About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's going to be a hot time in the old town tonight!

So we're three days into the by-election and the proverbial claws come out. I know Jon Stewart thinks that Canadian negative campaigning is, in his words, "adorable." But still, one can detect a trace of bitterness in the air, or at the very least on the printed page.

Saturday's Guelph Mercury saw Frank Valeriote dish on Gloria Kovach, observing that, "It's going to be a tough fight, since it seems the Prime Minister's Office and all of their resources have now been set up here in Guelph. The prime minister is adamant about obtaining this riding. He stepped in here and removed a democratically selected candidate, Brent Barr. And he is absolutely intent on reaching his tentacles into Guelph. He is pretty much managing Miss Kovach's campaign."

Ouch. But honestly, it's no worse that what the Kovach campaign's been saying about Valeriote for the last few months. Let's look at a recent Kovach campaign press release that asks the important question: "Does Brenda Chamberlain Really Support Frank Valeriote?":

"And yet, as the Mercury reporter pointed out, Chamberlain was 'notably absent' from this high profile visit to Guelph by Stephané Dion. Her endorsement and any pictures with her are also notably absent from Frank’s website. And, of course, she says nothing about him on her non-existent website.

"Frank may think that he has Brenda’s support, but it is certainly half-hearted at best.

"In fact, Frank appears to have very limited support from the Federal Liberals. His published endorsements are primarily local. He’s only had one major visitor recently– last week’s appearance by Stéphane Dion. No wonder the Guelph Mercury has speculated that Frank is destined for the backbenches if he’s elected."

Oh, snap! Believe me gang, you guys aren't the only one's who were frustrated with Brenda Chamberlain during her last days in office. As Editor-in-Chief of the Ontarion last year, I saw Chamberlain's people shut down Features Editor Greg Beneteau when he tried to get an exit interview with the former MP. And that's really to say nothing of how she gave the university campus a wide berth in her last two campaigns.

Tom King, meanwhile, was able to stay out of the partisan rake out, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't dealing with some negativity of his own. On the weekend, some King campaign signs were vandalized, kicked over and "decorated" with American flags. King, an Aboriginal by ancestry, was born in the US but immigrated to Canada several years ago. He waved off the attempted discrediting by nothing, "The joke is, when all the rest of the candidates' ancestors came over here my people were there on the shores to greet them, but somebody's going to slap an American flag on my sign."

Sticking with the NDP, I got a call today that Jack Layton will be making a transit announcement tomorrow morning in St. George's Square. As soon as it's over, I'll post photos along with the substance of the press conference. In the evening, King and Layton will officially launch the King campaign office.

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