Kingston and the Islands Election Predictions

Alicia Gordon, Conservative Party of Canada, election billboard, Kingston, OntarioOver the past few weeks, elected representatives and local hopefuls of all stripes have been making the rounds in an effort to connect with voters.  While running errands this past weekend, I noticed a billboard along John Counter Boulevard, which suggested that Kingstonians should vote for the newly crowned, local Conservative representative, Alicia Gordon.  Did someone call an election and forget to tell us about it?  While many political analysts are forecasting an election in our immediate future, all of the key players remain tight lipped as to whether or not the current government will remain as is for mere days or months.  In light of all the recent political drama, and the aforementioned billboards, this week’s poll question asks:
[poll id=”48″]
For the first time since 1988, Kingston and the Islands will be represented by a fresh face after the next election, thanks to the retirement of our longstanding Member of Parliament, Peter Milliken.  Like many of our readers, I was sad to learn that the Speaker of House was stepping down, however I am excited to see how the new group of hopefuls will fare.  The big question is whether or not Ted Hsu (pronounced “shoe”) will be able to retain Kingston’s long-standing Liberal seat.  While the Liberal’s registered 39.1% support during the 2008 election, this was a decrease in comparison to the 2006 (45.9%) and 2004 (52.3%) elections. Conversely, it’s worth pointing out that former Conservative hopeful, Brian Abrams, captured 32.5% of voter support in 2008, which was a decent gain in comparison to the 2006 election (26.1%).  In that respect, perhaps the second burning question is whether or not Gordon will be able to build on that momentum?

How long do you think we’ve got until an election is officially called?  What local issues will define the battle for Kingston and the Islands?  Please drop off some comments below and let us know why and how you’ll be voting this time around.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

46 thoughts on “Kingston and the Islands Election Predictions

  • I don't think that election signs should be allowed to be posted until AFTER an election has been called. I find all the signs obnoxious enough during an election time, I don't want to look at them before an election has even been called. TV political add are even worse, I wish they were banned permanently!

    • Totally agree! Especially the attack ads. Those make me not want to vote for the paying party on principle alone!

  • Agreed, Shari! For all the talk from Tories about "Canadians not wanting an election", they have been ridiculously aggressive about one! Weird, eh?

    • If you believe the national polls, the Conservatives are poised to gain the most from a federal election. While they may get hammered on ethics and budget this week, in the end unless the other parties pull off a miracle, Canada could be blue-r than ever.

      • This isn't about the National, its about the Kingston and the Islands. Whether Harper does well federally or not, Kingston will remian red or go orange. The question is…which colour?

        • With all the hard work that he has put in all around the community for the past year and a half, New Democrat Daniel Beals has surely earned the chance to represent Kingston and the Islands. This time Kingston could very easily go orange and it would make me quite happy to see it

          • I think Hsu is pretty safe to keep the seat, certainly Beals won't be close. I would expect the NDP to do considerably worse then they did with Downes, which makes it a lot harder for Gordon to win.

            Overall either harper runs a great campaign and eeks out a majority, or nothing changes and we do it again within a couple years with all new leaders.

          • Hsu who?

          • Its going to be a lot harder for the Liberals to keep this seat for sure… Peter Milliken is gone and many people are thinking of changing their votes, it will be a fresh start for anyone. But you would know that if you have been to the doors ;)

          • And the others would say they are getting positive response…and everyone would be right as many will tell all the campaigns what they want to hear.

            Not that the local candidate matters much (conclusion only 5% vote based on the local candidate here, but if people are sizing up Hsu and Beals resume to decide, it isn't much of a competition.

          • It is a nice resume….except hes not applying for a job, hes trying to actively represent the people of Kingston and the Islands. I want someone who cares enough to listen to me, who cares enough to show up to events, to get involved. I don't want someone with a nice resume and no connection to the actual people.
            A real candidate's resume is in what he does for his community, not what he has achieved for himself.

          • I don't get it myself, but Downes has a significant number of supporters, more personally then the NDP polls here. He got 17.5% for the NDP last time, at the height of his personal exposure having run 3 citywide elections and been the face of LVEC opposition. I'd say Beals would be doing very well to get 15%. He has no profile at all with the average person.

            I think a Harper majority just got a little more likely by falling on that budget. There is nothing there for the others to attack. Before Layton announcing he'd vote against, the Canadian Labour Congress president spoke positively on it as did John Manley

            Its inconceivable to me that the NDP will gain here or anywhere else. Everyone knows Harper has had a constant lead in the polls for years. If you don't want Harper, and weren't already wed to the NDP, what possible reason would there be to vote NDP when you didn't vote NDP with Layton the past 3 times? Where as if you don't want Harper and have voted NDP…there is a good reason to switch.

          • If the core sign war is any indication 15% may be too high for the NDP. Just went downtown via Johnson while looking down side streets where there has always been a number of NDP and some green signs in the past.

