Calgary-Centre federal by-election

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adma

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

Still: that was a no-hope circumstance vs Harper (and following Preston Manning, yet); and also, to compare Calgary SW to Calgary Centre is like comparing Etobicoke Centre to Toronto Centre, relatively speaking.

And of course, remember that Joe Clark's 2000 victory was something of a Cullen co-operation circumstance--even if the PC brand and a national leader was more "saleable" than a radical-reverend New Democrat.  (IOW if the NDP were to repeat something of that circumstance, its Calgary Centre candidate would be--with more of a "parachute" stigma than Joe Clark--Brian Topp.)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It would have been great if somebody had formed an all-female band named "Butt-Slapping Men".  They could tour with the Barenaked Ladies.

David Young

felixr wrote:

NDPers have had success winning seats on Calgary city council, the best documented case being that of Bob Hawkesworth. There is also Brian Pincott, if I am not mistaken, and probably others but I am not a keen Calgary politics follower. Some of the provincial Libs are also by varying degrees probably NDPers, like David Swann (a former NDPer)!

Is Bob Hawkesworth still on city council?  I know that he served two terms as an NDP M.L.A. in Calgary from 1986-1993, so he would seem to me to be a high-profile candidate if he wanted to try for the Calgary Centre nomination.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

No, Bob is no longer on council. He put his name forward for mayor in the 2010 election, and under the electoral rules in place, he could not run for both the mayor's job and his ward seat. In that contest he placed fifth, with less than one half of one percent of the total vote.

Stockholm

Didn't Hawkesworth drop out of the Calgary mayoral race and endorse someone elose a week or two before election day?

felixr

Hawkesworth endorsed Higgins.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

For the benefit of non-Calgarians, why did he prefer Higgins to Nenshi?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Ken:

For the first 3/4 of the campaign, the race was being described as between Higgins and Ric McIvor (aka. Dr. No). Most of the pundits were giving the edge to McIvor. When Hawkesworth went over, it was widely perceived more of an anti-McIvor move than a ringing endorsement of Barb Higgins. He would not have gone over to Nenshi on the basis of his strong opposition to the airport tunnel. Higgins actually was cautiously in support of the tunnel, but Nenshi was perceived as its main proponent.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Thanks for the background, bagkitty.

If you had to place both Higgins and Nenshi on the political spectrum, where would you place each of them?

Also, is it likely or not likely that Nenshi will be re-elected?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I would be hard pressed to place Higgins on any spectrum. She used to anchor the local CTV newscast - I have always worked on the assumption that she was a pretty mainline PC. Nothing in her campaign (as opposed to McIvor who was on the right even by Alberta standards) would suggest she was anything else, her candidacy was pretty much a surprise and she can't really be characterized as having any deep political roots.

Nenshi is also hard to peg on the conventional spectrum, he is basically a technocrat - if you will, a bit of a policy wonk who would do well in just about any urban studies program - he lives and breathes municipal government policy. His primary virtue is that he has a very real commitment to taking democracy seriously. When he consults, it is not just a PR move. Oh, that and he speaks his mind without rancour... watching him take the chief of police to task for interfering in the election was a thing of beauty. It is my opinion that, unless something very strange occurs (some totally unforeseeable scandal or the like), he will be easily re-elected. There is a certain level of crank animosity towards him (think Globe and Mail comments pages level criticism), but otherwise when the topic comes up, I haven't really heard anyone speak disapprovingly of him (quite unlike his predecessors, esp. Bronconnier, who were quite widely despised).

Wilf Day

Steve_Shutt wrote:

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?

That would be awesome, eh?

felixr

NDPers have had success winning seats on Calgary city council, the best documented case being that of Bob Hawkesworth. There is also Brian Pincott, if I am not mistaken, and probably others but I am not a keen Calgary politics follower. Some of the provincial Libs are also by varying degrees probably NDPers, like David Swann (a former NDPer?)

Anne McGrath has the interesting backstory of her time as an Communist activist in Edmonton. She ran under the Communist banner in 1984 (Orwell would be proud) on a platform of throwing out the "butt-slapping men" in the Canadian Parliament. I once read on babble that she then became a Liberal (cannot confirm) before joining the NDP.

Brachina

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2012/06/lee-richardson-albe...

I find it funny the this former member of the Harper government might have better relations with the NDP then his own party. In any other semi sane Tory government this guy would have been obvious cabinate material with his experience, with Harper he's cast aside and spurned. No wonder he bailed for Redford.

