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Thursday, May 18, 2006

would-be [still] wanna-be

**UPDATE (October 11, 2006) - Check out the entire list of MLA endorsements for the Alberta PC leadership race.**

As a follow up from my post "would-be wanna-be" from last June, here is an updated list of Alberta's PC leadership candidates with the usual remarks and side comments. I perfectly admit that it's a little early to predict much of what I do, but that's what blogs are for...

THE LIST.

Alana DeLong, MLA Calgary Bow (AKA Alana DeLongshot) – First elected in 2001, DeLong’s political career hasn’t progressed much further than nameless backbencher status.

Chances: None.
Backers: ???

Jim Dinning – (AKA Paul Martin). Alberta’s Treasurer and author of the dark day budgets from 1992 to 1997, Dinning has been bidding his time in the dark depths of corporate Calgary since leaving politics in 1997. He wants the job bad, but since launching his website a year ago, he hasn’t come up with any sort of substantive policy proposal or position, keeping himself on the extremely underwhelming side of the ideas spectrum. He’s the front-runner in this race, but only because he’s been running for PC leader for the past ten years. Interestingly, Dinning was the only Tory MLA to endorse Nancy Betkowski in the first round of the 1992 PC leadership race.

Chances: He’s the only candidate I can see winning on the first ballot. If it moves to a second ballot, look for strong “anybody-but-Dinning” opposition.
Backers: Brent Shervey, Rod Love, Walter Paszkowski, Tom Snell, Gord Rosko, Tim Boston, etc.
Dave Hancock, MLA Edmonton Whitemud – Now a Tory backbencher, Hancock was Alberta’s Advanced Education Minister until he resigned earlier this year to focus his energy of the Alberta PC leadership race. His Red Tory Edmonton roots place him in a vulnerable position within the race. Look for Hancock to drop off the first ballot and throw his support behind another candidate – potentially crowning him the “kingmaker.”

Chances: Slim. Probably close to the best Tory Premier Alberta will never have.
Backers: Ron Dunseith, Ken Chapman, Karen Lynch, Allie Wojtaszek, etc.

Ted Morton, MLA Foothills-Rockyview – Morton is the darkhorse of this leadership race. Not terribly charismatic, he benefits the most from Preston Manning’s decision to stay out the race. Expect him to draw out the “hard-line right-wing, old white guy from Gophercrotch, Alberta with an unregistered semi-automatic rifle who usually: a) votes Social Credit Party, b) votes Christian Heritage Party, c) votes Alberta Alliance, d) votes Alberta Separation Party, e) doesn’t believe in voting because of the NEP.

Chances: Not as slim as people think.
Backers: The hard-line right-wing, old white guy from Gophercrotch, Alberta with an unregistered semi-automatic rifle who usually: a) votes Social Credit Party, b) votes Christian Heritage Party, c) votes Alberta Alliance, d) votes Alberta Separation Party, e) doesn’t believe in voting because of the NEP.

Mark Norris – The only Minister to be defeated in the 2001 election, Mark Norris has surprised many with his impressive list of committed campaign contributors. Having set up his Grassroots Leadership Group consulting firm as a front for his leadership campaign, Norris surprised everyone when he came out in favour of Alberta’s separation from Canada. Norris is close with Klein and was his Edmonton Campaign Chairman in the 1992 PC leadership race.

Chances: Seeing as how he has no seat and was the only Minister to be defeated in the last election, I don’t see how Norris can claim to pose any threat to the Tory throne. Slim to none.
Backers: Tim Shipton, Doug Horner, Mike Nickel, etc...

Lyle Oberg, MLA Strathmore-Brooks – Now an Independent MLA, Oberg was unceremoniously sacked from the Tory Caucus in April after threatening to expose the skeletons in Ralph Klein’s closet. Since then, this overly arrogant MLA has found a new office in the former Legislature smoking room and now walks alone to question period (even Paul Hinman doesn’t walks alone to question period…).

Chances: Slim. He’s running to lead a caucus that kicked him out of their ranks.
Supporters: In flux. Previous to him being ejected from the Tory caucus, his supporters included former Tory MLA’s Jon Havelock, Lorne Taylor, Brent Rathegeber, and former Liberal MLA Peter Sekulic.

