Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Latest from the nomination rumour mill

In the Globe's speculative Harper cabinet shuffle piece this morning I noted with interest this nugget towards the end that suggests former Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli may be looking to take on Conservative Treasury Board president John Baird in the next election:

Interestingly, the Liberals also recognize Mr. Baird's talent and there are rumours that former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli, who lost in the recent municipal election, will run federally against Mr. Baird.

Mr. Chiarelli served as an MPP before going into municipal politics. Liberal thinking is that at the very least the well-known Ottawa politician would force Mr. Baird to stay close to his riding during a federal campaign, limiting his ability to campaign across the country for Mr. Harper.

Baird's riding is Ottawa West-Nepean, a fairly urban/suburban riding. He defeated Liberal newcomer Lee Farnworth in the riding in 2006 by 5000 votes, but it had previously been Liberal for some time under Marlene Catterall. Chiarelli once represented the same area as an MPP.

I think this would be a very interesting, compelling match-up that at the very least would keep Baird close to home. I covered Ottawa City Hall around 2000ish, post amalgamation, when Chiarelli was Mayor and Baird was Minister of Community and Social Services in the Mike Harris government. Needless to say there was no love lost between the two. They were constantly fighting over how much Harris would pay toward amalgamation; not a council meeting would go by without Chiarelli launching a broadside at Baird and his government, their Toronto favourtism, etc. I think Baird once called a press conference during a council meeting, down the road at the Mint, to needle Chiarelli, forcing half of press-row to leave mid-meeting. Then there's Baird's more recent intervention in Chiarelli's light rail proposal.

It's been a few years since I've been in Ottawa; I know Chiarelli lost re-election last fall so I don't know how popular he is. From what I hear of the job his successor is doing though, perhaps he's viewed a bit more fondly now. Still, he is a big name with solid Liberal credentials, and it would be fun to see him take on Baird.

And this could be a swing riding. It's ridings like this one that Liberals need to be able to take back if we're going to get anywhere.

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Darren McEwen said...

Well I was no fan of Chiarelli during the election campaign, I respect his term as mayor.

I agree with you Jeff that it would be one heck of a campaign in that riding should Chiarelli take a run at it.

I think given that O'Brien isn't even supported by the conservative Ottawa Sun or the Ottawa Citizen and all of his recent blunders, Chiarelli will likely overcome his election loss.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Brian Guest ran Chiarelli's campaign and was Dion's Director of Policy during leadership.

Darren McEwen said...

It's interesting because a lot of Chiarelli's "younger" support backed Iggy or Rae.

But in the end, Chiarelli's support in the city election went everywhere - Munter and O'Brien.

I really didn't expect Chiarelli's numbers to be so low in the end.

Anh Khoi Do said...

Well, Jeff, do you really believe that the Liberals (i.e. the not-so "natural governing power") will be back in power in the upcoming months? I don't think so...

Since a few years, the Liberals couldn't be able to build a real political program. After all, if they ever had a political program, it was rather limited to sophistic remarks on other political parties, cheap-shot rhetoric and fear campaigns. For instance, how many time have the Liberals (just to syphon the votes of the ethnic minorities) said that those who are against the Multiculturalism Act (that stupid heritage from this son of a bitch called Pierre Elliott Trudeau) are racists, eh? Well, it seems that the Liberals don't even know an act that they created in the 1970s so that's probably why they say any silly things just to win...

Even though I resent a little bit the Conservatives for the blunders that they did in Foreign Affairs and the Environment, I must admit that they certainly know how to handle the economy.

Anonymous said...

"know how to handle the ecomony"? Is this guy for real?

The Conservatives haven't had a balanced budget since 1921 and Harper received a silver platter of money to play with - and it won't be long til it's gone.

Tory time our toug times. That's a fact folks.

wilson61 said...

And where have be heard that story before? Oh, the last election campaign:

Jan. 8 2006
CTV.ca News Staff

''In the latest assault on their Tory opponents, the Liberals accuse the Conservatives of making campaign promises that would drive the country back into a deficit.

"There are a lot of question marks looming over the Conservative plan," Finance Minister Ralph Goodale said Sunday in a written statement.

"The biggest one is what their real agenda is, because this one cannot be delivered."
(note to readers, but it was delivered)
...The Liberals are also arguing that Harper's plan to redress the so-called fiscal imbalance between the federal and provincial governments could bring the deficit to between $23.4 billion and $53.4 billion over the next five years.''
(note to readers, how big was the Cons surplus?)
Canadians will not be fooled twice by Libs 'sky is falling' election rantings.

Ed King said...

note to readers, how big was the Cons surplus?

That would be hard to say Wilson, since the last budget was the Conservative government's first. I remember reading, however, that the federal government ran a quarterly deficit recently for the first time in a while.

re: Goodale, you are right. Goodale should've anticipated that Harper would break his promise to make a deal to fix the fiscal imbalance by fall 2006. Stupid Liberal.

Seriously though, the Tories have projected a surplus of $600 million plus a $3 billion contingency fund if I'm not mistaken. They have also stopped using private sector estimates to forecast revenues in favour of a less conservative method. If the Tories do follow through on their multi-billion dollar commitment to fix the fiscal imbalance, cut the GST by one point, change the rules for capital gains tax and cut income taxes, is it really hard to imagine that the deficits of the good ol' Mulroney years are not far behind?

burlivespipe said...

And don't forget dig deep in our pockets to pay for all their promise-keeping to their lobbyiest members of the cabinet. Perhaps their 'so-called global warming' rethink is possibly going to change their mind on the need for 2 ice-breakers, eh?
And lets not forget Flaherty failed remedial math (surplus + flaherty double-talk = $5B deficit)

A BCer in Toronto said...

Anh, where did I say I thought the Liberals would win the next election. I don't think I did in this post. If you're asking though, I think it will be an uphill battle for the Libs but if we run a good campaign, work hard and have some luck a minority is doable.

As for the economy, yeah, I agree. I sure got tired of all those Liberal years of balanced budgets, increasing employment and economic growth too. Man, that sure sucked didn't it?

Darren McEwen said...

I love some of the comments that have been generated on your site, and several other Liberal sites, including mine.

The other day I blogged about Saddam Hussein and this guy went off the deep end about the environment. Unless Saddam released a puff of CO2 when the rope dropped - it was a nice diversion from the real debate.

I also wrote about Iraq last week and you witnessed the tangent that was Sweden!

Elections Canada turned into a "Blame Dingwall" fight.

I swear some are given talking points with their morning coffee/email and run freely throughout the day, peppering the internet with "Hey, you guys did it first!" and "Adscam, you big meanies" statements until their time at the local internet cafe runs out.