By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 0 Comments
At 2pm, the Speaker’s parade—a ceremonial photo op, a silly show of hallowed tradition—proceeded down the West corridor of Centre Block toward the House of Commons. Preceded by one marching guard and flanked by three more—To protect the Speaker from what? A sneak attack by the Queen?—strode the sergeant-at-arms, carrying the large golden mace that must be in place for the House to conduct its business, and the Speaker and his clerks in their three-cornered hat and robes. Once the official party was safely inside, the large wooden doors were shut and the official business of the nation began for another day.
Something like a dozen reporters had gathered at the gallery door, anxiously waiting for the House to be called to order. This was something like four times the usual attendance—the larger crowd here in anticipation that one of the duly elected adults sent here to represent the people of this country might stand up in his or her place without having first obtained the permission of the party leader he or she is supposed to support. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM - 0 Comments
The newest Conservative MP demonstrated her keen sense of satire with a statement to the House before Question Period this afternoon.
Mr. Speaker, everyone has heard the old saying, “don’t talk the talk unless you can walk the walk”. Unfortunately, I do not think the New Democrats truly understand the meaning of this statement. In fact, yesterday, you, Mr. Speaker, had to put the NDP member for Timmins—James Bay back in his place for using unparliamentary language while the NDP ironically tabled a motion to improve House decorum.
Better yet, this motion refers to instances of extreme misrepresentation of facts or position in the House. Canadians are rightly worried about the New Democrats’ misrepresentation of facts and positions. After all, the NDP is the party that has a $21 billion carbon tax in its policy documents in black and white and yet its members spent the fall denying it here in the House. We will continue to expose the NDP’s $21 billion carbon tax that would raise the price of everything.
Here again is a rough guide to the carbon tax farce.
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 9:29 AM - 0 Comments
The aftereffects in Alberta of the Nov. 26 Calgary-Centre federal byelection, carried off by Conservative Joan Crockatt with just 37 per cent of the vote, have officially become super hilarious. The reader will recall that the two main challengers for a Conservative seat in a relatively liberal-friendly part of Calgary were the capital-L Liberal Harvey Locke, who has spent decades as a top wilderness preservation advocate and all-around Nature Boy, and the Green Party’s Chris Turner, an urbanist author and magazine writer who uses the word “sustainable” with a frequency best characterized as “intolerable”. In short, the two parties both nominated professional environmentalists, neither of whom have done a whole lot else with their lives. We could all probably have anticipated a problem here.
How does a Green candidate run against a Harvey Locke? Turner was shrewd and cynical enough to find an answer: berate the older guy as an out-of-touch Seventies green who, as Locke had admitted in an interview, didn’t even move to Calgary from Banff until it looked like there might be a Commons seat available amid Cowtown’s dark Sanatic mills. (Asked by your correspondent if she approved of this campaigning style, Elizabeth May observed that the GPC is not one of those old-fashioned “top-down parties” in which the leader orders candidates about.) Locke, for his part, spluttered that his young rival was a “twerp”. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, December 10, 2012 at 11:35 AM - 0 Comments
Mitchel Raphael on which MP had the winning Colonel Sanders moustache
Lanny McDonald, Tom Selleck and the NDP
The NDP held a facial-hair contest at their watering hole Brixton’s to mark the end of Movember, the month-long campaign that uses moustaches to promote awareness of prostate cancer. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and MP Olivia Chow were the judges. The first category was the Jack Layton moustache. With so many young people in the NDP, Chow quipped that many were “early Layton moustaches.” In the end, the winner was Nova Scotia MP Robert Chisholm for his older version of the Layton ’stache. Most intimidating moustache, named after Calgary Flames Lanny McDonald, was a draw between MPs Fin Donnelly and Jean Rousseau. NDP staffer François Soucy took home the honour of raising the most money for prostate cancer and was given a DVD set of Magnum, P.I., starring moustache icon Tom Selleck. The “Mo’ sister” award went to MP Alexandrine Latendresse. Mulcair decided to create a new category on the spot, “The best Colonel Sanders,” which went to MP Malcolm Allen’s white whiskers. Mulcair didn’t opt for a moustache for Movember. He has had his beard since he was 18. He only shaved it all off once when he and his wife, Catherine Mulcair, went in costume for a performance of Grease—no one recognized him without a beard and wearing a leather biker jacket. Another time he shaved off everything but a moustache and again people did not recognize him. His wife said he needs to just keep the beard.
