Calgary-Centre federal by-election

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NorthReport
Calgary-Centre federal by-election

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NorthReport

Obviously disenchanted with Harper.

Calgary MP Lee Richardson announces retirement

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2012/05/30/pol-lee-richardso...

Sean in Ottawa

Where is there any clue as to motivation?

NorthReport

He just got re-elected. Why would he have run if he was planning on quiting?  

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Where is there any clue as to motivation?

Stockholm

To be fair, when Richardson ran for re-election a year ago he could not have known that Allison Redford would win the PC leadership, win the Alberta election and offer him the job of being her principal secretary.

NorthReport

I would surmise if he was put in Cabinet he would not be doing this. 

Sean in Ottawa

Ok so you could say it was not planned long ago.

There could be many reasons -- including some personal for not wanting to do the long commute to Ottawa and take a local gig.

I think we should not be making assumptions without anything to rest them on.

You could observe that it is interesting that he is going to work for Redford-- and there could be interesting explanations for that too-- some being a fall out with Harper and others being help to mend fences with Redford....

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

I would surmise if he was put in Cabinet he would not be doing this. 

Again that is a guess but hardly based on evidence. If there is some personal reason behind it then he could well quit cabinet and then you might be claiming some huge cabinet rift...

nicky

Not that we should get our hopes up but Calgary C is one of the weakest Con ridings in Alberta. It voted for Joe Clark over the Can Alliance and the the  Con /  Alliance / Reform candidate has generally polled 55% or less.

NorthReport

This is politcs Sean, but you go on believing everything you read in the msp. Wink

---------------------------------

Tks nicky - the NDP definitely could come 2nd here at least, but should always run to win.

- from Punditsguilde.ca

 
ElecPartyVotes %Vot%ElecCandidateIncPrevGResidenceOccupation2011 GE   Cons 28,401 57.7% 31.7% RICHARDSON, Leex yM Calgary, Alta.Parliamentarian Lib 8,631 17.5% 9.6% POLLOCK, Jennifer yF Calgary, Alta.Lawyer NDP 7,314 14.9% 8.2% MONTGOMERY, Donna F Edmonton, Alta.Educational Assistant Grn 4,889 9.9% 5.5% HAMILTON, William M Calgary, Alta.Communications Consultant NV 39,826  44.5% Non-Voters     2008 GE   Cons 26,085 55.6% 29.4% RICHARDSON, Leex yM Calgary, Alta.Businessman Lib 8,402 17.9% 9.5% KIM, Heesung yF Calgary, Alta.Architect Grn 7,778 16.6% 8.8% ODD, Natalie F Calgary, Alta.Executive Director, Non-Profit Organization NDP 4,229 9.0% 4.8% KINCH, Tyler M Calgary, Alta.Freelance Graphic Designer Ind 420 0.9% 0.5% GROCHOWSKI, Antony (Tony) M Calgary, Alta.Architecte NV 41,535  46.8% Non-Voters     2006 GE   Cons 30,213 55.4% 34.2% RICHARDSON, Leex yM Calgary, Alta.Businessman Lib 10,464 19.2% 11.8% KIM, Heesung F Calgary, Alta.Architect NDP 7,227 13.3% 8.2% PINCOTT, Brian yM Calgary, Alta.Production Manager Grn 6,372 11.7% 7.2% JOHNSON, John N. M Calgary, Alta.Engineering Designer CAP 250 0.5% 0.3% GROVER, Trevor yM Calgary, Alta.Instructor NV 33,554  38.0% Non-Voters     2004 GE   Cons 26,192 51.2% 29.3% RICHARDSON, Lee M Calgary, AltaBusiness Person Lib 15,305 29.9% 17.1% TURNBULL, Julia F Calgary, AltaLawyer Grn 5,080 9.9% 5.7% LIESEMER, Phillip K. M Calgary, AltaFront of House Manager NDP 4,350 8.5% 4.9% PURDY, Keith M Calgary, AltaLabourer CAP 274 0.5% 0.3% GROVER, Trevor M Calgary, AltaInstructor NV 37,931  42.5% Non-Voters     2000 Tr   CA 23,076 44.9% 24.8%    PC 18,510 36.0% 19.9%    Lib 6,790 13.2% 7.3%    NDP 1,767 3.4% 1.9%    Oth 1,278 2.5% 1.4%    NV 41,725  44.8% Non-Voters

finois finois's picture

nicky wrote:

Not that we should get our hopes up but Calgary C is one of the weakest Con ridings in Alberta. It voted for Joe Clark over the Can Alliance and the the  Con /  Alliance / Reform candidate has generally polled 55% or less.

