Edmonton-Calder is the Poland of Alberta’s political map – it has moved around, disappeared and reappeared in different forms and names, and tends to swing between political powers.
Calder was held by Tory Tom Chambers from 1971 until 1986 when Christine Mjolsness caught a ride on the anti-Don Getty wave and was elected for the New Democrats. Calder was held by the Mjolsness until it disappeared in 1993 when it was split into Edmonton-Mayfield and Edmonton-Roper. Both Mayfield and Roper elected Alberta Liberal MLAs in 1993 – Lance White and Sine Chadi (Mjolsness was defeated by Chadi in Roper). In 1997, Edmonton-Mayfield’s name was changed and Calder reappeared on the map as Lance White held the seat against Tory Lynn Faulder and former Edmonton-Kingsway ND MLA Alex McEachern.
In 2001, White faced off against Tory Brent Rathgeber and ND Christine Burdett. In a three way race, Rathgeber unseated White. In 2004, Rathgeber found himself in another three way race between ND David Eggen and Alberta Liberal Brad Smith. Having started campaigning early, the fruit of Eggen’s campaigning paid off as he narrowly knocked off Rathgeber.
Eggen is now running for a second-term against two main challengers, Alberta Liberal Jim Kane and Tory Doug Elniski. Kane is a company officer for CN in Edmonton and has experience in management and union grievance resolution. Taking a page from Eggen’s book, Kane began door knocking and campaigning in Calder early. Elniski’s background includes work in safety management, human resource management, construction, adult education, and business consulting. On a purely anecdotal note, Elniski may also be the tallest candidate I’ve ever seen.
Between 2004 and the 2006 Census, Calder grew by 15.46%, bringing over 3,500 new people to this north west Edmonton constituency.
Even though Eggen is easily the most effective member of the four-man NDP caucus, his re-election isn’t assured. Over the past decade, Calder has become a notorious swing riding and holds strong bases of support for all three main parties. If this were a different constituency, I might say that Eggen would have it in the bag, but with the Liberals, Tories, and NDP all having all held Calder during the past ten years (and three elections), you can bet that Eggen, Kane, and Elniski will be working extra hard to win over voters in this constituency.
Edmonton-Calder Past Election Results
David Eggen, ND – 4,067
x Brent Rathgeber, PC – 3,730
Brad Smith, Lib – 2,985
Vicki Kramer, AA – 513
Voter Turnout: 49%
Brent Rathgeber, PC – 5,128
x Lance White, Lib – 4,654
Christine Burdett, ND – 2,432
Voter Turnout: 51.7%
x Lance White, Lib – 4,802
Lynn Faulder, PC – 3,860
Alex McEachern, ND – 3,250
Voter Turnout: 53.4%