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Monday, November 27, 2006

And then there were three

Here's my Sun column on Alberta's Tory leadership contest.

It's stunning that Jim Dinning -- the heir apparent, a household name, a former cabinet minister, who has been campaign for this job for ten years, who outspent all of his competitors combined, who has Ralph Klein's former team behind him, edged out Ted Morton, a neophyte in the party, by just a few thousand votes.

I'm betting on Morton. That's my prediction, and since he's the only true conservative in the race, it's my hope as well.

Posted by Ezra Levant on November 27, 2006 | Permalink


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You're right, Ezra. Considering the money and time spent on the campaign, Dinning should have done a lot better than he did, and chances are that PC members have made up their minds about him. He doesn't have a lot to gain in terms of support before Saturday.

His only saving grace might be the second-place votes during the next go-around.

Stelmach might surprise people as the anyone-but-Dinning-or-Morton centrist. Neither one of the front-runners have enough support to win a majority in the second ballot and there might be enough votes for the also-ran. It's not the nicest way to win an election but I'm sure Ed will take it.

My own hopes are for Morton, the only individual with enough gonads to do something different for the province before the whole place runs as ramapant as a Saudi oil drilling program. He has shown plenty of gumption to stay neck-and-neck with Dinning, and if he could muster enough second-place votes from Stelmach supporters, he might be able to walk away as party leader.

Posted by: Rob Huck | 2006-11-27 1:42:14 PM

Opposition will be pleased if Dinning wins because
they will immediately commence calling him Dimming
or "Dimwit" I don't know much about Alberta politics but Hon Belinda Stronach MP would be a better choice than any of those guys. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-11-27 1:46:27 PM

Morton got my vote and will get my No. 1 vote this weekend.

I'd go Stelmach No. 2.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-11-27 1:52:33 PM

I'm hoping that you are correct, Ezra. All of my Alberta friends are voting for Ted Morton and I would be voting for him too, if I lived in Alta.
I could never, ever vote for a man who contributed to the coffers of Paulie Liberano$ campaign fund. It would make me sick to even contemplate such an egregious thing. I read that Mr. Dinning gave the Liberano$$ money, is it true? A Conservative in Alberta? Did someone make this up?

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-11-27 1:59:57 PM

"I don't know much about Alberta politics but Hon Belinda Stronach MP would be a better choice than any of those guys. MacLeod"

Your right Jack, with that comment you show you know absolutely nothing about Alberta politics. Stronach's political skills, would at best make her perhaps equipped as a baggage handler for any of these three guys.

All three have something she can only dream of. Class.

He got my vote Saturday and will again. Go Morton go!

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-11-27 2:05:18 PM

Jack: You surprised me with that Stronach comment. Are you on medication now ?

I agree with Rob's comment above. I have a funny feeling that Stelmach could slip through and win this due to both anyone but Dinning, and anyone but Morton camps.

Morton is the best choice, and his song kicks ___ too.

Posted by: Markalta | 2006-11-27 2:12:26 PM


"I read that Mr. Dinning gave the Liberano$$ money, is it true? A Conservative in Alberta?"

It is both true and not true at the same time. It is true that Dinning supported Paul Martin. Now for the "not true" part. Had you asked "A Progressive in Alberta" then the answer would have been yes to both questions, but you asked "A Conservative in Alberta"

It took many years for the Reform Party to make the Federal PC Party a truly Conservative party. The opposition from Progressives like Joe Clark was so strong that the only way it could be done was to actually destroy the old federal PC party.

Morton threatens to the Alberta PC party what Reform did to the old federal PC party. They can either become more conservative from within or be destroyed from a new party on their right. The Provincial PC party still has a choice at the present time.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2006-11-27 2:12:37 PM

I not only hope, but am praying feverishly that Ted Morton wins. He is the only one with a vision for Alberta, and I believe that we need a vision to keep Ottawa away from our resources. Denning is a do nothing, and the fact that our do nothing MLA Ty Lund is supporting him, nixes dimwit Denning with me. Also that he has contributed to the Librano crime family, nixes him with me.

Posted by: Freedom of speech | 2006-11-27 2:30:37 PM

Dinning is desperate for the job much like Paul Martin the Younger going after his dream turned nightmare job as Prim Minister.

Jack, cant say I share your enthusiasm for Belinda Stronach's abilities. She may prove her skeptics wrong, it'll take time though.
This may not be a fair question but can't resist, how do you like her as a brunet?

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-27 2:43:12 PM

Dinning is desperate for the job much like Paul Martin the Younger going after his dream turned nightmare job as Prime Minister.

Jack, cant say I share your enthusiasm for Belinda Stronach's abilities. She may prove her skeptics wrong, it'll take time though.
This may not be a fair question but can't resist, how do you like her as a brunet?

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-27 2:45:23 PM

Don't know the Honorable Belinda Liz, met her several times but all of us in our group know her father Frank Stronach and have for several decades, but Honorable Belinda Stronach MP, PC knows how to run a state of the art CNC Machining Centre and make it proftitable. We do not underestimate smart women, thats's why we have high regard for Hon. Rona Ambrose, PC, MP another very smart lady. She will eventually lead the Conservative Party I think. Cheers, MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-11-27 2:56:34 PM

I'm not anywhere near Alberta, except spiritually and politically: for sure, politically, if Ted Morton wins.

