The Liberal Party of Canada was almost destroyed in 2011 when Conservative Mike Wallace was re-elected MP for Burlington with a plurality of more than 18,000 votes.
However, that doesn’t give Wallace a free pass to victory this year, in the opinion of McMaster University political science Professor Henry Jacek.
Jacek, in fact, says he fully expects NDP leader Thomas Mulcair to become the country’s next Prime Minister.
“Stephen Harper’s been in for nine and a half years, and even if you’re popular, people usually want a change after that long,” Jacek said. “We’ve had five consecutive months of the economy going downhill. I don’t see how he could win the election.”
However, in a staunch Conservative riding like Burlington he says NDP candidate David Laird still will have a tough battle to get elected. The door, he says, is open for Liberal candidate Karina Gould to take a run at Wallace.
Wallace was first elected to Parliament on his wife Caroline’s birthday, Jan. 23, 2006. He was re-elected in 2011. Prior to that he served on Burlington city council from 1994 to 2006.
“At the end of the day, what voters want is leadership both nationally and at the local level,” he said. “The Prime Minister has a proven track record for managing the economy.
“There’s a high risk in where the other two leaders would take the country. There’s security in knowing what Stephen Harper stands for and that he wants to take Canada forward.”
Locally, he says he stands by his record of 21 consecutive years of elected office
Laird is running as a New Democratic candidate for the sixth time, five of them at the federal level, but he has yet to win a race.
A child protection worker with the Toronto Children’s Aid Society, he currently is on leave to serve as Vice-President of CUPE Local 2316 in that city. He has a degree in English Literature from York University.
Laird says people are disappointed in Harper’s managing of the economy.
“His focus has been on tax cuts for corporations and working-class families have been left behind.
“Voters also are looking for investment in jobs, infrastructure and policies that benefit the working class.”
Gould, running for the first time, volunteered at an orphanage in Mexico for a year after
Written by: Denis Gibbons