Okay, i keep praying and predicting we will have an election before 2015. Some reason will present itself!!

Maybe now 2 CONS gone with probable byelections in the last month.

Geez at this rate they will be in minority sooner than even i thought possible.

The Cons are a large group of opportunists who will bail ship at any fair offer. Look for more to come if the polls continue to move favorably and the smell on this government affects Canadian's abilities to fall asleeep at night.

 

Stockholm

Calgary Centre is also the riding in calgary with by far the lowest average income - but its still probably going to be a fight for second place (in 2008 the Greens actually got 16% of the vote there). Keep in mind that even if Tom Mulcair's focus on the oil sands and "Dutch Disease" etc...proves to be wildly successful politically across Canada - Calgary is one place where its probably counter productive given how that city is such an oil industry town.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

For what it's worth, the nominated NDP candidate in Calgary Centre backed out of the race after the writ was issued.  No other local activist could be found, and we nominated a resident of Edmonton who would not do media interviews.  The media had a field day with it.  The fact we still managed 15% of the vote is a small miracle. 

I don't know if the NDP can put up a better campaign in a by-election or not, but there has to be potential for improvement.

NorthReport

Are these the current seat numbers for the House of Commons?

Cons - 164 seats

NDP - 101 seats

Libs - 35 seats

Bloc - 4 seats

Grn - 1 seat

Ind - 1 seat

Vacant - 2 seats

Total - 308 seats

Less Cons Speaker - 1 seat

Total  - 307 seats

Required for majority - 50% of 307 = 154 + Speaker = 155 seats

Cons 164 - 155 = 9 seat majority

So if the Cons were to lose the next 2 by-elections, and 5 more seats, they would lose their majority.

No kidding the Cons are appealng the Etobicoke Centre decision.

Sounds like the NDP should be talking to a few more disenchanted Cons backbenchers. 

 

janfromthebruce

Lou, I sure hope that the NDP is beating the bushes in that riding, and more importantly, the local riding association is doing the same thing. Time is of the essence here. Go orange team.

Mr.Tea

I hear Ezra Levant wants to run for the Tories....

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Nicky:

At the risk of killing the buzz, please be aware that Calgary Centre (despite the name) is quite different than pre-2003 redistribution riding. The riding Clark in 2000 won included a large swath on the north side of the Bow River in is what is now Calgary Centre North - including the majority of provincial riding of Calgary Mountainview (which was held by the ANDP from 1986-1993 and by the provincial Liberals since 2004) -- the loss of that concentration of non-Tory/Con votes has to be kept in mind.

It should also be remembered that when Clark took the seat against Reform/Alliance's Eric Lowther, it was in the face of widespread loathing of Lowther and can largely be attributed to a strategic voting campaign (organized by the "Liberals for Clark" and with at least some cooperation from the local New Democrats who ran a largely "name on the ballot" campaign (and got a historic low of just under 3% of the vote)).

Since being elected as MP for the riding in 2004 Richardson has always garnered more than half the vote (57% in the last election -- he was previously a PC MP under Mulroney, but a different riding, Calgary Southeast). Unless there is a perfect storm (oh, say the Cons putting Ezra Levant forward as their candidate and one of the three contenders (Liberal, NDP and Green... this riding has always for some time featured one of the highest Green party votes nationwide) convincing the others to "stand down", I doubt very much that there is a major upset on the horizon. I wish there was, but I really don't see it happening.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr.Tea wrote:

I hear Ezra Levant wants to run for the Tories....