Damn those McDonald’s smoothies
Joan Crockatt, the Conservative candidate who won the recent Calgary Centre by-election, was on the Hill last week for some orientation. She says that, as a former journalist, she is aware of some of the pitfalls of being a new politician, including the endless receptions where one can pack on the pounds. Toward the end of the campaign, she said, “I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight door-knocking.” Then she realized the problem. During the by-election, she developed an addiction to McDonald’s smoothies—pomegranate, in particular. Continue…
By Colby Cosh - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM - 0 Comments
Last night’s Calgary Centre by-election, won by media personality and former newspaper editor Joan Crockatt, was held in the most pro-Naheed Nenshi part of what is now a very pro-Nenshi city. Like Crockatt last night, Nenshi exploited a split opposition to win the Calgary mayoralty in 2010. But Calgary’s civic Ward 8, which makes up about two-thirds of the Calgary Centre riding, is a place where the mayor dominated all other contestants combined, taking 58% of the vote. The Green Party’s Chris Turner has close ties to Nenshi (though the mayor didn’t endorse anybody), and Turner was clearly hoping to capitalize on that success, employing Nenshi campaign staffers and Nenshian social-media tactics.
It earned him 26% of the vote. That’s still an amazing figure for a Green Party-labelled candidate in Calgary—especially an unknown one with essentially no pre-existing local political apparatus to exploit. From a standing start, Turner earned 20 votes for every three cast for the NDP’s Dan Meades.
The more meaningful pre-election data, however, may have come not from 2010 but from this year’s provincial election, in which Calgary Centre covers about the same area as three downtown constituencies: Calgary-Elbow, home base of both Ralph Klein and Alison Redford; Calgary-Buffalo, the city’s Liberal stronghold; and Calgary-Currie. The right-wing Wildrose Party got 12,694 votes there in April, and one would have to think that many of them were among the 10,201 who made it out to vote for Conservative Crockatt last night. (Her campaign was as Wildrose-heavy as Turner’s was Nenshi-heavy.) The Liberals had 8,449 provincial votes in the zone, and federal Liberal Harvey Locke got 9,034 last night.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM - 0 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s by-elections in Victoria, Calgary Centre and Durham. Results should start coming in after 10pm when polls close in Victoria. We’ll be here all night (or at least as long as it takes to exhaust whatever drama can be found).
Some numbers by which to measure the night. First, the vote percentages from the 2011 election in each riding.
If you combine the 2011 results for those three ridings, the cumulative total divides like so.
9:45pm. Beyond the obvious (who wins?), some questions for tonight. How low does the Conservative vote go in Calgary Centre? How well does the NDP vote from 2011 hold up? Can the Liberals show improvement? Can the Greens make significant gains? Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM - 0 Comments
A day after the Conservative candidate in Victoria warned against sending “another MP to Ottawa who will be shut down,” Joan Crockatt suggests that opposition MPs are somehow barred from Diane Ablonczy‘s office.
She emphasized a number of times that voting for a government MP has its benefits. “If you’re in Mexico and you lose your passport, do you want to call an opposition member of Parliament? Or do you want to call someone who can walk across to the minister’s office?” said Crockatt.
For the record, if you do lose your passport while outside Canada, the official Passport Canada website advises you to “report the loss or theft to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad and to the local police.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
A new poll, this time from Return on Insight, gives the Conservatives a five-point lead over the Liberals in Calgary Centre.
Here are the top numbers in the four public polls over the last month.
November 20-21. Return on Insight. Sample: 293.
Conservatives 37%, Liberals 32%, Greens 17%, NDP 12%
November 17. Forum. Sample: 374.
Conservatives 35%, Liberals 30%, Greens 25%. NDP 8%
November 12. Forum. Sample: 354.
Conservatives 32%, Liberals 30%, Green 23%, NDP 12%
October 26. Forum. Sample: 343.
Conservatives 48%, Liberals 28%, Green 11%, NDP 8%
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM - 0 Comments
Williams told me an Ontario MP’s far-away musings typically wouldn’t make much difference—except that this is a hard-fought three-way race, in which even a marginal shift in voter preferences might matter.
“The Conservatives are going to try to milk it for all it’s worth,” she said. “If this does cost the Liberals votes, would those votes by more likely to go to Joan Crockatt or Chris Turner? I’d have to say Chris Turner.” Her reasoning: “Turner has a lot in common with Locke. They’re both strong environmentalists.” As well, Williams doubts centrist voters—some of whom have swung from Conservative voting in the past to leaning Liberal this time—won’t see going Green as all that jarring a transition. “The Green party isn’t particularly left, it’s more centre.”
By John Geddes - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM - 0 Comments
With the Calgary Centre by-election coming up Monday, the impact of Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty’s miserably maladroit “go back to Alberta” comment on his party’s chances there is the political question of the hour.
