Friday, June 19, 2009

One (Glen)more Time!

With the resignation of Ron Stevens as MLA for Calgary-Glenmore, anticipation is building among bloggers, politicos running the gamut from wannabe to has-been, and supporters of all stripes in the City of Calgary. The recent stamping out of a potential summer federal election means that this by-election, likely to be scheduled for late autumn, may be the only outlet for partisan rancour for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, I thought I'd take a quick look at the riding, the candidates both confirmed and rumoured, and the by-election itself.

Calgary-Glenmore has been an active constituency in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta since 1959, when "social media" was something they were hoping could be cured with penicillin. In that time, it has been represented by 4 Progressive Conservative MLA's (one of whom, Ernest Watkins, was Leader of the Progressive Conservatives for a period of a few years) and one member, Bill Dickie, who served as a Liberal for 6 years before crossing the floor to join a tiny, 6-member Official Opposition under Peter Lougheed's PC banner (things got substantially more comfortable for Dickie from 1971 to 1975, when he stepped aside).

Until the by-election is held and the new MLA sworn in, Jonathan Denis, MLA for Calgary-Egmont (and most definitely NOT the Enlightened Savage) will be representing the constituents of Glenmore.

44% of the riding's voters are over the age of 45 years. 46% of the riding's residents were born in the province of Alberta. 77% of the homes in the riding are occupied by the owners, and the average home value is $348,000. Only 16% of the homes in Glenmore are less than 30 years old. 43% of voters have completed Post-Secondary education, with the lion's share of those being in architecture, engineering, business, management, and administration. Average household income is $96,000. To whit: Your average Glenmore resident is middle-aged, educated, was born somewhere else but chooses to live in Glenmore, gives a lot more orders than s/he takes while on the job, and lives in a nice, albeit older, home.

Now, some candidate talk...

Eric Carpendale has been announced as the NDP candidate in the Glenmore by-election. Curious, though, that some New Democrats have been complaining that there didn't seem to be any sort of nomination race or process - interesting tactics, for a party with "Democratic" right there in the name...

Corey Hogan, a young and well-connected Liberal workhorse, will be running for the Liberal nomination against perennial also-ran Avalon Roberts, in a race sure to stir up some good, cross-generational dialogue within the ranks of Liberal supporters in Glenmore ("So, they tell me you can talk to voters on this 'inter-webs' thingy... do I have to join in on the 'twooter' thingamajig?").

Diane Colley-Urquhart, Alderman for Ward 13 on Calgary's City Council, was acclaimed as the Progressive Conservative candidate. Colley-Urquhart is by far the most well-known of the potential candidates, and has been a popular member of city council, with a reputation for being progressive socially and conservative fiscally - handy, considering the party she's representing, and the riding in which she's running.

Paul Hinman is the only declared candidate for the Wildrose Alliance Party. Hinman is the former MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner, and former leader of the Wildrose Alliance - which might not give him huge name or face recognition in the riding, but certainly makes him a recognized figure to the more politically involved within the riding. The WAP will be looking to capitalize on discontent with the PC's handling of the economy, the deficit budget, and energy royalties. The nomination deadline for the WAP nomination is June 23.

Premier Ed's "drop dead" date to order a by-election is November 19th - which doesn't mean that the by-election needs to HAPPEN by then, it just means that it needs to be SCHEDULED by then. My money's on October - if for no other reason than October's going to be a very busy month for me, and that's just my luck. The Premier is said to be willing to wait as long as the PC team in Glenmore feels is necessary to get their candidate out to every part of the riding - and, should she win, there's talk that Colley-Urquhart could find herself elevated to a minor cabinet role (Tourism, Parks and Rec?) right off the bat in a late fall shuffle, to fill the Calgary-shaped hole left in cabinet by Stevens' departure. Other Calgary MLA's rumoured to be on the short list include the affable and able Len Webber (Calgary-Foothills) and the aforementioned Jonathan Denis (Calgary-Egmont, NOT the Enlightened Savage).


Anonymous said...

YEs Sir..this will be an excelletn race. I heard the radio ad last night for the WAP-Glenmore Nomination.. "SEND ED A MESSAGE"... pretty tight slogan.

I grew up in Genmore, so this is very interesting to me.


Anonymous said...

