Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Paul Hinman knows but isn't telling us...

... he's got no chance in Calgary-Glenmore.

Nation, the race for Calgary-Glenmore is now, as of the writing of this blog, officially 25 and one-half hours old. And ALREADY, Paul Hinman - interim leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party and their candidate in the by-election precipitated by Ron Stevens' retirement from political life - is crying about the unfairness of the Premier setting the by-election's date as September 14th.

"No fair!", goes the caterwauling. "People are really busy right now, then it's the long week-end, and the kids are back in school, and it's election day! We can't get volunteers or donors at this time of year..."

Whoah there, Paul. Back up a sec. You can't mobilize enough volunteers and donors to fight a single by-election at the end of summer?

The Wildrose Alliance Party is the party that wants to ride to the rescue of the oilpatch. That wants to make life easier for small business. That wants to lower taxes, and help Alberta companies create jobs.

It's the party that wants to bring conservative government back to what they insist is a conservative populace... letting Martha and Henry and their pastor speak their minds without fear of the HRC's "thought police"... locking up bad guys and keeping bad guys from coming to Alberta from elsewhere.

You're telling me, in a province full of energy companies and allegedly conservative voters, that Paul Hinman's campaign team can't find enough money and volunteers to run a single race, with 4 weeks' notice?

And let's be clear, Nation - he and his party have had far, FAR more than 4 weeks' notice. Every single person who has been paying attention to Alberta politics for the past 3 months knew that the Premier was going to have to call a by-election to replace Ron Stevens - and he would have to do so no later than November. We've known since Stevens stepped down that this day was coming - and there are no "mulligans" in politics.

Paul's party shares some of the blame in this... as I pointed out on this blog, the Wildrose Alliance should very well be able to mobilize a huge sum of money and volunteers to fight this race. This is the provincial fruit of Reform's loins. Organization is what they do. And while they are, of course, locked in a leadership race right now, you can NOT convince me that the reason the WAP can't fund Hinman and supply him with volunteers is because the entire oilpatch, and the silent, disenfranchised conservative majority of Albertans are too focused on the Willerton-Smith-Dyrholm race to actually help a member of the party get ELECTED to the Legislature.

If the WAP is actually deserving of the attention they've been getting all summer from the MSM and the blogs alike - if they are, as they insist, the Party of business and of the hundreds of thousands of conservative Albertans that the PC's have abandoned, then they should already have tens of thousands in the bank and thousands of man-hours committed by volunteers from across the province, all determined to winning the WAP - the "next big thing" of Albertan politics, ready to form government as soon as 2012 - their first urban seat.

They don't.

If they did, Hinman wouldn't already be making excuses.

Hinman knows he has come up against the "perfect storm" of Alberta politics - a well-connected, well-funded, well-respected local politician with progressive social views, good fiscal conservative bona fides, strong volunteers from all over the city, and a history of working with the now-defunct PC Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada, through the constituency board of Prime Minister Harper. She's got him beat on the left, AND the right. She's not a shoo-in, by any means - Colley-Urquhart is going to have to mount a huge "get out the vote" effort to get voters out to the polls and avoid becoming the next Brian Heninger - but Colley-Urquhart is the prohibitive favourite, not just to outsiders looking in, but also to the WAP campaign in Glenmore. And so, Hinman goes - less than 2 hours into the race - to the "no fair" card.

Perhaps the best sign, though, that Hinman has all but given up is who he's blaming for his impending defeat.

"People are busy and not engaged in politics as they should be," Hinman is quoted as having said in the Herald.

Hear that, "people"? You're not as engaged as you should be. So when Paul Hinman loses this race, it's going to be YOUR fault - not his, or his party's.

That's the problem with this "democracy" thing... letting the "people" decide.

You should all be ashamed for making Paul lose.



C.Morgan said...

Those comments from Paul have been taken somewhat out of context. The statement was more along the lines of trying to say that it never feels like there is enough time. I alongside many other volunteers have been working solidly before and since the writ-drop. We have been hitting doors all summer and I have spent the last 30 hours trying to knock a dent in the very large sign-request sheet that we have built while others are adding to that list by hitting the doors.

It is tough hitting such an entrenched party and we can use every day we can get to do so. We have been hitting it hard since Stevens resigned and things are going great. I have been with the party for years and this is the most organized, funded and volunteer-populated campaign I have taken part in with this party by a long shot.

