Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Delving into Ontario's municipal politics - Burlington edition

As an active follower and volunteer in Ontario's political world, I thought it might be worth it to go over some of the more interesting races that will occur this fall in Ontario's municipalities, ranging from Burlington, to Toronto, to Woodstock. The active season for municipal campaigning is coming soon, so I'll be updating this periodically. And remember, if you live in Ontario, mark October 25th on your calendars as voting day!

Burlington

Most my current hometown is experiencing quite an anti-incumbent feeling this election year, as Mayor Cam Jackon, elected with a slim and unsatisfying result in 2006, is facing against popular Ward 5 Councillor (and Green Party member) Rick Goldring, as well as less-popular Ward 6 Councillor Carol D'Amelio. Jackson was elected mostly because his opponents, Joan Lougheed and Rick Burgess, split the vote. Goldring and D'Amelio may end up doing the same thing, but I think to a much lesser extent, which could enable Goldring to take out the unpopular Jackson. Why is he unpopular? Look at Council and find out for yourself.

In two other wards, plus one I'll add because its my own, there are also interesting races:

Ward 2 features a fight between three credible candidates, but credible as in, "could possibly win it," not that they're all exactly the brightest bulbs in the bucket. Peter Thoem, the incumbent, is facing off against former Ontario Liberal candidate Marianne Meed Ward, who is mostly running in the ward against development, and Shannon Gillies, whose website I love and ideas I find interesting. Thoem doesn't have a lot of wiggle room, and could easily end up losing his job.
Ward 4 also offers an interesting race, as local lawyer and provincial Liberal Brian Heagle (a Liberal who is a lawyer, who would have guessed) is running against the 16-year incumbent Jack Dennison, who, along with Jackson and Councillor John Taylor, makes up the "Group of Conservative 3" on City Council, and always seem to vote together, despite losing constantly. He actually announced in his literature that everyone else in Burlington could be defeated but himself and John Taylor, since they are "fiscally responsible." Fyi, they voted for this.

Which brings me to Ward 3, which is my ward. Councillor John Taylor, who is a 22-year veteran of City Council, is facing off against teacher and former Ontario NDP candidate Cory Judson in a head-to-head race. As I'm working with Judson, I may be a bit biased, but I think he has the ideas and the strength to win easily, despite Taylor being a fairly big force in the ward.

To make a point, the only current incumbent who is not in danger of being defeated is Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, whom I know is a provincial Liberal. The rest - Jackson, Taylor, Thoem, Dennison - are all in trouble, and the other two wards have no incumbent. If that high of a turnover occurs, it'd be amazing.

What fun in a tiny western GTA city!

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