In other news sadly Ezra will not be running for office, possible,because that would possibly involve accountablity, something that jackass would hate. Still hope lives for some sort of wildrose, PC civil war. i hope runs with a serious war chest.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Well they turned over the rock and the first Con candidate has wriggled out into the light of day.... "politcal pundit" (Con apologist) Joan Crockett will be seeking the nomination. I believe her high water mark was being one of the apologists who morphed into a cheerleader over the scrapping of the compulsory long form census... as I remember, most of the rest were suspiciously silent.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Note to Tories, pick a hardliner in Calgary-Centre and you'll lose - Calgary Herald

Quote:

Centre isn’t just centrist, but increasingly leftist. It’s as left as any riding in Alberta, including Edmonton Strathcona.

If the Conservatives pick an ideological hardliner, and the left comes up with a strong candidate, the unthinkable might happen.

And, yes, it could even be a New Democrat.

Federal Leader Thomas Mulcair’s views on the oilsands and the economy have an attentive following among inner-city youths and even younger professionals.

These Calgarians are not unanimous in their hosannas for the industry, or the conspicuous wealth of its direct beneficiaries.

Resentment is downright bitter among the inner-city homeless and jobless.

Sean in Ottawa

Alberta is not a monolith. Duncan might not be the only proof of that next year.

Brachina

Can you imagine the NDP winning a Calagry riding? It'd be a wood stake through Harper's dead heart.

felixr

The NDP winning in Calgary Centre would be a political earthquake. It would put the party in a media market where it has been almost entirely missing.

David Young

Can anyone tell me if Bob Hawkesworth's provincial riding or the municipal Ward he represented are parts of Calgary Centre?

Would he be seen as a qualified candidate for the federal nomination?

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Bob represented Calgary Mountainview when he was an MLA, and Ward 4 as Alderman (later Councillor).  While Calgary municipal wards are nearly twice the size of provincial constituencies (the city has 25 MLAs, but only 14 members of City Council [plus the mayor]), in both cases the areas (inner city directly north of downtown) represented by Bob were entirely north of the Bow River and hence completely outside of the boundaries of Calgary Centre as it is currently constituted. The areas he has represented fall into the boundaries of Calgary Centre-North - a separate riding. However, Calgary Centre-North has only been in existence since 2004, prior to that, Mountainview was almost totally within the boundaries of the historic Calgary Centre riding which spanned the Bow River (and the northern boundary was [roughly] along 16th Ave [the TransCanada highway]).

As to whether he would be a qualified candidate... sure, if they riding association selected him... there is no requirement that the candidate reside within the boundaries of the riding.

 

Wilf Day

David Young wrote:

Can anyone tell me if Bob Hawkesworth's provincial riding or the municipal Ward he represented are parts of Calgary Centre?

Would he be seen as a qualified candidate for the federal nomination?

Eminently qualified:

Quote:
He served for three years as President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (2004-2007).

Bob has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts Degree in Resources and the Environment from the University of Calgary.

He has established a consultancy practice through which he is currently coordinating the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre in Alberta.

Bob has served 10 terms in elected office as an Alderman in Calgary for Wards 3 and 4 and as an MLA in the Alberta Legislature for Calgary Mountain View. Bob's accomplishments over the years have been recognized with a number of awards. In 1999 he received the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Award of Excellence for outstanding service to municipal government in Alberta and in 2008, a special Life Membership. In 2005, Alberta Venture Magazine named Bob one of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People.

Born in 1951, about 61 now. Too old? As Bob Rae would say, "bull-shit."

David Young

Wilf Day wrote:

David Young wrote:

Can anyone tell me if Bob Hawkesworth's provincial riding or the municipal Ward he represented are parts of Calgary Centre?

Would he be seen as a qualified candidate for the federal nomination?

Eminently qualified:

Quote:
He served for three years as President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (2004-2007).

Bob has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts Degree in Resources and the Environment from the University of Calgary.

He has established a consultancy practice through which he is currently coordinating the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre in Alberta.

Bob has served 10 terms in elected office as an Alderman in Calgary for Wards 3 and 4 and as an MLA in the Alberta Legislature for Calgary Mountain View. Bob's accomplishments over the years have been recognized with a number of awards. In 1999 he received the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Award of Excellence for outstanding service to municipal government in Alberta and in 2008, a special Life Membership. In 2005, Alberta Venture Magazine named Bob one of Alberta's 50 Most Influential People.

Born in 1951, about 61 now. Too old? As Bob Rae would say, "bull-shit."

Well said, Wilf!

The more I hear about Hawkesworth, the more I hope he will consider seeking the NDP nomination when the by-election is called.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just got this: it would be amazing if the NDP win this.

 

My Fellow New Democrat,

Stephen Harper thinks he's been getting away with ignoring Canadians and forcing through his reckless agenda. And he expects to be handed an easy win when he calls a by-election in Calgary-Centre.

But I was in Calgary last week and let me tell you - he's wrong.

The people of Calgary are standing with Canadians from coast to coast and speaking out against Stephen Harper's reckless agenda. Now, more Albertans than ever are uniting behind our New Democrat team.

