Stand Your Ground Mayor O'Brien. The People Are Behind You In The Hunt For "Zero Means Zero"

In the past 7 to 14 days, the airwaves in Ottawa have been filled with talk about how the newly elected Mayor, Larry O’Brien, and the city councilors are at odds over how to operate the city.

But herein lies the problem. Every sitting councilor who ran again, won their seat. Yet there was a change at the top in the Mayor’s seat.

What does this mean? Well not much, unless you take two points into consideration.

a) Ottawa had a record number of voters turn out in the last election to bring in a new Mayor because citizens want change.


b) Many citizens who do not typically vote municipally will more often than not vote in the incumbent because they do not pay enough attention to know anyone else’s name or position.

What kind of record numbers you ask? Click the image below for a larger version.

With Ottawa forming two new ridings, it is not easy to map every Ward to a new version, but many do map pretty clearly. To account for increased elector numbers, the figures below are based on voter percentage increases.

Ward 1 Orleans has ~76% increase in voter turnout
Ward 2 Innes has ~39% increase in voter turnout
Wards 3, 6 and 21 (now broken into Wards 3, 6, 21, and 22) had ~54% increase in voter turnout
Ward 4 Kanata (now broken into Wards 4 and 23) had ~52% increase in voter turnout
Ward 5 West Carleton has ~38% increase in voter turnout
Ward 7 Bay has ~50% increase in voter turnout
Ward 8 Baseline (now College) has ~84% increase in voter turnout
Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale has ~69% increase in voter turnout
Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate has ~63% increase in voter turnout
Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville has ~60% increase in voter turnout
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier has ~66% increase in voter turnout
Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe has ~75% increase in voter turnout
Ward 14 Somerset has a whopping 101% increase in voter turnout
Ward 15 Kitchissippi has ~46% increase in voter turnout
Ward 16 River has ~73% increase in voter turnout
Ward 17 Capital has a whopping 94% increase in voter turnout
Ward 18 Alta Vista has ~80% increase in voter turnout
Ward 19 Cumberland has ~74% increase in voter turnout
Ward 20 Osgoode has a whopping 87% increase in voter turnout

And as a whole the city had an astounding 62% increase as the voter turnout went from 185107 voters in 2003 to 300129 in 2006.

When this many more people turnout to vote, it is clearly a sign that the city wants change and that they expect their councilors to stand behind O’Brien and make the changes necessary to hold the line on taxes (or perhaps even cut them).

9 thoughts on “Stand Your Ground Mayor O'Brien. The People Are Behind You In The Hunt For "Zero Means Zero"

  • September 3, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Hm! Try telling that to the Councillors. With about two exceptions, they are singularly incapable of making anything work.

  • September 3, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I too want change and want budget reduced dramatically.

    Problem is, O’Brien, like many conservatives, has found that there is actually more to managing than a slogan – you actually have to develop and present a plan, get people on board and then execute.

    I was hopeful that his experience in the private sector was a very good sign, but his management skills are sorely lacking. I guess I should have known when Walter Robinson was brought in with much fanfare – a decent guy, but just a lobbyist without any real world experience (kind of like Harper – grin).

    Some decent councillors who are by no means lefties (Jan harder for one) are as frustrated with the mayor as everyone else – he just seems to have no idea what he is doing.

    It is particularly aggravating because he had a chance to really do something.

  • September 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    Nice shot at Harper torywatcher. You failed to mention that he’s actually making it work. Never saw this kind of progress from Martin’s minority. But I digress… If you think real world experience is so important, you should realize that most of the council is as devoid of it as was Robinson.

    Most of them are hacks who can’t stand up to the city’s snivel servants. I even heard one repeating the standard left-wing sky is falling crap on the radio last week: What? Cutting taxes? How many less cops or fire fighters should we put on the street?

    Please! Give me and the rest of the tax paying citizens of this city a break. How about how many less paid viewings of “An Inconvenient Truth”, how much less office or communications budget, how many less times do we debate banning pesticide (failed twice already jerks… let it drop)?

    O’Brien needs to use his media access to get the message out that most of his collegues are just tax-and-spend scum without the balls to make the hard decisions or to stomach any unrest amongst the city’s workers.

    Council needs to stop letting the monkeys run the zoo. Problem is, most of them don’t have the stomach for a fight and are monkey’s themselves.

