Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The "Amazing Race" - internet style

A November 14th article in the Globe and Mail indicated that Alberta Premier Ralph Klein showed no signs of stepping down, and the current state of affairs in this province suggests that this is still the case.

So what does this mean for our plucky cadre of hopefuls? More time to blast around the province, currying favour wherever possible.

Only a couple of our political gladiators actually have websites devoted to their intentions to lead the province, and their takes on the "Alberta Advantage" - a difficult proposition for your intrepid blogger. This, of course, begs an important question: Why haven't all the candidates hopped on the blogging bandwagon?

Let's take a look at the websites (helpfully provided in the sidebar to the right of the entries):

First, front-runner Jim Dinning's site. Nicely put-together, and laden with on-message statements. The most interesting feature of this site: Dinning's social calendar. This man is a dynamo, with 18 events in November alone. From keynote speeches to fundraisers, Dinning seems to have the most time on his hands.

This may be because Dinning, unlike many other candidates who also hold positions in the Tory cabinet, is a private citizen.

This begs an important question: if Dinning is such a busy guy, will he be willing and/or able to snub these commitments? Will he have the focus to rule the province Klein-style?

Next, Ted "Number Two" Morton. Morton's site is clean, on-message, and laden with info. The downside? If we take the information on his site as accurate, he hasn't made a speech or appeared in print since last June.

Is this because he is too busy with his duties as MLA for Foothills-Rocky View, or did he simply forget about the website? Either way, getting one's message out there is key, but so is keeping that message fresh.

Dave Hancock's website has been under construction for months, Oberg's has no information about his intentions to lead the Alberta PCs, and Iris Evans hardly appears at all on Google.

It's important to remember that there is still time - Klein has "much more to do," before he steps down. The Globe and Mail, in the aforementioned article, says that Klein set himself a deadline of Fall, 2007 to step down. This leaves roughly 20 months of campaigning for our hopefuls.

So, with Dinning's already-frenetic buzzing around the province, and the others apparently stuck in their government duties, do we already have a clear winner?

Perhaps it's too early to say, but my guess is that Dinning will burn out before long - it's tough to campaign like a monster for any extended period of time. Though, after 25 years of Albertans voting the same way every election, who knows what they'll do when faced to make a choice with no "safe bet."


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