The Dinning MLA Stars and Slackers are tougher to comment upon. Jim is so dominant individually in Calgary with his relationships in the energy sector I think he personally delivered Calgary with a whopping total vote of 13,752.
In Calgary Dinning’s relationship to the local MLAs is that they can depend on him to win their seats for them because of his personal influence in that city. Klein had that kind of sway in Calgary and most MLAs counted on his personal elect ability to win ridings. As a result it is hard to pick Stars or Slackers on winning Calgary seats. Dinning only lost Hung Pham’s Montrose constituency to Oberg but he literally "owns" the rest of the city.
So I see no reason therefore to look how the 18 Calgary MLAs who supported Dinning did to get out the vote. Some high turn outs are worth noting. His own area of Elbow (Premier Klein’s constituency) he drew 1153 that is 60% of the total. Ron Leipert pulled in 1026 votes in Calgary West for 56%. Shiraz Shariff in Calgary McCall pulled out 922 votes an impressive 69% of votes cast.
There were 11 slackers who did not win their constituency for their man and they were spread all over the province from Cabinet Ministers like Mike Cardinal in Athabasca –Redwater to Barry McFarland in Little Bow. Little Bow had 271 Dinning backers and a total vote of 1910 for a 14% share - not impressive. Minister Renner of Medicine Hat had a 33% showing and Minister Coutts of Livingstone Macleod garnered 26% of the votes. If they all want a Dinning win they can forget about sleeping this week...they have work to do.
Richard Marz showed up with 27% of the voters in Olds-Didsbury- Three Hills. Newcomers Doug Griffiths in Battle River-Wainwright turned in 22% of the voters and Len Mitzel of Cypress-Medicine Hat gather 23% support from his area. Rob Lougheed a late convert to Dinning lost Strathcona outside Edmonton with 22%. Hon. Ty Lund only garnered 25% in Rocky Mountain House in a lost cause for Dinning. NOT impressive!
“Stars” because they won the constituency but not with remarkable results were Janis Tarchuk in Banff-Cochrane with 40% turnout, Hon George VanderBurg pulled in 43% the Hon. Gordon Graydon of Grande Prairie- Wapiti and Frank Oberle of Peace River both had 38% turn up for Dinning.
The two Edmonton supporters won their ridings for Dinning where there were often four-way splits in the voting. Lukaszuk in Edmonton Castle-Downs tallied 38% with help from his Mom who was apparently was the star salesperson. Hon Gene Zwozdesky in Edmonton Mill Creek pulled a 33% and still won. Edmonton area supporters George Rogers of Leduc-Beaumont-Devon is technically a “star” but won by 2 votes.
MLA Endorsements are nice but if they don’t deliver and their leadership candidate “turtles” they mostly have to blame themselves. The idea is not to just ride on the leader’s coat tails but to get out and ensure the victory for the party.
The 2004 election saw 210,000 fewer votes for PC candidates throughout Alberta. They were sending us a message. Based on the poor showing by some MLAs for both Dinning and Stelmach, the message is still being sent but there is lots of evidence that we are not yet listening.
If we keep this up we will have Premier Morton for two years and then Premier Taft or Premier Bronconnier afterwards.