What's with the Jack Layton NDP signs in Durham? Isaac Ransom drives along Highway 2 in the riding east of Toronto and counts 30 or more election signs touting Layton and his Toronto team. That's only one stretch of a main road, and Ransom argues there are more signs in the riding. He thinks they'll bring out voters on Tuesday for the New Democrats. Ransom's problem is the NDP candidate in Durham, Andrew McKeever, was forced to resign over a week ago over anti-Semitic comments posted at his Facebook site. In the uproar that followed, other ugly comnents came to light (which don't deserve an airing). Ransom, manager for his father Brian's run for the LIberals in Durham, says the campaign filed a complaint with Elections Canada, but hasn't heard back yet.
This could be a close riding. Last time, Conservative Bev Oda, international cooperation minister, won over the Liberals by 10,000 votes. The NDP pulled down close to 10,000. Without the NDP this time, Ransom argues it's a horserace between Oda and his father. Because McKeever resigned after the withdrawal deadline, his name still appears on the ballot and the Liberal party's understanding is that votes cast for him will still count in calculating the party's federal stipend after the election. Most important for the Liberal campaign, it could bleed votes away from Ransom in a part of battleground southern Ontario where every vote counts.
NDP still campaigning for a disgraced and withdrawn candidate...and doing it, in part at least for money, possibly in violation of Election Canada regulations? I guess they are ready to govern.
Just a note: McKeever's comments were not anti-Semitic, just jerk-like, threatening, and sexist.
HT Ms. Kraus.