Stephen Harper's riding is right next door to Calgary-Centre. And the last thing he wants is a New Democrat in his backyard.

Let's take the fight to Stephen Harper's home turf. Help New Democrats run a strong campaign in Calgary-Centre by making a donation today.

It won't be easy, but I know this is a riding we can win. So we need to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as this important by-election is called.

That's why I'm asking for your help today. Your donation of $25, $50, $100 - or whatever you can afford - will help send Stephen Harper a message he can't ignore.

A victory in Calgary-Centre will put us one step closer to defeating Stephen Harper.

Be a part of it,

Tom Mulcair
Leader
Canada's New Democrats

nicky

FWIW Tom certainly won the Stampede fashion reviews 

Steve_Shutt Steve_Shutt's picture

Very effective fundraising effort on the NDP's part to turn Mulcair's recent successful "into the lion's den" trip to Harper-land into a pitch letter - but as we have not (to my knowledge) pulled a candidate out from behind the curtain the goal here is to finish in a clear #2 position and reinforce the Tory-NDP two-party race dynamic.

love is free love is free's picture

^ yes.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I like this bit from the letter:

 

Stephen Harper's riding is right next door to Calgary-Centre. And the last thing he wants is a New Democrat in his backyard. Laughing

madmax

Maybe Elizabeth May won't run a candidate here either ;)

David Young

I've heard about several potential Con candidates, but has there been any buzz about Liberal/Green/NDP prospective candidates.

And while I keep mentioning Bob Hawkesworth as NDP candidate being wishful thinking, I still think he'd be a formidable opponent to anyone that gets the Con nom.

 

trasie trasie's picture

Bob Hawkesworth (and his supporters) alientated a lot of people while he was running for the mayor, though, especially through his harsh critiques of Nenshi's proposed airport tunnel project. (Full disclosure: I'm a Nenshi supporter but not a big tunnel fan.) He might have just too much baggage at this point to be a viable candidate.

trasie trasie's picture

David Young wrote:

I've heard about several potential Con candidates, but has there been any buzz about Liberal/Green/NDP prospective candidates.

And while I keep mentioning Bob Hawkesworth as NDP candidate being wishful thinking, I still think he'd be a formidable opponent to anyone that gets the Con nom.

 

It's expected that William Hamilton will run for the Greens again.

Beena Asher has announced that she wants to run for the Liberals, and there's a rumour going around that people are trying to recruit W. Brett Wilson for the Liberals.

trasie trasie's picture

Update for the Cons:

John Mar has dropped out of the race.

Joe Soares (former PMO Quebec advisor) has joined the race. Why, you may ask?

Joe believes that the biggest threat to Calgary's future and Canada's economy is Thomas Mulcair's NDP with its risky theories and dangerous economic experiments.

Joe believes that Mulcair's socialist high tax and spend anti-Alberta policies will destroy Canada and the people of Calgary-Centre need to send a clear message to the NDP! - Joe does not believe that this can be done with the current nomination candidates with their bland moderate policies.

And what is the reaction of Calgarians to this news?

@harpsyyc: @Vote4Joe Congratulations on your decision to run in #yyccentre. When are you moving here?

David Young

No word if 2011 NDP candidate Donna Montgomery wants to try for the nomination again?

 

PoliSciStudent

Has anyone announced their intentions to seek the NDP nomination yet? I guess it doesn't make a big difference who runs in the end, the CPC will win, but if the NDP don't get a good candidate nominated soon I think there's a chance that the party could finish behind both the Liberals and Greens. Though Harper usually waits late to call by-elections I think Calgary Centre and Durham will head to the polls in October or November.

felixr

The Conservative Party's "Wildrose" wing has nominated its favoured candidate Joan Crockett.

This means the other parties can make a play for the "middle" or "moderate" voters in the riding. Under past circumstances the Liberals might have a shot, but in their weakened state this should be a rubber stamp victory for the Conservative party.

Stockholm

When all is said and done Joan Crockatt may have backed Wildrose but she is far far from being some Canadian equivalent of Michele Bachmann or Sharron Angle - I don't know of her having ever expressed any "Todd Akin-like" outrageous views that are outside of the mainstream for a Conservative in Alberta

PoliSciStudent

felixr wrote:

The Conservative Party's "Wildrose" wing has nominated its favoured candidate Joan Crockett.

This means the other parties can make a play for the "middle" or "moderate" voters in the riding. Under past circumstances the Liberals might have a shot, but in their weakened state this should be a rubber stamp victory for the Conservative party.

The Liberals, NDP and Greens all have a bit of support in this riding which makes it hard for any of them to beat Crockatt. I'm not sure exactly what the deal with this person is but Steve Turner, someone who was supposedly a PC, wants to run for the Liberals. I think if opposition parties plugged their noses and voted for someone like him he coulld possibly win over the red Tories and moderate conservatives who Crockatt may alienate and have a shot, like Joe Clark did.

