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Calgary Elbow By-Election Drumheller-Stettler By-Election

t-minus 1.

I spent the past weekend campaigning in Drumheller-Stettler by-election for Tom Dooley.

Being in Drumheller, I didn’t expect a warm reception at the doors, so I was pretty surprised at the positive reaction I recieved when I told people I was campaigning for Tom Dooley (quite literally every second door).

It soon became fairly clear that Tom Dooley is a really well known man in the Drumheller area (he’s also a really nice guy). As a local rancher, former County Councillor and Deputy Reeve, I get the feeling Tom Dooley do pretty well in Drumheller.

Even though Tory candidate Jack Hayden is considered the by many to be the frontrunner in this long-time rural ‘c’onservative riding, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a substantial slip in the ‘C’onservative vote this time around. I say this for a number of reasons.

First, it’s a by-election. In by-elections, voters can express their satifaction or disatisfaction with the governing party without changing government.

Second, with four right-wing candidates in the running, there is a good chance that the ‘c’onservative vote will be split between Hayden, Social Credit candidate Larry Davidson (Davidson actually had noticeably more signs on private property in Drumheller than Hayden), Alliance candidate Dave France, and Alberta Independence advocate John Rew. This right-wing split could cause some interesting senarios when the votes are counted.

Third, the Balzac water management issue has exploded in Drumheller. I’m still blown away by how mad the people I spoke with on the doors are about this issue. When the Drumheller Valley Times runs “Liberals show PC’s lied” as their frontpage headline, you know this has become a big issue.

As for the other smaller party candidates, it’s always tough to predict how well the Greens will do, so it will be interesting to see how Jennifer Wigmore makes out (Her husband ran as the Green candidate in the area during the last Federal Election, so there is probably a certain amount of ‘Wigmore’ name recognition in the constituency). As for the New Democrats, well… the ‘Brian Mason’ campaign signs everywhere signal to me that if the New Democrats aren’t even buying signs with their candidate’s name on them, they’ve pretty much given up on these races (I hear the same signs have shown up in Calgary Elbow).

As for the Calgary Elbow race (which most of the media attention has been on), some of the media outlets seem to be calling it already, but I’ve been around enough election campaigns to know that it’s not over until the polls close at 8pm (or on the third judicial recount in some cases). It’s been a hot race between Alberta Liberal Craig Cheffins and Brian “the choker” Heninger, so it should add some excitement to tomorrow’s day on the Alberta political scene.

Nether the less, both the Drumheller-Stettler and Calgary Elbow by-elections tomorrow will be uphill battles for any of the opposition candidates running as both constituencies have been held by the Tories for over 30 years

If you live in either of these constituencies, remember to get out and vote tomorrow!

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