Powering up for the future

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Russ Powers may have lost the battle this time around, but he is ready to fight again. And given the national results of a Tory minority government, he thinks his next chance to carry the Liberal banner into a federal election could be "sooner than later."

Even as he talked about closing down his constituency office in Dundas, Liberal incumbent Russ Powers made it clear that losing the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ADFW) riding to Conservative David Sweet hasn't soured him on politics.

"We'll be back at it again and we'll just take them right out," he told a cheering crowd of about 100 party faithful as the last poll results dribbled in Monday night.

Speaking to party supporters who rallied around him and his wife, Linda, at his campaign headquarters in the CNIB building in west Hamilton, Powers held onto hope even after the national television networks had declared Sweet as winner as early as 10:30 p.m.

"There's still 26 polls to come in, and one of them is McMaster's," he told reporters at about 12:30 a.m. as workers started to clear the tables in the near-empty hall. Just a half-hour earlier, he still was not ready to concede.

The poll at McMaster University was seen as significant, accounting for hundreds of votes. Its results were late because of the large number of students who voted at the Mary Keyes building on campus where election workers reportedly underestimated the turnout, at one point running out of ballots.

As it turned out, Powers won the poll but the numbers weren't big enough to turn the Tory tide in the riding.

In an interview Tuesday, he said it was about 1:15 a.m. before he was convinced in his own mind that he had lost.

With 24 years of experience in political life at the municipal level, Powers has experienced defeat once before, only to rise from the ashes to top the polls when he ran for Dundas council in 1991. Three years earlier, he narrowly lost a bid to become a Hamilton-Wentworth regional councilor to John Prentice.

Powers couldn't put a finger on what might have caused the reversal in voting support that swept the ADFW riding this time around. In the June, 2004 election, he defeated Sweet by 2,800 finishing with 21,935 votes. In Monday's race, Sweet won by 2,893 votes, topping the polls at 24,523.

New Democratic Party candidate Gordon Guyatt ran a strong campaign, garnering 13,359 votes compared to 11,557 in the 2004 election. Green Party candidate David Januczkowski, the only Flamborough resident in the race, got 2,768 votes, up slightly from his 2004 total of 2,636.

New to the ballot this time around were Independent Ben Cowie who got 302 votes and Jamil Ghaddar who finished with 111 votes.

While noting that the Liberal national campaign wasn't as strong as he had hoped, Powers was unsure how much influence it might have had on his local campaign.

"Interference by third party groups" in the final week leading up to the election could have swayed some voters, he charged. People were contacted by phone by members of an American-based group that opposed his support of same-sex marriage legislation, he said. Powers said callers, one of whom even contacted his home, indicated that the incumbent was against family values and suggested people vote for Sweet, who supports traditional marriage and families.

As for the national results, Powers conceded, "It was somewhat of a tide but not a riptide."

A minority Tory government sets the stage for another federal election within the next year to 18 months, he said, speculating that voters could be going to the polls "sooner than later."

"The person with the strength in the new government is Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe," whose support the Conservatives will need to promote their programs, Powers said. The defeated incumbent doesn't think Duceppe will be eager to give his support, especially since the Bloc lost 10 seats to the Conservatives. Powers believes that will result in a short-lived Tory minority government in Canada.

If the local Liberal Association wants him to run in the next election, Powers said he'll "be there."

In the meantime, he is looking at "other options," although he was quick to dismiss speculation that he will run in the upcoming Hamilton municipal election. He has his sights set on a return to Parliament in Ottawa.

Powering up for the future

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Russ Powers may have lost the battle this time around, but he is ready to fight again. And given the national results of a Tory minority government, he thinks his next chance to carry the Liberal banner into a federal election could be "sooner than later."

Even as he talked about closing down his constituency office in Dundas, Liberal incumbent Russ Powers made it clear that losing the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ADFW) riding to Conservative David Sweet hasn't soured him on politics.

"We'll be back at it again and we'll just take them right out," he told a cheering crowd of about 100 party faithful as the last poll results dribbled in Monday night.

Speaking to party supporters who rallied around him and his wife, Linda, at his campaign headquarters in the CNIB building in west Hamilton, Powers held onto hope even after the national television networks had declared Sweet as winner as early as 10:30 p.m.

"There's still 26 polls to come in, and one of them is McMaster's," he told reporters at about 12:30 a.m. as workers started to clear the tables in the near-empty hall. Just a half-hour earlier, he still was not ready to concede.

The poll at McMaster University was seen as significant, accounting for hundreds of votes. Its results were late because of the large number of students who voted at the Mary Keyes building on campus where election workers reportedly underestimated the turnout, at one point running out of ballots.

As it turned out, Powers won the poll but the numbers weren't big enough to turn the Tory tide in the riding.

In an interview Tuesday, he said it was about 1:15 a.m. before he was convinced in his own mind that he had lost.

With 24 years of experience in political life at the municipal level, Powers has experienced defeat once before, only to rise from the ashes to top the polls when he ran for Dundas council in 1991. Three years earlier, he narrowly lost a bid to become a Hamilton-Wentworth regional councilor to John Prentice.

