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View Full Version : Alberta: PC leadership - runoff, who do you want?



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e909
Dec 3, 2006, 7:33 AM
I like Stelmach's transportation policy - Alberta has already lost too many airports, unfortunately some of his plans would run smack into federal jurisdiction where they would face indifference or worse, airport authorities such as that in Edmonton.

However if Stelmach is re-elected he might face the same fate as Harry Strom who was a comprimise between borderline white supremacists and the old school pre-Manning social credit types. He won by default but couldn't really garner much support inside or outside of the party and that opened the door to Lougheed.
The Liberals don't have a chance at Alberta, the NDP have even a smaller one...

I really don't see the PC party coming to an end any time soon.

freeweed
Dec 3, 2006, 7:35 AM
I don't think I refreshed this site as often when the Bow was being released. :haha:

Thanks a ton guys for the updates, I've not been able to find anything good online and the TV is too far away to check.

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 7:40 AM
Oh man, Steady Eddy is going to win this!

I am running back and forth between my PC and the TV and just watched both Dinning and Morton talking. Dinning will probably hold out till the second ballot before he concedes defeat, unlike Morton.

walli
Dec 3, 2006, 7:56 AM
Jim - 47357
Ed - 43121
Ted - 33677

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 7:57 AM
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061202/alberta_tories_061203/20061203?hub=TopStories

2nd choices likely to determine Alta. Tory vote

Updated Sun. Dec. 3 2006 1:31 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Front-runner Jim Dinning may lead his nearest contender for the leadership of Alberta's Progressive Conservative party, but the question has become whether he can win on second choices.

With 73 of 83 constituencies reporting Saturday night, Dinning leads ex-cabinet minister Ed Stelmach 40 per cent to 32 per cent. Ted Morton, the voice of the hard right, has 28 per cent.

Stelmach ran third in the first round of balloting last Saturday, capturing 15 per cent of the vote.

Dinning captured 29,470 votes, about 30 per cent of the 97,690 votes cast by party members in the first round. On his heels was rookie backbencher Morton, who received 25,648 votes (26 per cent).

If no one gets 50 per cent plus one of the votes cast in this second round, a preferential ballot kicks in.

The third candidate is dropped and the second choices of his supporters would count towards the totals of Dinning and Stelmach.

The candidates are waiting for results at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton. As results flashed on TV screens, Stelmach's supporters started yelling, "Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!"

CTV's Sarah Galashan, reporting from Edmonton, said she spoke with one senior Dinning official who said they don't think their candidate can win.

Political analyst David Taras, from the University of Calgary, told CTV News that Dinning's best hope was to lure new voters to the polls and make a heavy push for first choice on the ballot.

Because Dinning was so hard on Morton (and vice versa), few if any of Morton's supporters will pick him as a second choice. And the attack on Morton may well have turned off Stelmach's supporters.

If Dinning doesn't get a majority of the first preference, he'll have to be very close to the 50 per cent plus one barrier to win, Taras said.

"He has to be at 45 per cent or 44 per cent so that the preferential ballots, the second choices, push him over," he said.

Party insiders expect Stelmach to do the best as voters' second choice. Everyone likes the 55-year-old farmer. No one attacked him during the campaign.

Morton polarizes the race

The race has sparked interest primarily because of Morton.

Party members -- some of them newly minted and temporary -- turned out in droves Saturday to vote for a successor to party leader and Premier Ralph Klein.

As they left their polling station on Saturday, one couple admitted that they belong to another political party, and bought Tory memberships in an effort to stop Morton, the hard-right candidate on the ballot.

"I'm a two-minute Tory, I'm a Liberal, and I really don't want Ted Morton to be the premier of this province," Anne Wall told CTV News in Edmonton.

"You need to exercise your right to vote no matter what ... you have to do it," said Stan Wall.

Perhaps because of people like the Walls, some party insiders were estimating that the turnout for Saturday's second ballot would be at least 60 per cent higher than for the first ballot last weekend.

"We are projecting between 150,000 and 200,000 voters out,'' Sonny Mirth, the party's chief returning officer, told The Canadian Press.

Former finance minister Dinning, who left elected politics in 1997, is the establishment favourite in the race. Legendary ex-premier Peter Lougheed, who started the party's 35-year hold on power, has endorsed him.

Stelmach, nicknamed "Honest Ed," is popular with voters in rural and northern Alberta.

Morton wants to allow private health insurance and complains about Alberta's $14-billion contribution to equalization programs.

Three former candidates eliminated in the first round -- Lyle Oberg, Dave Hancock and Mark Norris -- support Stelmach, suggesting he could emerge as the compromise candidate between Dinning and Morton.

The winner replaces Klein, who is retiring after 14 years as a popular and colourful political leader in which he won four consecutive majority governments.

He finally submitted his resignation on Sept. 20 after getting a very disappointing result in a leadership review vote this spring, formally triggering the race to replace him in the post he has held for 14 years.

Progressive Conservatives have been in power since 1971 (Klein's predecessors were Lougheed and Don Getty), and so the job of Alberta premier is one of the steadiest positions in politics.

walli
Dec 3, 2006, 7:58 AM
Oh man, Steady Eddy is going to win this!

I am running back and forth between my PC and the TV and just watched both Dinning and Morton talking. Dinning will probably hold out till the second ballot before he concedes defeat, unlike Morton.

Well, Dinning does have 40% more votes than Morton. Not a surprise.

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 8:01 AM
Well, Dinning does have 40% more votes than Morton. Not a surprise.

Yes, but it certainly was interesting seeing the expression on Dinning's face. As well, He kept repeating that he wants to wait for the numbers, and apparently went immediately to his campaign team to talk about what to do. Sounds like defeat is imminent to me, and they know it.

walli
Dec 3, 2006, 8:02 AM
Jim - 48543
Ed - 44046
Ted - 36071

Edmonchuck
Dec 3, 2006, 8:17 AM
So much for this "Edmonton doesn't vote well and Ted will win" crap...



December 2, 2006

Stelmach moves in on DinningWaiting on results from 4 constituencies
By CP



Ed Stelmach arrives at the PC leadership vote gathering Saturday night at the Alberta Aviation Museum. (Ryan Jackson, Special to the Sun)
In a hall packed with supporters chanting “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” longtime Tory cabinet minister Ed Stelmach appeared set to move on to a two-man runoff vote in the race to replace Ralph Klein as premier of Alberta.

With 79 of 83 constituencies reporting, the 55-year-old farmer from northern Alberta garnered 34% of ballots in the election for a new leader of the governing Progressive Conservative party.

Jim Dinning, the former finance minister and early race favourite, led with 38% while rookie backbencher Ted Morton trailed the field at 28%.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Results of Saturday’s Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership vote, with 79 of 83 constituencies reporting:

Jim Dinning 48,543
Ed Stelmach 44,046
Ted Morton 36,071

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If no candidate commands a majority of votes, the third-place finisher drops off the ballot and his supporters’ second-choice votes will be apportioned to the other two.

There was concern in the Dinning camp that should his ideological foe Morton drop off the ballot, the majority of his supporters will have voted for Stelmach as their second choice.

• Photo Gallery: Tories pick a leader


As the results were flashed on giant screens in an old airplane hangar north of the city’s downtown, legions of Stelmach supporters in white T-shirts and blue scarves cheered, waved Ed signs and chanted his name.

It was a surprising leap in popularity for Stelmach compared with the first round last week, when 97,690 party members voted across the province. In that vote, Dinning was first with 30%, four percentage points ahead of Morton and double the total of Stelmach.

Although lacking the campaign war chest and headline-grabbing quotes of his rivals, the man from a rural constituency north of Edmonton made up for it with a down-home appeal to honour, integrity and common sense that garnered supporters on both sides of the rural-urban divide.

The race for the reins of Canada’s richest province was officially on for two months. Eight initial leadership hopefuls criss-crossed the province and squared off in at least a dozen forums and debates. Five dropped off the ballot after the first vote failed to produce a majority for any.

Dinning had been organizing his leadership for some four years and was perceived as the front-runner since the start of the campaign. Despite being out of government for almost a decade, he had the support of more than half the Tory caucus.

He left government for the private sector in 1997 and is best known politically for implementing the painful deficit-slaying budget cuts that became a hallmark of the Klein Revolution.

Morton, a political scientist and pillar of the old federal Reform Party, ran on a platform that included opposing any special treatment for Quebec from Ottawa.

He also wants to allow private insurance and private clinics to offer health-care services, and has railed against Alberta’s $14-billion contribution to the federal equalization program, which helps poorer provinces.

As a backbencher he proposed a private member’s bill that would have allowed people to speak out against same-sex marriage and protect them from consequences if they refused to conduct gay weddings or teach about same-sex marriage in schools.

