I was at last night's all-candidates meeting where, once again, Michelle Rempel didn't show up. I was very impressed with Stephen Randall, but I've been campaigning for the Green Party for a couple of months and I'll still be voting for Heather MacIntosh.
Randall is a Liberal, and no Liberal has won a seat in Calgary since Pat Mahoney in 1968, in the riding of Calgary South. He was defeated in 1972.
The Green Party, on the other hand, has shown momentum over the past two elections, both federally and in Calgary Centre North.
Remple is nowhere near as popular among Conservatives as Prentice was. While I was helping with door knocking last night, one 60 year old man admitted to me that he has historically voted Conservative, but he will probably vote otherwise this time. He was already angry at Rempel for not showing up at the U of C debate; I doubt he'll be impressed to learn she didn's show up last night, either.
I was at the meet the candidates forum with no preconceptions of any of the candidates - and no party affiliation. Based on that experience I would have to say that Dr. Stephen Randall was the most articulate speaker and the only one that exuded any sense of leadership to me. My values probably align most closely with the NDP and the Greens, but based completely on the candidates and their performance at this event, it seems like Dr. Randall is the strongest candidate to me. I also found it interesting that the the applause for Dr. Randall was the loudest and longest out of all the candidates - although I'm not sure if there was a liberal demographic bias at this particular event. The ND candidate kept losing his place in his speech and referring to his cue cards and the Green candidate started out strong but then her voice started to crack and I sensed a lack of confidence in her delivery and her message, which is too bad.
From a completely pragmatic standpoint, I would like to believe that the Green party could win this riding, but I fear that most people still see them as a fringe party that has no actual power in Parliament. If the goal is to keep the Conservatives from getting a majority government, I think I would have to agree that casting a Liberal vote may most likely achieve this goal. But the Randall campaign needs to start addressing environmental issues which were glaringly lacking in his performance at this event. Also, his main campaign photo on his website is not doing him any favours - he appears to be squinting and grimacing simultaneously. This may seem trivial, but I come from a visual arts background and people respond very strongly and unconsciously to images before their intellect ever kicks in.
I just received a phone call from the Rempel campaign, and she will be at the April 25th debate.
Happy voting everyone.
I wish I could attend the debate, but alas I'm on the other side of the planet while this election is going on... From what I can tell though, she didn't seem very impressive. Stephen Randall did though: http://politwitter.ca/user/YYCSteve
We can't keep squabbling over the left's vote and split it up for the Cons. The Green platform is the one I agree with most, but there is no chance that they're going to upset. We need to hold our noses and vote Liberal on this one.
Andrew, I have to disagree here. The Liberals are losing support nationally, and they have never been strong in Calgary Centre North, and as mentioned above haven't been elected in 4 decades in Calgary. The challenge is less about holding our noses and voting in protest, and more about inspiring the 45%, or 40,000 residents of Calgary Centre-North, who didn't vote in the last election. The proportional majority of that group are young voters who overwhelmingly support the Green Party over the other the other parties. Nenshi was elected on hope, thats not what the liberals are dishing up. Have a look at voting patterns in Calgary Centre North. I like Steve and Heather, both did well at the debates. But Heather and the Green Party are the only ones selling that hopeful message that resonates with young voters.
The only party to be able to inspire is neither left or right, it's forward thinking and that is the Greens. Steve Randall is great, but liberals have no momentum to sweep this riding. NDP is great, but Paul Vargis is not ready to sweep the riding. I don't think it's about holding our noses, I think it's uniting around change and making history when Calgary Centre-North sends Green Party Heather MacIntosh to Parliament on May 2.
I am not officially affiliated with the Green Party, but have been inspired in this election cycle, and by making history, and uniting around change. When elected, Heather will be a front bencher for the Green Party talking about tomorrow, sustainability, and change. We have to move past the same contenders, in the same elections, which causes the same apathy. Lets make history and set an example for all Canadians of what IS possible.
Well, I wish we had this discussion before I had to mail in my ballot! Hard to tell how things are shaping up from the other side of the world when all you have are internet forums and online newspapers... and Twitter. :P
I'm pulling for an ABC outcome in our riding... it's going to take a *tremendous* campaign to pull it off. Have you guys looked into renting buses (seriously) for getting out the vote?
I am hoping we see a Nenshi-esque upset.... that would be something to behold!