The K-W By-Election: First Minister Power and Discretion at Their Worst?

On Thursday September 6, Kitchener-Waterloo residents will go to the polls in a by-election to replace long-time Progressive Conservative MPP, Elizabeth Witmer.  Earlier in the year, Ms. Witmer resigned her seat in the Ontario Legislative Assembly to become chair of the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board, a position offered to her by current Ontario Premier and Liberal leader, Dalton McGuinty.

Quebec Sovereignty: Coming Soon?

Quebec’s general election next week is likely to return the Parti Québécois. The last time the PQ moved from opposition to government, they launched a referendum that nearly broke the country apart. Some are comforted by the fact that the Oui forces in 1995 were led by the charismatic Lucien Bouchard, and if he couldn’t do it, then there is nothing to worry about the far less magnetic Pauline Marois, right? Let’s discuss what might be a very real possibility of Quebec separating from Canada.

LISPOP Associate comments on Kitchener-Waterloo byelection

Published on August 29, 2012 in Waterloo Region Record.

Is a New Democrat win unimaginable in this riding, which has always been dominated by its highly-educated, well-paid professionals, ensconced in their leafy suburbs, routinely voting for Progressive Conservative Elizabeth Witmer the past 22 years?

LISPOP associate comments on new Ontario ridings

Published on Monday August 27, 2012 on Global News.

A new electoral map released on Monday would give Ontario’s sprawling suburbs more representation in the House of Commons in the near future. Although determined by population growth, several of the new Ontario seats lie in areas where the Conservatives did well during the last election, areas like Brampton, Durham, Ottawa and Mississauga.

Swing Voters in Ontario Elections

Outcomes of the September 6 byelections in Ontario focus a great deal of attention on the "swing voter," that is, the voter with loose partisan ties who can potentially be swayed from one party to another. This is the prize all three parties pursue, especially in Kitchener-Waterloo where there is nothing to suggest one candidate has a comfortable and wide lead. It's anybody's game, hence the race to sway the swing voter.

On this theme, I raise four questions, and locate answers based on a preliminary analysis of some data in our collection.

Hayek and School Closures

In a recent post, Loren provides an excellent analysis of the silly decision making process that is being used to decide school closures in Hamilton.  Among many cool tidbits, he writes:

“What is troubling, however, is the uniform obsession with closures. There are a range of creative and cost-effective ways we might reconfigure and reimagine existing facilities: partial decommisions, mixed uses, or a range of potential public-private partnerships. Most boards take none of these seriously.”

Opinion-Policy Nexus is a forum of opinion and commentary on topics related to public opinion and public policy. Views expressed in any blog entry are those of the author and do not reflect LISPOP's positions.


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