Alberta Politics

Winter is coming and so is the a by-election in Calgary-Centre.

Calgary-Centre by-election Liberals NDP
The Liberals and New Democrats enter the Calgary-Centre by-election contest.

Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt and Green candidate Chris Turner are no longer alone in Calgary-Centre, as the field of candidates is filling out. Time is also running out for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to set the date for the by-election.

Late last month, the Liberals nominated lawyer and conservationist Harvey Locke. Soon after his nomination Mr. Locke was boosted by a visit from Justin Trudeau, who launched his leadership campaign a day earlier in his Montreal riding of Papineau.

Winter is Coming Chris Turner
Calgary-Centre Green candidate Chris Turner is targeting the highly influential “Game of Thrones” voters.

Late to the game, the New Democrats are finally starting the process of nominating a candidate to run in the by-election. The three candidates seeking the yet-to-be scheduled nomination contest for the yet-to-be called by-election are recent provincial NDP candidate Brent Maklinson, social media consultant Scott Payne, and Matthew McMillan.

After a number of rumoured high-profile candidates declined to seek the nomination, the NDP focused much of their energy over the summer on organizing a functional riding association in Calgary-Centre. In 2011, a parachute candidate earned 14% of the vote for the NDP.

Meanwhile, the 1 Calgary Centre group is holding an “Unconference for post-partisan politics in Calgary.” On September 21, I joined 1 Calgary Centre organizer Brian Singh and Athabasca University political scientist Jay Smith to discuss the potential for 1 Calgary Centre to effect the by-election race (I shared some thoughts on this topic in a previous blog post).