Ed Stelmach, MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville – Former Intergovernmental Affairs Minister, Stelmach resigned from cabinet earlier this year in order to dedicate more time to running for PC leader. Quiet, Stelmach style blends easily into the background of the Alberta political scene, but may surprise people when the leadership selection is held. Stelmach is setting himself up as a alternative candidate for the “anybody-but-Dinning” front. He has rural roots and isn’t as offensive on the ideological front as Morton. Look for him to place strong.

Chances: He will be easy to underestimate, but look him to place a strong second place finish on the first ballot.
Backers: Ken Kowalski, John Baldry, etc.

Thoughts?

24 comments:

Emil Vargas said...

I wouldn't count Morton out. He gets more than old white guy votes. If he takes a hardline against Ottawa and provincial rights then I may vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Ted Morton actually has a fairly wide tent of support. He will attract fiscal conservatives, democratic reformers, and social conservatives.

In other words he will attract the type of person that will buy a membership and get out and vote.

Benevolent Dictatorship said...

Dave, you are forgetting about the impact of $ in a six month sell memberships beauty contest.
In the next 45 days the race will coalesce into a contest between the three guys with $.
The three also rans will be important second round fodder, but fodder none-the-less.

daveberta said...

Yes, well, money can only take you so far if you can't get people to buy memberships for you...

michael in calgary said...

decent analysis, dave. I bet it's going to be a pretty boring race.

The race to be the next Harry Strom?

Anonymous said...

What about Greg Melchin? He's been grooming for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

"(even Paul Hinman doesn’t walks alone to question period…)."

Haha. Lyle. I hope he's enjoying his new desk behind Hinman!!!

TF

michael in calgary said...

"What about Greg Melchin? He's been grooming for quite some time."

You mean combing his hair, right?

Anonymous said...

A little birdy told me that Mr. Melchin is planning to be enjoying his pension sometime next year...

Tory Fruitcake said...

rumor has it that Alana DeLong has sold 10,000 memberships in Calgary...

Anonymous said...

Morton will surprise everyone, especialy Dinning.

INDEPENCE FOR ALBERTA!

FREEDOM!

Sean Tisdall said...

It's not a delegated convention either, is it? If true, That'll really hurt the ability of candidates to play kingmaker.

tyler said...

Kowalski is on Stelmach's team? I thought he was on God's team?

daveberta said...

Greg Melchin? I'm not sure that would make the race anymore exciting, but it would add one more middle-aged white guy to the race. ;-)

TF said...

I think it will be a one-member one-vote selection.

WillBlog said...

Dave, your stereoypical portrayal of Dr. Morton is at variance with what I usually expect to find on your blog - reasoned analysis.

Dr. Morton is a strong candidate who has put forward a number of very interesting, very rational policy proposals. You can check them out on his web site at www.tedmorton.ca.

As for backers, there's me of course ;-), and a massive number of people from the Federal Party who would like to see conservatism renewed in Alberta.

daveberta said...

Though I agree that he has some pretty interesting policy proposals, I wouldn't go so far as to say that they're rational. ;-)

It was mostly an attempt at humour. My first analysis of him was more on the spot (though I do think he has the gophercrotch vote rapped up ;-) )

WillBlog said...

Well, knowing that it was humour-inspired makes it better for me ;-)

If you look at his policies surrounding the environment, democratic reform, and the economy, I think you'll be impressed by the strength of Dr. Morton's policy position.

Compared, of course, to the gaping policy void being put forward by the other campaigns ;-)

daveberta said...

"Compared, of course, to the gaping policy void being put forward by the other campaigns ;-)"

true dat.

daveberta said...

I tend to think that Morton's advantage over Dinning is that Morton has already positioned himself and isn't afraid to defend his policy positions, whereas Dinning is stuck in the position where he's trying to be everything to everybody in the race.

Sean Tisdall said...

"and a massive number of people from the Federal Party who would like to see conservatism renewed in Alberta."

Missed a capitalisation or a prefix there, because last time I checked you were'nt trying to draft Loughheed.

Anonymous said...

I think the Dinning/Betkowski connection is stronger than simply an endorsement in the past. It is my understanding that Magaret Bateman who ran strategy and communicatiosn for her run for the leadership is now also on board with Mr. Dinning...I am trying to remember, but wasn't she ear-marked as the obvious front runner back then? Plus ca change...

Anonymous said...

Alana's website is wrong. Her campaign website is www.alanadelong.ca

Gophercrotch Geezer said...

You say "hard-line right-wing, old white guy from Gophercrotch, Alberta with an unregistered semi-automatic rifle..." like it's a bad thing!