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Sunday, December 24, 2006

christmas in the alberta bayou.

It's Christmas Eve and I will be noticeably absent over the next week as I return to the family homestead in the Alberta bayou for some rest, relaxation, and cross-country skiiing.

I will return with regular posts on my triumphant return.

Until then, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy Holidays!

See you in 2007!

Friday, December 22, 2006

a case of the humbug.

It's fairly clear who deserves a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet to come.

U of L won't pay for day care
Deborah Tetley, Calgary Herald
Published: Friday, December 22, 2006

The day-care debate remains unresolved at the University of Lethbridge despite a strong showing of student support at Thursday's board of governors meeting and an agreement by administration that such a facility is needed.

Administrators spelled out for the board a number of conditions that have to be met before the university agrees to set aside space for a day-care centre.

Such commitments include a firm pledge from an external provider and assurance that students, staff and faculty and any other users of the facility will agree to pay construction costs.

"We need a serious financial commitment, a pledge, and then I'm sure the board will agree to take a serious look at this," said Nancy Walker, vice-president finance and administration at U of L.
Props to the U of L Daycare Action Committee for all their hard work.

tip o' the hat to the ol' hydro electrical autobus.

Linda Duncan is making a move to once again become the NDP flagbearer in Edmonton Strathcona. In 2006, Duncan placed an extremely strong second to Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer. Depending on the strength of the Liberal candidate, Duncan again stands a decent running chance at potentially scooping the riding for the Dippers (though I tend to believe that 2006 may have been a high water mark for the NDP in Edmonton Strathcona - we'll see soon).

Here are the 2006 results...

Rahim Jaffer, Conservative - 21,956
Linda Duncan, NDP - 17,142
Andy Hladyshevsky, Liberal - 9385
Cameron Wakefield, Green - 3,128
Mike Fedeyko, PC – 604
Dave Dowling, MP – 455
Kevan Hunter, ML - 106
It should also be interesting to see how strong the Green Party will be in Edmonton Strathcona next time around. 2004 & 2006 Green candidate Cameron Wakefield performed well in the last election and now with Elizabeth May as leader I believe the Greens will have an opportunity to surge (especially if Elizabeth May is allowed to join the national leaders debates!)

And I thought this was pretty cool Edmonton Transit System (ETS) now has two Hybrid Electric buses...
Two diesel-electric hybrid buses went into service in Edmonton on Mon, Dec 18. The buses are manufactured by Mississauga’s Orion Bus Industries, a division of DaimlerChrysler, and are designed to use as little as 50 per cent of the fuel burned up by traditional diesel buses in optimal operating condition.
ADDITION: I am very pleased to see that Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has announced that he will be running for re-election in October 2007.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

quote of the day: rick miller, mla.

The quote of the day goes to Edmonton Rutherford MLA Rick Miller for his comment on the recent "mandate letters" sent from Premier Stelmach to his Cabinet today...

Liberal finance critic Rick Miller said the priorities are nothing new. The government, he said has had a number plans in the past, but hasn’t acted on them.

“It’s kind of like Aunt Martha’s fruitcake. It keeps coming back at you year after year,” he said.

Miller is looking forward to seeing the timelines for the work. The government, he said, has been on autopilot and needs to address many of these issues as soon as possible.

einstein says enter this contest!

Monday, December 18, 2006

ministerial musings of the third kind.

Over the weekend, I had some thoughts on Alberta PC Premier Ed Stelmach's new Cabinet... I was originally going to write them down in Haiku, but I decided this was easier...

ALBERTA PC CABINET 2006 - Composition...

SEX: It's a great time to be a white male Alberta Tory MLA between the ages of 40 and 60. You scored big! There are only 2 women and no visible minorities in Stelmach's first Cabinet.

GEOGRAPHY: Rural Alberta scored big over Alberta's two biggest cities in this cabinet (see map).

