hamilton West know who Frank is and what he has done to make this city a better place. This is a huge advantage for the Liberals to have this high profile candidate running for them. Frank has called on the contacts he has made in the last few years and has put together a powerful team. Christophersen knows he is in beg trouble and has been taking personal shots at Frank. D'Amico will also be helped by the collapse of the Tory vote in Hamilton West.|
|Lillian Ross is a dead duck. This is a riding where a large segment (Westdale) was hit by huge property tax hikes due to downloading. Add to that the rest of the Harris agenda on a working -class town equals bye-bye Lillian (and none too soon!!!!!).|
||The Hamilton Spectator
|Christopherson hands-down winner of first debate by Jim Poling|
|When three politicians exited the library turnstile at Westdale Secondary School yesterday, they left with a clear indication of what is to come during the weeks ahead as they fight for a spot at Queen's Park.
Incumbent Conservative Lillian Ross was doctrine-driven and defensive, Liberal Frank D'Amico read from a prepared statement and might as well have been addressing the chamber of commerce, and New Democrat David Christopherson was fiery, animated, and loud.
If this were a high school football rally, Christopherson would have been the quarterback and the students would have carried him high on their shoulders. More than 130 students crammed the second-floor library of the west Hamilton school, marking the first public debate between the three political contenders.
What emerged was a picture of a challenging and passionate race and certainly one of the key regional contests. Hamilton West is considered a bellwether riding and one of the hottest races in Ontario that pits two incumbent MPPs and a popular city alderman against each other. All have deep party roots and politcal resumes.
Ross took the riding from the NDP in the 1995 Conservative sweep of Ontario. Christopherson, a two-term MPP and a former cabinet minister in the Bob Rae government, is running in Hamilton West because his old riding of Hamilton Centre was eliminated. D'Amico has been a city and regional concillor since 1991.
Ross said she expected the students to not favour the Conservatives, but she says the hour-long debate in front of high school students will be indicative of voters' tone leading to the June 3 vote.
"There's some misconceptions out there about what this government has done and a lot of promises made by the other parties with no way to substantiate how they are going to increase funding," she said.
Ross appeared argumentative and challenged students. D'Amico was long-winded and muddy, except when he said large corporations like Stelco should pay more taxes and perhaps a special levy for pollution charges. Christopherson was a hit, a combination of student sympathies and his ability to appeal to them.
While Ross and D'Amico repeatedly used the words deficit and debt, sustainability, tax cuts, surplus and looming financial challenges, Christopherson played to his audience. Consider his analogy for the government selling the Highway 407 and using the money to pay down the deficit.
"It's like you selling your stereo system to pay for new clothes next year. It's great for that one year, but then when you go to replace the clothes the year after, the money is gone."
The three used the forum to stake out their ground and define their issues. Ross emphasized that the previous four years have been tough, and said that is the price voters must pay for a better future. Christopherson said he would reverse Harris government policies and spend more on health, welfare, education and post-secondary education.
D'Amico lectured Ross on the provincial impact of the cuts on municipalities and said health care and education will play significant roles in his pitch to earn votes.
"The students here asked very tough and very intelligent questions, and I think this is the kind of election that it's going to be," he said.
|Judging from the number of signs placed by all three candidates on people's lawns, this election is not yet in the bag for the NDP.
The three candidates all have large segments of support in the community and this riding will be won by a small segment of voters who are undecided and who will go to the trouble of casting a ballot on election day. On this basis I'm betting this riding will be won once the results of Tuesday's debate are analysed by the pundits and pollsters.
Interestingly, as a resident of this riding I have only come into contact with a single piece of printed election material delivered by Canada Post. This additional factor causes me to wonder whether Chris C. has got the muscle and resources to ensure this once mighty NDP fortress doesn't crumble at its base on or before to election day.
|Judging from signage throughout the riding, Christopherson has the strongest showing, with D'Amico second. Ross' visibility is limited. I've received literature from the NDP and Tories, but none from the Liberal camp. With 8 days left, the Hamilton Spectator's reviews (if any) of the next three all-candidates meetings hold the only remaining local variable. Christopherson has the best debating skills an should weather them to take the riding.|
|The Battle Royale, that's what I think will take place in Hamilton West. David Christopherson is the one to beat and this election is his to lose. However, I am betting that he will not lose it. By this I don't mean that he is untouchable. It's undoubtedly going to be a tough race and all three major candidates are definitely in the running. I arrive at this conclusion through a combination of electoral riding history, recent to present issues, as well as analysis of the individual candidates themselves. My view is that the recent debate shored up any soft vote Christopherson had and brought him enough new undecided votes to pull his election off. I say it's Christopherson by 500 to 1000 votes, followed by the Liberal D'Amico and Ross third.|
|The Star and Spec listing Hamilton West as being a target of the anti-Harris and these papers recommended a NDP vote. This will be enough to put the NDP over the top.|
|This has been a tight race from the start between Ross and Christopherson. I believe that Ross has the end-of-election momentum, and the support of the silent majority. Because it is a newly amalgomated riding, we will not know how the demographics will play into the voting paterns, but my sense is it will go Tory.|
|If NDP does badly on June 3- they may go down here but due to local candidate's strength should win- I fear that Liberals will not vote NDP- so I hope it is aNDP and Liberal battle|