Mr. Tea, I was composing my post at about the same time you were submitting yours...

I kind of like the thought though, one of the necessary conditions of defeating the Cons in Calgary Centre is them putting someone like Ezra front and center as their poster child.

Stockholm

I agree that Calgary Centre is a long shot for the NDP - to say the least, but if you look at the demographics of the riding in terms of average income and including the bohemian/gay village and being an inner city riding and having a lot of recent emigres from other parts of Canada - if this riding were in any other major city in Canada it would either be a safe NDP seat or be a top-tier target. The vote could certainly be higher than the 15% from the last election.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Jesus, bagkitty, did you have to post that photo??? Now I'll have nightmares. Cry

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Stockholm:

I am fascinated by your reference to a bohemian/gay village in Calgary. I am also fascinated by unicorns. The lack of hard evidence seems to tip the scales in favour of an assertion (which I am quite bold enough to make) that neither really exists.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Boom Boom

Hey, if Maysie can post photos of Harper groping a defenceless kitten, then surely I can post one of Ezra preparing to either spew or foam. Or is this one of the double standard things?

*waves to Maysie*

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

All is forgiven. Laughing

adma

Stockholm wrote:

I agree that Calgary Centre is a long shot for the NDP - to say the least, but if you look at the demographics of the riding in terms of average income and including the bohemian/gay village and being an inner city riding and having a lot of recent emigres from other parts of Canada - if this riding were in any other major city in Canada it would either be a safe NDP seat or be a top-tier target. The vote could certainly be higher than the 15% from the last election.

But as such, it could just as well be a *Liberal* target--that is, if they're up to targeting "Nenshi progressives"...

Stockholm

bagkitty wrote:

@Stockholm:

I am fascinated by your reference to a bohemian/gay village in Calgary. I am also fascinated by unicorns. The lack of hard evidence seems to tip the scales in favour of an assertion (which I am quite bold enough to make) that neither really exists.

 

I guess you haven't checked oput ther strip along 14th St. in Calgary.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I'll try to break it to you gently Stockholm, but the existence of two "adult" bookstores within three blocks of each other does not a gay village make (even if one of them is a branch of Priape).  Nor do a couple of gay owned businesses with rainbow flag decals in their windows. Perhaps you can take this up with the GayCalgary.com contributor Evan Kayne who opens his article Whither the Gayborhood by writing:

Quote:
In both Calgary and Edmonton, people lament the lack of a centralized gay neighborhood like what Toronto has.

Being a "born and raised" Calgarian, and having been out of the closet since about 1980 I am going to go out on a limb and once again assert that Calgary doesn't have a gay village. Having lived and/or worked in both Montreal and Toronto (coincidentally, in or near the gay villages in both these cities, lucky me) I am more than confident in asserting the non-existence of anything faintly resembling a centralized gay community here in cowtown.

[ETA: oh, and as a Calgarian, I drive along 14th Street, and apart from Chicken On the Way, there is very little reason to come to a complete stop for anything other than a traffic light]

 

Stockholm

I agree that it's not much, but to the extent that there is a slightly "bohemian" area of Clagry it's in Calgary Centre. Isn't it fair to say that the area just south of the downtown core is the closest thing in Calgary to the Dtrathcona area of Edmonton?

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

This is politcs Sean, but you go on believing everything you read in the msp. Wink

---------------------------------

I find this rather rude as it implies that I believe everything I read while you think for yourself.

That kind of insult is the refuge of a person with no facts.

This riding is one the Cons are not afraid of losing so it would not be a big deal for the government for someone to go.

The guy got a great job that very likely will pay better than an MP's salary and it is much closer to home.

He was deputy chief of staff to Mulroney before he ran and previously a chief of staff to former premier Lougheed. Clearly he likes that kind of work and is good at it.

On top of this he is a widower with three kids with huge attachments to Calgary.

It is just ridiculous to say that you know just because he resigned that this is due to being ticked at Harper.

In fact he may be charged with repairing the relationship between Harper and the Alberta Premier and have the blessing of both sides.

