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Saturday, February 23, 2008

alberta election 2008: calgary-currie.

Created in 1971, Calgary-Currie was a reliably Progressive Conservative stronghold until 2004.

From 1993 to 2001, Tory Jocelyn Burgener easily held this Currie for her party. In 2001, Burgener was replaced by PGIB-backed Calgary Alderman Jon Lord. Lord was easily elected as a Tory in that election. In 2004, Currie was home to a high profile race when the Alberta Liberals attracted high-profile candidate Dave Taylor, a popular QR77 Radio host in Calgary. With a strong campaign and a slight redistribution of Currie's boundaries (taking in Liberal-friendly areas of Calgary-Buffalo), Taylor defeated Lord by over 500-votes. In 2008, Currie is seen as one of the hot races in Calgary as both the Alberta Liberals and Tories are fighting hard for this constituency...

Before he was first elected in 2004, Taylor was a well-known radio host on QR77, and had also been involved in the Feed the Hungry Dinner at St. Mary’s Cathedral and with the Christmas Hamper Program at McDougall United Church. Since being elected in 2004, Taylor has served Alberta Liberals Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister of Advanced Education and Housing. I worked closely with Taylor while I was Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students last year in fighting against former-Advanced Education Minister Denis Herard's move to de-legislate Alberta's tuition policy (which now allows the PCs to change Alberta's tuition policy in a closed-door cabinet meeting, rather than allowing public debate in the Legislature). Though I've had people tell me that Taylor's aggressive style rubs them in wrong way, the same people have also said that they think he's a hard working MLA (apparently, Rod Love does as well...).

PC candidate Arthur Kent was a correspondent for NBC when he made a name for himself as the "Scud Stud" during the first Persian Gulf War in 1990-91. Kent graduated from Carleton University and worked as an independent journalist until joining NBC. He left NBC in 1992 and worked for a number of international media outlets since then. Though he benefited from initial excitement when he was first nominated as Currie's Tory candidate, Kent's shine quickly wore off following his faux-public dispute with Ed Stelmach (Kent is being a little more strategic in his "anti-Ed" strategy than one former Tory candidate). Kent wasn't helped when the National Post's Don Martin took aim at the "Scud Dud" early in the campaign. It doesn't look like the bad publicity is hampering Kent, as he continues his campaign against Taylor (to his credit, Kent is also hosting a video blog on his website).

NDP candidate Marc Power is a University of Calgary Political Science graduate, social activist, and debater. As much as it pains me to give advice to an ND candidate, here's my bit of advice for Power: you look like a good candidate and would probably do well in a constituency where the NDs stand a chance (ie: probably not in Calgary). Unfortunately, in this race, Power is easily overshadowed by the two high profile Alberta Liberal and PC candidates.

Alberta Alliance candidate Ken Mazeroll is a sheet metal worker who, according to his online biography, is blue-collared and proud of it. The Greens candidate is Graham MacKenzie.

Between 2004 and 2006, Currie's population grew by 24.64%, bringing over 6,000 new registered voters to this constituency. Currie's diversity makes this an interesting constituency: 24.1% of Currian families have income levels about $100,000 and 29.3% have income levels lower than $40,000. Also interesting is that 45% of Currie voters are between the age of 25 to 44.

Robin Darsi was appointed Calgary-Currie's returning officer after he lost the bid for the Tory nomination against Kent.

Calgary-Currie 2008 Election candidates

Alberta Liberal - Dave Taylor
Green - Graham MacKenzie
ND - Marc Power
PC - Arthur Kent
Wildrose Alliance - Ken Mazeroll
Calgary-Currie Past-Election Results
Dave Taylor, Lib - 5,046
x Jon Lord, PC - 4,412
Kim Warnke, Grn - 813
Robert Scobel, NDP - 468
Ken Mazeroll, AA - 348
Voter Turnout: 45.3%

Jon Lord, PC - 6,922
Pat Murray, Lib - 2,667
Garth Mundle, NDP - 1,114
J. Bruce Miller, Ind - 434
Voter Turnout: 48.3%

x Jocelyn Burgener, PC - 5,952
Mairi Matheson, Lib - 3,636
Liz Blackwood, NDP - 712
Jeff Townsend, SC - 610
Richard Shelford, NL - 109
Voter Turnout: 49.1%


Jonathan said...

Memo to Kent:

If you're a Calgary PC MLA, it's ok to take shots at your leader. If you're still only a candidate, best wait a few weeks......

Anonymous said...

Jon Lord lost because the first election he had Chandler as his Manager and the 2nd election he did not.