Many high-profile Tories have worried publicly about Morton’s policies, which lie considerably to the right of Klein’s, and suggested that his victory could cause the party to rupture and lose power.

Throughout the upheaval in Alberta politics this year, Stelmach has shown unwavering loyalty to his old boss, Klein.

He rallied behind Klein this spring after the Tory party gave the premier a tepid 55% approval rating, prompting him to step down ahead of his initial retirement date of 2008.

Unofficially, the campaign to succeed Klein, the longest serving current, began two years ago after the Tories won their fourth-straight mandate, but with a reduced majority of 62 seats in the 83-seat legislature and a popular vote of less than 50 per cent.

The premier was accused of a lacklustre campaign and there were rumblings the party was becoming unglued.

scumtoes
Dec 3, 2006, 8:33 AM
looks like ed[monton] wins

walli
Dec 3, 2006, 8:39 AM
looks like ed[monton] wins

Hopefully not at the province's cost!

BTW - the latest I saw was ~50K each for Jim and Ed. Almost guarantees Ed the win. I'm actually quite curious as to how many of Morton's votes move over.

rapid_business
Dec 3, 2006, 8:44 AM
I know Mandel gave him the thumbs up, anyone know his position on giving the cities some cash to handle the economic crunch?
(hoping for public transit cash from the prov.)

mersar
Dec 3, 2006, 8:46 AM
Mandel was pushing for Dinning (I was just reading an article in the herald the other day, see here (http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=c4ac3d7b-8a07-4946-9323-ec4613d0abd5&p=2)) that talked about how Mandel may be eyeing a jump up to provincal politics in the next provincal election.

Someone did post about Stelmach's plan for the cities earlier, something like $1.5 billion right away to help out.

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 8:53 AM
I know Mandel gave him the thumbs up, anyone know his position on giving the cities some cash to handle the economic crunch?
(hoping for public transit cash from the prov.)

Stelmach seems to understand city's needs well. His committment is to phase in the $1.4 billion equivilant to the education property tax amount to go back to cities. This is significant. It will mean about an extra $500 million to Calgary a year. That can be spent presumably on anything the city wants. I say use about 1/3-1/2 of that every year just on expansion of LRT.

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 8:57 AM
Results in the Alberta Tory Leadership Race
Last Update: 12:49 AM - Sunday December 03

Results from the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race with 83/83 polls reporting:

50, 937 Ed Stelmach
49, 753 Jim Dinning
38, 706 Ted Morton

wow. They might as well crown king eddy now. Hey! they might as well keep Klein's old hang out open!

mersar
Dec 3, 2006, 9:09 AM
Looks like Stelmach is 77577 to 55501 from what I've heard Global announced... nothing on the news sites yet though to confirm.

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 9:18 AM
Incredible. A day for political underdogs for sure. I think he could turn out to be a good premier. It will be nice for a change to have a more calm and collected leader.

The more I read, the more I like him.

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 9:19 AM
Long live King Ed, 13th Premier of Alberta, of the Progressive Conservative Dynasty.

mersar
Dec 3, 2006, 9:24 AM
Agreed.

Now to wait and see how he composes his cabinet. I am predicting a fairly good sized overhaul compared to current, and I also have to agree with the one person global interviewed who suggested that Harvey Cenanko (sp?) will be a good choice for deputy premier as it gives Calgary a fairly major respresentation as well.

Not to mention what we will likely be hearing from bronco tommorow... I bet he's at home drooling over the prospect of a ton of cash that he's been wanting so much for the city. Makes for a nice xmas present for all the muncipalities.

rapid_business
Dec 3, 2006, 9:25 AM
Mandel was pushing for Dinning (I was just reading an article in the herald the other day, see here (http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=c4ac3d7b-8a07-4946-9323-ec4613d0abd5&p=2)) that talked about how Mandel may be eyeing a jump up to provincal politics in the next provincal election.

Someone did post about Stelmach's plan for the cities earlier, something like $1.5 billion right away to help out.

Mandel had promised his vote to Dinning long ago, but after a meeting with Stelmach last week, said that he thought Stelmach had the best interests and was the best choice for the city of Edmonton.

EDIT: He intended to keep his Dinning promise despite his recent meeting however.

mersar
Dec 3, 2006, 9:25 AM
Mandel had promised his vote to Dinning long ago, but after a meeting with Stelmach last week, said that he thought Stelmach had the best interests and was the best choice for the city of Edmonton.

Ah. I hadn't heard about that.

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 9:26 AM
Premier Ed
Stelmach overtakes Dinning to become Albertan's new premier
Larry Johnsrude, Andrea Sands, edmontonjournal.com
Published: Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sometimes, nice guys do finish first.

Ed Stelmach, the farmer who was often called too nice a guy to be a good leader, has been chosen Alberta’s new premier.

In a preferrential balloting system, Stelmach pulled ahead of frontrunner Jim Dinning to win the leadership and premier’s office shortly after 1 a.m. today.

After trailing throughout the night, Stelmach edged out Dinning when the final votes were counted just before 1 a.m. today. With all 83 polling stations reporting, Stelmach had 51,764 votes to Dinning’s 51,282. Ted Morton trailed with 41,282.

When Morton’s second-choice ballots were counted under the preferrential balloting system, he had more than 77,000 votes — enough for a clear majority.

It wasn a stunning turnaround for Stelmach, who finished third in last week’s first ballot and appeared to have been left on the sidelines in a two-way fight between Dinning and Morton.

But he quietly positioned himself as the only candidate who could bring the divided Conservative party together and build bridges to all Albertans.

Momentum seemed to be on Stelmach’s side all night.

Of more than a thousand volunteers crammed into the Alberta Aviation Museum on Kingsway Avenue, Stelmach’s supporters were by far in the majority. Most of Edmonton’s Conservative MLAs are working for Stelmach or Dinning and perceive Morton as two hard-line socially conservative for their tastes.

Stelmach picked up support and campaign workers from the David Hancock, Mark Norris and Lyle Oberg leadership camps. Hancock, Oberg and Norris were knocked out in last week’s ballot.

Stelmach was also the most visible of the three candidates throughout the night, mingling with the crowd and cheering along with his supporters as the numbers were posted on the board.

It is the second time in the same day that third-place finishers jumped ahead to win. Stephane Dion did the same earlier today at the national Liberal leadership in Montreal.

Morton said he was disappointed he wasn’t doing better in Edmonton and Calgary but said he expects a strong rural showing to boost his numbers.

Conservative party officials reported heavy turnout across the province as a record of more than 128,000 Albertans cast ballots in the second and final ballot for party leader and premier.

Results will be announced later tonight at the Aviation Museum.

Party workers began filing into the the drafty former airport hanger shortlly after the polls closed. The cavernous building, furnished with cocktail tables and festooned with Tory orange and blue baloons, is serving as media centre and celebration headquarters. The three leadership candidates and their teams will watch the results on giant video screeens.here. The winner and losers are expected to make their acceptance and concession speeches in front of hundreds of party workers.

Todays vote capped months of agressive and often-bitter campaigning.

Dinning, former Alberta treasurer, campaigned on his experience in government and the TransAlta corporate boardroom. He promised no major changes in direction for the province but said it would be better managed under a Dinning government.

But Morton, a politicial science professor from the University of Calgary who had never held a cabinet post, promised to move the Conservative party and the province to the right. His defiant “more Alberta, less Ottawa” was a forewarning of a tougher pro-province tact and his proposals for private health insurance was his rallying cry for health reform. He also staked out a social conservative line with his opposition to gay marriage and proposed to strenghten the province’s hand with a provincial police force and pension plan.

Stelmach, a farmer from Andrew, positioned himself between the two with his conciliatory overtures to reach out to all Albertans and all factions of the divided Conservative party.

Voting Conservatives, many of whom bought their memberships at the polling stations, ranked their first and second choices in the preferrential ballot. If no candidate gets a clear majority on the first count, the third-place candidate will be struck from the running and the second choice from his ballots will be distributed to the two frontrunners.

People snapped up new Conservative Party memberships at polling stations around Edmonton today at $5 apiece for the right to record their picks for leader.

“It’s frantic,” said Sol Rolingher, returning officer at the Edmonton Glenora polling station.

“We’re selling probably twice as many (new memberships) as last Saturday.”

The deputy returning officer for Edmonton Highlands Norwood, Dan Papirnik, said membership sales there had also skyrocketed. Last Saturday, about 110 new memberships were sold in total for the party’s first-ballot vote. By 1 p.m. today, more than 200 new memberships had been sold.

“We’ve got a lot of first-timers voting,” Papirnik said.

“People are pretty excited about having the opportunity to participate and decide who will be the next premier.”

University of Lethbridge student Ryan McDonald bought his Conservative Party membership today at the Edmonton Whitemud polling station that had last week’s highest voter turnout. Dave Hancock, the riding's MLA, won 47 per cent of the 3,069 votes last Saturday but is no longer on the ballot.

