Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Provincial Tory Leadership Candidates: Two For The Price Of One!

Since I missed yesterday...

Jim Dinning

  • Who He?: Was provincial treasurer back in the day, and is usually given "credit" for being the brains behind Klein's budget savagry during the early 90s. Has been out of politics for some time, a fair amount of which he's apparently spent plotting his path to becoming Premier.

  • Why Should Progressives Support Him?: Well, he's certainly the best-organized of the candidates, doubtless due to the long time he's been preparing for this. He also seems to be a competent sort of public official, without any major ideological axes to grind. Lastly, he's received the endorsement of Peter Lougheed, and, despite Ralph Klein's blatherings to the contrary, a thumbs-up from the man who introduced Alberta's human rights act does count for something.

  • Why Should We Not?: As treasurer, he introduced policies that hurt a whole lot of people; he essentially fixed Alberta's financial situation by pounding on the people least able to bear said pounding (despite the fact that his on-line bio claims that the budget was balanced by Albertans "from all walks of life"; that's patently not true). There's also something a bit disturbing about the fact that he's been manoeuvring for policial power for so long.

  • Is He Likely To Pick Fights With Homeless People?: No, which is only fair given that his policies put a good number of them on the streets to begin with...

  • How are his chances?: Right now, he's the odds-on favourite, and it would be stunning if he didn't at least make it to a second ballot. He's really the only candidate with a chance to win on the first ballot, and unless Ted Morton finds a lot more support in these last few days, Dinning will be the next Premier of the province.

And, moving right along,

Dave Hancock

  • Who He?: Former Tory cabinet minister in Alberta, holding major portfolios such as Advanced Education. He's also been Government House Leader recently.

  • Why Should Progressives Support Him?: Along with Gary MacPherson, he's one of the only guys in this race who can actually be described as "progressive." He was a decent Advanced Education minister, and has done some good things in working against domestic violence. He's quite strong on environmental issues, and at a recent candidates' forum actually had the guts to call out Ted Morton and Lyle Oberg over their bloodthirsty, hang-'em-high rhetoric concerning youth justice.

  • Why Should We Not?: Very few reasons. He does come across as too confrontational sometimes (although on occasion that's been a welcome trait - see above), and he's sounded silly recently while accusing other candidates of trying to undercut his campaign.

  • Is He Likely To Pick Fights With Homeless People?: Not even slightly.

  • How are his chances?: Unfortunately very slim. He just doesn't have the support to get by Jim Dinning, Ted Morton, and Mark Norris (and maybe even Lyle Oberg).

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