Insult me all you want-- you need evidence or what you are saying is all made up.

I am not saying you are necessarily wrong in your guess but you are wrong in passing off your guess as a fact-- especially when there are more -- and frankly more likely explanations.

And consider this: now that Redford has won-- I think it is unlikely she would pick a person having a dispute with Harper as her chief of staff-- it would be more savvy for her to mend fences and pick someone close to Harper and build some bridges.

And the idea that Redford is some kind of progressive is also a joke. She is likely quite friendly to Harper's thinking and likely to do her best to mend fences after their little spat.

And yes, I know what politics is and know something about it too. Thanks for asking.

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

File under Gay 101.

I would suggest that one of the distinguishing characteristics of any so-called "gay village" is the existence of public or publicly accessible common areas (as opposed to strictly commercial spaces) where gay people might actually be disposed to congregate. Those a little older will probably recognize the steps outside of the Second Cup coffee franchise in the Church/Wellesley village in Toronto (celebrated by the Kids In The Hall sketches The Steps -- although from what I can discover they were "remodelled" to keep troublesome elements away in 2003) as one, or Parc de l'Espoir in Montreal (on Ste-Catherine at Panet just east of metro Beaudry) as another. Calgary, quite simply, doesn't have such a location.

On a side note, this is not necessarily an indication of public hostility by Calgarians, Calgary has almost no public spaces for anyone. Given the city's propensity to manage anything resembling a public space in a decidely Prussian style, congregating for anything other than rigorously choreographed "official activites and/or events" is actively discouraged.

Aristotleded24

Before we write off chances for the NDP to take this riding, let's turn back the clock 5 years:

It's 2007, and the Liberal stronghold of Outrement in Montreal has just become vacant. Now, the NDP has no chance here. After all, the NDP placed third with 17% of the vote. Additionally, there's no history of the NDP actually winning in Quebec (save for Phil Edmundston in 1990) so it's very unlikely that the NDP could actually win, even with a big name such as former Quebec Cabinet Minister Thomas Mulcair.

seeseagee

And the thing to emphasize here (or one of the things) is that Mulcair was a star candidate, in-both / of-both profile and substance.  As much as the politics of personality is less than ideal, in breaking in to new territory, a known quantity equals legitimacy equals a much better (less than virtually impossible) shot at things.

I know Calgary hardly at all. I'm sure there are more than a few possible 'star' candidates.  

But one name I'd like to mention, who if I were to hear that he'd thrown his name in, I'd be surprised, but I'd also think 'yeah, that fits', is the author/journalist Chris Turner. He used to be a favourite writer of mine about a decade ago when he used to write for the late great culture+technology magazine Shift. And back then, he wrote a piece, (which I can't track down right now), where he described how he took out a membership card for a political party for the first and only time in order to vote for Jack Layton for party leader back in 2003, because this was (as I recall it) the first time he'd felt that there was a politics beyond cynicism actually being manifest and that he could be a part of. And in the meantime, he's written a book on The Simpsons and two on, I suppose, we could call it something like politics+ecology+hope (The Geography of Hope and The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy). And finally -- as I've apparently been benignly stalking him for some time now -- his recent Walrus piece "Calgary Reconsidered" indicates that a) he's perhaps becoming something of a Calgary public intellectual, and b) he and his wife bought a house 'in one of Calgary's olderst neighbourhoods in 2003' ... which I'm assuming would be in Calgary Centre (and assuming he still lives in the same house). 

So, to sum: I think Chris Turner would be a great and electable candidate in Calgary Centre. There may be a few others out there who would fit those two criteria right now; but, of course, not many. Imagine, though, if, on the heels of Mulcair's 'taking on the West' Calgary would reciprocate by sending an NDP MP to Ottawa? That's what needs to be aimed for.  

JeffWells

I hope the NDP run hard for this one, regardless of how unlikely victory may be. A strong candidate and campaign will be good counters to the incessant "writing off the West" talk. Add the right mix of Conservative apathy and weak opponents, plus maybe some Reformist sentiment to send a message of displeasure that won't cost Harper his majority, and it could be an interesting night. And stranger things really have happened.

