Tag Archives: Ottawa Municipal Elections

Ottawa Election Primer: Breaking the Gender Barrier

Democracy is not easy 1There has been a lot of discussion on breaking the gender barrier at Ottawa City Hall with the results of the October 22ndelection.  Currently the council table has four female councillors.  With Marianne Wilkinson retiring the number of female councillors could drop to 3 if no others are elected.  This seems to be very unlikely as there are a number of wards where very strong female candidate are seeking a seat at the table.

Let’s address the one seat that in 2018 will not be filled by a woman, the Mayors chair.  Ottawa will have to wait four years to see if a woman will run for Mayor in 2022.  One name that continues to rise to the conversation is Diane Deans.  If Diane Deans wins re-election next week, 2022 might be the year she officially throws her hat in the ring to replace Jim Watson who I believe will not seek a fourth consecutive term as Ottawa’s Mayor.

In 2018 there is a good opportunity to double the count of women councillors to 8. Here is a run down of what could happen, this post will look at the 23 ward seats only.

The sure bets

Seats in Barrhaven, Somerset are a guaranteed win for incumbents Jan Harder and Catherine McKenney.  An almost sure bet is Diane Deans in Gloucester-Southgate. With these three the count is 3/3 for women councillors.

Guaranteed to have a man in the seat

The following wards will elect a male councillor (because there are no women candidates); Stittsville, Knoxdale-Merivale, Beacon Hill-Cyrville, Rideau Vanier, Rideau Rockcliffe, Kitchissippi, Rideau Goulbourn and Kanata South.  The council table now has 3/11 women councillors around it.

Likely to elect a woman councillor

There are wards that will likely elect a woman. Here I am going to lean towards a positive outcome for the ladies in a tight race.  Innes Ward has three female candidates.  No offence to Francois Trepenier, the three other women candidates are much stronger than he is.  In Ward 22, Gloucester-South Nepean, I don’t see voters passing on Carol Anne Meehan, she should get elected.  We are now up to 5/13 seats having a female councillors.

Likely to elect a male councillor

There a few wards where I expect to have a man elected, where there are female candidates running.  The elected will come from West Carleton-March, Capital, Alta Vista, Cumberland and Osgoode Wards.  The ratio drops to 5/18 with 5 wards left to look at.

Expect to elect a male councillor here

Even with good female candidates running, a male will represent these wards; College and River with the incumbents being re-elected giving council a 5/20 female/male ratio.

I think woman will have a good chance to be elected in these three wards

In Orleans with 17 candidates running, Catherine Kitts is the top woman candidate and she would be a good selection for voters in that ward if the voters wanted a woman councillor.  Kanata North has a 3-way race for the seat; Jenna Suds has as good a chance as David Gourlay and Matt Muirhead to win there.  The final female councillor will come from Bay Ward where Theresa Kavanagh will win the seat her husband Alex Cullen held a few terms ago. With these three ladies, City Council will double the number of female candidates from 4/23 to 8/23 (I have not included the Mayors chair).

With more female candidates, I expect decisions to be made differently.  Committees will also have a different make up which will change how they operate as well. The 8/23 is not 50-50 but it is a good start to smashing the glass ceiling that has been at Ottawa City Council since amalgamation in 2001.

I’ll have one more pre-election blog post on the Ottawa election posted before October 22nd with my look at the new council and who I believe will be sitting around it.

Thank you for reading #RedHeartBlueSign, to catch all my posts and be notified as new ones come up please follow me on WordPress. I can be found Twitter @robertdekker,@rdmediaottawaand on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.  If you prefer email, please contact me at rdmedia@bell.net

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Ten little nudges to consider as encouragement to Vote

Top Ten

Everyone has heard that we should vote because our fathers and forefathers fought so we can have the right to vote. There are many who believe voting should be a law punishable by a fine.

In 2010 only less than 10,000 residents cast a ballot in Somerset Ward where 23,000 are registered. Will an open race encourage voters to come out? Will an open race put pressure on candidates to get their supporters to the polls?

Rather than the beat you down approach to vote, here are ten thoughts that I hope will encourage you to vote, in whatever ward you live in, on Monday in the 2014 Municipal Elections in Ottawa.

