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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

social media guide to the calgary-glenmore by-election.

As was announced earlier this week, and covered by bloggers elsewhere, a by-election has been called for September 14, 2009 to fill the vacant Calgary-Glenmore seat Alberta's Legislative Assembly. The vacancy was created when Deputy Premier Ron Stevens resigned and accepted a Judicial appointment last May. In preparation for the impending by-election, candidates have been hitting the pavement in the months since Stevens' resignation, but how have they been doing on the social media front?

At this point, it appears that the two candidates most active on the social media front are PC candidate Diane Colley-Urquhart and Liberal candidate Avalon Roberts. Both of these candidates are using websites, writing blogs, and are active on Twitter and Facebook. NDP candidate Eric Carpendale doesn't appear to have a website, but he has recently started a Twitter account and has a support group on Facebook. While Wildrose Alliance candidate Paul Hinman's current web presence appears to be limited to his website, it is chalk full of the message "Send Ed a Message" (even in the url).

At midpoint in the by-election, I will take a look at how each the candidates have been using social media to engage voters and catch the attention of both the old and new media.

Eric Carpendale (NDP)
Facebook / Twitter

Diane Colley-Urquhart (PC)
Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

Paul Hinman (WRA)

Avalon Roberts (LIB)
Website/Blog / Facebook / Flickr / Twitter / YouTube

Len Skowronski (SC)
Bio on official Social Credit website

If I have missed anything, please feel free to email me or write a comment below. Thanks!

Related Post:
Alberta Politics Online


Craig said...

Great list. Thanks for posting.

Kathy Callbeck said...

Dave: Thanks for the links. Are there any candidate forums planned?

Anonymous said...

I think Len Skowronski will win. Albertans want the benefits of a social credit system.

Anonymous said...

Followed your blog's link and learned a lot about Mr. Skowronski's party & policies.

Oh wait, I didn't. Because going to "Principles & Obejctives" underneath Party Platform returns...

A 404 Missing Link error!

Should I take this to mean the SoCreds have no principles or objectives? That would certainly match the effort they put forth of late.

Anonymous said...

Hinman has a Facebook group:

If anyone's interested, the current rankings for FB membership are:

Roberts: 196
Hinman: 130
Carpendale: 111
Colley-Urquhart: 98

Anonymous said...

Diane and Avalon have the advantage of name recognition for running in the area before. Hinman has been everywhere in the area in the past 2-months. This could be a tight three way race on September 14.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT going to be a tight 3-way race!

Nextra said...

I predict a 25% vote turnout and:

Diane CU 40%
Roberts 27%
Hinman 23%
Skowronski 3%
Carpendale 3%

Brian said...

Nextra: You are underestimating the anger in Calgary that the Wildrose Party is capturing in votes and lawn signs. Easy a race between the PC and Paul Hinman.

Nextra said...

Brian: Is there anger? Yes. Is there enought? No. the anti-Stelmach vote will split and Diane CU will win with 40%.

daveberta said...

Thanks for the update about Hinman's Facebook page, I will update the post shortly.

While writing this post last night, I also noticed that the Liberals, Wildrose, and Social Credit websites were the only official party websites to mention the by-election on their front page. Hopefully we will have more social media buy-in from the party organizations in the run up to the next election (and hopefully Albertans will expect it).

I'm looking forward (and hoping) to see some innovative online communications in this by-election.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit surprised - pleasantly! - that Avalon Roberts has so many Facebook followers.

calgary clipper said...

Lets hope that social networking is not the determiner in the upcoming by-election. Novel, yes. However competence should be the trump card.

For the past five years, Colley-Urquhart has been an AB Human Rights Commissioner while at the same time sitting as a Calgary Alderman. Yes, she resigned as Commissioner in June and how politically convenient. For five years she/Premeir Ed et al have allowed this huge conflict of interest to function. We don't need any more of this kind of thinking in the AB legislature.

Anonymous said...

Um, what conflict of interest is that, exactly? Can you point to a specific example where she was in conflict. Or is it simply that you don't like the AHRC, so her role there conflicted with your interest?

Alberta Report Editorial Collective said...

One thing we have heard repeatedly is that Ms. C-U has been invited and in attendance at the PC's Candidate Schools for the past two elections. Her running for MLA was certainly no surprise for Tories and ex-Tories int he area, perhaps part of the reason she was acclaimed as the candidate?