 

seeseagee

(and btw, that's my typo concerning one of Calgary's 'olderst' neighbourhoods, of course, not his/theirs. sorry.)

6079_Smith_W

Mr.Tea wrote:

I hear Ezra Levant wants to run for the Tories....

OMG... Parliamentary immunity? He'll be insufferable.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@Jeff Wells:

As to the running hard, I totally agree with you. And I am certain that when a candidate is selected, she will do just that. Would be nice to see a little financial support coming from the national office too... it would be a first for this riding. It has been made abundantly clear in general elections in the past that this is not a "priority" riding -- but perhaps with the focus that is put on byelections, the purse strings might loosen up a little.

@seeseagee:

You would have to be a little more precise about what district you were referring to. Calgary's oldest neighbourhoods are the adjacent Inglewood/Ramsay. Inglewood is in Calgary East, Ramsay in Centre. (both are immediately to the east of the Elbow River and South of the Bow River, but the people who draw the boundaries have some fascination with railway tracks... which is all that divides the two neighbourhoods)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Mr.Tea wrote:

I hear Ezra Levant wants to run for the Tories....

OMG... Parliamentary immunity? He'll be insufferable.

If Levant DID get the Harpercrite nomination in Calgary Centre, that would be just about the ONLY situation in which I'd join those who advocated a strategic voting agreement for the bye-election-the agreement could be that there'd be say, a "Calgary United Against Hate" candidate who'd sit with neither the Liberals nor the NDP if elected but as an independent, and then stand down at the next election(unless Ezra decided to take another shot at the riding, of course).

JeffWells

I think Ezra would do less damage to the country if he were elected. Harper wouldn't permit him to say anything.

adma

Ezra vs Anders: your pick.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

Jeff,

I agree that a strong candidate and a strong campaign are important to counter the "writing off the west" story-line.  I would also think it would be important to reinforce the anti-Tory champion label we are securing through most of the country.  If we have made it clear that we will have no truck or trade with the Liberals then we had best surplant them as fully and completely as possible.

In Edmonton, Linda Duncan's win and the fading memory of Anne McLellan's rainbow coalition in Edmonton-Centre has helped transform the NDP into the default anti-Tory choice.  Calgary is still far less fertile ground for us and as a result the Liberals and the Greens have had a greater chance at being the perceived alternative than we have.  I agree a "star" may be what is needed to jar that perception in Calgary and further cement it throughout Alberta.

While we are not going to "sweep" Alberta, there are winnable seats here - beyond just Edmonton - but it will take time and effort.  More importantly, pinpricks of light in the Conservative blackout are important for their effect beyond Alberta.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think it's good from a PR perspective to have the NDP run really hard in every byelection including seats it doesn't have a likelihood of winning.  And, who knows - miracles do happen, occasionally. Smile

JeffWells

Steve_Shutt wrote:
More importantly, pinpricks of light in the Conservative blackout are important for their effect beyond Alberta.

I like that a lot.

As for the Conservatives, apparently Ezra's not interested. Calgary alderman John Mar is interested.

http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2012/05/31/when-you-dreamed-of-nhl-stardo...

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

adma wrote:

Ezra vs Anders: your pick.

Can we stipulate that they should fight it out? And Tina Turner (in her chainmail dress) adjudicates the bout?

Sean in Ottawa

Boom Boom wrote:

I think it's good from a PR perspective to have the NDP run really hard in every byelection including seats it doesn't have a likelihood of winning.  And, who knows - miracles do happen, occasionally. Smile

Exactly-- that is what the official opposition should do-- a third party with more limited resources picks its battles but the main contender must fight them all.

As I said before in the Etobicoke thread-- better to not run than run a weak campaign. They need to know they defend from us in every riding and they have to spend money in those ridings to do so. If we leave them alone they will spend little in those ridings and move the money to fight us in ridings we are stronger in.

PoliSciStudent

The Liberals have done okay in this riding on occasion, if they and the NDP run strong campaigns here then the Conservatives should easily win.

