One of the nicest things said to me while campaigning in the Provincial Election was “you have the wrong colour on your signs”. The other not so nice thing said was that “how a lefty could be allowed to infiltrate the right? Please come and take your lawn sign as I no longer want to support you.” Were my feelings hurt? Of course they were, I knew where the comments came from. I learned that you cannot possibly expect to please everyone, even those who sleep in the same tent as I do. But it also meant that I struck a chord with the voters in Ottawa Centre and I held the right DNA to represent the needs of all segments of voters in the riding to be the PC Party Candidate in Ottawa Centre for the fall 2011 election.
There is a general consensus that a Conservative could/will never become the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre.
Let’s look at some of the reasons behind that statement:
- Ottawa Centre was last PC in 1955, that was when it was called Ottawa East, so in fact Ottawa Centre (created in 1967) has never elected a PC Candidate to be the MPP
- The riding has teeter tottered between the NDP and Liberal for so long that the general consensus is that a Conservative could never win this seat and always thought to be a perennial third place finisher
- In the past 14 elections (including by-elections) the riding has gone NDP 7 times and Liberal 7 times.
- It was last NDP up to the 1995 Provincial Election
The truth about Ottawa Centre is that the riding is so diverse that in different areas of the riding the support changes from Orange to Red to Blue, yes…Blue!
In considering past election results and that provincially the riding has been Liberal since 1995, I see that the shift politically is swinging right in the PC Direction. The swing is continuing right BUT let’s be clear that Ottawa Centre will never be as ‘Blue’ as ridings like Nepean Carleton or Carleton-Mississippi Mills, Ottawa Centre does not have the makeup of the riding and the people the live those ridings.
I do believe that Ottawa Centre is changing and a Progressive Conservative can and will be elected to represent the voters there at Queen’s Park. The reason? The demographics are changing in Ottawa Centre. Condos are going up; empty nesters are moving back down to the city core; and the PC Party of Ontario has shown it can be the party that supports those that need the help without being ‘parent like’ in how it is done.
In its endorsements for Ottawa Centre, while not endorsing me, the Ottawa Citizen did agree with my statement that for Ontario to be able to help those in the province properly it needed to have its financial books in order and resolve the debt and deficit issue that currently plague Ontario. For this to take place one of two things need to occur. The Liberal government will have to swing it fiscal policies further right than ever planned OR in the next election the PC Party will be elected and will be governing in Queens Park.
There is a strong base for the PC Party to build on. The party must look to the community to find its socially active Conservative platform and candidate to show and convince the voters of Ottawa Centre that it can be a ‘Blue’ riding to protect each and every resident AND protect the province from bad fiscal policies and high spending platforms.
I give credit to Emily Dickinson for the name of this blog with her profile of my campaign written in October 2011. I will quote Emily quoting me to end this initial post, “Compassion about people should be everyone’s concern, no matter what (political) party you come from”.
You can read Emily’s entire profile here, http://emilydickinsoncu.wordpress.com/politics/red-heart-blue-sign/. You can also follow Emily on Twitter @emilyddickinson.
You can follow me on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=861615857 and on Twitter @robertdekker.