            Spotted 1 Beals, a few Gordon, and TONS of Hsu, way more then there has been Milliken signs in the past. Gordon doing better further from downtown, but very few Beals anywhere.

  • The other question, of course, is rather than what party are you going to support what do you think the government will look like? Will it be a Conservative majority? Conservative minority? Coalition? Do you think that the Liberals or another of the opposition parties can pull out a miracle win in their own right?

    • Great question. If you believe what the preliminary polls suggest, the Conservatives would end up with more seats if an election were called today. I don't think that people are forecasting a majority. As for locally, and not totally basing it on those who've weighed in via this week's poll, but I think Kingston will remain a Liberal stronghold. Prison Farms debacle being the most ridiculous reasons not to vote Conservative locally. Get'r done action signs being another.

      • I am surprised that you bring up the issue of Prison Farms as one of the main arguments in support for the Liberal stronghold. Actually, during the Prison Farms issue, the only party/candidate that was most vocal about this was unsurprisingly Dan Beals. For everyone who cares about Kingston and the Islands, they should ask themselves this question. Are the Liberals really responding to the needs and demands of the area, and have they been holding up to their promises? If not, it is definitely time to elect someone like Beals who is actually consulting grassroots groups and responding well to the needs of the people.

        Just because Kingston has traditionally voted red does not mean it will stay red. I point to cases in Alberta in light of a recent seat gain AND growing popularity of the NDP there. Vote according to who you think would represent you best, not because "it is tradition", because frankly, many traditions cannot reflect the needs of the people.

        • I think you misread something there. I simply stated that the Prison Farm issue still lingers in the minds of a lot of Kingstonians. Separate statement then regarding the Liberals longstanding hold on Kingston. I know full well who supported the Prison Farms, publicly and otherwise in person.

          • Which is precisely why I am stating that not voting Conservative is only part of what Kingstonians ought to do if they really care about these issues. Not only do you have to look at which party is responsible for these damaging acts BUT also which parties are responsive to the situation, again, why the Liberal stronghold is not necessarily the answer!

  • There is one major problem with this poll….that being the fact that it only lists the parties and not the Kingston and the Islands Candidates.
    FYI Everyone;
    Ted Hsu = Liberal
    Alicia Gordon = Conservative
    Daniel Beals = New Democrat
    Eric Walton = Green

    For those many of you who may care about who the candidate actually is :)

  • What we really need is a better voting system. The Conservatives have almost a majority of the seats with way less than 40% of the vote. They are pushing for an election because they are getting closer to the 40% mark that will probably give them a majority of the sears.

    Meanwhile the Liberals have been afraid of defeating the government because our system equates defeating the government with a new election. We already rank #1 in the world in the number of federal elections held over the last half century.

    If we went proportional like most of the world's democracies, the Bloc would get far fewer seats while the federalist parties would get a lot more in Quebec. Elections wouldn't be so risky – where a party with between 35% and 40% can get a majority of the seats – so parties wouldn't have the same incentives to support or defeat a government.

    It's time we joined the real democracies.

    • Most of the world's democracies are not proportional….I study electoral systems….

    • Instant-runoff voting is more appropriate, I think, if we're going to change our method of electing officials. At least with the IRV system we can keep a 308 member legislature and still ensure that all representatives end up with 50%+1 support.

      My problem with proportional representation is that in many situations they use a "member/party list" which include people the voters never had a chance to pick from in order to bring the legislature up to proportionally representative numbers. My other beef with that system is that it would necessarily make the legislature larger and, thank you very much, Parliament costs us enough as it is.

      At least in Canada – and in theory – due to our left-right party divide the IRV system would eliminate the vote-splitting that happens on the left and would create a legislature that is more representative of the country with regard to our collective position on the political spectrum. As it is right wing candidates can win in ridings where the two left wing candidates split the vote. Furthermore, knowing that 190 out of the 308 members of parliament were elected with less-than-half support in their ridings in the 2008 general election does not breed confidence in our main legislative body. In fact 5 candidates were elected to parliament with less than 33.3% support (a third) and the lowest support for a winning candidate was 29.15% (a Bloquist).

  • I don't normally vote NDP but I think I will definitly be voting for Daniel Beals this time around, and it shouldn't be surprising looking at these poll numbers so far. He has been active in the community for a long while now, and while I do not know him personally I have been impressed with his comittment to Kingston.
    I could vote for someone who comes around during election time, or I could vote someone who would actually represent me.

  • Ted Hsu is a brilliant and creative guy. With his background in science and business, he has a valuable insight into the problems that government faces. Kingston would be fortunate to have him represent us in Ottawa.
    And while I usually find common ground with those who vote NDP or Green, supporters of these two parties have to consider the odds of winning. If you vote for anyone other than Hsu, you just might help a Harper lackey enable Harper to further dominate Parliament and the country.

    • That is a false claim. While the NDP will not form government, the race is not over by far between the Liberals and the NDP in Kingston. However I do see your point about the Greens wasting their votes and perhaps they should vote Liberal or NDP.

