Alberta politics, election thread

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Policywonk

Lou Arab wrote:

Edmonton Centre Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, while pledging to run again, made some comments I can only call bizzare:

Quote:
"I'll admit that I'm trying to figure out what my place in the caucus is," Blakeman said. "I have, I'm sure, the same questions that must have gone through Hugh's mind."

"I'm circling. I'm trying to figure out how I can best serve people. And I have a commitment to my constituency board, and I said I would run again and I'm determined to hold to that commitment. But I'm also trying to figure out how do I do this?

"And bottom line is how much fun is that going to be if I just get pushed off to the side and I'm supposed to be the queen mother? Good Lord, I couldn't do that."

Queen mother? I wonder what the result would have been if the Liberals had actually chosen a Leader, rather than ask whoever wanted to vote for their Leadership, regardless of whether they were a member or not? And will any Liberals survive the next Alberta election.

Howard

I hope Rob Silver is watching these results and feeling a little nervous about his proposition that all Liberal memberships be free to the public, that Liberals be nominated either that way or in open primaries. Had that been the case in the last Liberal leadership race maybe they could have avoided the fiasco of Dion and gone straight to Joe Volpe as leader Laughing

knownothing knownothing's picture
janfromthebruce

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Cool

Howard wrote:

I hope Rob Silver is watching these results and feeling a little nervous about his proposition that all Liberal memberships be free to the public, that Liberals be nominated either that way or in open primaries. Had that been the case in the last Liberal leadership race maybe they could have avoided the fiasco of Dion and gone straight to Joe Volpe as leader Laughing

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

bekayne

One hour ago, 80 of 85 polls in. Still 2 polls to come in one hour later. Like watching paint dry. Mar 43.28%, Redford 37.53%

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

mildly encouraged by the lack of growth in Mar's percentage of first choices... I wasn't really looking forward to him pursuing his campaign against single-payer health care

bekayne

Final poll trickles in: Mar 42.51%, Redford 37.09%, Horner 20.4%

bekayne

Redford needs 64% of Horner's 2nd choice votes-assuming they all have one

Policywonk

bekayne wrote:

One hour ago, 80 of 85 polls in. Still 2 polls to come in one hour later. Like watching paint dry. Mar 43.28%, Redford 37.53%

84 out of 85 polls in. Mar has 42.72 per cent of the vote (33,175 out of 77,655 votes cast); Redford is in second place with 37.25 per cent of support (28,293); and Doug Horner is in third place with 20.03 per cent (15,557). Depends on what Horner's second choice votes do, as it looks like a third ballot (or second count of the second ballot). Redford may well win.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2011/10/01/edmonton-alberta...

Policywonk

bekayne wrote:

Redford needs 64% of Horner's 2nd choice votes-assuming they all have one

She got more than that.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/provincial-elections/redfor...

ghoris

Alison Redford is the next Premier of Alberta. So says the Grope and Flail, anyways.

Policywonk

Actually it doesn't seem official yet. According to the CBC live blog Mar is challenging some of the second cholce votes. There was speculation from both the Redford and the Horner people that Redford had 80% of the Horner second choice votes.

Policywonk

Now it's official. Redford's 37104 to Mar's 35491.

JKR

Alison Redford: 37,104 - 51.11%

Gary Mar: 35,491 - 48.89%

 

78% of Doug Horner's 2nd preference votes went to Redford and only 22% went to Mar.

35% of the people who voted for Horner did not have a 2nd preference.

----------

 

Redford now joins BC Premier Christy Clark and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale as right of centre female premiers. They've all become premier without leading their party in an election.

ghoris

Canada's third- and fourth-most populous provinces will now have female leaders. Nearly one-third of provinces and territories currently have a female Premier: British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut and Newfoundland. There have been eight female premiers in Canadian history (Johnston, Cournoyea, Callbeck, Duncan, Aariak, Dunderdale, Clark and now Redford), but only two of those have actually won a general election (Callbeck and Duncan).

Ironically, the NDP is the only national political party that has yet to elect a female premier (leaving out the home-grown Saskatchewan and Yukon Parties). As someone pointed out above, most of the female premiers to date have had a right-of-centre bent.

Policywonk

JKR wrote:

Alison Redford: 37,104 - 51.11%

Gary Mar: 35,491 - 48.89%

 

78% of Doug Horner's 2nd preference votes went to Redford and only 22% went to Mar.

35% of the people who voted for Horner did not have a 2nd preference.

----------

 

Redford now joins BC Premier Christy Clark and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale as right of centre female premiers. They've all become premier without leading their party in an election.

