About the Blog:

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Merc Gives Nagy Thumbs Up

I know I said I was going to talk about the debate today but I was at a music video shoot last night, so I taped it, and then I spent the better part of today watching the Director's Cut of Nixon for an article I'm writing for Lucid Forge. So long story short, it'll have to wait till tomorrow.

In the meantime, the Guelph Mercury today published its candidate endorsements for the ridings of Guelph and Wellington-Halton Hills. The Merc's choice for Guelph was none other than Green Party nominee Mike Nagy. In the last election, the paper put up NDP candidate Phil Alt as the choice for Guelph, but here's what they had to say about Nagy:

"But the economy and the environment are not mutually exclusive, and of all the Guelph candidates, Nagy has best grasped that. He has a solid vision of green-job creation here, and a complex understanding of local and national environmental issues.

"There was clear momentum and optimism during the byelection that the Greens had a legitimate shot at electing Canada’s first Green MP. The outward signs are that the party retains that enthusiasm, even if polls indicate otherwise, and that’s something in itself.

"The concept of strategic voting should be a non-starter. Think instead of a Nagy mantra: vote for what you really want."

The paper also talked about why they didn't choose the other candidates. The most surprising discussion came about when talking about Gloria Kovach:

"We see Kovach as having cabinet potential. But if she heads to the House of Commons, will she show a greater appetite for challenging her party platform where warranted or articulating alternate policy courses?

"Her smart, but careful, controlled and strategic campaign offered little evidence of her willingness to think out loud on policy matters or reveal how she would like to grow her party’s policy framework."

It is something I've always wondered. Kovach has played the game well and nailed the Harper talking points with skill. But the thing of it is, Kovach has been one of the more progressive voices in the city council, which was especially pronounced when the development friendly government of Kate Quarrie was in power from 2003-2006. If elected would she be able to influence her party from the inside, or eventual give up and switch parties or just fade into the back bench?

Kovach's fellow Conservative Michael Chong got the nod for Wellington-Halton Hills saying that the former cabinet minister was a "Maverick" for the way he takes stances different from his party, particularly when he stepped down after Harper announced his intention to recognize Quebec as a nation. The article went on to say that,

"Chong’s contrarian side was on display at a candidates’ meeting in Fergus Monday, where his support for the repatriation of Canadian Omar Khadr, who is imprisoned at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo, is also at odds with his party. Perhaps it’s little surprise, then, that Harper has not visited the Wellington-Halton Hills riding during this campaign to lend support to his candidate."

To be fair to Chong I'm from that riding, Georgetown to be precise, and I can't remember a single time, at least since I became of legal voting age, when a national party leader came to town. Heck, Big Bird's been to Georgetown more than Harper, Dion and Layton combined, I'd wager.

Anyway, debate stuff tomorrow. Promise.

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