On Saturday, June 9, I headed down to Drumheller-Stettler to support Tom Dooley, Alberta Liberal candidate for today's by-election. Tom is a stand-up guy; he's already a committed public servant, and a very warm, approachable, caring person. Rural Alberta is still pretty hostile territory for Liberals of any stripe, but Tom ran a great campaign and people in the riding have responded very positively to his genuine manner. Polls close in a few minutes, so we'll see to what degree his work - and the work of the dozens of volunteers who came out to help his campaign - has paid off.
The last time I campaigned for a candidate was back in 1986; I volunteered for Don Sparrow, the PC candidate for Leduc. (I was 17, and hadn't yet realized that conservative values are not my values.) It was a very different experience this time around, campaigning from the opposition side, and particularly in Stettler, where conservatism is, according to conventional wisdom, king. No one spat in my face, but there were a few pretty coolly polite responses.
On the other hand, there was certainly an undercurrent of discontent with the current government, and I found more Alberta Liberal voters than I thought I would. So perhaps the political ground is shifting. (We'll find out shortly.)
At one house, a huge dog, as tall as I was, leapt onto me, paws on my shoulders, tongue in my face. But, surprising myself, I was able to continue my schpiel. Dogs of that size usually scare the jeepers out of me, but somehow I managed to step outside and away from those emotions and focus on the job at hand.
It felt like a positive step. Of course, I did wind up with a pretty swollen right eye, thanks to my allergies. (A couple of fellow volunteers worried that perhaps someone had punched me.)
7:57 - time to see if Tom (and Craig Cheffins, our candidate in Calgary-Elbow) will be joining us in the Legislature.
UPDATE: Well, with 71 of 71 polls reporting, it looks like the PC's Jack Hayden has emerged victorious, with 58% of the vote; Tom placed second, with 14%.
FURTHER UPDATE: On the bright side, it looks like Mr. Cheffins has won in Calgary-Elbow, with 75 of 77 polls reporting; he's leading 45% to 38%. Considering this is former Premier Klein's old riding, that's a pretty satisfying result.
Shouldn't that be "bye-election"?
Unless you're making an obscure pun I'm not getting, nope.
No, no pun. I'd just always seen it spelled "bye election", but either seems to be correct, now that I look it up on the web tubes.
Tom Dooley? Really? I guess the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
Seems like everyone's heard that "Hang Low Your Head Tom Dooley" but me...anyway, with this experience under his belt, I'm sure he'll do far better next time. It's important to note that he did win in the city of Drumheller itself...
Today is Friday, and I have been thinking about the picture you posted with this entry. You probably weren't expecting any comments on fashion statements, so at first this might seem a bit of a non-sequitur:
Thought A: I look at the picture and think your shirt needs the Enterprise ensignia crest, like you have on your splash image at the top of the blog. But then that would mean Captain Earl Woods would have lost command rank... hmmm, a quandary.
Thought B: You are wearing red in support of your Liberal candidate.
Thought C: Today is Friday, so I am wearing red. "Pardon me?", you might say? Are you aware that there is a nation-wide grass-roots movement for Canadian citizens to wear red every Friday until our troops from Afghanistan come home? It seems to be a bigger deal out east, but Edmonton is a major military city, so I would think you folks know about this already.
So wearing red makes a big political statement in Canada. I was wondering if your Liberal officers were aware of this connection, seeing as red is the "official" Liberal colour. Of course, the mobilization of troops in Afghanistan is a Federal decision, but still, your provincial gov't must have some say regarding the military bases in Alberta. I wonder if you can comment on this?
If anyone is interested in wearing some patriotic colours in support of our troops, an excellent resource is the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency, which can be found at:
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