“I voted for Jim Dinning, basically because I think Ted Morton is way too far to the right and I didn’t want him to win,” McDonald said.

Office manager Doreen Muth cast her ballot for Stelmach today, with Morton as her second choice. Last weekend, she voted for Dinning.

“I just felt like he started the whole fight that was going on all week, and I’m not interested in that,” Muth said.

“It was a hard choice, I have to admit, between Stelmach and Morton.”

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 9:28 AM
Agreed.

Now to wait and see how he composes his cabinet. I am predicting a fairly good sized overhaul compared to current, and I also have to agree with the one person global interviewed who suggested that Harvey Cenanko (sp?) will be a good choice for deputy premier as it gives Calgary a fairly major respresentation as well.

Not to mention what we will likely be hearing from bronco tommorow... I bet he's at home drooling over the prospect of a ton of cash that he's been wanting so much for the city. Makes for a nice xmas present for all the muncipalities.

I am sure Dave will be all over his case ensuring he keeps his promise. If so, it is a huge day for our cities. That kind of fiscal transfer carried forward into the longterm is a huge deal.

rapid_business
Dec 3, 2006, 9:29 AM
Primier Ed, eh? reminds me of the '04 city of Edmonton elections.

Stolen from my blog, written Thursday...www.onishenko.net (http://www.onishenko.net/archives/70)

"...But, then again, maybe my approach to the whole issue is wrong. This anybody but Morton strategy reminds me of the 2004 Edmonton mayoral election. The big 3 were Bill Smith, Robert Noce and Stephen Mandel (in that order). It looked like it would be a battle between Smith and Noce to the bitter end. The last two weeks of the electing saw people aligning themselves with Smith to combat Noce over his flip-flopped position on the smoking bylaw (under pressure from bingo halls and dive bars to relax the bylaw). Mandel looked like he was out of the race. People were jumping out of his camp to combat Noce. But the polls shocked everyone! People decided they didn’t want Noce, they didn’t want another term of ‘booster Bill’, they wanted change. Although it looked like an “anybody but Noce” race where the clout would be thrown behind the most probable opposing candidate, democracy ruled, and people voted for the candidate they ‘wanted’ to run the city.

Maybe that means 3rd place Stelmach has a chance. With the support of a number of now eliminated candidates, and as Mayor Mandel said, “the best choice for specifically the city of Edmonton”, (despite his support for Dinning), maybe he’ll be the “Mandel” of this election...."

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 9:30 AM
^Good call. you were bang on

SHOFEAR
Dec 3, 2006, 9:31 AM
I really wish Stelmach would have better promoted his plan for the cities. I had no idea this was his plan and it would have changed my vote. I guess it worked out well in the end.

My family is all from Andrew so Stelmach was always the sentimental choice.

itom 987
Dec 3, 2006, 9:52 AM
What a great day for Alberta!

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 10:18 AM
In general I have to say I am unimpressed with the media coverage of the convention tonight. There was hardly any coverage from the local stations, even on the radio. At the same time, CBC spent the entire day masturbating to the Grits. A bit excessive? IIRC, they didn't spend a quarter as much time during the Federal Tory Convention, or any other party for that matter.

CBC's website doesn't even show that Stelmach won.

Edmonchuck
Dec 3, 2006, 10:37 AM
I like Stelmach's transportation policy - Alberta has already lost too many airports, unfortunately some of his plans would run smack into federal jurisdiction where they would face indifference or worse, airport authorities such as that in Edmonton.




WTF do you mean airport authorities as that in Edmonton? You mean those that are enforcing the will of the majority...only 1 freaking airport????

Do some research first...77% said only 1 in one of the highest turnouts for a plebiscite in Edmonton's history. Topic dead. It's not our fault that YEG was built hell and gone, talk to transport canada.

Also, talk to the County of Leduc to let us put freaking busses to the airport already. I think that is what Ed is alluding to in his speech. Transit to airports...and expanding Ft Mac, and maybe even getting stuff into Red Deer to kill this high speed rail BS.

Kilgore Trout
Dec 3, 2006, 11:25 AM
In general I have to say I am unimpressed with the media coverage of the convention tonight. There was hardly any coverage from the local stations, even on the radio. At the same time, CBC spent the entire day masturbating to the Grits. A bit excessive? IIRC, they didn't spend a quarter as much time during the Federal Tory Convention, or any other party for that matter.

to be fair, it was every national network that had live coverage of the liberal convention all day long. plus, it was national, not provincial, and it was an actual convention, with real, tangible action and plenty of things to look at. if the networks had covered the tory race in alberta live, they wouldn't have had any images to broadcast.

in any event, congratulations alberta -- you didn't pick ted morton!

mersar
Dec 3, 2006, 11:36 AM
if the networks had covered the tory race in alberta live, they wouldn't have had any images to broadcast.

And unfortunately those that did cover at least part of the night (Global) all they did was have their reporters float around asking all the MLA's, former candidates and volunteers that were present the same questions, and getting pretty much the same answers. Then they pulled a CBC and cut to show SNL in the middle of one of the hosts talking.

Bassic Lab
Dec 3, 2006, 12:10 PM
In general I have to say I am unimpressed with the media coverage of the convention tonight. There was hardly any coverage from the local stations, even on the radio. At the same time, CBC spent the entire day masturbating to the Grits. A bit excessive? IIRC, they didn't spend a quarter as much time during the Federal Tory Convention, or any other party for that matter.

CBC's website doesn't even show that Stelmach won.

CBC actually tends to do the same thing for every national leadership race, including the NDP. You have to remember that a lot of money for local coverage was axed some time ago. That and the Liberal leadershi was both more important on a national scale and far more interesting. Dicking around while each poll comes in would not be very interesting. The entire race was decided by the time the polls closed, all that was left was the counting. A delegate convention on the other hand has suspense along with twists and turns. There were three seperate votes with deals and politicing going on in between each, instead of just one.

Wooster
Dec 3, 2006, 5:03 PM
Temporary Tories cast leadership votes to head off Morton
Liberal supporters buy memberships to have a say in selection of Alberta's next premier
Andrea Sands, The Edmonton Journal; With files from The Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

EDMONTON - Hundreds of Albertans became temporary

Tories on Saturday to choose the next leader of the Progressive Conservative party and the province's next premier.

Sales of new Tory memberships were brisk across Alberta, said Sonny Mirth, the party's chief returning officer.

The party knows some of its newest members don't intend to vote Conservative in the next general election, but the party didn't want to restrict voting privileges to longtime members, he said.

Only members could vote, but memberships were for sale at the polling stations.

"There will be lots of people who have said, in their own minds, 'I want to participate in this election process because it is an election of the premier,' " Mirth said.

Marilyn Blackall had no qualms about joining the PC party Saturday, even though she doesn't expect to vote Conservative in the next provincial election.

"I haven't voted Conservative in my life," the 55-year-old retired teacher and longtime Liberal said as she waited to cast her ballot for Jim Dinning.

Blackall, her husband, Peter, and their daughter each paid $5 to buy party memberships at the busy Edmonton-Whitemud polling station.

"This is worth way more to me than $5," Blackall said.

"I think Jim Dinning more closely represents where I stand than any other candidate. I see him as less right (wing) than the others."

It was Dinning's closest rival who propelled the Blackalls to the polls.

Blackall, a member of the Mill Woods United Church, said she has grave concerns about Ted Morton's views on same-sex marriage.

"Our congregation openly welcomes all sexual orientations, race, gender, age, ability and economic status ... to all aspects of church life, which includes becoming a minister," Blackall said.

Last spring, Morton introduced a private member's bill designed to protect marriage commissioners from human-rights complaints if they refuse to marry same-sex couples.

Morton's proposed bill also would have allowed students to opt out of being taught about same-sex issues. Opposition parties blocked the bill from reaching a final vote. Government lawyers had warned it could be challenged as unconstitutional.

Louise Kennelly, another new PC party ember, cast her ballot for Ed Stelmach. She usually votes Liberal provincially, but felt compelled to participate in the leadership race because Morton was hot on Dinning's heels after the first ballot. "Absolutely no Morton," Kennelly declared.

Deanna Miller, 30, and her husband Jeff Miller, 28, also joined the party hoping to counter Morton's support.

They usually vote for the Green Party. On Saturday, Deanna voted for Dinning, with Stelmach as her second choice, and Jeff voted for Stelmach with Dinning second.

"I felt that my vote had more say over who would be the leader of this province in this election than any other," Deanna said.

There were plenty of Morton supporters out voting as well. Longtime Conservative Andrew Tarnowski, 64, said Stelmach is too mild and Dinning has spent too much time in corporate boardrooms to earn his vote.

