Saturday, December 13, 2008

Liberals Vote: Swann Wins

Open thread on the ALP leadership race - I will update once I see some results. Rest assured, you will get results here, long before CNN has them!

UPDATE: The hotly contested David versus David ALP leadership race has ended with David Swann emerging as the winner on the first ballot.

David Swann - 2,468 (54%)
Dave Taylor - 1,616 (35%)
Mo Elsalhy - 491 (11%)

This comes as a bit of a surprise, as everyone expected the race to be a lot closer than this, and most people I'd talked to thought Taylor's well run campaign would give him a ground game advantage. In the end, it appears that Swann managed to bring a lot of new faces into the party and that they were simply more motivated to vote.

While I would have voted for Taylor myself were I still living in Alberta, I've always had immense respect for David Swann as a person. As I said in my profile of him, you will never find a more genuine individual, politician or not. Although I have a lot of doubts about his electability in a right-of-centre province, I have nothing but the best of wishes for David, and I think he would make a fantastic Premier.

So what does it all mean?

I will say that a Swann victory is certainly more intriguing than a Taylor one would have been. Swann has been far more radical in his talk about working with the other opposition parties and of renaming the Alberta Liberal Party. He is probably the least conventional politician leading a major political party (using the term loosely) in Canada right now, so it's really hard to predict how he'll fare. But given the current predictability of Alberta politics and that province's history of Black Swan elections, a little unpredictability might not be a bad thing.

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  • silence...

    By Blogger daveberta, at 4:05 p.m.  

  • Swann on the first ballot...shocking

    By Blogger Glen, at 4:17 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Tiny Perfect Blog, at 4:39 p.m.  

  • hahaha... mass suicide..

    I like your style TPB

    By Blogger Avnish, at 4:47 p.m.  

  • I wasn't expecting THAT...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 p.m.  

  • During the campaign, was there any real discussion regarding name change or collaborating with other parties/organizations?

    Since I do not live in Calgary or Edmonton, I don't really know what happened during the leadership race.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:06 p.m.  

  • "The Liberals have just committed mass suicide"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 p.m.  

  • Someone on your earlier post said "6000 mail-in votes" but it looks like about 1,500 couldn't be bothered.

    Compared to the # of votes for the PC leadership race, that is truly sad.

    What does it take for a non-PC party to get support in this province, I wonder?

    By Blogger Candace, at 7:05 p.m.  

  • Well, it's official, then: the Alberta Liberals are finished. Good-bye.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:12 p.m.  

  • Where are the Liberals heading? Probably for a battle over a name change.

    Its perhaps the last battle for the Alberta Liberals. Those who blame the name, rather than their pathetic attempts to run a political party will eventually get their way. But those committed to the concept of a Liberal Party will have to choose: an unknown quality lead by a leader looking to join with marginal causes, or a big tent which despite its talking points, often enacts some progressive programs.

    I don't know which side of the fence I will end up on, after more than 25 years as an Alberta Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:35 p.m.  

  • Surprising for sure.

    I was rooting for Taylor but please chill out doomsayers (aka.Conservative Trolls). The ALP can’t do much worse then it’s most recent showing, and I don’t see how it could be anymore “done” or “destroyed” then it’s been this last decade and half. True, a lurch left probably isn’t going to give us the boost we need, and the whole nerdy professor thing isn’t exactly “in” in Alberta right now. However, I can support Swan on the name change at least. Maybe he’ll happily surprise us all.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 7:45 p.m.  

  • The Alberta Liberals will soon cease to exist. It'll be interesting to see what name they come up with next...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:09 p.m.  

  • Yikes! What were they thinking??

    The Alberta Liberals only hope of being a credible party were shot today when Dave Taylor lost, especially the large component of soft Tories in this province.

    By voting as far left as you could, you have, in my opinion, destined the ALP to a cold day outside the legislature next election. Ed is going to have a very merry Christmas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 p.m.  

  • Dion would do better in an election as Alberta Liberal leader. I don't know if this is a hijacking or suicide or a combination of both, but I am very pessimistic about this.

    By Blogger matt, at 12:45 a.m.  

  • I think it's an excellent choice.

    Let's face it over the last 8 decades or so the party hasn't shown many signs of life (Decore aside) he offered up the biggest prospect of change. Taylor is a fine politician but that won't be enough to raise the parties fortunes. So they've rolled the dice... in all honesty they have very little to lose.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 a.m.  

  • I don't know if this is all that terrible. It may represent a two-step strategy for the ALP.

    1. Move left and rake in NDP/Green votes, which might be more doable with a 2-seat NDP and no seat Green party (unite the left under a new party banner?)

    2. Bring in a centrist leader capable of defeating the Alberta PC's, with the benefit of (at least like 4 years from now) much lower oil prices.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 10:28 a.m.  

  • Interesting.

    Competitive politics is best for everyone, so I wish him great luck.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 a.m.  

  • I think it's a fine choice.

    Stick to your principles, don't compromise on a watered-down version that your opponents might accept. Choose the man that truly represents your beliefs the closest, and that's what they did.

    David Swann's uncompromising devotion to progressive policies will rally the base.

    And I think merging with the other socially progressive party (NDP) and re-naming this new entity would be another great idea.

    All that being said, I got a chuckle out of the letter they sent with the memberships: "The Liberal party will present an alternative to Albertans" hee hee ... as written that sounds like being a Liberal is an alternative to being an Albertan. Perhaps that was an intentional slip? :)

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 11:57 a.m.  

  • so what's the prize for winning the LPA leadership ?

    A boat anchor ?

    A third thumb ?

    A free lobotomy ?

    All of the above ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:22 p.m.  

  • I'm a big fan of Dr. Swann. To those who have something against him I'd ask: have you ever met the man? Because I have a few times and he's always made a good impression. I've seen him walking around Kensington, taking the time to talk seriously with anyone who approaches him about community issues and politics.

    The ALP could do a lot worse.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:42 p.m.  

  • As a Conservative voter the only person I didn't want to win the Liberal leadership was Dave Taylor. I never agreed with him but he does have presence and name recognition. I think Taylor might have given Eddie a run for the money but Swann comes across as a flake. A principled flake mind you but a flake nevertheless.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:54 p.m.  

  • A leadership vote.

    How quaint.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 8:58 a.m.  

  • "To those who have something against him I'd ask: have you ever met the man?"

    No, and most Albertan's won't either. That is the problem. If you have to rely on the "he is nice man with interesting ideas", you have already lost.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 p.m.  

  • Talk about a honeymoon period. Swan missed an interview on AM770 today and yesterday pugilistic columnist Rick Bell just eviscerated us:

    Alberta Liberals, we are well and truly screwed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:25 p.m.  

  • Swann is an intelligent, thoughtful, well-educated person. He's easy to talk to and comes across relatively genuine.
    So was Kevin Taft, how'd that work out for him?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 p.m.  

  • Alberta has a Liberal Party?

    By Blogger Möbius, at 7:35 p.m.  

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