Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday October 31, 2014
Bratina touted as a ‘game changer’ for federal Liberals
The Liberals believe outgoing Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina is the man who will finally wrestle Hamilton East-Stoney Creek away from the New Democrats.
“We’ve got a game changer here,” Tyler Banham, president of the Ontario Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) said Wednesday night at Bratina’s nomination meeting.
“Bob Bratina has never lost an election and I like to say (Liberal Leader) Justin Trudeau has never lost an election.”
About 70 people attended Bratina’s meeting at the Renaissance Centre on Barton Street East, including Hamilton’s provincial cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, Hamilton Centre Liberal candidate Anne Tennier, former mayor Larry Di Ianni and former Hamilton alderman Mary Kiss.
Bratina was acclaimed to the post two days after the municipal election saw Fred Eisenberger elected as his successor. The one-term mayor opted not to run again to become a Liberal candidate. He was Ward 2 councillor from 2004 to 2010.
New Democrat MP Wayne Marston has held the riding since 2006 when he defeated Liberal cabinet minister Tony Valeri. He defeated Di Ianni in 2008. In 2011, he received 45.2 per cent of the vote. The Liberal candidate garnered 13.2 per cent.
Bratina told reporters after his acceptance speech — in which he said his life had “a sense of destiny” — that Marston was a “fine person,” but said Hamilton has lost from not having a government MP and that the government after the election will be lead by Trudeau.
“It’s really not a matter of personalities,” he said. “It’s about getting back into power of Canada, which is the federal government. We have had a great tradition in this area of Liberals being in power and influencing the government.”
He said that hasn’t happened under Marston, Hamilton Centre NDP MP Dave Christopherson and Hamilton Mountain NDP MP Chris Charlton “and it’s time for a change.”
He said he was so impressed by Trudeau he decided not to run for mayor again and seize the opportunity to run for the Liberals.
“I’m the ideal candidate for this riding at this time,” Bratina said.
Marston welcomed Bratina into the race, explaining “I don’t go to war with people.” He added he was not worried about Bratina. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)