Stockholm wrote:

When all is said and done Joan Crockatt may have backed Wildrose but she is far far from being some Canadian equivalent of Michele Bachmann or Sharron Angle - I don't know of her having ever expressed any "Todd Akin-like" outrageous views that are outside of the mainstream for a Conservative in Alberta

She claims to be a fiscal conservative and a social moderate on her website, but that doesn't say much.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I loved the responses to this story on the CBC online -- a poster handled "rankinlad" summed things up beautifully:

Quote:
As former publisher of the Calgary Herald Joan Crockatt obviously has prior experience working for the Conservative Party. Her nomination was pay back for services rendered.

Is there anything else that really needs to be said?

knownothing knownothing's picture

So when will learn of the NDP nomination? Were we waiting for the Con candidate to be chosen to pick a more complimentary candidate?

Stockholm

I am just guessing that there may be one or two people who might have been considering running for the NDP (or Liberal) nomination but wanted to see first if the Tories would pick someone who would turn off a lot of moderates and create an opening. Now that the Tories have obliged, let the games begin!

felixr

Stockholm wrote:

I am just guessing that there may be one or two people who might have been considering running for the NDP (or Liberal) nomination but wanted to see first if the Tories would pick someone who would turn off a lot of moderates and create an opening. Now that the Tories have obliged, let the games begin!

I'm optimistic the NDP will field a much stronger candidate than usual. That being said, Mulcair really pissed off a lot of Albertans with his Dutch Disease and premiers comments. He needs to explain how the oil sands/oil patch can be a part of Canada's economic development. The message as currently communicated is not getting through, unless his plan all along was to start a war of words in which case he suceeded massively.

Sean in Ottawa

Mulcair may well use the byelection campaign to press his point home. I don't think he has lost the argument at this point.

adma

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Mulcair may well use the byelection campaign to press his point home. I don't think he has lost the argument at this point.

And remember, too: he came off very well in his Stampede appearance...

trasie trasie's picture

Chris Turner (author, co-founder of local civic initiative) declared his candidacy for the Green Party today. I was there and there was a lot of energy in the crowd.

Our local media is noting that the fight for Calgary Centre is "heating up" - and having seen that phrase several times in the past month, would be happy with any other to replace it.

The NDP have yet to announce any potential candidates. At Turner's launch today several people voiced their frustration with this, especially as Nathan Cullen had come out in July to get people excited/engaged about the riding.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's possible that the Mulcair & Co. assume they have no chance of actually winning the by-election, and are trying to set up a partial excuse for that by choosing a candidate as late in the game as they can.

felixr

Alberta Diary wrote:
Yet so far there is little but silence from the New Democratic Official Opposition and only a couple of decent but uninspiring local candidates put forward by the Liberals. There’s no sign of someone like Dave Bronconnier, former Liberal mayor of Calgary, Chima Nkemdirim, chief of staff to the current one, Olympian Mark Tewksbury, or such well regarded former NDP Calgary aldermen as Bob Hawkseworth of Joe Ceci. Former provincial Liberal leader David Swann, touted here as a possible NDP candidate, has said, Nop e, not me.

This is a good summary of some of the credible candidates the NDP could have run. I think that during the post-leadership honeymoon, Mulcair might have been able to land one of them and finish a respectable second if not had a run at first if turnout was low and the Tories really managed to bungle the nomination. Then there was the war of words about the oil sands, where much of Calgary Centre is probably sympathetic to the NDP position but not the way it was articulated, and hence nothing. Anyways, if the NDP wants to have a chance of making some modest gains in Alberta in the next federal election, they need a credible presence in Calgary. It is too big a media market (and too separate from Edmonton's) to ignore, and the province keeps growing in population and seats. Time for a do-over for/by Mulcair and the NDP.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture
Brachina

Thank heavens I was starting worried we'd have to buy a manniquin and give it the nominations. Which would be disaster because most Albertans would end up confusing it with thier own Tory MP, an understandable mistake.

felixr

Globe and Mail wrote:
“If you had a high-profile candidate with a good organization, Joan Crockatt is quite beatable in that riding, no question,” said Keith Brownsey, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary. “But the opposition parties never rise to the challenge. The opposition parties are riven with faction and stupidity and simply cannot get it together to challenge the Conservative Party machine.”

I'm not a fan of "cooperation" at least not in the way proposed by this article, but we are giving this riding to the Conservatoads for free. The Green candidate is already looking like the strongest one in the race! What does that say? Will the real opposition party please stand up?

David Young

Day 130 since Richardson's resignation.

Only 50 to go until Harper has to set the date.

Does anyone think this will happen before the end of 2012, or will he wait untill 2013?

 

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