With all the attention on Edmonton-Centre and Edmonton-Strathcona, voters in other Alberta ridings might be getting a little envious. Though I wouldn’t describe any of the other races in this province as ‘competitive‘ in any sense of the word or democratic concept, they could be the only things close to slightly interesting that Albertans will witness outside of Centre and Strathcona on October 14:
Calgary-Northeast: Though it is extremely unlikely that Art Hanger‘s former fiefdom will go anything but Conservative, I am interested to see how Independent Conservative Roger Ricard does against Tory nominee Devinder Shory. Other candidates include Liberal Sanam Kang, NDP Vinay Dey, Green Abeed Monty Ahmad, and Marxist-Leninist Daniel Blanchard.
Calgary-West: Crazy Conservative Rob Anders will once again be re-elected. Sigh.
Edmonton-East: A quiet race is moving along as former NDP MLA Ray Martin, Liberal Stephanie Laskoski, and Green Trey Capnerhurst take on comfortable incumbent Peter Goldring. Word on the street is that Goldring has refused to show up to any candidates forums, leaving constituents to watch the other candidates to debate amongst each other.
Edmonton-Sherwood Park: Jason Morris at Gauntlet.ca has a great rundown of the battle between Independent Conservative James Ford and official Conservative Tim Uppal, including the recent Chamber of Commerce forum (which caused a bit of controversy in the media).
Medicine Hat: Though Conservative candidate LeVar Payne (who’s website biography is still “coming soon”) is likely to walk away with 90% of the vote on October 14, it will be interesting to see what kind of affect Independent Conservative Dean Shock will have on the race. Having faced Payne for the Conservative nod to replace Monte Solberg, Shock obviously wasn’t satisfied with sitting on the sidelines (and is being supported by fellow Independent candidate David Patrick).
Westlock-St. Paul: If you think that it’s a forgone conclusion that backbench Conservative MP Brian Storseth will be re-elected with an unnaturally large margin of victory on October 14, you are probably correct. This is my home riding, so I am naturally interested to see how the results turn out. If you are an undecided voter in this riding, take a look at Green candidate Aden Murphy. He’s a bright, young, up and comer in politics and is campaigning hard in this sprawling riding.
Voter Turnout: Voter turnout in the advanced polls dropped to 102,885 in Alberta, 24% lower than in 2006 according to Elections Canada, signaling that the suspected less than 40% voter turnout in the March 2008 provincial election could be more than a blip. The highest turnouts in Alberta were in Calgary-West, Edmonton-Leduc, and Wild Rose. Pundits’ Guide has the list of the ridings with the highest advanced voting turnout, all of them being in Eastern Canada.