The Wildrose party is full of extremists and is nothing short of a joke. Sent them a message - send them packing.

Anonymous said...

The NDP had to backtrack after members raised the fact that there was no nomination process. I'm not sure how much was because members complained, and how much was because the media explicitly stated in some reports that Carpendale had been appointed.
Apparently to make up for this anyone who decides to run for the nomination will be getting their candidacy announced by Brian Mason or Rachel Notley (seeing as Carpendale got an announcement from Mason stating he was the candidate).
It's unfortunate that it went this way. Carpendale is an excellent potential candidate, and hopefully he doesn't take any flack because of the errors on the part of Mason and party staff.

Jane Morgan said...

I understand why Anonymous 12:36 posts anonymously; because he/she has absolutetly zero evidence to back up their bizarre statements.

Anonymous said...

Actually Anonymous @ 12:36 has a point.

The Wildrose Alliance's polcies are in fact ridiculous. Let's look at a few. Recall MLA's with 20%? I don't know if any MLA gets 80% of the vote which would mean at any time 20% of the voters would want the MLA gone. How is the MLA supposed to get anything if there's constant recall campaigns going? ALso property rights are a good idea but Alberta has no standing to put them in as it's federal. Oh another thing - keeping cabinet to a maximum of 16 - no province has that, not even PEI. All that would do is increase the civil service underneath the cabinet.

Those are three things of many as to why the Wildrose Alliance is a joke. I'm a conservatively-minded person but they will never get my vote.

Robert MacDonald said...

If Avalon Roberts is the Liberal candidate AGAIN, I think that's the nail in the coffin for their party. They will have shown a complete inability to change on even the most basic of levels.

This will apparently be her fourth run. Talk about beating a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

I love that tories have nominated urqhart.

She is responsible for screwing Glenmore as an alderman more then any other council member.

And she has the audacity to not even give up her seat!
Voters hate that.
She is doomed!!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting point about the Liberals and the generational divide.

I emailed the local constituency association, the PCAA, and Corey Hogan's Campaign this, but nobody seemed very interested.

Avalon Roberts allowed all her domains to lapse since the last election and STILL hasn't purchased them again.


I can't imagine any candidate under 60 making that mistake.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier posts about the Wildrose Alliance. That party is going NO WHERE !!!!

Anonymous said...

I heard Denis was going to move over to the Wildrose Alliance.

Enlightened Savage said...

Thanks for the comments, all - keep them coming!

I've got to disagree with the comments about the WAP being full of extremists, or completely hopeless - as I said in the original post, every party has its own unique brand of extremists, and depending on your personal views, one can be just as scary as the next.

As for its current policies and electability, the reality of populist parties is that the policies are very much in flux, depending on the party's voting membership. While many of us (myself included) perceive the party as being to the right of the PC's at present, if a bloc of a thousand people bought memberships and showed up at the party AGM led by Ken Chapman, daveberta and myself, it's a pretty safe bet the party's policies would end up somewhat to the left of where they are today. We call this mysterious force "democracy", and Wildrose was built specifically to allow that sort of thing.

As for Denis joining the WAP - He's on the short list for a cabinet spot in a huge majority government. It makes absolutely NO political sense for him - or for anyone ELSE, for that matter - to leave the PC caucus for the WAP at this point.

Should circumstances change in the future, only the MLA himself could speak to that issue. And I'm not him.

Anonymous said...

Predictions for Glenmore:

Vote will be the third Tuesday of October;

The PC and WAP will split the right leaning vote and still leave the others in their dust;

Diane Colley-Urquhart will squeak it out for the PCs.

Vhat about poor ol' Len? said...

SAVAGE!!!! You forgot about poor old Len running under the poor old SoCred banner, hawking poor old funny muney! Or was that Bible Bill Bucks or E. Manning Cow Chips... hrm..


What about my main manly SoCred Man Len?

Who let the Len out? Who! Who!

Brian Dell said...

"ALso property rights are a good idea but Alberta has no standing to put them in as it's federal."

Read the Constitution of this country. The provinces are specifically assigned jurisdiction over direct taxation, property, and civil rights.

Anonymous said...

Yes but there are no property rights in the constitution in Canada - like say there are in the United States. Ironic - Trudeau wanted them, Lougheed disagreed.