Worry not, we have a good campaign machine that is getting into full swing.

To write off the entire campaign based on a couple comments in an interview is a rather shallow approach. Particularly considering how much you have read into those statements and how they supposedly reflect on our campaign.

Give it a week, have a good look around the constituency and then judge how the efforts look.

I am out the door and back at work on it right after supper as are many many other volunteers on our campaign and will be for the next 26 days.

daveberta said...

I would like to know when there has ever been a convenient time to hold an election or by-election? The year is only 365 days long, so pretty much any 28-day period of bound to overlap a day or days that aren't the most convenient for 100% of the population.

That said, ES, I think that you may be stretching Hinman's quote a little far. None of them will likely admit it, other than Hinman (who just did), but I can't imagine that this by-election will whip up the passions of Calgary-Glenmorians so that tens of thousands of them will volunteer or show up to the polls either.

This said, the benefit of a by-election is that each party can draw or claw out their loyal volunteers from across the city and focus them on one riding.

Enlightened Savage said...

Cory: If you're so inclined, feel free to post contact info in this space for the campaign. Any chance to add a volunteer or donor is a good one - and I'd rather lose a well-fought race than win a tilted one.

Not that I'm running... But you get the idea. ;)

C.Morgan said...

More than happy to of course. ;-)

The campaign office can be reached at 403-252-5550 and the website for the campaign is http://www.sendedamessage.ca

As I said, we are doing rather well for donors and volunteers. We can always use more though of course. There is always more work to be done and nobody can take this campaign for granted.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I was hoping that you would post on this! This is going to be an interesting race for sure. This is likely posturing from Hinman and his people. You are correct though...he has no chance. The WAP talk and talk about the support they have...but I doubt they would publicly announce their "new" memberships. Good luck to all...and ES, keep posting!


Derrick Jacobson said...

Wow, a simple comment by a candidate and the whole party is in turmoil, Avalon made the same comment so I geuss the Liberals better close the doors too.
Your probably right we need another PC voice that can speak Ed's words and do what they are told, that way there is no thinking involved. There is never going to be a good time for an election, but as far as Dianne being the "Perfect Storm" I beg to differ. Her support of the Pembina Institute, involvement in the AHRC, not doing the job she was elected already to do at the taxpayers expense, and her (ahem)questionable conservative views, leave a bad taste in my mouth. Isn't democracy great, freedom to choose. (As long as I didn't offend the HRC, right Dianne)

Anonymous said...

Wait, your not running? I was sure you were Len Skowronski.

Dave S. said...

I just drove through Calgary Glenmore I can tell you one thing is certain:

The Wildrose Alliance is winning the sign war. There were Hinman signs on all the main roads and plenty of signs near my parents house in Cedarbrae. They even have those Neon Bright Signs up reading "Send Ed a Message".

I saw only one PC sign and no Liberal signs up yet.

While signs don't translate into votes they do show that the Alliance is running a serious and viable campaign and are a serious contender in the race.

Jane Morgan said...

Hey ES,

I don't mean this to sound snarky, it is an honest question. Can you source this quote...

"People are really busy right now, then it's the long week-end, and the kids are back in school, and it's election day! We can't get volunteers or donors at this time of year..."

For the life of me, I can't find it.


Enlightened Savage said...

Travis: Sorry, but no dice. You can rest assured, though, that you are definitely the first to register THAT particular guess. :)

Jane: It's not a direct quote by any means - it's a paraphrase, though, of one that ran on CHQR yesterday with the 4:00 news. I'm trying to find an audio vault on the QR website, but having no luck. If I find it, though, I will post it here.

Anonymous said...

Irony... C. Morgan complaining a quote was taken out of context. If not for out of context statements, he wouldn't have subject matter for his blog rants.

I don't think the PCs are taking the vote for granted. But if Hinman wins, it would be difficult not to characterize him as the WAP's version of Craig Cheffins. In-and-out. Hinman was given a shiv in the back by the new guard of the WAP for not being inspiring and urban (read: not Calgary enough), and it is difficult to see the former MLA from Cardston-Taber-Warner as the "face" of Calgary-Glenmore, recent residency notwithstanding. He is merely a convenient name candidate to run while Danielle Smith runs for - er walks away with - the WAP leadership. (By the way, if Smith was really daring, she would have run for the Glenmore nomination. Only running for an MLA spot once you've secured the leadership is part of what broke Dinning's run for the PC leadership.)