Northern Alberta specifically scored big with eight MLA's making it to the Cabinet table: Hector Goudreau (Dunvegan-Central Peace), Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky), Guy Boutilier (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo), Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul), Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster), Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert), Fred Lindsay (Stony Plain), and Iris Evans (Sherwood Park). And of course, Tory Premier Ed Stelmach (Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville).

Central/Southern Alberta has six Cabinet Ministers rolling the die at the Cabinet table. Ted Morton (Foothills-Rockyview), Janis Tarchuk (Banff-Cochrane), George Groenveld (Highwood), Lyle Oberg (Strathmore-Brooks), and Rob Renner (Medicine Hat). Lethbridge is left out of the cabinet room this time around as three long-time Lethbridge and area Tory MLA's Clint Dunford (Lethrbridge West), Barry McFarland (Little Bow), and David Coutts (Livingstone-Macleod) have been sent to the backbenches. The City of Red Deer's representatives Victor Doerksen (Red Deer South) and Mary Anne Jablonski(Red Deer North) are also not missing from the Cabinet table. This is the first time Red Deer has not been home to a Cabinet Minister in over 15 years.

Edmonton now has only one Cabinet Minister - Dave Hancock (Edmonton Whitemud) - and Calgary has only thee - Ron Stevens (Calgary Glenmore), Ron Liepert (Calgary West), and Greg Melchin (Calgary North West). The only other "urban" MLA's being Iris Evans (Sherwood Park) and Rob Renner (Medicine Hat). This leaves "urban Alberta" with 6 representatives at the Cabinet table.

PORTFOLIO: New powerful Cabinet portfolios include a newly created President of the Treasury Board - manned by the untested new Cabinet Minister Lloyd Snelgrove, Advanced Education and Technology - manned by former Ag Minister Doug Horner, Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry - manned by Iris Evans, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing - manned by Ray Danyluk. Gone are the Ministries of Gaming (phew~!), Innovation & Science, and RAGE to name a few. Downsized is the Ministries of Finance held by former PC leadership candidate Lyle Oberg.

THE BOOT: Ministers from Ralph Klein's last dynastic Ministry who have been put out to pasture include Shirley McClellan (Drumheller-Stettler), Ty Lund (Rocky Mountain House), Gary Mar (Calgary Mackay), Harvey Cenaiko (Calgary Buffalo), Heather Forsyth (Calgary Fish Creek), Denis Herard (Calgary Egmont), Barry McFarland (Little Bow), Clint Dunford (Lethbridge West), Pearl Calahasen (Lesser Slave Lake), Gordon Graydon (Grande Prairie-Wapiti), Mike Cardinal (Athabasca-Redwater), and Denis Ducharme (Bonnyville-Cold Lake).

POST-LEADERSHIP: It should be interesting to see if Premier Ed Stelmach is able to build this caucus in to a functional team. With nearly 40 of the 62 PC MLA's supporting Calgarian Jim Dinning in the Alberta PC Leadership race, it should be interesting to see how they react to leader Ed Stelmach in the coming months. Considering that all but one Calgary PC MLA supported Jim Dinning (Hung Pham (Calgary Montrose) supported Ted Morton)I expect to see a large number of PC MLA's retire before the next election.

TO BE SEEN: With Assembly Speaker Ken Kowalski (Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock) openly endorsing Jim Dinning before the second ballot of the Alberta PC leadership race, will Kowalski be able to muster support to be re-elected Speaker when Premier Stelmach reconvenes the Legislature in Spring 2007? Or will Premier Ed Stelmach attempt to purge the Speaker's Office and make way for a new Speaker?