(Jack M's comments seem quite out of character: shape shifter, or did some other person commandeer his computer? Hey, Jack, I hope you're OK.)

I sincerely hope that Ted Morton wins. Then we might see more truly conservative principles put in action out there. (Maybe even Section 33. Yeah!!)

(P.S. I was actually present when Ian and Sylvia sang a few songs together the other night. Yup, "Four Strong Winds" was one: "Think I'll go out to Alberta" really resonates these days. It was refreshing to see Ian in his stetson and hear his strong, clear voice. He mentioned, with reverence, the four slain mounties at whose memorial service he performed. The big city audience didn't register.)

Go Alberta! Go Ted!

Posted by: lookout | 2006-11-27 4:24:49 PM

Mr Morton is angry, uncaring to the people who through no fault of their own, fall through the of the system. He is incapable of understanding what differentiates us from the States. But we are different. Not better. But we have our own heritage, our own emphases. They are not Morton's. He will not win.

Posted by: John Leslie | 2006-11-27 11:12:28 PM

Ah yes, those "angry", "evil Americans", heaven forbid we should ever emulate them.

We could be so lucky.

"A Giving People

Within three weeks of the Asian tsunami disaster, private donors in America had given even more than the $350 million in official assistance pledged by the U.S. government, note researchers Gary Tobin, Alexander Karp, and Aryeh Weinberg in a forthcoming study entitled "American Mega-Giving." With private contributions continuing to pour in, and $6 million per day of relief assistance being carried out by nearly 20,000 U.S. troops, total U.S. aid for this disaster will exceed $1 billion.

And as impressive as that sum is, Tobin, Karp, and Weinberg note that it is far less than 1 percent of the total amount Americans will donate to the less fortunate this year. In 2003, the latest year for which complete data are available, Americans gave $241 billion to charitable causes. We will offer up considerably more in 2005, as our historic pattern is to give more with each passing year. "For Americans, responding to a crisis is not unusual. Millions of Americans respond to the everyday crises of life all the time."

Americans donate like no other people, the researchers note, whether you look at total donations, per capita giving, size of gifts, or types of giving. "The European country with the greatest tradition of giving, Britain, gave approximately $14 billion in 2003. Even after adjusting for population differences, British giving constitutes less than one third of American philanthropy. And Britain's levels are not matched in the European Union. France follows with just over $4 billion, and then Germany with approximately $3.5 billion."

In an earlier report in Philanthropy, Tobin, Karp, and Weinberg write that, "a recent German study reports that on a per capita basis, American citizens contribute to charity nearly seven times as much as their German counterparts, and that about six times as many Americans as Germans do volunteer work.... Some 70 percent of U.S. households make charitable cash contributions...over half of all U.S. adults will volunteer an estimated 20 billion hours in charitable activities this year.... In short, American philanthropy is extraordinary by any world standard."

Posted by: deepblue | 2006-11-28 12:08:44 AM

Jeez down here in the middle of nowhere on the East Coast of Canada we are going to miss bleary eyed old Uncle Ralph and his habit of bribing people in Alberta with their own money. Alberta Tories will have to find a place for distressed former Cabinet Ministers like Chong, or Fong or whatever. Meanwhile
it appears to us ignorant folk on the Coast that Morton is the best choice after his interview on the
Tor Star Bell Media last night, may the best Tory win, at least for now. Cheers MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2006-11-28 4:23:59 AM

I voted for Ted Morton and so did several of my acquaintances. For the runoffs I'll vote Ted first and second place.

One way or another he will be Premier. Either as Alberta PC leader or the Leader of the Party that replaces them. I'm finished with Progressives. I voted Alliance last Provincial election and only a Morton win will bring my vote back to the PCs.

Stelmach is talking a good game for the seniors but doen't have any plans to protect the Alberta economy form being raided by Ottawa.
I think Stelmach is Dinning Lite and acting as a dark horse to peel votes from Ted Morton. A vote for Stelmach is a vote for Dinning.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-11-28 7:29:59 AM

Chong is a disappointment. No way he had to make trouble on the PARTY unity front at this point in time. He's coming off as a showboater, taking a page from Garth without leaving the party.
The vote on Quebecois as a nation of peoples as to language and culture is nothing but fluff. The Bloc voted for the motion knowing full well it's the best they'll get from this Prime Minister.
The Separatists will never be happy until they are totally separate from Canada. They will continue demands and we can continue to block them in the best interests of Canada.

