The Biggest Losers
Date: Monday, November 27 2006
The Biggest Losers
In the race to be the guy to replace Ralph. Lyle Oberg and Mark Norris.
FINAL RESULTS (courtesy The Invisble Hand)
Dinning 29,470 (30.2%)
Morton 25,614 (26.2%)
Stelmach 14,967 (15.3%)
Oberg 11,638 (11.9%)
Hancock 7,595 (7.8%)
Norris 6,789 (6.9%)
Doerksen 873 (0.9%)
McPherson 744 (0.8%)
Lyle Oberg ran the race with all the self assured bravado of being in second place. That bravedo and confidence was a case of believing his own press.Unfortunately through out this campaign Oberg created nothing but bad press and on Saturday night the reality of that came through loud and clear.
"As I write this, Lyle Oberg has finished fourth, and is off the final ballot. He was ashen, looking like a 10-year-old who has just discovered his bike was stolen." Edmonton Journal Legislature Reporter Graham Thompson
And all those PC memberships that the Building Trades bought for their membership to support Oberg added to his self delusion. And in the end made little difference as I predicted.
Mark Norris had lost his seat last provincial election not a great place to run from, especially when he had been a cabinet minister. And despite rallying the Edmonton Conservative business community, with constant propagandizing from his biggest cheerleader the Edmonton Sun, he actually came in behind the only Red Tory in the race, his fellow Edmontonian David Hancock. Like Oberg he believed his own press.
That makes Oberg and Norris the biggest losers.
While Stelmach came in third his numbers are so low he is neither a king maker nor a spoiler. He is however a rich widow that the two princes left in this race will come courting.
Edmonton Journal Legislature Reporter Graham Thompson agrees with my initial assessment of Stelmach.
"Some of the biggest cheers of the night came from Ed Stelmach's supporters, who were overjoyed their guy finished third and is on the second ballot. But third place is the booby prize. It's hard to imagine Stelmach bouncing back when he's so far behind."
But as usual with the Tories, some continue to live in their own fantasy worlds. Like Oberg and Norris did. Stelmach thinks he stands a chance on the third ballot, despite it obviously being a two way race between two conflicting ideologies in the party.
"Stelmach not quitting"
Stelmach is no Third Way. And he should bow out gracefully.And for the good of the party endorse Dinning. Though frankly I have never been one to give one hoot for the good of the Party of Calgary. But that is the realpolitick that faces Stelmach and the other losers.
With a Morton win the old Reform party will consoldiate its rule in Edmonton and Ottawa. And woe to the party and Canada. If that happens, until the next provincial election, the other big losers will be you and I.
"Morton's strong second-place showing could be seen as surprising for a rookie MLA who's never held a cabinet post and was only elected in 2004.However, the former senator-in-waiting has been thumping the war drums against the federal government for years on several fronts, and had deep roots to the former Reform and Canadian Alliance parties.He's also backed by many Alberta Tory MPs and has been using his network of supporters to build a political machine many analysts believe is only surpassed in size by Dinning's."
Though I personally believe it would be the best thing. A Morton led PC Party will be fractious and split, interncine power struggles between the progressives and the social conservatives will ensue. Causing Progressive Conservatives, liberals, centerists and Red Tories to abandon the party for the Alberta Liberals, their natural home. And with Taft purging the party of one if its most Red Liberals the outspoken trade unionist, Dan Black, he is preparing a home for them.
Peter Lougheed created the PC's as a popular front party of Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and the old Socreds. The later have morphed over the years into seperatists like the old Western Canada Concept, Republicans, Federal Reformers, social conservatives and fundamentalists. With Morton in charge it would be the final death of the last lingerings of the Lougheed era political party. Which is why he endorsed Dinning.