How will the lack of Calgary Minsterial representation effect the political psyche of Calgarians? Edmontonians are used to it, but until Ralph Klein's selection as PC leader and then Premier in 1992, Calgarians were waining in their political support for the Alberta Progressive Conservatives (as shown in 1989 when Calgarians elected 3 Liberal and 2 NDP MLA's in their midst). Will the northern Alberta based Stelmach Conservatives see a backlash for their downsizing of the Calgary Cabinet contingent? A strong indicator will be a potential by-election in Ralph Klein's riding of Calgary Elbow following his resignation on January 15, 2007. The Alberta Liberals had a strong showing in Calgary Elbow in 2004 despite Klein's Premiership. The results will no doubt be interesting...

Friday, December 15, 2006

alberta's new cabinet.

Alberta's new cabinet has been announced...

Ed Stelmach (Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville) - Premier, President of Executive Council, Chair of Agenda and Priorities, Vice-Chair of Treasury Board

Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster) - President of the Treasury Board, Minister of Service Alberta, (Minister Responsible for Personnel Administration Office)

Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert) - Minister of Advanced Education and Technology

Iris Evans (Sherwood Park) - Minister of Employment, Immigration and Industry

Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky) - Minister of Energy

Dave Hancock (Edmonton-Whitemud) - Minister of Health and Wellness, Government House Leader

Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul) - Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Ron Liepert (Calgary-West) - Minister of Education

Janis Tarchuk (Banff-Cochrane) - Minister of Children's Services

Rob Renner (Medicine Hat) - Minister of Environment, Deputy Government House Leader

George Groeneveld (Highwood) - Minister of Agriculture and Food

Lyle Oberg (Strathmore-Brooks) - Minister of Finance

Luke Ouellette (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake) - Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation

Ron Stevens (Calgary-Glenmore ) - Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Deputy Government House Leader

Greg Melchin (Calgary-North West) - Minister of Seniors and Community Supports

Guy Boutilier (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo) - Minister of International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations

Ted Morton (Foothills-Rocky View) - Minister of Sustainable Resource Development

Fred Lindsay (Stony Plain) - Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security

Hector Goudreau (Dunvegan-Central Peace) - Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture
Definitely some interesting picks that caught me off guard... thoughts?

Props to the anonymous commentor with the press release link...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

i swear.

I went to Premier Ed Stelmach's swearing-in ceremony today on the steps of the Alberta Legislature.

It was an interesting event. Watching now FORMER PREMIER RALPH KLEIN official hand his resignation letter to Lueitenant Governor Norman Kwong and Premier Ed Stelmach being sworn in after that was a little exciting.

Premier Stelmach's acceptance speech (is that what you call it?) was folksy. I can see that he has one-on-one appeal but it remains to be seen how his communication skills will emerge when attempting to communicate with a couple million Albertans through electronic mediums.

I also had a nice chat with Dave Hancock and Ken Chapman at the swearing-in-ceremony.

On another note, I'm sure Stelmach supporters are still spinning in joy following his come-from-behind win in the Alberta PC leadership race against Jim Dinning and Ted Morton.

Not too much to report other than that. Still waiting to see what Premier Stelmach's first cabinet will look like...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

alberta's new ministries announced...

Here are the new Ministries announced in Premier-designate Ed Stelmach's first cabinet. Looks interesting - Housing in at the table with Municipal Affairs. Science & Innovation is back with Advanced Education. Aboriginal Affaris merges with Intergovernmental Affairs. Community Development becomes Tourism, Parks, Recreation, & Culture. It should be interesting to see how the Treasury Board concept works.

Also, four new "Cabinet Policy Committees" were created in place of the Tory caucus-only Standing Policy Committees... will there be a difference?

More analysis later (as usual...)

President of the Treasury Board
Advanced Education and Technology
Municipal Affairs and Housing
Health and Wellness
Employment, Immigration and Industry
Children's Services
Agriculture and Food
Infrastructure and Transportation
Justice and Attorney General
Seniors and Community Supports
International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations
Sustainable Resource Development
Solicitor General and Public Security
Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

democracy and poetry in alberta.

Provincial Affairs Columnist Graham Thomson has started a great contest!

