Sunday, November 25, 2012

Calgary Centre By-Election

I don't live in Calgary Centre and I don't have a preference for who wins tomorrow - as long as it's not Joan Crockatt. Calgary is more politically diverse than it used to be, but still has some ways to go. It is not as bad as portrayed in convenient national stereotypes.  As I see it, the main challenge to Progressives are the intense partisan dislike of each other along party lines, and the impossible task of getting any type of cooperation or consensus.

There were a few polls during the election and there were long and complicated arguments regarding the validity of the results.  The last one I saw had Crockett at 37%,  Locke  at 35%, and recording a drop of Green Party Candidate Chris Turner to 17%.

I'm not willing to make a dogmatic prediction about the results tomorrow - I'll leave that to the partisans. However I do believe there is a probability this order will hold up and Crockatt will win.  How big is that probability? I have no idea.  It is completely unpredictable how people will move from one party to another when they get to the ballot tomorrow. I think it is possible, but highly unlikely that Turner will overtake two parties.

Low voter turnout will affect Locke and Turner more adversely than Crockatt, since her vote is more or less locked in (no pun).  It seems unlikely to me that the conservatives voters that are left for Crockatt will abandon her.  For them it's more about the Prime Minister than anything else.  That and hating Justin Trudeau.

The NDP will probably also hold it's voters down.  Green Party comparisons to the Nenshi winning mayor's campaign are probably invalid for this reason. In that race the 4th place candidate, Joe Connelly, took less than 1% of the total vote. If the NDP holds their 10-12% tomorrow it makes it much harder for Locke or Turner to find new votes.

So, basically, I'm hoping for a pleasant surprise tomorrow, but not overly optimistic.  The idea of a consensus candidate, and the hard work of 1CalgaryCentre has been thrown out there to the privacy of the voting booth.

And finally, don't forget Locke, Turner and Meade had the Calgary media campaigning against them. Good for them, for getting good press wherever they could find it.  It's not an excuse for losing, just a fact of life out here in "the west".

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