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Monday, August 01, 2005

raj resigning?

I've heard two separate rumours that Edmonton Strathcona ND MLA Raj Pannu is planning to retire this fall to clear the way for Larry Booi to contest the seat in a by-election for the Dippers.

Pannu, 71, was elected as the MLA for Edmonton Strathcona in 1997 in a close 3-way race which saw Pannu defeat Liberal Mary MacDonald by less than 60 votes with Tory John Logan less than 200 votes behind. He was the Alberta NDP Leader from 2000 to 2004 and led to them to a massive 2-seat landslide in 2001!

Larry Booi, former Alberta Teacher's Association President, ran for the ND's in Edmonton Glenora during last November's provincial election. He was defeated by Liberal Bruce Miller.

Here are the results from Edmonton Strathcona since 1989:

1989
Gordon Wright, ND- 6,696
Philip Lister, Lib- 4,237
Jack Scott, PC- 3,724

1990* By-Election
Barrie Chivers, ND- 4,927
Nadene Thomas, Lib- 2,252
Eric Young, PC- 1,512
Betty Paschen, Grn- 424
Robert Alford, SC- 224

1993
Al Zariwny, Lib- 6,542
Barrie Chivers, ND- 5,121
Don Grimble, PC- 4,071
Patrick Ellis, SC- 460
Betty Paschen, Grn- 253
Ben Toane, NLP- 108
Noami Rankin, Com- 47

1997
Raj Pannu, ND- 4,274
Mary MacDonald, Lib- 4,214
John Logan, PC- 4,096
John Forget, SC- 552
Myles Kitagawa, Grn- 236
Eshwar Jagdeo, NLP- 47

2001
Raj Pannu, ND- 6,998
John Logan, PC- 4,749
Jim Jacuta, Lib- 1,944
James Lakinn, AFP- 136

2004
Raj Pannu, ND- 7,430
Shannon Stubbs, PC- 2,256
Steven Leard, Lib- 1,850
Adrian Cole, Grn- 287
Jeremy Burns, AA- 275
Kelly Graham, SC- 162

12 comments:

Mark said...

I've always sort of figured that Strathcona has been voting to keep out the Tories, to a large extent. Once there was a clear candidate to rally behind, the Liberal voters all supported Raj in future elections, leading to his huge margins. Do you think a by-election could send us back to a 1997'esque result? I suppose even if the Liberals and NDP voters did split down the middle again, the PCs are so unpopular right now that it won't matter.

Vijay Sappani said...

I think he is going to make way Larry, but that by no means is a garauntee that NDP can retain that seat. Edmonton Strathcona has a diverse mix and who the candidates are from Tory and Grits side will be factor to play to decide on Larry's fate. It will be intersting to watch.

Jim said...

It'll be an interesting race. I wonder how strongly the Libs will fight for this one. They would need a really appealing candidate to even things out with the NDP. I can't imagine the PCs making this a three-way race in 2005.

Vijay Sappani said...

Tories can play is tough by putting a weak candidate, thereby allowing NDP and Grits to split the vote. Also the candidate from Green party can determine how the votes split.

I think NDP/Liberals/Greenparty should form a coalition in Alberta on seat sharing and should put unified candidates agaisnt the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that Larry Booi argued strongly against that in 2004 (mostly because such a deal would have kept him out of Glenora).

Jim said...

Any ideas on who the Liberals might run?

I've always suggested trying to goad the Edmonton Journal's Todd Babiak into politics. (In an e-mail, he called the suggestion "half-crazy".)

daveberta said...

Who should run for the Libs in Strathcona?

My suggestions would be:

Steve Leard: Ran last time. Has experience on one campaign in Strathcona, some local name recognition.

Ben Henderson: Narrowly defeated by Jane Batty in last October's closest City Council race. Also married to Edmonton Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman.

Also, what a coup would it be to have someone like Linda Trimble run in Edmonton Strathcona? Very cool.

Any other suggestions?

Shannon said...

This is the most preposterous thing I have heard all day.

First, Raj is not resigning anytime soon.

Second, I find it hilarious that you think Larry is more "left" than Raj. Totally hilarious. You don't know either man, clearly, at all.

Third, people have been lining up to contest the NDP nomination in Edm-Strathcona, for like, 5 years. There are lots of them. There are even some in the rumour mill that would rival Larry in the name rec department. Not that Larry is interested in running, at least not at this stage.

Fourth, it's a nice idea that the Libs could run a strong campaign, but nice ideas aren't what carries the day in politics. I suspect that when it comes to the next general election (or the one after that, one never knows, especially if Ralph retires sooner rather than later), the Strath NDP will have nominated someone of sufficient calibre that the Strath Liberals will have a hard time, as a central campaign, justifying putting money into that race (given the state of the finances, still after all these years since that disastrous MacBeth campaign), and the riding association will remain as moribund as it has been for the last few years.

Of course, the Liberals could just step up their fundraising efforts from corporate Alberta, which is certainly how they financed a large chunk of the 2004 campaign. Maybe Big Oil would be willing to bankroll someone?

tyler said...

"Third, people have been lining up to contest the NDP nomination in Edm-Strathcona, for like, 5 years."

lol. you're funny, Shannon.

Since when have people lined up to run for ND nominations in Alberta?

Jim said...

Yes, the staggering financial power of the "Alberta Views"-backed Alberta Liberal Party is really indicative of the large piles of corporate cash they're rolling in, Shannon. [/sarcasm]

Honestly, when Alberta Views magazine is your largest business backer, the case that the Alberta Liberal Party is fueled by corporate cash is weak at best. Corporations have better things to do with their money than buy the Alberta Liberal Party -- like buying the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, for instance.

Allie said...

"… if it was simply a chalked up rumour, then why is it even worth a response? Especially from someone as high in up the Alberta NDP echelons as Ms. Phillips?"

"High up in the NDP echelons?" That’s "the most preposterous thing I have heard all day!" With only FOUR MLA’s what on earth is high up anyways? Don’t make me laugh. Ms Phillip’s just has this much time on her hands. Scanning local blog posts for slights against the NDP (a fulltime job in itself I imagine) and responding to them in her trademark "I’m better and know more than you" fashion. It’s exactly this type of response that leads people to dismiss the NDP as anything but serious.

My addition to this rumour: I work with Dr Pannu’s neighbour and have it on good assurances that Dr and Mrs Pannu talk often of retirement and look forward to when he can retire. It appears he’d like to resign but is worried his party would fall apart without him. Seeing that Raj is the only thing that has kept this party going in Alberta, his worries are valid.

Someone catch Ms Phillips before she falls off her chair.

Louis said...

I think someone should goad Todd Babiak to run federally, not provincially.