That would be true for anyone taking over the leadership of a governing party. Dunderdale looks like she will win the Newfoundland and Labrador election very handily. Clark didn't even have a seat when she became Premier and decided to avoid an election given the HST defeat, Redford will have a choice to make; go soon or govern for a while. She is an interesting choice. The Wild Rose Alliance seems to think it will benefit them. Not sure what this means for the NDP, but I don't think it's good for the Liberals.

Mr.Tea

I think the Alberta PC Party is about to die. 

This sets up what may be a historic moment come election day: the first instance of back to back female premiers.

Policywonk

ghoris wrote:

Canada's third- and fourth-most populous provinces will now have female leaders. Nearly one-third of provinces and territories currently have a female Premier: British Columbia, Alberta, Nunavut and Newfoundland. There have been eight female premiers in Canadian history (Johnston, Cournoyea, Callbeck, Duncan, Aariak, Dunderdale, Clark and now Redford), but only two of those have actually won a general election (Callbeck and Duncan).

Ironically, the NDP is the only national political party that has yet to elect a female premier (leaving out the home-grown Saskatchewan and Yukon Parties). As someone pointed out above, most of the female premiers to date have had a right-of-centre bent.

Callbeck and Duncan are soon to be joined by Dunderdale at least, and Cournoyea and Aariak won election in their constituency and then in the NWT (prior to the creation of Nunavut) and Nunavut legislatures to become Premier, so they can be considered to have won election as Premier, but not in the same way as Callbeck and Duncan. There is one other woman who led her party to victory in a general election, Hilda Watson, but she lost the election in her constituency in the 1978 Yukon election and never became Premier (or Government Leader). I guess no-one was willing to step down and let her run in a by-election. She was the interim leader of the Yukon Territorial Council, but since that was an advisory body and not a legislative body, she can't be considered to have been Canada's first female Premier or Government Leader.

Policywonk

Mr.Tea wrote:

I think the Alberta PC Party is about to die. 

This sets up what may be a historic moment come election day: the first instance of back to back female premiers.

I wouldn't be quite so quick to write their obituary. I think the Alberta Liberal Party seems to be closer to its deathbed.

Stockholm

Its ironic that the NDP is now the only party in Alberta led by a white male (Brian Mason). I wonder if that might bring in some votes from some unlikely sources next election.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Its ironic that the NDP is now the only party in Alberta led by a white male (Brian Mason). I wonder if that might bring in some votes from some unlikely sources next election.

Yeah if we can get all the racists and misogynists in Alberta, the NDP might win!

Howard

knownothing wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Its ironic that the NDP is now the only party in Alberta led by a white male (Brian Mason). I wonder if that might bring in some votes from some unlikely sources next election.

Yeah if we can get all the racists and misogynists in Alberta, the NDP might win!

There's no way the NDP will pick up votes here. The racists and misogynists will vote for whichever party they perceive as most right-wing, which does presents the opportunity for a new start-up.

Stockholm has made me realise though, that out of the field of candidates that ran for the PC leadership, the top two candidates were a visible minority and a woman, the runners-up all white men. It doesn't surprise me. While people out of province think Alberta conservative parties are dominated by rightwing "racists and misogynists," the diversity of the PC coalition is much clearer inside Alberta.

Redford's election could appeal to the faux-progressives (as Lou Arab writes), making it harder for the Alberta Liberals and the NDP. In the NDP's favour is that they have no strength in Calgary, which is where Redford is from and the Liberals have seats. I'm still surprised Redford won.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

This was in my FB feed this morning:  Alison Redford wins Alberta PC Leadership by 1,613 votes

 

excerpt:

 

She won with a pitch that veered sharply more progressive than conservative, heavy on pledges to bolster the public education and health-care systems.

"And today, Alberta voted for change," she said to a crowd of flag-waving Tories who waited until Sunday's early hours to hear the verdict announced at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

"Change that means that teachers will be returning to classrooms. Change that means there will be better access to health care for all Albertans. But also change that means a disciplined approach to spending priorities, and more funds set aside to assure the future prosperity for our kids."

 

 

 

excerpt:

This is a remarkable turnaround for the 46-year-old human rights lawyer, who had fewer than half the votes of Mar during the first round on Sept. 17. She's pitched herself in the two weeks since -- and throughout the campaign -- as the candidate of change, ready to refresh a 40-year-old power dynasty she said had governed poorly for the last several years.

 

Stockholm

I'll be very curious to see if Ted Morton and other rightwing crackpots in the Alberta PC Party start an exodus to Wildrose now.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Stockholm wrote:

I'll be very curious to see if Ted Morton and other rightwing crackpots in the Alberta PC Party start an exodus to Wildrose now.