"Right now, it's a new page (after Ralph Klein) and I believe it's important to find the right replacement."

Tom Burke, the returning officer for the Edmonton-Whitemud polling station, said there was a noticeable surge in new membership sales compared with last week. About 650 memberships were sold before the first ballot a week ago, and he expected to sell about 1,000 memberships for the second vote.

People were also snapping up new memberships at the Edmonton-Glenora polling station.

"It's frantic," returning officer Sol Rolingher said.

While most stations reported smooth voting, the day wasn't without its controversies.

By mid-afternoon, the assistant chief returning officer was called to check on problems in Calgary-Montrose.

Alan Hallman, campaign manager for Jim Dinning, asked Garry Robertson to visit the polling station after they received calls from Vietnamese voters who suggested they were being told how to vote as they entered the polling station at Eastside City Church.

"I'm concerned about it," Hallman said.

"I don't want the process tainted."

Robertson declined to comment on the issue.

But Calgary-Montrose MLA Hung Pham, who was the subject of the complaint and was backing Morton, said he wasn't doing anything wrong by having a motorhome set up in the parking lot of the polling station.

"Everything is fine," he said, suggesting he was using the motorhome to greet supporters -- similar to other MLAs who were glad-handing people arriving to vote.

There were also concerns raised by the other camps that Dinning's supporters were campaigning too close to the polling stations.

Early results showed higher voter turnout across the province, with Dinning doing well in Calgary, Morton in communities such as Lethbridge and Red Deer and Stelmach winning ridings such as Edmonton-Manning, Stony Plain and Edmonton-Decore.

asands@thejournal.canwest.com

-------------------------

This was definitely one of the big stories that drove the outcome. Also, the anti-another-premier-from-Calgary sentiment.

I think this campaign showed that ideologues like Morton are no longer the majority opinion in Alberta, and are infact now on the fringes. As Alberta becomes overwhelmingly urban, young - the province is moving more and more quickly to the Centre of the political spectrum.

Funny enough, Stelmach, as the true rural candidate seems to have the policies that are the most urban friendly in terms of infrastructure, increased municipal funding, housing and homelessness and so on. He will definitely need to reach out to Calgary. Last election fortress Calgary crumbled a bit, and if he does not respond to Calgary's needs, I feel that most of the inner city ridings will go Liberal.

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 5:16 PM
CBC actually tends to do the same thing for every national leadership race, including the NDP. You have to remember that a lot of money for local coverage was axed some time ago. That and the Liberal leadershi was both more important on a national scale and far more interesting. Dicking around while each poll comes in would not be very interesting. The entire race was decided by the time the polls closed, all that was left was the counting. A delegate convention on the other hand has suspense along with twists and turns. There were three seperate votes with deals and politicing going on in between each, instead of just one.

Well, the Tory Convention was both more important and interesting to me, and while I don't expect the CBC to spend all night on it, they couldn't even be bothered to show any other stories but the Liberal Convention. Instead, they ended up showing a full night of old speeches, long after the votes had been counted and Dion decided as winner. Is that interesting? NO!

Rusty van Reddick
Dec 3, 2006, 5:45 PM
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

But Calgary-Montrose MLA Hung Pham, who was the subject of the complaint and was backing Morton, said he wasn't doing anything wrong by having a motorhome set up in the parking lot of the polling station.

"Everything is fine," he said, suggesting he was using the motorhome to greet supporters -- similar to other MLAs who were glad-handing people arriving to vote.

He bought memberships for Vietnamese people, came to pick them up a their homes and TOLD them to vote for Morton. This guy belongs in prison. He was involved in the Aftergood vote fraud (and remember that Aftergood was the candidate of the Progressive Group for Independent Business, which is Craig Chandler's ultra-right-wing religious lobby- it has nothing to do with "business")- and he was trying to do the same damn thing for Morton.

SHOFEAR
Dec 3, 2006, 6:11 PM
I'm with Boris on this. Coverage was pretty weak. Flicking through the 24 hour channels the tickers on the bottom looked like they were written 12 hours earlier. Not to mention zero online updates. At least Global stuck around for a little while, would of been nice if they stayed around for another 30 minutes.

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 6:43 PM
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=24dabd3a-c050-4e47-a886-b1f748993f82&k=36789

Underdog Tory Ed Stelmach stuns observers, wins race to become Alta. premier
Canadian Press

EDMONTON (CP) - An underdog Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate nicknamed 'Honest Ed' has streaked across the finish line to become premier of one of Canada's richest provinces.

Ed Stelmach, a farmer and former cabinet minister, stood in a giant aviation hangar in Edmonton Saturday as supporters nearly lifted the iron rafters cheering his name in the wake of his surprise victory.

Stelmach defeated Jim Dinning, who was the front-runner after last weekend's first ballot vote and second-place finisher Ted Morton.

With former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and the two defeated candidates standing behind him, Morton told the crowd that the recent birth of his grandson provided the inspiration to continue, to help ensure the future of young Albertans.

The 55-year-old former intergovernmental affairs minister collected just over 53 per cent of the 144,022 ballots, compared to 38.5 per cent for Dinning.

While Alberta is the economic envy of many other provinces, Stelmach will have to face many of the problems brought on by its economic boom, including a lack of affordable housing and traffic-snarled roads.


http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=a9c4618f-b3ea-41b3-9d15-05ccbda4a288

Voters punish Calgary candidate

Tom Olsen, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just say no to Calgary.

That was the message the rest of the province seemed poised to deliver, as Alberta appeared on line to receive Ed Stelmach as its first premier of Ukrainian heritage.

Rural Alberta and roughly half of Edmonton decided they were sick of a leader coming from southern Alberta, specifically the city by the Bow.

It was a monstrous backlash against Jim Dinning, a man critics painted as leader of the establishment old-boys network.

Stelmach became the rural darling who woke up a lot of people with his third place finish on the first ballot last Saturday.

Contenders who were struck from the running -- Lyle Oberg, Mark Norris and Dave Hancock -- backed Ed and were able to deliver their votes, but that wasn't the only bump Stelmach got.

As he said himself, his campaign heard from thousands of Tory party members between the first and second ballots, who'd told him they'd initially written him off, but were now convinced he could win.

It still looked like anyone's game as the first polls started rolling in, but it soon became clear Stelmach was pulling away from Ted Morton in the race for second.

For periods during the evening, Stelmach actually was ahead of Dinning.

Norris, who jumped to Stelmach after the first ballot, and has since been offered the Tory party executive director's job (to replace Peter Elzinga) said the buzz for Ed was electric as the week progressed.

"People saw a hard-right turn for the party, and they saw the old-guard status quo," said Norris. "They saw Ed as the reasonable middle ground."

It the end, it came down to the competing negative campaigns run during the final week by Morton and Dinning.

Neither man said a disparaging word against Stelmach, but concentrated on bashing each other.

The airport hangar that became Tory HQ Saturday night seemed dominated by the royal blue of Stelmach supporters.

Blue scarves were everywhere, and when results were announced, the hollering for Ed was loudest.

In a mark of the kind of guy he was, Stelmach was the only candidate to show up and mingle with supporters before results started coming in.

No Morton, no Dinning, but there was Ed, and it was no insincere photo op.

The worst-case scenario for Dinning started shaping up just before 10 p.m., when results from roughly half the constituencies had Stelmach hot on his heels.

JD's strategy throughout the last week of the campaign was to paint Morton as a right-wing loon who would damage the province.

Morton counter charged that JD was the status-quo candidate, under whom nothing would change.

Some party insiders weren't convinced Morton was the biggest threat.

"My big fear is, if Jim Dinning wins, he doesn't include Ted and the people he represents," said Marv Moore, a former cabinet minister and long-time party organizer.

"Ted will end up the leader of the (Alberta) Alliance and win 15 seats in rural Alberta next election. That will be bad for us."

As the evening rolled on, it looked like two forces were at work.

The strategy to question Morton's social policies seemed to work, as there was uneasiness about exactly what he stood for, even in some rural Alberta strongholds.

At least as strong as that, though, was an Anyone But Dinning campaign that appeared to be taking firm root.

Chris Ghazouly, an Oberg organizer who went to Stelmach for the second ballot, said there was a major thirst for a candidate from the country.

"Up in the north, where Lyle is strong, some people weren't really sure who Ed was," said Ghazouly.

"They didn't know him, but they wanted a rural guy, and he fit the bill."

Morton looked like he had the momentum coming out of last week's first ballot, but it clearly shifted during the countdown to Saturday night.

Stelmach went from the dark horse to narrow front-runner.

The Conservative party was asked to choose between a candidate who offered resounding change, and another who promised inclusive leadership, with no major policy switches.

