Friday, September 16, 2011

This Week in Alberta - the PCs pick a leader

Given that general elections only matter in Alberta every 30 or 40 years, the PC leadership race is really the one chance Albertans get to have their say in who becomes Premier. Not surprisingly, over 140,000 Albertans voted in 2006, and we could see close to that number casting their ballot tomorrow.

Assuming no candidate nets 50% + 1 on the first ballot, the field would be narrowed to three for a showdown in two weeks time. The fun thing about this race is that you can keep selling memberships right up to the final vote, adding an element on unpredictability. That's how Ralph Klein beat establishment darling Nancy Betkowski in 1992 and how Ed Stelmach came from nowhere to win in 2006.

While it's difficult to know what to expect, we were treated to a poll of PC members this week. Unlike previous polls of the general public, this one is somewhat meaningful in that it was of card carrying conservatives. Of course, there's obviously the question of how Environics acquired a party member list, so the numbers should be interpreted with some caution:

Gary Mar: 31%
Alison Redford: 20%
Doug Horner: 12%
Ted Morton: 10%
Rick Orman: 5%
Doug Griffiths: 4%
Undecided/Won’t vote: 17%

If these numbers are to be believed, we're looking at a final ballot of Mar, Redford, and either Horner or Morton.

With the undecideds factored out, Mar would be in a better position than Jim Dinning was in 2006 when Jim was held to 30% on the first ballot. But remember, Ed Stelmach came from 15% and third place to take it, so a Redford or Horton win isn't unfathomable, depending on what we see tomorrow.

The more polarizing Morton will have his work cut out of him - even if he comes in at 20% on the first ballot, I don't see him having the growth potential he'd need to pull it out. With many of his supporters having already jumped to the Wildrose Alliance, Ted Morton does not appear to be the man this time around.

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4 Comments:

  • Can you all get the election info out to the MANY temp transferred seniors in assisted living locations
    My relative would like the info at her location and very concerned her vote will be missed
    Please consider checking each facility just as you did in hospitals as many people want to be apart and involved
    They need large print and enumerators to speak for hearing impaired.
    Please consider this Thank You

    By Anonymous Jenfryreyesonly, at 1:28 AM  

  • Mar has announced the support of Morton and Orman.

    per National Post

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:32 PM  

  • Redford was in my graduating class at Bishop Carroll, a few years after Warren Kinsella did his 3 years there.

    She was one of my old girlfriend's best friends and she was not a hack at the time. She actually hung out with some far left of centre types who were close to the punk scene (but so was WK), so I was shocked to hear that she was a Conservative trying to upend Rob Anders in 1995 (Anders called her a "feminist lawyer").

    The Liberals should have waited for her to lose to take her as leader, since she is really more a Liberal than a Conservative. But then, she would never be premier.

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 9:15 PM  

  • Wow!

    I stand corrected.

    Alison is incredible. If she gets a majority in the next election Alberta will be the most progressive province in the country. There are few really decent folks (not self-serving, egotistical hacks) who get to the top without owing way too many favours and with their integrity intact.

    If Alison gets a majority, she will replace Harper or the liberal leader at the time (the Liberal Party would become irrelevant if she was leader of the Conservatives). More likely, it would be Trudeau vs. Redford in 2019.

    I have become quite disappointed by politicians recently - it's sad that they are so self-focused and can't even be responsible enough to pay all their bills - who were really at one time very, very decent folks but because they were in the system too long they have lost their principles (saints at one time, almost Reptilian now).

    By Blogger MississaugaPeter, at 11:31 AM  

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