23 September 2015

Why this Dipper is voting Liberal in Calgary Centre

Liberals have been screwing Calgary for a long time. When one hears this, one's thoughts immediately turn to Trudeau senior and his National Energy Program. But it started long before that. Back in the beginning in fact. When Alberta became a province in 1905, Frank Oliver, Edmonton newspaper publisher and Liberal MP, persuaded Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier to make his hometown the capital of the new province. His justification was simple—Calgary voted Conservative, Edmonton voted Liberal.

Calgary thought in all fairness it should at least get the University of Alberta. It wasn't to be. Alexander Rutherford, president of the Liberal Party of Alberta, was appointed the first premier and located it in his hometown of Strathcona, now part of Edmonton. Edmonton 2, Calgary 0, all because of the conniving Liberals.

Nonetheless, that's who I'll be voting for. Actually, that's not quite correct—for this election, I'm doing something I rarely do, voting for the candidate, not the party. The last time I did this federally was vote for Joe Clark over an incumbent Reformer in 2001. This time I'm voting for Kent Hehr. The reason is twofold. First, he has easily the best chance of any of the opposition candidates to defeat the Conservative incumbent. Secondly, he has been my MLA for the past seven years and he's been a damn good one. He deserves to go on to the senior level.

As a member of the NDP, I'd prefer to support the party. And I will, in dollars. But this is one of those times my vote just has to go to the other guys.  In 2001, Joe Clark won. I can only hope I've picked another winner.

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