Monday, February 18, 2008

The Race For Calgary Fort

Located along the eastern edge of the city, Calgary Fort includes such communities as Dover and Erin Woods. It is, in the words of one observer, "a great example of the bad strategic minds at work in the opposition parties." The incumbent, Wayne Cao, is insanely popular in the riding. He can be found in attendance at every school opening, charity tournament, and tree-house dedication in the riding - singing Alberta's official song (badly, from what I hear - Wayne, I know a good singing teacher if you're interested) that he had commissioned for the province's centennial. The Liberals and NDP are running 2 extremely well-qualified contenders here, who would have had an excellent chance in Calgary East. In Calgary Fort, they're fighting for 2nd and 3rd place.

The Candidates:
Wayne Cao (PC)
Carole Oliver (Lib)
Julie Hrdlicka (NDP)
Travis Chase (WAP)
J. Mark Taylor (Grn)

Wayne Cao, or "Cao-boy" (pronounced "Cowboy"), is a hugely popular incumbent. A highly qualified IT professional, Wayne is a big proponent of promoting what he calls "multi-culturalism, not multi-nationalism". As such, Cao believes that the most important part of the "German-Canadian", "Vietnamese-Canadian", or "French-Canadian" designations is the part that reads "Canadian". Whenever there's a soccer field, playground, or bike rack opening in Calgary Fort, you'll find Wayne Cao there... and his constituents LOVE him for it. This man will have his job as long as he wants it - and he still wants it.

Carole Oliver is a former one-term public schools trustee for Wards 6 & 7. She is a long-time volunteer with the Salvation Army, as Director of Residential Services. Well thought-of in the community for her tireless volunteerism, Oliver would have had a much easier go of it if she were to run anywhere but Fort. As it is, she will be trounced handily by the Cao-boy.

Julie Hrdlicka is probably one of the most active involved candidates in the province. A co-ordinator for the Parkland Institute, she was nominated to run for the NDP here in November of 2006. The holder of a BA in International Relations from the University of Calgary, Julie regularly appears in the media, including CBC and the Globe and Mail (which recently included yours truly in its list of Alberta Election Blogs worthy of note). Extremely passionate and articulate, Hrdlicka is sure to break through the glass ceiling that has held the NDP at under 900 votes since the riding's inception.

Travis Chase ran for the Alberta Alliance in 2004 in this riding, capturing nearly 600 votes. In 2005, he was threatened with legal action by He Whose Name We Dare Not Speak, for speaking against him during the Alliance Leadership Race. As such, it would certainly be interesting if Travis were to be elected to sit as a Wildrose Alliance MLA, and the independent candidate were elected in Egmont and then, as he promised, attempt to join the Wildrose Alliance Caucus. One wonders how well the 2 would get along... but one doesn't wonder it for long. It's wasted thought, anyway - Travis will do better than he did in 2004, but he's not knocking off Wayne Cao.

J. Mark Taylor is a Medical Herbalist and director of the Arcady Holistic Clinic, a toxin elimination clinic, in Inglewood. Taylor's professional approach to the holistic nature of health care rather than the "chasing the symptoms" system that generates so much waste currently, has much to offer us societally. The Minister of Health, whomever they happen to be after March 3rd, would be well-advised to sit down with Taylor and talk with him. Taylor has much to offer the wider, province-wide debate, but won't be able to break through in Fort.


Anonymous said...

Cao is a bit of a crackpot but I agree, he'll be easily re-elected.

Anonymous said...

First time I've ever been to your blog. Totally biased post that does not seem to be based on any truth.

I was down in Calgary - Fort for three days last week (live in Edmonton) and I'd say that Mr. Cao is far from the win that you're so quick to promise him.

Guess this is another partisan PC fan-boy blog? Too bad. Linked here from Ken Chapman.

Hope the posts get better from here out. Not holding out hope though.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous ("first-timer"),

Get a grip. EnSavage actually puts some thought into his posts. Just because he doesn't perform literary phellatio on "Dr." Kevin Taft like a certain dave-somebody, hardly qualifies him as a PC-fanboy.

If you linked from Ken Chapman, you would know that he appears to hold this blogger in some esteem.

And he actually posted your little hissy-fit commentary, though why he bothered I don't know.

Maybe you ought to spend more time back in Edmonton... in case you haven't been watching the polling, it is looking less ike "Redmonton" lately. And with the dearth of WRA candidates in the capital city, you Libs won't be able to count on vote splitting as much as elsewhere [queue the NDP-bashing as irrelevant from your illustrious ivory tower leader].

Anonymous said...

EnSavage, You have hit the nail on the head, partially. Cao is exceptionally popular with a segment of the constituents who will blindly line up and without consideration cast their ballot fo him. He is in attendance everywhere with the same speech to cut ribbons and kiss babies but that surely isn't why he should be elected. His voice is absent in the legislature around issues that are important to Fort voters. Crime and neighbourhood safety, affordable housing, living wage, infrastructure(particularly public transit), employment training, and child care. The only time he has entered the fray in legislative debate was to move the stupid Alberta song. Voters in Calgary Fort deserve a voice and they havn't even had a whisper for the past 12 years.

Anonymous said...

I campaigned in Calgary Fort for the grits last election. The problem, we found, was not a lack of want for change, but a lack of believing that they could do something about it.

Voter turnout in Calgary Fort is atrocious, even for the provincial elections in general. Our polling numbers compared with electoral numbers indicated quite clearly that the Liberal diehards came out, the Tory diehards came out, and every other 'undecided' or 'leaning' stayed home.

Anonymous said...

People should look seriously at the philosophical differences between the PCs, Liberals, NDP and the other running parties before they are sold on a particular candidate.

I can't believe a "working class" area like Calgary Fort is so PC. It's not that I have a dislike for Mr. Cao. He has been very active in the community. The problem is, his seat will be held by a PC. The working man would be better served if he was, lets say, more Liberal.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the Liberals are well-known to be supporters of the "working man". Ha ha ha.

Art Hornbie said...

Hey, this is the place for the best reviews going! I am a policy wonk and tend to discount the political diddlers but I am rather impressed with all the effort displayed here. Would have liked to know more about each person, though, but that is asking a bit much, I think.

Keep up the good work.

J. Mark Taylor
Calgary Fort