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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

the more things change...

A couple of thoughts...

- I can't wait until the Alberta PC leadership race is over with and I can start blogging on something else (I *could* completely ignore the race, but it only started to get interesting 3 days ago...)

- Former Lyle Oberg supporter and MLA for Calgary Montrose Hung Pham has endorsed Ted Morton... Lethbridge West Tory MLA Clint Dunford has endorsed Jim Dinning.

- It will be very interesting to see what type of internal termoil manifests itself if Ted Morton wins the race. With one supporter (who's first choice was Lyle Oberg) from his caucus collegues, it's going to be a fairly awkward first caucus meeting after next Saturday if Morton pulls it off. I get the feeling it's going to be a little awkward anyway considering the amount of support Morton's team pulled on the first ballot.

- Lyle Oberg. What happened to the 10,000 Tory memberships the Alberta Building Trades Council whole-sale purchased from his campaign? Will they show up to support Ed Stelmach?

- On a non-Tory leadership note! One of this blog's favorite MLA's - Edmonton Centre Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman - had a great quote in Tuesday's Gateway on the topic of women in politics:

“There’s an idea out there that somehow women are delicate flowers—people are snickering already—that somehow we can’t hack it and that we are broken by this, and frankly, that’s just bullshit,”
Way to tell 'em, Laurie!


Anonymous said...

The 10,000 ABTC PC membership holders didn't vote for the most part. Since when do union members heed will to their leadership on issues like this?

Does Gil McGowan's die-hard blind support of the NDP mean the members of the Alberta Federation of Labour vote NDP? Hell no. The old trade unionist leaders are incredibly out of touch with their members.

The same way that Frank Bruseker is out of touch with teachers.

Anonymous said...

All three of these candidates will be great for the opposition.

Dinning will lose ground in rural Alberta for being too urban centric and will lose ground in Edmonton for being too Calgary centric. Dinning win = gains for the Liberals and the Alliance.

Ted Morton will lose ground in everywhere but the socon minority. Losing urban and rural seats. Morton win=gains for the Liberals.

Ed Stelmach is a no-name 10 year former cabinet minister with no big accomplishments. Ed Stelmach is the most of the 3 lessers in this race.

Anonymous said...

Any truth to this rumor. I overheard this week that if Ted Morton wins Dave Hancock's wife Janet will become a card carrying Liberal.

Anonymous said...

In all my years involved with the Progressive Conservative Party I have never seen the party so bitterly divided.

The Morton-Dinning-everyone else rifts are something that will not easily be mended after next weekend.

Jim said...

I wouldn't be surprised about the Hancock rumor. Janet is a teacher and, not surprisingly, extremely education-oriented. During the campaign, she was talking up her husband to all her teacher colleagues by saying that since he's surrounded by teachers in his family life, he'll have no choice but to be a pro-education Premier (or something along those lines). I'd be way more surprised if she actually stayed IN the party if Morton won.

Jim said...

PS--Thanks for reminding me that Hung Pham is an MLA. I nearly forgot about that total farce of a public servant.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no-one has really addressed whether Ted Morton is capable of running a multi-billion dollar entity such as the Province of Alberta. I guess we have become a bit complacent on the financial side of things due to our recent success.

I really started to think about this when I heard a comment that Morton would be detrimental to the Alberta economy. I dismissed it at first as political tactics but then I decided to do some research for myself.

I searched online, starting with Mr.
Morton's website, to see what stands for. I agreed with some
things and disagreed with others - on the whole, it seemed palatable and
I wasn't overly concerned with the prospect of Premier Ted Morton.
Then, I did a google search and discovered that Mr. Morton is a follower
of Leo Strauss, an American neo-conservative political philosopher. I
was intrigued and read a bunch of Leo Strauss' work; it was extremely
interesting but two things in particular left me a bit wary: references to "regime change" and "noble lies" - but that is beside the point.

