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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

alberta election 2008: edmonton-castle downs.

Created in 1997 after the dissolution of Edmonton-Roper, Edmonton-Castle Downs has been a battle ground of close races between the Tories and Alberta Liberals ever since. Alberta Liberal Pamela Paul narrowly defeated Tory Ihor Broda in 1997 (Broda later ran for Mayor in 1998), but later declined to run for a second term after sitting as an Independent MLA in 1999. When 2001 rolled around, Tory Thomas Lukaszuk joined the Tory sweep of Edmonton by defeating Liberal Boris Yaremko in a solid election win. In 2004, Edmonton-Castle Downs was the closest race in the province. After a hard fought battle and three judicial recounts, Tory incumbent Thomas Lukazsuk was declared re-elected by 3 votes over Alberta Liberal Chris Kibermanis, who was originally declared elected by 9 votes on Election Day.

Castle Downs 2008 is Kibermanis v. Lukaszuk Round 2. With both candidates knowing that every vote will count, don't expect either of them to cede any ground in this race.

Lukaszuk has noticeably matured as an MLA since his "victory" in 2004, but he remains in the Tory backbenches. In 2007, Lukaszuk was involved in a minor scandal involving a contact given to former Edmonton-Meadowlark Tory MLA Bob Maskell in which Maskell billed the government of Alberta $600 for one short meeting with Lukaszuk on the topic of Fort Edmonton Park. Lukazsuk supported Jim Dinning in the 2006 Tory leadership race and is the only Edmonton Tory MLA without a seat at Ed Stelmach's cabinet table.

Kibermanis works in the construction industry as a welder and is a former draft pick for the former NHL Winnipeg Jets. He's also active in the "Raise the Roof” campaign for Edmonton Housing and is an active member of the Cumberland-Oxford community league executive in Castle Downs. Like Lukaszuk, Kibermanis hasn't stopped campaigning since 2004.

The Greens and the New Democrats are running Bob Reckhow and Ali Haymour respectively. Reckhow has been an faculty member at the University of Alberta and Athabasca University, and has a Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Toronto. Haymour is a Sheriff with Alberta's Solicitor General Department, but is currently on leave while finishing a degree at the University of Alberta.

Between 2004 and 2006, Castle Downs grew by 12.45%, bringing over 3,600 new voters to the constituency. Castle Downs is also a relatively young constituency with only 30% of residents over the age of 45.

Edmonton-Castle Downs 2008 Candidates
Alberta Liberal - Chris Kibermanis
Green - Bob Reckhow
ND- Ali Haymour
PC - Thomas Lukaszuk*

Edmonton-Castle Downs Past Election Results

(Post-Judicial Recounts)
x Thomas Lukaszuk, PC - 5,022
Chris Kibermanis, Lib - 5,019
Peter Cross, NDP - 1,314
Colin Presizniuk, AA - 586
Ross Korpi, SC - 78

Chris Kibermanis, Lib - 5,019
x Thomas Lukaszuk, PC - 5,014
Peter Cross, NDP - 1,317
Colin Presizniuk, AA - 583
Ross Korpi, SC - 78
Voter Turnout: 41.3%

2001 Thomas Lukaszuk, PC - 5,971
Boris Yaremko, Lib - 4,479
Michael Charrois, NDP - 1,235
Voter Turnout: 46.9%

1997 Pamela Paul, Lib - 4,456
Ihor Broda, PC - 4,373
Peter Johnsen, NDP - 1,394
Dave Friesen, SC - 460
Voter Turnout: 50.4%


Anonymous said...

So the PC appointed returning officer in Edmonton-Castle Downs actually oversaw a close vote that the Liberals won and it was a judge that gave Thomas the win?

Guess the RO issue is not as big as some try to make it out to be...

Anonymous said...


Haymour is also a Lebanese Muslim, in a constituency with thousands of people of Arabic descent.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the judge was NDP......

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

When discussing these various ridings, perhaps you could please stop listing the NDP candidate last?

Especially since the NDP polled ahead of the Greens & Alliance in this riding last time.

It doesn't appear you went alphabetically either, so it does seem to show bias.


burlivespipe said...

Who appointed the judge? Doesn't that gov't appoint even dogcatchers still?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous: ROs do more than count votes. Hypothetically speaking, if you were a crooked PC-insider RO and you wanted to skew the results without getting fingered, the best course of action would probably be to do just this: misplace a few votes so that it's so close that you, as the RO, can intentionally mis-count in favour of the other side. Then you can have a post-judicial recount committee make the call when they correctly tally the skewed results you engineered. Brilliant strategy! (I'm not saying this happened, but it is definitely possible)

Anonymous said...

You can't "misplace" a few votes. Every party has a scrutineer at each step when the votes are outside of the locked ballot box.
Take off your tinfoil hat.