For the past year, the Catch 22 Campaign has been identifying vulnerable Conservative ridings, networking, building our base and laying the groundwork for the election. We are now moving forward with making specific endorsements through a process that includes local supporters in target ridings.
We had successful endorsement meetings in Ottawa and Vancouver last week. We also pioneered our first online endorsement discussion in Saanich-Gulf Islands. We have now endorsed our first 6 candidates. We are using our online groups to organize the discussions and decision making. After the discussion period closes, we will make a final decision on the riding endorsement.
We will be rolling out a few recommendations per day with an eye to wrapping up the process on April 8 or 9. By that time we will have also identified a number of vulnerable opposition ridings and will compile the Catch 22 Voters’ Guide for our target ridings.
In Vancouver Island North, the Catch 22 Campaign team is recommending that we endorse Ronna-Rae Leonard, from the NDP as the candidate with the only chance to defeat Conservative John Duncan. If you want to participate in the discussion and decision-making, you will need to join this online group.
Discussion on the Vancouver Island North endorsement will end on April 5 at 11:00 p.m. local time.
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with this choice. I understand you're likely looking at past election results, but I think there are several caveats to keep in mind.
The first is that Catherine Bell is no longer the NDP candidate. She faced off against Duncan in several consecutive races and served a term as MP; building up a substantial profile. Leonard is a first-time candidate who will be hard-pressed to maintain Bell's support.
The second is that the 2008 results are not reflective of true Liberal support in VIN. For personal reasons, the Liberal candidate did very little campaigning and had no campaign team or presence in the riding. These results should be thrown-out of any evaluation.
The third is that the Liberal candidate is Mike Holland, a very well known and popular former Courtenay city councillor with much higher name recognition in the riding than Leonard. He gained province-wide attention for his fight to save Glacier View Lodge in the 1990. Holland is running a well-funded, high visibility campaign across the riding and is attracting strong volunteer and financial support. Bob Rae is visiting to campaign with Holland on April 9th.
Full disclosure: I'm part of Mike's campaign team, so take my comments with a grain of salt. But Mike is the strongest candidate the Liberals have had in this riding in years, has a much higher profile in the riding than Leonard, and will be competitive with Duncan and certainly with Leonard. I'd respectfully submit an endorsement is premature at this time.
We are working in the party system, flawed as it may be.
If Mike was able to get 3 times the previous vote for the liberals, he would only be sitting at 12%.
Statistically speaking, I don't think your candidate is a candidate for strategic voting.
Sorry. Wish we didn't have to throw away our votes to vote for our favourites. There ought to be a second and third choice on the ballot so that your vote could still count in the final showdown!
Many greens have applauded Ronna Rae's leadership!
The discussion period is the time for people to dig deeper if they feel that there's not enough information. We've based our recommendation on the information available from the past namely,
1) The Libs have not held the riding in at the last 15 years.
2) The NDP have held the riding in recent past.
3) The Libs came in 4th in 2008 with 4% of the vote behind the Greens with 8%. (That's one critical factor for ou recommendation to the group)4) The NDP lost by only 4% to Duncan in 2008.
I came to the same conclusion as Catch 22 - go through the socio-political history of the riding, past elections, the margins from 2008 (wiki Vancouver Island North or Elections Canada for data) and it clearly would take a miracle to elect a Liberal, (which I very much would like to see) but is the riding likely to change that much? I don't think so.
Ronna-Rae Leonard has been on Courtenay City Council since 2005, has worked on everything from saving Garry oaks to making cycling safer, traffic calming, affordable housing and a wide range of issues that are every day for us.
Would also like to know where all the candidates stand on coal mining in the riding, particularly Raven Coal.
i agree, the ndp is most likely to beat the con in vi north, but my concern about endorsing ndp is that it undermines our claim to non-partisanship and it will piss off some libs and greens who might be persuaded to vote for the ndp when the time comes.
the way i have approached this is to tell people that the ndp have a much better chance than the libs, so watch the polls and vote accordingly.
Something else to take into account is the population growth of the Comox Valley and who these new people are going to vote for since they were not here for the last election.
"The Comox Valley has historically experienced one of the fastest growth rates in the Province of BC and has continued this trend over the past 5 years by achieving an increase of 9%. The population of the Comox Valley is currently estimated at 64,642 (BC Stats 2010 Estimate) and is projected to increase by almost 2% a year over the next 5 years."
I'm new to the postings but glad to see the thoughtful discussion(s) unfolding. I know Ronna-Rae and have enormous respect for her integrity, her feistiness, and courage to sit on Courtenay Council, the only woman amongst a bunch of the "Courtenay Old Boys Club" (with the exception of Doug Hillian). She is never intimidated to not speak her values (which is why she was elected) in spite of some backhanded attempts to silence her.
My sense of Mike Holland is that he is very much part of the "old boys club" which so many of us are so fed up with and the the new folks to our community (which Katherine speaks to) have little tolerance of.
As for John Duncan, it is a puzzle as to why he gets elected. In my experience, most recently with the proposed Raven Coal Mine, he is completely invisable, inaccessable and when finally confronted with the issues of his constituents woefully ignorant. It is actually quite frightening. The ultimate puppet of his task master.
For instance when CoalWatch finally got a brief meeting with him during his Open House this past Saturday (after over a year of several requests to meet with him being ignored) he expressed surprise and doubt when informed that Port Alberni was the port the coal would be exported from. He actually thought that was still open for discussion. Need I say more........he appeared to have little knowledge or interest in the concerns.
Let's not split the vote in the North Island yet again- continue to campaign for some form of STV - and move onto the real issues of this millenneum for the sake of our grandchildren. We must not let the "Harper Government" have a minority much less a majority control of our lives