If you’ve been reading my columns in The Journal, you’ll know that I am running a contest.

1st Prize: A rare golden lapel pin commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Alberta Legislature. You can’t buy this anywhere and is the same official pin worn by the MLAs.
2nd Prize: Hardcover picture book: “100 Years at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta: A Centennial Celebration.”

Rules: Write a brief essay of 100 words or less on the topic: “How Can We Improve Democracy In Alberta.”
You can write in prose or in poetry. In my column I said there’d be extra points if you can do it as a limerick — but that does NOT mean you must do it as a limerick. Everyone who has entered so far has written a poem. I wouldn’t mind some prose.
Deadline is Wednesday, December 20.
E-mail me here or my other address:
So far, I've spoken to 2-3 political types who are already working on their entry... in prose or in poetry... I'm working on mine...

daveberta lays it down...

So, here are my cabinet predictions. Keep in mind that we are not sure which Ministries will survive a predicted crunch. We now know that we will know the cabinet by this Thursday.

daveberta's Predictions on Stelmach PC Cabinet 2007

Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development: Pearl Calahasen (Lesser Slave Lake)
Advanced Education (Incl. Innovation & Science): Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster)
Agriculture & Rural Development: Luke Oullette (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake)
Children’s Services: Mary Anne Jablonski (Red Deer North)
Community Development: Gary Mar (Calgary Nose Hill)
Economic Development: Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky)
Energy: Greg Melchin (Calgary North West)
Environment (Incl. Sustainable Resource Dev.): Ted Morton (Foothills-Rockyview)
Finance: Dave Hancock (Edmonton Whitemud)
Government Services (Incl. RAGE): Harvey Cenaiko (Calgary Buffalo)*
Health and Wellness: Iris Evans (Sherwood Park)
Housing: Yvonne Fritz (Calgary Cross)
Human Resources & Employment: Rob Renner (Medicine Hat)
Infrastructure & Transportation: Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul)
Intergovernmental & International Affairs: Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert)
Justice & Attorney General (Incl. Solicitor General): Ron Stevens (Calgary Glenmore)
Municipal Affairs: Lyle Oberg (Strathmore-Brooks)
Seniors: Clint Dunford (Lethbridge West)

As you can see from above, I don't think there will be a massive purge of senior Ministers as I would predict that Iris Evans, Ron Stevens, Pearl Calahasen, and Greg Melchin will all keep their jobs as "Steddy Eddie" wants to keep some semblance of stability and experience in his first cabinet while bringing in new faces like Ray Danyluk, Mel Knight, and Lloyd Snelgrove to prominant cabinet posts.

For the apparently valuable "Deputy Premier" position that the media seems to be fixated on as uber important, I would gander a prediction that Premier Stelmach will take the route of Prime Minister Harper and simply disolving the position of "Deputy" (which is only a symbolic title in reality).

(*I changed my prediction about Harvey Cenaiko...)

Monday, December 11, 2006


How I yearn for a leader like President Jed Bartlet.

(Props to Sam for the YouTube link)

ed stelmach's musical chairs.

By Friday December 15, 2006 Albertans should know for sure what the face of the first Ministry of Premier Ed Stelmach's Tory government will look like.

As Ed Stelmach is such an unknown political quantity for many Albertans (even many political folks) the MLA's in his cabinet will define what many Albertans will see as a first impression, it will be very important to see who gets which cabinet portfolio. Here is my predictions on who is in and who is out in the first cabinet of PC Premier Ed Stelmach:

New to Cabinet:
Ray Danyluk (Lac La Biche-St. Paul)
Mary Anne Jablonski (Red Deer North)
Mel Knight (Grande Prairie-Smoky)
Ted Morton (Foothills-Rockyview)
Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster)