The Liberal candidate, Harvey Locke, has been running a strong campaign. But will Conservatives be able to use McGuinty’s choice of words to draw votes away from Locke and into the column of his Tory rival, Joan Crockatt?
Or is it more likely, as some are speculating, that any Calgary Centre voters thinking twice about supporting the Liberal will instead switch to Chris Turner, the Green candidate?
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM - 0 Comments
A poll released Sunday by Forum Research in Calgary Centre found 35 per cent in the riding plan to vote for Ms. Crockatt, while Liberal Harvey Locke had 30-per-cent support, the Green Party’s Chris Turner, 25 per cent, and the NDP’s Dan Meades, 8 per cent. Those numbers have not changed, given the margin of error of five percentage points, since a similar poll for a week ago. But it’s a 13-point drop for Ms. Crockatt, who stood at 48-per-cent support in a similar poll conducted a few weeks earlier.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
@Nenshi - Hope you give the Conservative Party credit tomorrow for giving cities stable, predictable funding through the $2 B gas tax!
.@Crockatteer or … You could come and tell people yourself! Invitation open. When did it become my role to do the candidate’s job for her?
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM - 0 Comments
The mayor’s office is helping to organize the Cities Matter Calgary Centre forum at the central public library on Sunday. Nenshi said Crockatt is the one candidate who hasn’t confirmed her attendance. “I can’t imagine why she would want to miss this opportunity to discuss the government’s commitment to Calgary,” said Nenshi, who doesn’t align himself with any political party.
In an interview, Crockatt said she will attend a different community forum on Saturday, but it will be difficult to participate in the Sunday debate because her schedule is jam-packed. Her campaign has focused on meeting voters one on one — she has been door-knocking since the summer. But she noted the riding covers City Hall and other important Calgary organizations. Her team is trying to reorganize her schedule so she can attend, but Crockatt said she only received the invitation this week.
Here is Mayor Nenshi’s op-ed in its entirety.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM - 0 Comments
It’s just one poll and the sample is small and the margin of error is high and the riding has never been anything other than Conservative… but for the sake of finding some excitement in this fall’s by-elections, you could imagine that Calgary Centre might be a race.
As reported by the Globe & Mail, the November survey of 376 randomly selected residents in Calgary-Centre showed Ms. Crockatt with 32% to 30% for Mr. Locke and 23% for Mr. Turner. New Democrat Dan Meades was in fourth place with 12%. The survey is considered to be accurate by plus or minus five percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
If this new survey is to be believed, then the November 26 vote could be much more exciting than most political watchers, including myself, had previously predicted. A similar survey conducted by Forum Research in October found Ms. Crockatt with 48% to 28% for Mr. Locke, 11% for Mr. Turner, and 8% for Mr. Meades. Another survey from Forum Research conducted in August found the Conservatives with 44% to 21% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 12% for the Greens. It appears that within a matter of months, the 40% margin of victory earned by former Conservative MP Lee Richardson in the 2011 federal election and 23% margin for the Conservatives found in the September survey may have completely evaporated.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, August 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM - 0 Comments
Apparently with the support of Jason Kenney, Joan Crockatt won the Conservative nomination in Calgary Centre this weekend.
Two sources indicated that three candidates were dropped and their votes redistributed before Crockatt emerged with more than 50 per cent of the vote. She had 445 votes on the fourth and final tally followed by investment manager Greg McLean with 283 votes and former alderman and MLA Jon Lord with 119 votes, according to the sources.
Lawyer Rick Billington, Quebec Tory organizer Joe Soares and businessman Stefan Spargo made up the rest of the field.
Ms. Crockatt also apparently had the support of Pierre Poilievre and had been endorsed by Mike Duffy. Greg McLean had the endorsement of the outgoing MP, Lee Richardson. Joe Soares was endorsed by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge and former national campaign manager Doug Finley.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM - 0 Comments
Joe Soares has the endorsements of Rod Bruinooge and Doug Finley, while Greg McLean has the endorsement of Lee Richardson, Calgary Centre’s last MP. Now, Joan Crockatt announces the endorsement of Mike Duffy.
We Conservatives have a great story to tell. Joan Crockatt is the perfect candidate to help get a strong conservative message out to Canadians. If you’ve ever seen Joan interviewed on television you know what I mean: she has an uncanny ability to control the debate and to win people over to our side.
She is a communicator who can beat Liberals and New Democrats on the doorsteps and in the media. In fact—I’d put Joan Crockatt up against Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau on a television panel any day of the week.
The vote for the Conservative nomination is scheduled for Saturday.