The Politics of Elgin Street

Sure, we all know Ottawa Centre was won by the NDP in the last two elections, and that before that Mac Harb represented the Liberals for a few rounds of Parliament. And you probably even know by how many votes each won by, so that even in this first-past-the-post system, you could get a sense of how strong of a mandate the winner had. For Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewer got 37% of the vote in the last election, beating out his next best rival, Richard Mahoney (two-time loser? Ouch) by almost 8 percentage points. You might have also known that the Greens did not do too shabbily in the last election. David Chernushenko got over 10% of the popular vote in Ottawa Centre, making it among the best performances for a Green Party candidate in any riding.

But here at the ESI, we really could care less about the 90,000 odd electorate of Ottawa Centre. We are far more parochial about our political interests. Even Dwarfie thinks you might as well live in Kanata if you move west of Preston St. That being said, I would like to present, with thanks to folks at Elections Canada, some analysis of the results of Elgin Street from the last election:

Zoom and click on the google map below to get the results for each highlighted poll.

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Poll 116 – Lower Elgin Street, east side

Analysis: The NDP had few problems capturing almost half the votes here. The remaining votes were almost evenly split between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Strategy: It’s clear that being so close to the police station, these voters have become complacent. They feel safe and secure. The “tough on crime” agenda that usually follows the Conservatives is not working. For the Conservatives, I would suggest things need to be stirred up in this part of town. Home invasions are usually good to scare the odd voter. Maybe those guys you send around to put signs on our lawns could do some double-duty, if you get my drift.

Poll 115 – Lower Elgin, west side

Analysis: The Green’s had their best performance on this part of Elgin Street, getting about 13% of the vote. This is clearly because most of the voters were the homeless people that live on the green space around the Museum of Nature. They have a vested interest in making sure there is grass to sleep on and shrubs close by for other activities.

Strategy: For the Conservatives it’s easy: Pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

Poll 113 – Middle Elgin, west side

Analysis: The NDP got about the same number of votes as the combined Liberals and Conservatives.

Strategy: The western side of the Elgin Strip can definitely be a ‘swing’ poll what with all the clubs and bars located there. I think in this instance, the Liberals and the Conservatives have to combine forces to put pressure on the NDP. That is probably best done at pep rallies with the assistance of some of the (ahem) capable serving staff from any of these fine establishments. Also, they may try keeping those Dippers that drink at the Manx from getting out to vote.

Poll 103 and 104 – Maclaren & Elgin, east side / St. Moritz Apts.

Analysis: The Liberals make huge inroads on this part of Elgin Street getting about 36% of the popular vote.

Strategy: Paul Dewer is going to have his work cut out for him trying to win back these polls. Pool sharks (Maclaren’s Pub) and retired old ladies (St. Moritz Apts) who probably once escorted Mackenzie King to his séances are not easily swayed by NDP-style social justice. However, if the Conservatives can get John Baird and Laureen Harper to knock on a few doors, those old ladies may wax romantically about days of yor.

Poll 102 – Maclaren & Elgin, west side

Analysis: The NDP get strong results here at 40% of the popular vote.

Strategy: This side of the street clashes with its east-side counterpart and probably represents well-entrenched political positions. It looks too Northern Ireland / Palestine for my liking. Best we put up a wall down the middle of Elgin Street from Somerset to Gilmour. It can be are own little Berlin. Years from now, when things settle down, we can tare it down and sell it to tourists to help pay down our city’s debt from the Siemens lawsuits and unfinished transit tunnels.

Poll 94 – Elgin Street, upper east side

Analysis: Liberals edged out the NDP by only 1% point.

Strategy: Maybe it’s the similarity between Belgian waffles at the Mayflower to Liberal policy that gives them the edge on this part of Elgin Street. Maybe it’s the closer proximity to Parliament Hill for Canada’s natural governing party. Either way, the NDP could get the jump here with a few key moves. The former Goldsteins grocery store is vacant and must have some possibilities for buying votes from the electorate. How about a platform of returning it to its former glory, but this time employ the panhandlers from the neighbourhood as check-out cashiers. For once, they would be giving us some change.


4th Dwarf said...

The Chair is back!

Good old fashioned precinct politics and Web2.0.

zoom said...

Great analysis, Chair, and nice 2.0 integration. I'm tempted to move to Elgin Street, where my vote could clearly make a real difference.

Conch Shell said...

Very interesting slice-of-life stuff here. Thanks Chair.