 

While I didn't agree with the idea it would be interesting to see how Cullen's cooperation plan could have worked in a riding like this.

adma

Boom Boom wrote:

I think it's good from a PR perspective to have the NDP run really hard in every byelection including seats it doesn't have a likelihood of winning.  And, who knows - miracles do happen, occasionally. Smile

Come to think of it, the classic local case was the Calgary SW byelection through which Harper reentered Parliament in 2002--while the Grits and PCs didn't offer candidates "out of courtesy", the NDP ran the Rev. Bill Phipps and got good press and over 20% of the vote...

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

I saw a tweet earlier today from Karl Belanger suggesting that former Jack Layton Chief of Staff and former Party President, Anne McGrath, was headed to her hometown of Calgary for meetings.  Pundits' Guide retweeted it with the hashtags #byelxn41? and #yycCntr to help make the connection.  Thoughts?

Policywonk

Steve_Shutt wrote:

In Edmonton, Linda Duncan's win and the fading memory of Anne McLellan's rainbow coalition in Edmonton-Centre has helped transform the NDP into the default anti-Tory choice.  Calgary is still far less fertile ground for us and as a result the Liberals and the Greens have had a greater chance at being the perceived alternative than we have.  I agree a "star" may be what is needed to jar that perception in Calgary and further cement it throughout Alberta.

Wins. Linda has one twice, the second in convincing fashion.

Policywonk

PoliSciStudent wrote:

The Liberals have done okay in this riding on occasion, if they and the NDP run strong campaigns here then the Conservatives should easily win.

 

While I didn't agree with the idea it would be interesting to see how Cullen's cooperation plan could have worked in a riding like this.

The 2002 Calgary SW by-election gives a good idea. Not well enough to win, at best.

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

Policywonk wrote:

Steve_Shutt wrote:

In Edmonton, Linda Duncan's win and the fading memory of Anne McLellan's rainbow coalition in Edmonton-Centre has helped transform the NDP into the default anti-Tory choice.  Calgary is still far less fertile ground for us and as a result the Liberals and the Greens have had a greater chance at being the perceived alternative than we have.  I agree a "star" may be what is needed to jar that perception in Calgary and further cement it throughout Alberta.

Wins. Linda has one twice, the second in convincing fashion.

Absolutely - Wins!  But that first win , coupled with McLellan's loss in the preceeding election, was the key one in terms of changing the conversation in the city as to who the anti-conservative party was.  Though Duncan first loss, in the 2006 election, may have actually been the tipping point in the riding as she clearly demonstrated that she could beat Jaffer by coming a close second and well ahead of the Liberal.

Policywonk

Steve_Shutt wrote:

Policywonk wrote:

Steve_Shutt wrote:

In Edmonton, Linda Duncan's win and the fading memory of Anne McLellan's rainbow coalition in Edmonton-Centre has helped transform the NDP into the default anti-Tory choice.  Calgary is still far less fertile ground for us and as a result the Liberals and the Greens have had a greater chance at being the perceived alternative than we have.  I agree a "star" may be what is needed to jar that perception in Calgary and further cement it throughout Alberta.

Wins. Linda has one twice, the second in convincing fashion.

Absolutely - Wins!  But that first win , coupled with McLellan's loss in the preceeding election, was the key one in terms of changing the conversation in the city as to who the anti-conservative party was.  Though Duncan first loss, in the 2006 election, may have actually been the tipping point in the riding as she clearly demonstrated that she could beat Jaffer by coming a close second and well ahead of the Liberal.

Agreed.

David Young

As with the (hopefully) coming Etobicoke Centre by-election, the NDP may not win either riding, but should they do well enough to come in second in ridings where they've never come close to that level of success before, it would be a signal of growing strength that would convince those who have not considered voting NDP in the past to consider doing so in other ridings where it would be possible to take down a sitting Conservative M.P.

And did I read correctly somewhere that Anne McGrath, ex-NDP President and Jack's former Chief-of-Staff is from Alberta?

I wonder if she would consider being the candidate in Calgary Centre!!!

 

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