Early in the evening, it appeared a slim majority of Alberta Tories were voting for Stelmach, the low-key third option.

tolsen@theherald.canwest.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey, even if he isn't from Calgary, at least he's a fellow Ukrainian (that part of my family all has it's roots in the Viking area... okay so maybe I'm only 1/4 Ukrainian but still...) :D

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/story.html?id=249d7276-aa35-437b-b2de-e741872da85a

Decision day draws voters of every political stripe

Colette Derworiz, Calgary Herald; With files from the Edmonton Journal
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

Voters of every political stripe -- from Tory blue to Liberal red to NDP orange -- filed into polling stations Saturday to pick a new leader for the Progressive Conservative party and Alberta's next premier.

The day started with lineups at some stations before the polls even opened, a steady flow of both veteran and rookie voters, and complaints about aggressive tactics by MLAs and campaign supporters.

It ended with tens of thousands of Albertans casting their ballots in the second -- and final -- round of voting to replace retiring Premier Ralph Klein.

In Calgary, the process started smoothly, with throngs of long-time party members casting their ballots and several other Calgarians -- some who have never voted Conservative in their lives -- buying memberships just to have their say.

"I am not really affiliated with any party," said Babette Blindert, who cast a ballot Saturday in Calgary-Elbow even though she normally votes Liberal or NDP. "I am concerned Ted Morton will get in.

"So I voted for Jim Dinning first and Ed Stelmach second."

Former provincial treasurer Dinning, 53, captured 30 per cent of the 97,690 votes cast last week during the first ballot, while Morton snared 26 per cent of the vote and Stelmach got 15 per cent.

But sales of new Tory memberships were extremely brisk across Alberta, according to the party officials.

Chief returning officer Sonny Mirth noted the party recognizes that some of its newest members don't intend to vote Conservative in the next election, but the party didn't want to restrict voting to long-time members. Only members were allowed to vote, but memberships were on sale at the polling stations.

"We view this . . . as being really an election of the premier, as well as being the election of the leader of our party," Mirth said. "There will be lots of people who have said, in their own minds, 'I want to participate in this election process because it is an election of the premier.' "

Catherine Butlin, who bought a membership Saturday, said she was simply hoping to influence the outcome.

"I was surprised by the outcome of last weekend's vote," she said. "So I redoubled my efforts to make it here today."

John Pedersen, voting with his wife in the Calgary-Montrose riding in northeast Calgary, said he cast a ballot to make sure the right person won.

"Once, in a small town where I decided to go out and vote at the last minute . . . the mayor won by one vote," he said as a steady stream of Tories filed into the polling station.

While most stations reported smooth voting, the day wasn't without its controversies.

By mid-afternoon, the assistant chief returning officer was called to check on problems at Calgary-Montrose.

Alan Hallman, campaign manager for Jim Dinning, asked Garry Robertson to visit the polling station after they received calls from Vietnamese voters who suggested they were being told how to vote as they entered the polling station at Eastside City Church.

"I'm concerned about it," Hallman said. "I don't want the process tainted."

Robertson declined to comment on the issue.

But Calgary-Montrose MLA Hung Pham, who was the subject of the complaint and was backing Morton, said he wasn't doing anything wrong by having a motorhome set up in the parking lot of the polling station.

"Everything is fine," he said, suggesting he was using the motorhome to greet supporters -- similar to other MLAs who were glad-handing people arriving to vote.

There were also concerns raised by the other camps that Dinning's supporters were campaigning too close to the polling stations.

In other communities across the province, voting was brisk -- drawing a somewhat unusual breed of Alberta Tory voters.

"I haven't voted Conservative in my life," said Marilyn Blackall, a retired teacher and long-time Liberal in Edmonton.

However, both she and her husband said the $5 membership was worth the cost to ensure Morton, who is viewed as a social conservative, did not become the next premier.

"Absolutely no Morton," agreed Louise Kennedy, another Liberal in Edmonton who joined the Progressive Conservative party on Saturday.

cderworiz@theherald.canwest.com

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 6:48 PM
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=cbbd8bef-5e8d-423b-9f30-eff1a95b8dac

Stelmach kept hands clean to emerge as surprise contender

Suzanne Wilton, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

He was the dark horse. The nice guy. The candidate who refused to throw mud to get ahead when the other two potential Tory leaders couldn't find enough slingshots in the final week leading up to the second ballot.

And suddenly Ed Stelmach was in a race for second place, with a very possible vault to the premier's office at press time Saturday, surprising almost everyone.

"Never ever say there's a sure thing in politics," said Bruce Foster, chair of policy studies at Mount Royal College. "Stranger things do happen."

Even Jim Dinning supporters were losing optimism as the polls rolled in, showing Stelmach behind Dinning but ahead of Ted Morton by a significant number of votes.

"This is the biggest surprise I've ever experienced," said Dinning supporter Rick Orman, a former Calgary MLA who ran and came in third against Ralph Klein in the 1992 leadership race.

"What Ed Stelmach has accomplished is in my view remarkable -- an insurmountable accomplishment regardless of what happens," added Orman.

Stelmach became a serious contender after taking third place in the first ballot a week ago.

A final push this week saw him bring in people on both sides of the rural-urban divide, thanks in part to the support from the other candidates who joined his camp after failing to move ahead in the race appeared to make the difference.

"We came from nowhere a number of months ago where not too many people probably gave us a chance," Stelmach said as he arrived at Edmonton's Alberta Aviation Museum Saturday night after the polls closed. "We rallied the troops."

Those troops -- blue, volunteer-made scarves around their necks in a show of their support -- turned out early and en masse Saturday, filled with optimism their man would make it all the way.

Diana Davidiuk of Edmonton was with Stelmach from the beginning, citing his "strength of character" as a reason for backing him. But she also liked his policy platform.

"He supports health care and education," said the local teacher.

But she also liked that Stelmach refused to engage in a negative campaign, while other candidates were slinging mud.

"I think he exudes fairness and confidence," said Davidiuk, who was so turned off by the other two candidates she did not mark a second choice on her ballot.

In the end, it was partly that "nice guy" image that helped propel Stelmach to the front.

It was widely expected that Stelmach would be the most popular second choice on the ballot, which made his winning on a second count a very real possibility.

Foster added that although Stelmach lacked the kind of charisma that Albertans want in a premier, he came up the middle between two extreme candidates.

Stelmach is not an "ideological crusader," like Ted Morton, nor a "corporate smoothie," like Jim Dinning.

"I think that resonated," Foster said.

Fourth-place candidate Lyle Oberg -- whose Brooks riding went overwhelmingly in Stelmach's favour -- said the race dramatically changed when he and fellow candidates Dave Hancock and Mark Norris joined Stelmach's team.

"You saw the three of us join Ed -- it showed solidarity and unity to a lot of people," Oberg said as the race heated up Saturday night.

Stelmach supporters increasingly grew excited through the night, seeming almost as surprised as the pundits, their numbers -- and decibels -- inside the airport hanger exceeding those from the Dinning camp.

They pumped their fists, and hollered whenever a new poll came up in Stelmach's favour riding a high they hoped would carry them right to the premier's office.

swilton@theherald.canwest.com

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=86fa4a58-4800-42f6-984d-2ae3d43e4689

Dark horse Stelmach emerges as favourite

Tom Olsen, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

The first results rolled in at 8:40 p.m., announced live to the audience by Tory party president Doug Graham.

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo: Jim Dinning 397; Ted Morton 133; Ed Stelmach 306.

The first lesson of the leadership vote, Part 2 , was that Environment Minister Guy Boutilier couldn't deliver.

Boutilier had been a late-campaign arrival on Team Oberg, then followed Dr. O to Stelmach.

Not enough of his followers came along to give Ed the win, though he was close.

The early returns, in fact, reflected what all the signs pointed to going in: it was too close to call.

JD was super strong in Calgary, but Ed was motoring in Edmonton. That was expected, as he became northern Alberta's man after Mark Norris and Dave Hancock were eliminated.

In fact, it may be because Edmonton is Ed's home turf, but the airport hangar that became Tory HQ on Saturday night seemed dominated by the royal blue of Stelmach supporters.

Blue scarves were everywhere, and when results were announced, the hollering for Ed was loudest.

Dinning's people were fewer in number, but still pretty vocal.

The black-and-white Morton T-shirts were there, though not in the near overwhelming numbers seen last Saturday in Calgary, where they competed with the Dinning T's for supremacy.

In a mark of the kind of guy he is, Stelmach was the only candidate to show up and mingle with supporters before results started coming in.

No Morton, no Dinning, but there was Ed, and it was no insincere photo-op.

Frankly, nothing this man does is insincere.

As the evening unfolded, Dinning was out in front of the others, but by press time it was nothing close to a runaway.

In the meantime, Morton and Stelmach were duking it out for second and third spot, with Ed managing to stay several dozen votes ahead.

