Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Race for Calgary-Greenway

Calgary Greenway is a new constituency formed in the redistribution, from sections of the former Calgary-Montrose as well as slices of Calgary-Cross and Calgary-McCall. It includes Applewood, Taradale, Coral Springs... just about everything north of 17th Ave. SE and east of 68th St. as far north as 80th Avenue N. The largest slice came from Calgary-Montrose, which was represented by PC Cabinet Minister Manmeet Bhullar, who is seeking election here. This part of the city has a history of political upheaval, with representation from most major parties in the past, and the area is not without its notable political controversies. The best campaign machine usually wins.

The Candidates
Iqtidar Awan (LIB)
Manmeet Bhullar (PC)
Al Brown (NDP)
Ron Leech (WRP)

Iqtidar Awan was originally nominated as the Liberal candidate in Calgary-Northern Hills, but shifted to Greenway. He is an experienced volunteer with the Liberals, but this is his first foray as a candidate. The political scientist and writer lists health care and fiscal responsibility as his 2 main issues. Awan has listed his personal cell phone number on his campaign literature - so he's definitely not insulating himself from voters (a former cabinet minister used to do the same thing - blows my mind. In a good way.)

Manmeet Bhullar was elected in 2008 straight out of law school to represent Calgary-Montrose. At dissolution, he was the youngest MLA in the house, and is the Minister of Service Alberta (ministers hold their portfolios until a new minister is sworn in - even during elections, the bucks needs to stop with an elected official). Bhullar lists the economy and health care as the biggest issues for his community, and in a terrible injustice was named to Avenue Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 in 2011 (over your humble scribe).

Al Brown is an experienced campaigner, having run for the NDP in the 2007 Calgary-Elbow By-Election (3.3%), the 2008 General Election for Calgary-Montrose (6.7%) and in the 2011 Federal election in Calgary-East (14%). The journeyman electrician is hoping that his party's stance on electrical bills will play into his wheel-house, and is a vice-president of the Alberta New Democratic Party. He has run against both his PC and Wildrose opponents before, in Montrose (2008).

Ron Leech was elected the PC Candidate in Calgary-Montrose in 2008, in a race the Party later threw out over allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the local board. Under a cloud of confusion, Leech ran as an Independent in the riding, falling 617 votes shy of victory. The Wildrose Alliance received over 800 votes in that election, so combine those votes with the ones Leech got himself, and Leech is looking like he's a contender in 2012 as the Wildrose candidate. The former pastor has drawn sharp criticism during the campaign for his strong stance against marriage rights for same-sex couples.


Anonymous said...

Ron Leech has this to say:

“I think as a Caucasian I have an advantage.

When different community leaders such as a Sikh leader or a Muslim leader speaks [sic] they really speak to their own people in many ways.

As a Caucasian I believe that I can speak to all the community.”

Russ said...

Wrong, listen to the entire audio clip from the interveiw, Its on the herald.....Google is your friend