Friday, October 23, 2009

This Week in Alberta - What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The media focus has shifted away from Danielle Smith's Wildrose leadership victory, onto Ed Stelmach's November 7th leadership review. The latest? Alan Hallman has come forward suggesting Stelmach has been a failure and should be replaced. And, as Jim Dinning's 2006 leadership campaign manager, Hallman is certainly an expert on the topic of political failure.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. Stelmach picked up 10 new seats, winning 72 of 83 seats the last election, his first. And his party wants him out? Because they're worried about a party that has never held more than 1 seat in legislature? I know, I know...Alberta politics is difficult to understand.

With few connections in the PCs, any predictions I could make about Stelmach's fate would be a shot in the dark - so I'll take that shot and say Ed gets about 70% and stays on.


Danielle Smith (little known fact: Danielle was runner-up to Obama for this year's Nobel Peace Prize) appears to be targeting Calgary North Hill as the riding she wants to run in next election (sorry Kyle!).

2008 Northhill Results
Kyle Fawcett 4,292 (PC) 37.94%
Pat Murray 3,589 (ALP) 31.72%
John Chan 1,490 (NDP) 13.17%
Jane Morgan 977 (WRA) 8.64%
Kevin Maloney 736 (GP) 6.51%
Jim Wright 229 (SC) 2.02%

The riding would appear to be a bit more left-leaning than Glenmore, with a slim majority of the riding voting for the Liberals, NDP, or Greens last election. That means that even if Smith converts half the PC vote and maintains the WRA/SC base, she might still fall short of the Liberals (especially if some of the Green vote drifts to Swann now that the Alberta Greens have been deregistered).

Still, voter turn-out was so embarrassingly low last election that it's risky to do math like that, especially when Smith herself could be a game changer. The bottom line is that this is a riding that can be won with 35% of the vote, and if Smith can't clear that hurdle in her home riding, then we're all wasting a lot of time talking about her.

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  • It's also impossible to say how many of the votes received by opposition candidates are protest votes cast by people wanting some alternative to the Conservatives. Some of those votes could conceivably be captured by Smith and the Alliance.

    By Blogger Lou Arab, at 11:29 a.m.  

  • I don't think Danielle Smith will be the main issue during Ed Stelmach's leadership review.

    The thing is, Ed Stelmach isn't really taking the PC Party anywhere fast. They're not moving backwards but they're certainly not moving forwards.

    If I was a PC, I would vote against Ed Stelmach. That way they could steal media attention back from the WRA with another drawn out leadership contest and they might get a leader who actually has a vision for where to take Alberta. Not to mention the money they'd make from another few rounds of 2 - second Tories

    Plus they'd have 2 years to build up a strategy around their new leader to overshadow the WRA.

    Really, the PCs hold all the cards in regards to their future.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 a.m.  

  • Have to love one failure calling another a failure.

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

  • Once one has actually run for office one realizes how important identity is and on that count the Edmonton and rural PC caucus know that in Ed they have someone their constituents identify with. Everyone in Calgary wants an urban Calgarian leader but they do not have the numbers to unseat the premier.

    Besides, didn't Ed look like a warrior in that photo op with the military this week?

    By Blogger Brian Dell, at 3:18 p.m.  

  • Ed might be turfed by Hallman!? Say it isn't so!

    Concerning Calgary North Hill though.. pouring over its electoral history, its interesting to note that more people came out during the 2008 election than 2004, similar to 2001 levels (around 11,000). Comparing those two, in 2001 the PC candidate got 64% of the vote, while the Liberal got 23% - in 2004, it was 38% and 32% respectively. That is quite a big swing of what has basically been the same electorate. I think that even if turnout levels got up higher, say to 60%, you'd see it become a three way race between Fawcett, the Liberal candidate and Smith - but by no means do I think she'll be a shoe in. That Liberal vote is pretty substantial, methinks.

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

  • I hope she runs in Calgary-North Hill. Kyle Fawcett is kind of like the stupid version of Pierre Polievre

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:27 p.m.  

  • There's a smart version?

    By Blogger Tom, at 10:32 p.m.  

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