Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Why Rana Sarkar Lost Scarborough Rouge-River

When stalwarts like Yasmin Ratansi can lost in Don Valley East, no Liberal riding was safe in the GTA. Yet, Scarborough Rouge-River was one riding Liberals could have held on. Instead, the Liberal candidate Rana Sarkar lost to NDP's Rathika Sitsabaiesan (18,856 votes and 40.5 per cent support). In fact, he came third, with Conservative Marlene Gallyot placing second (source: The Star).

Having grown up there, and knowing many of the families through sports and recreational meets, here's why I think the Liberals lost.

1. Well known and liked MP Derek Lee was standing down, so there was no incumbency factor.

2. Rana Sarkar was relatively unknown; in fact I am told he lives downtown (so was not even a resident of the area). Rathika Sitsabaiesan was someone who lives in the area and was involved in activism (she was involved in the University of Toronto student council).

3. Rana Sarkar was an Indian-Candian in a riding that has a huge Tamil population. In fact, I felt someone else, preferably a Tamil candidate, should have taken Derek Lee's position. My choice would have been Shamoon Poonawala, someone close to Derek Lee's campaign, and also a Tamil. In fact, I was surprised Neethan Shan, who ran a credible municipal candidate, was also not tapped (even though he leans NDP).

Lesson for the Liberals - local candidates matter.


Pamila said...

presence with NO representation. At some point, they get tired of Liberal party that takes all their huge vote block and refuse to run any Tamil Candidates.

This will be a lesson for the Liberals in the future - if you don't respect the demography, you will loose, big time.

Anonymous said...

Shamoon Poonawala isn't Tamil

Anonymous said...

Shamoon Poonawala isn't Tamil and did poorly in Ward 42 (election)

Anonymous said...

Conservative Marlene Gallyot was also Tamil and lived in that riding

mezba said...

Shamoon Poonawala is someone who had name recognition, and actually worked hard on local issues.

It doesn't necessarily have to be Tamil, but someone local, and prominent in works that benefited the community. Sarkar was imposed.

Anonymous said...

Shamoon would have been a great candidate dudes a nice guy but he flopped in ward 42 for councillor nontheless that doesnt mean he cant come back. Shan would have been great suprised the liberals didnt approach him. Dude had a strong team when he was running for councillor they were every where knocking on doors, outreach, fundraisers close but no cigar i am sure if he runs for it again he will get it. Shamoon is good as well he knows his riding has been here for a while so alot of heads give him ratings still but the previous elections were a blow to him he needs to make a comeback!!!