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The "Calgary Mafia"

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  • The "Calgary Mafia"

    Interesting editorial in the Sun today (below). Morton is partly right, too. Some of Klein's heavyweights are behind Dinning, most notably Rod Love. But rumour has it that Peter Elzinga is backing Mark Norris.

    Anyway, I don't agree with that part about Bronconnier having more clout than Mandel. Bronco has put off most of the Tory caucus, to the point that requests to speak to Ministers are often ignored. By comparison, Mandel is well respected among Cabinet.

    Just as one example, Mandel had an audience with Shirley McClellan before the release of the 2006 budget. Bronco had to wait until after the budget was announced before she'd meet with him.

    And if you follow Calgary issues at all, you'll know that the Tories are taking a pounding on education and school maintenance.


    A CALGARY LESSON
    Source: The Edmonton Sun
    Jul 31
    Section: Editorial/Opinion

    It was said more in jest that anything else. But Alberta PC leadership candidate Ted Morton's recent suggestion to the Edmonton Sun's editorial board that a "Calgary mafia" which surrounds Premier Ralph Klein has quietly moved over to premiership hopeful Jim Dinning's camp has clearly raised some hackles.

    Even the premier was forced to react, insisting "I have friends everywhere." Although not enough, apparently, to stave off the embarrassing leadership review last spring, where only 55% of the delegates at the PC annual convention endorsed his leadership - despite a 72% approval rating among Albertans generally.

    What Morton was talking about was the large number of lobbyists and consultants - many recipients of generous government contracts over the years - who have allied with the former finance minister.

    This, plus an impressive showing of government MLAs and cabinet ministers at his campaign launch, has made Dinning the perceived front-runner in the race to replace Klein.

    It added to the troubling feeling that the PCs have become a Calgary-first party, where the priorities of other parts of Alberta - and the capital city specifically - are secondary to the hopes and desires of Cowtown. And there may be something to that.

    Clearly Calgary is blessed by an aggressive and forceful mayor in Dave Bronconnier, who at times has out-hustled Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel in gaining the ear of the Tories.

    The results of the last provincial election were also a clear indication that the Alberta PCs were not delivering the goods in the capital when all but three Tory candidates lost their seats in the legislature - including former economic development minister Mark Norris, who has thrown his hat into the PC leadership ring despite his setback at the polls in 2005.

    It was a strong message from the electorate that the government wasn't doing the job for a large number of Edmontonians, which is what Morton seemed to be signalling when he talked about Klein's "palace guard."

    The Tory race is now largely on hold during the barbecue/golf tournament season. But come the fall when things heat up, Albertans - who are lucky enough not to live in Calgary - must ask the PC candidates some serious questions and demand firm commitments to make certain this isn't just a transfer of power from one Calgarian to the next.

    We're not saying that the election of the next PC leader and premier should be an Anyone-but-Calgary affair. But the nature of the election - where any Albertan with $5 in his or her pocket for a party membership can vote - allows for wide participation from across the province.

    And it's up to all candidates - including Jim Dinning - to demonstrate to Albertans that the leadership isn't simply a Calgary coronation.

    Hopefully, the PCs learned their lesson in the last trip to the polls.

  • #2
    Hmm...unmentioned is the three red Calgary seats
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    • #3
      As much as I hated seeing "Redmonton" rear its ugly head again during the last provincial election, the PCs need to shed themselves of its "Progressive Calgarian" label. And, I agree, that it's become less of an Edmonton vs. Calgary thing than a Calgary vs. Alberta problem.

      The sad thing thing is that the Liberals and NDP are pathetic options and would do a lot more harm to Edmonton. Alliance Alberta looks like the only viable and positive opposition. Maybe another truly Albertan party will pop up.

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      • #4
        Yep - the only reason the PC's weren't killed last time is that Taft is not charasmatic and Mason is too far left for serious consideration by the majority. There is no opposition.

        Bronco upsets the PC's more than not, so I don't see him as a huge factor. The fact that the majority of the PC members are from Calgary and inherently help their own first is more the issue.
        President and CEO - Airshow.

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        • #5
          Three powerhouse leadership candidates from the capital region, the Edmonton PC's must be doing something right.

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          • #6
            I'd rather have a Calgarian who understands the important of properly funding the two cities than some rural folk further subsidizing a lifestyle and career that should have evolved and changed decades ago.

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            • #7
              Frankly, I'm more worried about the social conservative mindset of the rurals than I am of the urban funding (not that city funding isn't a major issue).
              “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sonic Death Monkey
                Frankly, I'm more worried about the social conservative mindset of the rurals than I am of the urban funding (not that city funding isn't a major issue).
                Agreed, although I doubt Mr. Morton can pull it off and I wouldn't be suprised to see him and his followers defect to the Alberta Alliance after the leadership vote.

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                • #9
                  BTW, Both Morton and Dinning have opened Edmonton campaign offices.
                  LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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                  • #10
                    ^ Branch office or head office?
                    Edmonton first, everything else second.

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                    • #11
                      We have to ask?
                      President and CEO - Airshow.

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                      • #12
                        Where? At the Calgary Connection centre? :P
                        “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichardS
                          We have to ask?
                          I got notifications through my Conservative party youth type friends. Passing it along :P

                          I would have thought the offices would have been open a while ago.
                          LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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