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Sunday, October 09, 2005

placing odds on the next king of alberta...

We meant to post this a while ago...

For those of you who haven't seen last month's edition of Alberta Venture Magazine, odds have been placed on successors to King Ralph's throne*...

Here they are...

Jim Dinning (former MLA Calgary-Lougheed): 2-1
Dave Hancock (MLA Edmonton-Whitemud): 5-1
Iris Evans (MLA Sherwood Park): 16-1
Ted Morton (MLA Foothills-Rockyview): 8-1
Mark Norris (defeated MLA Edmonton-McClung): 9-1
Lyle Oberg (MLA Strathmore-Brooks): 8-1
Ed Stelmach (MLA Ft. Saskatchewan-Vegreville): 4-1

Obviously, many of the rumours being flushed through the grapevine come our way and trying to filter through them is a definite challenge.

But, if the rumours have a trend, the trend is:

1. Klein will be gone sooner than later (emphasis on *sooner*). Many of the rumours hint of recent and past health problems coming to roost. This shouldn't be surprising when speaking of a career politician in his mid-60s (stress, age, history of drinking problems, etc).

2. Though it's very early in the race, it's looking to be a Dinning/Stelmach race. If Dinning can take it on the first ballot, then he's got it. If not, look for Stelmach to be a force to be reckoned with on the second ballot. We've also heard rumours that the Godfather of Alberta Conservative politics, Speaker Ken Kowalski, has endorsed Mr. Stelmach's campaign... this is huge when it comes to pulling the rural PC vote.

3. Don't underestimate the darkhorse of the race: Dr. Ted Morton. Our sources deep in the Calgary Tory establishment tell us of a right-wing insugency with hundreds of pro-Morton PC memberships being sold. This is a scary thought.

4. Don't forget that in many ways, this leadership race is a battle between the rural and urban factions within the Alberta Tory caucus. There are some pretty deep divisions. Look for them to manifest into some fairly entertaining firework shows in the coming months as the urban and rural leadership candidates begin to seriously position themselves publicly.

*The odds were produced by an anonymous panel of seven Albertans drawn from business, labour, academia, and journalism.


CFAC Library said...

What are the odds of Daveberta producing a political blogger's guide to Ed Stelmach? Ed Stelmacholophus, who came from the East to do battle with Dinningceratops! A dinosaur battle for the ages.

But, as you say, do not discount the fearsome Micromortonosaurus.

Jim said...


QUICK! Go to Lyle Oberg's site (linked in Daveberta's post). It looks like someone with access to the page decided to get a little cheeky.

If you click on the top logo pointing you to the Alberta Government's website, it takes you to instead.


I saved an archive file of the page before the glitch is caught.


Jim said...

Um, erm, nevermind. I was wrong.

Clicking the logo takes you to the Government's site, but if you scroll your mouse over the government logo, the URL for is displayed on your browser's status bar. So I guess the cheekiness is a little more covert, but it's still there.

Jim said...

Um... actually... erm...

I think all that was just Firefox acting completely moronic, because everything's normal now.

How embarrassing.

calgarygrit said...

I'd put some of my rebate money on Ted Morton at 8-1 odds. He'll have all the special interest groups backing him and has a pretty strong organization.

Does anyone know what format the leadership race will use? Is it one member one vote? Delegates by ridings? Preferential ballot or multiple votes? Stuff like this going to affect the votes a lot.

If they haven't decided yet, does anyone know who the party establishment backs? I presume they'll fix the rules to help their guy.

daveberta said...

Not sure what the format will be. We're assuming a one-member-one-vote ballot style like in 1992. From what we recollect, the last time they had the first ballot (with Betkowski edging out Klein by one vote) and then had the second ballot two weeks later (with Klein slamming Betkowski by thousands of votes). THough from what we understand, the cutoff for membership sales in 1992 was right before you voted. So, someone could walk in and buy a membership (if this is unaccurate, someone correct us).

We'd assume they'd have some more stringent rules this time around.

We'd assume, seeing as how the majority of the Tory Caucus is rural, that the rural establishment will back someone like Stelmach, while the Calgary Mafia backs Mr. Dinning's corporate Calgary agenda.

Like we said before, this will be a real urban tory vs. rural tory battle.

Nastyboy said...

I'm King of Alberta!

daveberta said...

what? I thought we we're king?

interlocutor said...

I'm tempted to say I'd leave the province (I'm tempted to say this a lot, actually) if Morton wins, but I really don't think the dynasty can survive with someone like him at the helm; he'd prove too unpallatable in the end. So, sell on, social conservative wing...

Anything to unseat the brutes...

PR said...

Where is all this talk about Stelmach coming from? If rural voters move into a bloc, can he really beat out Morton for the hearts and minds of Alberta's rural rednecks?

daveberta said...

Peter, the better question would be: "where did Stelmach come from?"

From what our sources tell us, many Tories, who aren't in Lord Dinning's camp and want a rural candidate are scared of Morton and his right-wing agenda. They're looking for a moderate rural MLA to take the charge against Dinning. Someone who can rally the rural vote without offending too many urban Tory supporters.

Though we're not sure if Stelmach meets this criteria, we are 99% that Ted Morton as PC Leader would equal Premier Kevin Taft. Which of course we wouldn't mind, but we're sure that's not what many Tories would like to see.

We're willing to bet that Morton's hyper rightwingism probably offends many of the old boy rural Tories who don't want to shake things up too too much and are just concerned with keeping their massive majorities. And of course, there are those Tories who aren't crazy right-wing, but are looking for someone other than Dinning.

But of course, don't count Morton out for the race. He's still selling a wack load of memberships.

Gallivan Girl said...

I write this as I sit in the government stew in Edmonton. Inside info places the good money on Hancock (of course we're slightly predisposed to him winning). Also, the buzz is a vote of non-confidence in the near future after Klein called Iris "confused" on national television several weeks ago.

daveberta said...

gallivan girl, thanks for stopping by.

Hancock wouldn't be a bad choice. Like we've said before, he's a decent guy, but we think his Red Tory Edmonton background will be his undooing in the race. But, things change.

Vote of non-confience, eh? That would make for some entertaining blogging, but we'll blog it when we see it. ;-)

Alexis said...
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