- ALANA DELONG QUITS RACE. While this doesn't seem to have surprised anyone, myself included, my reaction is somewhat mixed. Its unfortunate that Alana won't be on the ballot because it would have been nice to have a woman in the race, particularily since we have so many qualified women within the ranks of the PC Party of Alberta. It was probably a smart move on Alana's part, though, given that staying in the race would have cost her a lot of time and money for what likely would have been little in return. As a Dinning supporter, i'm pleased to see that she has chosen to join our ranks. With Alana onboard, this now means (as Daveberta's list shows) that every Calgary PC MLA with the exception of Hung Pham is backing Jim.
- ALBERTA ALLIANCE LEADER ENDORSES TED MORTON. This is a bizarre story. Myself and William were having a conversation about the PC Leadership with Paul Hinman this summer at the PNWER summit in Edmonton. Not surprisingly, Paul expressed a strong preference for Ted Morton to become Premier. It isn't uncommon for opposition MLAs to have a personal preference in another party's leadership race... Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor once told me that she her heart was with Dave Hancock. It would be quite another thing, though, for Bridget to come out and endorse Hancock openly, and to encourage members of her party to buy memberships and support him. I'm not denying that cross-party membership purchases aren't happening, but Paul Hinman and the Alliance are certainly being more open and explicit about it than one would expect. Hatrock's post on renewingtheonepartystate suggests similarities between the Morton-Hinman alliance (no pun intended) and the necessity of the merger of the Canadian Alliance and PC Party of Canada. I, for one, disagree with the notion that the Alberta Alliance is as relevant a political force as Hatrock and others would have you believe. Paul Hinman is a nice fellow, but sometimes his judgement gets the better of him.
- POLL SHOWS VIRTUAL THREE-WAY TIE. A poll conducted by the Progressive Group for Independent Business shows that Ted Morton and Lyle Oberg are tied for first place at 17.2%, with Jim Dinning close behind at 16%. Ken Chapman does a much better job debunking this poll than I can, but there are a couple of points worth repeating. First off, i'd like to know how the PGIB obtained a complete PC Alberta membership list? I sat on the PC executive as Youth President for almost 2 years without being able to obtain a list of only the members which I represented (youth). My guess is that they put together a smattering of old lists from PGIB-friendly sources, in which case the objectivity of the sample is brought into question. Second, as Ken points out, the geographic distribution of this poll is sketchy at best. While its true that regions are not equally weighted in a one member-one vote system, the poll cannot claim to be very reflective of the mood of PC supporters across the province. Before the Mortonites get on me for dismissing the poll simply because it puts Morton ahead of Dinning, let me say this: in this race, there will be all kinds of polls that will be dismissed for all kinds of reasons by all kinds of people. The only two polls that matter are on November 25th and December 2nd, and I don't think any team (mine included) is being presumptuous about the results.
- LOUGHEED PREFERS DELEGATED CONVENTION. Peter Lougheed is a man whom I deeply respect and admire. On this issue, though, he's wrong. While a one member-one vote does not create the drama or suspense of a delegated convention, it is a far more democratic and a far less messy affair. Delegated conventions are more prone to manipulation by either ex-officios or organizers with a partisan stance (I speak from experience), while one member-one vote removes most of the influence from those forces. It is not a flawless system, especially given the overall lack of checks and balances in place for this particular vote, but it IS a far better way of choosing our new Premier.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Good thing I moved to avoid all this, isn't it?
There's a lot of news vis a vis the leadership race that I need to catch up on. Here goes: