Ottawa Centre’s Federal Voting History: Red Or Orange With A Blue Tinge

By John Dance

In the last federal election, the riding of Ottawa Centre had the greatest voter turn-out of all 338 ridings in Canada, as Liberal Catherine McKenna won against the late Paul Dewar, a well-respected New Democrat who had held Ottawa Centre the previous three elections.

So come this election day, October 21, will Ottawa Centre voters again turn out in droves and contribute to either changing or maintaining the current federal government?

As of July 13th, McKenna was slated to face three main challengers: Carol Clemenhagen, Conservative; Angela KellerHerzog, Green; and Emilie Taman, NDP. In addition, Merylee Sevilla has declared for the People’s Party of Canada and Adam Rolston will represent the National Citizens Alliance.

Over the half-century that Ottawa Centre has existed as a federal riding, basically with the same boundaries as it now has, there have been 16 federal elections. The Liberals have dominated by winning 10 times, the NDP five times and the Conservatives once. But over the last 20 years, the NDP has the edge, winning four of the seven elections.

“The Ottawa Centre riding covers most of downtown Ottawa, including the Parliament Buildings,” notes Wikipedia. From the Rideau River, the riding stretches west encompassing the communities of Centretown, Little Italy, LeBreton Flats, Mechanicsville, Hintonburg, Westboro, Civic Hospital, part of Carlington, the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, and Old Ottawa East.

Over Ottawa Centre’s 50-year history the Liberals have won 10 elections, the NDP five and the Conservatives one.
Image from Wikipedia

Over the years, parts of Old Ottawa East have been shuffled in and out of the riding as redistribution has required adjustments, but now OOE is entirely encompassed within the Ottawa Centre riding.

This election, voters will mark a newly-designed ballot that is two inches wider to improve handling. “We have also made the background grey instead of black, increased the font sizes and substituted dots with dashes—all to improve readability and optical character recognition (OCR) by screen readers,” says Elections Canada.

Another improvement is extended hours at all advance polls, and there will be more advance voting sites, although as The Mainstreeter went to print, related details were not available. One final note on the Ottawa Centre riding: it has the highest percentage of master’s degree holders in all of Canada (12.7%) or so says Wikipedia.

In the pre-election October issue of The Mainstreeter, candidates will be invited to provide a written answer to the question of “Why should voters of Old Ottawa East cast their ballot for you in the upcoming federal election?”

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Filed in: Features, Front Page, News, Political Pages

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