doing second-ballot math: ted morton and rick orman endorse gary mar.

Ted Morton Gary Mar Alberta Conservatives
Ted Morton has endorsed Gary Mar

Ted Morton and Rick Orman have endorsed Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership front-runner Gary Mar.

It is unclear how many of Dr. Morton’s supporters may show up to support Mr. Mar on the second-ballot vote on October 1, but it may have saved his political career, which appeared to be close to an end when the former Finance Minister placed a distant fourth with 11% of the vote on September 17.

Mr. Orman placed fifth with 10% of the vote. One Tory insider emailed me this morning suggesting that Mr. Orman’s endorsement could lead to his appointment as Alberta’s envoy in Washington D.C., a job Mr. Mar held until earlier this year.

Two days ago it was difficult to see anyone defeating Mr. Mar on the second ballot. It feels even less likely now.

Conservative versus Progressive?

Since the first-ballot vote eliminated Dr. Morton and Mr. Orman, the hard-edged conservatives of the group, the Wildrose and their friends at the Toronto National Post have been spinning the narrative that the progressives (or “soft-centrists”) have defeated the conservatives in this contest. While the endorsement of the two more “conservative” candidates will aid Mr. Mar in dispelling this attack, I am not sure that I would put a “progressive” label or Mr. Mar, or either of the other two remaining candidates.

Like Dr. Morton, front-runner Mr. Mar has expressed solid support for privatized health care. Mr. Mar’s comments put him in the unfortunate position of appearing more supportive of the Americanization than even Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, who supports the introduction of private facilities, but sticks to finely-tuned talking points when talking about full-privatization. Of course, spin alley is in a near traffic jam trying to explain away Mr. Mar’s feelings towards having Albertans pay out of pocket for health care.

While the remaining three candidates may not espouse hard edged conservatism like Dr. Morton or Mr. Orman, the three candidates have received financial support from not-so-progressive groups, like the Merit Contractors Association, which is an anti-union lobby group in the construction industry.

All three candidates have received support from across the center and right of the political spectrum. Like Mr. Mar, Ms. Redford has received the support of Liberals and Red Tories alike, including former federal candidate Kevin Taron, former provincial candidate Beth Gignac, and former Prime Minister Joe Clark. Mr. Horner is certainly a moderate conservative and has received the support of longtime MLA and Assembly Speaker Ken Kowalski, who’s campaign once published an election ad stating that “While human beings can create laws, the laws of God must take precedence.”

8 thoughts on “doing second-ballot math: ted morton and rick orman endorse gary mar.

  1. why_knot1

    So…Alberta government just appointed someone to Washington Porkbarrel, sorry, Envoy post. Knowing Mar’s ethics, guess a contract buy-out is totally predictable.

    Reply
  2. Brandon Beasley

    The only one who even comes close to being a progressive is Redford, but even then she has some conservative tendencies which dilute that quite a bit.

    I can’t stand it when I see Mar called a ‘progressive’, as he may be a soft mushy centrist but he sure as hell is not a progressive politician. On health care and on fiscal policy, among other things, he is definitely not progressive.

    Reply
  3. John Moore

    Good for Kowalski for running on his convictions like that. We need more politicians like that and I’d like to see that slogan again, whether I agree with it or not.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: second-ballot math: alberta tory caucus splits between redford, mar, horner. | daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog

  5. Gary R

    Moron Orman Griffiths. I hope they all get appointments in Mars’ new cabinet as they are all so very astute.(definition of “astute” in dictionary crafty shrewd)no mention of forthright or honesty.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: blue man group plans to unite the right in alberta. | daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog

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