Saturday, November 04, 2006

Jim Dinning Profile

Previous Profiles
Dave Hancock
Lyle Oberg
Mark Norris
Ted Morton
Ed Stelmach
Gary and Victor

Today, I finish up my series on the PC leadership candidates, to be followed up in the next day or two with an overall prediction of the race.

Jim Dinning

In 3 words or less: Think Paul Martin.

Jim on Emissions: Wants to set "aggressive targets" for reducing emissions in Alberta within 18 months. Wants tradeable emission permits and seems to put a big focus on researching new technologies to capture carbon. To his credit, Dinning seems to be the only candidate who even has an idea of what he wants to do here and he, along with Hancock, toped this environmental ranking.

Jim the unifier: Dinning went on to compare the Queen Elizabeth II Highway to a bar linking the two ends of a dumbbell: Edmonton and Calgary. He then quoted a rural resident he'd met, who'd said: "If only we could get those two dumbbells to listen to the rest of us, we would have a much better province."

Jim's War Chest: Reported to be well over 3 million dollars. Since he won't release the names of his donors, one wonders if a certain former Prime Minister has returned the favour and cut Jim a cheque.

Jim's Backers: Rod Love (think Karl Rove), pretty much the entire caucus.

Can He Win? It would take an act of God for him to lose this race but with church members being signed up en masse across the province, I don't think an act of God is too unlikely. My guess is Jim gets 40% on the first ballot and cruises to an easy win during the second vote.

My Take: As frequent readers of this blog no doubt recognize, I really dislike Jim Dinning. But, in fairness, his adversity to taking risks means he won't do anything too scary and won't rock the boat vis-a-vis Ottawa when he gets in as Premier. But his no risk power lust will eventually catch up with him. It likely won't be before the next provincial election but five or ten years from now this man will fall from grace and it's going to be a delight to watch.


  • I'm curious as to what you think will cause his fall from grace?

    I agree he's really similar to Paul Martin but there wasen't one single factor that led to Paul's downfall - more like a trifecta of scandal, desire for change, and overall poor leadership. What's more, I think it would take even more than that to take the PC's from power in Alberta (we've had all three of those for the past 5 years!)

    By Blogger Glen, at 8:30 PM  

  • Maybe it's the eternal optimist in me, but eventually people in Alberta are going to want a change. And when the mood of the province shifts, like it does every 30 years, it really SHIFTS.

    Dinning won't ever inspire anyone and he's been out of politics for a long time. Prosperity without purpose will eventually lead to discontent.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:34 AM  

  • CG:

    I appreciate this series that you've undertaken. It is good to hear a Liberal's view on the race.

    However, I disagree with your assumption that this race will be a cakewalk for Dinning.

    Jim has no room for growth after the first ballot. The other candidates in the race will likely pool their support amongst the strongest blue tory who moves on.

    Look for Ted Morton to be the beneficiary of this and for a Morton government come December 2nd.

    By Blogger mattgelinas, at 1:08 AM  

  • There is no way anyone can make a prediction. Since even members of other parties can buy Tory membership, it'll be more like a general election (but the right to vote costs $5).

    As for comparing Dinning to Martin, let's not forget that Dinning was a supporter of and contributor to Paul Martin.

    By Blogger Werner Patels, at 1:13 AM  

  • I agree Dinning is totally overrated. However, with Taft's leadership being questioned by Liberals, including
    Liberal bloggers
    like Werner above, I don't think Dinning has to worry too much. At least not about the 'official' opposition.

    By Blogger edmonton dude, at 11:10 AM  

  • CG,

    I know you arent a fan of Dinning but with a whole slate of lousy candidates--the worst being Dinning's apparent chief rival Ted Morton--isnt he (Dinning) the best a Liberal like yourself could hope for in a solid PC province?

    By Blogger Kyle Carruthers, at 1:03 PM  

  • I don't think being compared to Paul Martin is necessarily a bad thing. I think Paul Martin would have been a very good prime-minister had he won a majority government. He had a strong vision and was a good leader, he just didn't know how to handle minority governments well. I think Jim Dinning is a visionary and would be a good choice although Dave Hancock is another good choice and as probably the closest to being a Liberal.

    Ted Morton is downright scary and he should really go and join the Alberta Alliance where he belongs. Still I don't think he will win as Edmonton and a good chunk of Calgary aren't interested in re-visiting old debates such as SSM or building firewalls around Alberta. While Alberta is conservative by Canadian standards, it is really the equivalent of an Ohio or Pennsylvania of the North, not Texas of the North. The rest of Canada is more liberal than any US state. So I don't think trying to be like the Bush Republicans would go over well in Alberta. After all the PCs lost more seats to the Liberals and NDP than they did to the Alberta Alliance.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 12:21 AM  

  • I'm still disappointed Preston Manning didn't run - that guy has really mellowed out and has become an utterly fascinating man - he would bring a lot to Canada as Premier of Alberta.

    But oh well.

    I don't Paul Martin was a strong leader at all. He didn't show any real leadership on any issue as Prime Minister. There was a moment in his first campaign versus Harper, in one of the debates, he countered Harper with some real clarity and reason and passion, and I thought, "Whoa, where'd that come from?" He was shining in that moment. Excellent finance, yes - but a poor PM without vision or leadership. Not a bad thing - I don't know that I'd fare better.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 1:12 AM  

  • We took in a very enlightening Jim Dinning event this past Friday... this membership business is just getting more and more bizarre!

    Check out the story:

    It has referenced Alberta Grit's profiles - mostly cuz they are very good, thanks!

    - Reg.

    By Blogger Alberta Insider, at 3:13 PM  

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