Staying In Cabinet:
Pearl Calahasen (Lesser Slave Lake)
Clint Dunford (Lethbridge West)
Iris Evans (Sherwood Park)
Yvonne Fritz (Calgary Cross)
Doug Horner (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert)
Gary Mar (Calgary Nose Hill)
Greg Melchin (Calgary North West)
Luke Oullette (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake)
Rob Renner (Medicine Hat)
Ron Stevens (Calgary Glenmore)

Back in Cabinet:
Ed Stelmach - duh (Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville)
Dave Hancock (Edmonton Whitemud)
Lyle Oberg (Strathmore-Brooks)

Out of Cabinet:
Guy Boutilier (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo)
Mike Cardinal (Athabasca-Redwater)
Harvey Cenaiko (Calgary Buffalo)
David Coutts (Livingstone-Macleod)
Denis Ducharme (Bonnyville-Cold Lake)
Heather Forsyth (Calgary Fish Creek)
Gordon Graydon (Grande Prairie-Wapiti)
Denis Herard (Calgary Egmont)
Ty Lund (Rocky Mountain House)
Shirley McClellan (Drumheller-Stettler)
Barry McFarland (Little Bow)
George VanderBurg (Whitecourt-Ste. Anne)
Gene Zwozdesky (Edmonton Mill Creek)

Tune in Tomorrow to see my very own predictions on who will get which chair at the cabinet table...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

no kyoto! no wheat board! no gun registry! no french citizenship!

Just got back from the wonderful City of Lethbridge in southern Alberta!

This was on the side of the road in what I believe to be the Foothills-Rockyview Constituency which is represented by one Fredrick Lee Morton.

I wonder what happens when you call 1-403-265-3669?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm gone to Lethbridge tomorrow, so no blogging until the weekend (most likey).

Until then, let's play a little game called - NAME THAT CABINET!

In this game, you're Ed Stelmach... who will you put in your cabinet?

Finance Minister Lyle Oberg?
Justice Minister Gay Mar?
Children's Services Minister Ted Morton?
Infratructure Minister Ray Danyluk?
Health Minister Doug Horner?

Post your predictions...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

a house in alberta.

For many newly minted Albertans it's fairly obvious that the affordability shortage/ridiculously high priced housing market here in Alberta is causing quite the challenge for many residents of Canada's wealthiest nation. But what are folks to do?

Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals have released a policy paper detailing their plans for an Affordable Housing Strategy. Calgary Currie MLA Dave Taylor, the Official Opposition Critic for Municipal Affairs, announced the Liberals policy paper this week. In brief, the Affordable Housing Strategy recommends:

- changes to provincial regulations concerning secondary (e.g. basement) suites so that they can be quickly used as affordable housing units, while meeting strict provincial health and safety standards;
- portable housing allowances and rent supplements for low-income and fixed-income Albertans;
- giving cities and towns the authority to mandate percentages of affordable housing in new developments;
- incentives to developers to build affordable rental units, and to make home ownership possible for more Albertans;
- providing land through provincial donations and land swaps to make it more financially feasible for local groups to build new affordable housing;
- enacting a Reasonable Rent Increase law to protect tenants from rent gouging.
You can also fill out an online survey.

The Alberta NDP have also released a point pamphlet on Affordable Housing and Poverty calling for the creation of a Ministry of Housing. On Affordable Housing, the NDP are advocating that this new Ministry:
* Build 6000 affordable housing units
* Pressure the federal government to increase funding
* Commit to helping municipalities meet targets
Soon-to-be-newly-minted-Premier-designate-of-Alberta Ed Stelmach released a two-paragraph statement on affordable housing for Albertans with Special Needs during the recent Alberta PC leadership campaign. It looks like Albertans will just have to wait and see where Premier-designate Stelmach stands on this issue.

UPDATE: Stelmach has four more paragraphs on homelessness.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the $5 challenge.

From interlocutor. I recommend you read the full post.

