Calgary Centre By-Election

As David Wilks reminded us last week, Conservative backbenchers are “not going to make a difference”. So it’s not at all surprising that Lee Richardson has turned his back on Ottawa to take a job as Alison Redford’s principal secretary.

This gives Stephen Harper six months to call a by-election in Calgary Centre, and one assumes it will get rolled up with the Etobicoke Centre re-vote, should the Supreme Court uphold the original ruling. In some respects, Richardson’s resignation is actually good news for Harper – even if the Tories fall in Etobicoke Centre, they’ll be able to cushion the impact with a win in Calgary Centre.

Because win they will.

Although Liberal candidate Julia Turnbull put up a good fight back when Richardson first won the riding in 2004, he took it by 40 points last spring.

Admittedly, we’ve seen some dramatic by-elections over the years, but there are no local dynamics in play here that suggest the Conservatives have anything to worry about.

That leaves us with two races to watch. The first will be the Conservative nomination – assuming they don’t just appoint a candidate, as they did when Jim Prentice’s seat opened up. Daveberta has run down the list of possible candidates including, John Mar, Jeremy Nixon, Paul Hinman, and Ezra Levant. Although a Levant candidacy would be entertaining, I’m fairly sure the powers-that-be will find a way to make sure someone better than Ezra gets the nod.

The other race to watch will be the battle for second – in 2011, the NDP came within 1,400 votes of the Liberals, and in 2008 the Greens came within 600. In recent years, we’ve seen the NDP supplant the Liberals as the second place party in most of Edmonton’s progressive ridings, so they’d no doubt love to do the same in Calgary. Mind you, that task becomes more and more difficult each and every time Thomas Mulcair opens his mouth.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in by elections, Federal Politics

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App ID, otherwise your plugin won't work correctly.

13 Responses to Calgary Centre By-Election

  1. Pingback: Calgary-Centre By-Election: Lee Richardson Resigns | CalgaryLiberal

  2. Andrew MacPherson

    Two comments. The NDP have already supplanted the Libs as #2 in Calgary’s other, actually more progressive riding, of Calgary Centre – North (Prentice’s old riding). Also it was the old Calgary Centre riding (which incorporated parts to Calgary Centre-North and the current Calgary Centre boundaries) that elected Joe Clark in 2000 over a Canadian Alliance Candidate. It is the best chance for a united progressive effort behind a star candidate for most likely the NDP but maybe the Libs. Represented provincially by Redford and Liberal Kent Hehr.

  3. Arthur McComish


    We would love for you to come and volunteer. There is no shortage for tasks for you to do on our campaign.


    Arthur McComish

    “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. Jordan

    The new site looks excellent.

  5. CalgaryGrit

    Andrew – it will be interesting to see what the new boundaries look like in Calgary after they redistrict. If they put the old Calgary Centre back together and Harper runs across tough times, the opportunity for a progressive win in Calgary isn’t far fetched.

    Or, at the very least, a progressive strong showing isn’t far fetched…we might still be 2 elections off from a win.

  6. Jordan

    Will there be a draft Dave Bronconnier movement? Win the by-election and then run for leader.

  7. CalgaryGrit

    Bronco has a good gig as Alberta’s US ambassador. If the Calgary North Centre by election didn’t tempt him when he didn’t have that gig and when the Liberal Party was in better shape, I’d be shocked if this one would.

  8. Jordan

    Isn’t that a temporary job?

  9. daveberta

    I seem to remember that Dave Bronconier’s job in Washington DC was initially meant to be a 10 month gig. I am not sure if that has changed.

    With the odds stacked so heavily against the Liberal Party, I’m not sure why Mr. Bronconnier would run as a Liberal in the Calgary-Centre by-election. It will be a tough slog for the Liberals in this by-election, but then again when is it not a tough slog for the federal Liberals in Calgary?

  10. CalgaryGrit

    You may both be right about Bronco’s job.

    In either event, the landscape looks bleaker now than it did in late 2010/early 2011 when North Centre opened up, so I don’t see why he’d take the plunge.

  11. OutsiderLookingIn

    Can I ask the people of Calgary and the people of Alberta a question. Do any of you not feel weird that year after year, election after election that you are forced to be represented from the same party line over and over again? I don’t want to equate what is happening in Alberta to what is happening in places like Egypt, because Alberta is fully democratic but do any of you not feel the danger of always supporting one party?

    I don’t understand why the people of Calgary and I say the majority based on election results have such a hate on for alternative parties like the NDP or the Liberals! I just don’t fully understand the love affair Albertans have with the Conservatives.

    I do not mean to insult, so if you are taking it that way, it is not the case. I want to educate myself on what is going on through the minds of Albertans. I noticed that in the last election some 39 000 Calgarians in Calgary Centre did not vote at all. Is the 39 000 people a segment of the population that has given up on trying to get rid of the Conservatives?

  12. Pingback: Seat Redistribution: Even this Liberal likes the new Alberta ridings | Full Comment | National Post

  13. Pingback: Seat Redistribution: Even this Liberal likes the new Alberta ridings | Full Comment | National Post

Add a Comment

Plugin from the creators of Brindes Personalizados :: More at Plulz Wordpress Plugins