Friday, 7 October 2011

Unofficial/Official Election Results

Official/unofficial election results for Mississauga-Brampton South are here:

The most interesting results in Peel were probably just to the east in Bramalea-Gore-Malton where the NDP won by about 2,000 votes. The NDP candidate, Jagmeet Singh, also ran for the NDP in the federal election and lost by a whisker. The NDP are looking at him as a future star, and a model for winning other ridings in Peel, especially in ridings with large amounts of new Canadians.

The rest of Brampton was marked by controversies surrounding local PC nominees, all of whom failed to win despite strong showings by the Conservatives in May.

Tories Missing in Action

What happened to the Conservative/PC voters in Mississauga-Brampton South? 

New Tory MP Eve Adams won 23,632 votes in May. Liberal candidate Navdeep Bains received 18,579 votes in defeat. 

A few months later, Liberal MPP Amrit Mangat won only 15,579 to win re-election. PC Candidate Amarjeet Gill won only 10,285 votes, less than 45% of Adams' total! 

That is a really poor showing even if we give Adams (a veteran politician) credit for attracting voters to the Conservatives who might not otherwise do so, even in a year where Prime Minister Harper enjoyed a strong tailwind. But she still might not have won without the strong showing by the NDP in Mississauga-Brampton South. 

I thought that the riding might still be in play if the PCs could only identify Adams' supporters and turn many of them out again. Gill (and Hudak) clearly failed. He was not alone: NDP candidate Karanjit Pandher only won 57% of the votes that the Federal NDP candidate won.Sure, Gill won 1000 more votes than his PC predecessor, but Mangat won almost 20,000 votes in 2007. About 4,000 voters who had cast their ballot for Mangat and McGuinty in 2007 did not in 2011! That is a missed opportunity in a district that has seen its population increase.

It often takes another election to write the analysis of the previous one. Now it is clear that the dynamics of Harper/Layton/Ignatieff, and a preference for a majority government clearly hurt Bains. A stronger Liberal (or NDP?) federal campaign could cost Adams her seat after one term. 

Gill emphasized taxes, taxes and more taxes that all of us must hate paying (or we'd live in Toronto). I thought the PCs could have done more damage reminding voters of the many missteps of the McGuinty administration (eHealth, eco-fees, HST). They tried to emulate Rob Ford, but in the end, they emulated the Libertarians (Christin Milloy won 691 votes) by calling for low taxes without creating a sense of anger that the Grits were wasting money at Queen's Park. Ford called for lower taxes, but also jumped on some relatively small-change symbols of waste at Toronto City Hall. Without this sense of anger, Gill failed to mobilize voters who would be most inclined to vote PC based on their recent voting habits, and could not attract many of the disillusioned supporters of his main opponent. They just stayed home, which is their prerogative in a democracy where they will be led again by McGuinty and represented by Mangat.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mississauga Judicial Inquiry

Not many surprises in the report released this morning by Justice Cunningham. Mayor McCallion did not break any laws, which raises real concerns about the existing laws and the current governance structures to protect the citizens of Mississauga against corruption.

The mayor is unapologetic, but forgets that unethical is not the same as illegal. As a society, we try to make our laws consistent with our sense of what is right and wrong, but the circumstances surrounding OMERS and the City's dealings over Enersource and a proposed hotel near Square One show that incidents arise that are legal but not ethical.

Ex-City Manager David O'Brien clearly had a personal pecuniary interest that conflicted with his role as city manager when negotiating the veto by OMERS over Enersource.

Even if Peter McCallion was not the mayor's son, and even if he never actually made any real money on the deal, it is clear that two Friends of Hazel got a sweetheart deal to double their money to serve as the lead developers until a real, qualified developer could be found. Lucky for the McCallion family, they did not personally benefit, but this is cronyism and the only value these developers brought to negotiations with OMERS was that they were backed by the mayor.