  1. Your ward is open because the incumbent is not running. This is your chance to avoid the “she (or he) will just get in again” excuse. Vote for the change you always wanted in your ward because this year there will be change.
  1. In the case that your Mayor/Councillor is the incumbent and is expected to win re-election, vote to display your dissatisfaction with their work (if that is the case). A smaller margin of victory does send a message to the re-elected candidate.
  1. In the case that your Mayor/Councillor is the incumbent and is expected to win re-election, vote to display your satisfaction with their work they have been doing (if that is the case). Every vote counts and a large margin of victory for the candidate will make them and YOU feel good about your decision.
  1. Not many candidates came to your door and you can’t make a 100% informed decision. Base your vote on WHO did come to your door – it’s the other candidate’s loss if they didn’t visit you.
  1. Platform, platform, platform – vote for the ideas that struck a chord with you.
  1. Friends of yours are working for a candidate. If you trust your friends, vote for the candidate they are working for.
  1. I have never been a supporter of a spoiled ballot, but they do count spoiled ballots on the final tally. It could be your way to send a message.
  1. It’s not the most scientific, try voting by signs, which candidate do you think ran a good campaign with the use of signs?
  1. A candidate asked you for your vote and you said yes but now you think time is an issue. The candidate is counting on your vote. Call their office and ask for a ride, Polls are open from 10am to 8pm – your candidate will do everything they can to get you to the poll to vote before polls close.
  2. You are not just voting for Mayor and Councillor and the future of your city, you are also voting for School Board Trustee and the future of education being delivered to the children where you live – it is just as important.

Whatever reason spoke to you and you go out to vote, congratulations! By voting you now have a moral reason to talk about the outcome and whatever happens in the next four years.

I invite you to share your ideas by commenting to this post or any post on my blog. You can also email me directly at robdekkeroc@gmail.com.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.

What is going on in College Ward?

Ottawa Election 2014

College Ward is proving to be a microcosm of what is right and wrong with this election.

In College Ward there are four candidates; the incumbent Rick Chiarelli and the challengers Guy Annable, Craig MacAulay and Scott McLarens.

This ward has four distinct categories of candidates.

Scott McLarens is ‘The Rookie’. I will never say a bad thing about anyone that puts their name forward for election; it takes guts to put your name on a ballot. Scott, with all the best intentions was not prepared and it showed in his debate performances. I hope that this has ignited a further fire inside to be a working part of his community.

I call Craig MacAulay ‘The Example’. The example of why we need more stringent rules and qualifications to be a candidate. In the debates I have seen, he is disruptive and comes with little in the way of a substantive platform. His antics take away from the debate that should be taking place. If you don’t believe me watch the College Ward debate that was aired on Rogers TV.

I give Guy Annable the name of ‘The Excitable’. Guy can be undisciplined in his presentation, but that comes from the enthusiasm he has in this campaign. He has presented his ideas about green bins, garbage and using existing rail infrastructure to expand the O-Train (Press Conference Oct 22nd City Hall 11am). He is holding Chiarelli to account for bad decisions (not reading contracts) and more importantly has promised to do what is expected of a Councillor – know what they are voting on.

For the incumbent Rick Chiarelli, I’ll call him ‘The Australian’. Why? Because it seems as if in this election he has gone on a walkabout. He casually strolls through this campaign uninspired looking tired and bored. Many see this as a walk in the park for the incumbent, but he should be reminded that he was once the newbie Councillor who defeated his own Goliath back in 1988 for a seat on the old Nepean City Council. It’s been proven time and time again, history does repeat itself.

“The Rookie”, “The Example”, “The Excitable” and “The Australian” won’t be on the ballot on Monday the 27th, but what the type of candidate they represent will be.

With all due respect to Scott and Craig, the vote comes down to who has worked hardest in this campaign for the vote in College Ward.

Who would you like to have represent you, the “same old same old” going through the motions or someone who is campaigning like they REALLY want your vote? College Ward, you get to decide.

Note: I personally know Guy Annable and have provided some advice to his campaign. My observations come after watching his progress in this election.

I invite you to share your ideas by commenting to this post or any post on my blog. You can also email me directly at robdekkeroc@gmail.com.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker, on Facebook at http://tiny.cc/n5l97.