Land of the lost

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

As always on election nights, it's amusing to watch the dazed and confused looks of the defeated in contrast to the ebullience of their victorious brethren or sistren.

But somehow this federal election produced a seismic shift in Hamilton politics with more than the usual fallout. One noteworthy fact: for first time in memory Hamilton won't have a sitting Liberal MP. So here are the winners and losers from January 23:

WINNERS: The NDP. From 18 seats, the NDP added another 11 from across the country. In Hamilton, they went from one entrenched seat to three seats, with Chris Charlton on Hamilton Mountain and Wayne Marston dispatching Liberal cabinet minister Tony Valeri. But while the NDP may have added seats, they lost power in the House of Commons. It was the party's opportunity to truly become an alternative choice for tired and disgruntled Liberals, yet the results show they failed. The one positive: Hamilton's results could spark an orange trend in municipal and provincial elections. Watch for councillor Sam Merulla to seek and win a Hamilton East-Stoney Creek provincial seat.

WINNERS: Ethnic voters. There are about 30,000 people with Muslim backgrounds in Hamilton and they've always been an influence in local politics. But they haven't put their political strength to the test, preferring to support the Liberals - unwavering yet taken for granted. Party corruption combined with the erosion of their Canadian civil rights, provoked a political backlash. The result? No Liberals in Hamilton Mountain, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.

WINNER: Sheila Copps. Revenge is best served cold and nobody does it better than Sheila. She must go to bed at night with a wide grin on her face, knowing her nemesis Paul Martin is political history, and Tony Valeri is stumbling in the dark, muttering conspiracy theories.

WINNERS: Rural communities. For the better part of five years, the farming community has been under siege because of an urban-led agenda they believe is trying to stick it to them. On Jan. 23, it was the first time they could lash back, and they did - in spades.

LOSER: Bill Kelly: There is no bigger loser in this election than this Hamilton councillor. How can one of the city's most media-savvy, recognizable and connected people drop a riding that the Liberals considered one of the safest in Canada to a six-time loser? Back to the safe surroundings of Hamilton council to lick his wounds.

LOSER: Larry Di Ianni. The mayor counted on Tony Valeri to be Hamilton's voice in Ottawa. Now he's hoping that David Sweet and David Christopherson will do what Tony seemed to do. And with Kelly's and Javid Mirza's defeats, Di Ianni's pro-business agenda may have to be re-oriented for the coming municipal election.

LOSER: New Deal for Cities. If you were fed up with federal politicians visiting town with bags of money, don't worry, it won't happen any time soon under a Conservative regime. The Conservatives didn't elect an MP in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax. The much talked-about new deal for cities will be as low a priority for Stephen Harper as making Sheila Copps U.N ambassador.

LOSERS: Liberal candidates. After 12 years in power, Hamiltonians should have received better representation than they did. This election should be a wake-up call to all Liberals, but also to every politician who takes their constituents for granted.

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com

Land of the lost

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

As always on election nights, it's amusing to watch the dazed and confused looks of the defeated in contrast to the ebullience of their victorious brethren or sistren.

But somehow this federal election produced a seismic shift in Hamilton politics with more than the usual fallout. One noteworthy fact: for first time in memory Hamilton won't have a sitting Liberal MP. So here are the winners and losers from January 23:

WINNERS: The NDP. From 18 seats, the NDP added another 11 from across the country. In Hamilton, they went from one entrenched seat to three seats, with Chris Charlton on Hamilton Mountain and Wayne Marston dispatching Liberal cabinet minister Tony Valeri. But while the NDP may have added seats, they lost power in the House of Commons. It was the party's opportunity to truly become an alternative choice for tired and disgruntled Liberals, yet the results show they failed. The one positive: Hamilton's results could spark an orange trend in municipal and provincial elections. Watch for councillor Sam Merulla to seek and win a Hamilton East-Stoney Creek provincial seat.

WINNERS: Ethnic voters. There are about 30,000 people with Muslim backgrounds in Hamilton and they've always been an influence in local politics. But they haven't put their political strength to the test, preferring to support the Liberals - unwavering yet taken for granted. Party corruption combined with the erosion of their Canadian civil rights, provoked a political backlash. The result? No Liberals in Hamilton Mountain, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.

WINNER: Sheila Copps. Revenge is best served cold and nobody does it better than Sheila. She must go to bed at night with a wide grin on her face, knowing her nemesis Paul Martin is political history, and Tony Valeri is stumbling in the dark, muttering conspiracy theories.

