Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, January 29, 2009

BLOGMeister Political Survey Results

The results are in. The numbers have been counted. You have spoken.

None of our elected officials will admit that they will look at the results or will take them seriously but you know they all will.

It is very clear that the smartest non-elected politician in this area is Tony Blak. His recent Letter to the Editor captured the mood of readers of this BLOG perfectly.

If he decides to run, he has his choice of a running virtually anywhere in the City. I would expect that those people who have considered running for a municipal position may be encouraged by what they read. However, if they are going to run, they need to start being visible like Tony since it is less than two years before the next election. Incumbents have a big advantage with name recognition although frankly, after results of this poll, I’m not sure that I would want my name known if I was a Councillor.

As I am certain that you understand, this poll is not scientific and not representative of the City at large. I would expect however that it is representative of the readers of this BLOG. Contrary to what some people may hear at City Hall, I did not pack the results nor am I responsible for writing most of the comments nor asking my friends to do so. I have heard that allegation with respect to me with respect to the comments on the Star Forums.

Doing that would defeat the purpose of this exercise… trying to understand whether the readers of this BLOG agree or not with the views that I express here and trying to understand what the opinions are of the citizens of Windsor. What you will discover when you read the opinions is that the views of people here are very similar to those on the Windsor Forums.

In other words, not very friendly to the Mayor and Council.

I was surprised by the demographics of my readers. Generally, 70% of the readers are male with a college or university degree or higher. The readership tends to be older with most in the 41 to 50 year age bracket. Respondents were spread across the City although the numbers in Ward 4 seemed surprisingly low.

I would expect that the readers of this BLOG tend to be better educated than the general citizen of Windsor. They probably would tend to be businesspeople as well. However, as you will see from their comments, the intensity of their feelings is very similar to that of the Star Forum respondents and their viewpoint very similar also.


The Mayor’s numbers are abysmal as far as I am concerned. Considering that the Mayor was virtually unopposed at the last election campaign and received almost 80% of the votes, his disapproval rating of 81% is shocking.

To me, it means that his hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on the Greenlink advertising blitzes has not translated into people thinking that he has done a very good job.

The Senior Levels and the Bridge Company people may legitimately ask the question whether his point of view represents the opinion of the People of Windsor. It may well be that the Voice of Council is not speaking for anyone other than himself and his 10 colleagues and that they are all out of touch with their electorate. That would certainly be the position that I would take.

It may well be worthwhile another time to try to figure out why Windsorites are not warming up to the Mayor or perhaps they have had enough of a Mayor who has failed to deliver on just about everything.

The myth of Eddie Francis as our Leader/Mayor/Lawyer/Entrepreneur has been shattered with these kinds of horrific numbers.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for the next mayoral campaign now.


It is hardly a secret that the two Councillors from this Ward can barely tolerate each other.

If the Councillor formerly known as Councillor Budget was concerned about his Wardmate before, then he better be worrying now. Not even the praise of Gord Henderson nor the opening of the arena have been able to help Councillor Brister boost his numbers.

For a newbie, Councillor Dilkens numbers are quite surprising but then again he has received a lot of good press especially with respect to his views on open and transparent government.


It seems that respondents must believe that the two Ward Councillors are still a “team.” That is how they portrayed themselves in the past. Both their disastrous disapproval ratings and low approval ratings are similar. They are lumped together.

I expect that people are tired of their actions on the border issues including demolishing homes on Indian Road, Sandwich and Heritage and view them as ineffectual. Their over-emphasis on Sandwich has not helped residents in other parts of the Ward I would expect and some may have seen the opportunity to take it out on them.


As Senior Councillor on Council, Councillor Valentinis would have to be disappointed. Then again, if he chooses to act as “Enforcer” for the Mayor and his apologist at Council, then he can hardly expect better numbers.

I guess that Councillor Halberstadt is our John McCain, our maverick. It has not hurt him to be outspoken and to take shots at the Mayor even though some of his colleagues may not appreciate his breaking of Council unity. It has worked for him in the past and I expect it will work again for him in the future.


What a contrast between the two Ward Councillors. They are about as different as any of the two Ward Councillors in any of the Wards.