Seems to be a character trait of some WAP'ers to diminish others for not being conservative enough (as if they have some foolproof DNA-like test that allows them to be the arbiter of such decisions). Diane gets hit for her work with HRC and for not immediately dismissing the Pembina Institute. But curiously, these same attackers had no public problems with her when she was simply Alderman Diane C-U, and Calgary SW board member. Similarly, Danielle Smith attacks David Emerson of all people, one of Harper's most competent front-benchers, simply for the sin of having been originally elected under the federal Liberal banner. Would she have said the same thing, had he been a sitting federal Minister? Doubtful.

Brian Dell said...

"if Smith was really daring, she would have run for the Glenmore nomination"

You can bet that steady eddie would have called the Glenmore vote for the same day as the Wildrose leadership vote had she contested and won the Glenmore nomination vote in June.

Anonymous said...

Oh, where to start? The irony of Corey and Jane rushing to the defense of the man that Jane herself once described as charisma-free? Brian trying to spin that Danielle would have run if only Ed could be trusted not to screw with her (ignoring the fact that she would have had a hard time winning, and a loss would have killed her leadership bid - Brian, she is smart enough to know that Glenmore was a no-win for her)? Dave S trying to spin the sign "war" - Dave, rented signs don't count, and it's how many signs are up at the end, not the beginning? And, finally, the whole "send Ed a message" campaign? Hey, fishWRAPpers, how about articulating a positive vision for the future? Whoops, I forgot, you don't have one. You WILL finish third. Discontent with Ed may raise you from 8 to 12 per cent in Glenmore and I'm sure you will trumpet that as a massive victory. We'll just take the win, and be happy.

Alberta Report Editorial Collective said...

Mr. Savage, Daveberta, et all:

Both Hinman and Roberts have a point: In the past 20 years, there has never been a by-election held this early in the fall (though you can bet there was some anger over 1992's mid July by-election call in Calgary Buffalo)...

In fact you'd have to go back to 1942 to find a by-election date that comes close to coinciding with the fall harvest in Alberta... That was the one that vaulted the venerable CCF Leader Elmer Roper to the Legislature...

Which illustrates our point at http://thealbertareport.blogspot.com - anything can happen in a by-election. :-)

Enlightened Savage said...

AREC: Thanks for weighing in, love the site. :)

I'm going out on a limb here, though, and suggesting that the timing of the fall harvest is probably not a huge issue to the average Calgary-Glenmore voter. Although, certainly we all remember the long and distinguished career of Elmer Roper. ;)

100% agreed, though, that anything can happen in a by-election. The candidate who does the best job at getting out the vote, wins. It's much like a municipal election, that way - when less than 30% of voters cast a ballot, the best GOTV effort takes the victory.

Just ask Brian Heninger.

Enlightened Savage said...

Sorry for spamming my own blog (I'll stop, I promise), but I forgot to respond to Anon@8:14 - I like charismatic people. I really do. But when I'm looking for someone to work for me, my first question isn't "how likeable is this person?", but rather "can they do the job?".

If I had to choose, I'd take a trustworthy, hard-working, honest representative who would, when they conflicted, represent my views over his own or those of the special interests that funded his campaign - even if he had so little charisma that he made Al Gore look like James Brown.

We put too much emphasis on charisma in our representatives, I think. It's nice to see charismatic people representing us, and it's a good quality in a "tie-breaker"... but to my mind, ability should trump likeability when you're hiring a representative.

But then again, how many inherantly un-likeable yet qualified people can successfully re-interview with 80,000 bosses for a job every 4 years, and keep getting hired?

Just my view.

- E.S.

Anonymous said...

A good point, ES, and one I agree with - I think you have described our Premier pretty well (though he has more charisma than he gets credit for). I don't think Mr. Hinman was a bad MLA for the people of C-T-W and I think he has good intentions. I was simply pointing out the irony of the Morgans, two of the very people who put the knife in his leadership in order to attract Danielle Smith, rushing to his defense. I wonder whether Mr. Hinman even wants their help.

Enlightened Savage said...

Jane: Found the clip.


Monday, August 17th. 3 pm hour. One minute nineteen seconds in.

The suggestion seems to be that the evil Tories are at an advantage because... I don't know... Tories don't use the Gregorian calendar? It's not the end of summer to them, and they don't celebrate Labour Day?

