Tuesday, September 12, 2006

And The Reasons To Vote For Watson Are ...

Am I the only Liberal who is getting irritated at the increasingly negative tone of the by-election in Parkdale-High Park? For the last week or so, rather than outlining reasons on why we should vote for local city councillor Sylvia Watson, we have been hearing selectively edited excerpts of a speech by her NDP opponent Cheri DiNovo.

This battle has ceased to be about ideas, about local issues, about riding issues and has become a negative mudslinging match. That's not what the Liberal party should be about - especially when we are talking about renewal.

The Liberal party is the best party to be but sometimes they do not choose the best candidates. For example, in Scarborough-Rouge River by-election last year I would have preferred local councillor Raymond Cho (who has done a lot for the area) but he was not nominated.

Are there any good reasons to vote for Ms Watson? If so, I want to hear about it.

This statement of Mr McGuinty angers me to no end:
"Look, it's a tough by-election for us," the premier told reporters at an event held at the High Park home of prominent Liberal strategist Peter Donolo. "We're going to fight as hard as we can."
The end justifies the means, eh? Where have we heard that before, I wonder.

I am not outraged at the number of government ministers on the campaign trail, Mr John Tory's outrage there seems to me hypocritical - in a pinch the Tories would do the same. However, Paul Martin ran a negative campaign last time and lost. The Harper Tories ran a positive idea-based campaign and won. The Ontario Tories ran a negative campaign and lost. The McGuinty campaign ran an issue-based positive campaign and won.

And for the record, I read the full script of Ms DiNovo's sermon, and I do think she is more coddling and forgiving of criminals than I would be. But guess what - she's a priest. That was her sermon. When legislating, the NDP always votes with one voice and I cannot imagine the NDP voting to reduce punishments for child molestation, pedophilia or sexual assault. One of Layton's big promises of the last election was getting tough on crime. Yes, he also promised to fight for more statutory holidays but I am yet to see him getting results for people in that area.

From my understanding of her speech, Ms DiNovo implied harm was more likely to come from people we know than the stranger down the street. I would like to know what she proposes we can do in that regard. I would like to hear Ms. Watson's thoughts on the condos that continue to go up on the waterfront. I would like to hear their musings on the never ending construction along certain areas of the riding. I would like to hear about the high property taxes (that continue to increase every year) forcing long time residents to sell their houses. I would like them to debate the island airport issue. I would like them to outline their plan to fight for cities in the Ontario legislature. I don't want to dwell on selectively edited excerpts of an old speech.



JB said...

They are going after the conservative vote. The Liberals are losing the vote because the Tories are very strong.

Jason Bo Green said...

While I disagree with the Ontario and federal NDP currently, I appreciate DiNovo's (to me) strong character in reforming her life and becoming a religious leader for her community. I really do not like Watson - obviously she *does* have support, but I personally know of no one who likes her, and I know many who dislike her. (I live in the riding) The Liberals could have found a better candidate.

It's astounding how much support for DiNovo the Liberal Party has created. While I myself was ready to vote for her strictly to keep Watson out of office, I've learned, thanks entirely to Cerberus, Jason Cherniak, and BornWithATail, a lot about DiNovo, and am enthused about her. Not perfect, I disagree with her on a *lot*, but as I said, I like her character and her choices to reform herself and her ability to lead. The money that Jason Cherniak has prompted people to send to DiNovo should tell the Liberals something. They don't seem to be getting the message.

I'm depressed the campaign has turned this ugly -- I want a campaign about ideas and direction, not backroom smearing tactics.

Cherniak has prompted me to volunteer for DiNovo - a happening I thought could never occur.

(Hutcheon and DeJong are also good candidates of really terrific character)

Anonymous said...

exactly, me too. Cherniak has prompted ME AS WELL to go and help out Cheri DiNovo although I am a card carrying liberal.

It will be a pleasure to assist this very interesting woman, and yes, thanks to Cherniak I as well started to pay more attention to her. So I'll be with her the next 2 days, maybe longer count on it.

Jason Bo Green said...

Mezba, you start off asking, "Am I the only Liberal...?"

I thought you'd like to know that the answer is No, judging by a spoiled ballot last night that said, "I would have voted Liberal but not after your shitty campaign".

You're definitely not alone.

mezba said...

I now know lot of Liberals who were angry at the negative strategies and stayed back. Will those responsible for the vitriol now apologize?

I remember the byelection in Scarborough Rouge River (where the Liberals were equally strong) was about ideas and issues and Liberals won handily. As I predicted, negative campaigns in such a later stage rarely prove effective, especially in Canada.

Anonymous said...

A special thanks has to be given the Parkdale Community Legal Services for their work exposing how so to be ex city councillor Sylvia Watson wanted to give away a public beach to private interests and how most of her previous campaign contributions were from Parkdale's worst slum landlords many of whose legal properties Watson made legal as a lawyer for the city.

Let's hope the clinic does a campaign like their's agaisnt the Harris government against McGuinty's Liberals leading up to the October 2007 Ontario provincial election.