this blog has moved to a new address:

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to

Thursday, September 10, 2009

the reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.

As the national media and blogosphere let out a collective gasp at the prospect of a political party wanting to form a majority government, Graham Thomson points out that the much less attention grabbing world of Alberta politics is far from dead.

Next week marks the beginning of the first round of public hearings for the Electoral Boundaries Commission and the by-election in Calgary-Glenmore. This weekend also marks the Alberta NDPs 43rd annual convention, and while it's no surprise that the left faces some serious challenges in Alberta, so apparently does the right.

At their first leadership forum in Grande Prairie, the Wildrose Alliance is reported to have only attracted 30 people. While Grande Prairie has hardly been a hotbed of Wildrose Alliance support (that party only contested one of that city's ridings, Grande Prairie-Smoky, where the candidate placed third with 13% support), it raises questions if that party's leadership race is attracting more media attention than it is attracting new members.

Their leadership convention isn't until October 17, but much of that party's short-term prospects will be determined by how well outgoing leader Paul Hinman places in Monday's by-election. Even if voters in Calgary-Glenmore choose not to elect Hinman, but he is able to significantly increase his party's vote it could be seen a moral victory. Between the 2004 and 2008 elections, the Alliance increased its vote by 4% to 1,025 votes, which add up to a significant amount of votes in a by-election that may see a lower than normal voter turnout.

As Hinman's campaign pushes into the final days of the by-election, I'm sure that Liberal candidate Avalon Roberts will be hoping that the Wildrose Alliance cutting into the right-wing supporters of PC candidate Diane Colley-Urquhart will lead to a repeat of Craig Cheffins' 2007 Calgary-Elbow victory. Not a far fetched scenario.

I will be at tonight's Wildrose Alliance leadership forum and this weekend's NDP convention in Edmonton, and will be reporting back on this blog and on twitter with all the latest news.


Anonymous said...

Diane is safe. Calgary-Glenmore is safe.

Notley for Alberta! said...

Dave: will Brian Mason use this convention to announce his retirement? It's about time. After 20 years he is not the passionate socialist he was in 1990s. He's a spent force and social democrats in Alberta need a fresh face to lead them in 2012.

Join the fight for Alberta!

Rachel Notley all the way!

Ian said...

"[the WRA is getting] more media attention than it is attracting new members."

I'd agree and suggest that's likely because of all the corporate donations they're getting. The media's following the money, not the people.

Anonymous said...

There are no limits with respect to donating to a leadership campaign. The only reason money is flowing to Danielle's campaign is because the funds are non tax-deductible and because a leadership race is seen as a private event donors can remain anonymous - at least until the financial reporting time is up!!! There are a number of business people who are hoping they will be sending a message to Ed in the Calgary-Glenmore election and with electing Danielle as leader.

I believe that that the Wildrose Alliance Party is getting a disproportionate amount of media coverage because the Libs and the ND's are so ineffective in their Opposition roles.

No point in trying to guess about their membership sales - the race is just over a month away so we'll know for sure!

Anonymous said...

I noticed Danielle and others tweeting about Ezra Levant endorsing her, Phil Klein buying a party membership and how "we'd be surprised by some of the other big names that are showing up on the WAP membership list."

Jim Dinning had lots of big names behind him when he ran for the leadership of the PCAA and look where that got him.

The fact that she and the party seem to be relying on these types of things as credibility of the party is dangerous.

In the time that her and her team are tweeting this stuff, they could've sold another bunch of memberships!

The most membership sales and the most votes is what wins - NOT "endorsements" by people who don't even buy a membership and vote themselves!!!