For a while there it looked like Jim Watson had a pretty good lead in the race – before O’Brien announced his intention to run again. Then O’Brien threw his hat in the ring and now the polls show them at 29% for Watson and 22% for O’Brien.
However, with Doucet jumping on board the rapid transit track to mayoraldom, some Watson supporters could shift their votes to Doucet. Doucet is very popular in certain circles. There was much rejoicing in the Glebe and Centertown for instance, when he announced his candidacy last week.
Then there’s also Alex Cullen on the non-O’Brien side to split that vote even further….not to mention the other 10 candidates in the race so far. Wanting to be Mayor of Ottawa certainly seems to be all-the-rage.
It’s a good news/good news situation for O’Brien. His competition is undercutting each other. And, there won’t be any need this time for him to pay anyone to drop out. In fact, he might think about paying them all to stay in. He might even think about sending some of his relatives or office staff out to secretly campaign for Doucet.
I know there are quite a few very vocal anti-O’Brienites out there, but they would be foolish to think that he doesn’t also have plenty of very ardent and very influential supporters. Add this to the Ottawa electorate’s better-the-devil-we-know voting mentality — as is witnessed by the same old tired councillors getting re-elected term after term – and I wouldn’t put any money on O’Brien getting defeated in October.
This is my first Ottawa municipal election, however, so I’d be interested to hear what the natives think.
(For anybody reading who has no interest in Ottawa municipal politics, I’m also collecting some good summer recipes – especially for cold dishes involving pasta. Thank you)