"If that trend continues, Ed's got it," said one party official.

That possibility was giving the Dinning folks fits.

Common wisdom said Ed's only shot at victory was if he vaulted past Morton into second place, then won on the preferential ballot.

That was JD's great fear as well, and his supporters were pleased their man was ahead, but fervently wishing the gap would grow.

The worst-case scenario for Dinning started shaping up just before 10 p.m., when results from roughly half the constituencies had Stelmach in front.

Dinning's strategy throughout the last week of the campaign was to paint Morton as a right-wing loon who would damage the province.

Morton counter-charged that JD was the status-quo candidate, under whom nothing would change.

Neither man, interestingly, took any potshots at Stelmach.

Dinning's warning Morton would drag Alberta down seemed to get some bounce, though some party insiders said that wasn't the real potential problem.

"My big fear is, if Jim Dinning wins, he doesn't include Ted and the people he represents," said Marv Moore, a former cabinet minister and longtime party organizer.

"Ted will end up the leader of the (Alberta) Alliance and win 15 seats in rural Alberta next election. That will be bad for us."

As the evening rolled on, it looked like two forces were at work.

The strategy to question Morton's social policies seemed to work, as there was uneasiness about exactly what he stood for, even in some rural Alberta strongholds.

At least as strong as that, though, was an Anyone But Dinning campaign that appeared to be taking firm root.

Chris Ghazouly, an Oberg organizer who went to Stelmach for the second ballot, said there was a major thirst for a candidate from the country.

"Up in the north, where Lyle is strong, some people weren't really sure who Ed was," said Ghazouly. "They didn't know him, but they wanted a rural guy, and he fit the bill."

Morton looked like he had the momentum coming out of last week's first ballot, but it clearly shifted during the countdown to Saturday night.

Stelmach went from the dark horse to narrow front-runner.

The Tory party was asked to choose between a candidate who offered resounding change, and another who promised inclusive leadership, with no major policy switches.

Early in the evening, it appeared a slim majority of Albertans were voting for Stelmach, the low-key third option.

tolsen@theherald.canwest.com

Boris2k7
Dec 3, 2006, 6:52 PM
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=2b34fd07-731b-4b22-a802-0e3a290f4d6e

Morton train loses steam
Cinderella bid fades as 'Steady Eddie' steals momentum

Tony Seskus, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

Time was ticking on rookie MLA Ted Morton's Cinderella bid for the premier's office late Saturday, with a surprisingly strong Ed Stelmach surging early.

Morton, who surprised observers by finishing second to Jim Dinning in voting last weekend, was hanging tough at press time with a number of ridings yet to go.

But Saturday, Stelmach dominated ridings in Edmonton and northern Alberta, while Dinning held tight to Calgary.

As the night continued, the future for Morton's campaign was looking increasingly uncertain.

"It looks like Steady Eddie might come up the middle," Morton said late Saturday.

"I know that my second preferences are overwhelmingly Stelmach. We thought after last week, that the momentum that we demonstrated would continue, but obviously it hasn't."

But Morton said he hoped that regardless of the outcome, there would be important roles for all three candidates in government.

"If the party wants to rebuild itself and be the big tent, everybody has to be in," Morton said as the votes continued to roll in.

Calling for "reform and renewal" in the party during his campaign, the 57-year-old academic found a particularly receptive audience in rural southern Alberta.

The Foothills-Rocky View MLA also reached out to conservative Albertans who worried the PC government had gone adrift. Morton, who was a senior adviser with the Canadian Alliance in 2001, emphasized democratic reforms within the party and government, including fixed election dates and a lobbyist registry.

He also talked about health-care reforms, creating a provincial police force and addressing the fiscal imbalance with Ottawa.

But in the last week of the race, he found himself targeted by Dinning, who painted his rival as a hardline Tory who'd alienate moderate Albertans.

Morton supporters from across the province flocked to the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, among them brothers Scott and Daniel Fitzsimmons from Calgary.

"He's giving rural Albertans some kind of voice in politics," said Daniel, 24. "He really does care about giving them some kind of presence."

Bruce Foster, chairman of policy studies at Mount Royal College, said Morton did well during the campaign as a whole because his message connected with many conservatives.

"He has appeal to those who are looking for an authentic voice of the right," Foster said.

But Foster didn't think Morton's message resonated with middle-of-the-road Tories who found "him to be a little too strident in his social conservative views."

While for much of the campaign Morton went after Dinning for being a candidate of the Tory establishment, Dinning's camp targeted Morton in the final week as too right-wing.

Morton responded by reminding Albertans how federal Tory Leader Stephen Harper was attacked by former prime minister Paul Martin in the last national election.

Morton also reached out to all Conservatives, saying his policies would be as conservative, liberal or moderate as the party wanted him to be.

He underscored the point by pledging to hold a referendum next fall on how much of the province's energy revenues should be socked away into Alberta's rainy day fund. He also said he would look to the party's annual meeting in March to set the principles and details of health reform in the province.

He also said that if he won, he'd welcome Dinning and Stelmach to play important roles in the government.

Morton capped off the week on Friday with a whirlwind tour of Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer.

"I'm committed to rebuilding a strong Conservative party and I think I've brought back -- and will bring back -- 20,000 to 30,000 active members into the party," Morton said Friday.

tseskus@theherald.canwest.com
© The Calgary Herald 2006


http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=a81d96fc-d2b7-4ab3-bf78-724a5a8e95bb

Dinning race turned tough in final days
Candidate fought political 'headache'

Kelly Cryderman, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, December 03, 2006

This was the week where instead of being pursued, Jim Dinning became the pursuer.

Although Dinning was ahead of his two PC party leadership rivals at press time, the result of the vote was far from clear -- the last days of his race with rival PC party leadership contenders Ted Morton and Ed Stelmach were a hard-fought political battle, tougher than any early expectations or predictions for Dinning, 53.

"The reality is they thought they were waltzing in the park and they woke up Sunday morning with an incredible headache," said University of Calgary political analyst David Taras.

Before the first ballot, the former treasurer had purposely refrained from attacking his opponents, or responding to any of their criticisms -- in the style of a front runner.

But after social conservative Ted Morton's surprise strong showing on the first ballot, Dinning began his attack. Even the night before results came in, Dinning referred to Morton as "a leader who is determined to fight the battles of the past and build firewalls, and not bridges to the rest of Canada."

During the rest of the week, Dinning continued in this vein, but momentum swayed in favour of Morton and then surged for Stelmach.

Taras said Dinning -- who spent years preparing for this leadership race -- could have been much more hard-hitting throughout the duration of the campaign and expressed greater clarity about his policy positions. This week, his campaign team had to play catch-up.

"Two weeks ago he was set to be the king of Alberta."

At the packed Alberta Aviation Museum hangar in Edmonton, Dinning did not make an appearance until well after 11 p.m. -- much later than handlers originally said and long after his rivals Stelmach and Morton had appeared.

kcryderman@theherald.canwest.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------

As you can probably tell by now, much more of today's Herald is devoted to King Eddy rather than to Stephane Dion. :yes:

freeweed
Dec 3, 2006, 7:03 PM
Gotta tell you, I'm with Boris on the coverage issue. Even the local stations, radio AND TV had live ongoing Liberal masturbation going on ALL FRIGGING DAY. Yes, I realize that if anything happens in Quebec it's obviously more important than anything in the West :haha: - but seriously:


A leadership race for a federal party that isn't even in power, and was seriously considering BOB RAE for shit's sake...

-or-

A leadership race for a provincial party that IS in power, in the country's
fastest-growing province.


I can understand that no one in Toronto wants to hear about what happens here. But with the amount of media attention I saw, you'd think we were voting on the next school board janitor for New Glasgow or something.

On the bright side, at least the federal Grits have fallen back to their old pattern of electing a Frenchman to appease Quebec. Just think of the Celine Dion jokes that SNL could make if this guy becomes PM!

IntotheWest
Dec 3, 2006, 8:27 PM
Thank god Dinning or Morton didn't win...I was already tired of listening to the two of them by the end of the week. As an Oberg supporter, I threw my vote behind Stemlach - as many of Oberg/Norris/Hancock supporters did obviously.

After spending the last decade grooming himself for this - and thinking it's in the bag - Dinning must be crushed today.

CMD UW
Dec 3, 2006, 9:05 PM
Very interesting finish and good for Ed.

flatlander
Dec 3, 2006, 9:26 PM
Thanks for posting all this coverage. In terms of media attention you just can't beat a delegate convention, even if it doesn't result in the most representative decision.

Interesting trend that we seem to see substance winning over style - in the federal Liberal and Conservative parties, and from what i can tell in the Alberta Tory party too.

