Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006 - The Aftermath!

Hey there, how's it going? What's new? Good to hear. It's been so long since we've spoken. I'm such a bad friend.

Well, It's November 26, 2006 and we now know a little more where Alberta Progressive Conservatives and tens of thousands of other Albertans stand on who they want to be the next premier of this province.

In case you haven't heard, here are the results:
Jim Dinning 29,470
Ted Morton 25,614
Ed Stelmach 14,967
Lyle Oberg 11,638
Dave Hancock 7,595
Mark Norris 6,789
Victor Doerksen 873
Gary McPherson 744

Surprised? I'm not overly surprised, but there are surprises within the results. Ted Morton receives about 26% support. His second place finish is not a complete surprise, but to be under 4000 (4%) votes behind "sure thing" Dinning is a bit of a surprise. Morton is a wildcard and extreme in his views. He will have a tough time adding votes to his total, as most of his supporters are likely to be included in the 25,614; whereas, there is room in the Dinning and Stelmach umbrella to attract more voters - from the bottom five camp, and from the tens of thousands who will vote on December 2nd only.

Similarly surprising, maybe mostly to Lyle only, is that Oberg only garnered 12% of voter support. He likely shot himself in the foot throughout the campaign and conservatives smartly concluded that this wacko can't run our province.

So given the Oberg slide, and the lack of credibility from other candidates, am I surprised that Stelmach is firmly entrenched for the second ballot? Well, somewhat. I guess someone has to take that place, but I thought we would be more likely to see a Hancock, Norris, or Oberg to sit in with a distant third place.

The numbers look promising for Stelmach. He is over 10,000 votes away from Morton, but having Morton holding such strength, almost guarantess a third ballot. Dinning needs at least 25,000 more votes to gain a majority, Morton will need around 30,000. I don't see either of these camps, gaining those numbers for the second ballot. So, all Stelmach needs to do is place in second on that ballot.

There are three reasons Ed Stelmach will finish second on the second ballot:
1. The Morton Problem
2. The Anti-Dinning Factor
3. Momentum

The Morton problem. Ted Morton is an extremist. As an extremist, he has a large, solid, and vocal support group. He gained support from the Alberta Alliance and social conservatives - people who were motivated to see a change to what they saw as the immoral, chicken-shit, tax-and-spend leftist Tories under Klein. Very few of his supporters chose not to vote, or stayed home in the cold. He is not a big tent politician and his numbers are unlikely to grow significantly.

The Anti-Dinning Factor. It seems many of the politically astute in this province either love Dinning or hate him. There is a significant camp of people who really do not want Jim to run the province. Most of them also do not see Morton as a camp to pop their tent in - their only choice left is Ed Stelmach. This is why Lyle Oberg has gotten behind Steady Eddy, and that brings us to...

Momentum. Already, finishers four and five have thrown their support behind Stelmach (bringing potentially 15,000 plus voters with them). Victim number six is expected to throw his support Ed's way early in the week. Non-voters (too cold, or didn't care enough) are also likely to see Ed as a good compromise candidate. There was a little bit of a surprise with his finish, and everyone loves an underdog. For all these reasons, Ed has momentum on his side.

So here is the Stelmach plan; convince voters that he has a shot at the final two. Keep people from voting for Dinning because they are scared of Morton. Show yourself as the reliable, responsible, reasonable conservative - separate from the leftist old-school Dinning, and the extremist scary Morton. Finish second on the second ballot.

When everyone votes on the second ballot, the Dinning supporters will put Stelmach down as 2nd choice because he's not Morton, and Morton supporters will put Stelmach down as two because he's not Dinning. Waltz with the rejected to the finish line!

His only major challenge is to keep Morton's support strong enough to force a second ballot, but not so strong that Ted finishes second. Keep the left from flocking to Dinning because they are so scared of Morton. Do this Eddy and you have a real chance of winning.


pikey78oil said...

Good post ATA, but at least you could have given me some credit, as we spent most of Saturday talking about this very issue. I'm personally responsible for points 1 through 3, but nowhere do you see my name!! Just kidding buddy!

You keep thinking, though, that Dinning won't win. He will because he is the lesser of the 3 evils. Well, technically, Ed Stelmach is the lesser of the evils, but what good is a guy who isn't known in Alberta's 2 largest cities. Stelmach has rural support, but, (and forgive me for making a blanket statement here, but I do live and work in Central Alberta) do we really want someone who has a Rural First mentality running the province? Nothing against rural folk, but aren't they the same backwards thinkers that are supporting Morton in his bid to put women back in the kitchen and out of the workforce?? (pregnant all the time too!!)

Any word yet on who Doerksen is going to throw his 873 votes behind (hahahahahahahahahahahaha).
See this is what happens when you try and ban OF MICE AND MEN because it contains the word "goddamn" 210 times and then run for the provincial conservative leadership.

Breakenridge said...

You neglected to mention the fact that both Hancock and Oberg have now thrown their suport behind Stelmach. Now I know it's not a delegate system were the pair's supporters would be peer pressured into backing the guy the loser candidates are backing. This may further clinch it for Stelmach. We'll have to wait and see what happens though. Because we're not dealing with a delegate system and multiple votes over the course of a weekend, a la the upcoming Liberal leadership convention (And whoever decided Belinda Stronach should be giving a speech about women in politics shouls give their head a shake -- she enetere politics to try and win a party leadership as far as I know she's an opportunist not a true politician but I digress), because we're not dealing with that kind of system, people whose canidates are not in the top three could simply stay home on Dec. 2. And it will happen. So it will come own to how much of Hancock's and Oberg's supporters Stelmach can garner, as well as who can sell more memberships over the next five days which is how Ralph Klein managed to clinch it in 1992.

But ATA why are you surprised Norris or Hancock or Oberg were not third? Stelmach was the guy to bet on in this race. Norris was unknown outside Edmonton and had the disadvantage of being a one-term MLA whoo lost his seat in 2004. Meanwhile, Hancock is a Red Tory competeing for votes in Edmonton with a guy like Norris, who seeme to be more likeable. And Oberg, as you would know, doesn't have much political sense, whether you're talking about campaigning or dealin with his portfolio responsibilities.

So there you're BreakenNews updated.

Breakenridge said...

Disregard the first sentence in my reply.

Atypical Albertan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Atypical Albertan said...

You're right Pikey, many of my thoughts were fleshed out in our conversations on Saturday - but their still my thoughts and I will give you support writing credit right here and now. I don't necessarily think Steady Eddy is the right guy, but I think he might just win! His only downside - people want to vote for a winner and they won't see him as one.

Sketchy, I worry about your editing job after reading your comments. ;) I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised at Stelmach's showing, yet it is stronger than I expected. The other thing I haven't mentioned it is also important in rural northern Alberta. Stelmach is Ukranian and that can go a real long way across this province.

BTW - I love the line "you're BreakenNews updated" go with it!