With all the buzz going around about the battle between Linda Duncan and Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton-Strathcona, voters in the rest of Alberta must feel a little left out. Here’s a look at what is arguably Alberta’s only other competitive riding: Edmonton-Centre.
SEE Magazine has a great piece this week on the Edmonton-Centre race where similar to Edmonton-Strathcona, strategic voting will play an important roll in deciding who gets elected on October 14: consumer advocate and Liberal challenger Jim Wachowich or Conservative incumbent Laurie Hawn. Well-known for its close races, the last Edmonton-Centre race saw Hawn edge out former Liberal MP Anne McLellan in what ended up being the closest Alberta race of the 2006 election. But even though Edmonton-Centre has been competitive in the past, this riding risks falling into the same perennial vote-splitting category that Edmonton-Strathcona has found itself in the past — with the Liberal/NDP/Green vote-split allowing for a Conservative to be narrowly elected with less than a majority of the votes.
With neither of the two main campaigns able to depend on the kind of name recognition that Anne McLellan could, it’s not surprising that neither of them are taking anything for granted as they spar in a literal block-to-block ground war. This weekend, Wachowich’s campaign is planning a major blitz of the riding with campaign volunteers door knocking in every neighbourhood in the riding in the push to October 14.
Having been endorsed by VoteForEnvironment.ca and positioned within striking distance according to DemocraticSPACE, it is clear that much like Linda Duncan in Edmonton-Strathcona, Jim Wachowich is the only candidate in the position to defeat the Conservative incumbent in this riding.