Powers couldn't put a finger on what might have caused the reversal in voting support that swept the ADFW riding this time around. In the June, 2004 election, he defeated Sweet by 2,800 finishing with 21,935 votes. In Monday's race, Sweet won by 2,893 votes, topping the polls at 24,523.

New Democratic Party candidate Gordon Guyatt ran a strong campaign, garnering 13,359 votes compared to 11,557 in the 2004 election. Green Party candidate David Januczkowski, the only Flamborough resident in the race, got 2,768 votes, up slightly from his 2004 total of 2,636.

New to the ballot this time around were Independent Ben Cowie who got 302 votes and Jamil Ghaddar who finished with 111 votes.

While noting that the Liberal national campaign wasn't as strong as he had hoped, Powers was unsure how much influence it might have had on his local campaign.

"Interference by third party groups" in the final week leading up to the election could have swayed some voters, he charged. People were contacted by phone by members of an American-based group that opposed his support of same-sex marriage legislation, he said. Powers said callers, one of whom even contacted his home, indicated that the incumbent was against family values and suggested people vote for Sweet, who supports traditional marriage and families.

As for the national results, Powers conceded, "It was somewhat of a tide but not a riptide."

A minority Tory government sets the stage for another federal election within the next year to 18 months, he said, speculating that voters could be going to the polls "sooner than later."

"The person with the strength in the new government is Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe," whose support the Conservatives will need to promote their programs, Powers said. The defeated incumbent doesn't think Duceppe will be eager to give his support, especially since the Bloc lost 10 seats to the Conservatives. Powers believes that will result in a short-lived Tory minority government in Canada.

If the local Liberal Association wants him to run in the next election, Powers said he'll "be there."

In the meantime, he is looking at "other options," although he was quick to dismiss speculation that he will run in the upcoming Hamilton municipal election. He has his sights set on a return to Parliament in Ottawa.

Powering up for the future

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Russ Powers may have lost the battle this time around, but he is ready to fight again. And given the national results of a Tory minority government, he thinks his next chance to carry the Liberal banner into a federal election could be "sooner than later."

Even as he talked about closing down his constituency office in Dundas, Liberal incumbent Russ Powers made it clear that losing the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale (ADFW) riding to Conservative David Sweet hasn't soured him on politics.

"We'll be back at it again and we'll just take them right out," he told a cheering crowd of about 100 party faithful as the last poll results dribbled in Monday night.

Speaking to party supporters who rallied around him and his wife, Linda, at his campaign headquarters in the CNIB building in west Hamilton, Powers held onto hope even after the national television networks had declared Sweet as winner as early as 10:30 p.m.

"There's still 26 polls to come in, and one of them is McMaster's," he told reporters at about 12:30 a.m. as workers started to clear the tables in the near-empty hall. Just a half-hour earlier, he still was not ready to concede.

The poll at McMaster University was seen as significant, accounting for hundreds of votes. Its results were late because of the large number of students who voted at the Mary Keyes building on campus where election workers reportedly underestimated the turnout, at one point running out of ballots.

As it turned out, Powers won the poll but the numbers weren't big enough to turn the Tory tide in the riding.

In an interview Tuesday, he said it was about 1:15 a.m. before he was convinced in his own mind that he had lost.

With 24 years of experience in political life at the municipal level, Powers has experienced defeat once before, only to rise from the ashes to top the polls when he ran for Dundas council in 1991. Three years earlier, he narrowly lost a bid to become a Hamilton-Wentworth regional councilor to John Prentice.

Powers couldn't put a finger on what might have caused the reversal in voting support that swept the ADFW riding this time around. In the June, 2004 election, he defeated Sweet by 2,800 finishing with 21,935 votes. In Monday's race, Sweet won by 2,893 votes, topping the polls at 24,523.

New Democratic Party candidate Gordon Guyatt ran a strong campaign, garnering 13,359 votes compared to 11,557 in the 2004 election. Green Party candidate David Januczkowski, the only Flamborough resident in the race, got 2,768 votes, up slightly from his 2004 total of 2,636.

New to the ballot this time around were Independent Ben Cowie who got 302 votes and Jamil Ghaddar who finished with 111 votes.

While noting that the Liberal national campaign wasn't as strong as he had hoped, Powers was unsure how much influence it might have had on his local campaign.

"Interference by third party groups" in the final week leading up to the election could have swayed some voters, he charged. People were contacted by phone by members of an American-based group that opposed his support of same-sex marriage legislation, he said. Powers said callers, one of whom even contacted his home, indicated that the incumbent was against family values and suggested people vote for Sweet, who supports traditional marriage and families.

As for the national results, Powers conceded, "It was somewhat of a tide but not a riptide."

A minority Tory government sets the stage for another federal election within the next year to 18 months, he said, speculating that voters could be going to the polls "sooner than later."

"The person with the strength in the new government is Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe," whose support the Conservatives will need to promote their programs, Powers said. The defeated incumbent doesn't think Duceppe will be eager to give his support, especially since the Bloc lost 10 seats to the Conservatives. Powers believes that will result in a short-lived Tory minority government in Canada.

If the local Liberal Association wants him to run in the next election, Powers said he'll "be there."

In the meantime, he is looking at "other options," although he was quick to dismiss speculation that he will run in the upcoming Hamilton municipal election. He has his sights set on a return to Parliament in Ottawa.