Would be good news for Alberta's PCs if they do - right?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Alberta Conservative Premiers like Lougheed always ran as red tories with an emphasis on good governance.  She is positioning herself to decimate the Liberals and maybe even the NDP if it becomes a two way fight with the Wild Rose Tea Party.  

bekayne
Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

A new poll shows the NDP tied for second, Tories with a big lead:

PC: 48 (down from 52.7 in 2008)
NDP: 16.3 (up from 8.5)
Wildrose: 16.1 (up from 6.8)
Liberal: 13.4 (down from 26.4)
Alberta party: 3.1

Stockholm

I'm pleasantly surprised that despite all the publicity about a real live "RED" Tory Alison Redford taking over the PCs - it seems that she is taking votes away from the Liberals and from Wildrose but not affecting the NDP at all. At this rate maybe the NDP can become official opposition after the next election!

bekayne

Lou Arab wrote:

A new poll shows the NDP tied for second, Tories with a big lead:

PC: 48 (down from 52.7 in 2008)
NDP: 16.3 (up from 8.5)
Wildrose: 16.1 (up from 6.8)
Liberal: 13.4 (down from 26.4)
Alberta party: 3.1

Note that the poll was taken the day of & the day after the leadership vote. The article mentions a poll by ThinkHQ, here are the results of that one compared to their previous one in July:

PC     40  (39)   +1

WR    24  (30)   -6

NDP   16  (14)   +2

Lib    14   (11)  +3

AP      3   ( 4)   +1

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

The Think HQ poll was taken in September.

Policywonk

Lou Arab wrote:

A new poll shows the NDP tied for second, Tories with a big lead:

PC: 48 (down from 52.7 in 2008)
NDP: 16.3 (up from 8.5)
Wildrose: 16.1 (up from 6.8)
Liberal: 13.4 (down from 26.4)
Alberta party: 3.1

This is actually bad news for both the Wildrose and the Liberals; not only is the NDP marginally ahead (albeit insignificantly), it is more likely to be more concentrated in Edmonton than the Wildrose is in Calgary and north of Edmonton.

Aristotleded24

Policywonk wrote:
Lou Arab wrote:

A new poll shows the NDP tied for second, Tories with a big lead:

PC: 48 (down from 52.7 in 2008)
NDP: 16.3 (up from 8.5)
Wildrose: 16.1 (up from 6.8)
Liberal: 13.4 (down from 26.4)
Alberta party: 3.1

This is actually bad news for both the Wildrose and the Liberals; not only is the NDP marginally ahead (albeit insignificantly), it is more likely to be more concentrated in Edmonton than the Wildrose is in Calgary and north of Edmonton.

You would think that Calgary, being an urban centre, would be fertile ground for a left-of-centre party to grow. Is it a simple matter of the NDP not dedicating its limited resources in Calgary combined with the general disengagement which favours right-wingers? The demographic make-up of several Alberta seats is such that if those seats were located in other provinces, the PCs would lose.

Threads

I think it may be because Calgary is, among the cities, also Very Very Oil.

The more interesting result, I think, is that the NDP is apparently second in "southern Alberta outside of Calgary".  Looking at the PDF file ever so helpfully provided by the group that produced the poll, the NDP has 19.5% of the vote in this region.  The PDF file also indicates that demographics put 18.0% of the population of Alberta in the north and 19.7% in the south.

From this, I'm going to take the totally over-the-top step of trying to figure out just what ridings they're classifying where.  Under the boundaries to be used in the next provincial election, there will be 43 seats (the two special consideration divisions numbered 1 and 2, then another 41 numbered after the Edmonton seats) that aren't explicitly described as being Calgary Cheeseburger or Edmonton Lolcats, and I assume that none of those 43 seats contain any portion of Edmonton or Calgary and that all of the other 44 are contained wholly within Calgary or Edmonton (as the case may be).  Making the somewhat reasonable assumption that population deviations basically even out in the aggregate across the two regions, we are looking at about 22.5 (~43*20/38) seats in the south.  Since the two special consideration divisions (Dunvegan—Central Peace and Lesser Slave Lake) can be reasonably assumed to be northern, I'll round that up to 23 just because.

So let's start at the US-Alberta border and work north.  Cardston—Taber—Warner, Cypress—Medicine Hat, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge East and West, Little Bow, Livingstone—Macleod, Highwood, Strathmore—Brooks, Banff—Cochrane, Airdrie, Chestermere—Rocky View, Olds—Didsbury—Three Hills, Drumheller—Stettler, Innisfail—Sylvan Lake, Rimbey—Rocky Mountain House—Sundre, Red Deer North and South, Lacombe—Ponoka, Drayton Valley—Devon, Leduc—Beaumont, Wetaskiwin—Camrose, Battle River—Wainwright.  That's 23.  I'll assume the other ridings not in Edmonton or Calgary are considered to be "north".  Since I can't easily find redistributed results for the rural ridings, we'll look at the results in the 2004/2008 seats.