It is obvious that Councillor Marra is the Mayor in waiting while Councillor Lewenza can not do enough to idolize our Mayor.

Councillor Lewenza may well be suffering still from the WUC fiasco or he may be the manifestation on Council of the animosity of some people to the unions in town.

While Councillor Marra looks good in comparison with his colleagues, nevertheless approval ratings of just over 50% are not outstanding. He needs to get them up. I expect his numbers were reduced by his failure to advocate for citizens on the 400 audit.


To me and others it seems, the biggest disappointment on Council has been Councillor Hatfield. Perhaps I expected too much from him from Percy’s Panel. From being a pitbull, he has turned into a lapdog. Again, being a big supporter of the Mayor has not proven to be of assistance. For a newbie, his disapproval rating is horrific, almost 60%. More importantly his approval rating is just over 11%.

I’m surprised with the numbers of Councillor Gignac. Her disapproval numbers are much higher than I would have expected given the relatively good publicity that she receives in the Star, almost 40%. Again, to me her approval numbers are much lower than I would have expected. I still believe that she has a problem letting people know what she stands for.

Every so often she takes a shot at the Mayor but then backs off. It hardly makes her look like a person of strength.


It would appear that being a maverick and standing up to the Mayor isn’t such a bad idea after all. It may well be that some of the other Councilors ought to start writing a BLOG too. At the least, Councillor Halberstadt lets people understand why he does what he does. The gems that come out of his BLOG are also very useful to the rest of us who like to Blog.

However, neither he nor Councillor Marra who came in second ought to be too pleased with their showing. At 37% and 26% respectively, this is hardly a ringing endorsement of their efforts.

As for their colleagues, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. Not one of them hit double digits. In fact, Councillors Jones and Hatfield did not get one single vote.


The Ward 2 Councillors, Jones and Postma, filled the first and third positions while Councillor Lewenza came in second. Given their ratings, this is hardly a surprise. It is interesting that it is the so-called “left-wing” of Council that is viewed so negatively.

Councillor Dilkens received no votes while his Wardmate received over 8% of the WORST vote.


Nothing more needs to be said as to what Windsorites believe is the key issue in this City over the next year.

Even though the Mayor is going around talking up the canal as I have heard recently, no one thinks that it is a key issue for this City. Of course, knowing our Mayor, it does not matter what we think but what he wants. Will his colleagues allow him to squander money that is badly needed to allow him to pretend that he’s doing something with respect to this latest vision of his. I truly can imagine the outcry if he tries to shove this down our throats.

Of course, it will be positioned as jobs I would suspect. Or, the Mayor will come up with an even newer vision to dazzle us to bring up his numbers and that of his colleagues if he wants to maintain unity.

The Border numbers are lower than I thought but that is probably because most people believe that the fight is over but for the Mayor’s stubbornness.

Considering that so few people believe that the Environment is a key issue for the City, then one wonders why the Mayor and Council persist in trying to beat a dead horse with respect to health and Greenlink. The message is not winning anyone over.


Not a real surprise is it.

No wonder Eddie is saying nice things about the Conservatives. It seems that very few are interested in having him run for a third term. Even the Chicken Suit got more support than he did.

Right now, Councillor Marra is way out in front of everyone that I can think of who might be a person who could run for Mayor. Yet, even in this group, he is unable to crack the 50% barrier.

What it means to me is that the public has not yet made up its mind about the Councillor and whether they are prepared to commit to him. All it suggests right now is that he is the best of a bad lot.

And if Councillor Brister thinks he has a hope in running for Mayor, forget it. Not one single, solitary vote!

Could someone come out of the shadows and capture the attention of the electorate? Who knows.

In closing, you may remember that I did a similar survey about a year ago.

The Mayor’s numbers are just as bad although his "very poor" rating number has improved slightly to "poor." Councillor Halberstadt was the best Councillor last time also but his numbers have dropped significantly. Councillor Jones overtook Councillor Lewenza to become the worst Councillor. The economy has replaced the border as the #1 key issue in Windsor.

It should be clear to the Councillors that the Mayor is not helping their careers. His numbers are about as bad as they were before and their numbers are declining significantly.

For a better view of the survey tables, go here:

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