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Friday, March 09, 2007

nomwatch - march 9, 2007

With two upcoming by-elections in Alberta, the Spring Session of the Legislature could play a big role in determining the direction voters in these two ridings end sailing towards. The seats were vacated by former Premier Ralph Klein and former Finance Ministry Shirley McClellan.

In Drumheller-Stettler, consultant and former President of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties Jack Hayden is lining up for the PC nomination. Hayden had previously ran for the PC nomination against former MLA Judy Gordon in the former riding of Lacombe-Stettler in 2000. The Alberta Greens have scheduled a nomination meeting for March 5. Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals have yet to set a nomination date, but word through the grapevine is that a credible local candidate will step up to the plate.

There should be a full slate of candidates in Drumheller-Stettler, but being one of the deepest backwater conservative strongholds, it will take a strong camapaign to move Drumheller-Stettler any closer to the centre than a deep blue conservative. Look for the main opposition parties to be gunning for strong showings rather than victory.

Calgary Elbow presents a different picture. Located in what some political observers have coined the "Latte Belt," Calgary Elbow showed strong support for the Alberta Liberals in 2004 against-the-odds of an incumbent Premier. There will likely be a full slate of candidates including Social Credit candidate Trevor Grover (I'm sure Social Credit will hit a highwater mark of 200 votes this time around). The Alberta Liberals have scheduled their nomination meeting for March 22. The Tory nominations in both ridings will occur in mid- to late-April.

I'm predicting both by-elections to occur sometime in June.


Duncan said...

A credible Liberal candidate in Drumheller-Stettler? Why didn't they step up last time? Any candidate would be more credible than what the Liberals ran in the riding last time - which was nothing.

James L. said...

Someone did step up to the plate, but backed out at the very last minute. Oh well. This is tough, tough territory to win in for a non-conservative candidate, especially with an intrenched incumbent like Shirley McScreech. It was unfortunate that we didn't get someone to put their name on the ballot in 2004, but I hardly think it was the red-faced embarrassment that some want to make it out to be.

And Duncan, I'm sure that with an open seat, the chances of somebody wanting to throw their hat in the ring will increase.

Anonymous said...

rumour has it that Brian Pincott is eyeing Elbow for the NDP.

docsanchez said...

I'm interested to hear what everyone's thoughts on on Pincott. He seems to be a smart guy but stuck on the environment bandwagon as a single issue candidate. It'd be nice to see him broaden his base and maybe join the Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Where was that credible PC candidate in Edmonton Gold Bar in 2004? oh wait...

Art said...

Given that Liberal environmental policy doesn't call for any real reductions in greenhouse gases, I'd be pretty disappointed in Pincott if he went to that party.

But, Liberal dismissals of well known environmentalists as 'stuck on the environmental bandwagon' speaks more about that party than any amount of analysis of the platform.

Anonymous said...

I see the NB Conservatives just lost the former Premier Bernard Lord's seat in a by-election.

Klein never won his seat in Calgary Elbow by much when he was leader.

How will Calgarians react in this by-election? Stay the course for now with another PC or send a message and do what New Brunswickers did and send a message? What should we interpret and understand such a message to be from Calgary from either outcome?

Whoever wins will have to go again in the next election anyway - now seen to be likely in the Spring of 08. Candidates may as well just leave their lawn signs up.

I have no sense of the outcome yet but it is interesitng to reflect on how voters in Cagary will decide this by-election and what the results mean politically.

I think I'll revisit and re-read my Kafka so I will be better able to put it all in context - whatever happens.