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-28 8:52:56 AM

Chong's Riding is next to Turner's and the two are close. Turner would have influenced Chong of course, but PM Harper deserves credit for a very shrewd Political move. Read Chantal Hebert in the Red Star
who defines the politics behind the motion to "recognize Quebecois" as unique and separate. I note that MP Ralph Goodale who was the champion bullshitter in the Martin mess is supporting Robert Rae. This is in my opinion good news for Harper. Rae will never, repeat never unite the Liberal Party of Canada. Many Veteran Liberals campaigned hard against Rae and his Socialist Horde, and many I venture will vote for Harper
again as they did in the last National election, something the media have missed, but it was evident here in the mysterious east, when many Liberal incumbents vanished into political oblivion. the new Liberal government of New Brunswick did not win any brownie points by kicking Ronald MacDonald out of NB Schools. Who is next? Santa? MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-11-28 9:26:36 AM

Jack: I'd place bets on Santa being ok in the schools, it's Jesus Christ and the whole Christmas story which is in danger and mostly gone from public schools. Santa on the other hand has been seen with a variety of people on his knee.

As for the bombastic Ralphy Goodale, he's about the best bullshit factory the Liberals have had in recent memory, including the guy he brown nosed around on the election stump, Paul Martin.
Now he's hitching his little wagon to the Rae machine, he can sure pick 'em.

Posted by: Liz J | 2006-11-28 9:52:44 AM

CTV just announced that the Liberal Leadership Convention will not discuss the "Quebec Nationhhood
Issue" - MSM so focused on putting the screws into the Harper Government missed the fact that Harper
has set the "Liberal Agenda". Liz Christmas is Christmas in the East Coast where many, many Parochial Schools operate and have for many, many decades, how would a School Board which decides
to eliminate the Traditional Christmas so many children love, to them and their parents? who after all pay the stipends. Liberal Premier of NB was a Physical Ed Instructor prior to politics and thinks Ronald MacDonald is bad for children. The mulitmillion dollar franchise owners who provide
more than Big Macs to Political Parties will be having a chat with him. Cheers, MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-11-28 10:36:40 AM

Speller: Usually I agree with you, but as far as I can see, Morton is #1, and a vote for Stelmach as #2, so Dinning doesn't get in.

I think if you vote Morton for 1 and 2 it could be a spoiled vote ? Better just vote Morton 1 and no one 2, don't you think ?

Posted by: Markalta | 2006-11-28 10:37:15 AM

Karol, I think you are right. Biggest problem the Liberals and Media have is their underestimation of
Stephen Harper. Our collective opinion here remains unchanged; it is obvious to us that the Canadian Public like and admire Stephen Harper, who is the best Prime Minister the Country has had for many decades. Cheers, MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2006-11-28 11:08:06 AM

If Dinning wins, expect the PCs to lose about 10%
of their vote to the Alliance.

If Morton wins, he may win back the 10% that went
to the Alliance, Alberta Party and Socreds, but lose 10% to the Liberals.

If Stelmach wins, expect a leakage of about 10%
split between the Libs and the Alliance.

All three should be able to win the next provincial election, but in the long run the
Tories must eliminate the threat from the right.

A strong Alliance will leave the PCs in the mushy
middle, and set up the Liberals, with similar
policies to the Red Tories, to come up the middle
and win.

For the long term success of the PC party and the
conservative movement, vote Morton #1 and Stelmach #2.

Posted by: JP | 2006-11-28 11:10:15 AM

I was around during the Socred years in Alberta and I can't honestly say I'm prepared to go back there any time soon. Ted Morton seems to think he can save Alberta by dragging us kicking-and-screaming back to the 50's, whether we like it or not. His ideas may look good on a classroom whiteboard in a nice, safe University lecture theatre. But out here in the real world we need somebody to run the place who actually has some real world experience and ideas. For my money, that's Jim Dinning. As Provincial Treasurer, he was balancing the books and mapping out Alberta's financial recovery plan while Dr. Morton was spinning his ideology to university students. When Jim Dinning was sitting on the boards of multi-million dollar companies and making sound business decisions, Ted was marking term papers. Seems to me this one's a no-brainer. Ted was a good teacher, mentor and academic. He should stick with what he knows best.

Posted by: A.J.Kniles | 2006-11-28 12:02:20 PM

Denning doesn't deserve to get in, because as Ralph so aptly put it "he doesn't have a conservative bone in his body", not even one, that we know of. He is a Liberal in sheeps clothing, and we all need to be out there shouting to the lessers among us, this fact. Please pass it on to everyone you know.

Posted by: Freedom of speech | 2006-11-28 1:15:35 PM

No, MarkAlta, voting Ted Morton for #1 & #2 doesn't spoil the ballot. I don't think Ed Stelmach is better than Jim Dinning when it comes to protecting Alberta's economy from Ottawa's rapacity.

I was around during the Socred years too and Ted Morton is no Socred. Jim Dinning, however, IS a liberal, should grow a modicum of honesty and integrity, and run for the Alberta Liberal Party where his ideology lies. If Albertan's want to vote Liberal than he's their man.

No more Progressives using the term Conservative to fool people.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-11-28 1:57:50 PM

ebt; you're not doing Morton, or his supporters, any favours with a term like that.

Posted by: Cheri | 2006-11-28 11:46:45 PM

"I see today's Globe and Mail editorial: the faggots are officially afraid of Ted. Obviously, I'm voting for him anyway, but it's nice to know I'm doing the right thing." - ebt

Ah, yes, the perfect profile of a Ted Morton supporter. Kudos ebt.

Posted by: theusat | 2006-11-29 12:55:48 AM

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