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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wildrose Alliance officially welcomes candidates to leadership race and announces candidate for Calgary Glenmore by-election

Paul Hinman Although the deadline for fulfilling the requirements to become a leadership candidate is September 1st, the Wildrose Alliance today announced two official candidates for the leadership of the party: Mark Dyrholm and Danielle Smith

The Leadership Convention will be held in Edmonton on October 17th. In order to vote, a person must be a member of the party two weeks prior to the vote. The vote will be a mail-in ballot but members can also be cast their vote at the Leadership Convention.   

The party also announced that outgoing leader Paul Hinman will represent the Wildrose Alliance in the upcoming Calgary Glenmore by-election.

At a packed rally in the Haysboro community hall last night, Hinman said “for the first time in memory, Alberta is losing people to Saskatchewan, a province that under Premier Brad Wall is experiencing record economic surplus while Alberta, under Ed Stelmach, is experiencing economic deficits. This isn't market failure. This is government failure. And it's Alberta's government, with Ed Stelmach at the helm, that has failed us."

The party believes that Hinman's prior experience as a southern Alberta rural MLA, and the benefit of growing up in the community of Haysboro, make him a good candidate for the riding.

Not everyone agrees with the choice, however. While Hinman is universally respected among Alberta conservatives, two prominent party supporters told the Western Standard today that they had hoped Smith would contest this seat. According to the sources, Smith is the best available candidate for a strong showing, or even a win, in the by-election, which will be seen generally as either a repudiation or an endorsement of the Tory government, without consideration for any local political dynamics that might exist in Calgary Glenmore. If Hinman, with his rural mannerism, can’t resonate with urban Calgary voters, the party could get off to a bad start.

Smith, of course, still has a leadership race to win, and Dyrholm, who hosted events today in Edmonton, is in this campaign to win. So perhaps Smith is making the right choice by staying out of the by-election and focusing on the leadership vote in October.

(Picture: Paul Hinman)

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on June 25, 2009 | Permalink


"Smith is the best available candidate for a strong showing, or even a win, in the by-election"

What a joke The Smith Standard Strikes again.

Posted by: Kelvin | 2009-06-25 12:42:03 AM

I'm glad Hinman got the nod in Glenmore. In my mind, it's the best use of resources over the longer term. Our leadership candidates will be kept free to contest the position and promote the party, province wide, while Paul can focus on the riding. Should Hinman win the seat, given his past experience in the Leg, he should be able to hit the ground running, focusing strictly on his legislative duties. This in turn, will leave the eventual leader to focus on promoting the party, getting the constituency associations established and prepping for the next general election.

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-06-25 7:02:36 AM

There is nothing wrong with Hinman contesting the seat in Glenmore. Any of our membership could have stepped forward to contest the nomination if they felt that Hinman was the wrong choice. The nomination convention was announced well in advance and not a secret.

Danielle Smith signed up at the AGM to be a volunteer for the Glenmore campaign.

Posted by: Travis Chase | 2009-06-25 7:12:14 AM

I hope Smith wins and I will be voting Alliance, only for the sake of fracturing the monolith.

Posted by: epsilon | 2009-06-25 9:18:59 AM

I do appreciate the fact that Mark Dyrholm and his wife were at the Calgary Glenmore nomination in support of Paul.

This event was planned for many weeks so all candidates should have been there. This spoke volumes to many that Mark put his campaign on hold for an evening to support the party and Paul.

The Mark Dyrholm campaign and Mark himself will be helping Paul Hinman.

Posted by: Mike Havery | 2009-06-25 9:33:46 AM

If Hinman wins the seat or loses narrowly one can fairly say Danielle should have ran. But at this stage, without seeing any polling, I can't say Danielle should have run. I ran regressions on results for the Wildrose Alliance in Edmonton and the individual candidate was pretty much irrelevant. I had 4 university degrees (including MBA and a law degree), experience as an economist at Finance Canada, had a couple hundred signs up, and knocked on hundreds of doors, yet had a result that was not statistically distinct from an 18 year old guy who as near as I could discern was just a name on a ballot in the neighboring riding. One could argue I just made a bad impression, but the same was true of other Wildrose candidates. So I think it unlikely that Danielle would win a seat that Paul could not (at this stage).

In the mean time, Danielle shouldn't be diverting resources from her leadership campaign. The people most involved in the party for the longest time support her, but we don't crown the anointed in this party (unlike, say, the Harper Tories Danielle's competitor has tied himself so closely to) so anyone can win. If Danielle doesn't win the leadership a lot of people, at least those who have heard both candidates speak and read their work, will be standing around asking what the point was to a change from Paul's leadership. I should think the whole idea is to bring in someone who has a professional presentation (and doesn't just present that way either).

Posted by: Brian Dell | 2009-06-25 4:11:05 PM

Travis sorry I like Paul, but he has not got a chance against the PC canidate.
No way.

Posted by: Merle Terlesky | 2009-06-25 5:15:29 PM

Realistically no opposition candidate in this province has a chance going up against the great and mighty PC dynasty, so lets all give up everyone!

Posted by: Travis Chase | 2009-06-25 5:42:27 PM

Brian, unless you come into a campaign with visible penetration in the collective conciseness of the constituency of course it will be tough to make headway.

To win and make a breakthrough in the Edmonton seat you would have need a sustained effort by a couple hundred volunteers and thousands of signs and had to launch your campaign well before the writ was dropped. A solid and appealing provincial campaign is also a big help, and maybe being on the right side of a couple local issues.

The conditions of the last provincial campaign in Edmonton did not appeal to what the base of voters in Edmonton want, hence why personal support did not matter.

When the conditions are not ripe, the amount of work a candidate needs to do win goes exponentially upwards.

The PC's however did appeal to what Edmonton voters wanted, and they also had the resources to get their campaigns out.

2004 provincial election results in Edmonton were largely a rejection of Ralph Klein and Calgary hence why we saw a wave of Liberal candidates elected, despite a marginal campaign and leader. Right leaning voters rejecting Ralph also netted a few points for the Alberta Alliance that election.

2008 with Ed largely appealed as a more left leaning Premier who was very much against Calgary and the south and it was popular in Edmonton. The Liberals who ran another terrible campaign with the same marginal leader were decimated.

Right leaning voters who went Alliance in 2004 were happier with Ed and the PC's mostly migrated back to the PC's with Northern Ed and snookered by their brand of false Conservatism.

Conditions maybe changing and and a the undertow for a wave may be building.

Posted by: Travis Chase | 2009-06-25 6:01:45 PM

I agree with Travis, conditions are changing and I think Paul can win.

Craig B. Chandler

Posted by: Craig B. Chandler | 2009-06-25 9:08:18 PM

If Hinman was wearing a black cape instead of a suit in the picture he'd look like a vampire.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-25 9:27:03 PM

And once again Stig gives us reason to believe that the IQ of the average Ontario voter is sub-par...

Seriously, dude, a "vampire"? You've got nothing better than that?

Posted by: Richard Evans | 2009-06-25 10:16:03 PM

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