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Monday, February 18, 2008

alberta election 2008: calgary-varsity.

Created in 1993, Calgary-Varsity was represented by Tory Murray Smith until 2004 when the patronage gods blessed him with the position of Alberta's Ambassador to the United States of America in Washington D.C.. Smith's blessing included a $210,500 annual salary, a car, a posh Washington apartment and other benefits, and a $105,000 quitting bonus for leaving his job five months early (a sweetheart clause that was signed and sealed by Ed Stelmach when he was Alberta's Intergovernmental Affairs Minister).

In 2004, with Smith's departure, Alberta Liberal Harry Chase challenged Tory Mike Smyth and surprised many political watchers by defeating Smyth by over 700 votes. Chase (who also has one of the best names in Alberta politics) is a school teacher and former Friends of Medicare organizer. In 2004, Chase benefited from the apathetic Tory campaign and a strong get-out-the-vote campaign by the University of Calgary Students' Union (the University of Calgary is in Varsity).

In 2008, Chase is facing off against Tory Jennifer Diakiw. Diakiw is a fundraiser for SAIT and the U of C and has a long history of involvement with the PC Party. Diakiw also describes herself like a lot of modern women would: "For 25 years, like a lot of modern women, she has juggled family, career and a deep commitment to the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, and has thrived successfully in each." (no word if Diakiw has previously served as a local returning officer). Chase and Diakiw are joined by Green Sean Maw, Wildrose Alliance candidate Brennan Ltyle, and New Democrat Tim Stock-Bateman.

Sean Maw is a Engineering Instructor at Mount Royal College and has previously served as the Research Director at Calgary's Olympic Oval. He was also involved in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and is also working on projects for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Brennan Ltyle is a U of C Political Science graduate who is now working for Suncor Energy. Tim Stock-Bateman is the Director of Development for Corporate & Foundation Relations for the University of Calgary. Stock-Bateman also released a pretty clever campaign video on YouTube earlier in the campaign.

Between 2004 and 2006, Varsity grew by 10.46%, bringing over 2,700 new voters the constituency. The mix of the large university community and Calgary's dissatisfaction with Tory leader Ed Stelmach, Varsity should be one of the safer Calgary Liberal constituencies in this election.

2008 Calgary-Varsity Candidates

Alberta Liberal - Harry Chase*
Green - Sean Maw
ND - Tim Stock-Bateman
PC - Jennifer Diakiw
Wildrose Alliance - Brennan Ltyle

Upcoming All-Candidates Debates

Tuesday, February 26, 12:00-1:30 pm
University of Calgary
MacEwan Student Centre

Wednesday, February 27, 7:00-9:00 pm
Dalhousie Community Centre
5432 Dalhart Rd. N.W.

Past-Election results in Calgary-Varsity

Harry Chase, Lib - 6,347
Michael Smyth, PC - 5,591
Ronald Beninger, AA - 765
Richard Larson, Grn - 761
Mark Gabruch, ND - 637
Leonard Skowronski, SC - 118
Voter Turnout: 54.2%

x Murray Smith, PC - 8,173
Carrol Jaques, Lib - 3,938
Susan Scott, ND - 1,309
Travis De Preez, Grn - 334
Voter Turnout: 59.4%

x Murray Smith, PC - 7,232
Carrol Jaques, Lib - 5,414
Mike Bressers, SC - 646
Dick Huysman, NDP - 640
Joel Ashworth, Grn - 132
Voter Turnout: 59.10%


Brian Dell said...

There will be NO all-candidates meetings in my riding, from what I've been able to discern (I've trying to organize one but obviously the other candidates would have to cooperate) and Calgary Varsity gets two?

kenchapman said...

Jennifer Diakiw is a formidable campaigner and a great policy mind. I think she could surprise lots of folks and win Varsity.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the Faculty Development section of the URL above. Interesting that both Stock Bateman and Diakiw work in the same department and have the same supervisor.

Anonymous said...

Dave, its obvious that you have not taken any research time for Varsity.

Chase won the redrawn Varsity riding by polling fewer votes than when he was soundly defeated in Foothills in 2001 by Pat Nelson. Mr. Chase won solely on the basis of the 2004 "Seinfeld" election campaign of the Klein Tories where nearly 3000 supporters failed to find the polling stations. Mr. Chase advertises himself within the riding taking great pains to avoid mentioning he is an opposition Liberal. His own relatives that live in the riding are Tories. With a platform with significantly more meat on the bone, a much more proficient and qualified candidate will carry Tory fortunes back to the Legislature.

Anonymous said...

Acknowledge, appreciate and agree with Mr. Chapman and Anonymous#2. Don't agree, though, that this is a 'safe' Liberal riding--far from it!

Oh, and Anonymous #1 has to be corrected. Mr. Stock Bateman is still employed at the University of Calgary while Ms. Diakiw retired from her position to campaign for and serve as the next MLA for Calgary Varsity.