  • September 3, 2007 at 8:11 pm

    torywatcher (#2) – don’t forget that the Maven from Barrhaven (Jan Harder) sold out and supported the Chiarelli Light Rapid Taxpit (errrrr Transit) after they changed the route to go through her Ward so she too is willing to sell out the taxpayer for the perceived betterment of her Ward (and by extension her own reputation). The truth remains that the LRT trip from Barrhaven to downtown would have taken longer than driving. A fact very few people promote or know about.

  • September 4, 2007 at 8:43 am


    How about O’Brien NOT spend his time mounting an assault campaign on various councillors, a la John Baird, and spend his time actually developing a plan.

    Why should I be surprised that the porposed “solution” to the problem – and it is a real problem – is political spin and gamesmanship?

    How about developing a real solution? If he put together a credible plan, he could shame ALL councillors into supporting it, no question.

  • September 4, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Hey torywatcher, speaking of spin and gamesmanship, why not mention more high profile Conservatives that have nothing to do with O’Brien. Wait, I know what’s next so I’ll save you the trouble: Mike Harris! OMG, something something something Mike Harris!

    O’Brien lacks experience and has, as you point out, fallen into some traps that a more experienced politician might not have. This misses the point that the city’s tax-payers voted overwhelmingly for a NON-POLITICIAN to be mayor (whether council likes it or not). It also misses the point that when O’Brien does something concrete, it seems to work. His transportation committee seems to have been, generally, well received and has shut up Harder and McRea about a North-South LRT that is much less needed than an East-West route.

    You may have been asleep lately and missed it but O’Brien is having a hard time even getting his collegues on council to try and come up with any kind of plan. They walk out of scheduled meetings because they have “better things to do”. This is the kind of nonsense that the public has to be reminded of so they can remind their councillors why they voted for O’Brien in the first place.

    And, as long as we are bringing up stuff (like Harper and Baird) that have nothing to do with the Mayor, I’d like to point out that I think this is a pretty good preview of what Ontario will get if MMP passes and two, diometrically opposed factions of representatives each think they have a mandate to push their agenda.

  • September 4, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I could care less about political missteps. I only care about the fact that I WISH he would have had something approaching a plan, rather than only an ideological approach – I though he would be better than that.

    Yes, the councillors are not better with “plans”, but the point is that the Mayor was supposed to have had one, and was elected on that basis.

    City is over-governed and there are many areas that could be cut back quite drastically.

    Opportunity has been missed (so far).

    Brought up Baird because 1. He inserted himself into the mayoralty campaign very vocally and 2. He specializes in all-out aggressive political assault rather than administration. Even his friends acknowledge this. Some prefer this to governing – I don’t.

  • September 4, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    torywatcher, he does have a plan. He has asked council to give him the authority to oversee any expenditures over $100K for the last four months of this year.

    This plan alone will save millions if not tens of millions as there is a new check and balance to stop end of year spending that drives budgets up so that they maintain the income the next year.

    Considering we have all heard rumours about people buying plane tickets at year end and then returning them at beginning of the year to keep their budgets, or sending home reams of paper with the employees to ensure the paper budget is not slashed, this is a GREAT concrete plan.

    How many councilors do you think will support it? I bet the only ones who do are the ones with nothing to hide in their budgets. Any councilor that doesn’t has a hidden agenda in my opinion.

  • September 4, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Overgoverned? I’d say the people that are supposed to govern our city are asleep at the switch and the place is being run by the city staff. If anything, I’d say we are undergoverned.

    That’s the whole point the Mayor is trying to make: Nobody has a grip on what’s going on with our money and he intends to find out. Maybe it’s a cheap ploy to get support from unsophisticated rubes like me who actually believe the best way to manage money is to spend no more than you take in. I don’t know but he’s the first guy in a long time who’s been willing to take on the beaurocrats who, according to the Auditor’s report, see nothing wrong with flushing my money down the toilet.

    How can you expect a concrete plan when the staff won’t give anybody a straight answer? How long did it take to find out how many people actually “work” for the city? Two years or something like that if I recall and I still don’t think we really know. That’s not a hard question to answer but, for some reason, it’s a hard answer to get. Somebody needs to be checked up on and the Mayor is proposing just that.

    How’s that for a plan?

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