Further afterthought: someone commented on this blog earlier that giving the Tories $5 is no big deal, since you can subversively give 5-10 times that much to the Liberals or NDs. I hereby challenge everyone who gave $5 to the Tories on that basis to make that contribution to an opposition party which best matches their values so as to undo the damage done by giving money and validation to the one-party-state given.

i love by-elections!

I heard a rumour today that Mark Norris has replaced Peter Elzinga as Executive Director of the Alberta PC party. I wonder if there any truth to this...

Also, what do people think will happen in Calgary Elbow if Ralph Klein's resigns as MLA? By-Election...

Here are the 1997, 2001, and 2004 results from Calgary Elbow:

2004 (margin 2,020 votes)
x-Ralph Klein, PC - 6,958 (51.5%)
Stephen Brown, Liberal - 4,938 (36.5%)
Allison Roth, Greens - 668 (4.9%)
Diana-Lynn Brooks, Alliance - 488 (3.6%)
Becky Kelley, NDP - 345 (2.6%)
Trevor Grover, SC - 69 (0.5%)
Lloyd Blimke, Ind 51 (0.4%)

2001 (margin 5,680 votes)
x-Ralph Klein, PC - 10,213 (66.8%)
Harold Swanson, Liberal - 4,533 (29.7%)
Mathew Zachariah, NDP - 369 (2.4%)
Monier Rahall, Ind - 166 (1.1%)

1997 (margin 3,042 votes)
x-Ralph Klein, PC - 8,237 (57.90%)
Harold Swanson, Liberal - 5,195 (36.50%)
Lera Shirley, SC - 421 (3.00%)
Shawn Christie, NDP - 307 (2.10%)
Frank Haika, NLP - 75 (0.50%)

Monday, December 04, 2006

something about a new premier?

To millions of Canadians (and maybe a million Albertans), Ed Stelmach is not a familiar name. When the 13 year political veteran was selected as the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta last weekend, this quiet little known political entity was thown into the political spotlight.

For those of you not totally familiar with Premier-designate Ed Stelmach's background, here's a bit of it...

A farmer from south of the Village of Andrew, Stelmach served as Reeve of Lamont County until being elected MLA for the newly created Vegreville-Viking riding in 1993. The election saw Stelmach defeat two-term NDP MLA Derek Fox (MLA for Vegreville 1986-1993). Stelmach was re-elected in Vegreville-Viking in 1997 and 2001. In 2004, Stelmach ran in and was elected MLA for the newly created Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville riding.

After entering Ralph Klein's Cabinet, Stelmach served as Minister of Agriculture from 1997 to 1999, Minister of Infrastructure from 1999 to 2004, and Minister of Intergovernment and International Affairs from 2004 to 2006. Years of Cabinet experience aside, I seriously cannot name anything that Stelmach did while he was a Cabinet Minister. Can someone help me on this one?

One of the challenges that Stelmach faces as Premier is articulating a vision for which direction he would like to lead Alberta. Stelmach's campaign, which was largely vague on policy, was as far as I can tell based on "Honest Ed" or "Steady Eddie" being a moderate conservative comprimise candidate between social conservative Ted Morton and Corporate Calgary Dauphin Jim Dinning. This said, I have nearly no idea where Stelmach stands on most issues.

It should be interesting to see just how different Stelmach is from Klein as Premier and if Stelmach is able to heal the body-wounds his party delivered to itself during this race in preparation for the next General Election.

Speaking of the next General Election, since 1993 the Alberta PC's have centered their image around a single man - Ralph Klein. Since 1993, many Albertans voted for "Ralph's Team" or "Ralph" himself not knowing who their actual PC candidate was (it's like an intense form of leader-based elections). Also, the PC Party generally polled lower support than Ralph Klein. With Klein out of the picture, can the Alberta PC's survive once his card is removed from the deck? Can Stelmach sucessfully replace Ralph Klein as the central figure of the PC Party? Will Stelmach be able to appeal to the broad cross-section of Albertans that Klein was able to?

