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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

criss-crossing the floor.

Dan Backs, the Independent MLA from Edmonton Manning who was kicked out of the Alberta Liberal caucus last November is seeking the Tory nomination in that riding. Backs will be running against former PC MLA Tony Vandermeer for the nomination (Backs narrowly defeated Vandermeer in 2004).

MacEwan College Political Science Professor Chaldeans Mensah described the situation perfectly:

Chaldeans Mensah, who teaches political science at MacEwan College, said Backs is "a bit opportunistic" since his prospects of re-election are slim as an independent.
The Alberta Liberals will soon nominate Edmonton Lawyer Sandeep Dhir in Edmonton Manning. I was actually quite excited when I heard Sandeep was running as I know he will be a great candidate and MLA. His community experience includes serving as President of the Edmonton Inner City Housing Society, and involvement with the Theatre Network Society and the Law Society of Alberta.

Rumour has it that Ward 3 City Councillor Janice Melnychuk is considering carrying the New Democrat flag. But more recent rumours suggest Melnychuk is having second thoughts about jumping to the provincial scene to attempt to join the four-man New Democrat caucus. Melnychuk would be a strong candidate, but I wouldn't blame her for wanting to stick to City Council.

The area covered by Edmonton Manning has been represented by three parties over the past 21 years. As Edmonton Belmont it elected NDP MLA Tom Sigurdson (1986-1993). Since being created in 1993, Edmonton Manning has elected one Tory MLA - Tony Vandermeer (2001-2004) - and three Liberal MLA's - Peter Sekulic (1993-1997), Ed Gibbons (1997-2001), and the breifly Liberal Dan Backs (2004-2006). Regardless, Edmonton Manning will be a hard fought race as it will likely be hotly contested by all three parites.

On another note, it's been rumoured that Alberta Alliance leader Paul Hinman is trying to negotiate his way into the PC caucus...

12 comments:

Gauntlet said...

You rock, Dave. I don't know how you do what you do. Keep it up.

Also, Chaldeans rocks. I have to send him a note. He's in the acknowledgements for my honours paper.

Excited_about_2008 said...

Wow, Janice Melnychuk is going to run for the Alberta NDP?!? That's awesome!

Janice is a hard working city councillor and would make a terrific MLA.

I'm glad she is considering the Alberta NDP... nothing good has happened in the Legislature since Ed Stelmach took over as premier.

Like Ralph Klein before him, Premier Ed gets away with being totally useless because Kevin Daft and his Liberals couldn't effectively oppose their way out of a paper bag!

We may not be able to change the ruling party in the next election, but we can certainly elect a better official opposition. Brian Mason's NDP have shown us that they will fight the good fight and put ordinary Albertans first!

colin said...

"We may not be able to change the ruling party in the next election, but we can certainly elect a better official opposition. Brian Mason's NDP have shown us that they will fight the good fight and put ordinary Albertans first!"

Ha. I think that is the funniest thing I've read all week. Brian Mason's NDP-AFL cabal make a lot of noise, but they offer very little in terms of realistic solutions. Mason is the leader of a party stuck in the socialistic ideals of the 1970's. Tax and Spend. Unions good-Big Business bad. The NDP will get very little further from 9% of votes with Mason as leader.

The NDP have very little growth potential under Mason. And with Taft's Liberals garnering 30% in the last election and very likely going to win a by-election in Calgary Elbow, Taft will leave Mason in the dust.

Good try. Move to Saskatchewan.

Anonymous said...

Melnychuk would be a strong candidate, but the NDP will have a hard time in this riding. The candidate last time placed a strong third, but a strong third is a long ways away from being elected. The NDP will also have a hard time keeping the ridings they already hold, so I'm not sure how much resources they will have to poor in to Edmonton Manning.

Dhir seems like a solid candidate for the Liberals and will be able to take on Melnychuk tete-a-tete with no problem. Melnychuk has name recognition and has done a lot of work on the affordable housing issue lately. Her main downfall as a councillor is probably her bad working relationship with popular mayor Stephen Mandel. The NDP have also lost a lot of their traditional support in the area to the Liberals and Tories.

Dan Backs as Tory candidate would pretty much sink the Tories chances. Backs, who seems to have gone from directionless critic to wanderer of Question Period by acting as if he's already a Tory backbencher, would need to undergo a dramatic reformation to pull off a win under the PC banner.

If Backs runs as an Independent, he's toast.

Tony Vandermeer has name recognition, but its too bad he was one of those nameless Edmonton Tories who rotted in the backbenches for those three years after the 2001 King Ralph breakthough in Edmonton only to be defeated in 2004. That said, he was almost re-elected in 2004.

Edmonton Manning is shaping up to be the 'Edmonton Glenora' of 2007/08!

Allie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allie said...

"The Alberta Liberals will soon nominate Edmonton Lawyer Sandeep Dhir in Edmonton Manning."

You mean you're not even having a contested nomination? Is that even a nomination?

Raymaker said...

When a useless sack of poo like Dan Backs can get elected by accident, you know democracy has its drawbacks.

Who's this Brian Mason guy? Never heard of him.

Joe said...

Well you may have never heard of him, but a twice elected City Councillor from the area seems to have.

The NDP placed a strong third without even trying last time, with a big name candidate they become contenders.

Backs may be an idiot, but the Liberals screwed up by throwing him out. They will now likely lose the seat.

brian_mason_rocks said...

Dear raymaker:

In response to your "Who's this Brian Mason?"

Brian Mason's that guy who is always speaking just before the Tory caucus gets very angry and tries to shout everything down. In other words, he's the best opposition to Ed that Albertans have.

Seriously, I've notice this. I watch question period once a week or so and Dr Taft's questions tend to elicit Tory laughs and grins more than anything else.

It is the NDP's Brian Mason who asks the questions the Tories really don't want asked.

Remember that at election time... If you are voting against Ed's 1930's agenda, vote for the fiesty opponent (Mason's NDP) not the ivory tower clowns (Taft's Libs).

Also interesting, the grapevine says that those two by-elections will have their writs dropped on Monday... could be an interesting month coming up!

Raymaker said...

joe said: "The NDP placed a strong third without even trying last time, with a big name candidate they become contenders."

Well, Dan Backs won without even trying. And he's a moron.

Wasn't Brian Mason that Edmonton City Councillor who voted himself two huge pay raises.

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

Brian who?

The NDP in Alberta are a joke.

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