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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

leadership horizons.

As an Albertan not of the conservative variety, it may seem weird that I spend a decent part of my time blogging about the relatively uneventful Alberta PC leadership race. So, in a quest for a more diverse blogging repertoire, I shall attempt to branch out to other interesting areas of political combustibles.

Take the Federal Liberal and Green Party leadership races, which are also currently ongoing...

In the race for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada (and Stornoway), we find a number of candidates from different backgrounds and political experiences (or non-experiences). This past week, Elections Canada released the breakdown for Liberal leadership candidates fundraising up until June 1. Care of DemocraticSPACE (and libnews), here is the total fundraising breakdown from Liberal leadership candidates in the Province of Alberta:

Now, take into account that fundraising numbers don't mean much when a leadership election depends on memberships sold and showing up to vote (which as Will and Blake point out is something the media seems to be missing when covering the Alberta PC leadership race...), but it does seem interesting to see the percentage breakdowns.

It will be more interesting to see how the delegate selection numbers breakdown across the country in September. I'd be willing to think that some of the current candidates won't make it to the convention and I'm willing to be the frontrunners range somewhere around Michael Ignatieff, Gerard Kennedy, Bob Rae, and Stephane Dion.

As mentioned previous, my choice for Liberal leader is Gerard Kennedy.

In another race, the Green Party of Canada is looking to grow its roots under the leadership of three potential candidates - Elizabeth May, David Chernushenko, and Jim Fannon.

I think this race is a lot more interesting than the lack of attention it’s receiving would suggest. The Greens have enormous growth potential - especially if Canadians are getting comfortable with the idea of minority Parliaments in Ottawa. With environmental issues gaining more attention in mainstream debates, I would predict that the environment will become an even larger issue coming elections. Along with having a natural advantage in this realm, the Greens also have the advantage of not having to haul around the same amout of the political baggage (luggage?) that the mainstream establishment Conservatives, Liberals, and New Democrats do on a daily basis.

The Greens also have been gaining support and creating support bases in regions that might seem unlikely at first glance. In Calgary for example, the Federal Greens and Alberta Greens received more votes than the NDP in the past Federal and Provincial elections and have also receiving relatively strong support in many rural Alberta ridings.

Along with a strong base of support in British Columbia, it should be interesting to see if the Greens new leader can lead that party to create the momentum to draw strong candidates and the Big Mo' needed to gain a presence in the House of Commons.


Anonymous said...

Off topic, but this is also a very interesting piece of political news.

So Joe Lieberman has fallen a long way since he was Al Gore's VP candidate in 2000.

Federal Liberals could learn from this. No one wants their opposition to cheer on the government's position, especially when it comes to contentious wars. Liberal leadership hopefuls should be talking about Canada's plan to get out of Afghanistan, not voting for extended deployments.

kenchapman said...

I agree there needs to be some consideration of the Greens and Fed/Libs. I like the commentary you have done. I think the Greens will replace the NDP as the 3rd party in Alberta sooner than later.

For some background on the "other races," go to Policy Channel ( We did an video interview with Stephane Dion and 2 of the Green leadership candidates - May and Chernushenko.

Since 70% of communicatoins is visual people might want to "take a look" at these people beyond the sound bite of TV.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Greens replace the "un-Tommy Douglas" tie-dye protest marching NDP's. It would be a breath of fresh. The Green Party do have brains.

Unfortunately, the Green votes are sort of wasted votes. Just think, Elizabeth May as the Liberal Environment Minister - boy would Rona have trouble with her.

Anonymous said...

The Green's have great potential in Alberta. With the federal Liberals doing so badly in Calgary, i wouldn't be surprised if the Greens took second place in Calgary.