Also, it should be interesting to see what Stelmach's new cabinet looks like. Which MLA's are rewarded and which are put to pasture. As well as what the configuration of the Cabinet Ministries look like as there is a good chance that some Ministries may be merged to create a smaller Cabinet (which I believe currently has 23 Ministers).

Should be interesting...

calgarians riot in the streets.

...or something.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

premier-designate ed stelmach.

Saturday December 2, 2006 was a very bad day for political frontrunners.

We saw Stephane Dion ride from fourth place on the first ballot to defeat frontrunners Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae at the Federal Liberal leadership convention in Montreal.

We also saw Ed Stelmach ride from third place on the first ballot of the Alberta PC leadership race to overwhelm both frontrunners Jim Dinning and Ted Morton on the third ballot.

I did make it out to the Alberta PC leadership party at the aviation centre and I can say it was quite an entertaining peice of political theatre. As with the Federal Liberal race, I did enjoy seeing the frontrunners go down in a blaze of glory. (and I'll give a shout out to Duncan, Allie, and Blake who were all there).

So, what does an Ed Stelmach led-PC Party mean for Alberta's political scene?

- Ed Stelmach is the first Alberta Premier from rural Alberta since Social Credit Premier Harry Strom from 1968-1971. Will Ed Stelmach take the Tories the root of Social Credit...
- This race very much manifested itself into a Northern Alberta/Edmonton (Stelmach) v. Calgary (Dinning) & Southern Alberta (Morton).What affect does this have on Tory support in urban Alberta? In southern Alberta? Calgary?
- Can Ed Stelmach appeal to Edmonton and Calgary voters? Does Stelmach's victory bode well for Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals?
- What happens to Ted Morton? It was Ted Morton's supporters who pushed Ed Stelmach over the top on the third ballot (to the effect of 28000 for Ed Stelmach to 4000 for Jim Dinning).
- What happens to Jim Dinning and the Calgary crew? Jim Dinning was Calgary's candidate...
- What does Ed Stelmach stand for? This isn't a personal attack, just a legitimate question. Ed Stelmach's policy positions on this campaign were not exactly the most well developed. We shall wait and see...

I will have more thoughts on "What now?" later this afternoon...

selected alberta pc leadership selection results...

Here are the main and selected riding results from yesterday's Alberta PC leadership selection...

First Ballot
Jim Dinning - 29,470
Ted Morton - 25,614
Ed Stelmach - 14,967
Lyle Oberg- 11,638
Dave Hancock - 7595
Mark Norris - 6789
Victor Doerksen - 873
Gary McPherson - 744

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach - 51,764
Jim Dinning - 51,282
Ted Morton - 41, 243

Third Ballot
Ed Stelmach - 77, 577
Jim Dinning - 55,509
(Morton to Stelmach - 25,813)
(Morton to Dinning - 4,227)

Here are some interesting selected riding results...

Calgary Elbow (Ralph Klein's riding)
First Ballot
Jim Dinning - 1,890
Ted Morton - 656
Ed Stelmach - 360

Second Ballot
Jim Dinning - 2,004
Ed Stelmach - 747

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville (Stelmach's riding)
First Ballot
Ed Stelmach - 4,156
Ted Morton - 316
Jim Dinning - 170

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach - 4,382
Jim Dinning - 193

Little Bow
First Ballot
Ted Morton - 1,784
Jim Dinning - 382
Ed Stelmach - 351

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach - 1,518
Jim Dinning - 515

Saturday, December 02, 2006

premier ed stelmach...?

Say hello to Premier Ed Stelmach on the third ballot...

Most recent second ballot results of the Alberta PC race...

Jim Dinning - 44.000
Ed Stelmach - 36,000
Ted Morton - 32,000


First, Stephane Dion... now maybe Ed Stelmach... it's a good night for third place finishers...

I may or may not be heading off to the PC party at the Aviation Centre... a vulnerable position.

