Ahmed Hussen wins YSW Liberal nomination.

On Sunday, York South-Weston Federal Liberals held their long anticipated nomination meeting at Weston Collegiate Institute. Readers may remember that WestonWeb introduced three of the candidates earlier this year. The full slate was:

Mubarak Ahmed
Anthony Cesario
Ahmed Hussen
Masum Hossein
Monique Rudder
Bill Saundercook

WestonWeb arrived about half-an-hour into the voting which began at 2:00 and it was clear that this was no ordinary political event. Large numbers of people were packing the hallway, moving slowly towards the voting booths. Rumours were that Ahmed Hussen had signed up about 1800 new party members. Candidate speeches began in the dimly lit auditorium at 3:00 pm sharp but were unheard by those lining up to vote.

Voters line up in the halls.
Voters line up in the halls.

Of note, former Ontario Health Minister and (as he took pains to point out) Weston born George Smitherman was there in support of Ahmed Hussen.

Bill Saundercook.
Bill Saundercook relaxes in the hallway.

Supported by Marion O’Sullivan, Masum Hossein, of Weston’s BIA was also a candidate.

Mason Hossein waits to speak.
Masum Hossein waits to speak.

During the speeches, the long line of voters shuffled slowly and inexorably past and down the hall. Mercifully there was only one round of voting (ending at 5 pm) and voters ranked candidates in order of preference.

When WestonWeb left the meeting at 3:45, people were still arriving and the crush in the hallway seemed unchanged.

Results came via twitter before 7 pm.

Ahmed Hussen waits to deliver his speech.
Ahmed Hussen waits to deliver his speech.

As pointed out earlier in WestonWeb, the Big Red Wave is coming and clearly, local Liberals feel that York South-Weston can be wrested away from incumbent MP Mike Sullivan. While there is an urgency among progressive voters to end the Harper Government’s grip on power, it remains to be seen whether Ahmed Hussen can build support from a wide swath of the electorate. Mike Sullivan will also need to run a good campaign and convince voters he is worthy of a second term as MP.

14 thoughts on “Ahmed Hussen wins YSW Liberal nomination.”

  1. It’s interesting that Mr Hussen just showed up with hoards of Somali women to win, but hats to him as democracy is democracy. It should be interesting to see if this candidate will be able to really excite and engage residents here. Mike has shown to be a very active MP. Like him or not, he’s at least around.

    1. No it was not democracy Bobby. Was a classic voter suppression technique by Mr. Hussens camp who packed the lines with people who could not vote in order to dissuade others from voting. There were approximately 1500 to 2000 people in line at 2 pm. Only 1000 people voted total. Many people who came simply were there to clog the lines. Also- wasn’t it curious as to how the streets around Weston were deliberately blocked off so as to also clog up the roads that provided access to the school. People gave up in utter frustration.

    1. Mr. Hussen does not live in York South-Weston. If I recall correctly, none of the candidates on the slate do.

      1. Too bad. Don’t see why it is so hard for the party to find a candidate who lives and is active in their community.

  2. Ahmed Hussen signed up large numbers of active and excited new Liberal party members. Whether those were ‘ hoards of Somali women’ or not is irrelevant and in fact betrays the poster’s negative bias. Ahmed Hussen has an impressive background and proven track record and will make sure to get the support of all liberals in the riding.

    1. Active liberal members? Ha. There was a co-ordinated run on memberships the last month and a half, combined with calling the nomination by the central party with 2 weeks notice to disadvantage the other candidates to organize their supporters to get out. That’s politics I guess, but make no doubt there was a inside central party movement to make him the candidate. How this plays out on the ground will be interesting. He will have a tough time reclaiming the Liberal vote that bled away in the last election to Harper in the East part of the riding among the Italian community. The new generation are not die hards like their parents were to the liberal party. He will also have a tough time in Weston as well as Sullivan has become quite entrenched. The only way he wins is if Trudeau’s star power overwhelms. We shall see how this story plays out.

      1. Active enough to show up! That’s what matters. They were excited and motivated about their candidate. All the other candidates had an opportunity to bring their supporters there to the nomination and there were paltry to say the least. I find it interesting that you think this candidate will have a tough time reclaiming what has been a decidedly liberal riding. The current incumbent won by just 2500 votes and if Ahmed Hussen can mobilize his supporters in the way that he has at the Liberal nomination then he will blow away the incumbent. But we sahll see how this plays out indeed.

        1. You forget that this riding’s roots are also founded in the NDP. Much of the old York South was traditionally ndp.

  3. Mike won by 2500 votes, but he was facing a Tonks. The Tonks are extremely well known and have traction in York South-Weston. Mr. Hussen has no name recognition, doesn’t live in the riding and has no track record whatsoever in this area. Again, props to him getting his voters out, but the Somali community is a tight-knit bunch. He will have to extend far beyond them to win the area. I’d argue YSW was a “Tonks” riding for years. And was also a “Nunziata” riding for years. The severe lack of diversity in his supporters and the total lack of any connection to YSW should scare any liberal.

    1. YSW is a liberal riding. As with most other ridings in Canada – the riding’s political leanings is the determinative factor in winning or losing the seat rather than any individual candidate. So long as the candidate does the necessary electioneering – he/she will win that riding. And I’m confident Ahmed will do what’s needed. And its only to you that Ahmed Hussen has no name recognition – see his wikipedia page if you are uninformed about his many accomplishments. Clearly you seem to have a negative attitude to this candidate despite the historical voting patterns in this riding. That seems to me just a blinkered view stemming from personal antipathy.

      1. A “riding’s political leanings” is quite ambiguous. Federally, YSW has indeed voted for Liberal representatives since the 1980s. However, provincially the riding has been a NDP seat from 1951-1996 (and Paul Ferreira’s small stint in 2007).

        Both parties have had long histories in YSW, with respect to their visibility to voters. I don’t think Ahmed will win the riding as long has he “does the necessary electioneering”. There are a number of factors that impact how voters vote, including the kind of campaign Mr. Sullivan runs. YSW does not simply vote Liberal. I would like to remind you that this riding voted for John Nunziata sitting as an independent – twice – over the Liberal alternative from 1996-2000. If the argument for Nunziata’s re-election as an independent over the Liberal challenger was his name recognition, then same quality may apply to Sullivan.

        It is not as cut and dry as you appear to make it.

        “And its only to you that Ahmed Hussen has no name recognition”. Well not quite – and I as well. Although I do not disagree that Mr. Hussen is credentialed, you should alleviate yourself from the view that he is well known. He does not live in the riding and is not well known, or at least not beyond the Somali community.

  4. All the way for Ahmed Hussein. Mr. Hussein is a very active individual in the Ontario Liberal party and in Toronto particularly. His background as a grassroots community worker to practicing law in this city clearly shows that. May be his is unknown to you, but those of us from this riding who were life long liberals know and trust him very well. .

  5. Ahmed Hussen is the perfect candidate for this riding. His track record speaks for itself. Look up his bio. Those that say Ahmed Hussen is not known beyond the Somali community is being unfair. He has worked really hard and earned the respect among many Canadians. Is Bill Saundercook and Anthony Cesario known? Anthony Cesario and Monique also received support from “hoards of Somali women”. Ahmed Hussen even received support from the Italian community. So lets not judge and assume things. At the end of the day we are all Canadians first and Liberals second. Lets stop this labelling and build bridges. Lets welcome and support Ahmed into this riding because he is well qualified for this position.

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