Alberta Politics

when you really want to win. alberta progressive conservative first ballot vote on september 17.

With three days left until the results of the first ballot voting in Alberta’s Progressive Conservative leadership contest are tallied, some candidates are being accused of breaking campaign rules.

Perceived front-runner Gary Mar is facing accusations that his campaign was selling memberships outside an advanced polling station set up in Edmonton, something that is no allowed under PC Party rules. Mr. Mar’s campaign is also being criticized for their use of buses to transport PC Party members from seniors centres to advanced voting stations.

Continuing a trend in the campaign, Mr. Mar was universally criticized by his rival candidates, leading me to question how a recent poll could have reached the conclusion that he is considered “consensus candidate” in this contest.

Meanwhile, questions are being raised about a recent Environics poll gauging support among PC Party members. The poll found that Mr. Mar and fellow Calgarian Alison Redford as the leading competitors in the contest. The main question being asked by some political watchers is who provided Environics the list of 22,000 PC Party members and was the list accurate?

UPDATE: PC Party President Bill Smith says which ever campaign leaked the membership list to Environics broke a confidentiality agreement.

As voting day approaches, the PC leadership candidates are pressing the flesh and doing their best to get their message out to eleventh hour supporters. Ms. Redford released ideas about Family Care Clinics. Rick Orman proposed a development strategy for Northern Alberta. Doug Horner has held a series of question and answer times on Twitter using the hashtag #askdoughorner. And Doug Griffiths released another high production quality video, this one about reforming government:

9 replies on “when you really want to win. alberta progressive conservative first ballot vote on september 17.”

PC Party President Bill Smith has just released a statement assailing Environics and revealing that whoever leaked the list to the Calgary Herald broke a signed confidentiality agreement:

As for Mr. Mar’s alleged misdeeds, I think selling memberships outside a polling station is entirely in accord with the rules set up by the PC Party. This isn’t a national or provincial election, it’s a partisan party vote in which the name of the game is selling memberships and getting the new members out to vote. If it’s a problem – and I’m not sure that it is – the problem is that new members can buy memberships at the door, not that Mr. Mar’s supporters are doing it.

I took a glance at Ms Redford’s plan for Family Health Clinics, and the comparison with the existing PCN system. It’s clear that she is uninformed about the PCN system across the province when she says PCNs have 100s of physicians; this may be true in Calgary & Edmonton, but in smaller communities they have many fewer; in the North, for example, there are PCNs with only three or four physicians enrolled, scattered among widely-separated rural communities. She is correct that patients may be unaware of being enrolled in PCNs; this is part of the Tri-Partite Agreement between Alberta Health & Wellness, Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Medical Association that set up the PCN system. Patients are not necessarily told they are seeing a provider who is part of a PCN; the AMA insisted on this model.

Her proposal, while it has merit, seems from my reading to suggest returning to fee-for-service as a funding model, whereas PCNs are funded on a capitation model (per person). Fee-for-service rewards tasks done and not quality of care.

What is needed is a system of community primary care & chronic disease management clinics that are part of AHS, incorporating nurse practitioners and registered nurses, along with other allied health providers, all under the same roof, in which physicians are part of the team of providers but not “in charge”. All providers in such a clinic would be paid salary, and the clinic would collect outcomes data to submit to AH&W through the AHS management structure. These clinics could incorporate an urgent-care system, which could provide after-hours care up until the late evening hours.

Ms Redford is uniformed about a few things. I mentioned on Twitter that while the YYC candidates argued about health care Doug Horner was quietly touring rural Alberta to see what we rural dwellers had to say. Immediately after that her handlers said that she too had been doing that. In the five years I’ve been in the Bonnyville – Cold Lake area we’ve only seen her once and that was during the 2010 Winter Games. She even missed a cabinet tour more recently so I’m thinking her handlers need a roadmap. Oh, our PCN (primary care network) only has a nurse practioner, not a whole staff of doctors. In fact we’re always looking for Docs. The lure of Big City bucks always draws them away. Can’t blame the government for that.

There is nothing inconsistent about their attacking Mar, and his being the consensus candidate. He is both the front-runner, so he gets attacked, and he is the second choice of most of the participants, so he is the consensus candidate.

Of course, if the membership lists were wrong, as the PC President suggests, who knows whether that poll is accurate.

I like Doug Griffiths, and his videos, but note that in the one posted here, he refers to “delivering democracy”. Isn’t the government’s job to PRACTICE democracy, not deliver it? That seems like some heavy-handed, not-great wording. It made me squirm.

The only campaigns that are heavily criticizing Mar’s campaign are Redford and Orman. Neither of those candidates will support Mar on a second ballot. The other three however would likely all support Mar. Especially when Morton finishes a strong second to Mar on the first ballot.

I find it interesting how four campaigns have a GOTV strategy of hoping people will vote for them, while Mar and Morton do everything possible to ensure their supporters get out and vote. This will show up on election day when M&M finish first and second, while the distant third place candidate (Redford or Horner) wonders what happened. The fourth place candidate will be shocked that they lost, and Griffiths and Orman will finish way back.

Peter G. is a wise man.

Unicorn horns and pixie dust are very much secondary in what amounts to a membership drive/mobilization exercise.

Repeating the word “dynamic” and selling the dis-interested masses on your awesomeness via the Inter-webz echo chamber are not what will carry the day here.

Griffiths will likely support Morton on a second ballot, together with Orman. Under this scenario, Morton wins.

Time to start praying I’m wrong.

Not sure where Joe get’s his info, & I too hope his prediction is wrong.. but his source might be confused; it’s unlikely that DG will support Morton, and pretty sure (in the worst possible scenario that Doug Griffiths is not on the 2nd ballot)the people supporting Team Griffiths will not go that way either

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