      Strategic voting only works in some cases. Conservatives will not gt the seat in Kingston unless the Greens enter seriously into the race; therefore strategic voting to avoid the Conservatives means voting NDP or Liberal, but not just Liberal.

    • I cannot stomach Ignatieff, or most politicians for that matter. I find it had to vote for for a party that is lead by someone who quoted Kipling to support a criminal war in Iraq.

      Now once I recognize that most politicians are scum. and that I should vote in municipal, provincial and federal elections to begin to participate in our Coke or Pepsi form of democracy, I should consider the candidates. I know we can choose two or three other forms of cola too.

      I have mixed feelings about Ted Hsu. He has a math undergrad degree, and he went on to study physics then he worked in the financial sector as a quant. He left that to become a stay at home dad and started Swich which is a green sort of business.

      He seems approachable and he seems to recognize climate concerns. The liberals promise to bring back prison farms. I favor education spending as oppose to small tax cuts. I'm undecided yet as I lean fairly to the left–actually I am might even be to the left of Mao Zedong.

      So on to proper voting form. I believe one way to encourage people to vote is to campaign, "Hold you nose and vote."

      I recommend we all plug our noses with one hand as we insert our slips indicating our choice of fizzy beverage into the cardboard box with the other.

  • Its pretty amazing that the Liberals have been spouting off strategic vote, over and over for the past 8 months. It looks like desperation to me. Politics isn't about resumes or how much money someone has, if it was Ted Hsu would certainly be under the microscope for his background as a hedgefund better.

    No politics is about representation, and response to community issues. In terms of willingness to listen and learn and represent, really there is no comparison. Daniel Beals is the candidate that will listen to you. He has the willingness to be a representative that will go out of his way for the people of this riding and thats the kind of trust that I want from my Member of Parliament.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry I fell asleep. I keep to the same saying I began a few years ago about elections, 'They all suck in different ways'.

  • Daniel Beals has impressed me. Politicians need to show up and no one has done more of that than Beals. He's won me over time by putting time into the community and the campaign which surprised me as I have only ever voted NDP on one other occasion. The other parties just aren't tailing about or working on the things I think are important this election.

  • I saw some Green party signs while walking to the concert at Market Square; turns out the Green party candidate is located at the former home of Hardy-Har-Har. Fitting.

  • Conservative to me has a bad wrap with Harper's falling out.
    Liberals seem to not have a clear message of what they are offering.
    NDP has knocked on 8000 doors before the election was even called i heard.
    i've never seen the green party visible in the community but i respect their arcticle about sign usage reduction. in this sustainable society, we owe it to our kids to show how we met our eco-concerns.

    Alicia Gordon, Ted Hsu, Daniel Beals, Walter.
    who do u feel best represents the people of Kingston

    • Beals for sure. He's been going to events, working for people, knocking on doors, for over 6 months. Before Milliken announced his retirement, before an election was a twinkle in anyone's eye. He did it because he loves to do it and because he cares about he people of Kingston. He has my respect, and he has my vote.

  • Seat is Liberal and I don't see that changing. As I said to a friend from high school on Facebook about this area. MP Liberal for years, MPP Liberal for many years and the Mayor used the colour RED in his campaign and won in a landslide. See a pattern?

    Last election locally was closer than I thought it would be. But the race is the same, Liberal vs PC. Sorry to my NDP friends. Jmass11 is probably throwing a virtual snowball at my head as we speak. Duck. :)

    Oh, and my high school friend hates Harper and lives in of all places….. Calgary. That's gotta hurt. And when we say his vote doesn't count. We're not kidding. It doesn't.

  • I can't believe, in a university town like this, that we can't get any fringe types running. Where are the Commies or Marxist/Leninists, or the Marijuana Party candidate, etc.?

    C'mon Kingston; you can do better than that! Why do we have to put up with the boring old three, with only the near-mainstreamed Greens, for variety?

  • Not a single party will even talk about our baking system – the very chains that keep us all in our place and ensure that the %1 at the top continue to own everything.. what a freaking farce… looks like massive civil disobedience will be the only option for Canadians to have a voice at all

    • Massive civil disobedience over baking system? Bad bread? Pies? Oh, I see…it's a complex metaphor. Haven't seen any pies in the face yet, but I know we're all out of money. I could do with much more "bread" in my "bakery" account, yessir.

  • Notice the gas prices lately? If there is any one issue that is going to hit us all in the wallet it's gas prices! In my view, Ted Hsu has the right background in science, energy systems and finance to deal with the gas price problem. I also agree with a previous writer that a vote anywhere else will ensure more of Harper's government.

  • It's time for Kingston to hear some voices for change! This is a growing city, with a vibrant University, a top medical centre, tourist attractions, history, etc. We could make an impact on this election. Talk up the NDP! as a real option. Let'snot be scared, like rabbits, into one of the two old parties. Besides that, Dan Beals is a man of the people! We need someone who walks the walk with us.

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