Now.  In the "north".  In 2004, the Tories got 50.91% to 25.03% for the Liberals to 9.47% for the NDP to 11.60% for the Alberta Alliance (i.e., what is effectively Wildrose).  In 2008, the respective percents were 64.99%, 18.41%, 8.69% and 3.99% for Wildrose (ran candidates in 7 of the ridings I'm assuming are northern).  This poll is predicting the Tories at 52.0, the Liberals at 9.2, the NDP at 15.6, and Wildrose at 18.5.

Next, the "south".  Here, we have 53.63 to 20.52 to 5.61 to 12.66 in 2004, and in 2008 59.64 to 17.88 to 4.77 to 11.00 (contested all but two "southern" seats).  In the poll, we have the Tories at 45.3, the Liberals at 7.9, the NDP at 19.5, and Wildrose at 15.3.  And since I'm not in the mood to do much more, I think this sort of polling breakdown being the way the results actually turn out translates into Lethbridge West being NDP-competitive, if not NDP-assured.

Howard

Calgary is white collar, Edmonton is blue collar, both cities are oil oil oil.

Calgary prefers Liberals and Red Tories. Edmonton prefers NDPers and Liberals.

Calgary is more right-wing.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Edmonton has government employees and Calgary has oil company headquarters.  Medicine Hat is a blue collar city as is Lethbridge.  They would both be communities where the NDP could gain ground, at least based on demographics.

Howard

Medicine Hat is traditionally very right wing...a mystery to me. I agree that it might have potential.

 

lil.Tommy

What about places like Grand Prarie? or Red Deer

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

lil.Tommy wrote:

What about places like Grand Prarie? or Red Deer

Grand Prairie is shale oil fields and Red Deer is more of a supply and service centre for the farm communities around it.  It used to have various government institutions for incarcerating those with none criminal differences. It also has Red Deer College which has been around since at least the 70's.  

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Medicine Hat as often elected progressive, labour friendly city councils, so it's a bit of a mystery to me why it's history at the provincial and federal level has been so one sided.  I understand that the NDP has a great candidate there who is well known and making a few waves, so perhaps a surprise is in order.

Red Deer has a very progressive Mayor who gave a great address to the last NDP convention (held in Red Deer) and has some really progressive voices on council.  The NDP has landed a star candidate in Lorna Watkinson-Zimmer, who served five terms on Red Deer council before stepping aside last fall.

Overall, the NDP is developing quite a good list of candidates in some unusual places.  We've already discussed Shannon Phillips.  The party has nominated Catholic School Trustee Cindy Olsen in Edmonton Manning, former Peace River Town Councillor Wanda Laurin in that riding, and Ray Martin in Edmonton Glenora.  Less known, but equally impressive are Geologist Marlin Schmidt in Edmontn Gold Bar - who is working very hard and impressing a lot of people, former (current?) spokesperson for the Alberta College of Social Workers Lori Sigurdson in Edmonton Riverview - Lori has landed the famed Erica Bullwinkle as her manager.  Erica managed all of Linda Duncan's campaigns and Linda (deservedly) gives Erica all the credit for her success.

Another area to watch might be Athabasca.  There was a contested nomination there and it was won by local farmer and NFU activist Mandy Melnyk.  Full disclosure, Mandy is a friend of mine, and I think very highly of her.  We held this seat once in the 1980s.  Mandy is something of a force of nature - so I know she's going to work her butt off.  I don't know if she can take the riding this time, but I know that if she keeps at it, it will be an NDP seat sooner or later.

it's also worth noting that the NDP will likely have over 50 candidates nominated by the end of the month.  I can't remember a time we had this many campaigns up and running this early.  There will be a few paper campaigns, but it looks like there will be FAR fewer than ever before.

Policywonk

Howard wrote:

Calgary is white collar, Edmonton is blue collar, both cities are oil oil oil.

Calgary prefers Liberals and Red Tories. Edmonton prefers NDPers and Liberals.

Calgary is more right-wing.

