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Politics, Life and Journalism in Northumberland County, Ontario

Herrington is the one to watch at Liberal nomination meeting

While it would be easy to focus on the two frontrunners at the nomination meeting for the Northumberland Quinte West federal Liberal Association tonight in Grafton, the person to watch is Brighton Mayor Christine Herrington.

Insider polls indicate there may be a tight race forming between Andrew McFadden, from Warkworth and Kim Rudd, of Cobourg. Both of these candidate have strong backing from former MPs. McFadden is enjoying the support of former Environment Minister Christine Stewart and her organization, while Rudd has many of Paul Macklin’s old machine on her team.

Ben Burd, in his Burd Report Thursday morning, is predicting a Rudd victory, only if there is a low turnout. If McFadden is able to get out his supporters, a second ballot is possible, thereby sending the nomination meeting into a frenzy.

And, this could be why Herrington is the one to watch closely. After entering the race very late in the process, she was not able to attain full momentum and is sitting well behind the field. No doubt she may be in a position to play spoiler to one or another of the two frontrunners. So, this becomes a “Let’s Make a Deal” situation.

The question is: What does she want? And, who is prepared to meet her terms?

Herrington’s entry so late in the game suggests she was caught off guard by the shortness of the race. But, another look might suggest it was an opportunity for her to show politicos around the county that she is thinking of moving up from municipal politics. After several terms and mayor, along with a term as county warden, her ambitions are growing.

Then, it would seem reasonable for her to step into the MPPs role. Herrington is a long-time

protégé of Lou Rinaldi’s, who has worked quietly in the background supporting her and her agenda. He is getting to a point where he an retire from politics and receive a pension. Making her is natural successor might be part of his plans.

So, Herrington may be looking for some assurances to secure her nomination for provincial candidate after Lou steps down. Also, she may be looking for favours to help secure a new expanded penitentiary for Warkworth, as the federal government moves forward with its plans to close down facilities and centralize services.

Her list could be endless. But, those might be some of the reasons to watch her tonight. Her ability to deliver power in a second ballot could be shaping Liberal politics in Northumberland for the foreseeable future.

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2 Responses to “Herrington is the one to watch at Liberal nomination meeting”

  1. Looking back, vision is always 20-20 – however, it is interesting to read what both you and Ben wrote before the nomination (having never seen what you wrote until after the nomination).

    The first thing of interest is presuming that the race was tight, when in fact, it was not. By the looks of the results Rudd was 8 or 9 votes shy of winning it on the first ballot. Take both Herringtons and McFadyen’s votes – double them, and subtract 8. That’s how close this was to being a sweep.

    Also on the tight race point – even if it had of been a tight race, it sure wouldn’t be with McFadyen. He offered lots of words, but little substance and votes. He didn’t even make it to the second ballot. Herrington wasn’t the one behind in the field after all!

    On the ‘lets make a deal’ point – since it is a preferential ballot, there isn’t any deal making. Individuals make up their mind who they would vote for second when they voted for their first choice – one ballot nomination. Mcfadyen – losing in the first ballot – didn’t have any floor game to be kingmaker, the voting doesn’t take place that way (had Herrington fell off on the first ballot, nor should she of had that ‘positioning’). People only vote once – when a person drops off a ballot all of those people who chose him first had their second vote they put down come into play. This is how Rudd made up her votes – with a huge majority of McFadyen’s second choice being Rudd.

    Lastly on the point Ben made about the turnout – and a lower turnout being good for Rudd. This probably isn’t true. Since Rudd sold the most memberships, the more people that come out the more people would be voting for her statistically after a certain number.

    Finally – and this is a quick note. Of the major political parties in the area – looks like the NDP is going to have an acclimation. I’ll bet they’ll have less than 30 people there, and lose votes in the election with the loss of Russ (damn strong candidate). The Cons held their AGM today, 50 people attended. The Liberal’s had near 1000, and 250 at an event two weeks ago.

  2. Reading political tea leaves is not always easy and your comments about 20/20 hindsight is true.

    However, there was substantial information that placed the race a lot tighter. It is interesting to see how votes turn out in these kinds of races. It can be a tight vote on paper and then, once the actual event takes place, it depends on who can get their vote out.

    The observations as to how the movement of votes went from McFadden to Rudd is interesting since it would take a scrutineer to have seen the actual results or someone deep inside. Usually, journalists don’t get that kind of inside information.

    As for the low turnout, I agree. The people behind Rudd were professional organizers and highly capable. It was a detail that would not be missed. It was one of several factors that led to her success.

    Thanks for the additional information about the other parties. Greatly appreciated.

    Really appreciate the insightful post.


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