Being presumptive nominee that is. Random.

Stephane Dion has been selected as Federal Liberal leader over Michael Ignatieff.

Disaster averted?

Canada Liberals choose Stephane Dion as leader

MONTREAL, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Canada's official opposition Liberals on Saturday unexpectedly chose former Environment Minister Stephane Dion as their new leader despite political shortcomings that could hinder his chances in an election expected next year.

Dion, in fourth place after the first round of voting, beat former Harvard academic Michael Ignatieff on the fourth and final ballot at a Montreal leadership convention. Dion won by 2,521 votes to 2,084.
Will we see another presumtive nominee defeated tonight?

presumtive nominee...

Just as the Federal Liberals are holding their leadership selection today, the Alberta PC's are out voting for their second and third ballot choices for their new leader.

I have no clue who is going to win this one. Last weekend's results on their first ballot resulted in a Jim Dinning-Ted Morton-Ed Stelmach playing feild.

Today's second-third ballot results will depend on a lot of things.
- How many memberships were the camps able to sell this week.
- How effective are the defeated candidates in getting their networks out to support endorsed candidates (Dave Hancock, Mark Norris, and Lyle Oberg's endorsement of Ed Stelmach).
- How effective will the camps be in getting out their vote today.

I guess we'll see. Premier Jim Dinning? Premier Ed Stelmach? Or Premier Ted Morton?

dion pulls ahead.

So, I'm sitting around watching CPAC's coverage of the Federal Liberal leadership convention.

Jean LaPierre is being interviewed. I wondered what happened to him.

They are getting ready for the third ballot. Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, and Bob Rae are on the ballot. I was disappointed that Gerard Kennedy was knocked off the second ballot, but it's not overly surprising because he was fairly close to Dion for the third-fouth place position.

Here are the live third ballot resutls....

Michael Ignatieff - 1660
Bob Rae - 1375
Stephane Dion - 1782
Total - 4817
Needed to win - 2410

Stephane Dion pulls ahead on the fourth ballot. It's a Dion-Ignatieff showdown...

Very interesting turn of events...

Friday, December 01, 2006

that other leadership race.

The Federal Liberals are chosing their leader this weekend. Though I was mysteriously left off the Edmonton Strathcona ballot during the delegate selection meetings, I had decided months ago that I would sit out this Liberal leadership convention.

Though I support Gerard Kennedy for the Federal Liberal leadership, finances and interest level had a lot to do with my lack of Montreal presence this December weekend. I think Kennedy would do well as leader. When I met Kennedy this summer I wasn't overly impressed by the speech he delivered, but when I was able to talk with him one-on-one I was very impressed at the types of ideas we talked about. He is a fresh face for the Federal Liberals with actual elected political experience in government and in opposition. Something that will benefit the Liberals greatly in the next election.

Of the other candidates, I don't mind Stephane Dion.

Michael Ignatieff is interesting, but hasn't impressed me during this campaign (or when I met him), and continues to rub me the wrong way.

I find the Bob Rae phenomenon to be the most interesting though. He has a train car worth of political luggage, but continued to surprise me with high level quality supporters such as Ralph Goodale. So, I'm puzzled. He's intellegent and articulate, but what would happen if he won? Would the Liberals implode and lose all their seats in Ontario? Probably not. The unpopularity of Mike Harris' Government is fresher in the mind of Ontarians and former Harris-era Ministers Jim Flaherty and John Baird cruised to Federal victory in January 2006. Could Rae do the same?

This said, I think there is potential for it to be a while before I again become actively involved with the Federal Liberals.

Hopefully whoever is chosen as Leader will do their best to bring the Liberal Party of Canada back to Canadians. Hopefully they can pose a compeditive challenge to the Conservative minority in what will most likely be a Spring 2007 election.

As I do have many friends at this convention, I will direct you to their blogs for their on-site commentary: Gauntlet, CalgaryGrit, and Nic.