The Liberals are in third or fourth in all regions in this poll and are fourth overall. Edmonton is more of an academic centre than Calgary and is the provincial capital, hence a government centre.

lil.Tommy

Hearing that gets me very excited for the Alberta NDP, with Raj a fromer tory leading the party and a red-ish tory (i've heard) leading the PC's that leaves the NDP the only clear progressive alternative.

reading through Daveberta http://daveberta.ca/2011/10/conservatives-and-wildrose-preoccupied-with-poll-results-ndp-waits-for-high-tide/

I was struck by the comment for a "new leader" as a way to sway him to vote NDP... is the membership pushing for a new leader? Brain Mason has been there for about 7 years now, with only two members of the Legislature is that even a priority?

Howard

My expectation is/was that Rachel Notley might become a new leader but that she deserves/d a chance to grow on the job. She was first elected in 2008. Given her last name, this may just be people letting their hopes get ahead of them. I haven't heard of any plans or desires to remove Brian as leader.

Howard

Lou, I get the vibe that Albertans pay a lot more attention to the issues in local races, maybe this is why left-of-centre candidates do so much better in these contests. Also, it is one level of government where the left-of-centre candidates have an easier time competing on the campaign spending front and they don't have to contend with the almighty conservative "brand." Seems like an avenue to pursue in the future: build a pipeline, move candidates into municipal roles, two years or more later have them take a shot at a/the provincial seat...something like that.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

So Howard in your scenario who is holding the puppet strings?  Who does the picking for the pipeline and moving along?  You seem to be advocating for a very top down system.  

I much prefer the idea that people join riding associations and nominate the candidate that the local members think best represents what they believe to be the priorities.  The best way to build a left wing party is by giving people the opportunity to have their voices heard.  Often times a good municipal politician makes an excellent candidate but not necesarily better than the person who has been running the most effective womans organization in the community.  Seems to me that only the locals themselves deserve to have a say since they know the people involved and it is them that the succesful candidate is supposed to represent. Lets not forget that our system elects parliamentarians to representative all the people in a riding and I think that the more open and democratic the process is the better the quality of candidates across the board for all parties.

Howard

Northern Shoveler wrote:

I much prefer the idea that people join riding associations and nominate the candidate that the local members think best represents what they believe to be the priorities.  The best way to build a left wing party is by giving people the opportunity to have their voices heard.  Often times a good municipal politician makes an excellent candidate but not necesarily better than the person who has been running the most effective womans organization in the community.  Seems to me that only the locals themselves deserve to have a say since they know the people involved and it is them that the succesful candidate is supposed to represent. Lets not forget that our system elects parliamentarians to representative all the people in a riding and I think that the more open and democratic the process is the better the quality of candidates across the board for all parties.

Sounds good to me. If not, I don't have a problem with candidate development either.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Howard wrote:

Sounds good to me. If not, I don't have a problem with candidate development either.

I agree with candidate development but again it must be as open as possible.  Too many gatekeepers turn good ideas into bad outcomes.  Periodic seminars and things like that open to all members would be great.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

It's been quite a ride in the 19 days since Alison Redford was elected leader of the Alberta Conservative party.

While she was elected on a quasi-progressive platform promising a lot of change, her actions so far are worthy of the best old-boy, Conservative ward boss:

  • She appointed a Chief of Staff who walked away from $600,000 in business debts, including big debts to public institutions like the University of Calgary.
  • She picked a cabinet with Ron Leipert as Finance Minister, Tom Lukasiuk as Education Minister, and Ted Morton as Energy Minister - three of the most Conservative, old boy characters from the Stelmach days. The new cabinet of 20 includes only two women (other than Redford) four fewer than Stelmach's last group.
  • After trashing Gary Mar in the PC Leadership race, and promising big changes, she appointed Mar to a cushy $257,000/year newly created job as some kind of Alberta ambassador to 'Asia'.
  • It's been revealed that the government relies on homeless shelters to house some of it's foster children, rather than work to create proper settings for them.  The shelter they use frequently turns kids away due to space, meaning homeless youth in the government's care are sleeping on the streets.  The government defended this practice.
  • Redford refused to lift a finger when it was revealed that an oil sands company had fired 200 union workers, replacing them with cheaper, temporary foreign workers.
  • CBC revealed that the PCs are accepting political donations from Municipal governments.  One local PC Treasurer, who is also the Town Manager of St. Paul, Alberta - sent emails to all municipal employees urging them to join the PC party to support the local MLA.  The Local MLA signed up more members in the PC Leadership race than any other riding, and on the final ballot he supported, you guessed it, Alison Redford.  No consequences to any Conservative, the funds have not even been returned.

Edited to add one I forgot:

  • After promising fixed election dates during the PC Leadership race, Redford has refused to commit to set dates before the next election.

David Young

With this year's census, is Alberta due for riding boundary changes?

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

David,

The boundaries have been changed. The new boundaries will be in effect when the election is called.

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