I became concerned that Professor Morton (who publishes under the
name "Frederick Lee Morton") has focused his entire body of work, both
in and out of the legislature, on staunchly ideological topics.
I went to the library yesterday and pulled all of his publications,
which include the following titles: "The Meaning of Morgantaler:
Canada's Abortion Decision"; "The Supreme Court's First One Hundred
Charter of Rights Decisions: A Statistical Analysis"; "The Politics of
Rights: What Canadians Should Know About the American Bill of Rights";
"The Supreme Court as the Vanguard of the Intelligentsia: The Charter
Movement as Postmaterialist Politics"; Morgentaler v. Borowski:
Abortion, The Charter and The Courts"; "Morgentaler v. Borowski:
Abortion, The Charter and The Courts"; "Pro-Choice v. Pro-Life: Abortion
and the Courts in Canada". In each of these publications, Mr. Morton
attacks decisions made by the Canadian judiciary. Interestingly, he has not once written about a financial topic.

Even once elected to the Alberta legislature when he had ample
opportunity to discuss anything at all, he introduced one bill, Bill
208. This bill, though couched in the language of the Charter of Rights
and Freedom, was really about same sex marriage.

My fear is that someone so staunchly ideological will be detrimental to Alberta's booming economy because he won't pay attention to it. It seems to me that Ralph was able to deal with the economy well because he was a populist and wasn't fighting ideologically driven battles all the time. I'm not convinced that Morton won't harm the economy and shake investor confidence.

I would be very interested to hear other views on this topic.

Sean Tisdall said...

Ralph Dealt with the economy? More, he broke every tenet of Macroeconomics and exascerbated all the negatives of an economic boom, and ensured that the government will be ill-equiped to deal with the looming economic slowdown. Also, yes, Ted Morton will weaken the neo-liberal votes that prop up the PC coalition. And he will likely lose the resulting election, given what Taft has been doing to drag his party to the right, kicking and screaming I might add.

Sean Tisdall said...

Oh, and yes, me likey Laurie Blakeman's rejection of gender essentialism. Forgot to mention it first.

Chris said...

Actually if Ted Morton was elected Premier, the Tories will remain in power. Mathematically speaking the combined vote for the Liberals and NDP in Alberta ranges from 350,000 to 400,000 voters and this is stable both at the provincal and federal levels. This is essentially the "left" vote.
During 2001, in the provincial election, 627,252 people voted for PC Alberta. Contrast that with 358,193 people who voted Lib/NDP. I'm counting the Libs and the NDP as a single block for several reasons, which will become clear later on. In the 2004 provincial election, 416,886 people voted for PC Alberta, compared to 352,566 who voted Lib/NDP.

Going federally, in 2004, 786,271 people voted for the CPC. Contrast that with 401,745 who voted Lib/NDP. In 2006, 931,701 voted CPC, compared to 386,608 for the Lib/NDP."

credit to William McBeth at httP:noisefromtheright.blogspot.comfor the numbers themselves.

Essentially support for Leftist parties is fairly constant, and their sucess and failure is almost entirely dependent on voter turnout for Conservative Parties. Sure, there are enough of them that they can win the odd riding where they are concentrated. But loses in the last election said more about unhappiness with Ralph among conservatives and vote splitting with the Alberta Alliance
than it did about any of the other parties.

Morton bring the base out, he effectively causes the Alliance to fold back into the party with their tens of thousands of votes, and he causes many federal Tories and old reformers to feel able to vote for a PC Party that's been left adrift. Morton is no more right wing than Preston Manning and Stephen Harper and they've won overwhelming majorities in this province. Morton wouldn't be any different.

Anonymous said...

Chris and William McBeath make an error in presuming yesterday's behaviour will be the same tomorrow and they have to presume that campaigns are neutral events with no impact on voter preferences and choices.

Neither presumption is accurate to the trends they identify to lead to the conclusions they draw are not predictive of the outcomes on Dec 2 or any other election.

Just dancing with statistics.

Progressive Conservatives are not the same as Alliance Conservatives. Morton is the latter and ought to be running for that leadership. He is in the wrong party.

Chris said...

Actually Ken your in the wrong party as everyone knows you spend your time campaigning for Anne McClellan. Maybe your a "Progressive" but your certainly not a conservative and your only reason for participating in the PC party is your gravitation towards power.