C.Morgan said...

Sorry E.S. I just have to jump in here. The laughable and of course anonymous poster trying to imply that Jane and I railroaded Paul is too much to leave alone.

Rest assured, we get along with and work alongside Paul better than you could imagine. Anybody is more than welcome to ask Paul if they can catch him betwen doors how his relationship with the party executive will be happy to find that the relationship is fine.

Just another (anonymous as usual) person trying to stir internal dissent. We have seen quite a bit of those kinds of efforts this year. We have the best counter for it. The party is more unified than it ever has been in it's history.

Of course a few cranks and flakes have been outgrown and shed. Now they resort to anonymously complaining from the outside looking in.

Either way, just pluggin another strength that the WRP really did not have in past years; unity on the executive.

Ahh, if nothing else it is indeed going to be a fun campaign. :)

Anonymous said...

There's no way anyone can defeat the Social Credit party in this byelection. Not even Craig Chandler!

Enlightened Savage said...

Cory - No need to apologize! This kind of conversation is exactly why I started the whole blog in the first place. :)

I just hope that we can keep the conversation going, and (when necessary) disagree without being disagreeable. :)

Anonymous said...


Yeah, I know...misquoted, out of context, yada yada yada. With friends like Jane...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't have a clue how to post a link, I guess. From the April 21, 2009, Calgary Herald.

"Hinman said last weekend that he had no plans to vacate the party's leadership position, despite criticism fron the Alliance's executive director, Jane Morgan, that party members were looking for a more charismatic leader."

And to be fair, Jane did deny that's what she said. I can't find any record, however, that the Herald ever issued a correction. Draw your own conclusions.

C.Morgan said...

Ahh anonymous, it is old ground. It didn't gain traction when people tried to spin it as some sort of ouster of Paul months ago and it certainly won't grow legs now.

The main reason this never became an issue is that Paul is perfectly content and getting along fine with the executive (including the Morgans). It is tough to widen dissent when there is none to begin with.

Nice try though. ;)

Enlightened Savage said...

In all fairness... I've been called far worse than "less charismatic than some would prefer", and been able to sit down over a scotch, work past it, and form a cohesive team with the person who gave "offence".

I don't buy the "Morgans conspiring against Hinman" theory.

Although... if it turns out to be true, you read it here first! Yeah! Take THAT, TPB! :P

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...I forgot "It's your fault."

Unknown said...

It is going to be very, very sweet when Hinman defeats the former HRC decision-maker.

Anonymous said...

The whole Wildrose Alliance party is a joke. A party with no seats yet they seem to think they're the next government.

And Danielle Smith as a potential leader - ha! I've seen enough ideologues in this province already.

What a crock.

Carter McRae Events said...

Interesting discussion but completely missing the point. Hinman doesn't have to win, he just needs to soak up enough votes to pull Diane down a few points. And the idea that she is a popular local politician? Really? I think all the current Aldermen are suffering from a wee bit of voter backlash right now.

Avalon wins this. Likely to hand it back during the general election.

Anonymous said...

Like Stephen Carter knows anything. Where's your polls? Oh wait, it's just your own "gut feeling". Sure, you just go with that, buddy.

Anonymous said...

I was at the WRA flyer-drop on the weekend, and I saw Jane and Corey working with Paul very closely on his campaign. No animosity there.

Princess said...

Lol.. we are having no problems getting volunteers thank you. In fact, I can hardly keep up with all of the emails I am getting from people wanting to help out.
Please check out the Paul Hinman Calgary Glenmore facebook page for pictures of our fabulous lack of volunteers.

As for the bitter Anonymous; I work closely with both the Morgans and Paul, and I can assure you there is no animosity going on anywhere. In fact I have nothing but respect for these three people who work tirelessly and selflessly toward the betterment this party.

Unknown said...

Just popped in to say 'I told you so' about Hinman winning his seat. Sorry it took so long - been busy working on getting the Next Ones ready for office.

Enlightened Savage said...

Leigh: Yes, yes you did.

Best 2 out of 3? ;)

Anonymous said...

Just came across this now.....what do all you naysayers think now?

The momentum of the Wildrose is continuing, though not at the earlier torrid pace. That pace will happen again once Danielle faces off against whoever the PCs install to replace (un)steady Eddy.

I firmly believe the WRA is ready to win government.