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Ed Stelmach is In


  02:15:37 am, by Nimble   , 420 words  
Categories: Announcements [A], Thoughts, Politics

Ed Stelmach is In

My wife and I went down to our local polling station at the sportsplex, bought a Progressive Conservative party membership for $5 apiece, and voted.

My wife felt "less dirty" than she thought she would feel buying a party membership - it's just pragmatic is all, and we both felt pretty darned good about having gone to vote. It was a surprisingly large turnout. Parking was an issue.

It's a slightly unusual vote in that you can vote for more than one candidate. We had a choice of three, Jim Dinning, Ed Stelmach and Ted Morton. You mark your first choice with a 1, but you can optionally vote for your second choice with a 2.

(I voted strategically in an "anyone but Morton" fashion: Dinning for 1, Stelmach for 2)

What happens is that when all the votes are counted, the lowest of the three is dropped out of the count, but all the secondary choices are split up amongst the reining candidates. So, people have, at least by all appearances, more of an influence even if their first candidate is voted out.

Jim Dinning was likely not popular amongst those who remember unfondly the medical and education cuts he made in the 90s. Ted Morton was likely not popular amongst those who consider him "unsympathetic to centrist views".

Ed Stelmach... well, very few people seem to know what he's about, but he was certainly likely to be everyone's second choice.

As the Globe & Mail article by Walton & Harding read:

If nobody wins a majority on the second ballot, a preferential voting system kicks in. The third-place candidate drops off the ballot, and whoever the voter ranked as second choice will receive his votes.

"Everybody's second choice is going to be Ed Stelmach," Prof. Brownsey predicted.

That suggests that if Mr. Stelmach is in the top two, he could be poised to become Alberta's 13th premier.

That turned out to be exactly the case.

I guess we will get to know the new premier over the next little while. Graham Thomson of the Edmonton Journal had a couple of paragraphs put together that might be Stelmach in a nutshell:

In terms of intellectual depth, Stelmach seems to know issues inside, outside and backwards.

But he also tends to tie himself up in knots trying to explain himself, even when his audience is nothing more than a solitary columnist quietly sipping a cup of tea picked up by the Stelmach bus at a convenience store.

Actually, that just sound fine to me... for now :)

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