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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

alberta election 2008: edmonton-calder.

Edmonton-Calder is the Poland of Alberta's political map - it has moved around, disappeared and reappeared in different forms and names, and tends to swing between political powers.

Calder was held by Tory Tom Chambers from 1971 until 1986 when Christine Mjolsness caught a ride on the anti-Don Getty wave and was elected for the New Democrats. Calder was held by the Mjolsness until it disappeared in 1993 when it was split into Edmonton-Mayfield and Edmonton-Roper. Both Mayfield and Roper elected Alberta Liberal MLAs in 1993 - Lance White and Sine Chadi (Mjolsness was defeated by Chadi in Roper). In 1997, Edmonton-Mayfield's name was changed and Calder reappeared on the map as Lance White held the seat against Tory Lynn Faulder and former Edmonton-Kingsway ND MLA Alex McEachern.

In 2001, White faced off against Tory Brent Rathgeber and ND Christine Burdett. In a three way race, Rathgeber unseated White. In 2004, Rathgeber found himself in another three way race between ND David Eggen and Alberta Liberal Brad Smith. Having started campaigning early, the fruit of Eggen's campaigning paid off as he narrowly knocked off Rathgeber.

Eggen is now running for a second-term against two main challengers, Alberta Liberal Jim Kane and Tory Doug Elniski. Kane is a company officer for CN in Edmonton and has experience in management and union grievance resolution. Taking a page from Eggen's book, Kane began door knocking and campaigning in Calder early. Elniski's background includes work in safety management, human resource management, construction, adult education, and business consulting. On a purely anecdotal note, Elniski may also be the tallest candidate I've ever seen.

Between 2004 and the 2006 Census, Calder grew by 15.46%, bringing over 3,500 new people to this north west Edmonton constituency.

Even though Eggen is easily the most effective member of the four-man NDP caucus, his re-election isn’t assured. Over the past decade, Calder has become a notorious swing riding and holds strong bases of support for all three main parties. If this were a different constituency, I might say that Eggen would have it in the bag, but with the Liberals, Tories, and NDP all having all held Calder during the past ten years (and three elections), you can bet that Eggen, Kane, and Elniski will be working extra hard to win over voters in this constituency.

2008 Edmonton-Calder Candidates

Alberta Liberal - Jim Kane
ND - Dave Eggen*
PC - Doug Elniski
Green - Mike Brown
Edmonton-Calder Past Election Results
David Eggen, ND - 4,067
x Brent Rathgeber, PC - 3,730
Brad Smith, Lib - 2,985
Vicki Kramer, AA - 513
Voter Turnout: 49%


Brent Rathgeber, PC - 5,128
x Lance White, Lib - 4,654
Christine Burdett, ND - 2,432
Voter Turnout: 51.7%


x Lance White, Lib - 4,802
Lynn Faulder, PC - 3,860
Alex McEachern, ND - 3,250
Voter Turnout: 53.4%


Anonymous said...

I've campaigned with Jim and he is a fantastic guy....but I think Eggen really raised his profile since becoming elected in '04. He was everywhere, and got some good press on the whole Alberta Energy and Utilities Spygate story.....this should be a very good contest.

Anonymous said...

No contest. Eggen never stopped knocking on doors. His work has converted a swing seat into a safe seat.

Have you even been to Calder since the writ? It's covered in Eggen signs.

Anonymous said...

Lawn signs don't mean anything.

Anonymous said...

I just clicked on a google ad on your page that directed me to the PC website.

- 10 cents from the PCs budget
+ 2 or 3 cents for Dave

Ed Stelmach is not a leader. Vote Wildrose Alliance!

Anonymous said...

Dave Eggen and the Alberta NDP are the far more effective opposition.

Anonymous said...

The difference between the ND Party and Liberal Party is that the ND's have the benefit of knowing they can never win the election, and therefore they can continue to make unrealistic policy announcements and speak to their special interest group supporters, ie. unions.
The Liberals on the other hand are in danger of losing seats because they haven't been completely successful in distancing themselves from the special interest groups who have been their previous traditional support...the liberals spend soo much time criticizing the gov't and the PC Party that they fail to see that a majority of the things the Gov't does are very popular in Alberta, so they should at least spend a little time acknowledging that and commenting on how they wouldn't change the areas where Alberta is in great shape.

As long as the Liberal party continues to put ridiculous things in their policy book (like an independant review of the WCB? seriously? WCB hasn't been a political issue in YEARS, so why make it one?) they will never get a sniff of being taken seriously, let alone given consideration for government.

Lucky for all Albertans I guess.

Anonymous said...

WCB isn't an issue anymore? It's not the hot potato it once was, but there are a lot of people fighting through the WCB bureaucracy who would disagree with you.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of people fighting through any bureaucracy, that doesn't make it a political issue. Just because someone gets refused benefits doesn't require the need to call for a review, especially of an arms length gov't organization. The Liberals just basically shot themselves in the foot with every single employee who works there, around 2000 of them, plus their families and friends. Well done Taft!

Anonymous said...

The point was that the Liberals create issues where no issues exist, this was the trap of the Federal Reform/Alliance party. It is why many many undecided voters will never actually consider the Liberals, they would rather stay home, they don't see the Liberals "getting it", they just see a party saying anything it can to get elected.

Anonymous said...

lawn signs don't mean anything

The rallying cry of the losing campaign.

Anonymous said...

Lawn signs don't mean anything except when you forget to ask people if you have their permission to put them up as is the case with the ND's in Calder.

Anonymous said...

"The Liberals just basically shot themselves in the foot with every single employee who works there, around 2000 of them, plus their families and friends."

That's a distortion of the issue. The problems with the WCB (and there are major problems, not just bureaucratic screw-ups) have nothing to do with "every single employee who works there". They have to do with the way the system is structured and managed. Most of the people who work at WCB do their jobs and do them well.

At the risk of unleashing another round of anonymous commentators trying to kill each other (who comments anonymously, anyway?), it's the same way the returning officer issue has been distorted. It has little to do with the people who are actually appointed and a whole lot more to do with the process by which ROs are appointed.