Regardless, it shall be an interesting campaign to watch! :-)

Anonymous said...

OOOHHHHH! Wow, that's evil. She was Ron Stevens' campaign manager, and all campaign managers attend candidate schools.

daveberta said...

calgary clipper: Thanks for the comment. I also hope that the most competent candidate wins, but my point was that in a 28-day by-election where only 30% of people will (unfortunately) likely vote, the candidates have a chance to use social media to generate innovative ways of capturing peoples attention. That said, I’m still a strong believer that a good door canvassing campaign will trump social media 9 times out of 10. Whichever candidate has the best GOTV campaign will win.

AREC: Thanks for commenting, glad to see the Alberta Report blog back up and running after a year or so of dormancy. It’s my understanding that Diane Colley-Urquhart was Ron Stevens’ campaign manager in the last election, so I’d imagine that’s why she was that. I’ve also heard rumours for the past couple years that she was interested in running in Glenmore after Stevens’ retirement.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting 32% turnout with:

WRA: 38%
PC 36%
LIB 17%
NDP 9%

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: What AHRC conflict of interest? How would you like it if you had to argue with her at a meeting of one of the municipal committees, and the next day you were notified that you were going to have to appear before her in an AHRC investigation? It doesn't matter if it never happened, the point is that it could have, and that's why we have to keep the judicial and legislative branches separate in our system of government. It's the same reason judges don't campaign in elections. That she and the PC's didn't recognize the conflict for what it was is appalling.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:14. Do you believe in "black helicopters" too? First, you would never "appear before her in an AHRC investigation." As a Commissioner, she didn't investigate. Presumably, they have staff for that. Second, if there is any possibility of conflict, she is expected to recuse herself. I guess, if by some odd coincidence, you appeared before her on different days (perhaps you would appear before council asking to have the fire pit bylaw repealed so you could burn crosses after 10 PM, which would probably cause you an issue with the AHRC), you could point that out and ask for her to be removed. I am being an ignorant ass with my example and with my opening question, I realize, but I am simply pointing out how ridiculous you are. You don't like the AHRC, fine. She didn't create it, she was appointed to it. I presume she did the best job she could, just as I presume you would if you were appointed to a board. As for separating the judicial and legislative branches of government, she is not (as an Alderman) part of government. Get a grip, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Businesses might easily find themselves appearing before her in her quasi-judicial role. What if they're trying to get something approved by the Land Use, Planning and Transportation Committee at the same time and run into her on the AHRC? You're happy to trust her to recuse herself, but since it's not a real court she doesn't have to. She imposed fines against businesses all the time, for things that would be much better resolved by two adults talking over their issues.

Lloyd (cf) said...

Is this the first time that "black helicopters" have appeared on Daveberta? Frankly, I think its an awesome reference and hopefully it, and killer bees will return in the future.
Also, any references to the "system" would be welcome.

rc said...


"I'm betting 32% turnout with:

WRA: 38%
PC 36%
LIB 17%
NDP 9%"

That made coffee come out my nose. Thanks for the laugh.... :)

I don't really expect the end result of this byelection to be that different than the Calgary-Elbow byelection a couple years ago. I mean, there was a lot of this same talk of residents being "angry as hell" and "not going to take it any more" rattling around then, too.

And what did that produce? Craig Cheffins, for exactly 266 days -- And then right back to the PCs, again.

Jane Morgan said...

To RC,

Glenmore will be (is) quite different than Elbow.

Thanks for giving me a blog topic.

It will have to wait though....on my way to Glenmore.

(also ran, LOL)

rc said...


"Glenmore will be (is) quite different than Elbow."

I'm sure there's a chance of that, but probably not. I'm sure you've probably got a lot of anecdotal 'evidence,' but the voting patterns in that riding over the past 20-30 years are not that dissimilar. I'll go with the numbers.

But you could well be right - in that, maybe, if the good people of Calgary-Glenmore elect an Opposition party candidate (from whatever party, doesn't really matter) they might actually get to keep the seat warm for a full year or two until the PCs take it back, again.

Otherwise, I'm not expecting much different. Folks in this province are pretty predictable.