Shodan
Dec 4, 2006, 2:50 PM
December 4, 2006

Cowtown curse!
Anti-Calgary bias blamed for Dinning loss

By RICK BELL, SUN MEDIA

CALGARY -- Calgarians are in an uproar after city champ Jim Dinning was trampled by a grassroots stampede to Edmonton-area farmer Ed Stelmach.

And some feel Stelmach's win was fuelled by anti-Calgary bias.

Cowtown Mayor Dave Bronconnier was conciliatory, saying he expects the new premier won't forget about city folk.

"When people get to know him, they're going to be pleasantly surprised, provided that he moves forward as aggressively as he put forward during the campaign," Bronconnier said.

"I think people will find that he's a very genuine person, he has an awful lot of integrity (and) he's a very hard worker."

Wayne Cao, chairman of Calgary PC MLAs, says Dinning was "unfairly hurt" by antipathy among some provincial Tories and fought the perception against Calgary from Day 1.

"The problem is, we had Ralph for 14 years and people outside Calgary think this is where we have a lot of power," said Cao, who backed Dinning.

Cao said far from the city getting everything it wanted under Ralph, MLAs outside Calgary resisted forking over funds. "Whenever we asked to get something for Calgary, some MLAs said: Calgary has enough," said Cao.

Even Dinning said he can't help but agree he was fighting the Calgary tag all along.

"Your postal code shouldn't matter, but clearly it's part of the explanation," he said. He said massive voter turnout in northern and central Alberta put Stelmach over the top.

"We thought more of it would come to us, and as it turned out, more of it went to Ed," he said.

Retired University of Calgary political science professor Stan Drabek was also surprised by Stelmach's win, calling him "bland." "You have to believe that it's almost an anything-but-Calgary type of vote," he said.

But Cao is confident Stelmach will remember Calgary. "I think our new premier knows the situation well. I strongly believe he's a man of integrity and he will have to take Calgary into account," said Cao.
_________________________________________________________________

December 4, 2006

Hey, Mr. Nice Guy: don't forget Calgary

By RICK BELL

CALGARY -- You'd have thought the Oilers had just won the Cup.

Long after yesterday's paper had been put to bed, in an old aircraft hanger and out in the parking lot, Tories on the winning side headed for a nightcap at a well-known watering hole within spitting distance of the legislature.

The shouts of unbridled joy were tough to miss. We finally beat them. We showed them this time. They aren't the boss anymore.

Or at least the Calgary they've created in their craniums. The city with the premier for the past 14 years, a place always getting what it wants. Greedy, big money Calgary.

The fact Calgary has not got much of what it wants from the Tories, despite all the support for the party, doesn't matter.

So many of the folks who voted for Ed Stelmach rebelled against Calgary. And, to them, Jim Dinning was Calgary.

To be fair, the new premier has said he wants to do what's right for all of Alberta. And Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier says he can work with Stelmach, as long as Ed turns over lots of our dough.

But one Calgary Tory MLA, off the record, said the anti-Calgary feeling was so real, Stelmach needs to name a Calgarian as deputy premier.

To switch for a moment to ideology: in the wee hours in the lobby of a trendy hotel on Whyte Avenue, Craig Chandler, the social conservative mouthpiece, is smiling, the I'm Supportin' Morton button still firmly pinned on his lapel.

"We're good with Ed. Yes, Ed's fine with us. We have no problem with Ed," says Chandler. "Social conservatives will be OK with it."

Thanks, I can rest easy now. Add this one to the rules of politics. When Chandler is happy, be afraid, be very afraid.

Right after his victory speech, the new premier promised to unite people.

This columnist shook his hand and spoke directly into his ear. "Don't forget Calgary."

Ed's quick reply: "Don't worry, I won't."

Since he is a nice guy, we will take him at his word.
_________________________________________________________________

SHOFEAR
Dec 4, 2006, 3:03 PM
http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/586858/2/istockphoto_586858_temper_tantrum.jpg

SHOFEAR
Dec 4, 2006, 3:18 PM
Thats some top quality SUN reporting. Nevermind how Edmontonains and people across the country voted for a guy from Calgary to be PM for pretty much the same reason (the anti-entitlement vote).

Boris2k7
Dec 4, 2006, 3:32 PM
LOL, the SUN are a bunch of whiners. Anything for a buck eh? At least in the Herald's Article (see several posts up) they just stated everything rather matter-of-factly and didn't make much of it. I don't think anyone here cares that the "Calgary Candidate" didn't win.

h0twired
Dec 4, 2006, 3:50 PM
The reason that Stelmach won was because Morton was the polar opposite of Dinning.

I figured when I saw the Dinning/Stelmach race was neck and neck I knew Stelmach would win based solely on the fact that nobody who put Morton as their first pick would have Dinning as their second.

LordMandeep
Dec 5, 2006, 3:21 AM
The other two were all good looking for the Camera style people.

Good the dark horse won, as he would be less likely to double cross and get cozy..

Claeren
Dec 5, 2006, 4:05 AM
The other two were all good looking for the Camera style people.

Good the dark horse won, as he would be less likely to double cross and get cozy..

I don't think Morton much cared about 'looking good for the camera' either.

That was exactly the problem most people had with him, he probably would have been VERY effective in promoting his agenda - more so then 99% of the politicians out there. He IS a brilliant, driven, and likely loyal to his agenda guy. (I have taken classes form him before.)

He is also a right-wing extremist.

THAT is why he was not elected. And THAT is why it was good that he was not elected.




Claeren.

Edmonchuck
Dec 5, 2006, 6:09 AM
Dinger should jsut shut up....this so wasn't anti-Calgary. It was simply 2 "anyone but X" camps splitting the #2 vote to Stelmach.

F*ck this "Edmonton is sending a message" bs....

Claeren
Dec 5, 2006, 6:21 AM
^ I agree! I don't know anyone who actually voted by where in the province the candidate is from. MAYBE rural v. urban, but certainly not north v. south.


Claeren.

chenmau
Dec 5, 2006, 6:32 AM
(I have taken classes form him before.)


Claeren, in your opinion, was he a good prof?

Claeren
Dec 5, 2006, 7:53 AM
Claeren, in your opinion, was he a good prof?

Excellent prof.

Very intelligent, very thoughtful, a true academic.

Also very obviously American, a little arrogant in his intellectual status (rightfully to a degree i suppose, but that doesn't change its appearence), and you were always left with the thought that if systems are so much better in the States why didn't you just stay there, or just move back? But all in all, a very sharp and capable mind.

I think he would easily have been the 'best' and most 'effective' premier for Alberta, IF you supported his agenda and define that as 'best'. I certainly do not...

Put it this way: I fear him because i respect him. And he scares me a LOT....



Claeren.

Kilgore Trout
Dec 5, 2006, 9:29 AM
On the bright side, at least the federal Grits have fallen back to their old pattern of electing a Frenchman to appease Quebec. Just think of the Celine Dion jokes that SNL could make if this guy becomes PM!

good lord, "frenchman"? do you call chinese people "chinaman"?

frenchman is quaint even if you're talking about someone from france. you do realize that dion is, um... canadian?

if the liberals wanted to elect someone to "appease quebec" they would have elected ignatieff. this comes from soneone who actually knows something about quebec.

tkoe
Dec 5, 2006, 9:35 AM
Very interesting thoughts, Claeren. I must say that it is really refreshing to read such a rational response to a political question. It seems that when most people discuss politics they start throwing around idiotic terms and gettting unnecessarily shrill.

I'm no conservative, but I can appreciate when someone comes to their own thoughtful conclusions, even if I might disagree. Ted Morton is probably a really bright guy, he is just working for the wrong goals.

Rusty van Reddick
Dec 5, 2006, 4:25 PM
Ted Morton is evidence that there are worse things than "honest" politicians.

And yeah, he was a respected academic and had a good reputation as a teacher. I actually felt sorry for the guy when he had to dumb himself down and spout political platitudes. When CFCN asked if he was conceding on election night, he just said "yep," none of this for-the-cameras pointless optimism, and I respected him for that.

h0twired
Dec 5, 2006, 4:39 PM
So the first thing that Stelmach declares before even being sworn in is that he wants Alberta recognized as a nation like Quebec was earlier.

Seriously Ed. Could you not come up with a better way to waste time and money?

Pathetic start IMO. I fear for the future of this province. If people thought that Klein was extreme. We havent seen nothing yet.

---

Stelmach vows to fight for same rights as Quebec

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

EDMONTON — Alberta's premier-designate warned Ottawa yesterday that his wealthy, energy-rich province wants to be treated equally with all provinces, including Quebec.

"I'm going to fight for the same rights and privileges being assigned to this 'nation within a nation,' Ed Stelmach said, referring to the federal government's recent declaration that "the Québécois" are a nation within Canada.

