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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

battleground alberta 2008: the anti-climax revealed.

As Alberta isn't exactly set to be anything close to an exiting political battleground in the upcoming federal election, I expect the Alberta-wing of the Conservative Party machinery in this Conservative MP heavy province to be spent a) increasing vote tallies to take advantage of the funding-per-vote finance scheme, b) transferring funds to lesser well-off campaigns in other Provinces and Territories, c) sending weekly bus loads of Calgary Conservatives out to Wascana to campaign against Ralph Goodale.

Other than the more interesting races in Edmonton-Centre and Edmonton-Strathcona (which I will focus on more later), the rest of Edmonton and Alberta looks like a wash for the Conservatives. With Reform-era MP John Williams retiring, former Tory MLA Brent Rathgeber has been nominated as the Conservative candidate in Edmonton-St. Albert and will be facing off against Liberal Sam Sleiman, New Democrat Dave Burkhart, and Green Peter Johnson. Rathgeber served as the MLA for Edmonton-Calder from 2001 until 2004, when he was defeated by New Democrat David Eggen. My only memorable encounter with Rathgeber was at the Legislature Press Gallery Christmas Party in December 2007, during which we had an overly jovial conversation about door knocking during the winter.

In Edmonton-Sherwood Park, Tim Uppal is the Conservative candidate replacing C-484 advocate Ken Epp. Uppal, who nearly defeated former Liberal MP David Kilgour in Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont in the 2004 election, was rumoured to have been convinced to run in Edmonton-Sherwood Park to avoid a nasty nomination battle with MP Mike Lake. Lake is seeking re-election against Liberal Indira Saroya in Kilgour's former stronghold. Since former candidate Neal Gray stepped aside earlier this year, the NDP are in the processes of renominating a candidate to run against Lake and Saroya (recent Edmonton-Rutherford provincial candidate Michael Butler is seeking the nod).

In Edmonton-East, former NDP MLA Ray Martin will be taking a second run at Conservative MP Peter Goldring. The two men last met in clutches of electoral battle in 2000, when Martin placed third behind Goldring and former Liberal MLA Sue Olsen. This time, Martin will be joining Liberal Jim Jacuta and Green Trey Capnerhurst. The two remaining races in Edmonton are expected to be much less exciting as MPs Rona Ambrose and James Rajotte should have no problem facing their competition in Edmonton-Spruce Grove and Edmonton-Leduc.

Across the province, a number of Conservative incumbents won't be seeking re-election. Among the new candidates who will more than likely become MPs are Devinder Shory in Calgary-Northeast, Blake Richards in Wild Rose, and Earl Dreeshen in Red Deer.


Anonymous said...

Also contesting for the Mill Woods & Beaumont NDP nomination is Della Drury. She ran for the AB NDP in the recent provincial election out in St Paul against Ray Danyluk.

Denny said...

Neal Gray was actually the candidate for Mill Woods Beaumont before he stepped aside, and Mike Butler is actually seeking the nomination for Mill Woods Beaumont (though an article a few months ago did mention he was considering a run at Edmonton-Sherwood Park, Mill Woods Beaumont is the one he currently has put his name forward for nomination in)

Signe said...

It will be good to see "get on the bus woman!" Myron Thompson gone...

clark clark said...

Lake is safe in Mill Woods-Beaumont.

What does "overly jovial" mean?

Justin said...

So when you met Rathgeber in December 2008, who had won the White House? Had there been any surprises in the 2008 Canadian Federal Election?


daveberta said...

McCain won the election but Palin was President by Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Palin as president. Think about that. It's probably the only scenario that could make people long for those "good old days of president George W Bush".


tjk said...

Its amazing the media's take on this election so far...they actually can't figure out what the PM is doing and it makes me laugh to no end.

Glad you can see clearly what's occurring election-strategy wise, as evidenced by your previous column on the matter.

Can't believe there was an article on "self-preservation" as a reason for the election in the NP yesterday...WOW

PC AGM occurs right near the end of the proposed race...bumps in the organizational road in Alberta that weekend.