WINNERS: Rural communities. For the better part of five years, the farming community has been under siege because of an urban-led agenda they believe is trying to stick it to them. On Jan. 23, it was the first time they could lash back, and they did - in spades.

LOSER: Bill Kelly: There is no bigger loser in this election than this Hamilton councillor. How can one of the city's most media-savvy, recognizable and connected people drop a riding that the Liberals considered one of the safest in Canada to a six-time loser? Back to the safe surroundings of Hamilton council to lick his wounds.

LOSER: Larry Di Ianni. The mayor counted on Tony Valeri to be Hamilton's voice in Ottawa. Now he's hoping that David Sweet and David Christopherson will do what Tony seemed to do. And with Kelly's and Javid Mirza's defeats, Di Ianni's pro-business agenda may have to be re-oriented for the coming municipal election.

LOSER: New Deal for Cities. If you were fed up with federal politicians visiting town with bags of money, don't worry, it won't happen any time soon under a Conservative regime. The Conservatives didn't elect an MP in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax. The much talked-about new deal for cities will be as low a priority for Stephen Harper as making Sheila Copps U.N ambassador.

LOSERS: Liberal candidates. After 12 years in power, Hamiltonians should have received better representation than they did. This election should be a wake-up call to all Liberals, but also to every politician who takes their constituents for granted.

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com

Land of the lost

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

As always on election nights, it's amusing to watch the dazed and confused looks of the defeated in contrast to the ebullience of their victorious brethren or sistren.

But somehow this federal election produced a seismic shift in Hamilton politics with more than the usual fallout. One noteworthy fact: for first time in memory Hamilton won't have a sitting Liberal MP. So here are the winners and losers from January 23:

WINNERS: The NDP. From 18 seats, the NDP added another 11 from across the country. In Hamilton, they went from one entrenched seat to three seats, with Chris Charlton on Hamilton Mountain and Wayne Marston dispatching Liberal cabinet minister Tony Valeri. But while the NDP may have added seats, they lost power in the House of Commons. It was the party's opportunity to truly become an alternative choice for tired and disgruntled Liberals, yet the results show they failed. The one positive: Hamilton's results could spark an orange trend in municipal and provincial elections. Watch for councillor Sam Merulla to seek and win a Hamilton East-Stoney Creek provincial seat.

WINNERS: Ethnic voters. There are about 30,000 people with Muslim backgrounds in Hamilton and they've always been an influence in local politics. But they haven't put their political strength to the test, preferring to support the Liberals - unwavering yet taken for granted. Party corruption combined with the erosion of their Canadian civil rights, provoked a political backlash. The result? No Liberals in Hamilton Mountain, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.

WINNER: Sheila Copps. Revenge is best served cold and nobody does it better than Sheila. She must go to bed at night with a wide grin on her face, knowing her nemesis Paul Martin is political history, and Tony Valeri is stumbling in the dark, muttering conspiracy theories.

WINNERS: Rural communities. For the better part of five years, the farming community has been under siege because of an urban-led agenda they believe is trying to stick it to them. On Jan. 23, it was the first time they could lash back, and they did - in spades.

LOSER: Bill Kelly: There is no bigger loser in this election than this Hamilton councillor. How can one of the city's most media-savvy, recognizable and connected people drop a riding that the Liberals considered one of the safest in Canada to a six-time loser? Back to the safe surroundings of Hamilton council to lick his wounds.

LOSER: Larry Di Ianni. The mayor counted on Tony Valeri to be Hamilton's voice in Ottawa. Now he's hoping that David Sweet and David Christopherson will do what Tony seemed to do. And with Kelly's and Javid Mirza's defeats, Di Ianni's pro-business agenda may have to be re-oriented for the coming municipal election.

LOSER: New Deal for Cities. If you were fed up with federal politicians visiting town with bags of money, don't worry, it won't happen any time soon under a Conservative regime. The Conservatives didn't elect an MP in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax. The much talked-about new deal for cities will be as low a priority for Stephen Harper as making Sheila Copps U.N ambassador.

LOSERS: Liberal candidates. After 12 years in power, Hamiltonians should have received better representation than they did. This election should be a wake-up call to all Liberals, but also to every politician who takes their constituents for granted.

Kevin Werner is regional reporter for Brabant Newspapers. He can be reached by calling 905-308-7757, ext. 36, or by email at kwerner@brabantnewspapers.com