During his first news conference after winning the Progressive Conservative leadership, the soft-spoken 55-year-old veteran with a reputation as a political "nice guy" choked back tears when he thanked his campaign volunteers. But he was firm and unusually animated while stressing he will vigilantly protect Alberta's interests and ballooning treasury after he's officially sworn in Dec. 15.

Mr. Stelmach, who emerged as the surprise winner Sunday morning in the race to replace retiring Ralph Klein, said he's confident Alberta and Ottawa can still work together to "build an even stronger Canada."

Mr. Stelmach spoke briefly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Sunday, but he said he plans to address the nation issue again "once we get a better definition" about what it entails. The former intergovernmental affairs minister, known to supporters as "Steady Eddie," also views the so-called fiscal imbalance issue and future of the national equalization program as another pressing provincial-federal issue.

During Mr. Klein's 14-year tenure, Alberta had high-profile fights with Ottawa over a number of issues, most recently private health care. "We are going to take Alberta the next step," he said, promising to announce his cabinet in the coming days. "We want to place Alberta on an even larger world stage, and that means a lot of work to be done."

Alberta's unprecedented prosperity has brought major challenges in recent months, including acute housing and labour shortages. Mr. Stelmach wants to address these problems quickly. Unlike his predecessor, who told reporters last August that the government didn't have a plan to deal with the boom, the former infrastructure minister wants to tackle it with a set of different timelines and plans that will be firmed up after his cabinet is announced.

However, Mr. Stelmach, who has promised to review the province's oil-and-gas royalty regime, said his government will not interfere with the growth brought on by the massive investment in the province's oil sands. "There is no such thing as touching the brake . . . the economy and growth, that will sort itself out. We just want to make sure that we are globally competitive."

Mr. Stelmach said he will make clear that the kind of environmentalism articulated by new Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion must be addressed carefully. "Any damage to Alberta's economy is going to severely hurt Ottawa," he said.

Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason emerged from yesterday's news conference praising Mr. Stelmach's promise to listen to all Albertans. Both the provincial New Democrats and Liberals had a rancorous relationship with Mr. Klein, a shoot-from-the-hip populist who often dismissed them and their ideas.

"He's not a guy that I'm going to underestimate," Mr. Mason said.

University of Alberta economist Paul Boothe said the province's finances and economic growth need to be addressed quickly. Pell-mell development across the province and in the vast oil sands must be slowed down or even halted in some circumstances, he said.

"We have a dangerously heated economy right now. If we don't try and manage the boom, basically the whole thing will come to a collapse," Prof. Boothe warned.

Mr. Boothe, who advised the Klein government in recent years, said his warnings about overspending, especially on expensive capital projects that have driven up prices around the province, were ignored.

Boris2k7
Dec 6, 2006, 5:17 AM
Quite frankly, I agree with King Ed. If one province is deemed more important than us, and is given special rights and exclusive treatment (even symbolically) than it is a slight against Alberta. It is a sign that we are in fact being held back. I think it is safe to say that the vast majority of Albertans stand for an inclusive, democratic society. And a democratic, modern society doesn't erect barriers based on ethnic or racial divides. That is elitist and repulsive.

This proposal is nothing extreme at all. It's the right thing to do. Best case scenario is that the Federal Government moves to recognize that quickly (and you can bet that Ontario and B.C. will follow closely behind) or removes the nation within a nation distinction for Quebec. Worst case is that we waste a little bit of time, drop it, and get on with life.

Bassic Lab
Dec 6, 2006, 6:29 AM
Dinger should jsut shut up....this so wasn't anti-Calgary. It was simply 2 "anyone but X" camps splitting the #2 vote to Stelmach.

F*ck this "Edmonton is sending a message" bs....

I disagree, you're right that this ended up being an "any one but" except there is a reason there was such a movement against Dinning. Hancock didn't support Stelmach purely because Dinning (who was the logical choice based on policy), or members of his campaign team, could be jack asses. Dinning represented both the old party establishment of Peter Lougheed (that previously lost the party to Klein) and Calgary as a center of power. Calgary's power was definately an issue in this election. This could very much be a problem for the PCs, they did just say fuck you to their power base and the party establishment, not so much as a Morton victory would have but they still did. There is a reason that they called Stelmach's leadership team the "northern alliance", after the first ballad, as fellow contenders began to side with him.

Stelmach could easily be the next Harry Strom. The PC's have become Social Credit, a relic surviving through rural strength as the cities drift away.

Any one who wants to try to argue that Albertans represent a nation under any definition of the word is welcome to try. They'll fail horribly but it could be interesting. Definately a way to start on a high note though, bitch about something completely meaningless an unapplicable to Alberta.

Boris2k7
Dec 6, 2006, 6:40 AM
Any one who wants to try to argue that Albertans represent a nation under any definition of the word is welcome to try. They'll fail horribly but it could be interesting. Definately a way to start on a high note though, bitch about something completely meaningless an unapplicable to Alberta.

The "nation" part itself is meaningless to pursue. Why would we? The point is any of the rights or privileges that are bestowed upon Quebec because of that definition should be granted to any other province or territory.

vaportrail
Dec 6, 2006, 7:05 AM
Dividing Alberta into Calgary, Edmonton (including St. Albert and Sherwood Park) and the rest (not including second choice votes):

Region Dinning Morton Stelmach

Calgary (count) 23070 10512 5424
Calgary (%) 59.14% 26.95% 13.91%

Edmonton (count) 12373 6171 15236
Edmonton (%) 36.63% 18.27% 45.10%

the rest (count) 15839 24560 31104
the rest (%) 22.15% 34.35% 43.50%

It appears Calgary was by far the most polarized for the home boy.

Kilgore Trout
Dec 6, 2006, 7:11 AM
The point is any of the rights or privileges that are bestowed upon Quebec because of that definition should be granted to any other province or territory.

but that's totally irrelevant because harper's motion referred to "the québécois," not quebec, and it is just a parliamentary motion -- it has no legal weight.

Bassic Lab
Dec 6, 2006, 8:28 AM
The "nation" part itself is meaningless to pursue. Why would we? The point is any of the rights or privileges that are bestowed upon Quebec because of that definition should be granted to any other province or territory.

No special rights or privileges accompany the declaration. So it sounds like Stelmach is either ill informed and making and ass out of himself or stupid enough to think that Albertan's could qualify as a nation, which they undeniably can't.

Terratories already lack many powers that belong to provinces, as they should. There is a reason they're not called provinces.

Any constitutional change that granted special powers to national groups within Canada would be far more interesting an endeavor than a simple act of parliament. It would require a successful referendum prior to occuring and it would make news. The provinces would have to be involved. Parliament can not alter the constitution unilaterally and that would have to occur for any kind of true assymetrical federalism to exist in the country.

Boris2k7
Dec 6, 2006, 8:38 AM
Ah, thanks for the responses KT & BL. I had overlooked the Quebecois/Quebec Distinction, and wasn't entirely sure about the whole rights and privileges thing. Personally, I don't think that King Ed is either ill informed or believes that Alberta really qualifies as a nation (but I don't accept Quebec as a nation either, especially one based on language alone). I would say that it just plays into what he has said already: about getting things like replicating Quebec's Pension Plan and pushing Alberta onto the world stage. I think it is mostly to say "if you are going to concede something to Quebec, you are also going to have to do it with every other province (especially Alberta), because we don't accept assymetrical federalism around here."

Do you really think that Stelmach would waste much time on this issue? I don't... makes sense to get this kinda stuff out of the way ASAP.

Claeren
Dec 6, 2006, 9:26 AM
Dividing Alberta into Calgary, Edmonton (including St. Albert and Sherwood Park) and the rest (not including second choice votes):

Region Dinning Morton Stelmach

Calgary (count) 23070 10512 5424
Calgary (%) 59.14% 26.95% 13.91%

Edmonton (count) 12373 6171 15236
Edmonton (%) 36.63% 18.27% 45.10%

the rest (count) 15839 24560 31104
the rest (%) 22.15% 34.35% 43.50%

It appears Calgary was by far the most polarized for the home boy.


But that can be the result of advertising, familiarity, market media availability and word of mouth.

The fact that proximity may aid those is coincidence, not the cause.


And i think it is good you did not include second place votes because then you would have to show us how virtually everyone voted for someone from a different location then their first vote...


Claeren.

freeweed
Dec 6, 2006, 4:18 PM
And to think we almost had this issue resolved years ago. "Distinct society" just about covered it, as it was mostly just an admission of reality.

Instead, we get another decade of unity debates, secession referendums, and political nonsense. Yay!

Maybe I can apply to be declared as a nation of one, as I have pretty unique and distinct views and lifestyle compared to most Canadians.

Aylmer
Nov 27, 2007, 11:32 PM
I

The Kid
Nov 28, 2007, 12:59 AM
I took the oldest thing I could find on this provicial clutter and plan to reply with absolutly nothing.

Go Away!